The LCPANES Terminal

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psy_wombats
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The LCPANES Terminal

#1 Post by psy_wombats » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:31 pm

Hm, I figure as I'm probably going to put up a WIP/recruitment topic soon, it'd be best if I share some completed work first. So here's the project I just finished a few days ago: The LCPANES terminal.

You are one of four people trapped in an unknown location and must escape using only the coded books provided by your captor. Unfortunately for you, each person is trapped in a different room. Luckily enough you can communicate through a computer program, but this program only operates in one direction, meaning that everyone needs to cooperate to send messages or do much else. However, you are the last to arrive in this dungeon and mistrust is heavy between the captives, with each suspecting the others of being plants. You must figure out who to trust and how to escape from your prison.

The format is a little weird. I was originally intending to make a more VN like project, but as the story is an escape-the-room scenario, the second person just seemed to fit more. There are no graphics, but there's a strong DOS-like aesthetic. This sort of stuff happens when someone with programming/writing background works without an artist... The game length is short (I guess) with 25,000 words split across 9 endings and the project is hand-coded in Java.

You can play in the browser here: http://www.wombatrpgs.net/lcpanes

You can download the offline version if you'd prefer, and the game also has a homepage and if you appreciate these sorts of things, a review. Good luck in your attempt to escape!

(and some screenshots for good measure)

Image

Image

Image

See, this is why I need more partners with artistic sense...
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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#2 Post by Taleweaver » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:28 am

So essentially... it's a VN without the V? More like an Interactive Fiction?
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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#3 Post by armornick » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:03 am

Oh my, it's been long since I've actually seen one of these. I don't know whether this project belongs in these forums though. It's not exactly a visual novel, like Taleweaver said.

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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#4 Post by kkffoo » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:58 am

Is it made using Renpy?

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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#5 Post by psy_wombats » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:22 am

Taleweaver wrote:So essentially... it's a VN without the V? More like an Interactive Fiction?
Yeah, pretty much. It started as a VN project a year ago, but I lost the original source code and script when I switched laptops, and when I came back to the project I decided I wanted to do something different. I guess if it's not appropriate for these forums some objecting mod could shove into skills development or something.
kkffoo wrote:Is it made using Renpy?
No, everything's in Java. Ever since my falling out with RM2K, I can't bring myself to use other people's engines, even if it would be a lot more convenient.
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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#6 Post by armornick » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:24 pm

Nothing personal but not only isn't this particular project made with Ren'Py, but you say you don't want to use other people's engines. I'm probably misunderstanding, but Ren'Py is also an engine. I don't think you'll have much use on the Ren'Py-specific forums. Of course, I'm not a mod so I'm leaving it between you and them.

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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#7 Post by Lotus » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:36 pm

The Lemmasoft forums aren't just for games made with Ren'py; on the very top of the page it says "Post your questions & comments about visual novels, anime, and video games!"

On topic, this game is extremely interesting but I suck at interactive fiction ;A; I never know what to do, lol. Do you have a walkthrough somewhere?

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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#8 Post by PyTom » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:16 am

Let me just wooze in to say that apart from the two Ren'Py-specific sections of this forum, we welcome discussion of all storytelling-based games. We tend not to get a lot of discussion of traditional IF-style games here, but we've had some, and I think that's more due to historical reasons than anything.
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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#9 Post by chimeric » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:56 am

I've just played through this several times and, you know, I think in some ways the IF-like interface is entirely appropriate. There were one or two scenes where, afterwards, I thought some music or visuals could've added to the effect, but for the most part the strength of your writing and the nature of the story meant that focusing entirely on text was surprisingly effective.

I read through the review after completing my first couple of endings (yeah, I realise that that was probably the wrong way round) and I definitely agree- the game really forces you to think! I got
ending #5
the first time around, somehow, and playing it through again made me realise just how much thought has gone into the scenario. This is a fantastic game, not just because of the original idea but also it's execution.

I felt that maybe some choices were a bit arbitrary, and there are one or two typos and bugs (I'll try and replicate them before reporting them- once or twice I'd pick one choice and the game would say that I'd actually chosen the other!) but nothing was glaring enough to detract from my enjoyment.
Can the fake book actually be opened? I'm pretty sure it's a red herring, but I could've missed something!

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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#10 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:39 pm

Got ending 5 on my first try as well, but I don't feel as there is much "puzzling" involved in the game, more trying out arbitrary choices and seeing how they turn out. There is probably a way to unravel the mystery and find out more about the other captives, but it doesn't look as there is a "logical" or "decipherable" way to do it. This is my main gripe with the game: you can't really work through it, you need to go for trial and error.

Nonetheless, the writing itself is brilliant; up to par with masterpieces like "Varicella". The mood is unsettling and dark, the personalities of the other captives are coming through rather well, and the overall atmosphere of mistrust (which is actually your greatest enemy) really makes this a wonderful experience. Great job, though I have a hard time imagining a game like this as a visual novel; the pictures would probably overshadow the wonderful writing.

>edit< Oh, and before I forget to ask you this, would you mind PMing me with a sort of a walkthrough to the nine different endings. I don't seem to be able to find all of them...
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman
Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming
Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year
Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift
More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira

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Re: The LCPANES Terminal

#11 Post by psy_wombats » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:47 pm

Lotus wrote:On topic, this game is extremely interesting but I suck at interactive fiction ;A; I never know what to do, lol. Do you have a walkthrough somewhere?
Taleweaver wrote:>edit< Oh, and before I forget to ask you this, would you mind PMing me with a sort of a walkthrough to the nine different endings. I don't seem to be able to find all of them...
Yep, just wrote one up. You can find it here.
chimeric wrote:
Can the fake book actually be opened? I'm pretty sure it's a red herring, but I could've missed something!
Yep, red herring...
@psy_wombats - Hobby dev of VNs, RPGs, roguelikes, and other junk... professional phone game dev :/

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