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

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by Snoother - Jam Entry

Based on a dream I had the night this LD began. In part autobiographical, this is an intimate work for me.

I meant to enter the compo, but this took infinitely longer than I expected. Therefore, it's pretty much through-composed and likely to be a bit rough, so I apologise pre-emptively in case you encounter spelling mistakes and the like. If you do, please leave a comment and I'll fix it asap. Any major stuff I'll leave for a post-jam version, obviously.

And please play it through Chrome or Firefox -- IE is being a pain as always.

Thank you.

(I know there are some kids who enter, so I also have to mention that this game is not suitable for children.)

The game was made using Twine, and the crude cover art was made in GIMP.

[Update 29-08-2014: Corrected several grammatical mistakes]

Downloads and Links




Miziziziz says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:35pm

On chrome, getting a message that says "This passage does not exist: Start"

Snoother says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:41pm

Hm, I'm not sure what's causing that for you, sorry. It's working fine for me on Chrome.

HeuGamer says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:08am

OoOOooOoo That was an intriguing experience. Glad to find this!

stephenhaney says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:12am

It's refreshing to get something different. I thought the story and the colors set the mood well, and I liked the touches like the laptop with the slightly difference interface. I can definitely see the effort and emotion that went into this. Thanks for sharing it.

liquidminduk says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:10am

This gripped me pretty much from the start, great narrative and it was nice to see something different! great work

Simon@LD says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:19pm

Very good story-telling. I really like how the text shudders at times. Well done!

Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:21pm

A great narrative and impressed with the depth you went to. I couldn't go any further after I tried to leave the room again and was told I couldn't leave because I'd gotten a message from Alex.

Snoother says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:29pm

@Franklins Ghost Thanks for playing. Did you try checking the laptop? The new message on there.

Snoother says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 1:01pm

@Franklins Ghost Sorry, I just worked out the problem: I forgot to implement a 'back' button on that page. The problem is fixed now. Thanks for the feedback.

CodeNMore says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 5:25pm

Different, fun, great job!

Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:17pm

I'm not a big fan of text adventures, but this one is quite good

Aug 26, 2014 @ 7:18pm

Very unique story. Enjoyed the "trips" I made as well. Thanks for the hosting reference too!

Snoother says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 7:25pm

Your welcome! Thanks for your kind words.

Kiwiboi says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:15pm

Interesting entry. The story was intriguing but felt like the drug part didn't go anywhere. But as a dream things rarely do hah. :)

Nisshoku says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 12:15am

intriguing visual novel style. nice storytelling

ramoncb says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 12:30am

Have really a deep story for a LD game, even for the jam! =O

Congratulations! Would be cool if in the future have a way to save progress ;-)

Sorry my bad english ^^

Crowbeak says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 6:01am

This is really well written, and the effects used on the text were used to good effect.

MechanicMoon says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 2:57pm

I have not tried much but it is a good game

JavadocMD says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:18pm

A very heartfelt story, rich with detail. Using effects to enhance the storytelling was very well done.

JackDegree says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 8:48pm

For a moment I actually thought I was hallucinating with the text moving and all. Some great, great effects too!

davisan says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 11:57pm

Amazing writing skills. Interesting story and a great mood. An unique entry.

TKia_ says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 1:39am

Saw your review of my game, came on over to see yours. Have to say, I'm incredibly impressed, and a little jealous. That was a very quaint and quirky, yet deep and cozily intimate little story. Nice job.

PaperBlurt says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:15am

Must say it's good writing and interesting.
You've evolved since last LD in a real good way.

Good technial use of Twine too...

Snoother says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:57am

Thank you for all the positive and helpful comments. @PaperBlurt It's really great to have it confirmed that I'm improving, thank you.

Satyre says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 2:06pm

Interesting storytelling game. I missed some simple ambient music or sounds. This could improve the gameplay a lot. Maybe future updates if you like. The story is deep and I like the choices and also the detailed description of the environment.

Btw. I answered your review to my game :)

GrooveMan says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:15pm

Shit starts out real, then gets increasingly more real as time goes on. The text effects were fuckin' excellent and eerie (it's a shame Twine isn't great at playing music on cue, that would make the drug sequences phenomenal).

I very much respect the personal angle - that kind of thing is hard to write without self-consciousness. I really empathised.

Thanks a bunch for making this, you should be chuffed.

Snoother says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:44pm

@GrooveMan Thank you so much :)

radmars says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 12:58am

Very engaging writing! Nice work. The name changes confused me a bit but I suppose it makes sense with the dream theme...

Jod says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 4:03pm

Hey there! Thank you very much for your praise! It made me extremely happy. I will try to return the favour by giving you a play-by-play while I play through your game:

Warning: Major spoilers.

- Hey, text-based adventure. Cool.
- Who is this woman? She ain't sticking nothing in me, let me tell you! Get thee away, foul wench!
- Word-animations! Awesome! Love the shaking letters. Loved the 'wobbly' sentence that gets all messed up.
- Huh. Waking up in my room. Well, not my room. Or is it? Why did I gloss over that so quickl- Ooooh, a laptop!
- Huh. Old e-mails. Give in to inner voyeur? Hell yeah.
- Read through Alex' mail. Hah, D&D. Awesome. Don't play a Bard, Nathan! For God's sake, just multi-class if you want to- Oh. Wait. Nevermind.
- Instantly liking Alex and Grant. Dislike Cassie. Why, though? Assume Cassie is Nathan's crush.
- Love the comma-discussion. Well written, makes it humorous instead of a boring interpunction dissection.
- Larry, who the fuck is Larry? I don't like him (see? I'm good with insta-hate! :))
- Plundered Hearts? Must google later.
- Googled it now. Looks awesome.
- Clothes? Hell yes, I'll be bold.
- "Julia swans in" I've only ever heard one of my friends from England use that term. Love it!
- What's up with this Julia person? Would it kill her to try to be nice? Fine. I'll take your damned drugs, woman.
- Huh. "Blut Aus Nord" Will have to put that on now.
- Okay, walk out of the doo- wait what? Park? Alex? Yay, Alex!
- Ha! Glow in the dark condoms! Cool. So Nathan's Gay? Bi? Hmmm. Cool!
- Wait, missile impacts? Huh, dystopian future or some kind of subconsious display of Nathan's mind?
- 'sexiness of apples' Have you ever seen those red ones? Damn.
- So Josef uses the drugs too. Everyone uses the drugs? What do they do?
- Unrequieted love. Ouch. Poor Nathan. Poor, poor Nathan.
- '"Don't worry," he says, "No one knows."' Really? That's supposed to make it better? *grumbles*
- Wait, drug's in the tent too, huh? Alright, so defenitely a dream/mind control/mindscape thing, with the drug as some kind of representation of... what? You know what, fuck you, drug! I'm not taking you.
- Or I am. Damn.
- Oh yes, the fear of losing what you don't have. Did I mention Poor Nathan?
- Deathspell Omega? Up next on the playlist!
- New message from Alex! Wait, did he just call me Steven? I thought I was Nathan. Confused now.
- Cocaine table. Okay, that's seriously witty D&D-humour :).
-D12 for a to-hit roll? Hrmpf.
-Whoa! From geeky D&D to sex-scene! Props for writing that!
- New date. Hey, it's August 2014 now. It was may before. Figured there was some kind of time-loop thing going on.
- AAH! Open ending? Wait, what? But.. but what about the drugs thing? Damn it!

Jod says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 4:08pm

As for feedback on the game itself: Loving twine. I wonder if it's possible to play music with it? I put on some music myself as 'prompted' by the game and it does add a lot of emotion. Well written! A _lot_ of content! How many words are that? Also, kudos for writing something so intimate, that takes a lot of guts!

Does Adam's name change into Alex at one point or am I confused? Last bit I think could be improved would be to let the player know at the end if they 'missed' something. Like, are there different endings, or are there major plot points to be seen still. It would defenitely entice me to play again!

Love it, hope to see more next LD!

Snoother says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 6:04pm

@Jod wow, really detailed feedback, thank you!

The name change was not intended. I don't want to lie and make a fake excuse, so I'll be honest: Adam is the person Alex is based on. I switched names for privacy et al., but at many times I accidentally started writing his real name because, well, it felt so real. I've corrected it now so that the character is always Alex. I don't really want people I know to come across this :/ (And Steven's my name. I slipped again: Nathan is the character based on me, so the character should always be referred to as Nathan. The whole thing is an indistinct blend of fiction and non-fiction, so I kept mucking up the fictional names.)

Nathan's bi -- i.e. I'm bi. At least that's what people tell me. I've never really understood what I am though, so I try to avoid labels, as I did in the game. But Cassie's not a crush... And her real-life counterpart is a lovely person, so I hope the way I wrote her does her justice. You probably caught the anxiety in shyness in Nathan -- which is exactly what I intended when I wrote it -- and mistook it for a crush.

There's only one ending. On the way there's quite a bit of variation and exploration I'd say -- but everything falls back onto a linear path in the end. I might be changing the ending, however, to make its meaning a bit more obvious/effective. And that will probably involve some music.

And that brings me onto the frustrating problems of audio in Twine... I had horrendous problems with it on my last game. Generally it's very hard to make music play in Twine without a chance of seconds delay, or even a chance of it failing to play completely -- that is, unless the game is played offline. You can maybe get away with one piece here or there, but anything more can be a pain. Plus I ran out of time ;)

Glad you liked the D&D stuff, it was fun to write and hopefully made for a nice mid-game break between the really soppy stuff.

And it's great that you checked out some of the music! I always find it hard to persuade people to listen to it, for reasons you can probably guess. Oh, and Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega are the French Avant-Garde Black Metal Alex jokingly referenced in the game, if you played that part. (There's a few paths for the iPod.)

Last thing, I promise: it's 11,035 words apparently. But some passages are repetitions and variations of others. So in reality I'd cut a couple of thousand words off that figure.

I know I said last thing, but... I'll write a post-mortem at some point, which should explain everything else.

If I haven't said it already, thank you for the detailed feedback! And I loved your game; it is definitely my favourite so far. I included it in a list of my favourite love/lust games in case you didn't see that.

Snoother says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 6:08pm

Just to say the above comment I made contains a few SPOILERS. So please don't read if you haven't played the game. (And I just realised the arrow looks like a penis. Great.)

badlydrawnrod says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 8:22pm

As a parent I very much appreciated the "not suitable for children" warning. I liked this spin on a text adventure, and the "hallucinations" added to the experience.

Jod says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 8:38pm

@Snoother: Well, I know I always barely have time for QC to find these typo's/mixups, so it's certainly something I can relate to! Hell, this year was the first year I actually had time to go through my entry a few times and pick out the worst mistakes :).

I recognize the challenge of mixing imagination and experiences from real-life! But taking aspects from those experiences and weaving them in stories makes for good storytelling, so it's usually worth it.

AS for my notes on the people I 'met' in the game: They're literally the first things that came up. So I'm pretty sure most of my initial reactions are more coloured by myself then the actual people those characters are based on :).

Shame about the audio. Perhaps worth checking into a different engine? Ren'py does audio pretty sweetly and should be able to do the same things Twine does. Except for publishing on-line, which is a major flaw :(. Or Unity. I am still doubting myself if I should switch to Unity if only for the web-based publication.

As for the iPod, I clicked on Chemical Romance and immediately indentified with our protagonist. Loved their stuff. Sometimes there's just a need for melodrama :).

Also, thanks a bunch for listing me in your post. That's pretty cool stuff!

Snoother says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 9:50pm

@Jod Your welcome! I'm faithful to Twine, maybe more than I should be. But for a non-programmer it's efficiency is remarkable, and it has a really creative community surrounding it. We'll probably see native audio in it eventually though -- I hope.

AlexDJones says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 11:39pm

Really good to see some Twine representation in LD! Interesting and atmospheric, well done!

jimmypaulin says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 3:35pm

Wow that was seriously unsettling stuff, the 'sharp scratch' and you are down the rabbit hole. Absolutely no idea where all those twists and tenty turns were heading, but it was really nicely written and compelling in a 'just how much more strange can this get' way. It actually reminded me a lot of David Lynch material like Mulholland Drive. That one still gives me nightmares, so, er, thanks for that

Sunflower says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 4:48pm

Hmmm, that certainly was something, though it's not quite in my favourite mood. o.o (or maybe I didn't quite relate to the main character and all this drug stuff? ^^")

Putting story aside, I didn't like the audio was missing, but you made a good use of simple text effects; especially the trembling one. Also, the descriptions were good enough to give idea how things were supposed to look like, it's just that in some cases I didn't like how these things looked like. ^^"

(on completely unrelated note, you might want to participate in ruining the game development! )

Snoother says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 6:07pm

@Sunflower Thanks for the feedback and the link. I already have an idea for the jam -- I just hope I have time to make it :/

pjimmy says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 8:29pm

nice, very original text game

Robinerd says ...
Sep 1, 2014 @ 11:45pm

Hey, I saw your post about playing a lot of games. I really enjoyed yours, and if you're looking for an emotional game with musical focus, and a pretty different take on the theme , I would feel really happy if you check my game out. If you feel like it :)

Raphy says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 10:31pm

Good job! I like text games. I will definitely try this out again more in depth when I have some more time.

zatyka says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 11:36pm

That was the most engaging twine game I've played in a while. Well written, very natural to read, and enhanced with all the effects.

I found parts of a story a bit confusing, especially the ending... it seemed to come out of nowhere. I suppose I was invested enough to feel a bit gypped that things weren't explained more... the relationship... the drug... I really wanted to understand them better. I suppose that leaving the reader wanting more isn't the worst thing though.

Snoother says ...
Sep 3, 2014 @ 8:01am

@zatyka you're not the only one to mention dissatisfaction eith the ending, and in all honesty I'm not overly happy with it either. I wrote the ending about an hour before the Jam deadline, so it wasn't brilliantly thought out. I intend to tweak it a bit in a post-Jam version. I like the suddenness of this, but then I don't think anyone really got why it was sudden. <hippo-sized spoiler coming up>Nathan realises he's woken up, and curses that it has to endl. At least that's what I had intended; it's probably not clear enough though...</spoiler>

ZYXer says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 4:21pm

Wow, that was quite a moving story! I felt especially touched, as I was in a very similar situation when I was that age, and I know these kind of dreams all too well.

Definitely the best LD game I've played so far.

(Who do I reach if I call the number that ends in 763? :D)

Snoother says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 7:53pm

@ZYXer yeah, don't worry, I made sure that number was invalid ;) And thank you for your comment! It's nice to have someone play it who can relate. (And of course calling it the best game you've played has made my day :) )

slumber says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 10:47pm

I really like the point and click style of this game. I definitely saw what you were going for, and it's very fascinating. I just really sucked at it!

Visual art through the text selection would help polish the game, and catch interest. Keep it up!

Sep 7, 2014 @ 4:34pm

Great piece of interactive novel...not safe for children lol.

JoshuaBurr says ...
Sep 7, 2014 @ 10:03pm

Very surreal

mcapraro says ...
Sep 7, 2014 @ 11:06pm

i must say, i really love your text adventures. i was gripped reading it. well done once again!

Sascha says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 3:04pm

Great mood to the story, and a very immerrsive way of narrating and describing the settings. Felt a bit too disconnected at times for me to really get too involved with the story, but that's just me. Loved the different text-effects. Great entry all in all!

Sep 12, 2014 @ 9:15pm

Interesting story! I included it in part 23 of my Ludum Dare 30 compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look :)

fizzd says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 7:57am

The most technically impressive Twine I've seen. The text conversations that make you wait while the other guys typing, and the iPod that made me so happy that each of the artists had a different text instead of it all linking to a generic "you play the previously chosen song". The story itself was compelling and well paced in its own right, even if I didn't know it was made in 72 hours. It doesn't have the signs of an abrupt rushed ending like many jam games.

Snoother says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 12:12pm

@fizzd thank you for your comment! I actually thought the ending was a bit rushed, so it's nice to hear otherwise.

psychonull says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 1:23am

This is one of the first times I play though a twine game. And I must admit this experience changed my perception of these kind of games.
*SPOILERS* I loved the narrative, the references to pirate box, DnD, Parliament, chinese censorship. That reminded me a little about Little Brother, and the surrealism plus, that gave it that David Lynch touch.

Also, I didn't know that those effects and screens were doable using twine, I should try it myself sometime.

Thanks for making this game!

jukimv1986 says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 9:33pm

Mornings are scary. Audio would be great to complement them. Great narrative, now I am a bit jealous. Good job!

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