Mise en abyme: placed into the abyss. Four stories, seemingly unrelated, joined together by fate. An isolated island tribe. A growing desert kingdom. A developed galactic republic. A species nearly exhausted. You, player, forced to see things through their eyes. What will you gain? What will you lose? | re]de[flection was created for NaNoRenO 2013 and was Sasuga Studios - then flowchart media - first project. It is a visual novel of four short stories collected into an anthology and tied together through the 'mise en abyme' literary device, a type of frame story.
re]de[flection was created as part of NaNoRenO in which creators try to make a visual novel within the span of one month, March of 2013 in this case. At the time I was studying the workings of narrative and storytelling in preparation for my graduate thesis while also working on my much larger visual novel project, HERO.
As HERO has a long development, I wanted to do a short project to test the abilities of Ren'Py, the engine I was planning on using and to have something completed. I chose to play with the literary device of a framing story that joined together four short stories. I did this so that I could experiment with different content and writing styles. The whole project was one big experiment.
I don't necessarily feel that the result was very successful but what I learned throughout the process was quite the opposite. I learned quite a bit, but the main takeaway was that I was trying to do too much at once, playing with too many variables. Four separate stories, though quite short, required too many resources, too many unique assets. Eight characters, 50 backgrounds, and 31 music tracks was a lot to make for one person. I illustrated and wrote the whole thing myself, relying on heavily filtered photos for backgrounds and free music resources.
I fiddled a lot with the ATL animation abilities of Ren'Py to make it do some really complicated maneuvers which ended up looking quite ridiculous. I am proud of the fact that I produced a foley track for the whole game, even though doing so pushed me a few days past the deadline.
In the end re]de[flection turned out fairly 'meh', but it gave me plenty of practice and there are a few moments that show promise if they were to be isolated and expanded upon.
I'd be grateful if you'd give re]de[flection a quick try. It takes about two hours at average reading speed and is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. It would also help if, on completion, you'd take a few moments to fill out a survey so I can improve upon future games.
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Linux Version of re]de[flection. Works on x86/x86_64. Screen Resolution 1280px x 720px. Requires approximately 170 MB hard drive space and uses about...
Macintosh Version of re]de[flection. Works on OSX 10.4+. Screen Resolution 1280px x 720px. Requires approximately 170 MB hard drive space and uses about...
Windows Version of re]de[flection. Works on XP/7/8. Screen Resolution 1280px x 720px. Requires approximately 170 MB hard drive space and uses about 300...
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