December 17th-20th, 2010
Theme: Discovery

More Info: /ludum-dare-19-has-begun/

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Dry Voices: who are you?

by droqen - Competition Entry

~ IF THE SCREEN GOES ALL BLACK, IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL. YOU WILL HAVE TO RESTART YOUR GAME I AM SO SORRY ):

If it does not seem to load, refresh once and wait a little while longer. There's no preloader.

When the game ends (for whatever reason) you -will- have to refresh the page. For this I apologize.

~ WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

Hahahaha no I'm actually not going to spoil anything. Good luck! (Feel free to spoil in the comments. It's practically necessary, if not quite -literally- necessary. It's practically a spoiler in and of itself just having me TELL you how much you're missing... Time for me to shut up.)

Okay, one hint: Find some other people who'll play the game and talk with you at least a bit about it. Who knows? You might discover something you wouldn't have otherwise.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#17Audio3.74
#24Theme3.87
#40Overall3.48
#56Fun3.26
#70Humor2.67
#79Graphics3.17
#85Innovation3.09
#89Coolness6%
#179Community2.00

Comments

MrLL says ...
Dec 20, 2010 @ 7:55am

Frickin' secrets man, how do they work?? (Good job bro! Loved it.)

Draknek says ...
Dec 20, 2010 @ 12:16pm

You get humor points for the abrupt ending when you die and the submission links. :)

This is cool, I will probably come back to it later to explore properly.

jolle says ...
Dec 20, 2010 @ 9:50pm

I like. Also music really fits the game.

Did you actually need the key? Used it on a door that seemed to lead nowhere, then when the other way and got out of the cave.

stevejohnson says ...
Dec 21, 2010 @ 4:04am

I explored in all directions for about ten minutes and found nothing. But the atmosphere was nice. It was pretty easy to get stuck somewhere you can't jump out of.

Zillix says ...
Dec 21, 2010 @ 9:20am

I liked the atmosphere of this one! It was fun overall

Sos says ...
Dec 21, 2010 @ 6:44pm

Hey I managed to get out of the cave!

Dec 21, 2010 @ 8:18pm

Very nice :)

Got a bit lost, though. I like how the graphics and music match up, too. The player character being a white "blob" kind of thing was odd, but probably the best you can do at that scale, I think.

Good work! ^_^

droqen says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 10:36pm

I promise you all (stevejohnson in particular, though) that there is no place from which you can fall and then never get back up and/or out of.

Endurion says ...
Dec 24, 2010 @ 2:12pm

Damnit, how to figure the other secrets?
I've understood RON, but where's the key? Whose boot is it?

On other words, brilliant concept (besides the basic platforming). We're just too dumb to figure more clues ;)
I got one end when I escaped, another when there was no dragon.
The music is grand!

droqen says ...
Dec 25, 2010 @ 3:47am

Endurion: Consider the End-Of-Game hint to contain multiple meanings -- and express multiple hints through only one English sentence -- and perhaps you will find these other secrets where YOU would not have first considered to look!

Also, you have taken a nice first step in the right direction in your comment :3

FatherGoblin says ...
Dec 25, 2010 @ 11:29am

Fun maze game. I like the audio. Graphic tiles were OK, just a little short of good.

localcoder says ...
Dec 26, 2010 @ 4:48am

Fantastic music. Great concept and use of the theme.

I played a few times and found a few interesting things, but without something to hook me in I don't feel driven to go back and finish the mystery.

Jerm says ...
Dec 30, 2010 @ 12:28pm

Interesting idea, but I don't think it was well executed. If you don't get the trick, then it's just a boring platform game where you explore a large map (which is pretty epic, btw!). I managed to find several different endings, but it isn't interesting enough to motivate me to find more.

The music was good and it created a nice atmosphere for the game.

Also, where's your source code?

droqen says ...
Dec 30, 2010 @ 3:07pm

Jerm: Oh shit! Source code! It's up now, thanks for reminding me >_<

In response to your 'not well executed' remark, it was my goal to make a game where there would ALWAYS be something more to discover. Unfortunately, a 48-hour period wasn't the best time period in which to do something as epic as that, but with enigma after hidden enigma all stacked on top of each other, I think I can safely say that there's almost nobody who has seen everything, and that very few people WILL see everything.

I wish I'd had enough time to make everything drastically more interesting but sadly I ended up finishing with a lovely but painfully empty little cave system :)

Gornova says ...
Jan 7, 2011 @ 5:36pm

Like other comments, I've found this game good on atmosphere, but without some kind of help there is too much to discover :(

Tom 7 says ...
Jan 9, 2011 @ 6:56pm

MONSTER REVIEW INCOMING!
Loved this game. I played it longer than any other LD this contest, probably about 5 hours. What really stands out for me is the trick--which is a wonderful idea (though I think it will not play out well with the LD audience just because of the format of the contest)--and the thoughtful level design. The music is great for setting the mood; I can't believe a 45-second loop was listenable for that long.

Remainder of review contains spoilers:
I got all of the endings except the egg one, without spoilers or cheating (though without your hints in the comment I certainly would not have noticed that the game is different for each computer that loads it). It was fun to explore the cave, but I definitely needed to draw a map:

http://discovery.spacebar.org/dry-voices.jpg

I believe the underlying idea is very very good. You could make an outstanding and large game this way. There were some problems, though: First, even when you kind of figure out what's going on, it's still troubling because there is no confirmation in the game. I had figured out that there was some cookie-based state, and that some of it I could influence, and that some of it was outside my control (but if I kept reloading in incognito mode it would sometimes change). But I can't see the state without exploring the places in the game, which takes some time, and I don't know if my next step is to reload to try to initiate some new state or to explore further. (There are various jumps that are almost makable, that lead to invisible corridors, for example.) Ideally, once I've figured out the trick, the game would give me some indications as to what's been discovered in this particular session, or let me choose starting items, or something like that.

I must admit I was led quite astray by the asterisks in the ending messages and your hint in comments. I was initially convinced that the asterisks were some kind of clue themselves about letters that needed to be anagrammed (because of hint in URL) to spell a name, once I got all of the endings.

Another thing I thought I was discovering (but I don't think it's true) is that there is a single timeline, with each of the named characters existing at a certain point in time, with their actions having effects on the cave for later players. The thing that's random about the stranger is WHEN he visits the cave (between named characters), not anything else. That would have been great because the player could bound the randomly generated state to the number of named characters + 1. Kind makes me want to make a game like that. I had some other theories that turned out to be so off-base that I will save them for possible use in my own future LD entries. :)

When I got really deep into the game, there are some disappointments. For example, the key is not necessary. Why isn't sisi's note up in his loft, behind the door? Why does K7 exist at all? Ron's lower jump should allow him to make it to a place where the other characters can't reach, but there doesn't seem to be any. There should be a reward for taking the long way left (sans sword), but you can get equivalent endings by exiting to the top right or just being born without a sword available. Music fades out near the edges but is always the same; why? Some bugs too: If you move quickly between rooms, the screen blanks out and you're done for. Gana can hurt herself with fire at the edges of rooms, even killing herself, a case which doesn't seem to be handled by the code. You can step on the top corners of gates and sometimes onto smooth walls in the first row or two of tiles.

The cruelest part of this game in its current form is the boot, though. There are loads of things that telegraph the importance of the boot: You're likely to see it on your first playthrough with the sword, or almost certainly as ron, it sticking in your mind then as you explore. The endings all say, "... especially in another's shoes." There are several unreachable and unseeable areas that are upward (like in Sisi's place, but also to the left of Gana's home, and a few rooms up from the start), especially right above the boot itself. These lead me to believe that if I get the boot with the right character, I'll be able to jump higher (or learn its owner's name, who can jump high) and explore these places. The boot is locked on both sides from players who can't attack, so I was pretty convinced that it would be Sisi, who is looking for "something amazing." Moreover, the map for Sisi tends to guide you out to the left, unless you really know what you're doing. So I'm thinking that if I can get either Ron or the stranger with the sword drop to leave it somewhere (telegraphed by the fact that there's a body where the sword would normally be), then I can get the sword with Sisi and discover the boot. I spent a while on this, but I wanted to leave my comments for this game before the rating period was over, so I spoiled it for myself by looking through the source. Red herring boot?! ffffffuuuuu... (Too bad, because I probably would have found the egg if I hadn't been distracted by that thing.) That said, I think you actually did have something like this in mind, because it's hard to explain the level design without it. So I am quite sympathetic to running out of time in LD, especially since this game hangs together really well even as is.

Summary: Great idea and execution, which really grabbed me but is unlikely to grab the LD audience because of the format and presentation, so I think this game will be underrated. Easily expandable to a large and ambitious game. In any case, I see you're quite young and have great game sense, so please carry on as you see fit!

droqen says ...
Jan 9, 2011 @ 11:11pm

Tom 7: Holy shit! <3

First off, just to set the tone right: I don't care much about creating a game to win a contest, or to appeal gratuitously to a general audience -- a single reaction such as yours is more important than either of these.

As for the music: It's strictly an irritating work-around to the issue of loading maps, sorry! I would have pre-loaded maps at the beginning of the game, but doing that takes some time and I didn't have the time to make a real reset button (refreshing and replaying every time is an important aspect, and it would have become incredibly annoying).

As for the blanking bug: Is that what causes it? Shoot! I really wanted to fix that, but I decided it was rare enough to not fix (especially given I was running out of time, and I couldn't even fathom the cause).

There are certainly some red herrings! Some things are useless, and some paths lead to nowhere. Some of these things are this way on purpose, and others ended up as such simply due to a lack of time ):

The drawing you've made is really amazing and I'm so glad you scanned it to show! :D

~

I don't even know what to say from here! You've done something incredible (I really wondered if anyone would discover it all) and have left me some really great feedback (and, well, a good feeling inside of me).

Consider this game or this KIND of game, at least, on my 'to revisit' list.

~

P.S. Holy shit you made 'Disco? Very!' :3

nickretallack says ...
Dec 17, 2011 @ 8:26am

Ok I played it and the only name I discovered was SISI, in a note near the beginning. As SISI I can discover the stranger's body. The only other endings I found were leaving the cave and eating a mushroom. I learned about RON from this forum, but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to discover his existence. I played as him, but the dragon wasn't there.

nickretallack says ...
Dec 17, 2011 @ 8:53am

Ok I played as GANA too and ate a bunch of mushrooms and then the golden one where the dragon should be, and it said "All these mushrooms didn't quite satisfy my hunger"

nickretallack says ...
Dec 17, 2011 @ 10:32am

Okay, I read the source code this time, and this comment explains what is going on:

// egg needs top-notch gana, before it appears.

So I got all the mushrooms as Gana, and then I was able to find the egg as Sisi and the dragon as Ron.

I've never discovered a sword as a non-attacking player though. I'd love to see that happen, if only to give you access to the redherringboot without being Ron.

I'm also curious how you could ever discover that Ron or Gana exist in the game.

Embalaje says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:37am

I played your game, later went out in the street singing it and still looking for new things to find.
WOW, thats powerfull.
Great game!

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