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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St. Orchint's Orphanage

by Double Zero One Zero - Jam Entry

This is a game about running an orphanage during war time. Have fun!

- Mouse
- Left mouse button

Known issues:
- Balance
- The tutorial is super duper long. And a bit confusing.
- A bit riddicolus ending screens. Lack of sleep will do that to you ;D

This game became a quite a bit more complicated than we expected, but we still managed to end up with something, so enjoy!

Downloads and Links




pluberski says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:05pm

Really nicely put together! Reminds me a lot of Paper's Please! :)

gv1351 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:07pm

I really love the art

Harsay says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:26pm

I felt bad ;_;
It's moody. I really like this kind of concept.

doitle says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:29pm

Very polished game experience. The mood is very cohesive and like another said it does remind me of Paper's Please a bit. Though a much more simulation focused Paper's Please. I did have an issue though. At a certain point no new orphans came and I trained them all and that was it. I had 0 orphans and the government wanted 45 and so I lost. Still a really nice game. Well done.

Safe-Keeper says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:32pm

Someone actually went and made something even darker and more hopeless than Papers, Please. Wow.

Jod says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:39pm

I decided to do a thoughtstream as I played... Here we go! Also, for those who haven't played; SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!

-Hey, a letter, that's pretty...
-Oooh, an orphanage! Yakuza flashba-...
-Wait, what? Soldiers? One day you will make a happy game, huh?
-Curse you, general T. Rutz! Curse you for taking the childhood of these poor innocents and crushing it!
-Oooh, requests, many different things to juggle. Fun!
-A children overview... what, sick children can't work? Well, they'd better not fake being sick, the little bastar-... -oh my god, what is this game doing to me?
-Music... haunting piano music... I am so jealous of these skills.
-COAL MINES? Jesus... that's harsh.
-Huh.. I wonder what font they use...
-Hmmm, I'd better get some medicine up front, these kids will probably get sick at the drop of a hat! Not like in my day, when we worked all day and then worked some more at night!
-Huh, how do I add kids to military school? Oh, the game probably does that itself. Huh... makes sense. But am kinda sad I can't make my own kiddie army and take over the country from within....
-Hahahaha, chimney sweep has a lethality rating. They drop off the roofs! I really shouldn't laugh... really shouldn't...
-Oooh, a paper. Ha, the Westport Independent! I love it... wait, are all these games somehow interconnected? Papers Please, Westport, St. Orchint's? Is this all part of some kind of huge bleak future metagame? Wow... ;)
-Oh huh, I don't get food if I don't click the send button. Yeah, that kinda makes sense. Stupidity as a player, detected!
-Oh wow... I love how this game makes me think. Bombing run? GREAT! More orphans for me, more monnnneeeey! I'm such a monster. Such a monster.
-OH SHIT I have run out of food. Sorry children! I shall quickly order some more. Now, back to work! No complaining!
-Oh no. Oh no no no no. The kids are sending me letters. I think I shall tell Emily her little friend went to fight for the glory of the fatherland, and we can all be proud for his soon-to-be-sacrifice.
-Owww, I can't reply to the letter. Maybe that's a good thing.
-OH NO! I can see the little deaths at the bottom of my screen... dear god, I'm a monster.
-WHAT? No! Not an Epidemic.... goddamnit, there goes my medicine... *grumbles*
-I have decided that the children that are working in the coal mines are the bad children. Those who did not behave properly. My consciousness feels a lot better. Or maybe that's the whisky.
-Jean has the time to send me a letter from the coal mines? WHAT? If he has time to write letters, he has time to work!
-Alright, I will put all new children in the sweatshop. That seems like the nicest thing to do.
-I just thought putting children in a sweatshop was the better option. Damn you, game!
-I just had a horrible thought. If food costs me 4 per day right now... and kids eat one portion per day... putting them in the sweatshop really doesn't work.
-Man, fuck these letters..... I'm not crying, you're crying! Will someone shoot that piano player already?
-I have decided to stop my children sweeping chimneys. Instead, I'll fill the sweatshop until it bursts and let the rest do coal mine work. There's always dissidents....
-No wait, that doesn't work... okay, more kids to the coal mines then.... sorry, kids.

-WHAT? Oh goddamnit, I didn't make enough money, game over.

I shall try again!

(Loved the game. So much)

BuffaloPhil says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:49pm

Loved it.

danielsann7 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:55pm

the mood is in the right place the graphics are great remind me of papers please, the audio is very good too, nice work!

rjhelms says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:14pm

Another great entry from you folks - every Ludum Dare I look forward seeing to what you put together.

Probably the most interesting take on the theme I've seen so far - and the reference to the Westport Independent made me smile.

Drunkain says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:09am

At first, I was afraid you're game was too similar to Paper's Please, but I'm glad it's totally different. Seriously guys, you made me kill little buys for my country, and then their little brother/sisters send me letters, it so hard for my little heart :'( But it's really good game, I love this :)
By the way, when I had to rate it i was like "humor ? sorry, didn't find any kind of this in the game :'(" x)

Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:05am

That was a depressing game, although I think it was over done a bit. Over all I thought it was a good game should place highly.

salmonmoose says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:29am

Wouldn't eat be easier, and less cruel just to give the kids guns and give them a nudge in the right direction?

Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:28am

Another well-crafted Ludum from you guys!

The artstyle was very fitting the somber experience and the mood was well-crafted, even though sometimes it nudged slightly towards the melodramatic.

The audio was also well-done, fitting the somber more introspective experience you were trying to convey, although it became a bit repetitive after a while (but then again, that was only after two consecutive playthroughs :P).

The only nitpicks I have is some of the things you've already adressed in the description. The balancing is a bit strange at some points and it felt as though the government shut me down a few times even though I had filled that sprint's quota.

Additionally, is medicine supposed to be capped at 1000? 'cause it didn't register a few times when I tried to exceed it, even though I had the funds.

I loved the narrative elements and especially the call-backs to The Westport Independent. I could definitely see this being a prequel to the game as it seems much more based in the Industrial Revolution and might work as a hint on how the Loyalists came to power. Even if this was not intended as such, I found it a fun reference.

Only downside though, was that I felt that some of the letters were a bit too much. I liked the concept in general of hearing from the orphans, though I think I would've gotten more invested if there had been some variety amidst the doom and gloom. Like for instance, receiving a drawing or a letter thanking you for the job from a kid who only in a later letter end up dead in a mine collapse.

I understand that might be a bit out of scope for Ludum, as it'd require a lot more flags but it would've been some nice variety.

Still, loved the game and if you'll excuse me I have more kids to kil- Er, I mean 'employ' :P.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:25pm

Wow. You made me feel like a monster. Great game!

PeteDS says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:45pm

Amazing game, great graphics and gameplay!

axoona says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:23pm

This game gives you the creeps. great mood.

Janacek says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:07pm

Looks like a Paper Please incoming, I love this !

Tyler says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:36pm

Good game even though you're fighting the inevitable and the game is just about managing sliders. Great atmosphere and mood.

ajayajayaj says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:58pm

So good!

CaptainRed_ says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:19pm

really good game, very well made.

wilsk says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:23pm

Like others it gave me a Papers Please vibe... a good looking if a little sinister game!

phi6 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:39pm

Great game! Wish the balance was a little better so there could be a chance to play it for a long time, as it is you can't put them in the easier jobs at all because they automatically eat more than they make! Would LOVE to play a more finished version of this, really hope you'll keep working on it!

Pusty says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:09pm

Haha this game is great! I mean: every game that makes you happy when a City gets bombed is a great game.
5/5 Overall 5/5 Mood ... a dangit everything 5/5

Warboys says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:15pm

I really like the idea and you've totally nailed the mood with such great art and sound, but there were a lot of quality of life issues that sort of hampered the experience for me.

The game auto pausing all the time was infuriating, it's like every 10 seconds I have to click the play button... no idea how anyone plays with something faster than the default speed :p

Food as 'expenses' didn't register with me for ages, for some reason... not sure why, perhaps me just being stupid. I also couldn't figure out how to put kids into school except when the current term ends. I started with 10 kids and had to have 15 for the mission, so I added 5 after the first 10 graduated and then the mission ended before I could finish. Overall I was in a lot of confusion most of the way through it haha.

I liked that you were sort of pushed to stick all the kids in coal mines, as you weren't earning enough money to feed everyone. Kids dying never seemed to really be an issue to address, as it was a slow trickle, so I suppose it's possible to regret your decisions later when you start running out of kids!

Jakob37 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:33pm

I don't know if I should put 1 or 5 on humor! Very nice entry. A bit texty, but I think you managed to hold the game play together, while delivering a brilliant atmosphere.

Rocketship says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:35pm

I loved the art and the music playing on the background. The gloom and hopelessness created by the letters and the music made the mood very good. However for me the gameplay wasn't very interesting in itself, and while the letters from the kids were well written and even touching, I didn't feel any connection to the dying kids because they were just numbers on the screen. Still an atmospheric experience which made me want to see a bit more complex version of this!

ShaunJS says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:01pm

Great stuff!

Max Amaden says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:33pm

Love this game! The letters and newspaper articles really flesh out the backstory! Keep up the good work, I look forward to seeing more of your work!

Miltage says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:58pm

Get down those mines, children, and make me some money. No Emily, I don't why your brother died, stop asking.

lawendt says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:24pm

I guess I'm sad... :c
The letters are so </3

Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:27pm

So good! Thoroughly enjoyed myself. Would love to see a full version

newbeings says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:35pm

Well done! Definitely worth pursuing further.

ajopart says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:01pm

Great and depressing job !

NidzaKornjaca says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:24pm

Great graphics, great game and sound, fantastic mood.

LeReveur says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:29pm

Effective little managing game.

"This is a game about running an orphanage during war time. Have fun!"
Ha Ha, I laught at this one. X)

Krafty says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:52am

This game was so sad! This deserves a full release, it was really good. I had a problem where the government kept demanding more orphans to be schooled and eventually I was only left with 15, so I couldn't meet the request to give money. Really great!

SpringCabal says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 8:44am

This could've easily been made for the "You're the monster" theme too :D

Astro Cat says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:26pm

Gameplay is very deep, like it

abuzreq says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:11pm

Wonderful , but like you said it needs balancing.
the medicine weren't a problem ,compared to the food , the children seems to eat way too much .
(why no option to choose the portion of food they get :P )

KaiseanGames says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:42pm

Nice job. A little dark, but fun never the less.

randomhuman says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 9:13pm

These idle layabouts are going to lose us the war! Back to the mines you little shits!

kmakai says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 6:12pm

Wow, this was definitely a compelling entry. The visual style and the music were perfect for setting the mood, and the letters were a really nice additional touch. Great job!

ashdnazg says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 6:38pm

A very interesting game.
It's one of those where you're not sure if you really want to play it.
The letters are extremely effective in creating immersion.
Not sure entirely about balance, as I think certain jobs are decisively better than others, though it does make you put them into riskier jobs, causing you to feel like a cold-hearted bastard.
Music definitely fits, but a bit too repetitive to my taste.

One of the more interesting games I've seen in this LD, good job!

Geckoo1337 says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 6:53pm

Reminds me a lot of Paper's Please! Thumbs up ++

Jan 4, 2016 @ 1:03am

Really amazing, well made game. I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :)

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