Really fun little experience, I'd love to see the concept expanded upon and made into a full game because it really shows a LOT of promise. It was rather difficult and frustrating at the beginning but once you kinda figure out what those bars up top are for, it becomes more manageable.
When I'm Gone
A downloadable game for Windows and macOS
The infection has spread too fast. Most cities have already fallen. You and your daughter, Jolie, have escaped into mountains, where you’ve found an abandoned cabin. But it was not entirely successful. You have been wounded, so your death is inevitable.
But you can’t afford to die. At least not yet. Your daughter is still here and you have to make sure that it’s going to stay that way even when you are not.
Game created for the #GMTKjam 2018 with a theme “GENRE WITHOUT MECHANIC”
Our take on this theme is “Survival game without your survival”. Instead of fighting for your own life, you are focusing on someone else’s.
@jarnik - programming, game design, character design
@pwMoti - art, content design, game design
Music - public domain from https://freesound.org/
How to play
There are three interactive objects on the screen, each providing different actions.
Door - which the mother can go out through and search for useful items.
Mother - can upgrade the cabin (if required items have been found)
Daughter - can be taught to different skills or knowledge, that are essential for her survival.
By combining these actions you can prepare your daughter for surviving on her own, when you are dead.
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The "Protect vs Gain" mechanic seems messed up. I select "repair" and "handling a dead body" from knowledge and gain goes up? Why wouldn't protect go up? There are plenty of other incidents like this though I'm guessing that none of the stats actually go "down", it's just showing the balance. Regardless, it doesn't make sense why the ratio would change in this way on some of these.
Still, I enjoyed the game. I've gotten to where I can basically beat it almost every time since the game always boils down to two scenarios:
She can't stay here, I can't secure her enough before I die, etc.
- Focus on training her to survive in the wild, as well as getting a map/GPS, a bow, and a tent.
There are too many threats outside, she'll have to get by with what I find for her, etc.
- Focus on gathering supplies (canned food, water) and increasing the defense of the cabin by boarding it up and digging a shelter.
I basically ignored the cooker and generator. I even stopped teaching her how to farm since it seemed to affect the stats strangely and it seemed counter intuitive (she can't farm if she is on the move and going out to farm would be dangerous if she need to stay inside).
I wish you luck in your future in game design.
the game is good i enjoyed it but i cant win no matter what i do! i get the kid to learn all the subects and she still dies! I found it frustrating after losing 10 times in a row!
This is pretty neat-- I like the art a lot. I love the concept most of all-- you know you're going to die so you're just trying to pass on survival knowledge to someone else.
Also "go off to die alone" is one of the best choice prompts I've ever seen in a game-- I know its a heavy subject thematically but that made me laugh (in a good way)
Keep up the good work!
Considering this has been coded in 2 days, it is truly amazing. I've been gaming for more than 25 years and I can clearly tell when a concept is good. The randomness of the item gathering, the starting premise and the trial and error that slowly gives you understanding of the game mechanics makes this game very entertaining. I would totally pay for a fully developed game around this and will surely contribute right now to this excellent concept. Congratulations guys, you have a LOT of talent. Keep 'em coming.
Thank you for all the praise that you gave us. Being acknowledged and appreciated is the most rewarding thing in the game development. They will be our fuel for months.
But to prevent discouraging others, I would like to say, that the qualities are mostly result of experience. At least that’s what I believe in. In years we did a lot of game jams, a lot of them even together. And with each of them the result is always noticebly better.
One has to like these small interesting concepts, even if one's ungrateful offspring keeps dying on them.
We should have put some analytics in there. I would love to know how many girls have died already. :D
Very interesting concept, executed the theme perfectly. A little bit vague, but does not detract from the game experience. All in all a fun experience, and maybe a concept worth looking into more in the future.
After the jam we discussed the possibilities of the future development. At least in the sense of what other features / mechanics can we imagine in it. It was surprisingly easy for us to get the picture of the fully developed game, but we also had to agree, that even then it will be 4 - 5 hour long experience at max.
I got her to survive! First time I focused on only outdoors type things, no cabin upgrades and mostly supplies like a bow, tent and giving her knowledge and skills and it worked. The second time mentioned that there were 'too many threats outside' so I focused on indoors type things. Fortified the cabin, dug her a shelter, gave her a farm, taught her how to handle a dead body so I didn't have to worry about dying alone, and I got her a cooker but wasn't able to repair it before I died. She survived then too. To be frank, I have no idea what the protect/gain bar was for, but apparently I kept it where it should be to win.
Thank you for playing and congratulations for winning.
To explain the gain - protect scale.
Each interaction has the protect/gain properties. For example repair or food preservation helps her to protect what she has. On the other hand hunting helps her to gain new resources. There are conditions like "I can't secure her enough." Which implies that it will be better in that scenario to focus on the gain type of skills and knowledge.
But you can always win with any strategy. Going against the scenario will only make it harder. :)
If it's possible to still win when going against the scenario - I SENSE A CHALLENGE-!!!
Go for it. If you want any other tip or deeper insight, let us know. :D
Alright so I've won going against the scenarios to stay indoors, outdoors and the one to focus on gain type skills. I've noticed that certain things help her survive (like people coming after hearing her on the radio). I love how the game seemed so weird and impossible at first but with time it all seems to reveal itself with trial and error :D
It is very good. I played nearly fifteen sessions. Very well done in only two days. Jolie never survived though :D
That's awesome, and really flattering, but also very sad. Sorry.
If you want any tips, let us know. ;)
I liked this game alot, I found my self playing it over and over again trying to get her to live. Sadly I have not yet been able to keep her alive, and will continue to play until I can do so and have figured out your game.
9/10- I love the mechanic and the idea. Only thing I would change would be the "protect/gain" slider to be clearer OR to add what teaching the daughter will effect. ex "Cooking 8 (indoors + gain)
Again I really enjoyed this game! <3
Thanks for playing! :)
We wanted the skill effect guessing to be a part of the challenge - "Hmm, is this an outdoorsy thing? And is it more protective rather than for your gain?", so not showing it explicitly was a design choice. But as you said, maybe some clarification could help.
A thing that could maybe also use some clarification, is that instead of balancing the a/p, p/g meters, it's more effective to pick a viable survival strategy (outdoor gain, indoor protect, etc.) and then aim for it, while being ready to switch it progressively, depending on the items you fetch.
A less apparent feature that encourages multiple playthroughs is that every time your restart the game, the world conditions change a little, so that some strategies become more viable than others (shown as a suggestion sentence when clicking on daughter).
I understand the guessing being choice, it does add another element to the game. I also understand the adaptive strategy you mentioned (having used it myself). However I had no idea that the game changed slightly every time! This is a very nice touch!
I loved the game and the artwork, and look forward to more games that you make.