April 26th-29th 2013 :: Theme: Minimalism

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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The Call

by fullmontis - Jam Entry

My first LD submission, and my first "game" ever made.

The Call is an interactive story about a phone call and... Well, that's it, actually.

Dig into the past of the involved persons and discover the dark secrets that lead to this phone call. And a final, shocking surprise...

Who is this insistent caller?
What are the dark answers that he wants to exorcise?
Why the hell should you play something that resembles more a boring family discussion than an actual game?

Discover all of this and maybe less in this cut throat phone call simulator.

######################

Ok, the pitch is over.

This game is VERY minimalist. The gameplay is as barebones as it gets, and the graphics consist of ONE image. The music and sfx at least aren't just a bunch of beep-boops. The story is the only part that is actually quite prolific. I tried as much as I could to put some roundness to the characters but of course the time was strict to do a proper job, so please excuse me for any cheesiness.

Everything in this game (graphics, sounds, music, font) was created from scratch by me. This was initially supposed to be a LD48 entry but for time management reasons I didn't finish it in time, so... Here it is a s a jam entry.

Created with Ren'Py 6.15.

#######################

INSTRUCTIONS:
To run the game just unzip the folder and run the exe (Windows), the .py file (for Linux) or the .app file (for Mac). (Warning, the generated build is untested on both linux and mac. It will probably run smoothly but please inform me of any problems.)

Click to choose the questions you want to ask and to advance text and skip animations.
Press Control if you want to skip already read text.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#51Mood(Jam)3.75
#114Humor(Jam)2.91
#141Audio(Jam)3.37
#170Overall(Jam)3.38
#176Theme(Jam)3.54
#228Innovation(Jam)3.13
#264Fun(Jam)2.92
#420Graphics(Jam)2.67

Comments

Crowbeak says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:07pm

Genius menu options at the beginning.

psychomonster says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:12pm

Nice psychological gameplay... nice story... I will play through it later... have to :)

Mysterarts says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:26pm

I was hooked by the story, well done!
I think there may have been a little more interactivity and choices, but it's cool :)

Prelucid says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:27pm

Nice, got all the way through it. At first I was worried that it might be a screamer, but I wanted to know the whole story. Not sure I do. Also I'm not D**.

JAH2488 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:32pm

Wow very cool and engaging.

fussycashew says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:39pm

The menu options are really neat, but the story was super awesome. That bitch Debbie.

AlbertoSM says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:42pm

Serious "Ace Attorney" feelings with this game! I learnt about the whole story and felt tempted to say "sorry this is not Dave" at the end, but I didn't lol!

Tyro says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:44pm

Nifty game! I think there's a typo on the question response concerning how the player's father died. It should be "though" instead of "thought." Just a little thing though, congrats on your entry!

bleatingheart says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:08pm

This might sound weird but I wanted it to be a little slower paced? It felt like he was really eager to reveal every bit of information I might have wanted and that worked against the mood a bit. Still, a really good and different use of Ren'Py!

saguaro says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:28pm

Great use of the theme and Ren'Py. Congrats on your first game.

shohs says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:44pm

Pretty interesting story. Great job on the mood, and the audio was fitting without being distracting.

naughtyloose says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:19am

awesome visuals and music but the dialog options made it a bit boring for me.

Chman says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:39am

Weird but strangely fascinating. And props for your first game !

lasergans says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:21am

Very innovative :) Good job!

HelkeGames says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:22am

Cool menu screen, nice game ;)

Pinkerator says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:54am

Very interesting story :) It seems this guy just called wrong number, right? Or I don't understand something at the end?

juaxix says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:05am

You should add some sentences like Monkey Island :)

jerombd says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:04pm

Nice story!

mchaza says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:45pm

Rather neat, will have to finish it later

Dabuuker says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:48pm

Very interesting. Didn't finish it right now but I'll definitely pick it up again.

Vaalen says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:03pm

Very good game !

Sebastian says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:14pm

Cool game, some of the dialogue was pretty humorous. It gave me great satisfaction to say "I'm not Dan" at the end haha.

antonijn says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:01pm

Very good story. "I'm not Dan!" xD

drstik says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:05pm

Great application of the theme and a plot that had me hooked.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:19pm

Love it, great story, great entry! Really good!

MinionStudios says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:20pm

This is a game that really evokes some nostalgia for me. Great execution! Love the mood too.

patrickward says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:25pm

Interesting use of interactive fiction. The story kept me wondering what would be said next. Does the ending change based on the questions/answers you give?

Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:33pm

Indeed, works just fine under OS X. Nice entry. There are some loopholes in the progression of the dialogue: for example, knowing who died, I still had to ask the question "who died" in order to progress in the game. But with such a complex tree of questions and answered, this is probably very hard to avoid. Love the menu "Answer / Ignore" and overall tone, even though it's just a bit shy on entertainment value.

Qaterknan says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:03pm

Really good storytelling. I got frisson at the end :)

fullmontis says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:19pm

Wow, thanks immensely for the feedback guys! I'm sincerely surprised by the positive reactions.

@Exclamation Mark: I'm really sorry for this since it was one of the main things I wanted to avoid but it would have taken too much time to readproof all of it.

@patrickward: unfortunately no. I planned to at first but then I finished the script too late to actually implement anything else.

nseward says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:19pm

I loved it. I was Dan at the end. I wanted to go back and play but the phone wouldn't ring. THE PHONE WOULDN'T RING! :-) Great job.

ronsho says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:11pm

I was intrigued until it turned out to be about an inheritance. My imagination is much darker, I guess. I thought I'd been ritually abused or something. I like that I can ignore the call from the very beginning, that was amusing. It's nice to have a stranger call and remind you about important things, though. Good job!

whilefun says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:34pm

Very nice work. I really liked the use of the theme here, very unconventional but interesting. Keep making more games! :)

Jod says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:48pm

Another Ren'Py entry, hurray!

Some really clever bits with the start menu, I love it! The double-loop in the story is well done as well. Poor Dan :).

The music is quite atmospheric, I like it.

The Consul says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 2:40pm

Great story! Best I've seen so far.

The "AAARGH" part felt a little out of place and didn't really fit into the rest of the text.

yellowlemming says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 2:58pm

really well done and a very clever minimalistic game

Benjamin says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 4:35pm

Nice story, I like the end of it :)

Zim the Fox says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:51pm

I'm posting here so you get a chance to see it:

I think you are having the same problem running my game as TenTonToon. The problem seems to show up on relatively old GPUs that don't like OpenGL. What graphics card are you using? Have you updated your drivers? And, per chance, did you run the _source_ using 64bit Python? I'll do my best to find a solution!

Thank you very much for reporting your problem! ^^ I'll try out your game when I have a chance.

May 1, 2013 @ 6:30pm

Congratulations on both your 1st LD & 1st game deploy. Here's to many more.

Andrei Barsan says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 7:44pm

Oh my god, that was great. I loved it.

It's funny - As I was playing, I kept thinking - "Gah, I have these RPGs where I have to ask about stuff *I* don't know but my character is supposed to know, and the people I'm talking to keep thinking I'm a moron". But then I got to the ending - priceless.

Galvesmash says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 10:30pm

Really great job on this game! At the end a refuse the money and now the phone won't ring!!

plash says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 11:08pm

Notes:

- IT SCROLLS! Keyboard works too. This excels.
- Music coming in. Not annoyed yet.
- Yay, I can sequence-break the appearance of dialogue.
- A+ for controls.
- Wait, the list doesn't scroll with the selection. A- for controls.
- Ah. You can hit enter on the scrollbar to move it. It should just scroll with the selection.
- Dan has amnesia. I have made up my mind. If not, this is poor design. He's your best friend, Dan! For chrissake!
- Rick is not my brother! You have the wrong number!
- Oh god, he violated Dan, didn't he? You were in on it too!? You sick bastards!
- Spotted a "definately". Spell check, good sir! This is a text-based game!
- Still not annoyed by the music yet. Good work.
- "Eredity"? I do not know this word. Wiktionary does not know this word!
- Why would you do that!? Dan needed that money! You were his best friend!
- Yeah, you are a damn liar.
- Strangely forgetful? You have no idea.
- "Pneumonia? I'm not sure thought." I'll let this typo slide. Thin line!
- NEXT AT 10: DAN DOES INDEED DIE OF PNEUMONIA. AND SEVERE AMNESIA.
- Of course Rick won. You helped him.
- Doesn't matter how much talent he has. You are a traitor.
- Oh, what's that? Did you say "FALSIFICATION"? EH? I KNEW IT.
- Did she give Dan amnesia? Damn it all! You're all damned scoundrels!
- Debbie!? What is going on!?
- "He was an hard worker [...]." Another typo. How much dialogue is in this thing? I'm still on the first call. Do I have to write a novel-length review?
- Yeah, and DAN GOT AMNESIA.
- YOU BASTARD!
- YOU KILLED HER? WHAT DID YOU DO?
- WHO PLANNED IT? YOU? WAS IT YOU? GOD DAMMIT.
- I KNEW IT. I knew it, right?
- My new address? Debbie knows that? SHE IS GOING TO STEAL IT.
- HAHAHA! How could you have not known it wasn't Dan!?
- Dan really does have amnesia, though -- wherever he is. And I take it back, it's not poor design, Mark is just really dumb.

- Alright. That's it? That's it. The phone isn't ringing.
- Lessee, there are options.
- Windowed mode, fullscreen, audio levels, the works. Nice work.
- Restarted game. Still not ringing. Game saves. Where is it? Found it: "~/.renpy".
- Alright, there's only one person calling. As expected.

Things I would change:

- Make the response selector scroll with the selection.
- Clean up "phone3.png".

Zim the Fox says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 3:51am

First of all, thank you for commenting on my game :D

And, another Python developer! Or at least, Ren'py!

My only problem was that the story had quite a bit of typos and misspellings. Other than that, it was a compelling and interesting story, a fantastic job!

fullmontis says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:12am

Sorry for the misspellings guys, English is not my first language so... Yeah :(
Word spell corrector unfortunately can't do miracles. If you guys can point out the misspellings and typos I'll release a corrected version.

fullmontis says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:30am

@plash: thanks immensely for the feedback! I corrected the misspellings you pointed out. I'm still not sure what you mean with "make the response selector scroll with the selection" though.

EdoMiyamoto says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 10:36am

Very good, i was into it !

GranaDa says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 1:36pm

Really great! It doesn't even looks like a game made on Ren'Py. Nice story but maybe the dialogue could be a bit more minimalistc. ^^

plash says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 1:46pm

@fullmontis: When I used the arrow keys to select a response, the list did not scroll with the selected response. It would always stay where it was unless you explicitly scrolled the bar.

Yann says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 5:13pm

Hehe nice, though, unless I miss read the option menu, you should add something to be able to delete the saves so we can test the game again. I had to go through the .py to find out that you were keeping stuff on AppData.
Wanted to see both ending ;p
So yeah interesting!

I Didn't try your post-mortem, but it could be fun to have a tree of possibilities and maybe Debbie can call you as well (which would make hanging up part of the gameplay maybe), she could say something like "I know you're not Dan but if you play the role you'll be rewarded", blah blah and another scheme on Mark and you could have the choice to side with either Mark or Debbie or none of them :D... etc

Rafael Sales says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 9:17pm

Deep concept. Congratz!

May 12, 2013 @ 4:43am

Toys with player's mind. I'm a sucker for psychological elements in games,so needless to say I really enjoyed this!

May 18, 2013 @ 11:47am

Really cool, and smart, with all of the little details, like not being able to pick up once the calls over. The atmosphere was amazing with the switching between music and all that. Great job!

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