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

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In My Garden

by MercuryLegba - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Hello everyone!

I'm happy to present my first LD entry: "In My Garden", a text based "game". It's an attempt to connect video and sound recordings from my garden with a potentially fictious interactive story about its previous owner, my grandfather. It's for people who like to read. It's rather slow, but rewarding for the curious ones amongst you.

Praise the inklestudios for providing me with the adequate tool. Praise the people who talked me into this experience. Damn my binaural headphones for breaking today, resulting in a rather improvised sound recording. And praised be my girlfriend for letting me sacrifice another 48 hours to the gamedev gods.

This journey might take as long as 15 minutes.
There's several paths, that are radically different.
Do take your time and enjoy the reading.
Wear headphones.
And now, open both sources.
Start watching the video.
Wait for the onscreen text.
When you are told to, change over to the other source.

Enjoy the garden and don't forget to rate!

Downloads and Links




Ben Lehman says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:16am

I liked it. I don't feel like the video added much, but that might be because I'm on a small screen and couldn't have both windows open at once. I think that the hypertext could have been a little less railroaded, and maybe could have spent more time with the relationship between me and the garden than in the nursing home.

I'm also not 100% sure about the view of institutionalized people: a lot of times uncommunicative people have a lot going on, internally, rather than becoming vegetative. From that perspective the nursing home section becomes escalatingly nightmareish, as your choices narrow. But, also, make the statement you need to make.

I think with more work to integrate the text and video, plus a rigorous re-edit of the text, you could do a good story here.

gwa says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:28am

Nice one!

MercuryLegba says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:29am

Thanks a lot, Ben. I actually agree with you, when it comes to this particular view in "uncommunicative people". The decline into the vegetative state was more a comment on our society's rather generous approach when it comes to medication. It's ridiculous, what they are giving to old people, basically turning them into junkies.
I might try a a different plattform next time, where I can integrate video, sound and text better.

talecrafter says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:40am

That was a pleasant experience.
The idea of connecting two media worlds is great. Although the video got a bit on my nerves when the humming/beeping started.
The text could have more possible actions for the player. But very well written.

mrexcessive says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:42am

Great story! Very moving and well crafted pathos, yet also amusing. Tragedy greater than comedy. There is always the garden.

McFood says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:52am

The buzzing in the video came in at just the right time for me. It all felt so eerie.

The story also really drew me in, my girlfriend has worked in aged care and I felt a strong connection to what she described.

Xeke_Death says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:34am

Creepy how the video faded out as I was reading the last couple of paragraphs... Well timed...

fcpfoof says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:56am

Have a beer, have a beer, have a beer, have a dinner xD.

Belvar says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 10:33am

Very interesting game. I liked the idea of combining a video with an interactive text. Sadly, I had to turn off the sound after a moment because I found out very difficult to stand the buzzing sound, but maybe that's just me.

mess110 says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 5:43pm

nice one

micahcowan says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:03pm

Nice, simple game, having the video on adds ambience. It would work better if there wasn't the load beeping that starts partway through, though...

Played better than many "Choose Your Own Adventure Games" of my youth did. The font adds a lot to the feel of it, though the opening quotes seem to display low, like it was written for a language other than English (I'm using Firefox on Mac OS, if that matters).

A few misspelled words, like "led" was "let", and "younger than" was "younger then". Also, one moment I'm watching TV, the next I'm apparently in an insane asylum. Seems like more of a segue would've been nice. :)

Enjoyed it. Thanks!

Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:04pm

Beautiful. The video wasn't in sync with the story but it was all very touching and the two worlds concept was fantastic.

yodamaster says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:05pm

The sound of the video add nicely to the overall experience.

micahcowan says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:05pm

I guess I didn't see much connection with the theme, though?

MercuryLegba says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:10pm

@micahcowan: Thanks for your feedback! I will try to find those typos then, typical mistakes for a non-native speaker/writer as myself.

headchant says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:42am

Awesome game, I really liked the combination of film and text. The sounds were perfectly attuned to the story. Loved the hedgehog!

Hippolyta says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:13pm

Very cool idea!

Larzan says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:41pm

Thank you!

I was very moved by the story as i can relate to it and it is very well written, your words are evoking emotions, memories and images, no pixels necessary.

I 'played' it two times and was moved by each version of the story.

The representation of nursing homes and the path we follow through the eyes of the protagonist should stand as an example of how it might be and in fact is in a lot of cases.
I agree with the other commentators that it is a 'stereotypical' view, but it is one story of many that are out there. I certainly have seen / heard of exactly those situations. This is one story out of the many.

I have to admit that i didn't get the parallel video / text part, maybe you could clarify that in the instructions like : First open the video, then when the text tells you go to the second link (or sth. like that for the slower ppl. like me ;)


MercuryLegba says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 2:06pm

@Larzan: Thanks a lot! Yes, it is just one of many ways to experience a nursing home. My grandmother had a great time, when she was in one herself, cheating in card games till she passed away peacefully in her mid nineties.
Good idea about the instructions, I will try make it more clear.

DrCicero says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 3:29pm

Wonderful idea for the theme, using a video and text adventure, but the video isnt really a video... its more of a picture, no?
it would have been better if at some point the video told you something that you can use in the game, so the media are actually connected.

Boberro says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:03pm

Yes, this two media sources supplement each another perfectly

dook says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:05pm

This was really good! Very moving little story. It must differ from person to person how the audio and their progress in the story line up, but I was lucky enough to get a sense of connection between the changes in the sound and the changing mood in the story. I enjoyed it a lot! :)

gaarlicbread says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:48pm

This was more interesting than I had expected. It reminded me of other life-as-a-whole games like Passage or Notch's game from the last LD called Drowning in Problems (links below). I appreciate the quote from Nabokov, and the way the story felt tied together. I also felt involved in the way the sense of time moved forward. I think it was well written.

Life is at once beautifully sad and sadly beautiful.

Drowning in problems:

Aug 28, 2014 @ 1:46pm

Setting the mood with the video is a brilliant idea. The story is interesting and not too long or too pompous like it sometimes is in interactive text game. I liked it.

mechabit says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 10:46am

would have preferred the video and text to be in the same place, interesting experiment though

Andro Dars says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 11:27am

Had a lot of beer and died. 10/10, would die again.

Naytron says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 1:55pm

There is a lot of beer on offer in this adventure.
Nice writing.

jukimv1986 says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 2:05pm

Nice experience-based game. I got stuck in a seemingly endless loop of medication and dinners but that's life, isn't it? Good job for a text based game.

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


MercuryLegba says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 4:09pm

Cheers to all of you beer drinkers. For those getting stuck in retirement: it's never too late to stop taking your medication.

elefantopia says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 11:37pm

Wow, it's an interesting experience. The writing is really good. Beer!

whalebot says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 9:20pm

This was quite well done.

Lokarunith says ...
Sep 16, 2014 @ 12:37am

The story was very engaging, I liked it a lot. The ambient sound of the movie is very relaxing but the high pitched sounds are a bit annoying. I loved the odd storyline and the interaction between the movie and the text.

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