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

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

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Keep Working!

by Riftpoint - Jam Entry

Keep Working! tells the story of a Game Developer dolphin that works for a big company and must do everything his octopus boss says.

In this game you will press keys to work, answer game development tests and do everything to make your boss happy...

(This game shows a vision of the videogame industry, all characters are fictional but the story is based on true events).

*Mouse to navigate and select
*Keyboard to type
*Esc to quit


"Logic will get you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere"

Downloads and Links




amras0000 says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 6:19pm

I'm going to be a tad overcritical here; I did enjoy the game.

There were two very different gameplay experiences, and I liked having the option of multiple endings in a LD game. The rebellious path was more rewarding mechanically and more fun to play. I'm not too clear on what the meteor is supposed to symbolize, if anything, but I just took it at face value and enjoyed flying up to space with my fish buddies to fight a meteor and then splattering everyone on its face. The abstractness of it all reminded me heavily of frog fractions.

The problem I have is with the octopus section. It just feels like your message is very heavy-handed, to the point of being unpleasant. The experience felt like I was being lectured on the perils of capitalism in art, rather than experiencing those perils. The game's message suffered because you kept demonizing the game industry to the point where any realism was a joke and I was playing a stalinist propaganda piece.

And one last nitpick, following orders isn't "logic", it's "obedience". Mashing random keys isn't "imagination", it's "rebellion".

What I did enjoy is that obedience led to the dolphin having some cash, while rebellion led to the dolphin dying a painful death. I'm not sure if that was meant to be your message or not.

As I said, I did enjoy the game. It's a strong title mechanically and graphically. I just wish the writing left a little more to the imagination.

Mnemusyne says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 8:47pm

I think what amras0000's criticism missed was that this game was made of feelings. Sure, the creators could have made a colder analysis of the games industry and portrayed the many sides of the story (maybe the octopus isn't such a bad guy), but that clearly wasn't the goal. This game, to me, is about idealism and an aspiration to escape reality and the mundane.

I don't think the message lacks nuance. At the end, do they destroy the meteor or do they die a horrible death despite their heroic ideals? The fact that we don't know which one is the "good ending" means that the message wasn't heavy-handed.

To me, even if they died facing the meteor, their journey was still much cooler than sitting at the office being bored as fuck.

Kalm004 says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 9:29pm

Nice game. In some ways similar to my entry. Graphics are pretty cool. You did a great job.

Catwheel says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 9:35pm

If you're arguing over the game then it must at least be pretty impactful. I liked it. It had a lot of polish. The meteor ending was kind of confusing, but it was cool

radmars says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 10:00pm

Nice, I always like to see games that are a bit unconventional. The typing being really rote made sense conceptually but I think it would've been cool to see the letters spell out something related to the story. Writing-wise, I did think the octopus bit was a little heavy-handed but it still worked. Nice job!

Ednei says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 10:47pm

very cool game!!! game of thinking, congrats!! the art is beautiful!!

XenosNS says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 10:48pm

Wow, didn't expect that ending or something this deep in a ld game. nice work.

Berbecarul says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 10:54pm

I really liked your work, especially the "find all the others" mini-game. However that octopus made it too compelling to be disobedient. Great experience overall.

pixelpotions says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 11:27pm

Awesome game! I enjoyed both endings. :D
Thank you for this, imagination brings you everywhere! :)

Sorak86 says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 11:48pm

Haha, nice to see some "mainstream" industry criticism in here :)
Also, amazingly polished for 2-3 days, gj!

nick.bota says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 9:12am

I'm glad I played this game! Unlike a lot of other games this one has a clear message and I love it, the graphics and imagination are really impressive, the mechanics are solid, I wish you guys added some music to the office part of the game, but I get it, you're trying to convey how soul sucking it can be to work for a video-game company that only cares about money. The game is a 5/5 for sure! One last thing is the meteor supposed to symbolize the tendency to make unoriginal games and to straight up rip-off other people's ideas, and the fish that help you fight it are other creative artists?

Somnium says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 2:06pm

This was an enjoyable and entertaining satirical game, and the contrast between the two different paths was interesting.

The message of the "obedience"-path was very clear, but also felt rather "blunt". For satirical "edge", it might have benefited from the "show, don't tell" writing approach, letting the player infer the message, rather than being told the message directly. For instance, "copying games" = "managing risk", "earn money" = "maximizing shareholder value", "Games as a product" = "standardization of production methods". The message would still shine through, and might be less immersion-breaking, than directly telling the player how to feel. You actually use this method in the very last part of the obedience path, where the dolphin is thanked for the work, but meanwhile, it is pretty clear where the majority of the (monetary) reward is going :)

The "imagination"-path was very fun to play, and felt very original, enough that I had to play it twice. Gathering everybody in an attempt to stop the meteor felt fittingly epic, even (especially?) since we are not shown the result.

I also loved the art and audio throughout the game, especially the contrast between the "cutesy" grapics, compared to the themes.

I loved the spoof on office work, as I went in a similar direction for my own game (a "developers being constantly interrupted in their open-plane office" parody-game).

All in all, it was a very interesting game, nice work! :)

Dec 19, 2016 @ 1:12pm

A really interesting game, really liked the mood and setting of the game, the story and multiple endings was a very nice touch. Overall really well made, one of my favourites so far! :D

FrederickK says ...
Dec 20, 2016 @ 2:15am

I will say that I liked, very out of the box which I think was totally the intention!
However, I miss a little of interactivity, the boss question were a great opportunity to make a mini-game, maybe a time related input from the user.
I really enjoyed the comic style art and the environment somehow fits very well in the situation! Good job!

Karai17 says ...
Dec 21, 2016 @ 7:07am

I liked all the little details like popping bubbles and the glimmer of hope in the dolphins eye. Lot's of polish. It did seem a bit like you were forced to work or lower your score, but surly the dolphin could just go out and start his own company if he wanted more freedom? But art has a price who must pay. Anyway, lovely art!

Dec 21, 2016 @ 10:53pm

Nice critique, we played the two finals :)
The art is simple, soft and well solved.
Unfortunately, the majority of games (especially the triple A industry) always had the focus on money. It's a thing we can't denay, industry always aims at profit and if they are doing it it's because it have someone who pays for. Games can be art, but its a minority
Good job!

Dec 29, 2016 @ 8:04pm

Really well made in terms of graphics and audio. Escaping work was definitely the more fun ending. Well done :)

Jan 20, 2017 @ 7:32pm

Super polished game! I included it in my compilation video series of the Ludum Dare 37 games, if you’d like to take a look. :)

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