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Cart #elias_grey_104-2 | 2024-04-05 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

A game about aspiration, guilt, and the scarcity of time.

Warnings: existential angst. Player may choose options that include animal abuse and gore.

Arrow keys: move
Z: Interact
X: Use Item
Enter: Menu

P#58578 2018-10-31 13:19 ( Edited 2024-04-05 22:28)

I like it!

One suggestion.. I'd have it so the tombstones don't reset on a game over. Having to re-read them makes it pretty tedious to see all the endings.

P#58584 2018-10-31 15:00 ( Edited 2018-10-31 19:00)

"Here lies your dream project - a game that would change people's lives. The nights and weekends you fed were never enough. It just got hungrier. When it was clear you'd never have enough resources to provide it, you locked it in a cage and let it wither out of your sight."

I think this cart is more the "Social Anxiety Simulator" than the other game by the same name. Wow, these are some very depressing dark thoughts indeed.

They hit home, if that counts ...

I feel a little this way towards my PAINT program. I promised myself I would easily finish it by Halloween. Welp, here is Halloween, and it's still not even half finished.

That and losing a friend recently, add to that the strong possibly of physically moving out of my home here in as little time as 6-months to a new address and leaving many people behind in the wake, all of these are burdens building up the stress recently.

But, I will finish the PAINT, just like I did finish the S2. I didn't think I would. 15-years later, I did complete S2. And it was good, and well-received by over 200 Worldbuilders - that's what I called them.

I'm writing my 3rd book about school life and daydreams every Tuesday, 15-pages a week, over 3300 pages so far since its initial first book. So too do I hope to finish the story in the 4th book - before I get too much older ...

As you say, it just got hungrier.

We must all feed our pet projects some of ourselves, some of our heart and some our spirit. Or ... we never were in them to begin with.

P#58609 2018-10-31 22:13 ( Edited 2018-11-01 04:44)

Great storytelling.

P#58616 2018-11-01 04:26 ( Edited 2018-11-01 08:26)

...Wow. The feels hit me hard.

P#58621 2018-11-01 11:32 ( Edited 2018-11-01 15:32)

Jesus, man. Dark and strikingly relatable (though I suppose that's to be expected given most people playing Pico-8 probably have some similar interests). Spookiest Pico-8 game of the Halloween season IMO, and it does it without anything supernatural...

I loved it and favorited it.

P#58652 2018-11-02 02:07 ( Edited 2018-11-02 06:07)

> without anything supernatural

..except for the appearance an angel of death, and the sacrificial magic used to change fate..?

P#58653 2018-11-02 02:14 ( Edited 2018-11-02 14:02)

Well yeah, except for that.

But seriously what I mean is that the angel of death isn't what's spooky. I got chills from reading the broken dreams and being presented with tools of murder/suicide. I actually didn't interpret the death angel as being literal and magical, but I guess that's my fault for not being willing to see what happens if you kill the cat.

P#58690 2018-11-02 18:40 ( Edited 2018-11-02 22:41)

When I played the first time, I didn't really understand. The second time, I killed the cat with poison. Its meows of pain made me cry. I am still upset about it. I live with a lot of cats, which made it hurt worse.

If you ever wanted to know what it probably feels like to kill an innocent and helpless creature, do that. But I warn you not to.

I don't think I could handle another game like that.

I mean, I know it's not real, but if I could apologize and be forgiven for that I would feel better.

P#58883 2018-11-08 15:16 ( Edited 2018-11-08 20:22)

really nice, "succinct" story/zine. i put quotes because there's obviously a lot more written in the end texts - and most of the best/most interesting things are in them - that you have to reread everything over again to get to each one, and I want to read all of them :(

as others have suggested, new game plus: after you've reached the end, the black screen once, do a dset(). now every time you reload the game, none of the headstones need to be read again, and you could possibly have all the weapons already laid out (at this point is where all the variances start to occur). simple, and now all you have to do is kill a cat over and over

P#58907 2018-11-09 22:11 ( Edited 2018-11-10 03:15)

Great game with excellent writing. It feels like it has a chance to change someone's perspective on life, and that I think is what makes this and similar games really interesting.

Also thanks for the cheat button in the menu. I discovered it late but don't have regrets ;]

P#136011 2023-10-17 09:42

I keep getting the same ending despite the tool I've picked. I must have missed something. Oh well, at least the cat is safe.

P#136434 2023-10-26 13:59

Of all my weird little side projects, this one has held a special place in my heart. I decided to give it a little update late last year to touch up that wretched walk cycle, tweak some of the writing, and finally add a "cheat" button for folks who want to skip to the branching section of the game. I was using this option for my own testing, so it wasn't a lot of work to include it. I had originally wanted players to commit to their decisions and made it intentionally difficult to explore all of the endings, but I feel less precious about this, now.

@nonymousFog, you are forgiven. I want players to think about what they were willing to give up for their dreams, and also wanted them to feel the sacrifice they were making. Violence in games is too clean. It's easy to kill when there's no struggle, no blood, and bodies magically disappear. Here, I wanted to give some terrible options to make the player consider what they were doing. The poison is clean, but you have to listen to the suffering you've inflicted. The gun is quick, but messy. The knife is somewhere in-between, but allows the player to relent if they see the horror of what they're doing before it's too late.

None of this is to judge the player for their decisions. You will legitimately achieve your dreams if you go through with the sacrifice. But nothing is ever perfect, and I've tried to give a more sober depiction of wish fulfillment in the different endings.

Anyhow, thank you so much for playing my weird little art project! It all came together in a month in 2018 when I was considering my own life path, and looking back, it means as much to me now as it did 6 years ago.

P#145850 2024-04-05 21:31

@Bloodbane, you might have to use the tool before anything interesting happens :D

P#145856 2024-04-05 22:10

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