Struggle

Discussion in 'RPG Maker Birthday Bash!' started by Zortik, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    Disclaimer:


    Struggle is a game that attempts to provide an experience and will not play like a traditional video game.


    While playing this game you will be prompted with choices periodically and will then watch scenes unfold based on the choices that you make.


    There is no beating this game, and there is no "best" ending. My objective is to provide a meaningful experience.


    This is a free game and a link to download this game should be limited to my personal website (in production) or here at rpgmakerweb. Links to this topic from other sources is allowed.


    This title attempts to portray depression literally. It's not intended to be a fun game but focuses instead on highlighting the challenges of someone who is struggling with depression and anxiety. While playing this title you will witness a molded scenario of someone who is living their lives as best they can, and how everyday situations become a trial that may (or may not) be compounded by their choices (or lack thereof).


    If you are currently suffering from this illness and are easily triggered then please be aware that this game will use examples of very dark scenarios and places. If you are suicidal, please stop playing this game and visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.


    You are important and you are loved.


    Struggle is serving as an outlet for myself by allowing me the chance to role-play some of my personal experiences  and share them through a medium. Depression and anxiety are experienced differently by everyone...and this game may be better understood by people without depression. However, I am also hoping that by creating this game it will be shared to spread awareness or used as a stepping stone to help those suffering find a way to reach out to their friends and family.


    I also desperately want those suffering to know that they are not alone.


    This game uses audio as part of it's game-play and I encourage you to play with your sound on.


    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and/or play this game.


    Link to download struggle from Mediafire (Mac) - .rar file (73MB)


    Link to download struggle from Mediafire (Windows) - .rar file (73MB)


    Link to play game in browser (Note - Will start immediately upon loading)


    Scripts that will be in use:

    @astracat111 - Misc_DeactivateZspeedup





    @Galenmereth - TDDP_PreloadManager





    @Mr. Trivel - MrTS_DarkRoomCovers





    @Tsukihime - HIME_DisabledChoiceConditions





    YAMI - Yami_SkipTitle





    @Yanfly - YEP_CoreEngine, YEP_MessageCore, Yep_X_ExtMesPack1





    Additional scripts with credits will be posted as they are identified.



    Notable comments/updates (if any):


    Updated topic with links for Windows, Mac, and Browser Support. Did away with encryption using Engima Protector. Added a variety of signature banners for users to show support.


    -----


    I am going to be testing the game a bit further before I upload the game to be downloaded. I would appreciate any mac users to PM me so that I can have you test a mac version for me.


    -------


    Creating and releasing this product is one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. Every ounce of my being wants to delete it and/or hide it away. However, I also feel deep down that I need to make this product a reality and that all of the fear I am experiencing will (most likely) not come to pass.


    I don't know exactly why the event "RPG Maker Birthday Bash" inspired me to take this risk. I did ask lunarea if she'd prefer I just post this in the general projects forum. However, she encouraged me to post it here :)


    Screenshots:

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    Additional Credits:

    @Chiara - Tilesets





    @flirion - NPC Recolors





    @Indrah - Tilesets





    @GrandmaDeb - Undying love


    Mack - Tilesets





    @PandaMaru - Tilesets





    @Minnow - Sprites





    Kairi Sawler - Music (Adventurer's Journey)


    [Copyright](C) 2014 DEGICA, LTD
    Musician: D.C. Kairi Sawler



    Joel Steudler - SFX (Sci-Fi Sound Effects)


    [Copyright](C) 2014 DEGICA, LLC
    Musician: Joel Steudler



    @Yanfly - Window Skin


    http://yanfly.moe/2015/10/24/freebies-window-skins/


    @Sinweaver and @mlogan - Support Banners and Title Screen Concepts





    Additional credits will be posted as needed.





    Link to download struggle from Mediafire (Mac) - .rar file (74 MB)


    Link to download struggle from Mediafire (Windows) - .rar file (73 MB)


    Link to play game in browser (Note - Will start immediately upon loading)


    Known issues:


    Duck has one issue with movement where it goes backwards (woops) - Corrected in current release


    Sprites from Scene 3 made an accidental appearance in the bottom corner of scene 6. - Corrected in current release


    Two typos in the closing statement from me at the end of the game. - Corrected in current release


    Sound effects are loud when prompted for choices - Corrected in current release


    Typo from word wrap at the end of the game


    Squirrel move route. They move over-top of trees.


    Supporting Struggle:


    Please look through here if you would like to add a signature banner to show your support for Struggle. You can modify your signature by clicking your username in the upper-right section of the forum and selecting "Account Settings". Then, just copy and paste the content found in the code box below each image and save your signature.

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    I don't think I'm depressed or anxious. However, I want to learn how I can help someone else.


    There is no magic cure-all method that can be shared that'll allow you to provide help to someone else. So, with that said, I'll be sharing some links that I believe will be helpful for you to learn more. Additionally, I'll provide some personal insight and will be more than happy to talk with you about any questions/comments here in this thread or through PM.





    If you want to make an effort to show someone suffering from depression that you care. Then the best way to do so is consistent positive reaffirmation and vocalizing positive aspects. It's incredibly difficult to explain how it feels to be depressed and oftentimes those who want to help strongly desire to provide a solution. The catch is that the solution, which should work, may not be enough to overcome the issue(s) they are facing. So, don't focus on how to "treat" them and instead focus on learning if they have "triggers" that can cause a severe spiral in their mood. Try to have them explain to you what it is that they like (hobbies, shows, talking, games, etc.) and make an effort to participate with them in those activities. Try to avoid making assumptions and/or leaving things unspoken. If you spend time together and the night was a good night (nothing special) you should try and emphasize that it was a good way to spend the time. It's very easy for a depressed individual to take "silence" as a negative and then when you try to recover by explaining to them it wasn't bad they may feel bad for making you have to explain it in the first place (remember what I said about spiraling? This is an example of that.)


    Ultimately, what they need is a positive force in their corner who isn't looking to cure them but instead is just wanting to be with them, as a friend or a family member. If they are in a particularly dark place then you should try to be conscious that they'll be resistant to positive suggestions. During those situations it's best to try and entice them towards a middle ground where they still feel comfortable and are perhaps indulging in something they like (even if they're struggling to find satisfaction with it at the time.)


    Looking for something more/better?


    I recently was introduced to a website text based game that does a much better job than I at showcasing depression as a scenario. There is a lot of similarity between Depression Quest and Struggle. However, from my viewpoint the only actual overlap is that we both try to establish an imaginary set of scenarios for you to go through, use choice manipulation to control the flow, and provide an update on the players health and status (although they do this dynamically which I didn't think to even try for my title). Beyond that I felt like it was making a bit more abstract associations that while true, their is also enough difference that I felt it was just circumstance and opinion.


    This is really worthwhile though. Please consider taking some time to look it over and providing them support if you are so inclined.


    http://www.depressionquest.com/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2016
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  2. Nirwanda

    Nirwanda Procrastimancer Veteran

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    This sounds like it'll be very powerful, and I encourage you to do it as well. I suffer more from anxiety than depression, though I'm no stranger to it, it'll be pretty interesting to see your take on the subject.
     
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  3. DamianCastaway

    DamianCastaway Notepad++ Warrior Veteran

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    I'll be honest, when I first saw the title I initially thought you would be documenting the struggle to make a game in a month.


    After thorough reading I can tell you that this subject matter will be incredibly powerful. I think it is wonderful that you chose to show the struggles of those who suffer from depression and anxiety. I feel that this will be a great opportunity to raise awareness for the problems that people go through without anyone knowing or caring!


    I'm personally very excited for this title to come out!
     
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  4. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    Depending on how things go...I may need to add in an extra map. However, as things stand right now I've finished the following:

    • All maps have been created.
    • Sprites for everyone have been created. (15 key figures including the MC)
    • Plugins have been configured and set up.
    • Music has been identified and set up.
    • Specific tints have been set up for the maps and game progression.
    • "Outcomes" have been figured out.
    • Method for tracking choices and associating it to specific outcomes is figured out.

    I've begun writing out the first scene...it's going to be a challenge to work on this from here on out. If I cannot get past my own personal reservations about the quality of the game I may update this topic asking for just a few closed testers.
     
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  5. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    Updates -

    • Opening scene is completed.
    • All plugins, music, sound effects, and art are identified and accounted for.
    • I only have 1 full scene to finish and then the final scene to account for the choices made during gameplay. (written)

    Once I finish with the written portion I'll just need to event it and make it look as nice as I can. With the mapping already done, sprites picked out, and script written it shouldn't be too terribly hard.


    However, this project really takes a toll on me and as I get near the 'finish line' I get more apprehensive and critical about the work.


    I'm still aiming to be finished by this weekend though. I'll initially be releasing it to windows.


    I'd like to also release it to mac but I do not own any apple products to test. So, we'll see on that one.
     
    #5
  6. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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  7. DamianCastaway

    DamianCastaway Notepad++ Warrior Veteran

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    Never before in my life have I ever dreaded (or related to) scrolling text so much. That was way more powerful than I had originally expected it to be. I uh... Really have nothing else to say. I mean, you nailed it. Absolutely nailed it...
     
    #7
  8. hiddenone

    hiddenone Lurker Extraordinaire Moderator

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    So, this is a bad game to play while drinking.  It pulled me in right away with its interesting opening, and I really loved how you did the reply choices (though I also curse you for them).  The maps do their jobs well and the conversations were well done.


    I have to disagree about the scrolling text though.  I've got a quirk where no matter what the scrolling text says, I have trouble paying attention to it.  I'd love to see those scenes slowly fade in one line at a time, if it's possible.  It would also be nice if you sent the player back to the title screen at the end, as for some reason the Enigma thing fights me every time I try to open the game (I'll be playing again and trying other choices, but maybe I'll wait 'til the sun is shining).


    I don't know if I can call this game enjoyable (darn you for making me feel things!), but it's definitely good.


    Overall it's well done, but I did find a few errors:

    - The duck swims backwards at the park 
    - Visit to park after Trish's party, you can see Evan & Trish in the lower right corner (I'm guessing from the earlier scene)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 29, 2016
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  9. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    @DamianCastaway
    Thank you. I really appreciate the compliment. :)


    @hiddenone


    Thanks about the duck :3 I put in a one step backwards for some reason when setting up the custom move routes. I've added it to a notepad to fix.


    I've also made a note about the 2 main characters, and yes you were right. Those were in place from Scene 3, the first time you visited the park.


    Thank you for saying it's a good game, I am happy that you thought well of it :)


    Edit:


    I'll look into some alternatives to the scrolling text. It worked, for now, as a different way to experience the text but it wasn't a solution I was dead set on either. I'll give it a bit longer to see if any others lean one way or the other about it as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 29, 2016
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  10. beenbaba

    beenbaba Slowly getting there Veteran

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    This is actually very well done. I became quite engrossed in this, I didn't originally get why some choices were greyed out but when I did I found it to be a very smart design choice and it really adds a lot to the feeling and experience you're trying to convey.


    The only thing I would say, although this is really minor, is possibly changing the confirm choice sound from the default. It felt quite loud and intruding but like I said, it's extremely minor. This is a worthwhile experience and think more people should try it if they can :D
     
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  11. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    I'll play around with the system setting volume. Thank you for the kind words and the suggestion!
     
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  12. fimamati

    fimamati Veteran Veteran

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    Well done. I started to feel depressed playing it. l Wish it was Browser based. I wanted to pin it and add it to my stumbleupon.
     
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  13. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    Thank you.


    A mac version and browser version are in the works. I'm waiting for a tad bit more feedback on this version to ensure it's as polished as can be.


    That way I can limit the number of versions being updated :)
     
    #13
  14. Nirwanda

    Nirwanda Procrastimancer Veteran

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    I can't say I "liked" it, but I was quite engrossed by it. to the point of  roleplaying it and instead of picking the answer that I thought would get me a "best ending" I picked the ones I would have (and indeed did have) chosen when confronted with those situations.


    I think I saw two typos in the outro, one was saying reluanch the game instead of relaunch, I can't recall what the other one was.
     
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  15. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    I understand the sentiment of not "liking it" it's a heavy topic and that's the experience I'm hoping the player will get.


    I found the typo's you spoke of and have taken care of them. I'll update the main thread to list them as 'known' issues until a new version is posted.


    Thanks.


    Editing - 
    Updated main topic with links to the latest version, a mac version (untested!), and a web browser version.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2016
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  16. jamalMV

    jamalMV Villager Member

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    dude, i just had a play through of this game and i really enjoyed it. I was actually thinking of doing a game about mental health myself so it was really helpful also to play you game i too struggle with anxiety and depression mostly around social situations and some of the things that were mentioned in the game that the character was struggling with i could relate to as i struggle with the exact same thing. I am actually part of a campaign about spreading mental health awareness to people in schools and colleges and as part of it we we are going to develop a Facebook page and website so i was wondering if i could share this in the next meeting i have and hopefully share the online link to play it in the handouts were using
     
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  17. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.


    It would be amazing if you would be kind enough to spread this link around. I hope that other people fine a way to connect with it and, hopefully, can use it as a safety net to introduce other people to what depression is like.


    Best of luck to you. Hearing that you "enjoyed" and/or appreciated the experience and wanted to share it definitely made my night.
     
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  18. byBibo

    byBibo Veteran Veteran

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    I tried the game, and it was kind of a hard time. I guess that means the goal is a success. Being unable to select the sentences i would normally pick and being only able to make the wrong choices was scary at some point, like near the end,

    Spoiler



    i was really afraid that my character would end up with commiting suicide. At first i didn't understand why the same text was showing, but then the text evolved and i understood the meaning of this. It added even more to the fear as it went deeper and deeper.


    Really scary game, and reached the goal of making us aware on how people feel and act when depressive. It doesn't really show how non depressive people should act to actually help though [maybe making a Trish version of the game?]


    For the bad points now:

    Spoiler



    i wish i had a little more control over the character. Like, going myself to speak to the customer, having to make the inventory myself (and force me to lose count at some point), or having to wander at Trish party.



    On the "bugs" report: the squirrels can go over the trees on the park maps! 


    On a closing note, i won't say that i enjoyed this. I was really uncomfortable and i'm not sure i'll try all the options answers. But yet again, i guess it means the game reached its main goal?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2016
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  19. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    @byBibo


    I'll spend some time over the next few days looking up some solid resources for friends and families who want to learn how they can help. I'll update the thread with them.


    A Trish "perspective" game play wouldn't be a bad thing. It would be very limiting though as the absolute focus of this game was to introduce people to what it's like to sink into a state of negative return where "healthier" positive options aren't available. The worst is that those suffering from depression know those better options are actually there but are unable to pick them in real life.


    For having some actual game play, versus just participating in scene selection, I felt that it would have disrupted the pacing I wanted. Where you felt like you had a semblance of control but ultimately (based on your choices) you watched your world slip through your fingers.


    There are a total of 6 endings to this very short game. None of them are entirely happy and only 1 of them has the glimmer of hope, which is still deliberately tied in with other worries (showing that even as things are looking up it's difficult to focus on the positive).


    While playing the game, if you get more depressed, the game will begin to lose its color and eventually be virtually grey and devoid of life.


    Those silly animals keep giving me trouble XD. Since I had no intention of letting users actually play the game I was able to completely skip the configuration of the tilesets I used (such as passability). Worked great for the birds flying around but not so great when I needed a fuzzy critter to wander around.


    Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate that you took the time to play and leave some comments.
     
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  20. Zortik

    Zortik The Architect Veteran

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    Added some additional links for those wanting to learn more about depression and/or help out someone they know that is suffering from it.


    I also added in my own opinion at the very end of the topic as well.


    The 2 minor issues are still outstanding but can be addressed in short measure. I have not heard back on whether or not the mac version is working or not, so we'll see there.
     
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