Ludum Dare 31 — December 5th-8th, 2014 — Theme: Entire Game on One Screen

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by rnlf - Compo Entry

A very dark interactive story (or so).

Is more or less complete. There is a full ending with a complete outro. The game is over when the closing credits appear, and yes, there is only one ending, no trick ending ;-)

I fixed three really small bugs:
* One could enter the final room too early by exploiting a bug in the map file, thus ruining the whole experience.
* Usable objects would remain usable even after picking them up. This was just a bit annoying and confusing.
* One sound was way too loud, I reduced its volume to 1/4.

The change is probably 5 lines of code, I hope everyone's okay with that.

You can get the original version by changing the -1.0.1 in the download URL to -1.0.0.

Downloads and Links




gameattack says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 7:51am

Cool atmosphere! dark music. Well done! I can't say if I cleared the game or failed miserably, but I enjoyed the trip.

rnlf says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 7:57am

If you clear it, you'll notice ;-)

Absor says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 1:21pm

Very moody all the way to the end. The text got on the way a bit sometimes (maybe I moved around too fast). Nice job overall!

Maurogik says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:02pm

Nice game, the music does a great job at setting the mood, too bad I got stuck.

rxi says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:55pm


guldlock says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 9:29pm

Nice game and a nice mood on the game!

WetDesertRock says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 2:57am

Holy bajeebus. Have to admit, you made me jump, and if you were on IRC I'd be yelling at you right now.

The mood is a solid 5 for sure. I have a feeling that any complaint is something that you would've fixed if you had a few more hours. The main thing I wish is that you had a little more content. You could've added onto why the hospital was so empty or something like that. Also, maybe a bit more than picking up keys ;)

But as I said, I suspect that would all be fixed with more time. Good job!

Rene Damm says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:36pm

Great use of the one screen. Quite a lot to explore. Really nice graphics and animations. And like the lighting. Great mood. Fitting audio as well. Unfortunately, seems like there wasn't much to do besides running around and picking up keycards. But really great entry!

Anshul Goyal says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:44pm

wow. very dark and depressing!
nicely done!

HuntTheWumpus says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 9:56pm

Cool game and nice graphics - especially the shadow effect. I like exploring-games like that.

marvalgames says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 10:08pm

Loved this. Want a whole story / game to go with it.
Good theme use. (Rare on most entries) Very cool look and FEEL. Oddly dark. It's slow gameplay wise but it goes with the feel of the game in a weird way

whilefun says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 10:14pm

Won't run, I think it has to do with my lame Intel HD graphics card. Error is "canvas something something for your OpenGL implementation"

rodobodolfo says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 10:19pm

This was awesome game and very moody! the end was anticipated ... Texts gets too much if you go too fast.

Dec 9, 2014 @ 10:27pm

I liked that dead end part in the level haha. "Very strange". Nice game, I like the shadow or line-of-sight effect a lot.

Dec 9, 2014 @ 10:29pm

Fantastic job, rnlf. The atmosphere's terrific: the music, art, and tone is a dose of dark and dismal delight! Haha, while I can't speak for the whole Paragon Pawns team, I (Ryan) can say this is definitely my favourite entry so far.

HER∆CEK says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 7:53pm

Cool game with great atmosphere, thanks!

Robber says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 8:37pm

enjoyed this, the music and graphics especially lights effects are excellent. the little hints of whats going add to the immersion, i was thinking some kind of weird virus might have broken out, i admin i was a bit scared of that 'thing'...thanx

EquipeJAM says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 12:03am

Cool very good job

TeamEagle says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 2:53pm

pretty cool, it was kind of obvious though at the first hint (the radio for me) so apart from that just running around to get keycards could've been made more exciting. However, 48 hours and the mood was nicely done :)

dieblume86 says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 3:12pm

Nice start

Dec 13, 2014 @ 7:57pm

The lighting looks great! I love the use of darkness for mood.

DavidVisscher says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 8:03pm

Good concept. The mood was set very well!

CMWeissMedia says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 8:38pm

Very nice work. The theme, story, mood, all that jazz was well done. The pixelated lighting effects were particularly neat too.

There wan't much of a challenge, but since the game was predominantly story based I feel like you're safe there. My only issue was that there were some bad collision issues with all doors and many walls. I could walk through them, which actually allowed me to beat the game in the second room on my first play through. If you play the game without cheating it's pretty solid!

rantt says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 8:41pm

Great mood, very unsettling. Really enjoyed it, great job :)

EthanWebster says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 8:45pm

Very nice game, good job.

rnlf says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 8:46pm

@CMWeissMedia, yeah, I was lacking the time to run "physics" with a really fixed timestep, which becomes a problem if the machine the game runs on is a bit too slow. If you reduce shadow quality, it might actually become fast enough to play it without this glitch. Sorry about that!

pavel_insight says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:51pm

Looks nice!
Protagonist can go through walls! :)
May be it's not really a bug! May be, protagonist is dead. His soul knows no physical obstacles. And Linda guides him to the life after life.

Bloxri says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:54pm

Very good graphics. Lighting engine needs a bit of tweaking. Music is fitting. I broke the game pretty easily by running myself into a vending machine. Like how the shadows create a harder way to see whats around the corner. Little spooky. Nice work overall.

rnlf says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 10:43pm

@pavel_insight: he most certainly IS dead ;-)

Dec 14, 2014 @ 8:22am

Visuals are great and the music really adds to the atmosphere. Liked exploring and finding out more of the story. Did have an issue as you've mentioned where I went through a wall into another room but understandable for a game made in a weekend.

Gamepopper says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 2:35pm

Liked the story and the shadow effects, very atmospheric game.

Wilou1428 says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 2:56pm

COOL liked this so much. Looks great, feels great. Though it seemed that the key cards where in very convenient places.

01rafael says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 3:00pm

Dynamic light looks so fancy! Nice entry!

rjhunter says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 3:01pm

Fantastic entry. Superb polish, too, especially for the time allotted. Configurable controls, in-game tutorial that responds to the configured controls, beautiful lighting...

I found the "big reveal" a little bit too obvious for my tastes, but maybe I'm just cynical (or I uncovered clues in the "wrong" order).

I never did find out what was in storage... I left it for later when the character said "I have a bad feeling about this", talking about a locked door in the corner of the map :-)

Dec 14, 2014 @ 3:07pm

The game sets a really dark mood, really well. You allow the player to discover the story in an interesting way. The overall experience is really enjoyable. You managed to put quite a lot in one screen. Great job!

tompudding says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 5:38pm

I think I got stuck by using the key to Operating room 1 on an inaccessible door (it's behind a bed), and then I couldn't open the actual door once I found it :( Great game though, looks brilliant, superb mood. Amazing for 48 hours

rnlf says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 7:45pm

@rjhunter: "Configurable controls, in-game tutorial that responds to the configured controls" - thank you for noticing :-)

@tompudding: No, you can enter the room. I know which door you are talking about, and once you get a key, it is never removed from your inventory. Maybe you just missed one other key ;-)

Conk says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 10:45pm

A lot of picking up card keys, but it got me exploring every room. All it needed is a few more types of interaction and maybe placing the words of thoughts somewhere other than where the things you pickup/interact with appear, as I missed a few things from overlapping. Really solid mood though, the ghost thing in storage made me jump, love the art too (:

Pulsartronic says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 10:49pm

Well. You achieve a great atmosphere here. The music and the shadows help a lot and I think you did it great. There are a few things that I found that bothers me. First is that when you are really near to a wall with pictures attached to it, the character is drawed between wall and pictures. You need to fix that, cos it looks weird :D. The second and the most serious is that I been frozen on a black screen once I was walking on the leftmost room. The third and last, is that you can't maintain the character looking to "up". He always turns to look at the camera. Is annoying. Farther than this, I find this entry, really epic. Love it :D. Congratulations!

victorljs says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 10:54pm

Nice idea. Good gameplay.

VDZ says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 1:44pm

The atmosphere in this game is amazing. Lighting effects combine with audio, consistent graphics and natural-feeling level design to make it really feel like you're exploring part of an abandoned hospital. Definite 5/5 for the experience, the comments below are just nitpicking.

The gameplay itself doesn't really stand out much, but it doesn't really need to as it's not really the point of the game. Going too far with gameplay might drag the narrative experience down, and I did in fact feel that this was just slightly the case for this game. While it's common in games, finding key A to enter room B to find key C to enter room D to find key E to enter room F makes little narrative sense, and if done too much breaks immersion; why the hell am I finding the Chief Physician's key in a random office? It also distracts from the narrative when there's too much of this in sequence without anything happening that adds to the narrative.

The storytelling in general is very good in this game. However, I dislike how little of it all is explained at the end of the story. It's obvious that the protagonist and his wife died (perhaps a bit too obvious; a news story about kids being left behind after their parents' deaths directly followed by 'gee, I wonder how my kids are doing' could've been more subtle), but even so a more direct confirmation from the story would be nice; the mystery is built up by the hints given, then just...ignored. Even if Linda had just made a single remark about the afterlife at the end it would feel like a proper end to this mystery. What bothers me more, however, are all the details that are left unexplained:

- Why is there nobody at the hospital/is the protagonist incapable of perceiving them?
- What's up with that ghost in the storage room? I really liked that part (and it made me wary enough to avoid passing by the storage room until the end of the game), but it makes no narrative sense from what I can see.
- Why are all of these doors locked (other than 'because it's a video game')?
- Why did the protagonist not pass on to the afterlife/not realize he was dead? (Doesn't necessarily have to be answered, but it would add greatly to the story.)
- What is the protagonist's relation to the hospital, if any, or otherwise, who are these people the protagonist refers to when examining random parts? Referring to them by name makes them seem relevant enough to at least deserve acknowledgement of who they are.

As a story, it feels a bit incomplete even though it starts of really well. But as a game telling a story, it accomplishes its job almost perfectly.

Dexyne says ...
Dec 20, 2014 @ 5:26pm

Great game!
Respect the theme, graphics simple but nice, sounds too.
Was fun and interesting to play!

maxmetallica says ...
Dec 29, 2014 @ 7:25pm

nice ideea

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