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Trainwreck Studios

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A member registered Jan 09, 2017 · View creator page →

Creator of

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It means the world to me that you liked it.

There's hope still for a continuation of Animal Lover. It'd be a weird one. And it wouldn't happen for a while. But the dream's not dead.

Thank you so much for playing my game, I'm glad you were into it.

:) :)

I'm very glad you liked it!

Unfortunately no. I've had a sequel in mind for a long time (cryptically titled Animal Lover: The Damascus Seal), it'd be smaller than Animal Lover with a more unique set of events, but there's no way I can get the original artist back on it and there wasn't enough return for Animal Lover to really make it financially worth it.

C'est la vie. 

Regardless, it means the world that you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for playing!

Aw, that's adorable! I've never been the biggest fan of small dogs, but sometimes they're so goddamned affectionate it's hard to not at least like 'em.


Yeah it's goin' alright.

'Thanks For Playing' is how every good game should end.

So I decided to end my game with it in the hopes that people will mistake it for a good game. 

(I'm glad you liked it. :) )

Oh we definitely know who you're talking about.

It's tough to NOT cry over Dustin.

This is good. You've made a good thing here. Thank you.

Nothing happened to Kyle.

There is no war in Ba Sing Se.

Nor would I ask you to if you felt that you should not. I completely understand.

Twice now I thought this was about my game XD

Damn! That's a shame. Ahh, well.

Hey thanks!

Of course.

Thank you again, nothing changes if no one is there to criticize or at least to question. It means the world that someone would care enough about my tiny little indie project to bring up their concerns with it. Honestly it does. :)

I have heard and understand your concerns. However, I don't plan on it, for a number of reasons.

Spoiler warnings from here on out;

Firstly, the abstraction of the nature of suicide. By the time the nature of the deadly event is realized for what it is by the characters (that is to say, self-inflicted), it has been made clear that this may not have been as deadly or as permanent an event as real-world suicide truly is. In fact, to put a content warning for suicide alongside a game that makes abundantly clear that Kyle can "get better" would be to do disservice to its nature. Compare my Ludum Dare entry "Not Clowning Around" that has, what some may call similar subject matter, but I disagree. The "joke" in Not Clowning Around is that of an implied and genuinely permanent event, hence why I did place a content warning alongside Not Clowning Around, but not beside Animal Lover.

Secondly is the abstraction of the event. In stark contrast to, say, the suicide in Doki Doki Literature Club, the visuals do not immediately imply suicide. They do communicate a traumatic event, that is to say discovering the body of a beloved animal run over by a car, but this is not the same as placing my character's cloudy eyes on screen in order to shock or terrify. In fact, it was a point of discussion during development to make the visual unclear in terms of detail but deeply clear in terms of impact. A far-away visual of an animal's still body. These do not carry the connotation of suicide, and intentionally so. Granted, the subject does become suicide, which leads me to my next point:

Thirdly, it is not immediately clear that this tragic event was self-inflicted. It is only realized after a cascade of realizations surrounding Kyle's character that this could have only been self-inflicted, during the same conversation where the characters realize, due to the magical nature of the story, Kyle may manage to arise from the dead. The tragedy is, thus, not that Kyle is gone forever (as real world suicide exists) but that he was in such a deeply depressed state that he would act upon his suicidal tendencies. Realizing that someone is capable of suicide is a tragic, but wholly different circumstance than someone actually having committed suicide.

Fourth, as an extremely late-game event, in a story rife with references to and usage of sex, alcohol and violence, that even were the player unaware before that the story is mature in nature, they should be aware of the game's mature nature by this point. Either the children in the room have been shooed out or they're still playing when they absolutely shouldn't be.

Fifth, trigger warnings and content warnings have been shown through multiple studies, such as a study from Sanson, Strange and Garry (cited below) on the relative uselessness of trigger warnings, or a study by G. A. Boysen (also cited below) on how avoidance of triggers and trauma reminders may contribute to the persistence of PTSD. I just haven't been personally convinced that trigger warnings are particularly helpful.

But lastly, even if none of these things applied, which they all do, to add a trigger warning to a serious discussion of a character's mental health is something I find personally distasteful. This is a game intended for adults and while a discussion of tone is certainly feasible, (I feel as though it was a smooth transition from benign hardship to the existence of life and death in banal situations), some may not agree. Regardless of whether its execution was "good" or "bad", my intended audience consists of adults, and as an adult I would prefer if the storytellers giving me stories checked my ID and sent me on my way to the theater, rather than prefacing the story by telling me what events are going to occur in it on the off-chance that this story is too mature for me.

I understand your concerns, I do, I even empathize. But I feel it's a strange askance of a creator. God knows I'm not taking it personally, but I can certainly imagine others who could, or would, and I would have a hard time blaming them. I've marked Animal Lover as having sensitive content on Steam, Itch and Google Play.

If you would like to discuss further means by which to mark Animal Lover as being a game with mature content, I am naturally, even eagerly open to discussing it. However, trigger warnings and content warnings are not something I'm currently open to considering.

Regardless, I genuinely appreciate you guys reaching out with your concerns.

-Wilson T.

 

Boysen, G. A. (2017). Evidence-based answers to questions about trigger warnings for clinically-based distress: A review for teachers. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 3(2), 163–177. https://doi.org/10.1037/stl0000084

Sanson, M., Strange, D., & Garry, M. (2019). Trigger Warnings Are Trivially Helpful at Reducing Negative Affect, Intrusive Thoughts, and Avoidance. Clinical Psychological Science, 7(4), 778–793. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702619827018

Thought you were referring to Animal Lover. I was thinking "I dunno, I think it's okay..."

Actually I never played Major\Minor. I'm very curious, why's it so bad?

Of course, and I totally understand if Animal Lover doesn't appeal to you now. But thank you, genuinely, for raising your concerns. :)

Normally I would, and I have, but the concept being that these characters are from different parts of (mostly) American history means that they come packaged with extremely gendered ideas. Take Frankie's freakout at the coffee shop, Miguel's unique perspective on his own bisexuality and the ways in which each separate boy interacts with Aadara.

Animal Lover is a uniquely gendered story. It's a concept we discussed when beginning the development, to make the character genderless, but Lucy had come into her own as a character during the outlining process and we decided to follow her story to the end. I think, as a result, the women playing it have managed to find something particularly relatable or intimate about it.

Just as Coming Out On Top would not be the same without being a story particularly about non-straight relationships, Animal Lover is distinctly about women's interaction with men and vice versa.

Unlike my other work, Nowhere Girl, Lucy (or however you decide to name her) is a defined character within Animal Lover with attributes and traits outside of the decisions of the player. Considering the extremely gendered nature of the narrative of Animal Lover, extending into America's history of gender relations, I did not feel as though these characters would have achieved the same narrative were the main character to be male, much less so had the same kind of incidental dialogue.

Granted, Nowhere Girl has a female protagonist, so in terms of great non-straight VNs with male love interests, I recommend Hustle Cat. The writing is cute, I'm a big fan of the art, it's a good time all around. 2064: Read Only Memories also has a plethora of gender and romance options and a pretty stellar writer at the helm. It's not a VN per se, but it's still a fun point and click.

Charlie Fitzgerald, a character in the game, is a FAIRLY hairy dude. Does that count?

Hey! Shoo! Get back to Major\Minor! Your kind ain't welcome here, I said git!

(Yeah, me too :) )

I would like to present my game, Animal Lover, to the bundle. Anything I can do to help. I would submit my other paid product Nowhere Girl but it is currently tied up in strange legal issues. Anything to help.

https://trainwreckstudios.itch.io/animal-lover

Thank you so much! Wouldn't work for the LIFE of me, decided to remove it! Much obliged!

Thanks! Glad you liked it! Sorry it took me four months to reply!

Thank you so much! I will!

Hey, thank you so much! I'm glad you dig it!

I dunno! People like to get Spooked! 

That said, Deep Night Detective is fairly light on horror but exists as enough of an element that I thought it appropriate to apply the tag. 

Very kind of you, thank you so much!

Thank you so much! 

Those are some totally fair complaints.

But we're stoked that you liked it!

Nowhere Girl releases early on Itch! Just in time for the Halloween sale! Right now, get both games for 30% off! Nowhere Girl is available for under five bucks, that ain't bad man!

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Of course!

We really hope that you enjoy it and have a great day!

I believe it's possible that you've misunderstood. We have no intention of being denigrating to any system of belief, especially seeing as I personally carry a set of religious convictions myself.

That scene is an expression of the main character's frustration and meant to be nothing more. The main character has, in that moment, become so frustrated by an increasingly absurd series of events that "God must be dead", much like the old statement by Friedrich Nietzsche that "We have killed God."

If you would still like a refund for your game, we would be happy to provide you with one, but know that we are of no frame of mind to be harshly criticizing religion or any such deeply held creeds. We're sorry that you interpreted this to be as such and we appreciate your coming to us to voice your concerns.

If you'd like to contact us privately as well, you may do so at our email address 'trainwreckstudiosgames@gmail.com'.

I hope to hear from you soon and I'd like to clear this up as soon as possible!

-Wilson Taylor