Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

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Haze
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Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#1 Post by Haze » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:16 pm

So, my sister and I stumbled on the Game Jolt Contest 10 link here on Lemmasoft, and we decided to go for it. This is the result: Monster Uses CPU 2, which was made in 8 days for the contest. Yes, the "2" is text talk, so it's actually "to", if you want to get technical. :D

Summary: It's 5 days until Halloween! Play as a monster and try to invite your friends to the local Halloween party. There are 10 people to talk to, but you can only talk to 1 per day, so choose wisely. This game has 5 endings, with slight variations depending on who you talk to.

This is our first completed visual novel. I do have a personal WIP(doesn't have a thread though...), but I put that on hold for the contest.

If possible, can you comment with:
-who you chose to talk to first, and why
-the first ending you got
-anything else you want to say about your playthrough?
Also, if you have an suggestion for what genre(s) should be put on the thread's title, feel free to share!

GameJolt page, where you can download the game. There are Windows, Mac, and Linux builds. Feel free to post a comment or rate the game on GameJolt if you like.

Please note: The Mac and Linux versions have not been tested, so if you get any errors, please let us know.

Screenshots:
screenshot0012.png
screenshot0006.png
screenshot0022.png
The game is centered around the contest theme, party, and we hope we accomplished a unique take on it. Enjoy!
Last edited by Haze on Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
My first completed visual novel, which is at 1.3, it's final version(woo hoo!): Monster Uses CPU 2
Finally at version 1.0: White Fog
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I make one song every week, all for free download! This weeks song: Synthis- The Mirror(Eliana Remix)[Preview]

You might ask yourself: If I could only save one paragraph of the work I'm writing, which one would I save?
Which one would I let go first?

-from Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh, Johnathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#2 Post by ludeshka » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:13 pm

The first ending I got was "Enough"
The only other ending I've got so far is "Satisfaction"
I'm afraid of what can happen if I try to fail on purpose. I don't want MrMonster to feel sad, so I'll probably won't go fishing for the worst outcome.

The first character I spoke to was "Enderdies" because I used to read the Ender books (made it up to Shadow of the Hegemon) and I wanted to know if they were going to talk about them. So, I chose my first invite for "nerd reasons". I guess I'd have done the same on real life! :P

Hm, I think "drama" and "slice of life" are better fits than "Fantasy", but I haven't played through the whole game, so I might be overlooking something.

One thing I'd like to say about the game is that it got me interested in the narrator a lot. It's a very interesting player character, and I couldn't help but wonder what it's like for him, to live the rest of the year like that, to wonder where his family is, etc. It was sad, it was mysterious and I liked it.

I very much liked the graphics, how sketchy, and nervous, and personalized they were.

This is a very good first game. Looking forward to your next effort.

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#3 Post by Haze » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:56 pm

@ludeshka

Thanks for your comments! Glad you like that game! It's also good to hear that you can sympathize with the protagonist. :wink:
ludeshka wrote:Hm, I think "drama" and "slice of life" are better fits than "Fantasy"
Yeah, we weren't sure if fantasy fit as well with the story, either. Do you think "urban fantasy" would be a little better?

On another note, what did you think of the characters? My sister and I tried to make each one pretty unique, so did we accomplish our goal? :D
Last edited by Haze on Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My first completed visual novel, which is at 1.3, it's final version(woo hoo!): Monster Uses CPU 2
Finally at version 1.0: White Fog
Image

Image

I make one song every week, all for free download! This weeks song: Synthis- The Mirror(Eliana Remix)[Preview]

You might ask yourself: If I could only save one paragraph of the work I'm writing, which one would I save?
Which one would I let go first?

-from Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh, Johnathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#4 Post by unknown5 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:36 am

ooh, didn't see this. dl'ing. =)

edit:
- talked to magicalpillow first because pillows are soft.
- got a bad end for skel first time.
- like the ideas and thought behind the vn. pretty cool.
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information wants to be free, yo.

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#5 Post by Haze » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:01 pm

Thank you for your kind words. Glad you liked the game! Also,
unknown5 wrote:- talked to magicalpillow first because pillows are soft.
Now that's interesting! A lot of the people I talked to about the game irl picked Skelly first, saying that he's the most recognizable icon or something like that. Glad to hear MagicalPillow's getting some love! :D
My first completed visual novel, which is at 1.3, it's final version(woo hoo!): Monster Uses CPU 2
Finally at version 1.0: White Fog
Image

Image

I make one song every week, all for free download! This weeks song: Synthis- The Mirror(Eliana Remix)[Preview]

You might ask yourself: If I could only save one paragraph of the work I'm writing, which one would I save?
Which one would I let go first?

-from Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh, Johnathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#6 Post by Hazel-Bun » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:33 pm

Saw this on gamejolt and forgot to download 0: will do so now! I'll comment sometime after Christmas.

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#7 Post by Haze » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:00 pm

@Hazel-Bun

Thanks for giving it a download. Hope you like it! :D
My first completed visual novel, which is at 1.3, it's final version(woo hoo!): Monster Uses CPU 2
Finally at version 1.0: White Fog
Image

Image

I make one song every week, all for free download! This weeks song: Synthis- The Mirror(Eliana Remix)[Preview]

You might ask yourself: If I could only save one paragraph of the work I'm writing, which one would I save?
Which one would I let go first?

-from Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh, Johnathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#8 Post by OpenH » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:33 pm

-
Last edited by OpenH on Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#9 Post by Haze » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:30 pm

@OpenH

Thanks for giving MUCPU2 a playthrough! Sorry about the explanation segment/intro screen—the fades are too slow, so I understand why you would click through it. As mentioned in the game description, this was made in 8 days for a contest. I was doing the intro part last minute, so I only devoted a certain amount of time to it before going on to something else I was doing last minute. I should probably update the game with a slightly faster fade-thing. Also:
the narrator being a monster is revealed during the opening segment. On the computer, the webcam is open, and you can see his face on the webcam. We wanted to give the impression that he was looking at himself using the webcam—kinda like a mirror. Of course, the fact that the narrator really is a monster doesn't really sink in until the end, so I understand why you would be surprised.
As for the options screen, I definitely agree that it's very different from the main menu. For the main menu and the load screen, I was able to find a "close up on keyboard" theme that I liked, but I haven't able to think of something good for the options screen. Any suggestions?

Yes, a couple of the chats are a bit...different. My sis and I tried to make each person talk about something unique, and some conversations are definitely more serious than others.

Glad you like the icon, by the way! And thanks for the luck! I know I'll be needing it! XD Good luck on your projects too!
My first completed visual novel, which is at 1.3, it's final version(woo hoo!): Monster Uses CPU 2
Finally at version 1.0: White Fog
Image

Image

I make one song every week, all for free download! This weeks song: Synthis- The Mirror(Eliana Remix)[Preview]

You might ask yourself: If I could only save one paragraph of the work I'm writing, which one would I save?
Which one would I let go first?

-from Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh, Johnathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#10 Post by DarkClaymore » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:06 pm

So I tried it out, mainly because it looks rather unusual. Have to say that I really liked the design of the keyboard menus, and the "punchline" was pretty cute and well delivered.

It managed to surprise me that
the protagonist is a monster
despite so many hints existing. Until I learned that, the game left me wondering "Why the heck do I have to invite these people to Halloween?", and it felt like some randomly enforced objective. And then "BAM! Suddenly everything makes perfect sense!".

Simple, solid execution right there :)

This is the order of people I talked with and the ending:
1) PoisionPawn (because looks like a girl)
2) EnderDies (rather random choice, probably because it was in the corner of the screen)
3) HarryPisCute (was pondering whatever that's a male or a female based on icon and wanted to find out)
4) Skelly (because the icon was similar to some rage comic meme)

... and then I killed Skelly and apparently myself. :roll:

Then I got an ending with 4 people and the ending with 5 people. Honestly, the ending with 4 people felt more satisfying than the one with 5 people. I think there should have been more content in the "Satisfaction" ending, showing how he actually managed/failed to interact with people.

I have only some small criticism, some is debatable:
  • The quick menu should have been hidden IMO. It was there, but was hardly visible because the background is bright. It was clearly not intended for usage, so it shouldn't have been there in the first place.
  • The lack of music makes this lose some points in my eyes. Music is one tool to generate an atmosphere, reinforcing the usage of words. Since the game wasn't made with a descriptive narrative due to its interaction style, I think music could have added to this.
    Even if you wanted to avoid using it for the chat room (though he could easily listen music on the PC), at the very least the part where he leaves for the party should have had some music to convey the feelings IMO.

    As for the PC, I can really imagine him playing some calm, light music to pass time. And then, Skelly leaves on a grave note, the music could stop while the protagonist goes "Skelly!!!". Damn, that ending was awesome dude 8)
    If you wanted to avoid using premade material for the contest, I can't blame you of course.
  • Wouldn't say I was a big fan of the icons used by the other characters. Most of them were too simplistic and lacking in proper individualism. If that was intended for some reason, then said intention must have flown over my head.

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#11 Post by Haze » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:30 pm

Hey there, Dark Claymore! Thanks for playing, and especially for the little bits of critique. I definitely agree about the quick menu. Probably should just take it out; I mean, there's a basic explanation of the controls and how to save in the beginning anyway.

For the icons, some of them are pretty simple: IceBro's is actually supposed to be a close up pic of somebody's finger(since we figured IceBro would do that), but it turned out looking a little weird, didn't it? Eevee's is just orange because that's kinda close to an Eevee's basic color. VomitPunch's icon is just a box because my sister made a mistake and didn't send his real icon to me, but I didn't have time to get it from her because (1) she was asleep and (2) there were about 2 hours until the contest would close. So, I just used his placeholder. MagicalPillow's icon is a pic of a pillow, but again, it turned out a bit weird.

Yeah, the game has a pretty big lack of music. I don't really want to hunt for tracks, though, and I kind of like the silence the way it is.
Ending 5 is quite short, I know. I actually got a comment about that about 2 months ago from a friend saying the same thing. I'll try to extend it a bit.
We're probably only going to change the quick menu and the ending because that won't take too long, and we want to move on from this project for now. We'll at least give VomitPunch his rightful icon, though. Note that we won't be able to make these changes until early February or later this month(January) since I'm busy doing something for the New Beginnings Game Jam right now.
Yes, the protag is a monster. There are a couple hints; right in the beginning, the images(if you didn't click through them-another thing I should fix: make that fade faster) show his face in the webcam. It's also directly stated in the game if you make certain choices with a certain person...hmhmhm.

About the JackSkelly ending, I think what happens is kinda based on your own interpretation. When I wrote it, I thought that Mr.M decided to cut off contact with humans and never go back to the chat site again. When my sis read it, the first thing she asked was "Did Mr.Monster kill himself?" in a strained voice. Depending on your interpretation, one, both, or neither of us can be right.
I'm sorry, but what do you mean by "punchline", exactly?(spoiler-tag your answer if you have to)

Glad you liked the menus, too! They were fun(but time-consuming) to make!
Last edited by Haze on Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My first completed visual novel, which is at 1.3, it's final version(woo hoo!): Monster Uses CPU 2
Finally at version 1.0: White Fog
Image

Image

I make one song every week, all for free download! This weeks song: Synthis- The Mirror(Eliana Remix)[Preview]

You might ask yourself: If I could only save one paragraph of the work I'm writing, which one would I save?
Which one would I let go first?

-from Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh, Johnathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#12 Post by DarkClaymore » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:01 am

For me the "punchline" was the reveal of the protagonist's monster nature. It suddenly made everything make perfect sense, and the game's goal stopped feeling "forced" and "random".
I really did click through the intro, because boy were these fades tiring. So I ended up missing that one hint you mentioned.

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#13 Post by qirien » Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:04 pm

Cute, fun Halloween project! I clicked on Ender first, too, as a fan of the books...

I liked all the different conversations - they felt very true to different personalities and styles of online communication, and portrayed well the strengths and weaknesses of online friendships. I like the general idea of rewarding the player for giving honest answers from the MC's point of view - that really increases replayability, because the first time, you play it kind of as yourself, but the second time, knowing the MC's true nature, you can play it more as him.

The MC's username reminded me of the book "Mr. Monster" in the "I am Not a Serial Killer" series of novels... :o

I agree that it would have been nice to have better icons for people... it was hard to keep them straight sometimes, and it would have been cool to have their icon have some hint about how to relate to them.

Thanks for the game!
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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#14 Post by Haze » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:17 am

Oh my goodness, so sorry for the extremely overdue response. Hope you get to see this anyway, though. :D

I'm glad you liked the conversations! I did my best to make each one different, in both topic and character personality, so I'm glad to see that shone through! Also, giving answers based on the MC's pov during a 2nd playthrough, which increases replayability, is definitely not something I thought off. That's pretty interesting; thanks for bringing it up.

Funny you should mention "Mr. Monster"; I actually read the first book in that series, put "Mr. Monster" on hold from the library, waited for it for a few months...and forgot to get it when it actually came. XD

Thanks for playing MUCPU2, and good luck completing Personal Space!
My first completed visual novel, which is at 1.3, it's final version(woo hoo!): Monster Uses CPU 2
Finally at version 1.0: White Fog
Image

Image

I make one song every week, all for free download! This weeks song: Synthis- The Mirror(Eliana Remix)[Preview]

You might ask yourself: If I could only save one paragraph of the work I'm writing, which one would I save?
Which one would I let go first?

-from Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh, Johnathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon

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Re: Monster Uses CPU 2 [Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy]

#15 Post by sunaro » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:24 am

i remember playing this quite some time ago, and now i feel like playing this again. i've been feeling exactly like mr.monster for years. i wonder if there's a walkthrough? i want to get all the endings

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