Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

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GlassHeart
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Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#1 Post by GlassHeart » Thu May 03, 2012 3:23 pm

Trapped

Plot
You find yourself trapped in a... special place. You've been wrongly imprisoned, but what are you willing to do to get out?

Statistics
Play time: about 20-30 minutes for both endings (if you skip to the end the second time)
The game contains 714 screens of dialogue.
These screens contain a total of 6,698 words,
for an average of 9.4 words per screen.
The game contains 0 menus.

About
Although I've been working on another game for more than a year now, and it's not the first that I've started, this is the first game I've ever finished.

I finished it in 3 days, though not 3 days in a row. It's something different from my main project, but I had this idea in my head that wouldn't leave me alone so I made it into a game before I could lose interest.

The (creatively titled) game, although a kinetic novel, has 2 endings. The first time you play one of the endings will be randomly picked for you, the next time you will see the other (hopefully, if my coding is good). It's a bit of a social experiment, out of the two endings I want to know which do you think is the real one (if any), and are you influenced by which of them you saw first.


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Credits
Images from morguefile.com
Music from Incompetech.com
Sounds from Soundjay.com

Sorry for the file size, most of it is the music.
Let me know if I've made any mistakes, I'm looking forward to reading your feedback. :)
Attachments
Trapped 1.2-all.zip
Newest version.
(48.36 MiB) Downloaded 6857 times
Trapped 1.1-all.zip
(48.33 MiB) Downloaded 2167 times
Last edited by GlassHeart on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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SelLi
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#2 Post by SelLi » Thu May 03, 2012 6:43 pm

Here, I'll just say my little crits.
It's hard to see typos when you're the one writing.
"I never expected they'd keep my in total darkness. A surprise."
my -> me
"Without realizing I start playing with a strand of my hair."
realizing -> realizing,
"Hearing my own voice and not expecting a reply is something I'm accustom too"
too -> to
"In time cases like these became few and far between..."
In time -> In time,

I only played through the game one time but it was very good, I really enjoyed it :)
It was so short and simple but you used those simple sound effects, music, and visuals to really enrich the feel and the story. Great job :)

I got the good ending by the way.

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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#3 Post by PearlSpring » Thu May 03, 2012 7:27 pm

*downloading :D

*edit: I got the ending in which
she passes the test
Quite impressive that you finished making this game in three days :)
Last edited by PearlSpring on Thu May 03, 2012 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#4 Post by LVUER » Thu May 03, 2012 9:03 pm

I've played it and it's good. If you didn't write it, I wouldn't know that there are 2 endings in this game. Is 2-in-1 that you wrote on the title means the 2 endings?
The way you need to unlock the ending is nice too, though it makes possible for people to accidentally skip the first ending.
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#5 Post by Percon » Thu May 03, 2012 10:51 pm

I usually don't go around downloading random games, but this one seemed both interesting and brief (I find shorter games appealing). Now that I've played through it here's a little review from me (it isn't so much a review as a couple bits of feedback):

Interesting implementation of multiple endings; I got what I assume is the good one.

I thought the sound direction was great. Fitting music, punctual and well-timed sound effects and a good use of silence. The only track I didn't find so hot was the very last one in the good ending, though that is probably just personal preference.

The minimalist aesthetic worked well with the intended tone. Putting aside the one blurry photo during the Christmas flashback, everything seemed to fit together well. As with the sound effects, the visual effects such as blurring, shaking, and blinding light were all handled with care and enhanced the experience. It was the mysterious visual style coupled with your brief summary that made me want to download the game, so kudos.

On the subject of the story, I don't really have much in the way of feedback. I didn't know what to expect (which is good when your story is in the mystery genre), but I was pleasantly surprised. The adventure was appropriately tense and the game length/interest curve was just right. I liked how you introduced the paranormal elements gradually as some stories tend to get out of hand really quickly in that regard. If I had one complaint to make, it would be that
the ending seemed a little rushed. Throughout the whole game, you reveal information slowly and mysteriously to whet the reader's interest, only to have everything explained to you very bluntly at the end. It was just a teensy bit jarring.
Thankfully, I found the ending itself to be fine as the foreshadowing was done properly; I kinda figured that the ending would be something along the lines of what it was. I guess you could say I was expecting
an Oliver Twist.
Ba-Dum, pish~

Overall, I enjoyed Trapped and am glad I downloaded it. You should be proud of having made something like this in the span of three days. Thank you very much for sharing this with us!
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#6 Post by Crocosquirrel » Fri May 04, 2012 12:25 am

Downloading to have a look-see. Will review in an edit later.
I'm going to get off my soap-box now, and let you get back to your day.

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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#7 Post by GlassHeart » Fri May 04, 2012 4:40 pm

@ZaisConsultant
Thanks for pointing those out. I'll try to correct them as soon as possible.
And thanks for playing the game. :)

@PearlSpring
Thanks. I'm glad you got the good ending. It seems most people did.

@LVUER
Actually you can't miss any of the endings since it should play them alternatively. If you somehow skip it the first time, the third time you can see it again.

@Percon
I'm glad you liked the music and sound effects. Since there's not much to the art I relied on it more.
In regards to the ending, I realized I was dumping the whole explanation on the player, and I wish there was another way to do it. Initially it was even shorter and I'm glad I revised it.
LOL @ the pun. I have no idea why I chose the name Oliver (it was supposed to be a placeholder and it just stuck), but now I'm glad I did.

Thanks for downloading and reviewing! ♥

@DarkSpartan
Looking forward to your feedback :)
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#8 Post by LVUER » Fri May 04, 2012 5:20 pm

I mean you first see the good ending, and then the bad ending. I thought the sequence should be the bad first and then the good? Since if not, it kinda ruins/spoils the whole end story (climax) since good one clears many questions that bad doesn't.
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#9 Post by Egressus » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:52 am

That was really... whoa.
I first got the good ending. My mind instantly turns to the happy ending to hold into, so I can't promise no bias.

Uh oh, the bad ending is convincing, though. It makes sense, especially when you first get the good ending.

The interface is simple but elegant. I love it. The textbox makes me coo, although I have no idea why. The main menu is gorgeous, too.
Now on to the spoilers.

I think it's a combination of both endings. It could be that Mark is both a character planted into her brain. Oliver said something about the Marked being trapped or hurt. I suppose it goes that way.
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#10 Post by GlassHeart » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:38 am

Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you liked the game! I wish someone got the endings the other way around ("bad" one first). I think it would make sense that way too. Damn me and my crappy programming, I must have messed something up if everyone keeps getting them in this order. XD
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#11 Post by Egressus » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:09 am

Perhaps it's just probability playing. You've got 50% chance of getting either endings, you just can't control where the stick points.
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#12 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:47 am

This game is this week's Group Play http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 53&t=16576

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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#13 Post by TheTourist » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:27 pm

So, first of all, I'd like to congratulate on you on an original KN. Your KN is dripping with atmosphere and emotional effect, and that's only a good thing.

The writing, too, is (for the most part) solid. While the ending -- and I'll get to that later on -- suffers some severe flaws, and some earlier exposition is rather obviously delivered, the dialogue and the narrator's voice sound realistic and well-written. In particular, Mark was perfect. Creepy and ambiguous, both in morals and ability, I didn't exactly know what to make of him; again, I mean this in a good way! He escapes easy definition.

The backgrounds and ATL effects and the music were moody and pitch-perfect. While I wish you had character art, I can see why you'd hold off: the lack thereof enforces the vague and ever-shifting sense of what's real and what's not. Maybe you could have accomplished this with silhouettes or shadowed faces, but what do I know? (Nothing. I know nothing.)

With such a short VN, though, we rapidly come rushing to the major flaw: the ending.
There's nothing wrong with having "layers of reality" in a work of fiction. Italo Calvino, Philip K. Dick, and Vladimir Nabokov all used dreams and fictional stories and virtual reality to tell a story. The key, though, to "Was it all a dream?" ending, the way to make it worth it and not totally cheap, is to realize that "Was it all a dream?"
isn't an ending in and of itself.
You don't end a story with "...and then she woke up." Instead, you write: "...and then she woke up, so therefore the rest of her days she could never love another man, she had so fallen in love with the creation of her mind."
You see the difference? One story ends with a reversal that invalidates the point of everything before it, while the other uses the "non-reality," whatever it is, and incorporates the "non-reality"ness into the basis of a new story.
You have a hint of that, with your two endings, but they don't sufficiently flesh out the premise. When you don't expand on the fact that most of the story never really happened, you waste the reader's time. When you turn THAT into the basis of a story, you intrigue the reader. As it is, the basis for most of the story is "What did she do?" which is answered by exposition, initially, and "Should she kill the man?" which turns out to be irrelevant for both endings. It's only in the last few lines of the script that the story is revealed to be about: "What's real?"
What you could have done, to make it worth the reader's time, is do something along the lines of the classic short story, "An Occurence at Owl's Creek." Clues from the beginning that hint at the real world -- either the murder of her father or the fact of the simulation -- dribbled throughout the text, while not elegant, would make the ending feel less "out of left field."
But what I'd definitely love to see is a longer KN taking these inherently interesting endings, and then telling a story based on them! :)
Okay, sorry for writing so much and thinking out loud, but those are just my impressions. Overall, a creative and much-welcomed VN that got a replay or two out of me. ;)
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#14 Post by GlassHeart » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:14 am

@TheTourist

First I'd like to say thank you for taking the time to write such a long and detailed review. Even if it's not all positive, it feels good, you know? haha. :)

I know writing isn't my strong point, especially in English, so I'm glad there were no huge mistakes. I still don't think I'm very good at descriptions, but hopefully I'll get better at it.
The endings were a bit rushed, even after rewriting a few times, but each had to explain the other so... maybe that's why. As I wrote the endings I felt I was just slapping on the explanation for what happened and not really telling it as I would've liked to, right now I just don't know how else I could've done it. I might have rushed it just so that I didn't lose interest (happens a lot) and not realease the game at all. I'm gonna be self indulgent and say it's ok for my first game. :lol:

I think you do make an excellent point about the "all a dream (hallucination in this case)" ending. That ending is still not without some consequence. She gets to go home, find out her power and now has some experience on how to control it. So I think everything that happen did have some effect, I just wasn't very good at explaining that.
Sounds like I'm making excuses for myself so I'll stop now.
Thanks again for playing and commenting.
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Re: Trapped [KN - 2 in 1][Paranormal/Mystery]

#15 Post by TheTourist » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:50 pm

Not until I just looked at your profile and saw "Romania" did I realize that English might not be your first language. Haha, I would never have guessed so from the writing in the game itself! You're a very careful editor, I'm guessing; the writing is far above-average for a VN. :)
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This Is Not a Love Story - three high school students intersect over the course of a Friday night

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