Thanks again for the video coverage Jupiter :) There are many endings, but they do not break the loop. The only ending that breaks the loop is to destroy the will, which can be done at any location. I wouldn't necessarily call this the 'right' ending - it is simply the only way out.
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Hi guys, I enjoyed your game - well done. I agree with Astrid that it is an innovative take on the theme. Dyslexia is a subject I know little about, so I felt this was also nicely educating in how a child might perceive it.
Nathan's voice is strong, and the music added to the melancholy. I liked the gradual revealing of back story, hinting at his mother's absence. I enjoyed the concept of friendly characters speaking through the rabbit - the 'Literate' world definitely came across as a place of solace, and the loss of this world makes for a bittersweet ending.
If you've not tried this editing technique already, I'd definitely recommend leaving the text to settle in its final stages, then returning with unfamiliar eyes to print it out and read it aloud. I've found this works well for refining character voices and honing style. It may help refine areas such as the adult voices, so they are as befitting as Nathan's.
Hi Felicity, thanks for taking the time to play the game. I'm sorry to hear you didn't get on with the experimental structure, and thank you for your kind words about the characterisation. I'm just managing to eke out some time now to play the other entries, so I'll be sure to check yours out too :)
As a quick summary, I'd say I was expecting some frustration from the experimental structure, since I'd placed more emphasis on metaphorical meaning than a smooth play experience. My other main goal was to create a well-realised character and setting, which hopefully lead to emotional impact.
That's a good idea. I had an earlier design that was similar, where after so many loops it would turn on extra options. I didn't use it in the end because I hoped the player would choose 'destroy' at their own realisation. This would then leave them to ponder why destroying it was the way out. I also liked the neatness of the reset loop, where the countess isn't aware she's stuck in limbo, thus creating dramatic irony.
For a bit of background info, the game was part-inspired by Aisle, where after one move you get an ending, and are encouraged to replay to see other endings. I wanted to incorporate this format, but change it so the looping is part of the narrative itself, unlike Aisle. This can cause frustration in Countess though, as you found, since the player can feel like they're stuck forever, due to Countess having a fixed closure (unlike Aisle) which needs a leap of faith (or an inquisitive player) to reach.
Thanks for taking the time to play the game and write a review :) As you've found, the structure is unusual.
To 'end' the game, the player must choose to destroy the will.
This is of course counter to the game's objective. It is intended to represent a permanence of death - by destroying the will, the player is acknowledging that they can no longer affect the world. When the character dies at the start, although they think they still have some time left, the game is saying that they are wrong - they are already dead and so can't change anything.
While ever the player tries to deposit the will, the game loops, and gradually layers up backstory and character, as you found. My hope was that after so many loops, or perhaps once the player has run out of new locations to visit, they would choose the 'destroy' option. But clearly you have proved my thinking wrong, which is valuable feedback :)
Thanks again, and I'll be sure to check your game out too.