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The Linear Game is a short side-scroller adventure game featuring a being called "The Explorer" and various other critters that will guide them through their goal. Their mission is quite simple: they have to walk all the way through point B and finish the game. This is all they need to know.

Outside of the game context, The Linear Game is a fun little practice project I developed while working on my other bigger game, .defrag. The bulk of the game can be finished in less than 10 minutes, if you exclude any potential side activities.

The available build does not contain RPG Maker's trademark Runtime Package (RTP) and the good news is you won't need it. :D Just extract the archive, click on the executable and have fun!

Special thanks to:
Pancaek, for drawing the backgrounds, sharing feedback and playtesting
Uorriz, Geo, Nothy, Joke, psy_wombats, RaithSeinar, Allen, Dario Zubović, for playtesting and QA'ing

This game also contains a deliberate hidden tribute/reference to Mortis Ghost's OFF. Happy hunting!


I also have a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ForgottenDawn

Latest Blog

Feature Downdate

  • Completed
  • ForgottenDawn
  • RPG Maker 2003
  • Adventure
  • 03/09/2018 12:43 PM
  • 04/28/2018 11:52 AM
  • 03/10/2018
  • 6076
  • 5
  • 242

Posts

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Frogge
"nothing can beat the power of gay"?
5779
For such a short game, this was actually quite entertaining. The visuals are definetly the best part of it, and some of the dialogue was pretty funny.
author=Frogge
For such a short game, this was actually quite entertaining. The visuals are definetly the best part of it, and some of the dialogue was pretty funny.


Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, Pancaek did a great job with the main parallaxes. Fun fact: the game originally featured an inverted color scheme.
Waxius
"Someday I'll finish my game... someday.."
3835
Downloaded! I'll play it tonight, looks like fun.
author=Waxius
Downloaded! I'll play it tonight, looks like fun.


Awesome, I hope you have fun!
Waxius
"Someday I'll finish my game... someday.."
3835
author=ForgottenDawn
author=Waxius
Downloaded! I'll play it tonight, looks like fun.
Awesome, I hope you have fun!


I loved the scenery, made it to point B! :)
I also restored and saw the 2nd ending, though I don't know if it's possible to get the Glitch Ending 3 without cheating somehow.

Well done!
author=Waxius
I loved the scenery, made it to point B! :)
I also restored and saw the 2nd ending, though I don't know if it's possible to get the Glitch Ending 3 without cheating somehow.

Well done!


Thank you! If by cheating you mean hacking through the game files, then it is possible to achieve it through in-game means. It's just a little less obvious, but it should make enough sense. :)
Waxius
"Someday I'll finish my game... someday.."
3835
Yep.. I just had to remove an event... to allow me to touch the 3rd ending event.
author=Waxius
Yep.. I just had to remove an event... to allow me to touch the 3rd ending event.


To my knowledge, there's no need to do that. I just downloaded the build to double-check.

The wall automatically removes itself upon talking to the first NPC again, after going left for the first time.
The game is not working here...it says cannot open System2C file....someone know how to fix it?
author=pixeldango
The game is not working here...it says cannot open System2C file....someone know how to fix it?


I've encountered this error from one of my testers. The solution might sound counter-intuitive but redownloading RTP from their website seems to do the trick. I'm thinking the reason why it does that might be a difference in engine versions. I have the Steam 2k3 version of the engine, so if by chance you got RTP 2k3 through... different means, that might explain why.
Try it out and let's see what happens.
author=ForgottenDawn
author=pixeldango
The game is not working here...it says cannot open System2C file....someone know how to fix it?
I've encountered this error from one of my testers. The solution might sound counter-intuitive but redownloading RTP from their website seems to do the trick. I'm thinking the reason why it does that might be a difference in engine versions. I have the Steam 2k3 version of the engine, so if by chance you got RTP 2k3 through... different means, that might explain why.
Try it out and let's see what happens.

thank you it worked...nice game dude
author=pixeldango
thank you it worked...nice game dude

Thank you, glad it worked out!
I found the premise of the game quite intriguing and decided to give it a shot.

The graphics are definitely a strong point here, they are simplistic and cute. However, the game itself felt unsatisfactory to me.

During my first playthrough I have seen one of the characters mention other players screwing with game files in order to get a shortcut to the point B, which made me think that perhaps it's something I will have to do in order to get another ending. But that's as far as I could have figured things out.

I wasn't really sure what kind of game files to modify since nothing inside of the game folder looked really suspicious or out of place. The most obvious guess would be to do something to map files, for example deleting or renaming them, but since I am somewhat educated about how rpg maker works I knew that it most probably wouldn't do anything (although I still tried it, to no success).

I could have, of course, opened rpg maker 2003 and use it to modify the game... If only I had it.

I have looked in the comments for a clue and saw a comment from the developer that the game can actually be cleared without any files modifications. That felt pretty confusing and misdirecting.

After that I have read the spoiler about how to reach another ending:
While I have noticed that I can talk to the character for the second time, there was nothing really which would hint at the fact that the invisible wall would disappear after I do so, neither was there anything to make me want to go back and check the wall again.

It would seem like the secret ending would be something very interesting and intriguing, but it was not. The game just quit, without any resolution.


It felt as if there should have been some kind of message behind the game, but I failed to see it. I would have also loved to explore the game a bit more, but walking through the same locations over and over again requires a lot of patience and time and, like in the example with ending 2, is not rewarding.

I hope my feedback was useful, and good luck with your later projects!
Hi, thanks for sharing your feedback! I'm gonna reply to it quote-by-quote since you've been so insightful.

author=ebuchikus
During my first playthrough I have seen one of the characters mention other players screwing with game files in order to get a shortcut to the point B, which made me think that perhaps it's something I will have to do in order to get another ending. But that's as far as I could have figured things out.

I wasn't really sure what kind of game files to modify since nothing inside of the game folder looked really suspicious or out of place. The most obvious guess would be to do something to map files, for example deleting or renaming them, but since I am somewhat educated about how rpg maker works I knew that it most probably wouldn't do anything (although I still tried it, to no success).

I could have, of course, opened rpg maker 2003 and use it to modify the game... If only I had it.

I have looked in the comments for a clue and saw a comment from the developer that the game can actually be cleared without any files modifications. That felt pretty confusing and misdirecting.


I can see how it could be misleading. To be honest, the quote itself was both meant as a bit of a joke and, I guess, a red herring to the fact that this game can still be thwarted through other means. I did see how a number of players thought it could lead to another ending, but so far I haven't really been planning on literally implementing such a mechanic.

And yeah, the game's various endings (whoops, spoiler?) can still be unlocked without needing to manually override the game files. Because these alternate endings require you to step away from what the game wants you to do, being hidden is kind of the point.

After that I have read the spoiler about how to reach another ending:
While I have noticed that I can talk to the character for the second time, there was nothing really which would hint at the fact that the invisible wall would disappear after I do so, neither was there anything to make me want to go back and check the wall again.

It would seem like the secret ending would be something very interesting and intriguing, but it was not. The game just quit, without any resolution.



Yeah, that's actually the thing. I designed the game with the assumption that the player would try anything to break it and steer away from the main objective, which is a pretty common (as well as necessary) practice among playtesters and any genre-savvy individual. So, it's literally about brute-forcing yourself to break it, and lo and behold, that's what you get. There's no resolution because you, like, broke the game.

It felt as if there should have been some kind of message behind the game, but I failed to see it. I would have also loved to explore the game a bit more, but walking through the same locations over and over again requires a lot of patience and time and, like in the example with ending 2, is not rewarding.


Well, I understand the constant walking may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm honestly smiling right now because the point of the game is to simply walk from point A to B. That's really all there is. :D

If the glitch ending is what you're referring as Ending 2, that's actually Ending 3. Just to make it clear. If you're actually referring to the alternate ending, then... I guess maybe the punchline wasn't enough for you?


I hope my feedback was useful, and good luck with your later projects!


It was an interesting read, and again, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
author=ForgottenDawn
I would like to see ending 2 as well, but not sure how to find it, how can I get to it?
author=ebuchikus
I would like to see ending 2 as well, but not sure how to find it, how can I get to it?


Talk to the last NPC, the one in the ruins-like area, and then head all the way back to A.
Ooooh. I thought about this option, but didn't want to risk it. Because if my guess was wrong that would mean I had walked twice the distance from point a to the last npc only to find out that nothing happens. That would be just way too punishing.


I would also like to add that the character dialogues were a bit underwhelming for me. They didn't really add any narrative value, more like just some random facts, and sometimes even mislead me as in the example I have provided earlier. They also didn't make me smile or laugh and they are not something I would find myself quoting because of how smart they are written. Much like one of npcs have expressed, they are there just to fill in the gaps and waste my time.

Audio, however, was well chosen, because neither the background music nor footstep sounds not system sounds annoyed me, they mixed well together and sounded smooth.
author=ebuchikus
It felt as if there should have been some kind of message behind the game, but I failed to see it.


the message is that you walk from point a to point b
This game was nice to play after getting home really late from work and having very little time to kill before bed. I liked the backgrounds. Overall I'm not really too impressed at the attempts at the 'meta-narrative' as it's even more shallow than the AtoB premise. While that's probably "the point" (the ultimate bullet-proof art defense) I feel like this game might've been done and executed the same way back in 2010. Now that I think about it, even "You Have to Burn the Rope" was made back in 2008. That may sound harsh for what is basically a practice project. But I would like to see more games in this style or length with more interesting and grounded ideas maybe even losing the meta stuff. You don't have to make fun of how simple your game is to make a compelling simple game is what I'm basically getting at.

If I were to put whats there under the magnifying glass, I would say it doesn't really relate or say anything about the linearity of games. One NPC will mention something about everyone giving up other than you. Which suggests some faux online component the NPCs are in on. Which is making fun of how not hard the game is I guess? It feels like it's not even breaking the 4th wall correctly. It also doesn't really make any connections to how we view or play games in any real world sense. The only big leap assumption I can make is maybe talking about how unlikely people are to beat a game given the statistics in online achievements. But even then that's not really limited to the linear experience of games. Plus the fact that the game isn't actually linear kind of confuses the premise without any real meaning.

As a side note: I was reminded of Linear RPG for embodying what it is and making the medium into the message in a way. It does a better job at relaying and making fun of what it's basing off of.

Spoilers I guess?
I think I got every ending except the 2nd. I found about all the secrets through just opening the project up, didn't really bother finding out through the game itself. The endings were pretty much expected? Not much to say about them.
author=Darken
stuff


Hi! Thanks for your feedback. To be honest, I'm fairly surprised this "game" has been receiving this amount of attention at all. It was really a spur-of-the-moment thingy I made while developing something else, and it's definitely nothing groundbreaking or thought-provoking to the likes of The Stanley Parable, Undertale, or The Beginner's Guide — I think it's made abundantly clear even in-game.

It is what it is. It was a fun project to make for as long as it lasted, and that's about it for me. There's no deeper meaning™, as far as I'm concerned, which doesn't and won't stop people from theorizing what could the game have been like. And that's fine. I'm already moving onto different projects and ideas for games.

It's still very nice and humbling to read all these comments, anyway, so thank you for stopping by.
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