My Twine adventures continue and this time I explored some macros and HTML editing to create this experience:


Thanked by 3Fengol Tuism pieter


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    I tend to read text on websites by hovering my mouse over the text I'm reading. This game responded to that, which was kind of unnerving, and made me feel by the end of it that I shouldn't be reading certain bits (or keeping my mouse well clear) because moving my mouse over seemed to replace the text with worse text, and then sometimes replace that with even worse text. Which I think works pretty great for the subject matter. I feel like this could have been taken further, given more time, although I don't know if it'd get gimmicky or cliched (in any case I enjoyed the interaction and appreciate it in this context).

    It's also pretty distressing, which I expect is the feeling you were trying to achieve.

    Nice work! Any plans to expand this?
    Thanked by 1Fengol
  • Ooooh, i really like the idea of this, the effect is really great, might I ask which script you used for it? :D

    I tried to make a Twine after the first 24 hours, and then I ran up against the very real difficulty of writing interactive fiction. So kudos!! :D

    At first it was kinda irritating because I didn't finish what I was reading before it changed, then I learned to read first then interact, but then I stopped knowing what I should or shouldn't hover over because it seemed that the hovering also removed options. Which I guess is a great way of interactively showing the paranoia. But I don't know how to "play" the game as it didn't seem to have a system that I could really figure out. The way you can't go back contributed to the difficulty of "learning" the system.

    Good work :D
  • Oh rad! Didn't know that twine features were so well-supported :D
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    I was thinking about your game for some time before responding; kind of working out my reply. Then I read @EvanGreenwood 's comment and realized I did not play the game properly - I played it on my phone the first time, so did not get all the hovering magic. I played it now again on PC, and am now very disappointed I did not get the effect the first time (on mobile I could not figure out whether my phone was weird or what was going on), but it is extremely effective and unnerving on PC.

    To me, your game has a bit more significance: someone I am very close to has schizophrenia (I will call her Kate), and it really is an awful disease. Things (such as your game) that tries to give some insight into this horror means a lot. In particular, they show how serious, debilitating and scary it really is, and to what extent a sufferer is really unable to help themselves. (I mean, the very thing that you use to overcome other hard things - your brain - is working against you, making you think medication is poison, for example). The second is the stigma and secrecy, and the association with violence, that you also address in the text after. There is a third thing, that I talk about below.

    I have a few thoughts - maybe only relevant to my faulty play-through; it is hard now to try to experience the game as if for the first time, so keep that in mind. Also, they really are really just thoughts (if you expand on this or approach the material again) and not recommendations per se (I mean, you know better how these games work than I do). Anyways, here goes:

    Overall, the fear feels a little bit abstract to me. (I realize here the effects do a lot to offset this).

    One idea is to lure the player in before introducing the more "outrageous" elements like bugs. Start of with something more plausible, and then gradually turn up the dial. (This could also work another level. Many conversations with Kate start off innocently, normal; then something goes just slightly off, and before you know it you are in full-scale fantasy land).

    Another idea is to make the fear more personal. It is one thing when outsiders are out to get you; it's another when the people or a peson you love deeply betrays you. For example, you could establish a bond between the player and another character, and then progressively make the player more mistrustfull (the effect you use I imagine can work wonderfully to change actual words into progressively more dillusional ones).

    A third idea is to convey the sheer hopelessness - everywhere the player turns is danger. Perhaps break the "escape" sequence into a series of plans, that each could work but then turns out to be another dead-end. The idea is that one "safe" thing after another turns out to be not.

    I mentioned above there is a third thing games such as yours could potentially do - and that is convey the fact that while someone may be dillusional, they can still think intelligently, be quite perceptive, and still have great capacatiy for emotions (such as love), which amplifies the sadness of it all. You can use this, for example, if you introduce another character, or in the inventiveness of the plans (us that are close to Kate take a kind of morbid pride in her cunning to pull off the odd escape during periods of committal).


    Well, I am glad you made this, and hope you will make more. Don't be afraid to go for the gut :)
  • Voted.
    I was really expecting some very ugly and scary looking picture to popup close to the end and make me sh!t my pants. Nice storyline and felt much more interactive than your previous text based game.
    Thanked by 1dammit
  • This is a really interesting use of more subtle interaction in a text based game. Awesome.
    Thanked by 1dammit
  • @hermantulleken It really means a lot to me to hear from you, someone with personal experience, and find out that I am on the right track here (and part of the reason I took so long to respond because I was trying to figure out how to convey - without sounding robotic or cheesy - how much I appreciate your perspective and also your willingness to share your personal story). I definitely wanted to create as close to the real experience as possible, allowing other people to feel what it might be like, so that, rather than fear people diagnosed as schizophrenic they can empathise and I am so glad to hear that I'm on the right track.

    I hadn't actually any idea of how to take this project forward and wasn't planning to, as I felt that the experience of unease etc had been achieved and hammering home the point might only ruin the effect. However, I think you're right. There's definitely more here, and more to the story I'm trying to share, by starting with drawing the player into the normalcy of life and how the safe becomes the potentially threatening. Will definitely do more work in that regard and I'm hoping you'll still have time to feed back on each iteration to make sure I stay on course.

    One other thing I do mean to add at the end of the game is statistics on suicide within people diagnosed with schizophrenia as I believe it's something like 10% of all people diagnosed successfully commit suicide. And that's beyond tragic.

    Thanked by 1hermantulleken
  • Just had a play through and as many have mentioned the feeling you were trying to go for was achieved. I especially like the font changes. Not much else to say that others haven't mentioned. I wouldn't mind play a longer version of this that builds up and then gets frantic towards the end.

    Good job!
    Thanked by 1dammit
  • I just played through this. I'll probably repeat some of the comments already made, but here goes.

    First off, this is really great. I played depression quest in the past and I think the way options are limited or changed is a really great mechanic to teach someone that's not familiar with the condition a little bit of what it feels like. I thought the conversations with yourself was really well done. The fact that I had to hover over the text to continue the dialogue meant that I was almost an unwilling participant. I knew that it was likely to reveal a line of text that would make me feel worse, but I almost felt like it was a compulsion to entertain the dialogue anyway. It would have been really difficult indeed to avoid revealing any of the alternate lines.

    I'm generally not good at giving any feedback in terms of direction for games like this, but I would really like to see this expanded. What I did feel was missing a little was context for the character. I'm still not really sure what's going on. Why is my house bugged...why is someone following me...why am I so anxious/paranoid. I realize that these events are only happening in the characters head, but when I started reading I took whatever the character said as fact. So I wasn't sure where the paranoia was coming from, since it was a fact that the house was bugged. Writing it out like this makes me think that it might actually be a really good thing, if the reader is as confused as the character and has to figure out what's real and not the same way the character does, then that could be a great teaching moment. I refer back to sentence one of this paragraph. :P

    There is one thing that I caught myself doing which broke the experience a little for me. It's also possible that I'm in the minority of people who would do this. When the dialogue was presented in one long line of text, I would actually quickly hover left to right and reveal all the text in the line. When the dialogue was presented in shorted lines one below the other it felt a lot more like I needed to commit on my side. It felt more like I was making the choice to reveal this other thought, rather than just being used to a computer and going through the motions. I feel like I missed out on some of the story experience by being used to how computers work and "gaming the game". I'm not sure if this paragraph is making a lot of sense...anyway.

    Those are my thoughts. I hope that some of it is useful. :) It was really great and thank you for making this.
    Thanked by 1dammit
  • Tried this now. I found it to be rather distressing. I think you managed to achieve your goal, but I think it could be a bit hit or miss depending on the player's reading skill. If you can't read as fast you might not be able to follow quickly enough, but then again, that could make the experience even more pronounced. I have some personal feelings on the subject matter which I would be okay to chat about sometime but don't feel comfortable posting here.

    If it was easy to have this with voice-over I think that would be amazing, but alas VO isn't cheap/easy.

    If it was possible to make the hover-switch thing slower, that would be a way to play with the mechanic and possibly easy the player in a bit. Sometimes I mistakenly triggered things before I read them. Although I suppose that's also part of the experience. If it's technically possible to change the speed, you could adjust it depending on the scenario. CSS3 animations might be able to do this in a way that works well, but not sure off hand.
  • #74 Mood(Jam) 3.94
    #257 Innovation(Jam) 3.44
    #431 Overall(Jam) 3.35
    #738 Fun(Jam) 2.87
    #920 Theme(Jam) 2.73
    #1903 Coolness 28%
    I'm pretty chuffed with this! 74 for mood :D
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