RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

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parttimestorier
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RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#1 Post by parttimestorier » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:02 am

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Pay what you can on itch.io!

Overtired graduate student Charisse LaFlamme picks up a part-time job editing a small academic journal. Her first task is to sort through a long backlog of emails that the previous editor never dealt with, deleting anything that doesn't look useful. As her university's email servers slowly sync the data and more and more old emails show up, a stranger starts messaging her to angrily insist that she stop deleting them. But Charisse needs to get paid, so she isn't going to let some random internet weirdo interfere with her work—no matter how bizarre some of the old emails get.

I completed this project for my first time participating in NaNoRenO! It was difficult, but a lot of fun. I'm really excited to be finished now and to be able to check out all the other great entries. I hope you'll enjoy the game! It contains some elements of supernatural and psychological horror, but nothing graphic and no jump scares. Feel free to comment and let me know what your experience playing it was like, which of the two endings you got first, and which email you thought was the creepiest! :)

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Kokoro Hane
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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#2 Post by Kokoro Hane » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:45 am

Oh dear, I hope this does not make me scared of deleting mail wahahaha.

Gotta give it a go though, I love messaging mechanics in VNs ^^
PROJECTS:
An Encounter ~In The Rain~ [COMPLETE][IntRenAiMo'19]
False Hope [Demo][WiP][SuNoFes'17]
Crystal Captor: Memory Chronicle Finale [COMPLETE][RPG][#1 in So Bad It's Good jam '17]
The Only One Girl [WiP][Up.5/20/2017][1stQ ver. released]
30 Kilowatt Hours Left [COMPLETE][GameJolt GDC Jam2016]

But dear God, You're the only North Star I would follow this far
Owl City "Galaxies"

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parttimestorier
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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#3 Post by parttimestorier » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:10 pm

Kokoro Hane wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:45 am
Oh dear, I hope this does not make me scared of deleting mail wahahaha.

Gotta give it a go though, I love messaging mechanics in VNs ^^
Haha, it's hopefully not too scary! It definitely has creepy elements but also some pretty silly stuff. I hope you enjoy it!
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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#4 Post by Kokoro Hane » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:19 pm

parttimestorier wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:10 pm
Kokoro Hane wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:45 am
Oh dear, I hope this does not make me scared of deleting mail wahahaha.

Gotta give it a go though, I love messaging mechanics in VNs ^^
Haha, it's hopefully not too scary! It definitely has creepy elements but also some pretty silly stuff. I hope you enjoy it!
I am sure I will in the long run, I actually love horror games ^^
It's downloaded, so I shall give it a run~
PROJECTS:
An Encounter ~In The Rain~ [COMPLETE][IntRenAiMo'19]
False Hope [Demo][WiP][SuNoFes'17]
Crystal Captor: Memory Chronicle Finale [COMPLETE][RPG][#1 in So Bad It's Good jam '17]
The Only One Girl [WiP][Up.5/20/2017][1stQ ver. released]
30 Kilowatt Hours Left [COMPLETE][GameJolt GDC Jam2016]

But dear God, You're the only North Star I would follow this far
Owl City "Galaxies"

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Kokoro Hane
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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#5 Post by Kokoro Hane » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:20 pm

Okay so.... played it, loved it. I got what I assume was the "good" ending first.

Thoughts...
I was legitimately freaked out, I love the creepy atmosphere with the music and the random IM'ing. It really felt awkward and bizzare and gives you that creepy Internet feel you have sometimes with people. Also those e-mails... some of them were hilarious (like about making your butt bigger or something along those lines lol) and some were creepy as hell, like the witch-craft one or any cult-ish sound poetry. Then that one about automated e-mails saying "my eyes have been opened" made me like.... ummm what? Haha.

One interesting thing was the whole mystery behind Mr. Frost. You had differing opinions of whether he harrassed students, stole papers, etc, so was he bad or not is the question. Obviously Ruby is the antagonist of the story, but.... you had that "ruby42" defending the Frost fellow, and it seems to confirm she is ruby42 on the bad end when you delete all your e-mails saying "some things are better off forgotten", but why did she defend Frost? And forgive me if I got my details mixed up, I plan to play it again to see if I can connect the dots, but wasn't one of her papers stolen too? Or is it possible Ruby was the true ghost writer? OR WHAT IF FROST WAS BEING MANIPULATED BY RUBY?! Like she made him do things after her death? Okay that theory is probably craziest, but I will play again sometime and see if I can come up with a more coherent theory, this is just me making multiple speculations and different interpretations lol.

I also liked how in the Author's Notes you said you were inspired by some of the creepy spam you've received. That is one heck of an inspiration! Made me remember some stuff that might make a good game too!
In short, excellent game, really made me feel uncomfortable--good job~
PROJECTS:
An Encounter ~In The Rain~ [COMPLETE][IntRenAiMo'19]
False Hope [Demo][WiP][SuNoFes'17]
Crystal Captor: Memory Chronicle Finale [COMPLETE][RPG][#1 in So Bad It's Good jam '17]
The Only One Girl [WiP][Up.5/20/2017][1stQ ver. released]
30 Kilowatt Hours Left [COMPLETE][GameJolt GDC Jam2016]

But dear God, You're the only North Star I would follow this far
Owl City "Galaxies"

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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#6 Post by parttimestorier » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Kokoro Hane wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:20 pm
Okay so.... played it, loved it. I got what I assume was the "good" ending first.

Thoughts...
Thanks so much for the nice long comment! I'm really glad to see that the ambiguous stuff made you think a lot about different theories. If you do end up replaying it sometime then I'd be interested to hear how your interpretation might change! And yes, I had a lot of fun coming up with the different emails. I have my friend Bishounen-P to thank for some of the ideas for those, including
the one that's trying to recruit you to a pyramid scheme selling leggings to make your butt look big!
That's one of the many kinds of spam I've found to be annoyingly common when you have a university email address that's publicly listed in the school's database somewhere.
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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#7 Post by missxtake » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:11 am

Just finished playing it, and I had a really good time! The game really pulled me in, and it was just the right amount of creepy. Also, the creepiest email in my opinion has got to be
the very last one from the alumni who kept asking to take him off the mailing list. The timing of it is perfect, too.
I'm actually a little afraid to clean my inbox out now. 10/10.
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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#8 Post by parttimestorier » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:21 am

missxtake wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:11 am
Just finished playing it, and I had a really good time! The game really pulled me in, and it was just the right amount of creepy. Also, the creepiest email in my opinion has got to be
the very last one from the alumni who kept asking to take him off the mailing list. The timing of it is perfect, too.
I'm actually a little afraid to clean my inbox out now. 10/10.
Ooh, I'm glad you appreciated that one! I put a lot of thought into how to
slowly escalate that little side story effectively.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#9 Post by minyan » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:47 pm

This was fun! It was a little shorter than I was hoping, but all the messages were great, especially the humor when responding to the various e-mails. I would have liked a little more detail about what happened to Ruby, her past, and Morgan, but you can pretty much patch together what happened through the various emails. I enjoyed the messaging mechanics, it was a fun and different way to experience a VN. Awesome job!
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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#10 Post by parttimestorier » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:14 pm

minyan wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:47 pm
This was fun! It was a little shorter than I was hoping, but all the messages were great, especially the humor when responding to the various e-mails. I would have liked a little more detail about what happened to Ruby, her past, and Morgan, but you can pretty much patch together what happened through the various emails. I enjoyed the messaging mechanics, it was a fun and different way to experience a VN. Awesome job!
Thanks minyan! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was a little hard to balance providing some detail while keeping some things mysterious. Obviously I don't want readers to just be constantly confused, but I also find that when you get to the point in a horror story where you know exactly what's going on and why, it can get a lot less scary. So I leaned toward leaving it ambiguous, and I hope that makes it fun for people to speculate about different interpretations. :D
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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#11 Post by Zelan » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:22 pm

Hey parttimestorier! I played this game back in April and I really enjoyed it a lot. Charisse was a super relateable protagonist to me - a university student just trying her hardest at a campus job? Hard same. (Especially her typing style! Her email responses to her friend and to the others being very lax and informal, when all of a sudden you're emailing your professor and you go into "Good evening Professor, I am emailing to let you know" mode. I feel that so hard. (And I almost screamed when the professor emailed back "ok" because wow what a mood.)

I thought the humor was great and the emails were really creative, like others have been saying. Since I haven't played it since April I don't remember any more exactly what opinions I had on each individual storyline that you could find through the emails, but I was super intrigued by the conflicting stories and bits and pieces that you could find.
I got the ending where you "defeat" Ruby first and uh. Oh boy that article does not bode well for the future. I felt a little bad because Morgan sacrificed themself to get rid of Ruby and it was all for NOTHING. Great job with the horror factor on both endings though! ^_^
And I actually did end up going through and deleting a lot of my own emails shortly after playing this.... I had this VN in mind the whole time and was like >_> crossing my fingers that nothing freaky happened to me.

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Re: RE:BURN [Nano2019][Horror][Email Inbox/Chat Simulator]

#12 Post by parttimestorier » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:27 pm

Zelan wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:22 pm
Hey parttimestorier! I played this game back in April and I really enjoyed it a lot.
Thanks so much, Zelan! I'm really glad you liked it. I had a lot of fun writing all the different typing styles. I'd definitely like to write another game that takes place online sometime, because there are so many fun ways to be creative with how characters express themselves in text.
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