Norm release Beta1G is now available for download - this version has plenty of meat to chew on...
Many major and minor fixes. Gambling at the Bar. A full list of Permanent States, based on normal States. Some skills have been renamed. Some item and skill effects have been adjusted. A couple of tweaks to the beginning of the game, to make it easier for new and old players alike to start their career. Key Items have been added to represent things like the Medical Prescriptions and Basement Key.
Altogether, this version is just a little closer to the end. I hope you enjoy every last minute of it.
So there was a storyline issue with using the hospital, and I had not updated the deli counter in S-Mart for larger parties. Threw these fixes in like it was a shallow grave, and now we have version Beta 1F. Please re-download and enjoy.
Almost two years have passed, and so many things have been added and changed. New characters, new statuses, some new sprites, dismemberment, public transportation, one ending complete and another nearly so, quite a bit more to the story, and a complete overhaul of the music. We have gone quite a bit further down this twisted little rabbit hole, and I hope you all pay attention to the choices you make. Very few actions in Norm are without some moral consequence, and you may just learn something about yourself along the way.
I tried very hard to make this release bug free, but as always, please use the Discord to report bugs (Nightmares section), or just join the community (Flashbacks and Delusions sections)! Any questions you may have about the game can be answered (Regrets section), and if you submit screenshots of gameplay, and other fan art (Dreamlands section), and they may even make it onto this page!
As promised in the discord channel, version Beta1D is available now. This version fixes several inconsistencies with saving in strange places, adds a new hidden "Temporary Actor" and few other improvements. I will be on hiatus for about a week, and please feel free to review, and recommend to anyone you know with a sick and twisted sense of humor.
Meanwhile, please try to break the game during play, and weed out those bugs. I need to figure out what is over-powered and under-powered.
Alright, so the Affinity system is finally working properly. I also noticed that if you saved after killing the female clerk in S-Mart the male clerk moved back to his original position. This has also been fixed. Also removed the Police Officer from the Investigator troop - this makes them seem a bit more overconfident, and also makes it easier to slip into the other half of the game.
I will try to be this forthcoming about fixing bugs in the future, even if we get a new build every night. And if anyone finds anything out of place, especially typos (the bane of my existence), please let me know.
All criticisms accepted duly as well, but fair warning: there is a reason for almost everything I have done in this game - right down to slight tensions in dialogue. So if you ask why something is the way it is, be prepared for an explanation - and I do love discussing it all.
Norm is meant to be an experience from many perspectives people would rather forget about altogether. Therefore, much of the game is meant to evoke a response from those perspectives as well - Norm is about the humanity in the monster, and the monster in humanity.
So pull up a chair, and put on your best noose. I will get around to you all eventually.
The Murder count and Affinity readings were being botched after Escape from combat on the main map, and after Bribing Police Officers/Investigators, in the Beta1 version. This has been swiftly fixed, and the Beta1B fixed version is available for download now.
Normally I catch big bugs like that before release. I guess this was the one that got away...
* I also added a section for "Hints", to the main page. There are minor spoilers there.
The new version of Norm is released and available - the changelog is at the end of the main post, since I don't want to accidentally spoil anyone here. I have officially dubbed this the first Beta version, because I say so.
Pretty much all the main features are in, and after this update there will be a lot of focus on the story - which did not get touched this time around. This update was all about improving play-ability - and with new features like an Introduction that can be skipped, Murder count, and the Affinity system to keep track of trends in Norm's "antisocial behavior" - I think I hit that mark nicely. The enemies have more hit points, and so battle lasts longer too - good luck fighting your way to Trump this time around, but kudos if you make it!
I also fixed several unsightly bugs, and I think you will agree the new font makes it all pop.
Well it has been a little while, and it was brought to my attention that the initial release was slightly frustrating on a few points, so I am currently working on a fix version with some possible new features, including:
* We needed a new font. Badly. I found one I really like - it fits the atmosphere nicely, and is extremely legible.
* The intro cannot be skipped. This will be fixed, and looks great so far with the fix.
* Opening dialogue edited slightly yo reflect Faith being tired instead of fired up. Makes sense. Her stress has not yet begun at this point...
* A new class that does not use weapons, and instead gets some nice stat curves, and can dual-wield Carry-On and Self-Defense items: the Strangler. This just makes sense on so many levels, and I only have to decide how to present it - it may wind up being a hidden Class, accessed by a number of choices in the game.
* I am going to avoid adding too much to the story at this point, and focus instead on play-ability.
* Not game-shattering, but there are some issues with word-wrapping in a couple places. I'll fix this relatively quickly, if no other bugs show up.
Almost 1000 profile views already! 15 Downloads! Thank you for your immediate support! I hope everyone is playing and enjoying my twisted little project - and don't be afraid to throw a review my way when you do!
I look forward to any kind of feedback, and would like to encourage discussion about Norm on any level.
A little more than two years ago I was going through a... dark period in my life. I had my heart, and possibly my mind, broken terribly - I think that love almost turned into a consuming hatred. And with no way to express how I felt at the time, I turned towards morbid entertainment, as is my wont.
She had taught me some serious lessons about pain. While I will not go into those details here... on this search for sadistic video games, I happened across Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer, by Calunio. I was delighted and shocked by the blend of fictional and actual torture themes, and the detail paid to the psychological profiles of the characters was sublime. It was a very dark love story, and so really called out to me - and it sparked my interest in creating a spiritual sequel, of sorts. I knew I wanted to use an rpgmaker engine (and I settled on VX Ace), but I did not want to recreate the same game with the same themes, so I did further research...
I have been a fan of roguelike rpg games for a long time, and so I ran across this article, regarding the scandalous "serial killer roguelike hoax" via roguebasin.com:
I felt it was truly tragic that such a project turned out to be a blatant hoax, and the fact the "developer" got on his high horse about the morality of such games was offensive to me. I am a rather gentle person by nature, and I play the most violent and disturbing games I can get my hands on - not a fan of jump-scares, mind you, but true cerebral horror. Games that stress you out a little bit (or a lot if you really get into them). So I resolved to do something about it.
I knew what my protagonist would be now, and a nebulous idea of a plot somewhere between Silence of the Lambs, American Psycho, and the Evil Dead movies, with a little bit of Sling Blade thrown in (mmmhmmm...), began to form.
I wanted a clever plot that was slightly recognizable, but with twists that would make people think.
I wanted a platform for my emotional garbage, and for my disgust at the politics and religion and society of this age; at the way misery and fear are sold side-by-side with candy.
I wanted to create a story that reaches inside the viewer, and rips out all their fears, and slaps them in the face with them...
And it had to have a killer soundtrack too. All the music is either about, made by (Cease To Exist, by Charles Manson being a shining example), lyrically implies, or is a reference to, murder in some form.
All of the visual media included is art manipulations made by me, and many of the themes are from actual serial killer and murder cases - notably, an altered newspaper article from the Jeffrey Dahmer case, and a montage of all of the over 100 photos of unidentified people, found in the home of serial killer Rodney Alcala.
There are no real serial killers in the game. The story is entirely fictional, and so are all of its characters. Especially Donald Trump...
The game includes themes from the Cthulhu Mythos, as created by H.P. Lovecraft, and several characters from that fictional universe.
The dialog, and many of the themes in the game, will offend you. This is intentional. So clearly, complaining will get you nowhere. I just thought I would point that out now. The language is filthy, and so are the hookers. Deal with it.