Hey I made another game

Burgers_5-26

Burgers choices factor heavily into this game’s story.

Well, I went and made another game.  It took a bit longer than I expected for a “I bet I can whip this off in a weekend”-project, but I think I’m finally ready to call this thing finished.

It’s called “Save the Date“, and in a stark departure from what I usually write (weird deconstructions and variants on shmups) it is instead a weird… dating sim.  About having dinner.

I don’t really have any good way to describe what sorts of mental processes lead someone to up and write a dating sim out of the blue.  All I can say is, it seemed like a neat idea, and something that would be pretty quick to throw together.  And at least ONE of those two things proved to be true.

Also, I feel like I should give a shout-out to the fine folk behind Ren’Py, which really does an amazing job of zooming in on the things that you want to do, and focusing on making them easy, with laser-like precision.  I can’t promise that this is a genre that I plan to do a lot more with, but if I do, I will almost certainly be using Ren’Py again.

So anyway, go try it.  Play it.  If you feel verbose, you can even tell me what you think of it.  It’s pretty different from the sorts of things I usually write, but on the balance, I’m pretty happy with how it came out.  It’s probably about 45-90 minutes of your time, and who knows.  It might just be a better dinner-themed dating sim than you might expect!

At the very least, I can promise that it is probably a different one than you expect.

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18 Comments

  1. Chronodrax says:

    Woah.
    That was definitely an experience I’ll remember, and I can’t thank you enough for that !
    I’ve never been so frustrated AND excited at the same time when “finishing” a game !

    [Game-clue half-spoiler alert]
    Though one ending was really close to one of the half-life mod “The Stanley parable” endings (you’d like that mod for sure).
    Your version is still different, and makes you really think way further about interactions between the player and the story. Great job there !
    (I couldn’t help it, I had to continue trying even after the “good” endings, I’m too curious, yet the last time I stopped before the end and thought… well, you know !)

    I never thought the lack of drawn characters could “add” more depth to a visual novel. Really. The scenes described are much more fun to imagine than it would have been if drawn. Background and music were enough for the mood, and the rest lies within the player’s imagination (heh).

    That was definitely a date worth saving :)

  2. Natanor says:

    A hacker is me!

  3. Teun says:

    This was absolutely an amazing experience. I definitely didn’t expect any “game” to be like this but i feel like i have always wanted/needed a “game” like this hahaha! There has to be more attention for this because it can really make people think in good ways, inspire people and make them realize they have imagination! A very good job.
    Thank you very much for the amazing experience

  4. Sergiovan says:

    Whoa. This game is… different. And frustrating at times. Still brilliant.
    Still, questions arise:
    First, do the Mexicans sing literally “save the date” in Spanish? I know Spanish and I though I understood that.
    Second, are the “10% cooler. Well, probably double” and “YOU are not scientifically possible” references to certain show? Or is it just my imagination? Hmmmm…

  5. Montoli says:

    Clearly just your imagination. And you CERTAINLY shouldn’t pay too much attention to the lottery numbers in the “I’m from the future” branch. Any absurd conclusions you drew from them would ALSO just be your imagination.

    /)

  6. Sergiovan says:

    (\
    Like a boss then. Great game.

  7. Sergiovan says:

    Looked at the numbers. Thought a bit. You are a genius. Like, you have no idea

  8. Goose says:

    Amazing game!
    I felt kinda proud of myself getting the real ending.
    You’re a genius!
    Incredible job dude! :D

  9. Enrique says:

    Got bored AND frustrated after playing this game for about 4 hours. I did the hacker thing, I don’t think that’s the good ending.
    The game kept telling me to shut it down, and I did, several times. I believe I’ve tried every possible combination (as far as my mind can keep track of, I might be missing one or two), the game is really frustrating.Is there a real ending? I’m done trying.

  10. Neoviper says:

    All I’ll say is that previous choices won’t always have the same results, depending on how far you’ve gotten. Try going back and see if anything goes differently.

  11. Luiz says:

    I really, really enjoyed the game. It’s been a long time since I’ve been treated as an adult by a game. Great job!

  12. Montoli says:

    @Luiz – You have no idea how terrifying that is as a game developer. It’s easy to SAY “treat the player as an adult” but you can only be burned so many times by playtesters that “just don’t get what they’re supposed to do” and you start getting the urge to hand-hold the player through every single thing!

    I frequently thought to myself that if I were trying to sell this for money, I would never be able to get away with this, since I was figuring I’d was probably going to lose at least 75% of my players anyway to “I don’t get it.” (I just figured “since I’m not trying to sell this, I guess I can afford to lose a lot of people, if that’s the price to give the remaining 25% as awesome an experience as I can muster.)

    Glad to see it worked out for a (surprisingly large) number of people! There’s probably a moral here about trusting people more. But probably an even bigger bigger one about trusting your gut on what game YOU want to make, vs. what you think would sell best. So I’m really glad I wasn’t trying to sell this, since, in hind sight, if I had been, I’m almost positive I would have ruined the game. :-\

  13. Oh no! says:

    I like the game, but the savefunction isn’t working. Here’s the traceback.txt

    http://pastebin.com/WArLL0XR

    Seems like it really messed up the directory somehow

    ‘C:\\Users\\TimC\\AppData\\Roaming/RenPy/Save the Date-1361735824/1-1-LT1.save’

    I’m on windows 7.

  14. farvardin says:

    Amazing work!

    I managed to “finish it”, I got the (or at least an) end! ;)

    Very innovative. I thought also to the same movie you mentionned during the game. I enjoyed it very much.

  15. farvardin says:

    oh and I forgot to congratulate for the original graphics!

  16. Montoli says:

    Awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  17. David says:

    This is really good, so good it almost makes up for Audioslave. Almost.

  18. Poisson says:

    Excellent game! Its greatest quality is that it manages to make you *feel* the message and not just process it intellectually, so that it remains interesting whether these thoughts are totally new to you or you’ve had/seen them before.

    (after all, we play horror games or FPSes to experience fear or violence no matter how often we’ve done it before – ideas get stale but not experiences)

    This I guess is the mark of any game with great content-form consistency, where what you do is really related to what you’re being told about (contrary to, say, jumping on turtles to conquer your love). Which is quite rare when the theme is a bit more sophisticated than hitting things.

    I am happy to see that games with this level of maturity are starting to emerge. So far it seemed to exist almost only in even smaller niches like Interactive Fiction. Well, admittedly, visual novels are niche, but less so.

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