Wounded by Words [LD32][Gx?][crisis survival] (new version!)

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Helianthus
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Wounded by Words [LD32][Gx?][crisis survival] (new version!)

#1 Post by Helianthus » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:00 pm

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Wounded by Words is the tale of six people who are trapped in the ruins of a shopping center after a terrorist attack. All they can do is wait for the rescue team to come. As the individuals are growing more and more desperate over time, you'll be able to grow closer to them and discover their stories.
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The game contains 1,577 dialogue blocks, containing 25,609 words and 133,499 characters, for an average of 16.2 words and 85 characters per block.
The game contains 6 menus, 169 images, and 18 screens.
Wounded by Words was created for the Ludum Dare 32 with « Unconventional Weapon » as a theme. Due to the short deadline, the first version was a bit incomplete so we made an Extended Version with a lot of extra content which is now available for free! :D
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You can pay what you want to support the developement team and future releases...or just get the game for free. Any feedback is welcome! :wink: [/i]
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Agathe, 28, retired army officer. She’s the heroine of the story and has trouble staying calm underground. Has many skeletons in her closet and would rather not think about it.

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Aline, retired 73 years old and still kicking. Despite her age, she’s bubbly, dynamic and like to get straight to the point.

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Gabriel, 19, student. He has a rather cynical side and makes a lot of snarky comments but he’s a good guy at heart, though a bit antisocial at times.

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Eleesha, 32, juggling with many different jobs like cashier or cleaner to make ends meet. Can’t help but sigh thinking of the work she’ll have to do after getting out.

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Hassan : Eleesha’s son who doesn’t talk. Since it’s difficult to know what he thinks, some people tend to treat him as a dumb child…which is a big mistake !

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Dave, 47, director of a department team of the local public-service corporation. Even though he fancies himself as a nice guy, he can be so tactless he has troubles getting along with the other survivors.
Credits
  • -Writing / Project Leader: Helia
    -Art: Kinect, Laniessa, Orties
    -Music: Roganis
    -Programming: Keul
    -GUI: Xian
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Also, don’t forget the soundtrack is available since a few months too~
Last edited by Helianthus on Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:43 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32] [crisis survival]

#2 Post by Zhyx25 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:21 pm

Yes, new game... Downloading it right now ..

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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32] [crisis survival]

#3 Post by Taranee » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:02 am

I liked the premise a lot, but I felt like the story was a little dogmatic... Everyone else is nice and complex (and a feminist) except the white able-bodied man, who is disliked by every character. The art is very good, though, and the backgrounds, special effects and pictures of items helped tell the story well.

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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32] [crisis survival]

#4 Post by Helianthus » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:38 pm

Taranee wrote:I liked the premise a lot, but I felt like the story was a little dogmatic... Everyone else is nice and complex (and a feminist) except the white able-bodied man, who is disliked by every character. The art is very good, though, and the backgrounds, special effects and pictures of items helped tell the story well.
Well, as I wrote on the itchio page, I really wanted to make a route for Dave because I wanted him to be more fleshed out and not just a strawman. Thing is, I just didn’t have the time to write all the scenes, so I decided to leave him out for the moment (as well as Hassan) >___<.
I want to take the opportunity to polish my writing since I had to do everything in a hurry (those three days flew way too fast) so I’m open to feedbacks to correct this problem :)
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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32] [crisis survival]

#5 Post by Godline » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:05 pm

Yeah, I agree with the post above. I would have loved a chance to have a Dave ending, since he isn't really that bad of a guy deep down. But time constraints, I get it.
Art was lovely. Laniessa's been working hard. Haha. ;)
Subject matter was deep. I was wondering half the time if it was all in her head. That was freaky and well-done. I got Gabriel's ending and the bad end. I was left wondering what happened to Gabriel's ex-girlfriend. Did she survive and see him survive? Did she die with some of the others? You made me root for the guy and hope that there was some future with the girl he loved. So that was great!

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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32] [crisis survival]

#6 Post by Helianthus » Sun May 03, 2015 4:01 pm

Godline wrote:Yeah, I agree with the post above. I would have loved a chance to have a Dave ending, since he isn't really that bad of a guy deep down. But time constraints, I get it.
Art was lovely. Laniessa's been working hard. Haha. ;)
Subject matter was deep. I was wondering half the time if it was all in her head. That was freaky and well-done. I got Gabriel's ending and the bad end. I was left wondering what happened to Gabriel's ex-girlfriend. Did she survive and see him survive? Did she die with some of the others? You made me root for the guy and hope that there was some future with the girl he loved. So that was great!
It took me some time due to the fatigue but Dave and Hassan routes are now fully complete! I hope you’ll like them as well ^___^.
Laniessa is always working hard :lol:
I tried to get out of my comfort zone but I admit I’m still very nervous about how the readers will perceive the story, ahah X’).
Gabriel was fun to write! I actually didn’t think of telling what happened to his ex-girlfriend right off the bat. I may add epilogues to each character for an updated version, it’ll be a good opportunity to touch on the matter :)
Anyway, thanks for your feedback :3
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Re: Wounded by Words [Gx?] [LD32] [crisis survival] [update!

#7 Post by YonYonYon » Sun May 03, 2015 7:40 pm

Oh my God, it's Adachi!
I'm gonna try this game out now.
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Re: Wounded by Words [Gx?] [LD32] [crisis survival] [update!

#8 Post by Helianthus » Mon May 04, 2015 5:55 am

YonYonYon wrote:Oh my God, it's Adachi!
Wow, I actually didn't realize they looked similar until you mentionned it...now I cannot unsee it 0__o.
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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32][Gx?][crisis survival] (trailer u

#9 Post by Helianthus » Wed May 13, 2015 2:39 pm

Just a small bump to say that the trailer is up! A video is better than a wall of text, right? :wink:
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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32][Gx?][crisis survival] (trailer u

#10 Post by Taranee » Thu May 14, 2015 3:20 am

I played Dave's route in the updated version. I felt like there was a lot of political stuff just tossed at the reader, and I'd like to add my 2 cents. I hope you're okay with a little debate.
1)
Marginalized people turn to terrorism when they feel they have no hope of getting a better life. Violence is a desperate measure. You use it when you feel that dialogue will lear you nowhere or is impossible. The best way to prevent marginalized people to use violence would be to reduce disparities so that they aren't marginalized anymore.
Are you defending terrorists? Like ISIS and Boko Haram? (I thought about those because they're the ones that are in the news all the time nowadays.) I'm kinda sure those are just sick and twisted people who like to kill, because all they're doing is killing and torturing other poor, disadvantaged people in needlessly gruesome ways. Why is dialogue impossible with terrorists? Because their demands are outrageous, for example Boko Haram wants to ban girls from getting an education and ISIS wants to have a theocratic dictatorship. Yes, people who have suffered are easier to brainwash into joining terrorists, but their actions don't help anyone get a better life. They make it worse for other poor, disadvantaged people and force them to flee from their countries.
2)
Agathe: Say... I know it might be rude but... Have you ever struggled in your life? You look like the type who doesn't need to.
Dave: Of course I have! Like everyone else! Life only rewards the most deserving people, after all.
Agathe: Aww, that's what I thought.
Dave: What is it?
Agathe: You never had to face social determinism, right? I bet your father was of the middle classes and that you made long and expensive studies.
Dave: Well, my father was a bookkeeper and I went to an engineering school, but I succeeded because I worked hard!
Agathe: That's pretty talk but in reality you hold all the cards to succeed from birth. You come from a privileged background, you had the luxury to choose what you wanted to do in life.
How can someone look like the type who doesn't need to struggle? Now Agathe is doing what she adviced against, and assuming things about other people.

I also find this social determinism thing insulting to all "privileged" people who have worked hard and struggled to achieve success. It's like saying their success doesn't count and doesn't really belong to them. Even if Dave could afford to study because his father paid for it, he wouldn't have been able to graduate if he hadn't studied well. In my country there is free education for everyone, but I still wouldn't be able to go to an engineering school because I'm not good at math and physics and honestly don't want to study them harder.

Also social determinism means that if you were born poor, you'll be poor forever, so why even try to make it better? So I find it a very harmful, anti-hope ideology.

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If you put these two things together, it would mean that marginalized people have no choice but to become terrorists. Which is quite scary in my opinion.

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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32][Gx?][crisis survival] (trailer u

#11 Post by Helianthus » Fri May 15, 2015 4:24 pm

Taranee wrote:I played Dave's route in the updated version. I felt like there was a lot of political stuff just tossed at the reader, and I'd like to add my 2 cents. I hope you're okay with a little debate.
Oh, and here I thought Dave’s route was calm compared to the others :oops: . Well, I’m a bit scared I said something wrong (I went way outside my comfort zone with this game >_<) but it’ll be interesting!

1/
I never said I was defending terrorists :o I just think it’s too easy to put the blame on « monsters » without trying to call oneself into question. Industrial countries have a lot of power and I feel they sometimes use it to do wrong. That doesn’t mean terrorism is right, killing innocents is never, no matter whose side you’re on. It may have been clumsy of me but what I was trying to say is not to fight violence with more violence, because it will only bring more pain and destruction.
2/
How can someone look like the type who doesn't need to struggle?
If you have several expensive cars, an expensive watch, managing a big organization and wearing a suit, I think it’s safe to assume you’re a lucky one. My « boss » once complained that he only earned something like 4 000€ per month and that he could earn way more if he were in a private company (like 10 000€). He even worried sick about not being able to live « properly » (oooh, like having to sell one of his numerous cars, scary!) if his wife had to stop working. I think he’ll manage :wink: . What I’m trying to say if that, yes, someone can look like he doesn’t need to worry about getting food for the following days. My original sentence may be conveying that poorly though X’).

Well, Dave is based on two real persons I know and who indeed never had to struggle in their life. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve their happiness or that they have no merits, just that they were « helped » while other people who study just as hard don’t get the job. Social determinism doesn’t mean privileged people don’t work hard, just that they’re more likely to get pay-off in the end.

If you don’t mind, here’s some of my personal experience. I got into intensive foundation degree (or classe préparatoire) after hight school. It’s a very difficult course open to everyone that manage to get good grades. And, on the surface, everyone is welcome: you could be the son of a college teacher or the daughter of a building worker, it doesn’t make any difference as long as you’re good. But the truth is middle class people like myself, or some of my classmates, didn’t stand a chance. Because, in order to get a « grande école » or a big college after, you need to live in Paris and the life there is very, very expensive. If you don’t have the money, it’s no use. I didn’t have the money and had to give up on the big university that had accepted my application and go back to my province while the richest of my schoolmates got the expensive school and the job opportunities of their dreams. I know one who got into the biggest one although he was lazy as fuck and didn’t do a thing. One of my friend managed to get her dream school because she went out with him and got a flat in Paris for free.
And my best friend I met there, who’s also a middle class girl, is currently selling shoes as a mere sales assistant. My boyfriend didn’t even have my chance and grew up in the suburbs all his life and it’s even worse with his mother who’s unqualified and ended up as a cleaning lady. I’m privileged compared to his family but not enough comparaed to my old classmates and I still have to work hard. Being privileged can be subtle.

So yeah, social determinism exists. You can try to fight it, of course, but it’s way more difficult than just following a preordained destiny. Privileged people have more choices and it’s a luxury nowadays. It is sad, but it’s for that same reason that some poor people give up. My point isn’t to be anti-hope but to show to Dave (and all the benevolent Daves who’re reading, including myself) that it’s easier to be him than Eleesha or Hassan (and they still get hope in their own routes).
If you put these two things together, it would mean that marginalized people have no choice but to become terrorists. Which is quite scary in my opinion
Isn’t that a bit true in a way? Even if it’s a scary possibility, it’s important to think about it, so that it doesn’t truly happen. Come to think of it, it reminds me of Ghost in the Shell SAC 2nd Gig…
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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32][Gx?][crisis survival] (trailer u

#12 Post by Heiden » Fri May 29, 2015 10:59 am

Congratulations on finishing!

Wow a 25k script for a Ludum Dare? That's incredible!!

I really enjoyed the more serious themes of this VN, you don't see many people trying to handle dark themes of this nature.

I think my favorite character was Gabriel (haha, he was such a flirt, XD) followed by Aline.
The scenes with Agathe's PTSD I thought were executed really well, and I was on the edge of my seat, afraid something was going to jump out at me, haha.

In all honesty, I did find myself wishing that the character of Eleesha was explored a little more.
Yes, she's a hardworking person with an autistic child, but I was a little... worried(?) by her admission of wanting to kill her own child. Like, I understand why people in her position would want to kill her child, but I also don't think that thinking of hers would change by moving into Agathe's house. :/ I just hope Hassan has a happy life and is either taken away from Eleesha (who clearly cannot provide for him) and given to another family, or maayybbee having Agathe there in the house to also care for Hassan will take some of the pressure off of Eleesha? I also worry though that Agathe's own panic attacks would be another thing Eleesha would have to work with. Especially since Agathe had tried to commit suicide the day of the attack, and even in the bad ending she was about to use the gun on someone else, I just worry that she's not mentally ready to have someone like Eleesha and Hassan living with her. What if she relapses?

I also liked how you fleshed out Dave in his route, and actually wanted to know more about his and his daughter's relationship! Did he talk to her afterwards? How did that go? And did it really change anything in the long run?
Anyway, great VN, lovely art, and I loved the themes you chose to work with! It really made me think a lot!
And is it alright if I drew fanart? O:

(ALso aahhh please don't take the Eleesha comment the wrong way. It's proof of good writing that I was thinking about the characters this much! :) )
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(I ran out of URLs I can have in my sig haha, you can find all the games listed on my itch.io page!!)

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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32][Gx?][crisis survival] (trailer u

#13 Post by Helianthus » Sat May 30, 2015 3:38 pm

Heiden wrote:Wow a 25k script for a Ludum Dare? That's incredible!!
Well, the script was more around 20k at that time. I added Dave’s route and Hassan’s ending since then, but yeah, I wrote a lot that weekend: it was no easy task >_<.

Hum, do you feel the serious parts were dark? For once, I thought I managed to do something a little lighter than usual =’). And I’m actually not completely satisfied with the way Agathe’s PTSD was handled, I really hope it wasn’t too jarring :oops:
Heiden wrote:
In all honesty, I did find myself wishing that the character of Eleesha was explored a little more.Yes, she's a hardworking person with an autistic child, but I was a little... worried(?) by her admission of wanting to kill her own child. Like, I understand why people in her position would want to kill her child, but I also don't think that thinking of hers would change by moving into Agathe's house. :/ I just hope Hassan has a happy life and is either taken away from Eleesha (who clearly cannot provide for him) and given to another family, or maayybbee having Agathe there in the house to also care for Hassan will take some of the pressure off of Eleesha? I also worry though that Agathe's own panic attacks would be another thing Eleesha would have to work with. Especially since Agathe had tried to commit suicide the day of the attack, and even in the bad ending she was about to use the gun on someone else, I just worry that she's not mentally ready to have someone like Eleesha and Hassan living with her. What if she relapses?
I have to admit I had trouble writing some of Eleesha’s scenes and I think it’s showing. I didn’t want to explain her background too much from the get go (no stranger would tell you things that intimate) but I didn’t really know what to do before she’d get closer to Agathe :?
I don’t think her way of thinking is that problematic: after deciding to finally go with the childbirth, she accepted her responsabilities and she genuinely wants the best for Hassan even if he wasn’t born in the best circumstances ever. What makes her pessimistic is that a disabled child has more needs than a regular child, and she already cannot afford the best for a regular child. So she feels she has failed, that she cannot bring Hassan hapiness, that’s why she said things might be easier if he died. But she won’t try to kill him, she would need to be driven into a corner for that. Since Agathe helps her in her ending, that won’t happen but I guess it could make a « good » bad ending.

As for Agathe, you have to remember that she was trapped underground for the length of the whole game. And what’s so difficult with PTSD is that you can’t help but remember your trauma when you’re triggered. The destroyed mall was a constant trigger for her, that’s why she couldn’t handle it very well. She’ll still have panic attacks and anxiety outside but it won’t be as frequent as underground. Of course, her new life won’t be easy and it’ll be difficult to handle both Hassan and her own problems, but it’s still better for her to have some kind of noble goal and understanding friends than staying on her own, waiting to get better. Agathe likes to be helpful after all. I’d say she’s bound to relapse at some point but the circumstances will be different, so it won’t end up the same way.
As for all your questions, I actually intend to write an after story scene for each route as well as some kind of epilogue for a hard copy of the game we’ll be selling at a convention. So do tell me all the things you want to know and I’ll try to reply to everything with the new version :D

Don’t worry, I’m not hurt by anything at all XD. Thanks for playing the game and thanks for your comment, it really helps me collect my thoughts. And of course, you can! Who in their right mind would refuse some fanart *__* ?
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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32][Gx?][crisis survival] (trailer u

#14 Post by Bianchii » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:29 am

Amazing! Good story, amazing writing and the characters felt real, you could feel how they had a story to tell instead of being just there for the hell of it. Had a fun time playing it!

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Re: Wounded by Words [LD32][Gx?][crisis survival] (trailer u

#15 Post by Helianthus » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:03 pm

Bianchii wrote:Amazing! Good story, amazing writing and the characters felt real, you could feel how they had a story to tell instead of being just there for the hell of it. Had a fun time playing it!
Thank you very much! I did my best at writing directly in English and in a time-limit this short, so your comment on the story really touches me :oops:
I’m glad you enjoyed our little game :3
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