Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

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kaleidofish
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Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#1 Post by kaleidofish » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:03 pm

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Available on Windows, Mac, & Linux!

About:

Saving Zoey is a horror visual novel created in 48 hours for #asylumjam. Play as Kelly, a girl who has to find her sister Zoey in a haunted house after hours with the help of a man who works there. Navigate the creepy hallways and uncover the mystery of the cult who once called the haunted house home.

Will you be able to save Zoey before the end of the night?

Trigger warnings for gore, violence, blood, guts in a bucket, and body dismemberment.

Features:

HD Resolution
Blood, Guts, & Gore
48 Hours of Our Blood, Sweat, & Tears
Panic System Minigame
An Original Soundtrack
3 Endings + Plenty of Gameovers

Team:

Lead Writer & Story Designer – kaleidofish (Website)
Editor – r-bit (Twitter)
Lead Programmer – John P. Doran (Twitter)
Artists – Geckos (Tumblr), Auro-Cyanide (DeviantArt), Chocojax (Tumblr), Railgun (Tumblr)
Music/SFX – Phrostylicious Productions (Website)
Junior Programmer – Nathan (Twitter)
Assistant Writer/Editor – thestral
Proofreading/Playtesting – Cirno (Twitter)

Downloads:

You can download the game & check out screenshots here at Gamejolt!

I had a fantastic time working on this with this team. It was an exhausting, yet rewarding experience. Hope you all enjoy the game. There are still some bugs present because...48 hours, but there shouldn't be anything game breaking.
Last edited by kaleidofish on Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#2 Post by MaiMai » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:06 pm

I can't wait to play this! I'll try to leave feedback this week :)
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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#3 Post by Geckos » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:21 pm

Good times!
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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#4 Post by AmericaTheBeautiful » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:11 pm

I usually play VNs on here and round up a few friends on Skype to play them with. Let me tell you, all four of us had a hell of a time playing this game. They were in awe that this game had been made so quickly and it looks so good. As far as I saw there were only 2 mistakes (in one of the endings it says 'our' instead of 'are' and when clicking to stay calm the screen flickers black for a few seconds) and neither were game breaking.

Putting everything else under spoiler tags!
I loved Blake, so much. I knew he was bad news from almost his very introduction (which is a lost chance for a plot twist) but luckily there was enough suspension built up on the first playthrough trying to decide if it was all just a joke or real. Somehow I ended up suspecting it might have been a joke Zoey played on Kelly since she was a 'bad sister'. And I'm glad it wasn't because I felt it would have been a huge cop out.

Also, I can not tell how how excited I was when I realized the ending where you saved Zoey wasn't a 'you got free now go home'. It is so bittersweet. So darn bittersweet. I can't even decide if they both of them being alive and together was worth it. Maybe it was better for Kelly to just leave and try and take the cult down from the outside. I don't know. And I gotta give some love to the Spirited Away reference, and Blake's little brother being mentioned once and then mentioned again at the end. I could tell by how Blake worded it he was definitely dead but to see it referenced again later was fantastic writing.

One more minor annoyance. Kelly put those symbols on her arm in felt tip pen, and Blake acted as if those marks made her a part of the cult irreversibly. Some explanation could be used there. Like saying the prayer made it so she can't just wash the marker off. Otherwise it is something that breaks the immersion pretty quickly. Though given the time crunch it is definitely excusable. If you guys are ever considering re-releasing it with minor fixes that might be something to add. One sentence can clear that up easily.
And finally, I'm new with Ren'Py so I sometimes peek at the code of these things to see how some stuff is done. And all those little dummied out comments in the code are really cute.
"thanks for reading the book d00d, you earned a blake point!"
TL;DR: This game was surprisingly incredible given the amount of time it was made in and I would definitely recommend this to anyone. I had as much fun playing this as I did Knife of The Traitor and I haven't gotten that level of fun from an indie VN in a long time.

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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#5 Post by sasquatchii » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:26 am

Holy crap, this game! I already told this to K-fish but I want to say it again on here for anyone wondering if they should play: Saving Zoey is nerve-wracking. At some parts I had to turn down the volume because I was scared for the main character & worried about what might happen next. I am so amazed that this game was made in less than 48 hours, major kudos to you guys!!
I'm also curious, are there any "good" endings? Endings where the 2 sisters don't have to join a cult or die? Both of the endings I got (I think I got 2?) didn't end very nicely for me :(
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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#6 Post by AmericaTheBeautiful » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:30 am

sasquatchii wrote:Holy crap, this game! I already told this to K-fish but I want to say it again on here for anyone wondering if they should play: Saving Zoey is nerve-wracking. At some parts I had to turn down the volume because I was scared for the main character & worried about what might happen next. I am so amazed that this game was made in less than 48 hours, major kudos to you guys!!
I'm also curious, are there any "good" endings? Endings where the 2 sisters don't have to join a cult or die? Both of the endings I got (I think I got 2?) didn't end very nicely for me :(
I got all 3 endings. None of them are 'good'. If you got Ending 1 then you got the best one.

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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#7 Post by Shaples » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:04 pm

Oh man, this was fun and creepy - absolutely INCREDIBLE for a 48 hour project. The whole game has a great ambiance, and the scare level builds up nicely. I went from creeped out to apprehensive to dread-filled realization. Brilliant. Definitely worth multiple playthroughs not just to get all the endings, but to see how different actions change the course of the story. Also, I liked the quick time events - they were a really nice unexpected touch that fit the genre really well. Great work!

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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#8 Post by Googaboga » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:01 pm

Congrats on finishing :mrgreen:. This sounds amazing. I'm looking forward to giving it a try when I get the chance ^^.
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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#9 Post by Railgun » Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:56 am

The game is chilling but the comments here are heartwarming :lol:

It was a great experience making it!

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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#10 Post by smallstar » Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:21 pm

This was really amazing, especially considering the 48 hour crunch! I loved how the art and the constant spooky sfx in the background set the mood, and Kaleido's writing was great as always (': I don't think some of the predictability of the story
(not going for a Blake plot twist, being able to guess what was happening/going to happen to Zoey from the book)
affected it negatively since the build-up still made it suspenseful and fun to read.
Some things that stuck out to me (in a good way) was the reference back to Blake's brother and the endings. I looved the endings. The one where they both live gives me so many mixed feelings lol... I like how there wasn't an obvious deus ex machina everyone-lives happy ending. Was being brainwashed worth them being alive and happy together? Or would Kelly be saving more lives if she ran away?? I am so torn hahaha, thinking about it stresses me out.
@AmericaTheBeautiful
I assumed the pen wasn't just a normal felt tip marker from how Blake was talking about it? I don't remember exactly though so I might be wrong.

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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#11 Post by kaleidofish » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:04 pm

Thank you for the kind words, everyone! If we ever update it, we'll be sure to correct the bugs/mistakes that were found.

Saving Zoey wound up ranking #5 out of the 50 games in the jam. Not bad at all, especially considering we weren't canvassing for votes or anything!

@ AmericaTheBeautiful:
Originally, there was going to be a happier ending, but as I was writing the outline, I realized how unlikely that would be. I had to go with the bittersweet one, so I'm glad you liked it even though it wasn't happy!

About the pen... I like leaving things up to reader's interpretation. It may have actually been the prayer that sealed her fate or it could be a combination of that prayer + something special about Blake's pen. smallstar brought up a good point. We know from the story that it isn't a normal throw-away office pen, and Blake is very concerned over getting it back from her. I think Kelly might make fun of him for it or at least roll her eyes about it, if I'm remembering correctly. Could the pen have been enchanted somehow? Was it all another clever ruse on Blake's part? Or it could it have been that all of it was a lie...the marks and the prayer...and it was the future indoctrination that actually sealed her fate?

Haha, oh yeah, those code comments. I like putting silly comments in to keep track of what I'm doing. It also makes coding more fun. XD
Thank you again! It's an honor to be compared to The Knife of the Traitor in terms of fun.

@ sasquatchii:
Yep, AmericaTheBeautiful's answer to your question is right! :D
Thanks again. :)

@ Shaples:

I'm glad that the scare level ramped up throughout the game for you. Perfect, that's what we were hoping for. :D Thank you!

@ smallstar:

YOU! I didn't know you were on this site too, haha, awesome.
I'm glad the ending was able to tear you up. Reading your post made me start thinking...are there actually any endings where both of them live? Sure, they can survive together to join the cult, but is that really living? Another thing that makes that ending sad for me is that Kelly, someone who wanted to desperately save her sister, goes on to help the cult wrangle more children for sacrifices. The cycle continues. That's brainwashing for you, I guess. :?
@ Railgun & Geckos:

My comrades! We did it. Phew, it feels like almost a year has passed by but it was only a week, haha.
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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#12 Post by MaiMai » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:19 pm

I finished playing this! I had a lot of fun although I have to admit, mashing the space bar probably wasn't part of it. I loved the atmosphere from the artwork and the simple, but effective writing. Man though 48 hours huh? Great job to everyone all around!
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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#13 Post by Rinima » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:05 pm

Well that was.... interesting.
I enjoyed it though!
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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#14 Post by try10 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:47 pm

Finished playing it. I expected the game to be scary but I never thought it was going to end that way. I wish it had more endings and more explanations about
the cult and Blake ( from the first moment I saw him I thought he was creepy). Poor Zoey...I wish there was some way to save her without joining the crazy cultists.
The art was strangely beautiful and I was really immersed in the story. I wish you luck with your future games! :D

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Re: Saving Zoey [Horror][Asylum Jam]

#15 Post by sunaro » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:33 pm

sweet visual novel. i liked the ambience. visual novels with awesome ambience are really rare, i cherish and appreciate them very much. neat effects too (blinking, dimming lights and the chance to move the screen both sides in order to look around). played a bunch of visual novels and yet this one in particular was a unique experience for me. much obliged!

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