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

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Hijinks High: Orientation (Ludum Dare 34 Edition)

by cjmarchione - Jam Entry


The following command is often used: use object with object
(replace the word 'object' with the object you want to use, of course.)

Genre: Classic Text Adventure! Welcome back to the 80s, everyone!
Disclaimer: This Ludum Dare version is shortened, and uses an alternate ending.
For Updates: @cjmarchione (Twitter)

Game Description:

"Roger Wilcox must wake up, go to detention... and escape, to grow the affections of his one and only high school sweetheart."


To play this game, you need to download and install the Quest engine. You may do so, for free (of course), here...

Downloads and Links




Kushulain says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:37am

I'm not familiar with this kind of game. I like it. I left the bed, got to the bathroom, but I can't find a way to do anything in there.

mappel6 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:46am

Pretty fun, I like it. Though I can't quite figure out what to do in the secretary's room at the beginning. I know it involves the mail slot, but I can't quite seem to do anything to it. Could I get a hint on that?

cjmarchione says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:57am

Thanks for playing and commenting, folks!

Kush: Gotta brush your teeth! (the command, if you'd like: use toothbrush with toothpaste)

mappel: Once you get some noise going, you'll be able to lift that mail slot for the desired effect.

*** SPOILER, if you'd like the answer ***
You need to do two things. Once the janitor brings in the box, use the pencil with the box. Next, use the key with the cage. Then, you can lift the mail slot.
*** END Spoiler! ***

Crowbeak says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:24am

I can't figure out how to turn the alarm off.

cjmarchione says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:33am

Hi, Crowbeak: try 'hit alarm' (without quotes.)

Krafty says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:18pm

I downloaded Quest, but I can't seem to get the game to run. What am I doing wrong? Thanks! :)

cjmarchione says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:28pm

Hi Krafty,

Let's try giving the longer way a shot: after you install Quest, try opening Quest and then opening the game from the program's File menu.

Starspell says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 5:20am

I don't know that I made too much headway into the game but it seems well put together. The writing is good and funny at time. Not a bad little game.

cjmarchione says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:32pm

Thanks! There are a number of things that are optional and not mentioned in the walkthrough, though the player will have to do them to get through the final release. They are present in this version, thankfully--and give the game a little extra playing time.

Without the walkthrough, a thorough play could last at least a half an hour, depending on the player's familiarity with text adventures.

Dec 19, 2015 @ 7:16am

Well, I couldn't figure out to eat breakfast, even though I took the toaster tarts. I guess that's why there's a playthrough.

This game seems pretty well written. Maybe I'll have to finish it sometime.

cjmarchione says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:12am

Thank you! The game's intriguingly particular about having them toasted, though in future versions I think I'll have a message about Roger not wanting to eat them uncooked (providing a fair hint to the player about what to do.)

zulman says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:35am

Oh god, you are awesome retro dev! Text adventures was so cool! Honestly I think it's very to find players for it in 2015, but hope you will try to make it as Messenger's bot (e.g. for Telegram) :)

Stuntddude says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 4:13am

The funniest entry I've played yet! This game took a really long time for me to complete, but it was worth it for all the flavor text. Naturally, a jam game of this scope will have several issues, some of which I noted during my playthrough as I came across them:

- occasionally info text appears in the wrong order when moving to a new area
- solutions to some puzzles make no sense whatsoever (esp. the waiting room one) and require either a walkthrough or a brute for exhaustion of all possible actions available to you
- I got the Sid dialogue again while in the principal's office after going out and back in again (a bug)
- no explanation of engine features (e.g. clicking on objects to see what you can do to them, which I found out by accident), which would help with some of the puzzles, though I would suppose this is more the engine's fault (along with several other quirks I won't mention here because they're not specific to your game)
- the dialogue in many of the areas doesn't change after you escape the principal's office, even though it no longer makes any sense (for example the people in the detention room, or the food's flavor text still being about breakfast if you go back home, or being able to re-trigger the opening dialogues by interacting with the alarm clock)
- The navigation can be confusing - for example, there is at least one place where going east then northwest, or west then northeast, both take you to the same place that is completely different from where you end up if you just go north, and the layout seems to make no sense physically
- using anything on Sparky prints nothing (presumed bug)
- I can't close the fridge in my house (presumed bug)

And in general, a lot of what is or isn't implemented seems arbitrary (for example, the compass exists and can be picked up, but can't be used in any way or even looked at), which seems like the probably work of a deadline crunch.

Still, I liked this one a lot! The writing was consistently fun and hilarious and it never got old trying to pick up literally everything I could see (or trying to kiss all the people, when the only one who accepts my kiss is the homeless man - bless his soul). I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this in the post-jam days.

cjmarchione says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 4:49am

zulman: Thank you very much! You got me to look into Telegram.

Stuntddude: I appreciate your feedback. I've been waiting to see if anyone would go ahead and complete the game.

In response to your points:

- I did a fair share of testing the appearance of the text, so I'm curious when/where you're getting it in the wrong order. I'm guessing it has to do with revisiting some rooms that I wasn't anticipating the player revisiting at certain points.

- This game is inspired by text adventures and point and click games of the past, in which eccentric solutions are generally the norm (consider a game like Maniac Mansion, in which one of the unlikely ways to win involves building a radio system that can contact space aliens.) The waiting room solution is actually my favorite in HH:O, though I get that it isn't necessarily the most likely solution--I consider one of the key features of these games is that a bizarre solution is sometimes the right answer after all.

- Since the LD34 release, I've retooled the help system so that the game's logic and commands are given a brief introduction (actually, I did this today!)

- I'll fix that Sid bug for sure. The Quest engine can be quirky when it comes to timed events like that one. I didn't think too much about it because I didn't expect anyone would return to the waiting room. What I might do is just put up a message like 'Why would you want to go back there?' if the player tries to go back.

- The lack of extra dialogue is due to the time constraints of LD. I have quite a bit more dialogue written down.

- I'll look into the direction issue you mentioned. If it's concerning the hallways, that's because I'm operating under the idea that the hallways are very long, and I didn't want to put in extra hallway rooms in which there wasn't much for the player to do.

- The Sparky thing isn't a bug as far as I can tell, but I'll look into it.

- Because of LD time restrictions, closing objects wasn't something I spent too much time on coding. I assumed that most players wouldn't even bother closing items, but I'll fix that in future versions.

Thanks for all the feedback. The humor style might be considered the 'selling point' of this game, so I'm glad you appreciated it.

Stuntddude says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 6:00am

For the wrong order thing, I think it was actually one or two rooms near the beginning when I visited for the first time (but I didn't think to write down exactly where, darn! I may try to track them down again).

As for the wacky solutions, I admit I haven't played many text adventures, so it may not be my place to criticize. If it's fair to assume that a player will look up a walkthrough if they get really stuck, then I suppose it's not so much of a problem. And don't get me wrong, I did thoroughly enjoy the wackiness, I just thought there could be a few more hints as to what to do.

cjmarchione says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 3:44am

I definitely appreciate the feedback. I will consider it for sure when I make the in-game walkthrough.

bob_fish says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 1:05pm

very nice, and a lot of content put in here without spelling errors. Great work!

x92rwzb says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 1:24pm

Funny game. But you could have added some graphics...

cjmarchione says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 2:44pm

bob_fish: Thanks! Avoiding spelling errors is one of the biggest initial challenges when making a game like this. :)

x92rwzb: In the final version I will be adding some images, though in the classic text adventure genre, there were no altered visuals other than text, colors, and perhaps a blinking cursor.

eerongal says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 7:48pm

Dont see enough text based games anymore! Nice work!

PKCat says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 11:50am

I love text based adventures, but this prooved too hard :(

cjmarchione says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 4:08pm

eerongal: I agree! Thanks!

PKCat: I added a walkthrough in the game description. It only covers the quickest solution, but I did test it through and it works.

NirabazGAMES says ...
Jan 5, 2016 @ 1:52am

great idea

dollarone says ...
Jan 5, 2016 @ 2:01am

Pretty cool. I used the walkthrough (thanks for providing), but it seems extremely hard to figure out without a lot of random trying/failing.

But nice to play something different!

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