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AGS Games => Completed Game Announcements => Topic started by: KyriakosCH on 21 Jul 2020, 10:55

Title: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 21 Jul 2020, 10:55
You have invested  a lot, possibly everything, in getting here - and problems still arise. Even more troublesome is the insinuation: that you do not actually realize what it is you are going after...

Database link: https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/site/games/game/2460-this-is-the-way

The game trailer:



The team:

Spoiler: ShowHide
Story - Kyriakos Chalkopoulos (https://www.patreon.com/Kyriakos)


Music - Krzysztof Gorzkowski (http://soundcloud.com/vorches)


In this brief horror game (which has three different endings) you arrive in front of a door, after apparently a very long journey.
You believe that getting behind the door will solve all of your problems - but a new problem is unexpected, since it is locked, and someone stands behind it, not letting you pass...

Made for MAGS July (Distance) ...!

Spoiler for how to get the three different endings:

Spoiler: ShowHide
The three endings are accessible like this:

Ending 1: you don't pick up the paper which fell when you became dizzy. So you are kicked out of the hall before all questions are asked. This is actually the "good" ending ^_^ You imagine the orange floral wallpaper corridor.

Ending 2: you pick up the paper when asked. You ask everything and in the end decide you believe the person/thing behind the door. You get the bad ending, where you dream that you fall to the ground from an apartment high up.

Ending 3: you ask all questions and in the end decide you don't believe him. You get the middle-of-the-way ending, where you are on a bus, returning home, wondering if the person behind the door is in alliance with the people in the office who ask you to leave.
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: milkanannan on 22 Jul 2020, 05:19
Very cool concept. The pacing in the game is great.

Spoiler: ShowHide
Love the pausing as each message gets produced. Some really great moments of suspense like finding out the door is being held closed and not locked and finding out the messages were pre-written. The game is clearly surrealist. I sort of presumed the player is trapped in their own mind, like they knew all the answers to the questions ahead of time and were still holding themselves hostage in behind an unlocked door. They’re in a waiting room but no one else is waiting, I.e. there’s no line up to achieving salvation; they can free themselves if the wish.

Just so you know: choosing to stay in the room causes the game to freeze (at least for me). I watched the ending videos included in the game folder, but I don’t think these are loading properly in the game.


Had it up on the big screen ~ :=
(https://i.imgur.com/HMXgayK.jpg%5B/img%5D)
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 22 Jul 2020, 11:23
Thank you for the comments!!!

Are you sure about the videos issue? Cause that would be terrible!!! - but others haven't mentioned anything like this, so if you have the time please try again, and tell me :D

Regarding the plot:

Spoiler: ShowHide
 Pretty much :) My own idea was:
-You try to move within your own imagination. But a defense mechanism is blocking you (the "person" behind the door). More than likely the office is real, but nothing special exists there.
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: Shadow1000 on 22 Jul 2020, 20:54
Spoiler: ShowHide
The three endings are accessible like this:

Ending 1: you don't pick up the paper which fell when you became dizzy. So you are kicked out of the hall before all questions are asked. This is actually the "good" ending ^_^ You imagine the orange floral wallpaper corridor.


I got endings 2 and 3 by going through the options but I don't know how to get 1.

What do you mean by
Spoiler: ShowHide
...when you becamse dizzy? I assumed it meant the beginning of the game but it seems that it's after a specific question or paper? Also, why are there several papers that you are sent that you can't pick up?
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 22 Jul 2020, 21:20
KyriakosCH, I think there was still a misunderstanding, you do not have to have OGV files in the compiled folder, you may place them in the project root and then AGS will embed them into exe.
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 22 Jul 2020, 21:58
Spoiler: ShowHide
The three endings are accessible like this:

Ending 1: you don't pick up the paper which fell when you became dizzy. So you are kicked out of the hall before all questions are asked. This is actually the "good" ending ^_^ You imagine the orange floral wallpaper corridor.


I got endings 2 and 3 by going through the options but I don't know how to get 1.

What do you mean by
Spoiler: ShowHide
...when you becamse dizzy? I assumed it meant the beginning of the game but it seems that it's after a specific question or paper? Also, why are there several papers that you are sent that you can't pick up?


Spoiler: ShowHide

You get ending1 if you do not pick up the paper you (by default- coded) let fall to the ground (instead of placing it on the chairs, like all the other read ones). So it is right after you are told that the messages have already been written. Then you ask the new question, you get the screen where the paper falls to the ground, and you are told (by the left office head) to pick it up. You can pick it either then, or the next time you get to  that screen - after that it is locked and you cannot touch it. To get ending 1 JUST LET THE FALLEN PAPER STAY ON THE GROUND. Click only on the new paper, which appears from behind the door :)  You can't click on any other read paper, cause you already read them and have nothing more to do with them.


KyriakosCH, I think there was still a misunderstanding, you do not have to have OGV files in the compiled folder, you may place them in the project root and then AGS will embed them into exe.

Yes, I just wanted to be rather safe than sorry :) Some might have other video programs running and perhaps this can disable the ingame video (??? at least I guess that is what happened to Milkanannan).  But I will erase the videos when I make an update.

I also want to ask if anyone thought the messages on the paper go through too fast to read. I thought they weren't that fast, but two non-native english speakers complained about that... (other non-natives did not - I am not a native speaker either).
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: Shadow1000 on 22 Jul 2020, 22:26


Spoiler: ShowHide

You get ending1 if you do not pick up the paper you (by default- coded) let fall to the ground (instead of placing it on the chairs, like all the other read ones). So it is right after you are told that the messages have already been written. Then you ask the new question, you get the screen where the paper falls to the ground, and you are told (by the left office head) to pick it up. You can pick it either then, or the next time you get to  that screen - after that it is locked and you cannot touch it. To get ending 1 JUST LET THE FALLEN PAPER STAY ON THE GROUND. Click only on the new paper, which appears from behind the door :)  You can't click on any other read paper, cause you already read them and have nothing more to do with them.



Ok, I got it now. Thank you!
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 22 Jul 2020, 22:27
^_^

Did you like anything about the game?
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: Shadow1000 on 22 Jul 2020, 22:41
^_^

Did you like anything about the game?

I'll comment more during the voting but when the game was introducing itself and the interface and overall gameplay, I thought it was pretty cool and suspenseful and a nice interface graphically. It lost my attention somewhat when it felt repetitive.

Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 23 Jul 2020, 02:38
That is true, it is repetitive... Though that is part of the actual story. It is pointless, because likely the person there
Spoiler: ShowHide
 is just imagining there is something special behind the door. He thinks there is a conspiracy to drive him away, but more than likely he is in a random office waiting hall, projecting mad ideas about meaning.
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: Shadow1000 on 23 Jul 2020, 02:40
That is true, it is repetitive... Though that is part of the actual story. It is pointless, because likely the person there
Spoiler: ShowHide
 is just imagining there is something special behind the door. He thinks there is a conspiracy to drive him away, but more than likely he is in a random office waiting hall, projecting mad ideas about meaning.


Ahh,...ok I get it now. I didn't realize that during or after playing. I still don't quite get the endings unless those were also somewhat random in meaning. BTW, fix the spoiler tags in your message!
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 23 Jul 2020, 02:45
The endings are basically this:

Spoiler: ShowHide


Ending 1: He is on a high, cause he didn't get to see that even when he insists the door is opened, others intervene. So he is imagining getting behind the door in some future attempt - just has to pick up that paper and no one will bother him and the door will open.
Ending 2: He is starting to doubt there is a point in trying to go beyond the door. Maybe due to fear, or some sanity kicking in.
Ending 3: Begins to suspect the people in the office are all working together, which may block him from getting the door opened. But hasn't given up.


It all makes sense, in the way the protagonist sees the world  8-)
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: milkanannan on 23 Jul 2020, 02:50
I'm just happy there wasn't...
Spoiler: ShowHide
...a jump scare. The whole time I was playing I was expecting the door to burst open and some cheap scare to end the game. Thanks for not doing that. (laugh)
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 23 Jul 2020, 02:58
I'm just happy there wasn't...
Spoiler: ShowHide
...a jump scare. The whole time I was playing I was expecting the door to burst open and some cheap scare to end the game. Thanks for not doing that. (laugh)


:D

I would never do that.

Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: TheFrighter on 23 Jul 2020, 08:00

Finished! The game is sure eerie, and the gameplay fits. Problem is the voice, I don't fully understand what you say expecially on the endings.  :-[

_
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 23 Jul 2020, 16:28
Thank you for playing, TheFrighter!!! :D

I think that the voice creates issues for some non-native speakers (it would for me too, if it was the voice of another non-native speaker...).
Anglophones just view it as some exotic accent, I suppose  :=
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: Shadow1000 on 23 Jul 2020, 16:33
So, last question:

Now that you explained the idea behind the game, and the three endings, was the player expected to understand this: a) while playing as the game progresses; b) after completing the game, perhaps having to complete all endings; or c) only after having it explained and discussed on the forum?

Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 23 Jul 2020, 16:38
I think it doesn't matter; in the "About" you can read in the end of the game, I write that if one likes the story, they already have created a meaning for it which is personal, and so that meaning is more important than what I meant.
Of course, if one doesn't like it, the above doesn't work :D But it still works in regards to whether my own meaning is the important thing... It's not like I could say: "Yeah well, you didn't get it, so it's your problem". That never works, nor should it - I know it from my work as a published author of short fiction :)
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: arj0n on 23 Jul 2020, 18:00
Eerie game with a somewhat strange atmosphere (in a positive way)

One little thing that could enhance the game: adding subtitles, since the pronunciation is sometimes a bit of and the audio quality of the spoken text also sometimes differs in quality.
Plus point: imo your type of voice does fit well within the game's atmosphere.

Question: what are these 3 figures that popup one by one throughout the game?
I couldn't see the connection with the story for some reason....

And oh: the in-game ending-videos do play correctly.
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 23 Jul 2020, 18:07
Thanks!!!

-The three figures are just office workers (assuming they exist; maybe not even the office exists). They appear when the protagonist has just been too much of a nuisance. Though in his own mind they are co-conspirators, with the end to not let him pass.

-I will consider subtitles, I wanted this to have more of the "you are there" feel, which is why I didn't...
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: Shadow1000 on 23 Jul 2020, 18:27
I think it doesn't matter; in the "About" you can read in the end of the game, I write that if one likes the story, they already have created a meaning for it which is personal, and so that meaning is more important than what I meant.
Of course, if one doesn't like it, the above doesn't work :D But it still works in regards to whether my own meaning is the important thing... It's not like I could say: "Yeah well, you didn't get it, so it's your problem". That never works, nor should it - I know it from my work as a published author of short fiction :)

Ok so pretty subject to interpretation, whether the one intended or the players. Very cool  :-D
Title: A let's play of my game, by AB gamer
Post by: KyriakosCH on 23 Jul 2020, 19:30
^Thanks :)



A "let's play" made for my game, by a gaming site ^_^

And their review of the game:

https://www.freegameplanet.com/this-is-the-way-download-game/

Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 24 Jul 2020, 19:18
If you feel like it, you can also vote for the game in the MAGS  8-)
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 08 Aug 2020, 21:35
The game got accepted in an indie collection project (with games to be sold).
Nice that it was liked enough. I don't expect the pay to be much (mostly percentage based) but still cool ^_^
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: heltenjon on 08 Aug 2020, 22:31
I was wondering what you are saying before the word
Spoiler: ShowHide
"nightmare"
in one of the endings. Could you write it here in spoiler tags? Your voice work here is otherwise very good and really enhances the atmosphere.
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 08 Aug 2020, 22:49
I was wondering what you are saying before the word
Spoiler: ShowHide
"nightmare"
in one of the endings. Could you write it here in spoiler tags? Your voice work here is otherwise very good and really enhances the atmosphere.

Spoiler: ShowHide
 "In the mood I'm in, the only thing waiting for me will be some nightmare" - tried to sound tired, but this way it isn't easy to hear...
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: heltenjon on 09 Aug 2020, 00:20
I was wondering what you are saying before the word
Spoiler: ShowHide
"nightmare"
in one of the endings. Could you write it here in spoiler tags? Your voice work here is otherwise very good and really enhances the atmosphere.

Spoiler: ShowHide
 "In the mood I'm in, the only thing waiting for me will be some nightmare" - tried to sound tired, but this way it isn't easy to hear...


Thanks.

And oddly enough, now that I know what you say, it's impossible not to understand it. It's the same at concerts: If you know the lyrics from earlier, you understand everything they say.
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: Creamy on 30 Aug 2020, 22:24
Interesting.

I join the others about your voice being nice but hard to understand.

I didn't realize there were choices before coming here. I'll give it another try.
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 31 Aug 2020, 11:02
^_^
Thanks!
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 21 Oct 2020, 05:08
The following is the short story version of the game ^_^

This is the Way
by Kyriakos Chalkopoulos

This is the way. I followed the path to the end. Once I get behind that door everything will be fixed...
I really believed this, but when I tried to open the door at the far end of the waiting hall, the handle resisted, so it was locked. After knocking twice impulsively, someone slid a piece of paper under the door, where it was written: “This is not the way. You’ve made a mistake”.
“Nonsense!”, I grumbled, “this is the way...”. Then he slid a second piece of paper, the gist of the new note being that I could inquire further and he’d answer in writing.
After thinking it through, I asked my first question:
“Who are you?”.
“I am your hand that keeps you hanging from the railing. If you command me to let go, I’ll do so, but first I have to revolt”.
Since this reply seemed to me neither clear-cut nor convincing in the slightest, I immediately prompted him to be more open with me. The next note read as follows: “I am the one who has to keep the door closed. It doesn’t matter what I am, beyond that. Your own way does not intersect with mine other than in this location”.
Given I had already received four replies in writing, and each time would carefully place the read pages on the empty chairs of the waiting hall, I felt now was the time to put a great enigma to rest: how could he write so fast? It never took him more than a second to slid through the answer… But what I read in the next piece of paper got me in a spin!
“These replies are not being written now. They were already prepared. The pieces of paper with the answers are next to me and I choose the one called for each time”.
Trying to get over the shock, I hastily inquired as to whether he ever means to unlock the door. Unluckily, my hands were shaking, so the page with the hideously eerie responce fell to the floor – immediately this caused some office employee to come stand on my left side, asking angrily that I pick it up. I complied, because as long as the door in front of me remained closed I’d do well to  avoid having to face more problems.
The new reply from beyond the door, however, was once again ominous: I had asked if this person was amenable to unlock the door at some point, and he wrote that he door wasn’t locked in the first place; it’s just that every time I tried to open he kept it closed by applying pressure to the handle.
“Will you never let me pass?”, I went on to ask – this time rather flatly, so as to not attract more attention from the office’s employees. By now all the chairs to the right of the door had at least one written paper on them. In the new page I read:

“You are like someone who finds himself in the room of a tall building: wishing to go to the street below, you are thinking of jumping out of the window”.
I did not like that image one bit, so returning for the time being my focus to the very first of his messages I asked what he meant by saying I had made a mistake. To this I got the answer that while my calculation regarding the area I wished to reach was correct, it being behind the door, I wasn’t allowed to reach it this way, and he went on to suggest I look for a different point of entry.
“What is behind the door?”, I pronounced, in the most docile tone yet.
“If you must know, there’s a very narrow corridor, covered by a bright, orange wallpaper with a floral motif”.
“What’s at the end of the corridor?”
“Solid walls on two sides, and a small opening to the right, just below the ceiling. But you can’t go through there”.
Not wishing to ask anything else, I announced my decision and demanded he let me pass. Instantly, as if they had conspired to do so, three employees of the office appeared, one to the left, one to the right and the last one right in front me, and this last one, being their leader, in much the same indignant tone of my own proclamation to the person behind the door, said: “And we don’t want you talking to a door. Now go”.

When I got back to my apartment, I kept thinking of the corridor behind the door. I could imagine myself there, and it was so beautiful... But then I wondered whether in my next visit to the office I’d be again blocked by those employees. After all, it was clearly wrong of me to think they’d leave me be if I’d just comply to the order given by the first one, and pick up the paper that fell through my hands in that moment of extreme nervousness – or reward me for having been so diligent in placing all read papers on the empty chairs, and always speak so softly. Despite all that, they still intervened, when it was most crucial!

Is it, therefore, possible that those people, complete strangers to myself, are working together with the one behind the door? In his own words, he’d have to revolt if I pressed him to do as I wished . His power to bring about their timely intervention – was this the revolt he spoke about?

___

If you read it, tell me what you think!
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: milkanannan on 21 Oct 2020, 06:46
It’s a cool story, and a nice little extension to the game. My guess is it is someone relentlessly denying themselves happiness. It reminds me of a theme I remember studying in the book Dubliners, where in several of the stories people are trapped by their inability to push themselves past a self-imposed limit. The pre-written notes in your story are deep rooted beliefs held by ego that he/she is unworthy of whatever is behind the door.
Title: Re: This is the Way
Post by: KyriakosCH on 21 Oct 2020, 07:40
Thank you :D

Self-imposed limit works (and any story has various meanings, not primarily intended by the author, due to how our mind works...), but personally I was thinking of the area behind the door as being locked mentally because while you can in theory try to solve your issue by using stuff from there, it will lead to a far worse mental destabilization.
I think such mental areas do exist - though it's not like one can easily experiment on this idea...

In the above sense, the entity behind the door is a defense mechanism, not part of the actual problem.