Ludum Dare 36 — August 26th-29th, 2016 — Theme: Ancient Technology

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Ghosts In The Shell

by xgeovanni - Competition Entry

Ghosts In the Shell is a Puzzle / Interactive Novel game in which you, armed with only a computer terminal and a few Unix commands, solve a 300 year old mystery.

Fair Warnings:
-This is a heavily story-based and spoil-able game. Do not read the comments below until finishing it.
-This game is basically all reading. If you don't like reading, you won't like this game.
-The game favours people with Unix terminal experience. If you don't have any, try it anyway. My friend had no Unix experience until playing this game but finished it nevertheless.

Downloads and Links


Loyance says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 1:55am

Amazing game (and also is pretty long), but might be hard for anyone who never used unix systems. Pretty good idea!

LCMW_Spud says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:38pm

Fits the theme very well, I lack experience with Unix bash but minGW filled in the gaps

tenpn says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:42pm

lovely idea. the interface was ever slightly so clunky, but the storytelling was excellent.

onyon says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:44pm

Great idea, love the mix of puzzle/inovel with unix command line. Thumbs up!

leuus says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:55pm

Really fun interface. It reminds me the good old days playing Zork. Too bad we cannot use the TAB command (I know I'm being demanding here ^^).

Yngvarr says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 6:53pm

All the time I wanted to press TAB and use `cat` or `less` instead of `nano`. =) Also, I experienced kinda discomfort about cursor's position and scrollbar, but it's not that important.
Gameplay idea is cool! Command line based quest - that's what they call 'ancient technology'! =) And thank you for awsome green colors.

xgeovanni says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:51pm

@Yngvarr Sorry about the cursor and scrollbar. That's a bug that only seems to come up about 1 in 20 times. I don't know what causes it.

Aug 29, 2016 @ 11:45pm

Really wonderful. I also experienced the scrollbar and cursor issues. Other than that, the story was super intriguing and great, and the name is the best one I've seen so far this LD

TiByte says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:28am

I love it. The first thought I had for the LD was pretty much something like this. But I ended up making a DOS-like thingy.

Finely crafted experience.

FrozenIndie says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:41am

From A Linux User Before I tell u this is cool it really grabbed my interest with the different commands that most of them is real linux commands and with the relaxed and cool game play :D 5/5

edgeofcode says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:18am

Really cool game - good idea, good story.

gironC says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:24am

Really cool idea, i love it!

fabri-bertani says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:51am

I can't get the riddle of the first password :(

dkdwrek says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:51am

Great idea, game and execution!

eott says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 9:09am

Wow, this game is exceedingly well done. It contains exactly what it needs with nothing more or less and I can't find any rough edges. A clear 5/5 if I ever saw one.

Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:20pm

Really well written entry.
If there's ever an updates version I would be curious about other endings (whatever they might be)...
I really like the kinds of stories where you have to piece together the story yourself using diary entries etc - so I enjoyed it a lot!

awerar says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:26pm

Amazing idea, The gameplay is really good and the story is awesome, I love the Unix terminal, overall, a great game!

Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:29pm

That's what I call good game without any art! =) Good job on writing it. I didn't beat the game yet (stuck with teacher's password), but I like it so far.

I missed the ability to autocomplete with tab key, but I understand it's not the point of the game to emulate terminal.

Great job!

leondryaso says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:56pm

This was so nice, loved it :)

edve98 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 1:47pm

Awesome work! I too missed the ability to hit tab.

I wonder if you could actually make this on real Linux distro like arch, package up the whole filesystem and then tell the players to chroot into it? I think that would make an amazing game (I'm actually thinking about that for next LD :P)

Asaldar says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:32pm

Interesting game, fun to play, very nice work !

One small critic : I would have expected a final stage once you finished the job. To explain why someone cares about a 300 years old story. Maybe an exchange of mail with the Boss or the person paying for the job ...

Even though I understand that the time limit is short :)

juaxix says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 4:30pm

"All data downloaded." ...that's it? i want to see ghosts!

Qaterknan says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 6:47pm

A little bit anti-climactic end, but otherwise I loved it. If you would ever like to take this idea further, it would be fun to actually have to use some sort of program, say grep or pipe some programs together etc.

tomdeal says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:48pm

thats a cool idea. Too bad tabbing does not work, especially because it opens the url input in chrome instead. Had to constantly click in the game window again because I always tab when working with a CLI :-)

gonutz says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 9:23pm

The game does not show up for me, just a black dot on a white background. I use Firefox on a 32 bit XP.

Mantlair says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:26pm

Really neat interface but I couldnt find the password. Still nice game!

mooncalf says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 3:22am

Excellent story, good difficulty, very interesting. I've been developing ideas for a terminal-based game, and am inspired by this one! Very nice job!

reheated says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 12:56pm

Innovation: It's a cool take on a text adventure. I've seen other games in past LDs where you hack at a terminal but I don't think I've seen people take that aspect to this level.
Fun: I really enjoyed trying to work out everyone's passwords and the sequence of events. (I kept a text file with notes hah). It's a great idea that the player has to get the passwords from the story, even piecing together multiple pieces of information, to figure out a password. I find it frustrating when AAA games have sticky notes all over the place saying "Dear user we reset your password to blahblah". Your sort of system is way more interesting.
Theme: Fine take on the theme.
Graphics: Sorta N/A but it's a good looking and well implemented terminal.
Audio: N/A
Humor: Even though the story covers some serious issues you managed to squeeze some humour in there without it seeming out of place, nice job.
Mood: Fine, although maybe some sound would have added to it?
(Bonus category) Writing: Great job - the characters are believable and the story is coherent and has real substance which is hard to achieve in the time limit. (The line "ending 1/1" confused me a bit... does it mean I 100%ed it?)
Overall: A great story and a fun way to find it out!

thiagofr says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 4:08pm

I didn't even finish the game to understand it was an excelent entry for this LD. You used the theme in a very creative way. The game interface is also very interesting. I personally really like those kind of text games. Congratulations, it is really, really good.
PS: as others users pointed, the characters are well made, considering you only had text to give personalities to them. Congrats, again! xD

jacobturn says ...
Sep 11, 2016 @ 4:30pm

Confusing yet creative

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