Ludum Dare 29 — April 25th-28th Weekend — Theme: Beneath the Surface

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by GFM - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Day after day, everyone put on some kind of mask to interact with others. That's how we [...] to live in society.
What if you weren't able to do something as simple as that? You would be left only with you most true self. You'd be forced to show that face of yours in front of others.
But what if you could put a persona on and go on a usual?


Any key - advance text
Up/Down/Left/Right arrow - change option
Space/Enter/Z/X/Y - select an option


The title was chosen because of the meaning of the word. "Persona" is the Latin for "mask", but can also mean "character". I thought it a fitting name...
But I'm aware there's a spin off of the Shin Megami Tensei series that goes by the same name... Since it's only a jam game (and a word, while we are at that), I don't think there's any problem using that...


Thansk for playing! Please, leave a comment. :D

Downloads and Links




oal says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:10am

Very interesting concept, that fits the theme well.

bendmorris says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:31pm

Very nice! I think that's a great, creative use of the theme. Nice visuals too.

anbreizh says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:39pm

Nice use of the theme. I wish the game was a bit longer though

conormn says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:37am

Really liked your take on the theme and the execution was really polished. Would for sure like to see a blown out version. Could go some interesting places.

Jonochrome says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:10am

OOohhh how badly I wish there was a brief input delay on the choice screens. Every time there are options, I keep accidentally picking the first choice (Joker) because I press a key expecting to display the next full line of dialogue. That aside, I'm very fond of this perspective of the theme.

Marcellus says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:22pm

Man I love your graphic style

ccglp says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:25pm

That's a pretty smart game, and the persona's sub-theme is a good design job, congratz ;)

littleball says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:27pm

I like the style. Nice concept.

whalebot says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:29pm

Great game you put together here. I think it would be even more interesting if you expanded on it with different endings based on how you used the masks. Nice work!

GrooveMan says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:35pm

The idea was really solid, but for a game this text-heavy, proof-reading is essential. The message was good, but it made the choices before feel false. I think having an implication of what you would say at the mask select screens would make playing feel less like guesswork.

_adamturnbull says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:37pm

Loved the concept. Would love to see it expanded on

TijmenTio says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:37pm

Loved the take on the theme and I also liked the colors you used :)

Rose says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:00pm

Very interesting! I'm glad that it was short so that I could try playing through a few times.

GFM says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:35pm

Thanks for all the comments. =D
I'm still not so sure about a post compo version, but I might go back to writing stories for my games (as when I used RPG Maker, some years ago).

@Jonochrome Arg! I'd press the keys to complete the text, exactly so I wouldn't pass the options... I should have thought this would happen to others. >_<
@GrooveMan At first, I was going to do that... but then I decided on naming the masks and left the options like that...

rylgh says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:01am

crazy polished for 48 hours!

Cake&Code says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:24pm

Amazing! I really liked the way you play the game. The first time I played I got super stressed out that I was making all of the worst choices, and then restarted to do what I thought was right. It was a lot of fun and felt a lot like real life in a way hahahah. Great use of the theme, nice graphics, and just a great game overall. :)

rnlf says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:48am

Looks great and has a message. What more could you ask for?

VictoryGarden says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:32pm

This was a neat entry! The color palette and audio work well together, and the concept is interesting. Towards the end of the game, though, I didn't really feel like I had learned anything. Maybe this is because I got all the right answers the first time through; in any case, a second ending for a post-compo version might help the story make a bit more sense.

I also wish I understood why the protagonist is talking to this mysterious voice, giving him masks! Who are they?! It's an interesting mystery ><

Thanks for the game~ This is really nicely done for a compo game.

May 3, 2014 @ 2:11am

nailed several of the categories man. nice! I played it a couple of times through till i got the personas not to break. xD weird, different kind of approach. cool. :-)

Penguincat says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 6:35pm

Really cool concept, I just wish it had been longer! I lost one of the masks in the last choice before the end of the game, and I'd been hoping to see what would happen once I lost one, to have to make it through some tough choices with fewer options, but there wasn't any more to play. If you expand on this game any further I'd definitely be interested in playing it.

torcado194 says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 1:13am

wow pretty awesome! loved the theme

Kara Jayde says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 3:04am

Love the concept, I'm a fan of both jungian psychology and Person, so was very excited by your use of the theme. I'd love to see a more fleshed out version of this.

Vandash says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 11:27am

Really polished game, great job! Love the music

idovingx says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 3:18pm

really weird and cool! the only thing is that since choosing the right mask is sometimes trial and error, it'd be nice to be able to quickly get back to the point at which you "lost". but yah, this was a really interesting game.

dmcfarline says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 10:34pm

cool interpretation on theme, would like to see this concept fleshed out into a bigger game!

great presentation

iambored2006 says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 7:41pm

This one really touched me! However, I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that you can "beat" this game. I played it several times so as to get them all right, and I think this kind of defeats the message of the game. The idea reminds me of this scene in the movie 'Groundhog Day', where the protagonist, who lives the same day over and over, tries to learn everything he can about this girl so that he could get her in bed. He gets further and further with her, each day, but it seems like no matter what he does, she won't submit, and he finally gives up. I feel like this game would have benefited greatly from this. That is, you can't succeed; instead, you just go on infinitely, or until you mess up. This is probably impossible to design, unless we come up with some kind of procedural dialogue generator, but that would lower the quality. I would recommend you check out my game, as it deals with a similar design problem (don't read the comments until you've played it). I'd love to discuss this further.
Overall, this is a fantastic, though imperfect, entry.

kevinAlbs says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 3:58am

Really interesting take on the theme. The artwork was beautiful. Just proof-read the text. Everything else was great.

radmars says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 7:14pm

Nice! Wish there were save points though...

iambored2006 says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 6:13pm

(I wasn't sure where to reply, I guess it's OK here)

Regarding your game, I was thinking of a cyclical design. Maybe you could permute the dialogue so that it doesn't feel like each day is exactly the same. Events like having to finish a project at work could spice it up.

When you play my game, you try to solve it as if it were a logical puzzle. You try to get all three goals. But you can't. It's technically impossible to get all three, and when it clicks in the player's head that he can't get them all, it has a powerful effect on him.
I'm currently experimenting with the idea of concluding the player's life in some way.

May 12, 2014 @ 1:58am

Really liked the story to it. I included it in part 25 of my Ludum Dare compilation video series, if you'd like to check it out :)

ZYXer says ...
May 13, 2014 @ 3:12pm

Nice game idea, and good take on the theme.

Anoarith says ...
May 16, 2014 @ 6:12pm

Wow, this scenario has a great potential, I loved it :D ! Graphics and music were really cool, especially for a Compo Entry, you did an awesome work.

Yword says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 1:34pm

Very meaningful and unique! The overall mood is quite good. Well done!

iambored2006 says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 5:02am

Hey! I mentioned your game in this post- , along with some feedback. I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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