very creepy and absoloutly amazing!
Solar Flare [mini VN]
Stranded on a distant planet...
Can you trust the stranger who found you?
[SunNoFes update: web version now available, but no new content - expanded storyline is still in progress. Web-users please note, errors may occur if you have cookies disabled, please enable or try switching to a different browser if that's your default set up!]
A tiny visual novel made in one week for O2A2 Jam (24th - 31st July 2022) including:
999 words, 5 endings and much peril.
Future updates will hopefully include: accessibility options and expanded storyline!
O2A2's basic restrictions are:
- one sprite
- one background
- one thousand words
- one soundtrack
- plus in-engine effects
Content warnings: sci-fi peril, no worse than an average TV episode. You are the only survivor but it’s not dwelt on because there wasn't enough wordcount.
For detailed content warnings, see end of page.
If you play, please let me know what you think! ❤
Story and programming: Cerise #5742 - [twitter]
Editor: Cygni - [Itch.io page]
Background, Sprite and Menu Art: Cerise - [twitter]
Menu Animator: Jenny MH Ulla - [twitter] [animation not available in web version]
Composer: Era Space - Cat Linklater - [website]
Sound Effect by Niedec (edited by Cat Linklater)
GUI adapted from a design by Kick14 [Itch.io page]
Transitions code inspiration from Supercircuit - [Itch.io page]
Many thanks to the jam organizers and to DevTalk for hosting ❤
Click for detailed content warnings:
This is all plot and no depth, so these topics feature very briefly:
Mild ableism, loss of bodily autonomy, loss and grief, existential musings.
Chose PC or MAC folder to download, unzip/extract the folder, and open the .exe file (file name is SolarFlareVo2a2)
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I'm so glad you liked it! Thank you so much for the comment, and it's a lovely surprise to have for an older jam game, I appreciate you taking the time! ❤
This was incredibly cool! I love how you've characterized the alien stranger. They're scary but in a fun, fickle, capricious sort of way... I don't get the sense that there's malice behind it, and that makes them so much more compelling.
I admit I did have to sneak a peek at the hint document to get the final ending. It pleases me to no end that stoking their curiosity is the way to convince them to spare you - it was the exact impression I'd gotten from their character!
Ah I’m sorry I don’t know how I missed this comment?!! Thank you so much, I had a lot of fun writing them and your description makes me so happy as that’s exactly what I was going for!!
Thank you for persisting to find that last ending, I worry a bit that it’s so ‘minimal’ but when/if I return to expand this hopefully I can flesh everything out a bit more. But I see you did the jam too so you know that wordcount restriction can be tough! I still haven’t played through all the o2a2s yet but I’ll look forward to checking yours out soon! ❤
This is amazingly well done. The interactive branching is satisfying, the story-world is conveyed well in the short time frame, and the use of effects makes it feel like there is far more artwork than there is. I love the artistic style and combination of color and black and white; it gives the artwork a warm handmade feel which can be a struggle to achieve in the digital medium.
I enjoyed the way the world building is conveyed - I'm trying to explain it but it's peppered in just enough that I got what was going on without it being explained to me. I was immediately invested in the narrative and wanted to play all the endings.
Thank you so much for these kind words, I’m really glad you enjoyed it! It’s a relief to hear that there was enough detail to make the premise clear, and I’m happy you wanted to hunt down the endings... though I’d like to try and flesh them out some more at some point, to give players a better reward for finding them!
I really appreciate your comment about the visuals, as I’m still very new to digital art and have a lot still to learn. But I had a lot of fun looking at Supercircuit’s work to learn the engine effects - and I’m definitely hoping to try more of this in future games!
I really loved this story, as well as the look of the character. It's always so interesting to ask whose side are we on really and what does that even mean. Such an interesting scenario to explore whether they can look past those differences, or whether fate has different plans. I really liked the hints that there may also be vast misunderstandings between them that have contributed to the conflict. It feels like there is a whole rich world to uncover and that we just get a small taste of it in this story. A lovely Jam entry, I enjoyed it a lot.
Ah, thank you so much for this very thoughtful comment, I’m really glad you enjoyed it. There was definitely more worldbuilding to this story than I had wordcount to fit in, but there were also some aspects that were mysterious even to me, so I’ll enjoy working those out when I start the next part... 😅
Great entry for O2A2! I really enjoy the art direction of this VN. The character design instantly caught my attention for being unique and having the old-school sci-fi vibe; like something you would find on the cover on a classic novel. It's nice how she strikes a good balance between humanoid and alien.
I'm amazed with how cinematic the game looks which leads to a VN that is very beautiful to look at. You use that one character sprite in so many creative ways including plot twists I did not see coming.
The actual story with the writing style and plot events are pleasant and on-point to the sci-fi genre. The speech patterns of the characters are extremely effective with the short sentences, because it allows so many events to fit in the game. It hardly feels like it is made up from a less than 1000 words script. There are many branches and endings, so it's also a bit of like solving a puzzle to see the results from your choices. Just clicking on options to see special flavour text is fun. The fried dough answer in particular is welcoming humour I did not expect.
Thank you for this kind and detailed feedback! I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed it – I admit I gave a lot of thought to the look and style of the game the week beforehand, and once I worked out how to pan the camera I was very excited to try some reveals. With the plot, I was sort of working with tropes rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, but I’m happy it worked for you & hopefully the humour didn’t feel too out of place. In the planning, I honestly thought this would be a lighthearted story, but once I got writing it and had to cut stuff out, it ended up much more melancholic.
If I do expand this, and I really intend to, maybe some of that will go back in and it’ll end up quite a different story… 😅
Anyway, thank you again for this comment and also your entry, let’s keep bringing sci-fi flavour to the jams!
I can't believe this was all created in a week! And you've squeezed SO MUCH good depth into this small game. Yes please to an expansion. The sprite and background for this game are just beyond beautiful, and I love how clearly you convey the 'stranger's' otherness in her dialogue. Everything in the design is so well put together - the use of colour, of tracking through the background, the font for the dialogue. Lovely attention to detail. That last ending is a really satisfying find when you get it too. All I can say is that I want more! Also kudos to the creators of the soundtrack and sound effects too - they're excellent!
Thank you so much for this kind and detailed feedback, I really appreciate knowing what aspects worked for you! And yes, a week is short but I was lucky that I had the time to focus on it, and I had fun trying to squeeze everything in that I could.
I will be posting some concept art and details on twitter in due course, and as for the stuff that didn’t make it – there certainly may be more to see…
(Thank you also for the feedback for my teammates, I thought they did great too, and I will pass it along!)
Really fascinating snippet here! Would definitely be interested in playing an expanded version at some point, but since I’m also a Winter’s Diamond fan, I predict I’ll enjoy anything you choose to make. :P Anyway, I really love the sense of otherness/worldbuilding here, as well as both the characters.
Edit: A lot of itchio games have the option to donate to the creator when downloading the game, but I don’t seem to see that option here. I would love to donate a little if possible!
Oh my goodness, thank you so much for this lovely comment, and for the support - it really made my day! I’m glad you enjoyed it, tiny as it is, and don’t worry – even if I expand this game, Winter’s Diamond will not be neglected!!
As for your question, that is incredibly kind of you – I don’t have anything like that set up currently, but I will look into it and will reply to you again once I have ❤
Nice and short. Loved playing it.
I got all the endings but it took some time to get the 5th ending.
Well as you said if you make a expansion of this it would be cool.^_^
Thank you so much, and well done for finding the last ending! Yes it was a real challenge to keep it under 1000 words 😅 I'd definitely like to make something longer with the things I had to cut out.
Also, thank you for the use of your GUI, it was really helpful when working to such a tight deadline and I hope you don't mind the edits I made.
Played an early version of this, can’t wait to download the finished item and go through it again. So much depth in so small a package!