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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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by nintendoeats - 48 Hour Compo Entry

(The ending seems to break for people in Chrome)
(please do not put the window into full-screen. It will be broken.)
(See the post-mortem here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2013/04/30/253457/)

Minimalism: Design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.

How few mechanics create a game?
How few textures reveal the most information?
How few sounds create the correct atmosphere?
How few animations convey the most movement?

How few questions tell you the most about somebody?
How little time leads to the best decision?
How small a punishment creates the most justice?

(Approximate runtime: 13 minutes)

Downloads and Links




Crowbeak says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:47am

For the part where your time is limited, I can see why there would be a slow text pace, but I found the slow text -- particularly in the intro -- frustrating and it kinda killed the fun for me. I did like the idea, though.

Finnegan2100 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:56am

Beautiful, beautiful game! Kept me on the edge of my seat for the full 10 minutes!

Nonameghost says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:37am

Man I wish I had the time to do everything. For a minimal game, that had a high amount of depth. That kind of balance is what makes minimal games so much fun. Great work. No complaints.

JaJ says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:28am

The game crashed for me with 20 seconds left, out of nowhere. The second time through I didn't ask any questions and just waited to see the ending but I don't know if that makes a difference.
Crashed the second time too at "25 years minimum"

I think you used the theme really, really well any way you look at it. I liked that you had to pick the right questions with limited time, but most of the questions seemed irrelevant to me anyway.

In the end I would offer the pleabargain no matter what, because I don't believe in capital punishment, so that made it a bit less thrilling for me.

s0ulcrusher says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:17pm

Wow that was deep.. great dialogue during questioning, nice work.

EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:00pm

It crashed for me as well, but i was really into it, very good game !

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:05pm

To anyone who it crashes on: please tell me what version you were playing, and if it's the web version which browser. So far I haven't been able to reproduce anything.

theomnis says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:13pm

Who killed Chuck D? Excellent game...a little slow paced though.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:02pm

Very interesting idea with persuasion..

anjack says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:10pm

Great use of suspense! Good game!

robertcalvert says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:43pm

This is a game with amazing depth for a game made in 48h. It is a moving game. Great dialogue that keeps you wanting to play. Perfect!

Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:45pm

I really like the idea and feel of this -- but the pacing was slow to the point of frustrating.

mrexcessive says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:50pm

Very thought provoking. Agree with some other comments that being unable to speed through text - if you read fast - is an issue... It's essentially a play, albeit interactive, in a very novel format. If I was reading a play would read about twice the speed, especially the shorter (bulk) of sentences. Difficult to resolve that with the ticking clock though. Suspense of choosing when to reveal is VERY GOOD, I felt responsible.

Kiwiboi says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:53pm

Yeah same here crashed at the end god damnit. Just when we were getting into the good stuff! Good job though! :D

free_napalm says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:59pm

I have never seen the use of silence during dialogue in games. It worked really great for this one.

Egan says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:30pm

I played this on the Unity web player and have to say I was very impressed. I love the simple conversation mechanic and I played it three times and may play it again.

A part of me likes that there is no audio, it adds to the tension of the game but at the same time it would have been nice to have something getting slowly louder as the timer runs down.

Well done on a fun game.

Logun says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:16pm

A very impressive experience. I don't know if there is differences in function of your questions + revelation of gun. But I believe in it all along, and so enjoyed it !

stevejohnson says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:16am

Pretty interesting. I haven't tried to play it through yet due to time constraints. I wish I could skip through the intro.

stevejohnson says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:53am

I like it. Suggestions: a little audio would have gone a long way, as well as a way to skip some of the slower parts (for replay). Very on-theme. :-)

Cybearg says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:08am

As others have said, the slow text did drag things down by drawing them out excessively. As for the timer, I felt like I had asked all the questions worth asking in the first couple minutes, so I just kind of killed time for the rest of it, or so it seemed to me.

I ranked the innovation and theme high for this one, since it's certainly minimalist and it's a rare move to make a game that's about talking like this. I was interested in what was going on, though the message (if any) seemed a bit confusing.

Was the point supposed to be that the defendant woman gained Ben's sympathy when she was actually quite dangerous? The way she and her attorney went on with their preaching, it seemed like there was a message against the death penalty going on, even though her actions were pretty excessive for just seeing an officer around (very excessive). Still, I recommended minimum 25 years in prison, and then she gets in fights and her family doesn't visit. I only plead her case because I figured it was a one-shot bout of violence that would not be repeated.

Since she's clearly prone to violence, choosing to attack others while in prison, the message seems to me to be that she should have been given the death penalty right away, since it's not like she got more time with her family and her being around others made things worse and prison did not rehabilitate her.

Anyway, that's besides the point. Neat game!

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:44pm

@Cybearg: Aside from the text being to slow (an issue that I am pondering a solution to), I think your comment demonstrates that the game achieved exactly what I wanted: making you think.

timtipgames says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:07pm

It crashed for me and windows told me it ran out of RAM (12gigs...) so there's definitely something going on. That was the standalone version. Win7 64bit. Maybe a memory leak? Too bad because I was really caught by the story.

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:14pm

@timtipgames: That's bizarre. I really haven't been able to reproduce this. I'm going to take another look at it, but it may be an engine problem. I have asked it to do some strange things.

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:16pm

@timtipgames: YES! I checked it in the process manager, there is in fact a memory leak! I'm going to try to find it. Wish me luck.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:21pm

Addicting. It seems to work fine for me, great job!

Brassawiking says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:10pm

The dialog felt completely fluid, good job on that. I did however feel a bit uneasy at the stereotypical portrait, I would rather have seen a scenario that was free from any type of bias. Could have fleshed out the relationship between the victim and the murderer more instead of a random act of violence.

But then again, it would probably not be as provoking as it is right now.

All in all, excellent work!

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:24pm

Brassawiking: I should probably mention that I lived in Qatar for two years. I wouldn't have felt comfortable writing an Arab if I didn't have that experience, for precisely that version. There is some stereotype there, but in general it comes from real experiences.

I'm glad that you liked it :)

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:47pm

*version = reason

Brassawiking says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:20pm

Real experience from cold blooded murder?

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:29pm

brassawiking: OH CRAP! HE KNOWS!

Masadow says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:02pm

Wow, I played it like if I was sitting on that chair oO It's so immersive. Very good job !

Tainted_Code says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:07pm

Good game! I really liked the multi-choice style but the game crashed near the end! :/ Wish I could have played it all but I liked it, so! :)

Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:16pm

Nice idea of making a lawyering-game!

The intro is painfully long though

Griz says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:29pm

Very refreshing. I'm Glad that I could play it and experience the story where you are put in the body of a district attorney, who might have to deal with such cases many times in the job.

pighead10 says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:54pm

10 minutes with minimal interaction and slow text is tough to sit through and really kills some of the fun. Nevertheless it was thought provoking and meaningful. Interesting idea.

Cryovat says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:08pm

Unfortunately, I was unable to save her. :(

It was very suspenseful and I enjoyed the story. I'm a bit reluctant to restarting it since the dialogue is unskippable by design.

That said, it's a solid game, and a very good take on the concept. Great work!

Potentialing says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 2:44am

Gorgeous entry, not in graphics or audio, but rather in innovation of the theme, as well as the mood. I had to dock off some points due to the slow paced nature of the text, and this is coming from a frequent visual novel reader. The situation definitely proved as tense, though some of the writing could have gone better-of course, I suppose, this is forgivable, given that this is a 48 hour solo entry. Definitely consider polishing this post-compo, because I'd love to play this in a polished form!

Crazi456 says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:43am

Enjoyed the feel of the game, was a bit slow paced for me though

AaronYip says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 10:17am

Super happy to find this gem when I finally get the chance to sit down with your game. I definitely like the aesthetic, awesome concept, and thought the pacing clocks (timer, stairs) were great touches. Very cool entry, and wonderful job! (:

hirsch says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:02pm

Even if i missed much of the game (1024x600 netbook screen) it was partly playable and i would not have recognized it if i weren't told that the game screen shows more than a coloured line, text and questions. Great job, intense story :)

netmute says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 7:56pm

Pretty deep for a LD game. Well done!

plash says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:20pm

Wow! This is incredibly detailed. Great dialogue work. You should try doing a team next Jam.

ThirteenWB says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:35pm

I liked how minimalist the graphics were, but sometimes the text seemed a bit too slow and it would have worked well with some kind of bgm.
Interesting game though :)

Holofire says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:46pm

Wow, that was so immersive. Loved every second of it. Great job!

stqn says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 3:35am

Original idea, but I don't understand that game. The legal jargon makes no sense to me. I have no idea what the goal is. Does asking questions change anything in the outcome or is the only real game-changing choice at the very end? The ending I saw felt strange and unpleasant.

Joror says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 7:56pm

A real suspense-full thriller, got to take your time. Keep the interesting questions for later... An interesting balance, but also relatively straightforward to create content for - which is smart. Pauses during the dialog line did nicely to add another layer of communication too.

nathanj439 says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 10:44pm

Interesting idea that fits well with the theme. I agree with the other comments that it would be nice to speed up the pacing.

Personal taste maybe, but I think the story would be better if the lady had a better reason for the murder. She killed for no reason, so it's hard for me to have any reason to defend her.

cardboard says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 10:56pm

I sort of wanted Fadiyah to stop being such a jerk, but I also knew I would have to reveal the gun at the end, because she obviously killed the officer. Unless of course she didn't and was just disgruntled and angry, in which case I hoped she would stop making it sound like she murdered the officer and just answer truthfully. Very immersive for a game with stick figures and a whole lot of unused screen. The silence in dialogue helped, and I don't think the text was too slow; it seemed just right. Sound would have been nice, I think, if only just ticking of the clock or ambient noise.

zatyka says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 3:59am

That was really great. I really enjoyed learning all the aspects of the story. My only suggestion would be to either allow the player to advance the text, and/or speed up the game clock. Excellent story telling!

Uhfgood says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 6:49am

I felt the argument was a little one-sided since I had not seen the whole court case from the beginning.

Interesting way to make a "game". I'm all for things that make me think, but I'm not into things that make me pre-judge people.

shawn42 says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 4:08pm

Well written, very engaging dialog. I was definitely enjoying it, but the mac app did crash on me. Other than that, nice work.

nintendoeats says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 4:42pm

@shawn42: Ah, the way it was packaging the Mac Version was weird. I believe I fixed it.

Rafael Sales says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 4:51pm

Great mood! Really immersive game. Congratz!

Ragzouken says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 7:52pm

The silence, timer, and slow dialogue really sucked me in. Great game.

In my play through it came out very early that she deliberately killed the officer; it seems a shame there was not a lot of question to the events.

Felix20 says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 10:49pm

Very well done. although the graphics fit the theme, they could still use a considerable amount of improvement.
Seriously though, the dialog and concept are really well done.

ilovepixel says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 4:39am

Excellent game. The whole dialogue was really well developed but the speed of the text should be a little slower (or have a next button).

May 4, 2013 @ 7:59pm

I found the game a little slow in some moments, but the idea is awesome. Great Job!

Covenant says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 12:38pm

Nice entry, a lot of work there! It had a lot of depth to it, keeping it minimal... Gratz!

Kvisle says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 10:00pm

I think the mood of this game was great. The trilemma is great, and I love the storytelling.

Ninja Doggy says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 8:35am

That game had a good solid concept I must say. But waiting for
the text to appear is a bit annoying,overall I think I would
rate it 8/10. Profound too, I must say.

Typedeaf says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 6:44pm

I really loved this. The dialog are well written and played.

May 10, 2013 @ 4:10am

Brilliant concept. Absolutely loved it. Stays true to the theme while making you think! Great job,sir!

Spiridios says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 2:24am

Nice concept, though buggy (dialog clearly meant for one character was drawn as if coming from another. Also, at one point, there was a dialog line but no text, and then the defense responded like there was dialog). The entire game without sound, only to have a sudden, loud, creak, was a bit unnerving. Other than that, excellent game!

May 14, 2013 @ 9:36pm

Awesome it was fun I liked the slow text made it seem like they were actually talking.

Sebastian says ...
May 15, 2013 @ 3:35pm

Played it through twice, quite captivating. I think the reveal mechanic really adds a lot to this game.
I experienced a bug in the question asking her opinion on capital punishment where a line of text is missing.
Skip intro would be nice for replaying.

kingtharg says ...
May 16, 2013 @ 10:49pm

This was absolutely fantastic. By far the best I've played from this LD, and much better than mine. Make more games.

Ninja Doggy says ...
Jun 4, 2015 @ 10:25am

This game was really good, and fit the theme nicely. The only critique I have, would be on the morality. Although killing a person is an action which is very impossible to forgive, what would you do when you are being harassed by a police officer, and that police officer is supposed to be the law?

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