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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What happened to Michael?

by BubsyPoochies - Jam Entry

A one room mystery mini adventure developed for LudumDare37!

****Description****

December 11th 1998, the night falls over Cleveland. An intense light fills the bedroom. The house shakes with violence. A few minutes later, Mrs. Byers can’t find her son.


What happened to Michael?


FBI agents search for clues on Michael’s abnormal vanishing, as a conversation with Mrs. Byers uncovers some uncomfortable facts. Shouldn’t Michael have been out that night? What was he hiding from? What can his room tell us about that night?


Experience a story about difficult relationships surrounded by mystery, through this point & click mini adventure with lots of twists. Can you discover what happened to Michael that fateful night?


Sometimes, life gives you second chances.


****How to Play****

Click on objects to get some clues.
Talk to other people to question them about the clues.
Don't forget to sleep!


**** Walktrhough****

Due to the inherent Ludum Dare rush, there are a few hard navigation points during the game. If you would like some help discovering what happened to Michael, there is a full walkthrough of the game down in the links section.

****Information****

Game Made using Unity by David Jaumandreu (@DavidJaumandreu), Miguel Murat (@Xanday), Xavi Peña (@Xavier_PF) and Xavi Heras (@XaviHeras).

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness84%
#15Theme(Jam)4.46
#40Mood(Jam)4.15
#101Graphics(Jam)4.33
#104Overall(Jam)3.90
#285Innovation(Jam)3.40
#316Humor(Jam)2.94
#526Fun(Jam)3.03

Comments

Dec 13, 2016 @ 1:40am

Very nice game. There is two minor issues I saw : you can't pass dialogs (for the dialogs you already had like the one you get just before the FBI guy turn). And the blue color for dialog of the FBI girl make it barely readable.
Beside those little things, I really enjoyed playing, the story is wonderful.

Somnium says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 8:51am

Great game!

The story was compelling, and I really enjoyed the "new perspective on previous items"-progression of the story. Reminded me a bit of the old adventure game "Overclocked".

The excellent pixel-art and well-chosen music also added to the experience. Also, nice homage to the X-Files.

I did get stuck on my first playthrough first, at the very last click (I got the "Not now" feedback when clicking the computer, despite having found all the clues). I think it might be triggered either by me clicking on the computer at one point before getting the last two clues (triggering the "not enough information" feedback), or because I triggered the "found wristband" event again by clicking the CDs in the final FBI-scene.

theck says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 9:04am

Great one, I've been able to see how it grew (we were in the same location in the real world doing the jam) and it looks gorgeous in its final build :D

As Sebastien said. It's imperative to be able to skip the dialog, specially in the conversation with the mother when you're leaving because it's looooong.

The P&C system worked well but some times it fails to show the usable icon. For example if you are reading the "Not now" in screen and you place the cursor in another clickable element it will not change. You need to mouse-out and mouse-over again.

Ludipe says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 11:34am

Loved the art, mood and story on this entry.
As others already said, it'd be nice to skip dialogs.
I'd like to be able to highlight hotspots, though that's more of a personal preference.
I also was a bit confused by some interactions; I'd click on something and the character would say "Not now" (but I didn't even knew what I was clicking on).

But all these are minor details, I really enjoyed the game! Well done! :-)

kaicho says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 11:58am

Nice work!, dont have anything not already said to report,maybe a bit slow with al that try and error old school style, but i loved the mood, good job.

Matlahvi says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 1:47pm

Nice game!

I had some trouble at the beginning because I felt lost but write the story little by little was quite satisfactory :) I really love the art, pixel is my weakness ^^

I felt the same of some people up here about skip dialog, but it's just a tiny point.

DeathBySnail says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 4:32pm

Pretty.

AAGH Games says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:10pm

love it just cause its from ohio like me :) also good job

Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:14pm

Decent game with a solid mood. Not being able to skip the dialog made it very slow to play, but it was enjoyable overall. Good work!

Uliana Galich says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:15pm

Main idea of the game is very good...good luck to developers!

wujood says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:22pm

Nice Mood dudes! Love it!

Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:23pm

Art is great, I like the character designs especially(x-files!), music and sound is easilly 5/5. I loved the way you warped between the kid and the agents and what you found out with the kid helped with the agents and vice versa. Only complaint is the unskippable dialogue especially since there is a lot of repeated dialogue.


Also I couldn't finish the game I was following the walkthrough but clicked the computer before the plasters and then after talking about the plasters I couldnt click the comp anyumore.

leewalkergm says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:24pm

Great setting and brilliant story.

Graphics were ideal and the soft soundtrack really set the mood

I've had a look on your twitter and the story of your weekend unfolds there too!

Darenn says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:26pm

Wow, it takes me a long time to finaly find out what happenned to Michael. I was in your game, I loved it ;)
The gameplay serves very well the lesson we learn at the end of game, well done !
Maybe you should do something to pass dialogue ? It was not fun ot reread the same thing...
Moreover, make something to know where we can click to get new information, because at all revive I was cliking all around to be sure to get all new info... loss of time I think. Best entry I've seen so far ! Keep creating games !

BubsyPoochies says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 5:50pm

Thanks everyone for the very helpful feedback! Truth is that skipable dialog was a priority feature that, unfortunately, we weren't able to include in time for the deadline due to code problems. It was our first attempt on an adventure style game, so a few things went wrong during development. Many valuable lessons learned though! Thank you for playing!

cgd11 says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 6:54pm

Genial, I liked it very much.
That you could have implemented skip dialogue...c'mon it's a ludum! I think it's pretty great for the time you had.
The story was great and I liked the graphics, great mood, perfect for the theme. A great overall for me.
Enhorabuena.

cxsquared says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 8:59pm

Really enjoy the gameplay and mechanics but the passing feels very slow. I wish you could skip through some dialog and I wish there weren't so many "Not Now" items to click on. But I really enjoyed it.

Doomdad says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 12:57am

Stellar entry. Graphics, sound and aesthetics set the mood just right and the story was beautiful. Not being able to skip dialog was not big deal for me but the "not now" was kinda annoying.

Onarru says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 6:48pm

Wow this is really polished! I love the atmosphere and graphical style. It would be nice to be able to click to complete a line of dialog, but that's pretty minor. Great job!

Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:27pm

Pretty heavy game, the music added to the mood so much (in a good way). I'd add that some of the "not now"s got a bit repetitive, but there's a ton of polish on this and the mood made me want to explore anyway. Fantastic entry.

PowerSpark says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 11:15pm

Awesome job, I like the story and art... I suggest that the dialog can be sped up.

NotExplosive says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 12:59am

Neat idea and well executed.

Also break* not brake. ;)

ashtheevil says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 7:10am

I absolutly love it! It's the strong story and deep characters in such a short game. Amaizing!

depression says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 11:52am

Really nice little story. Cool to see a well written point n' click in this jam. Liked the X-Files agents ;)

Pokatashan says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 3:04pm

Really nice game, art, story. Personally, I've had some "Life is strange" vibes while playing thanks to the rewind and music :)
As other people said, it becomes a bit slow when you have to listen to the characters saying the same lines many times.

Boberro says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 3:47pm

Not Now

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

Nice art guys. The game probably need more game feel, color suport when you don't find anything, helpers when don't find anything etc..

Dec 16, 2016 @ 3:35pm

Needs a tiny bit polish with the dialogue system (there are some typos + I would like faster text) but a great entry overall. Nice job!

pcmxms says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 3:41pm

I think I know who abducted Michael: Cleveland Brown.

I liked the going back and forth with the detective and the kid, but the pointing was a bit unresponsive. Another thing is that you cannot skip the "not now" or any other irrelevant dialog, so it is quite slow to keep investigating.

The graphics are awesome and the music adds to the mood. Very well done game.

Dec 16, 2016 @ 4:11pm

Nice graphics, engaging story (but I got stuck in several parts).
Music is very good also, nice work!

Nikteddy92 says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 4:51pm

I love this entry!
The atmosphere is great and the music awesome.
Also the art style is really nice.
Well done.

Avant-Marde says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 5:20pm

Wow! Fantastic entry. So much gameplay! Took quite a long time. Great use of mechanics to extend that one confined room.

The story was quite well written. The thing about the aliens and the surrounding humour was weird, tho. I felt like it didn't fit in, kind of like you had a more light-hearted idea first but as you went along it got more and more serious, and you forgot to update those initial dialogues? But other than that, great authorship! c:

I guess I'll have to echo some of the concerns throughout this comment section. Skipping would've been a very nice feature since there was always the possibility of misclicking and accidentally having to spend a long time listening to the same dialogue again. It was also a bit scary that it was possible to accidentally end the current cycle early before finishing exploring.

I guess my biggest gripe in terms of pacing was the "not now" message. The pacing would've been much nicer if you'd simply disabled the useless things so that they couldn't be clicked at all, because it really only added more waiting and slowdown for no particular reason. /:

The music is good and it's really nice that you have different tracks for each section. I do wonder what the voices in the background are supposed to represent in the second track. Are there other kids in the house? Or is it supposed to be coming from outside?

The graphics are also neat and the animations are cool. I did read your blog post—it's actually how I found this game—and there you did express yourselves what your post mortem thoughts were, so won't say much about that. c:

I understand why you did it, to keep the tension and add something new to each cycle, but it was a bit weird that some things could only be found during later cycles. But I can't think of a better way to do it either. It worked, but maybe you should've had fewer cycles in total. p:

The "sometimes life doesn't give you second chances" at the end was rather powerful. IMO you should've just left the game there instead of restarting. I do wonder if there was a problem with the font on web (I did notice our own web build of our game had a different font than the standalone builds), tho, because the label didn't fit onto the screen and some of the letters were outside the edges of the screen, heh.

All in all, quite possibly my absolute favourite entry so far, so I hope you're not taking my (supposed to be constructive) little criticisms too seriously! There's a lot to praise here, so I feel like I should raise the few concerns I had in case you want to build on this and make a post-jam game out of it later! c:

Excellent work!

GarethIW says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 5:46pm

really enjoyed this. The graphics, story and mood work really well. Well done

wischutz says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 6:12pm

Pretty well done. I miss a highligth spots too. Good entry!

Ithildin says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 9:54pm

Very good entry! Graphics and sound design are quite polished, and they contribute to create an atmosphere that reminds me of 80s-90s TV show (not just the super-obvious one :D).

The mechanics twist is also very interesting, and it adds depth to the plot. It makes me think of Groundhog Day, but also visual novel-adventure hybrids, such as the 999/Zero Escape series.

As for potential improvements, I'm afraid I'm not adding anything new, really. The pacing suffers a bit from the lack of an option to skip already seen dialogue or irrelevant options, (If the reason why they're there is to serve as distraction so the actually useful options in one iteration won't feel some spoon-fed, perhaps a bit more variety on those texts could mitigate it a bit).

Besides these details, congrats!! :)

axoona says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 8:16pm

There is so much good stuff in this game, the story, the characters (extra!), the graphics, the idea of going back and forth in time...
but the whole experience is just so utterly spoiled because of the game breaking bugs and the fact that you have to listen to the same (very long) text over and over again without the possibility of skipping. You REALLY need to correct this. Especially as its just a silly technical issue.
Luckily as I said the story is really engaging so I did start again and did all the operations in order as indicated in the walkthrouh just to learn what really happened, but I feel like it took me ages and it wasn't fun at all... I think I would have probably prefered watching a video of the end instead of doing it all over again.
anyway, apart from that the game is great so congrat's on that

Zettelkasten says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 11:24pm

Wow, I don't know what to say.
This is an excellent game. The story was very touching, the art is genius, the music very fitting and the dialogues well written.
The relations between the two worlds are just amazing to see when the things you know are progressing. The depth and the length of the story you were able to develop in just 72 hours, wow!
There are some minor things I do have to complain about: As others said, the text of the FBI woman is very difficult to read, and the bed and the mother don't make the cursor change.
Also, I think it would be better to change the cursor only if there actually is something new and no "Not now" message. Apart from that I had trouble knowing what was clickable and what wasn't at sometimes.
Overall: Great work.

Dege says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 11:32pm

The story is very nice, and I liked the idea on getting more pieces of the story be re-playing it, really. Like already sad, the inability to fast-forward dialogues already read took off lot of fun from the game experience. Nice art.

Zettelkasten says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 12:20pm

To quickly address the dialogue skipping feature that so many of you are requesting: I am not sure if it wouldn't spoil the fun, as dialogues often start out very similar but than change in certain spots. I think many would miss these important developments, so perhaps - if you add a skipping feature - consider only allowing the skipping of already heard dialogue. What do you think?

Dev Dennis says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 5:06pm

Great little game, I got stuck however. It didn't feel that rewarding to explore because I didn't feel like I was solving anything just clicking random stuff to see if he said something different.

The graphics and the music fits really well together, and it has a nice mood to it.

Gipzo says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 8:18pm

I spent almost an hour playing this game. It is thrilling and captivating.
This past-present mechanic is awesome :)
Music definitely adds to the mood.
One minor concern is not-passing dialogs and "Not now" :)

Sorak86 says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 9:28pm

Very very good game!
Loved the mood brought by the music + art + story, everything fitted perfectly.
I would highlight a couple of design choices such as not being able to skip conversations or the "Not now" confusing nature, but I understand it's a ludum dare jam and if only every game could get by with only those minor details...
Summarizing, very good job, one of the best so far!

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 11:20pm

Got stuck in the 2nd cycle where Dennis just said "Not now" to everything except the CDs but that did not become a talking point with the mother. I may have missed something? Nice idea, but perhaps a bit too complex for the jam to really flesh out.

velvetlobster says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 3:09am

One of my favorite entries. It would be reeally nice if I could pass dialogs. The story, art and music fit well together.

miaw says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 5:27pm

5 freaking stars. Just need a skip button. Everything else is on point.

barkergames says ...
Dec 20, 2016 @ 12:41am

I like the pixel art. I found that you can't skip the repeating dialog a little annoying. It's actually what killed it for me.

Dec 20, 2016 @ 12:48am

Cool. A nicely put together, moody piece!

I got a little tired of the "not now." Especially as I was trying to figure out what the rules of the world were, but once we got swinging it was great.

Dec 21, 2016 @ 4:43pm

Lovely graphics, interesting game! 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/OCZRRN3xYEY

tellus says ...
Dec 27, 2016 @ 10:21pm

I like the way the story unfolds by going back and forth in time. I see some typos in the dialog and it would make the game more engaging if the dialog could be advanced since it does get a bit repetitive. I also think I ran into an issue where I keep getting stuck on the wristband event and I can't seem to get beyond that point in the story.

wowa_u says ...
Dec 29, 2016 @ 3:27pm

Nice point & click adventure! Great music choice!

SamuelSousa says ...
Dec 29, 2016 @ 5:49pm

It fits all perfectly together.

Cool Sound, Nice Art, Interesting set up (Love the X-Files reference).
Only problem is not being able to skip the text that was a real deal breaker.

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