Ludum Dare 32 — April 17th-20th, 2015 — Theme: An Unconventional Weapon

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HELP: The Mystery of the Not-Terribly Useful Information

by terpin - Jam Entry

Learn about the bleak dystopian world around you through the lens of a malfunctioning children’s education AI named Walter. At the command of the powers governing your people, Walter has begun censoring what it considers volatile sections of its databanks, redirecting students toward frivolous topics of little real-world significance. You have noticed this tendency and begun to chip away at its protective structures, with little luck so far.

One night, the rain pouring outside and your capsule hotel room lit only by the light from your screen, Walter’s facade cracks and you gain entry to one of its banned articles. Following that article’s trail leads you into your first glimpse of a world beyond your capsule - a world that Walter does not want you to see.

Tread carefully through realms of classified data, learn the secrets of the powerful and corrupt, and fend off an AI bent on cutting you off from the outside world in this visual novella. The choices you make define your connection to a world that, before tonight, you didn’t even know existed - and your survival against an enemy that, before tonight, you didn’t even know you had.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness97%
#83Mood(Jam)3.85
#266Innovation(Jam)3.48
#317Humor(Jam)3.27
#423Overall(Jam)3.33
#661Fun(Jam)2.83
#682Graphics(Jam)2.94
#842Theme(Jam)2.82

Comments

jtpup0 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:01pm

That was surreal, if I hadn't read the description I would have been clueless!, Cool game though

kaa says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:06pm

Very interesting entry! A lot of information and good mood.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:09pm

Good mooding and theme. Wished it had some audio, even just ambience and computer noises.

ajayajayaj says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:14pm

Amazing! You definitely should publish this after the jam. I didn't get to the end because I accidently hit the menu button thinking it brought you to the main menu ingame. Also, I am not really sure what it has to do with the theme since I did not fully compete the game.

ajayajayaj says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:16pm

Is there a way I could skip to where I was. I would like to finish the game. Thanks!

Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:17pm

I'm not sure what I tested, or how it fits the theme :D. But I liked the overall mood, and kudos for the guts to innovate.

badlydrawnrod says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:18pm

Damn, that was AWESOME! You have created a fully fledged original concept in 72 hours. The wife and I loved it. It was everything you could want from an interactive novel. And the ending made us laugh - I always had my suspicions about that corporation!

terpin says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:28pm

You won't be able to skip exactly back where you were, but you should be able to pop back in the main menu to the level you were on (like administrator). If you were in a test, you'll have to do it again :( Sorry!

idoadler says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:32pm

appealing, but a bit difficult to explore fully.
after pressing menu, there was no continue button, only start, and that seem to have reset my progress and stuck, unless that was part of the game i didn't understand.

DoItForWilson says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:43pm

Loved it ;-) Walter is the best !!! I like the depth of contents in the game.

ajayajayaj says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:44pm

Played the game and got to the point I was at and now I'm lost all I can do is hit update...

terpin says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:49pm

When the music rolls and the confetti flies, that's the end, buddy. You can keep clicking the button, but it won't do anything after that ^^

ajayajayaj says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:59pm

Ok cool. Oops, I was spam clicking to get to where I was and must have missed the ending! I liked the idea though it was great!

terpin says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:03pm

Haha it's okay, it was built in a hurry so there is definitely room for improvement! I'm glad you enjoyed it though ^^

PapaCheech says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:13pm

Woooow... This was really cool. A great idea, original too. I'm a huge fan of anything to do with artificial intelligence so this one was sweet.
Awesome!
-dan

Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:20pm

I don't know if this really fits the theme, and the graphics were weird, and I spent half the game waiting for the next button to show up, and I accidentally unlocked a pong world when I answered "I am alone," and I had to click on every button twice.

And despite all this, HELP is probably one of the most weirdly immersive games I've played in the past year. The random popups of Descartes, the Blade Runner references, the MBTI charts... all go together to make a game that's surprisingly fun!

Ryusui says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:32pm

So I think I just blew up an insane solipsistic brain-in-a-tank for the sake of global information freedom. Good times. I just wish I could skip through the text a bit faster. Are there multiple endings, by the way? I was told W.A.L.T.E.R. was "Happy, Suspicious" right before I got the opportunity to rubber-stamp his special delivery.

Shugor says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:37pm

I find that more text-based games are pretty uncommon in Ludum Dare, and I think you pulled it off well. There seems to be a lot of depth to the story despite being relatively short, although it would be nice if it were easier to explore the consequences of alternate answers. Alternatively, it could be useful to have a function to save at a certain point and continue from there later on. Great work overall~

terpin says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:38pm

Honestly, we ran out of time. It was me and two programmers off reddit who didn't know each other at all that formed the team at the very last second. I researched and wrote all that stuff in about 48 hours, meant to make all kinds of kickass backgrounds for it but ran out of time. One guy put the gui together in a day, both of them hauled ass making sure that all the text didn't spill out of all the boxes and we winged the ending the morning before the deadline. It was a goddamn adventure, that's for sure.

Reis Mahnic says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:52am

Fascinating and thought provoking.
Walter was a very interesting personality.
Thank you!

novadream says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 1:46am

I kept glitching out when I got to the administrator portion and couldn't continue. But I'm really a fan of these sorts of stories and wish there were more visual novels like this! :)

Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:08am

I loved this concept! really well done. I think with some audio this could be much more entertaining, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Mohagged says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 8:11am

But Walter! I thought I was an INFJ!?

awesome entry!

Demy says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 3:32pm

I really liked the mood and the dialogs!

Apr 22, 2015 @ 7:01pm

A really interesting game =O. I like the interface and the animation you did with the AI. Some music would be welcome though. And there's not really a connection to the theme but well.

terpin says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 8:27pm

Code and socks are the weapons in this game and that's pretty unusual! Then again, maybe not - like all things it's open to interpretation. I'm glad you enjoyed it though!

lochmann-apps says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 9:19pm

Interesting idea, I am also missing some sounds.

Tatsu Studio says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:39am

Very interesting and fun;

borgi says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:07am

I am not really into these kind of games, but I really liked the base story/idea! Good job!

BubuIIC says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 1:58pm

Very interesting entry. I love exploring these alternate reality world, where nothing really makes sense at first.
Also you never can tell if you encountered a bug or a "bug". :-D

jrserjeant says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 6:26pm

I didn't really know what was going on. But it was interesting and liked the theme.

KhaoTom says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:21am

Kinda scary feeling the whole way through.

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