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

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Garden of Oblivion

by Traumendes_Madchen - Jam Entry

Garden of Oblivion is an original adventure game made using RenPy and inspired by many abstract indie works with horror elements. There are two differents endings to reach.

One day Reven awakens in a strange but beautiful place where the young teenager is treated like a very special guest. There are talking animals, each being rather kind and friendly. Unless the door is mentioned. The one in the back of the garden. But what could be behind that mysterious door ? And why Reven isn't allowed to go out ? You shouldn't try to know the truth...

NOTE
Due to lack of time, the game jam version was really unpolished and full of bugs. We fixed many of them with the 27/08 update but we felt it was still very much incomplete. So we took some more days to make the full version. It doesn't count as a LD entry anymore but it offers a more polished experience. You can dowload it on our itch.io page : http://traumendes_madchen.itch.io/garden-of-oblivion

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness84%
#32Mood(Jam)4.05
#75Graphics(Jam)4.26
#97Overall(Jam)3.70
#110Audio(Jam)3.69
#248Humor(Jam)2.75
#257Fun(Jam)3.25
#335Theme(Jam)3.26
#393Innovation(Jam)3.00

Comments

Frankus says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 8:01pm

Really a good game. It's sad that the game has a bug towards the end.. I get stuck in loop in the story. I wanted to know what happened... Amazing work though!

Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:48pm

@Frankus
The game as we submitted it is unplayable because of too much bugs >__<. We’re updating the file so that people will be able to at least reach the end !

But I have to admit I’m disatisfied with how the game turned out because most of the interactions, animations and sound effects weren’t added due to lack of time. So we’re gonna finish it and publish a new version in the following days just to have peace of mind X’D.

Thank you ! Once I've finished that new version, I'm gonna give your game a try, it looks awesome =).

yodamaster says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 4:49pm

Cute graphics. Could be more responsive.

Aug 30, 2014 @ 6:45am

Well, that was... strangely disturbing... One of your scarecrow graphics, the 2nd one, throws an error, and when I tried to get the pendant, ladder, and key out of order (thinking I had a choice which one to get) the game crashed and looped me back to an earlier point. Really good writing and general mood. The fox looked pretty off-model and I felt like the SFX when doing the puzzle games was kind of detracting, since it showed up only after the mood had started to change.

The thing I liked best was the lotus-eaters puzzle, since I already knew the answer from experience but had to replay the first couple days a few times to remember the library-ghost's advice. I felt like this might be intentional, and it again gave a really hallucinatory feeling to the game. I'd also like a little bit more responsiveness on the text input, though--specifically, that it ignore case, since I inputted the answer a number of times in what were apparently unaccepted formats.

Really neat idea to have the puzzle-solving mechanic. I really enjoyed this entry... thanks for the game!

Aug 30, 2014 @ 2:07pm

@Yodamaster
Yeah, I know, the game really lacks polish, that's why we just released the complete version on itch.io. Give it a try of you want a more responsive version !

@Victory Garden
Thank you! We tried to create an unique mood, and even if the gameplay part didn't go well, we learned a valuable lesson. We released an improved version on itch.io to correct all those bugs and offer a more polished experience. Try it out if you want to see the end!

juaxix says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 5:45pm

I spent some time travelling through the story with the mouse wheel, i love the music, kind sounds and graphics

sai_aya says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 6:26pm

Awesome game, awesome graphics, awesome story!
This was really lovely, great job!

bentog says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 7:14pm

Hmm, got stuck very early. The art is great!

Sunflower says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 9:02pm

Graaargh, I got stuck at the Humpty's riddle (playing the updated version which is supposed to be finishable), which is all the more frustrating because a) I know the story, I just don't know what *word* exactly it is described with in the game b) the question cannot be brought up again, so I had to restart the game to know it's "what effect Lotus plant has", roughly speaking; at some point I forgot whether it was about the plant or the eaters, and things like "dream", "hallucinate", etc. didn't really wor; I even tried "book" or "seal", though I admit, I wasn't having high hopes about them. Exact words are terrible as an answer if they can't be found anywhere... and I can't see that word so far. >.<

Too bad, because it looks really interesting and I know where it's going (as if Humpty was asking that riddle without any relation to plot whatsoever); I just don't like getting stuck so early, apparently without sufficient clues.

Moosefly says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 9:44pm

Amazing amount of high-quality content considering the time limit! Only "bugs" I encountered were the missing scarecrow image (did you forget to add it or was it just a typo in the scripts?) and some "unclickable clickables" (for example the fountain at the beginning). I think I also missed the explanation on why I was able to conjure things by arranging puzzles because I just clicked the books on the bookshelf before talking to Lotte and when I next went there she had disappeared. Some typos here and there also.

I had to solve the riddle by googling, but for anyone wondering the answer is the 21st word of my first paragraph ;).

Anssi@MooseflyGames

Aug 30, 2014 @ 11:07pm

@Juaxix & sai_aya
Thank you very much ^__^

@Bentog
I suppose you're talking about the Humpty riddle too ? If so, please read my paragraph to Sunflower.

@Sunflower
Actually, the question can be answered without any knowledge about the Odyssey, it's mostly a play on words. Humpty and Lotte use the exact same word to convey the opposite notion of what you must find, and the bookmark is supposed to help you recall that (the bookmark is only in the newest version though). Plus, I think the intro of that loop uses that word too. But, well, you’re a making a good point about balance: it's not easy to create a riddle nor too obvious, nor too obscure X).

@Moosefly
We did our best in the short time we had, I'm glad you like it !
The missing scarecrow image is indeed a typo in the script. We corrected the other interactions in the itch.io version (and added some animations and transitions) but I fear the LD one will stay that way X).
Ah, I didn’t think of that possibility : you didn't speak to the librarian at all during the third loop. Guess it's less likely to happen in the new version since you’re not immediately "teleported" to the rest of the story.
Googling works too, yes XD.

Sunflower says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 8:55am

Alright, I eventually managed to pass that riddle; still, exact words weren't the most fortunate here (especially since there are many different forms, and I'd sooner describe "effect" with noun or present continuous verb, rather than base verb; overall, exact words = trouble), and Humpty's clue was only available once. Also, I'm not quite sure how bookmark relates to the answer exactly... ^^"

Still, I eventually managed to complete the game and even managed to get good ending (on a side note, I consider it polite to end the game with GOOD END/BAD END, or otherwise indicate it's not the only ending player can get); the whole game was quite spooky and I once again got reminded of Eversion.

It sure was a longer adventure than I initially expected, and I really liked that. Not giving any scores, however, because I played the much more polished version sent after a few days. Still, after that polish it's one of the greatest entries I've had pleasure playing so far (but that rriiddddllee~!).

So, to sum up things that could be changed:
1. The riddle >.<
2. Indication of multiple endings at the end (GOOD END / BAD END or something)
3. Also, some "options" button, perhaps; it's not immediately obvious that they can be brought up with Esc, or that I can save game from there. ^^"

Aug 31, 2014 @ 8:53pm

@Sunflower
I guess, I have a lot to learn about riddles, it was my first time writing one and I didn't have that much ideas so I kinda improvised ='). If you have some tips I could use for next time, it will be appreciated!

About the endings, you’re right, I should have made a Good End/Bad End screen. I keep that in mind. However, I don't understand what could be problematic with the options. Everything should be accesible with a right click on the pause menu. Do you mean, it's not clear enough, so you didn't find it? It would be troublesome >_<.

Thank you for your extensive feedback, it's really useful and I want us to improve for future releases =). I'm glad you enjoyed the game (overlooking the riddle part)!

LandoSystems says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 9:29pm

Lovely art and sound, great game!

Sunflower says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 9:54pm

As for riddles: I'd generally refrain from exact word riddles (that require the player to input some specific word or phrase), with possible exception when that exact word is used rather visibly. In fact, I guess if Lotte used *SPOILER* "don't forget my advice" *END SPOILER* it would be easier to figure out and would be much more logical against "maybe the answer is right in front of you" part; since the word itself would be in front of the player indeed. Still, having multiple options to choose from is much safer in that regard; if player guesses at their first attempt, they'll have a satisfaction from getting it right, and if not, they might keep trying out other possibilities.
(but most of all - have your game playtested; it's players who can tell if the riddle is too difficult, not you)

As for options: I meant the pause screen itself, probably; the one that is brought with Escape button. I didn't immediately thought of that one, so I thought the saving/loading was simply missing or something. Might also have something to do with how most VNs I came across (most made with RenPy too, I believe) had save/load buttons in plain sight? O.o"

Hope it cleared up a few things? ;)

Also, do you mean by "future releases" even more improved versions of GOO (Best. Game. Acronym. Ever!) or other VNs? I guess I wouldn't mind either way... ^^

keul says ...
Sep 1, 2014 @ 11:36am

I'm the coder of the team (yes, you can slap me around a bit with a large trout for the bugs and for my poor work helping the project leader T_T).

@Sunflower so it confirms that next time, I should insist more about using buttons instead of text input and a visual indicator for the pause/save/load menu (It's one thing I hate about Win8: the use of the win key on the keyboard because there's no start menu button and the fact that cursor on screen borders is a pain)

For GOO, I don't know, but we have others VNs and will release more here:
http://traumendes-madchen.com/

bluesky says ...
Sep 1, 2014 @ 8:00pm

I'm very impressed with the gameplay, well done.

Raphy says ...
Sep 1, 2014 @ 8:04pm

Nice art, nice sound and mood, well done. Took me a while to figure out what to do but there is some nice content and I like the creepy-childish animals that can talk!

PS: the stones are an ancient graveyard :)

elefantopia says ...
Sep 1, 2014 @ 8:07pm

Nice art and sound, good writing. I think I was stuck in a loop though.

Fanatrick says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 2:42pm

Beautiful art!

Sep 2, 2014 @ 3:53pm

@LandoSystems, bluesky & Fanatrick
Thank you very much ^__^ !

@Sunflower
At first, I was planning to have several options to work as an answer but unfortunately we didn't have the time and I was already exhausted, so we let the riddle like that X). I didn't think of using "Don't forget" instead of "Remember", that’s a good idea !

As for playtesting…well…only two persons tested it before the first release (the others were tired of working and went to rest). One isn't that good with English and was confused with the meaning of several words, the other didn't complain. I know I should have given the game to some testers but we just didn't have that luxury at that moment…

For the options matter, I guess it's a just bad habit of mine : every RenPy has settings when you right-click, I'm so used to it, I didn't think people would have troubles finding it.

About future releases, well, I don't know yet. I’m sure I won't touch GoO for a while but it could be any project. We already made several visual novel for other game jams (3 if I remember correctly), we have a big episodic story right now, and I like experimenting things, so it could be for another game too, who knows ! You can follow us on social networks to see if one of our projects pick your interest ;)
Our Twitter : https://twitter.com/TM_VN

@Raphy
Thanks, I feel flattered, your entry is really great *__*.
(Creepy things are the best!)

Oh, okay, it makes a lot more sense now! So the main character is letting himself die…that's just too sad >__<.

@Elefantopia
Is it the bunny riddle? Or did you encountered a bug somewhere =O?

TKia_ says ...
Sep 3, 2014 @ 1:43am

A treat to see another Ren'Py game in the mix. Nicely done art, good music, and a gripping little plot, especially for it to have been done in a weekend. Could have used some polish (like not using the default Ren'Py font, for example) and I was always on the edge for bugs, but, well, I'm sure that can be applied to most games here. Wasn't the best thing to play so late at night...

Sep 3, 2014 @ 4:05pm

@TKia_
Another RenPy dev? I'm so gonna check out your entry then !

Yeah, we didn't change the font, we didn't have the time for that X). Otherwise I'm glad you liked it !

Aw, but I'm sure playing the game at night is way more fun :3

Ramiel says ...
Sep 3, 2014 @ 5:56pm

Great atmosphere. Very creepy.
The only downside is that I couldn't figure out how to get the other ending.
But a really good game.

GrooveMan says ...
Sep 3, 2014 @ 9:59pm

The character design is really nice, and the technical tricks you've made with Ren'Py really show. I haven't tried the itch.io version yet, but I'm certain the extra polish you've put in goes a long way.

Rehacked says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 8:55am

Really good game with a very nice music and graphics.

Sep 4, 2014 @ 11:53am

@Ramiel
Thank you for your kind words :3.
Did you enter the tree with ou without the pendant? It’s the only factor that makes the ending change.

@GrooveMan
I wish I could promise you that we're going to write some tutorials about the technical tricks we use with our games but our programmer is quite the slowpoke. It’s been one year and he didn't publish the one about animated backgrounds he wanted to write so…maybe before the next five years =/ ?
Sadly, the LD version is pretty much linear and devoid of transitions, so I feel you can’t really appreciate the experience as much without that part. Also, we fixed embarrassing bugs and added animation as well as some jumpscares. An horror game without horror is saaad X).

@Rehacked
Thanks o/

Raphy says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 1:29pm

@Traumendes_Mädchen if he dies or not, well it's up to your interpretation! Important thing is that he joins them! :)

NicePenguins says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 2:08pm

Love the graphics and the mood !

Sep 12, 2014 @ 1:59pm

@Raphy
So it can be read into in a more symbolic way, like a "dry period" or "spell in the wilderness". Hum, interesting...

@NicePenguins
Thanks, Mister Penguin :)

Sep 12, 2014 @ 5:39pm

Beautifully made! I really like how it goes from cuteness overload to bloody eyes-out-of-sockets creepy and intriguing story. Just two notes: one, while I quite like the player input riddle it'd be nicer if it supported some synonyms or detected the answer in a sentence. (Don't know if that can be done with RenPy, sorry :P) And second, near the end, where you are told you have to hurry and then a ticking sound starts, I tried to quickly check every icon in the scene and ended up repeating a puzzle I already had solved before (the pendant one) But with the ticking sound in the background it was a bit stressful, I thought, maybe it had some kind of timer and I was botching the ending... Luckily I wasn't, right? Right? :P

Pinktreeleaf says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 3:48am

clap clap clap clap. I really enjoyed this. Nice imaginative use for renpy also. Great art and weird/cool story. FUUUCK that puzzle though. I had to look at comments to pass it.

Anyway, hope this game opens doors for you.

Sep 14, 2014 @ 5:44pm

@Crocanti de Pollo
I think, it's possible to allow several answers with the player input. I just didn't have the time to add something like that during the contest X). But I'll look into it ^^.

Err, the puzzle shouldn't appear so soon (I think I must have put another bug in the game when I fixed the previous ones OTL) but otherwise it's normal that you repeated it: puzzles can be finished as much as you want. And no, there is no timer whatsoever, even though I really wanted to add one XD.

Your comment helps us a lot, so we're grateful :3

@Pinktreeleaf
Aww, thanks a lot! I wish it'll open doors too, but somehow I really doubt it XD.
(That puzzle is gonna haunt some people, I really shouldn't be allowed to make them, ahah)

Sep 14, 2014 @ 11:19pm

Beautiful game! I included it in part 26 of my Ludum Dare 30 compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look :) http://youtu.be/hvOt_bkuFkM

Sep 15, 2014 @ 11:00am

@Jupiter
Oh, I didn't expect to be included in one of your video, I'm really happy, thank you ! You're very brave to test that much entries BTW =).

Lokarunith says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 11:15pm

What the heck... this game is just a clone of Dreaming Mary, it's well done, really well done but the plot and the characters were completely ripped off from another game. It's a very nice remake of dreaming mary, I admit, but nothing more.

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