Friend (A short game) v 2.0 - New Version

CzarSquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
76
Reaction score
63
First Language
English
Primarily Uses



 ​
 ​
UPDATES
  • Aug 23, 2015 - Version 2.0 is now officially out!
  • July 30, 2015 - Started work on version 2 of this game. Same game and story but with more content, puzzles, lore and maybe save function. Read more about it here.
  • July 25, 2015 - News on the canceled Friend 2 game. Read here.
  • May, 17, 2015 - Updated game with a new Read_Me file, changed pushable box textures, removed shadows, and several minor tweaks. This should be the last official update.
  • March 8, 2015 - Game is now available in Brazilian Portuguese! Download link below!
  • Jan 29, 2015 - Version 1.1 - fix door puzzle to be easier!
  • Jan 27, 2015 - Game Released!
Downloads
 ​
 ​
 
What's the new version (2.0)?

A major overhaul of the game with several changes in gameplay, new puzzles and map layouts. The story and length of the game is about the same. This is not a sequel and wasn't designed to be a new game in the series. This was to polish many of the rough elements in the game while keeping what made the original amazing. There is also some secrets to be found within the game. This is the absolute final version of the game. Minor patches and fixes will come if needed. Friend is now complete. Thank you all for making this game great!

Game Synopsis
You play as the one who enters a mysterious house on the edge of town. The game consist of mostly exploration and solving puzzles to progress through the game. The house has a mind of it's own and will play all sorts of mind bending tricks to throw you off. As you play you will discover notes that will help progress the plot. This game is estimated to be about 10-30 minutes long and contains no saving. You won't need to save, the game isn't that long.
 
Reviews

  • "I have no words to express what this game is really. Whoever will play this will understand what I mean. This game touched me really deeply." - Dreadshadow
  • "It was so sad and amazing and brilliant and wow..." - Knighteriius
  • "...everything is nice and well put together and with a powerful message at the end." - Dalph
Key Features

  • Walk or run in a never-ending, ever-changing house!
  • Make friends!
  • Push and pull boxes (but not at the same time)!
  • Features 5 colors!
  • Beat the game in 10 - 30 minutes in one playthrough!
  • No menus. No saving. No Title Screen.
  • Features 5 soundtracks!
  • Custom art and animations!
  • Made in 24 hours!
Screenshots

 
Any bugs you find please post a screenshot (required) and the last note you saw. In most cases, the game might be messing with you and you simply missed something! So far there hasn't been any reported bugs!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Knighteriius

The Apple
Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
556
Reaction score
200
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Hey!

So far I am loving this game! :D I love your reference to the "orange box" as in with Half Life and TF2 right? hehe that was smart. X) I like your style with this game. ^~^ I'll let you know my thoughts once I am done.

Edit:

...

....

Okay...I just...I just completed this game and loved it.  ;_; It was so sad and amazing and brilliant and wow...

Everyone, play this game. It's worth it. Idk why, it just is.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

amerk

Veteran
Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
1,439
Reaction score
511
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
I like the look of this game. I've been thinking of doing something in a similar style at some point, with the idea of making something that's a bit reminiscent of the old computer rpg's. I'm not sure about the shadows, though, they just seem a bit jarring with the rest of the style. But otherwise, yeah, another game I'm going to need to download and play when I have a brief moment.
 

CzarSquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
76
Reaction score
63
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Thanks you Knighteriius. I'm glad to see the reaction of the ending had the rights feels. I'm glad you have enjoyed it :D

@Amerk: I agree that the shadows are little off when the world is black and white. It didn't really bug me just because every room was like that so while it is irksome it is consistent. Timewise I had about 70 maps to work with and it was the least on the priority list. I could go back and remove them but it may be a while before doing so.
 

Knighteriius

The Apple
Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
556
Reaction score
200
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I didn't have a problem with the shadows. o.o I was more interested in solving the puzzles and getting those notes..in the end I wish I didn't xDD. 
 

Simon D. Aelsi

Voice Actor/Composer
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
4,854
Reaction score
1,403
First Language
Hylian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Alright. I took a look and I played. Here's my review!  The GOOD:

The intro screen was a nice touch. I like the graphics. Kudos for hand-drawn graphics! The story itself was simple and poignant. It's a good way to get your message across. As I, myself, struggle with depression, this hit home.

I love the endless hallways/corridors! They were pretty confusing at times. Reminds me of something from Princess of Peril...  Hmmm ;)

The fact that you enter one room and exit, then go back and things are DIFFERENT isn't easy to keep up, but I like it. 

The puzzles got frustrating after awhile. it takes a lot of patience to go through some of them!

Custom title screen animations! Well done.


Onto stuff I noticed. Not much.

Even though you drew the graphics yourself which is commendable, I noticed that much of your maps were pretty plain.  It would have been neat to see a little more decoration maybe? like doodles on walls or something... even more little boxes or chairs. Just a note.
I wish the title sequence would be skippable, or rather, the tutorial. I see your game is intended for a NON RM audience, and that's awesome, but to push Enter or something to skip would have been a neat option.

... Well, that's it! The rest was good!

Final thoughts: It's pretty sad. Like I said, I struggle with... that... myself, so the ending, although simple, hit me hard. 

You seem to know what you are doing and that's commendable. Well done. I hope to see more from you!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

amerk

Veteran
Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
1,439
Reaction score
511
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Thanks you Knighteriius. I'm glad to see the reaction of the ending had the rights feels. I'm glad you have enjoyed it :D

@Amerk: I agree that the shadows are little off when the world is black and white. It didn't really bug me just because every room was like that so while it is irksome it is consistent. Timewise I had about 70 maps to work with and it was the least on the priority list. I could go back and remove them but it may be a while before doing so.
Good point. Too bad the system doesn't allow you to turn the shadows off by default.
 

mlogan

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
14,890
Reaction score
8,243
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Did a little research because I was curious. This script seems to be able to disable autoshadows.
 

Alphablast001

Villager
Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
10
Reaction score
5
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
WARNING: There are SPOILERS in my review. I highly recommend playing the game first beforehand.

Hello,

As part of this forum's "Let's Review Games!" event I have reviewed this game.

For some strange reason, I cannot paste any text into this boxes, so I have attached the review for your convenience.

From, Alpha

Friend Review.txt
 

Attachments

bandkanon

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
46
Reaction score
10
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Well, after going through that I can easily say it was straight to the point. I'm usually one for making reviews, but since the last person said everything I would have, I'll instead provide an observation;

I didn't exactly feel the connection for some reason personally, as I was instead a little creeped out by the character leaving messages for me. I guess I've been playing too many horror games. Whether this is intentional or not, I understood immediately that this was someone who wasn't entirely well, and I could relate easily with the player's position. It's not easy to know someone who is unstable or unwell in that way, and you might easily be unintentionally repulsed by them.
Moving on, as the story progressed, I was able to figure that this person was most definitely trying to reach out to the player for support, while keeping a good distance. Just about any reason could be applied to this, but I took the messages as a good hint and stacked it up to anxiety, fear of being a burden, lack of confidence and the like. But what seemed most prominent throughout was the distance between the player and the character, and the player's constant inability to close that distance. Again, I'm gonna say that I don't know if this was intentional or not, but the game did a good job at portraying that little feeling of helplessness when one is communicating with a troubled person. That little feeling when, no matter how far you get with them, you're still unable to reach them.


So yeah. Good job! It may not have made me feel like crying or anything (maybe a teensy wibble) but it did make me stop and think, and THAT I know was intentional. We need more stuff like this to spread the word, and I'm definitely going to be recommending it to people to get the word out!


A+! c:


On an extra note, I'd like to add that the suicide rate in the US alone has spiked more than we've ever seen recorded between 2013 and 2014. If we could raise awareness, perhaps more people will get help and the rate will go down-- or at least slow. Every bit of contribution is a step in the right direction, even a "silly game" as some might call it.
:D And that's all I have to say. Thank you, CzarSquid, that was a lovely experience.
 

Dalph

Nega Ralph™ (Retired Overlord of Memes)
Veteran
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
7,731
Reaction score
19,554
First Language
Italian Curses
Primarily Uses
RMMV
This game is great, period.

I don't need to add anything else besides what the other people already said here, it was a solid and enjoyable experience.

Nice graphics, nice maps, smart and original puzzles, nice and intriguing plot, good music choice and atmosphere, everything is nice and well put together and with a powerful message at the end. I liked the titlescreen as well, the game is truly worth all the time spent and doesn't have major flaws.

I reccomend it, good job.
 

CzarSquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
76
Reaction score
63
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Well this thread has exploded today. Thank you all for the comments, the praise, and the suggestions to improve! My first priority of gamemaking is always gameplay followed by story and art. Sometimes this means that game elements actually happen unintentionally to improve the game. I'm actually surprised what I am learning from this game after making it. I'm actually going to hold off on my thoughts of the game itself. I'll leave bits and peices of the game around but I personally think everyone is free to their own interpretation. I plan on doing a youtube explanation later.

I'm going to attempt to reply to everyone. I do not recommend reading the spoilers if you haven't play it yet.

@Oceaniqo

Yeah, I felt that depression. Mine might not have been as intense as others but it's not a good feeling. The endless hallways and changing rooms have many purposes it fulfills. Personally I like the idea that the distorted house is a reflection of the mind of the friend.

As for the puzzles, I did my best to make them as challenging I could without being too easy. I could of made very sinister traps for the player that might render the game impossible. An example, I could of made it so the crates can only be pushed not pulled. Could you imagine having to re-enter a room just because you wedge a box in the wrong spot? That would of been rage quit.

As for the title screen... guilty, I cheated. There is no title screen :p

The lack of art? I agree that the game is a bit empty. Maybe in the next game I'll try to do more than tables, chairs and boxes. Maybe desk, cupboards, and beds!

I completely understand the problem with the opening sequence and tutorial. I personally don't like them either. I did my best to make it as painless as possible.
@amerk & mlogan - Oh, I'll definitely use that script for the shadows for my next game. Thank you!

@Alphablast001

First, thank you for clearing the time with the game. I wasn't sure if it was 30 minutes or shorter because everyone plays it at a different pace (I don't know because I see everything).

The first part was confusing on purpose. It was supposed to give the player a lost sense of direction. It almost feels like there is nothing to find but that's when the notes hook you in.
Thank you for the review though! I'm glad you got the most out of it!

@bandkanon

It's amazing the things that people can conclude from such a simple game. I really don't want to comment too much on the game because honestly I like to leave that to the players before I make my say. I find it interesting that some people think the game is creepy and others feel a strong connection with the friend. Personally I don't get emotionally attach to games and it's characters. Maybe because death in most games are taken very lightly (like revival items). Your reaction is what I personally would of felt if I had played it.

I agree that any effort to help the benefit of mankind is a wonderful thing. Suicide is a very serious modern issue but problem is often we don't know how to help ourselves or others. From personal experience, I thought I was normal (while others said otherwise) but there were days I couldn't even get out of bed. I decided something was wrong and talked to professionals. I found out I did have chronic depression. Just as a diabetic can't make insulin. My mind cannot create enough dopamine to be happy in life. The hardest thing for many people to do is accept there is something wrong.

I'm not sure how big this game will get but I know that many teenagers with depression love video games (one of the escapes). So maybe it can help my generation.
And again, you are welcome! Thank you for the compliments and the insight. All you said was very informative!

@Dalph - Thank you for the compliment. I love me some good fun games.

And again, thank you all for your time for playing the game. I wasn't sure if anyone was going to even look at this game since there is so many RPGmaker games. You all have made my day.

I can't say if I will have a game similar to Friend. It was a spur of the moment kind of idea. I will let you know on this thread if a similar game comes out. Also, you can always check my blog for any other games I'm making (I got a big one in the making).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Maxjonathay

Jonathay
Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
30
Reaction score
13
First Language
Portuguese
Primarily Uses
N/A
that's a really good game, and give to us a Important message, can i translate this game to Brazilian Portuguese?
i really enjoyed.
 

CzarSquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
76
Reaction score
63
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Sure Maxjonathay. I be happy to see this game translated into other languages. I sent you a private message of the terms of how to receive the files.

Edit: I've updated the game to be less frustrating with the multi-door rooms. That was really the only sour thing I can think of that the game needed to be fix!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

_Shadow_

Tech Magician Level:
Moderator
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
4,019
Reaction score
2,627
First Language
Greek
Primarily Uses
RMMV
TL; DR;

PLAY IT.

To read the full review, press the

A small one?

Why not reviewing it then?

The game is almost 10MB. Almost 6 of them is the music.

Well packed in my opinion.

Let's see!

This is a 24 hours project but I will treat it as strict as the other games.

The readers should keep in mind though that the game was really made within a 24 hours period.

Anyway.

A good intro, minimalistic graphics. Music that fits into a nice atmospheric emotional mood.

Perfect basic controls tutorial! Just perfect!

Hello, this is you, these are the controls, you can exit doing this, interact doing that, moving doing that, change screen mode doing that. BOOM! Simple and perfect.

Gee the first map has shadows. It looks somewhat ugly, but at the same time it helps defining a feeling of depth since the wall is white too...

Okay, a note, HEY! I get no menu? You sneaky boy! All right, let's see...

Graphics are as minimalistic as black and white.

The only grey thing is the auto-shading lol!

Floor, walls, doors, notes and crates!

The game succeeds in introducing you into game mechanics in a good and nice way.

You play through black and white rooms.

Nothing is gray really.

This alone makes intensity.

The music is fantastic.

It is not scary, it is not normal. It is uncanny.

The game has some puzzles, like enhanced sokoban style.

The moving crates can be spot as out of place graphics. Not an issue really but this should be fixed if a later version comes out.

Now the notes are really interesting.

You follow the steps of your friend.

Your friend for some reason will soon create intensity.

Will not spoil the situation for anyone else.

But just to continue the review, the game goes on with space music that reminds me of Jean M. Jarre. A new color is introduced and the game made me rush! Really rush to the corridors of the... no that would be a spoiler to tell.

Dear CzarSquid, or maybe Mitchell Adams,

This review goes on as a letter to you.

It is rare. Very rare, but when it happens I give credit for it.

I could not hold my tears man. Really.

Honestly you made a freaking masterpiece.

Sometimes less is more.

Words can not express what I feel after finishing your game.

I now get all the allegories of it.

I now can see what you did there.

This is a game that makes you a better person really if you reach the end.

I try not to get biased by my emotional state at the moment.

Let's finish this strict review...

Graphics: 90/100

Less is more sometimes. Fixing the crate it turns into an 100.

Music: 100/100

Perfect selection for music scores making EXACTLY the feelings and atmosphere it was meant to be done. Excellent and brilliant.

Sound FX: 100/100

Correct

Gameplay: 100/100

Sometimes les is more. Fluent tutorials, simple mechanics, small game, not hard, the game is really incredible.

Atmosphere: 100/100

To the point!

Scenario: 100/100

I have no words to express what this game is really.

Whoever will play this will understand what I mean.

This game touched me really deeply.

Directed: 100/100

Perfectly.

Polished: 90/100

The crate graphic...

Overall: 98/100

Congratulations.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

OldIrishMN

Villager
Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
5
Reaction score
8
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Hello, CzarSquid!

I played FRIEND all the way through last night, and my report card is going to be mostly positive!

LIKES

• The stylization is really well done. The stark visual minimalism naturally makes the player focus more on the atmosphere and the mystery... I for one have no desire to see more objects or details in the game environments. The game that kept coming to mind as I played FRIEND was THOMAS WAS ALONE, another game with a deceptively bare-bones presentation that works up a pretty powerful emotional effect over something that, if analyzed in the abstract, seems like it should never work in a million years.

• Gameplay seems very smooth and bug-free, which is important for building player trust in a puzzle game. It's incredibly frustrating to poke around with game elements trying to figure out which ones are meant to behave weirdly and which ones are busted. I don't actually have the ideal temperament for hard-core puzzle games, so I'm the sort of player it's especially important to soothe a bit in the first few minutes of the game. After the first few minutes, I was definitely feeling relaxed and confident that the game wasn't going to glitch out on me.

• I really appreciate the fact that the head games seem almost entirely to come in the transitions from room to room rather than within the room itself-- although there were a few items that switched function, it was once again a reducer of stress and confusion, to be fairly certain that when you were pushing or pulling crates they would always be crates and not suddenly change on you. It creates, if this makes any sense, alternating periods of unease/disorientation with periods where the player feels more in control. And that, I think, is important... it preserves that necessary element of player control that makes a game rather than a superficially interactive art project.

• The use of music was also very good. Not only is it well-selected, but the transition from one track to another is very well-timed to both increase tension and create a sense that the game is indeed moving forward. I'm a big fan of Giorgio Moroder and some Vangelis stuff, and the second music track in particular had a real Moroder vibe for me.

• The "I found some new ink" moment really was an effective startle.

DISLIKES

• For the most part, I found the game extremely well-paced. I would say that the pacing broke down for me just a bit near the end, after the part where the northern door locks and the southern door leads into a void containing nothing but a crate and a door. I moved left, right, up, and down for quite some time, clicking the crate from every angle, and after several minutes was starting to reach that dangerous point of frustration, where it felt (for the first time) like the game's puzzle was purely arbitrary or perhaps even broken. I must admit that I still don't understand quite what happened to move me past this event-- was it a time limit, a certain distance I had to move, something else? All I know is that I was relieved when it was finally past. The one blemish on an otherwise smooth experience! I know that judging how long to extend this sort of thing is an extremely difficult and idiosyncratic thing...

All in all, a very strongly realized experience, well-polished and affecting.

Thanks!

-OldIrishMN
 

_Shadow_

Tech Magician Level:
Moderator
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
4,019
Reaction score
2,627
First Language
Greek
Primarily Uses
RMMV
• For the most part, I found the game extremely well-paced. I would say that the pacing broke down for me just a bit near the end, after the part where the northern door locks and the southern door leads into a void containing nothing but a crate and a door. I moved left, right, up, and down for quite some time, clicking the crate from every angle, and after several minutes was starting to reach that dangerous point of frustration, where it felt (for the first time) like the game's puzzle was purely arbitrary or perhaps even broken. I must admit that I still don't understand quite what happened to move me past this event-- was it a time limit, a certain distance I had to move, something else? All I know is that I was relieved when it was finally past. The one blemish on an otherwise smooth experience! I know that judging how long to extend this sort of thing is an extremely difficult and idiosyncratic thing...

-OldIrishMN
The map was parallaxing vertically, at a point you could go right or left.

Then the parallaxing was horizontal, so you had to go vertically, 

I bet that was made in fact to show an allegory.

THIS MIGHT SPOIL THE EXPERIENCE!

PLAY THE GAME BEFORE READING:

Moving to circles... 

...getting lost, by following the steps of a lost person.

It makes sense after the end, but you are right.

People might not know what is going on.

But Parallax behavior was introduced previously. 

So I can't blame the creator for that.

Hmmm... maybe putting notes like... "Welcome to my circles" and one like "Go right to leave the circle" would make it a little more easy to understand what is goiing on. But it didn't killed the game really. :D
 

CzarSquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
76
Reaction score
63
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Sorry it took me a while to respond. I had school all day yesterday and by the time I got home to actually respond the forum was down for maintenance.

@Dreadshadow - Thank you for the review! I'm glad you've enjoyed it. Now while I said I completed in 24 hours I would never release a game unless I thought it worked well and was a completed game. No one likes playing a broken mess... unless it's Skyrim. I agree that the crates in the game are off by a few pixels. If I ever get the mood to update the game it's definitely first on things to fix (along with some other fixes with an extra note and rooms). I'm glad you experienced the ending to it's fullest. It's incredible what show, don't tell can do to a game.
 

@OldIrishMN - The art stylization has multiple purposes. Brings out the emphasis on colors and sets the atmosphere. It's also very easy to draw and means I could focus on other elements on the game and complete it faster. Gameplay is something I personally take the time to make sure it's right. I only get one chance with each player to play the game. If the game is a sour first experience then chances are that player is never going to play it again AND they are going to tell everyone what they don't like about it.
 
As for the final room. Spoilers ahead.

The empty room is perhaps the most disturbing room in the game. You just went the entire game where you have been confined to some room or corridor. To be dump into a vast void pretty much breaks the rules the player has known at that point. I can see why you be frustrated because there is no explanation and seems to be no way to progress. I tried my best to make sure there was a few landmarks to help with preventing to get lost. As Dreadshadow had mention, the game scrolls in both directions. It loops. The only way to leave that room is by reading the note in that room and returning to the door.
Thank you both for your reviews. Now I really need to update my first post with quotes from everyone's reviews.

Now I'm still working on Shadows of the Past. I need to finish this game or it'll be another Duke Nukem Forever (except nothing like it). But there is a good possibility for a Friend sequel. I do not intend to make it a series but I am getting an idea of what I'd like to do next if I was ever to continue the game. If I did make a sequel I'm going to take my time on it and make it a longer experience. I will let you know if I ever start developing it here and on the blog.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Yanfly told me the new earth all animations in MZ look a bit like summoning potatoes and now I can't unsee it. halp
Despite time and all the other things I am working on, I decided that I am going to start a Fire Emblem-like project. Follow your dreams! I'll just have to balance hours efficiently. I'm also not making this as complex as my Might and Magic inspired project, so it will be a much easier project to work on.
So I've taken to doing a test of the game, and making a list of everything I think of during the test to add/fix. Over the course of the night I check them off as I do them, and by the end of the night I always feel like I've accomplished something. :LZSexcite:
Eventz MZ? Events MZ!

Forum statistics

Threads
100,586
Messages
977,521
Members
132,181
Latest member
Reich
Top