Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th, 2014 — Theme: Connected Worlds

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13 minutes of light

by Jod - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Mars is, at best, 13 minutes of light removed from Earth. So when your girlfriend gets on the Commercial Virgin spaceflight to teach at Mars University, you realize the relationship has... a bit of a challenge. Will your penmanship be enough to keep the relationship warm?

-Writing letters to your beloved!
-Cheeky girlfriend(s)
-Viserys (the cat, not the dragon)

A Visual Novel where I step outside my comfort zone and try writing a romance story. Not to worry, though, there's still violence and mass-murder somewhere in the background.

Written in Ren'py in about 40 hours. Pictures were made with my S4 and manipulated in and with false promises. Music was put together with Fruityloops. Fonts are from Google Fonts

Downloads and Links




Aug 25, 2014 @ 2:53am

Puppy-Link? Excellent decision!

BillToWin says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:34pm

The letter writing mechanic was unique and separated it from the other visual novels I've played. The art blew me away. The music was minimalistic and appropriate for the setting. I got the high love rating ending and by the end I was shivering in excitement/wonder which is a good sign. Although, I'm confused as to how a physical letter would be less expensive to ship to Mars than some kind of stable storage device with as many electronic messages as needed. Overall, A+

BillToWin says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:36pm

Woops, forgot to give you props for the writing. Great writing. A++

Jod says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:43pm

Thanks, appreciate it!

As for.. uhm, not actually using a USB-device or the other, uhm... Yeah. You got me there. I just like letters, I guess. :)

PERECil says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:26pm

Very innovative game, I really liked it.

4sap says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:28pm

Very unique take on the theme. An interplanetary psuedo-dating sim. I liked it. Also maybe space radiation fries Electronics on the way over?

PERECil says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:35pm


OK, got throught the end, and OMG. Please tell me there's a way to get Liz back.

slowfrog says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:39pm

Excellent story and mood in the game and a it fits well with the theme.
It might not be so easy to "sell" a mostly-textual adventure in a LD contest.

Jod says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:45pm

@PERECiL: Thanks! And yes, there's five endings and what you want is an option :).

4sap: Thanks! And yes, Space radiation. Damn that space radiation, forcing us to write letters! ;)

r0x0r says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:51pm

Really nice game! one of the best ren'py i played so far :)

TautNerve says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 10:32pm

Great writing! Had lots of fun reading throughout
I'ts also nice to see so many features in the menu, like
changing the text speed and saving, especially in a ludum
dare game.

Snoother says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 8:28pm

Oh my God the 'home sweet home' ending melted me -- I'm way too soppy I think. I almost don't want to replay it because that ending feels so right.

The story was wonderful and really well told through. And the letter mechanic worked extremely well, both through the varied choices and the ability to glimpse at the effect of said choices. I also loved the detail that went into the political backdrop and all the various reddit posts. It kind of even works as an anti-war polemic, but it's a romance at its core, and you've done that very well. The characters are very much believable and the romance was almost tangible. Really fabulous entry -- dare I say the best I've played yet. (And I haven't even mentioned how good the graphics and music are. Sorry, this entry has got me really excited. It's exactly the type of game I wanted to play this LD.)

Joror says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 6:27pm

A good, sweet, current and well written story! I always like my SciFi. It is short-ish, but not really, since it is for LD and our attention span is short. Excellent job, every submission gets better! :)

Aglavra says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 5:22pm

It is definitely one of the (few) games, that will remain on my PC after LD to replay, explore different endings and share with somebody else.

Posva says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 5:30pm

This is really great. I don't like reading that much but, the story is really nice.

Are you sure you created all the content? Some pictures look like filtered photos.

Aifryz says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 7:45pm

It's the first LD visual novel I played. Bonus points for puppy link. I will try to find all the ending someday. Overall very enjoyable experience.

reheated says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 7:59pm

I enjoyed this. I like how there's a personal story going on at the same time as a violent war story in the background. I also enjoyed the reddit boards. Very well written, and a lot of writing too for an LD game!

ripter says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 9:54pm

This is now my favorite Visual Novel.

Aug 29, 2014 @ 9:58pm

Wow, this was beautiful. I got really involved in the story, and as soon as war broke out, I was vehement about getting her home, [spoiler] and I was extraordinary relieved when she delivered the letter. [/spoiler]

Extremely impressive peace of work and writing, considering the time. My first 5/5 overall for this LD. I will probably return to it and try it again later.

AlexDJones says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 12:13am

My favourite entry so far. Really well written, and I thought the red/yellow/green mechanic was really interesting. A joy to play.

Aug 30, 2014 @ 10:37am

Enjoyed seeing the story unfold and think I'll have to come back and try and get the other endings. Nicely written and the photos worked really well.

Pierrec says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 2:05pm

A great entry and a great story!
There are a lot of good ideas here, the colored sentences in each letters felt a bit artificial but it was interesting anyway. The reddit screens were the best! A great way to express the time.
You might want to try my own game because it is quite similar in a way (I mean in the variables gives epilogue mechanics)

GrooveMan says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 8:09pm

I am reminded strongly of Catherine. Which is a pretty goddamn great thing to be reminded of. I know the feelings of long-distance relationships all too well - I'm kinda glad that my decisions lead to a positive ending as a result.

The musical vignettes are cool, but maybe a little loud and don't quite match in tone.

Thanks for making this!

Sep 1, 2014 @ 8:25pm

Cool, another RenPy dev ^^.

The concept sounded a bit like Hoshi no Koe (Makoto Shinaki) but its works thanks to the humor and the interactivity. I really liked your entry but I wish there would be more content to the endings (I read 2 and there weren't many differencies between them).

Sep 14, 2014 @ 1:36am

Hi there, I put this game on my recommendation list for this LD:
Best of luck in the ratings :)

bob_fish says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 12:29pm

This is actually really good, love the idea. Nice music as well, could use a bit of variety in the music but in 48 hours you have written a LOT. GREAT JOB!!

Hypnohustla says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 4:58pm

That's a lot of writing. Not a huge fan of visual novels but I'm glad I played this. Thanks! :)

Sep 14, 2014 @ 7:05pm

Love the concept! I included it in part 24 of my Ludum Dare 30 compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look :)

erdnuss says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 4:59pm

Very very very good game. The user interaction could have been better, but the core was really good.

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