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A member registered Sep 11, 2017 · View creator page →

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Thanks for checking out my game :D

Hello Everyone!

Thank you all for following the game! I've released a new demo of the game this morning!

It's admittedly been a while since I promised chapter 2, but that's only because I'm working very hard to polish it up. I found out last year that I'd be attending PAX south so the focus has been mainly on getting the final demo to a retail release state and I believe we have!

This weekend more people will discover my game in person than ever and I'm hopeful to build a bigger community! And I'll have exclusive promo cards for them!

The new demo is shorter, but it has a lot of polish, improvements, final original music, and new mechanics (Smak Talk) that you'll enjoy. I've worked on this project for 3 years and in that time I have not really been able to make a basic living so it's time for me to start focusing on earning a return on my efforts, so this final version of the demo will be a lot shorter in order to save the full polished game for early access supporters on Steam and release!

Early Access will open to the public soon, there is a chance a second Kickstarter will happen depending on how PAX goes which will be the deciding factor!

It's been a long road, thank you for following my journey!


Check it out here:

Thanks for your support! :D

Thank you so much for your kind words, I've got a Kickstarter launching on Wednesday so I hope to see you there or that you'll share with your friends!

Thanks for making a video on the game! :D I'm glad you like it, I haven't had a chance to play Knuckle Sandwich yet but maybe I can squeeze it in if there's a demo out! The game is relateable mostly because it's based on my life and the dialogue is basically written with "what would i say in this situation?" as a general rule of thumb :)

I'll be sure to check out the vid and Tweet you on Twitter :D

Haha! I hope you really enjoy it! If you haven't yet please join me on Twitter which is where most of my updates and postings go :D

Yeah I noticed that! I'm not sure if it actually does damage though, this was always possible but it used to deal 0, we changed the combat system so numbers might be showing while actually doing nothing. In any case we'll fix this, I thought it was kind of cool to be able to move during dialogue but most people view this as a "bug" :P

In any case I'm really glad you liked the demo! (pssssst, follow me on Twitter)

This is a known bug, it usually only happens if someone skips through the dialogue too fast, since I didn't expect most people to do that on their first playthrough and this is only a demo, I imagine most people probably won't encounter this but it'll definitely be fixed for the full version!

Heya! I'm super glad you like it! I hope you'll keep an eye out for future versions and our crowdfunding! Good luck with your game dev pursuits! :D


Not that I know of! It certainly isn't reporting any metrics to me and has no online functionality! You should be good to go, I doubt Unity is spying on its players ;)


Hey thanks for reporting these issues! Glad you liked it!

When you got "stuck" in the pizza bathroom did you have to restart the game completely? Please explain this! Being able to move during dialogue doesn't bug me very much but being able to charge up the meter does! :P

Some quality of life implemented! No more uncertainty of what to press or how to interact! :D

Thanks for your feedback! It's good to know that all my posting reaches someone passionate about the game who's willing to really analyze it and help me make it better!

So, most of these things I actually know about, one thing I will say is that we definitely are in a generation in gaming where people expect things to be hand fed to them. I feel like most of my expectations were reasonable (need a drink? where do people keep drinks? the fridge) RPGs definitely tend to have an element of figuring things out, and back in the SNES days, I remember spending hours trying to figure out the awful clues you'd get mid game where you were free to explore but had to figure out where you needed to be exploring.  The opening area is pretty small and I'm confident most people we'll figure it out shortly. To be completely honest, if someone can't figure something out right away, I'm actually pretty okay with that. I might try and leave better clues,  but this is still an RPG/Adventure and not so much a visual novel :P

... but apparently people are beginning to think their keyboards are broken before they try to push A so this will be addressed :P

Again, thanks for taking the time to check out my game and provide some good feedback, I hope I'll get to finish and continue improving my little project!

noted and will be brought to attention in the next build in a day or so, for now, I've put a note on the download page :)

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Hey guys!

In case you want to keep up with the game you can follow on your favorite social site and see screen shots and get updates!

We even have a subreddit you can check out!

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I'm Tristan,  I created DON'T GIVE UP and your feedback is super important! There is likely to be a quality of life update (fixes and making the game easier/more comprehensive) within the next few days now that reviews and experiences are coming back but I will list all issues I'm aware of here:

1. The Push A is unclear

2. Pressing enter to start the game but interacting with spacebar

3. When starting the play through again after finishing Tris gets "stuck"

4. Uncertainty of where to get a drink in the intro

5. You can leave your house without your keys (but you won't be able to progress unless you get them)

If you come across any other legitimate issues I will post them here!

You press A.

Thanks! It seems like my game got pushed way way wayyyy out of visibility in only 4 days though, I'll have to hope for a feature!

Hey thanks! The future of the game is up in the air right now, it was a huge labor of love and for now, I'm going to see how the community treats it! I appreciate your support and playing the game, glad you enjoyed it! :D

The Trailer!

Demo Link:

Please leave a rating :D

Demo released on itch! View the trailer and get it now here:

Thanks for letting me know I caught this a short while ago and the uploads have been fixed! Hope you enjoy the game! :D


MUCH has happened since the last update, what exactly do I mean by much?

Well, the demo is 99% done and the trailer is 100% done and dropping as soon as tomorrow!

I’ve been posting in depth devlogs a lot less because, as much as I’d love to write about my progress, it’s a bit deflating seeing posts I take a decent block of time to write up, sink like a cinder block without any interactions - I much rather spend those couple of hours working on some more game stuff and spreading out the updates at crucial milestones.

The last thing we talked about was the battle system, I think so far I’ve mostly covered the new mechanics but none of the new lore.

While I’m really pleased with my first attempt at writing a game script, there is always something that a game maker can never do, and that’s see the project through the eyes of someone on the outside of the project. I realized pretty quickly through let’s plays and demo testing that a lot of people thought the game was mostly a comedy, or about pizza.

Well, yes, the game is definitely meant to have humor stuffed in wherever it can, but that was originally intended to offset the darker themes in the game, my mistake was having the first demo build up to the serious turning point, and in this demo I actually lead off with it. It COMPLETELY changes the depth and perception of the game.

The last trailer I made was a blend of composited scenes and some in game footage tweaking, where as this trailer has about a minute of just straight up gameplay. I’m really pleased that the game is at a point where I can stuff that many scenes into a trailer and still not revealed all the story there to tell.

This demo has come a LOOONNNNG way, 

and while the forum community has certainly never fawned over my project, I certainly hope I at least have a handful of you rooting for it as it heads for Kickstarter for the 2nd and final time this August 15th :D


(also, DON'T GIVE UP: A Cynical Tale is a name I love but I think DON'T GIVE UP conflicts with way too many search results, songs, books, games... basically just about everything so I think A Cynical Tale has to start taking the forefront)

Combat Update!

So going forward with these posts I want to definitely try to show more of my process in both thought and design- I know people say you should share everything you do in your dev logs but I’ve always kind of felt that was more in a “something is better than nothing” sense and that what people really wanted to see was the final result.

I’ve sort of found that that is only true depending on your execution and people will take interest in your process if you’re captivating in its presentation, so going forward, I will try to be a bit more in depth with my milestones and such :D

Previous Combat System

So, in the first demo “Cynical 7” the battle system made the player feel that they were fully at the mercy of the enemy. This is usually true to some extent with most enemies in any kind of game, whether it’s the hordes of enemies in beat em ups, the power spiking bosses in RPGs, or the progressively harder AI in fighting games.

But with all of those in beat em ups you can usually combo a number of enemies at once, grind levels to becomes strong in RPGs, and master the game until the AI submits in fighting games. But in Cynical 7, all you could do was wait for the enemy to line up within your attack line and hope you got off a hit or two. That combined with the relentless enemy attacks ended up making combat more of a chore than I wanted it to (even though I didn’t feel like it was a chore- but I might be biased)

So the most important thing for me with this new demo was to completely revamp the battle system, with one major focus, giving the player more control with perks to be gained for its mastery.

The new battle system has two phases: Enemy Turn and Player Turn

Enemy Turn

During the enemy turn combat will play out a lot like it did in the first version, the player will dodge the enemy and try to land blows of their own. One major difference is this time around the player will also be able to parry attacks as well. These parries will take timing to execute but pulling them off in succession will grant the player a stackable buff :D

Player Turn

When the enemy turn ends the player turn begins. During the player turn Tris will get into hand to hand range with the enemy and be able to unleash and assortment of combos on the enemy triggered by the player in real time! Players will have to pull off combos in order to execute special moves like Harutaru Missile and Pogo Pounce! Different moves will have different uses and some might debuff or do more damage depending on the enemy and its status! The key to this system is knowing what combos do what and executing them without tripping up to maximize your turn!

But how do the turns flow?

The active turn is decided by the “momentum meter” which is much different than the one from Cynical 7. In Cynical 7 the momentum meter decided how quickly the player could move and dodge enemy attacks. In Don’t Give Up the momentum acts as a “timer” between turns. During the enemy turns the momentum bar depletes over time until it reaches the “break point”, once that happens the next hit the player lands will break the enemy’s guard and they enter “exhaustion” status and the player turn begins. The player can also deplete the enemy’s momentum faster by landing ranged attacks and successfully parrying.

Once the enemy goes into exhaustion the momentum meter begins to regenerate until it fills up at which point it becomes to enemy’s turn again. During that regeneration time the player can execute combos and special moves on the enemy.

The phases see-saw like this until the player or the enemy’s HP is depleted!

I also took the liberty of improving McRobberson's sprites now that i'm a little more seasoned :D

So what does it all look like? Well- something like this :D

Thanks for tuning in to this edition! :D

Here we go again!

My last post was a quick peek at the first instance of combat! Since then it's mostly been prepping and polishing assets for the new demo and only a handful require cleanup or adjustments.

Right now ironing out the look, feel, and balance of the turns and speed.

Since the last version we've added:

Cumulative Damage- Instead of throwing out a bunch of numbers each time an attack lands, each attack is added to the old total, as you hit higher thresholds of damage, the numbers will get bigger and more rewarding!

Combos- We added the first player turn specific move, the downward strike! More to come!

Player and Enemy Buffs, indicated by the icons, I'm glad they are implemented but are currently a bit ugly stationarily floating with the characters, I've already come up with a solution for this!

Tris has a better animation transitioning between turns

Enemy Size reduced (although now I think he looks too small, so we'll play around with it a bit more as I think to accomomdate the new format the battle area needs to be reduced as a whole)

Here is a gif of it all slowly coming together!

Well social media has eaten up more than enough time for today, time to get back to it!
If you are digging the game please show me some support on social media, I could really use it  ;)

Thanks leafo! :D

Here is also something for screenshot saturday! a rough look at the new combat system,  I'll post a more in-depth combat breakdown next week :D

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Don’t Give Up is the sassy comedic tale of Tris, an anti-social, cynical game developer  and his quest to confront his inner demons. Balance the hilariously dysfunctional tragedy that is your social life all while facing off with the phantoms of your inner conscious and those that would claim it. 

It's a modern story focused RPG with real time battle and an original fighting system that gives both the enemy AND the player real time turns!

DON'T GIVE UP and is the official name and reinvention for the title Cynical 7 I've been working on and it features a new battle system and story telling. The new demo should hopefully be along in June!

New Features since 1.0:

  • Battle System
  • Areas
  • Intro
  • Plot Points
  • Interactable Objects
  • Portraits
  • NPCs


The combat is still being implemented but the idea is to have an ebb and flow between the player and the enemy, where the player has a defend phase where they can do things like earn buffs and weaken the enemy, and then an offensive phase where they have a certain amount of time to dish out combos to the enemy!

In this gif the player just executed a combo move where he leaps up, fires a missile and runs back toward the enemy in order to dish more damage.

The Main Character


An aspiring game developer who suffers from anxiety and chronic “people disliking disorder”. He moved to Threeson 4 years ago after the “incident”. An unemployed introvert with only a handful of friends, Tris desperately seeks to find some sort of fulfillment in his life before his time (and his bank account) runs dry.

Likes: Anything with pork belly in it, especially pizza, mmmm
Dislikes: Social media zombies

You might even see some familiar faces during your stay in Threeson!

Thanks for looking!

looking forward to it! :D

I really enjoyed this! Your art is P nice :D

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The demo is current on Itch.Io! The response has been pretty much positive across the board! Check it out if you get a chance! :D