Ludum Dare 34 — December 11th-14th, 2015 — Theme Tied: Two Button Controls, Growing

NOTE: Because of the Theme tie, we allowed everyone to pick either Theme. Using both was optional. To keep things simple, there will still only be one Theme category. Every category in Ludum Dare voting is an opinion, so you’re welcome to rate them as you see fit. But we encourage you to be fair in your scores to people that chose only one Theme, and not both.

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Jack's unremarkable, absolutely normal day

by Jod - Compo Entry

Made in24 hours with a lot of hard work, a complete disregard for proper game creation protocols and a lot of enthusiasm!
This game is an interactive novel, so you'll be deciding how the story goes by making the protagonist's choices for him. Depending on what you choose, the story will change!
The game consists of several rounds. The first round there's not a lot of interactivity. This was a snobby design choice to underline the contrast of the base scenario with future choices.

There are six different endings. Theoretically 7, but you can only find the last one if I messed up in my game logic. Good luck finding them all!

Some stats:

35,420 Characters
5,508 Words
40 Passages
56 Links

Downloads and Links




doitle says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:56am

I like the green text for more information. Reminds me of the Danganronpa series of Visual Novel games. Technically it seems to play pretty well, though I did have some weird spots where I had to scroll up or down to see what was next. I might be missing it though but does this tie into the theme? I could see it when there was the Read Mind Change Mind buttons but then there was Love Me making three.

jamaster96 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:01pm

Could have been written better.

Adolf Jong Un says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:08pm

i liked the story, good job.

MrDave says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:11pm

You should go and do dialogue trees for Bethesda!

I really like how this game looks, for a text based game I can see you have given a lot of thought into the font and colour and I really appreciate that.

There are too many well written parts for me to point them out here however "I reject your linear perception of time! I want to create a different fate for myself." has to be the best restart button I have ever seen.

I hope this gets a good rating, it would have been amazing if it were part of a game with actual gameplay, however I fear many will not see this as a game, also I really struggled to find a connection with the theme. Best of luck!

kailijan says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:21pm

I really like the style of your narration and how you give the player extra information by clicking the green text. What I miss is the theme. I can't really see how you worked it in there.
But cool game anyway ;)

cicanci says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:22pm

Nice job! You could add something like a trophy screen to display the endings that the player found :)

Somnium says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:30pm

Interesting game! I especially enjoyed the variety of the different paths, and the "foot note" info links added extra variety to the flow.

It was a fun experience, with enjoyable writing.

ranseur says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:26pm

You had me laughing all the way. Congrats sir!

shanton says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:53pm

Fun and interesting storyline, not sure how it fits the theme though

bogely says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:57pm

the idea is quite clever, but without anything to supplement the text (whether it be audio or graphics), the game just lacks a bit of character.

That said, I can't imagine writing and programming this much content in 24 hours, so props on doing that! I really like where this is going.

PC Ferreira says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:58pm

This is first comment in LD, I couldn't avoid it: Amazing game, man! Just it, 5 stars !

David Cookie says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:21pm

Pretty good story telling skills there! I would give to you 5 stars without problem if only it fits the theme of the jam.
It's just a visual novel but it's very polish, and I really wanted to see all endings, that's a good sign :)
Well done!

abuzreq says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:29pm

I really liked it and now happily married , I which to know how she got the money though :P

Aelius says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 8:03am

I lost it at the penguin ending.

Dec 20, 2015 @ 10:47am

Wow, I'm impressed! This was really immersive and original. If I ever need someone to help out with storywriting i know who to contact ;)

Jod says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 9:09pm

@DinnerInTheDark: Thanks! Give me a message (can we do that here? :)) if you ever need a writer.

@abuzreq: you can find out how she gets the money in the game, if you want.

@Aelius: It is the most glorious of endings, yes.

@PC Ferreira: Thanks! I am honoured!

@bogely: I know what you mean. Adding audio and some visuals would be the next logical step. Sadly, with 24 hours to make this game, I decided to focus on one type of content.

@cicanci: Good point! A little Xbox-like 'achievements' pop up would be really good.... hmmm, I should brush up my javascript/html5 skills...

@MrDave: I'm honoured! Honoured!

tompudding says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 9:35pm

Very funny (I liked the penguins), but as others have said the theme is not tremendously obvious

Dec 20, 2015 @ 10:03pm

I enjoyed this a lot. The story seemed a bit generic at first, but once I got to use the device, it became a lot more interesting. For the record, both time loops and telepathy/mind-control are plot devices I find really interesting. The characters felt a bit flat (the annoying boss, the hot love interest...), but they work well in such a relatively short story, and we learn they're not as straightforward as they appear. The writing is consistently good; I particularly liked Robert's monologue, and "miss the open-door window of opportunity".

From a technical perspective, I'm really impressed by the [SPOILER]time loops[END SPOILER]. I don't know how to do that myself. The visuals are good. I could have done without the characters having different font colours, but it didn't go as far as to annoy me, either.

Found a typo: "cafetaria".

I played to a few different endings, might come back to see if I get another one. They were all short, but pretty interesting.

Recommended for everyone who likes interactive fiction.

Spoilers below:

I tried using the "love me!" function on Lydia to see what would happen, even though it made me feel creepy. I like that the game acknowledged that mind-controlling someone into loving you isn't really a happy ending.

Jod says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 11:11pm

@tompudding: Thanks, and duly noted! :)

@Christina: Thanks for the extensive feedback! I don't know which engine you used for your game, but I can tell you how to do it in Twine :). The different fonts/colours were an experiment for me... maybe I should've just picked different colours _or_ different fonts? As for the creepy button: yes, I find the idea of that button very, very creepy :).

Dec 20, 2015 @ 11:36pm

I absolutely love this! The story is amazing, they options you get are great, and the way they are presented totally works! I love that you get presented with two options and then keep adding one, so you always have to choose between at least two choices you don't know what they'll result in. It's really well written, and you've really made something out of it. I love that your options aren't always at the end. And the story is always GROWING in complexity, which is awesome too. I mean, this was sooo good.

Also, I recorded and commented while I played this game (quite quickly I started reading everything aloud and commenting as I went along, I had so much fun :) ). I'm uploading the video here (it's a long one...!):

Dec 21, 2015 @ 12:21am

@Jod: I figured this was probably Twine. And I'd love to hear how you did it.

Jod says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 8:26pm

@little-burrito: Thank you _so_ much for that video. That was awesome and educational at the same time! I added some more extensive comments on Youtube. I'm also super glad you caught my brush with the theme ;).

@Christina: It's a bunch of flags that are initially set to false, which will show extra options when they're set to true. The end of a loop will give you the option to go back to the start, but will set the flag to true before returning. Then, when you go through the loop again, the previously hidden options will be visible for the player.

I'd be glad to show you in a bit more detail: send me a mail at j(dot)m(dot)duchatinier(at)gmail(dot)com

Dec 21, 2015 @ 10:32pm

@Jod: Awesome, thanks for the info.

OwT says ...
Dec 25, 2015 @ 10:59am

This is the best LD34 game I've played so far. No kidding.
Yes, it didn't have any graphics and music I had to attach myself, but it was soooo worth it!
You have quite a writing talent here. I'm playing it for 30 minutes now and got only 4 endings... of course one of these was the crushing game one, which I was trying to get from the very beggining (HULK~! SMASH!).
I love the way you introduce the characters and explain different places or objects. It was simply, yet very clever and pleasant for my aesthetics.
The whole story was well planned and nicely presented. The plot for me could be easily put it into a book and I would read the crap out of it.
Hat's off to you!

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