Ludum Dare 37 — December 9th-11th, 2016 — Theme: One Room

Well, Mike ran in to problems getting ldjam.com working properly with about 12 hours left in the Compo, so this is the backup plan.

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Networking™

by erikiene - Compo Entry

A short game (*cough* walking simulator) about the wonderful art of networking.

Use of headphones STRONGLY advised and PLEASE up the volume. The goal is to escape the hell you're in.

Not only my first ever jam participation, but also the first "game" ever released into the public. Learned a lot, especially to appreciate what art and sound people do. If you're looking for a dialogue system that can use audio and text, don't want to learn how to use amazing tools available out there (like Yarn) and prefer using some crazy, nonsensical, low-performance system written for this LD (that actually works!), dig into the source!

"Don't judge, Morty" - Rick Sanchez

But please DO judge and leave comments of what you think, Mortys and not Mortys alike! I appreciate it more than you think.

Tools used: Unity, Visual Studio, Audacity, Maya, Autodesk Sketchbook, a brain, vocal cords & finally - a strong dislike of networking.

For an update on any future work this dev does, including an improved and juiced up continuation of this entry, follow his pretty much non-existent twitter account @erikiene

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#67Humor3.58
#228Theme3.77
#274Audio2.93
#321Innovation3.12
#363Mood2.98
#448Overall3.00
#530Fun2.51
#555Graphics2.29

Comments

Dec 12, 2016 @ 1:43pm

Couldn't hear any of the audio and I'm not really sure what you're supposed to do in the game. Does it just end after "Freedom..." ?

erikiene says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 2:07pm

Yeah, I didn't leave enough time for leveling the audio out, tried my best though, I heard most of it alright with my headphones and master volume on 80%.

And yeah, the game is simply about escaping the nonsense of networking. There were meant to be more (and better) dialogue traps in there and a lot more sound/visual effects to induce anxiety so that Freedom was that much more satisfying. Since this was my first time creating something "buildable" on my own coupled with the fact I found out about LD happening just before it started, it's not what it was meant to be.

Thank You for taking the time to play it though!

drakekin says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 2:10pm

I am in fact a ketchup bottle, forced to attend networking events. Nice idea.

Tater_hater says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 2:13pm

me_irl

erikiene says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 2:20pm

Sadly (or maybe not?) probably most of us irl!

Thank You guys for playing, didn't think it'd receive any attention at all.

DiscoFish says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 2:25pm

Nice little game!

Dec 12, 2016 @ 2:57pm

Good twist on the theme mate, really interesting. Short and to the point. I hope we all escape this networking era soon :D

DeathBySnail says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 3:05pm

God I hate networking. I liked this, however.

dodormeur says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 3:22pm

The theme of the game is nice, and the overall humor is good.
Too bad the audio volume is so low, maybe add some subtitles to compensate? Even with full volume speaker I could barely hear the sounds (I don't have headphones at home)

erikiene says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 3:25pm

Thank You all for the kind words!

I will try and update the build with increased volume, maybe even add subtitles to accompany the audio. Thank you for the suggestion.

PeachTreeOath says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 3:58pm

Great idea! The first good humor entry I've seen so far.

avalkyrie says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 4:14pm

Nice voice acting.

Mik3 says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 4:15pm

Interesting idea, but I had problems with hearing lot's of the sounds, they were very very quiet, even with headphones. I did made it to the door in the end though.

erikiene says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 4:48pm

I've reuploaded the build with increased audio source volumes. Hopefully that helps a little, although I'm pretty sure most of the problem is caused by my first time experience with recording + dealing with audio in Unity.

P.S. Rules allow patches to fix bugs as long as I disclose it.

And sorry to everyone who had trouble hearing things, hopefully this solves it. Will probably still work better with headphones on.

Phantom Lab says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 4:50pm

Yeah man, glarb on!

pixlark says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 5:26pm

It's fairly interesting. I feel like it could have used more interaction than the occasional dialogue prompt, because I found myself quite bored after a couple conversations.

The end is a bit strange, too. "FREEDOM" ...ok?

erikiene says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 5:35pm

Couldn't agree more! When the idea was conceived I had all sorts of funny interactions in mind, some easter eggs here and there. Same with the ending (and the beginning) - it was meant to be an in-game cutscene which would add to the feel of anxiety kicking in when entering the room for the first time and then an angel's choir and movement into the light as you finally find your way out of the room creating an expression on your face similar to that of The Dude on your avatar, but alas - lack of time and skills in some fields prevented all this from happening in time.

Zee says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 6:21pm

I got a couple of chuckles, and entering a door labeled art on the side into freedom gave me a hardy laugh. I liked the fact it didn't matter what prompt you chose, since they don't care what you have to say.

As commented before, the audio was quite low, had to jack up the sound on my headphones quite a bit! I'd suggest adding a volume slider. I feel the some of the conversation went on a bit too long, that work should have went into making more conversations.

Even if the audio was low, I liked the fact you had voice acting in a compo! Everyone sounding the same fits into the theme of the game too!

rburema says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 9:21pm

Don't judge? ... hm well, then.
"Ahhh! Let me out, I'm not a potato! I'm a free range vegatable!"
There, how's that?

But seriously. The basic concept is fine. I've seen worse first tries! ... and it's not just art and sound, it's writing as well. I remember thinking 'sure, it's difficult to make /good/ art, but how hard can it be if I just throw some words at the screen, not caring all that much about quality'? Well, even then the sheer ammount, the time it takes to get things done is staggering.

aaaleee says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 9:30pm

Cool concept

xesenix says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 12:56am

Networking ... with like other blobs of meat ... count me ... out ... It took like 5 sek of speaking before i started to look for exit :D

Nice idea but their faces they are almost real it is creepy you hit the uncanny valley :P

jcmonkey says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 4:25am

i see im bad at this in video games too. :D

Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:54am

Hard to start playing. Please add improved graphics. Idea is brilliant.

Fuad says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 2:27pm

Ironical :)

wujood says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 3:38pm

That guy in the back made me laugh :D

Aun says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:59pm

Funny game and very realistic (haha). Maybe you could have make a kind a story which allows you to leave the room, something like you do not talk to people but people start talking to you but you need to j=find a way to escape quickly.

erikiene says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 6:10pm

That was the general idea, but I admit I failed to relay it effectively in the time I had..

Glad You enjoyed it nonetheless and thank You everyone for the feedback!

mitkus says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 7:09pm

Love it. 5/5 for humour! I can totally relate to this rendition of networking.

Also, as a fellow countrymen - my email shouldn't be too hard to find, if you want to get in touch.

Asghardian says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 7:11pm

Nice idea. A little creepy, but networking, indeed is a little creepy too.

Good Work.

Doomdad says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 7:17pm

Oookk?! that startled me. Talking to the guy gargling about things felt way too accurate how everyone feels when talking with me. Also I guess it's time to find someone the help. But in all honesty fun little experiment!

Ryuko13 says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 7:46pm

Really captured how I feel at these kind of things. Good job!

ambocclusion says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 8:07pm

Nice little game, audio could have been a little better but overall really good!

Ygogo says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 10:40pm

This game made me stuck deep inside my thoughts, thank you)

Geckoo1337 says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 10:56pm

Humor? Overall humor is good. I had fun playing it. Well done ++

Ariake81 says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 11:48pm

great use of theme, very original concept :)

Dec 14, 2016 @ 12:10am

Nice one, funny conversation, in some parts the volume needs to be higher, oh and more networking guys!

slimabob says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 1:06am

Very quiet, but aside from that great humor and fun concept. Good job!

(Love the quotes on the webpage)

novotmike says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 1:20am

It made me think about myself in these situations and that is exactly what I seel in games like that. Funniest was when I caught myself looking on the ART. picture for good minute or so. deep

2Bit says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 6:28am

I want that art piece. "Art"

Dec 14, 2016 @ 8:40am

Really great idea! Made me imagine rick and morty in the same scenario with rick telling morty they're all self conceited and just want to hear themselves talk. An updated version with more conversations and interaction would be really cool. Nice job man!

Dagorlad says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 10:04am

Really fun and sadly, relatable experience

erikiene says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 10:48am

2Bit, if I had a way to send it over, a 1280*800pixel original work piece would already be on its way!

DDT, yeah those two have influenced me in so many ways, I don't think I'll ever be able create something that doesn't have a touch of Rick&Mort in it.

Ygogo, while I didn't think this would be able to touch upon the more serious implications of the networking culture we have, I am very glad it was able to invoke something similar in Yourself. Thank You too.

Everybody, it means so much to me that many of you got what I was trying to convey, even with this semi-finished version. Even more so when people see things I didn't even intend or think about. Thank You everyone for the feedback and for playing the game.

I intend to make the game a lot better in the near future with more professional models and sound (what sound? I couldn't hear a thing. amirite?) and better conversations, maybe even more efficient dialogue engine which doesn't involve nested coroutines ad infinitum. I'm not saying this is big and everyone should follow me to the new age where an updated version will save humanity, but if anyone wants to see this when it comes out, my twitter's @erikiene, I will be sure to announce it there. You'll notice it's completely empty (apart from a meme thing I did yesterday about this Ludum Dare) even though created 3 years ago because as you might imagine a guy who does not enjoy networking would have similar tastes for social media. But not when it comes to the game world.

Soundless_dev says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 11:11am

You should definitely make the audio a bit louder. haha Funny game though. you really made me hate these human beans.

buckle2000 says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 12:43pm

Cannot hear anything.

Tbeakl says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 5:05pm

I could not work how to get out of the room but maybe it was meant to be that way but on the whole very fun

erikiene says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 5:11pm

Heh, there's definitely an exit and it's more reachable than I intended it to be, but hey, that guy in the corner said he's been stuck there for 9 years trying to get out. Thank You!

GoofStudios says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 7:35pm

This was an interesting game. I had a good time with what there was. Funny too.

ThatSnillet says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 8:04pm

It is not very interesting visually, but the sound and writing makes up for it. Very unique.

TitoMakaniJr says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:32pm

I enjoyed playing through this entry, I know exactly these feels. Also I'm not sure what going on with corner guy... "I've been here ages, there is no door" literally a wide open door right across the room. Any ways good job on the game!

MementoGames says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 10:53pm

This is a funny one! Nice concept, but a little too short? I know time is a bust, but I would love more interactions and stories. :)

tylerdoggone says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 12:56am

awesome, love the "ART" art.
This is great. Thank you.

Dec 15, 2016 @ 3:41am

Good concept. I think it's a great start to a game. I think it could have been improved with a little more initial direction, and a lot more challenge. I like that the first convo is unavoidable, but after that, you can just walk past everyone else to the exit. Maybe if they moved around a bit, and you had to dodge them, or maybe not make eye contact or something, that would have added some challenge.

bodsey says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 12:41pm

You sure don't like networking events lol it's a clever use of the theme, but it misses some mechanic to keep the player a bit more into the core of the experience which is being talked to - I managed to get out very quickly (probably also because I'm good at escaping networking events as well)

Tutti Ankka says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 8:46pm

Pretty fun little game, not that much gameplay though.

Darzoz says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 6:35am

Pretty entertaining. Really liked the atmosphere tbh!!

bigbuggames says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 4:35pm

Interesting idea! I loved the voices.

Sean says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 9:01pm

It's an interesting concept, though the execution isn't as solid as it could be. I feel like if you had more time to work on this, a good place to focus your efforts would be in trying to force the player to struggle through conversations rather than let them simply walk away without any real consequence.

It's certainly a nice effort for a first game though! I think you did a good job of capturing the "feel" of an intolerable networking event; I was looking for an exit almost right away.

btw, there are 2 different fullscreen buttons (one on the itch.io embed and one in the Unity webgl export). You should probably try to set it up so that you only need one.

erikiene says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 9:11pm

Yeah, if I had more time! :D I plan to expand on this quite a bit and will definitely take Your advice into account. There were meant to be at least 3 conversation "traps" across the room that you could not avoid, but it ended up being 2 due to lack of time, one of them just talking alien gibberish, which to be fair is the most popular language amongst people in such events. I didn't want to trap the player every time hence the two... people(?) who would not deactivate your movement and the player could walk away. I feel like in such an event like this jam not many people would play for a longer period of time just to hear out all of the dialogue i recorded and hence quit before even escaping.

Once I add actual gameplay to this, then it can be expanded into more different and difficult to get out of situations.

Sorry about the fullscreen button, didn't even think about it!

And again, thank you everyone for trying it out and for all the compliments regarding the game or its elements.

Dec 17, 2016 @ 12:39am

Pretty cool compo entry you made there

DoubtfulGames says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 5:34am

Interesting! I like the subtle commentary about social norms. I feel like the actual gameplay needs work, but not a bad start!

nwestninja says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 10:05pm

I LOVE REGINOLD, HE'S AMAZING!!!!!! Otherwise, love the game, and could use a bit more direction with what exactly we're meant to do.

Infin8 says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 12:31pm

Really funny use of the theme. I liked how it feel when u got sucked into networking with people. I think the title caught us all. Networking is that little bugbear we all have to deal with. Would love to see the gameplay expanded, but not sure how to.

matiz982 says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 3:10pm

Good entry. I am waiting for more :P

KaiseanGames says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 7:12am

The moment I read "Art." on the wall, I lost it. Very nice touch.

I found myself in your game, there, standing in the corner.

Very nice idea. Well done!

Stending says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 1:08pm

I like what you did with the theme, good concept

mrwillowb says ...
Dec 22, 2016 @ 5:46am

It was a bit buggy, I walked around for a bit. nice idea.

Xanjos says ...
Dec 25, 2016 @ 1:58am

Pretty interesting and funny take on the theme. It's so fun being an awkward potato :'D

caranha says ...
Dec 25, 2016 @ 1:40pm

Hmmm, I see where you were trying to go, and I think it is a very interesting direction. But for a "walking simulator", you probably want to add a few more "scenes". For instance, there is a potatohead who is facing the corner, and there is a light shining over him -- I think it would be interesting if we could interact with him somehow.

Maybe instead of just exiting the room, we had to stay until the party was over, but we could do some things to advance the time (like play with our phone?) but if we play with our phone too much, other people come bug us.

Think of what else you can imagine from a "networking" experience that you could add to the game :-)

Cheers!

Sundr0 says ...
Dec 27, 2016 @ 12:37pm

Those little potatoes gave me a hard laugh XD

You captured the right amount of boring for networking conversations i guess x)
Plus, the room has no ceiling ! Awesome ;p

Good work though for a first entry ! I definitely had a good laugh on it :')

Minato4th says ...
Dec 29, 2016 @ 10:12am

Very nice simulator of real Networking.. Freedom =)

SamuelSousa says ...
Dec 29, 2016 @ 6:00pm

Well adapted to the theme.
Sound is awesome. Nice monologues :)

Dec 30, 2016 @ 5:21pm

I quote my friend from behind me 'I've been to networking events and that's pretty much what it's like' and I too agree.

I love the Rick&Morty-esque humour and voice acting- reminded me a lot of a lower budget AccountingVR.

I also lost it at 'Art'. As artist on our team, I can verify that that is in fact art.

erikiene says ...
Jan 1, 2017 @ 1:18pm

Thank you all for the feedback, short or long, all of it is appreciated and helpful once I sit down to make a game out of this! Also thank you for the kind words about certain aspects of the entry, it gives me confidence that I am on the right path in one way or another.

Almax27 says ...
Jan 1, 2017 @ 5:31pm

This is a great idea, and an interesting experience, perfect scope for a jam. I am curious how you might expand it into a more complete 'game'. There wasn't much to do here.

I'd like to see:
* More concrete goals
* Solving mysteries / spotting liars by talking to multiple people
* Dialogue choices with consequence, perhaps effecting your popularity/influence
* Events/minigames in the room
* Themed venues (casinos, pub, office, expo, etc)

I do love the feeling of anxiety and futility though :D

Jan 1, 2017 @ 6:57pm

Really cool idea and with almost no production, no asset, you manage to convey a strong message.
Nicely done!

jperlin says ...
Jan 2, 2017 @ 6:56pm

I liked how the title screen made me completely unprepared for something like that! This game definitely stands out in a fun way :D And nice "environmental noises"!

Jan 20, 2017 @ 4:49pm

Really interesting concept! I included it in my compilation video series of the Ludum Dare 37 games, if you’d like to take a look. :) https://youtu.be/hB0a6F4gCIk

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