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This is my submission for the Summer Games competition.

Esoterica: The Dreamlike is a murder mystery RPG with an emphasis on cinematic storytelling. It is the first part of a planned trilogy, although each part will be completely standalone (the only connection between them will be the theme). This particular entry was inspired by an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Story Outline
The game is centered around a group of government operatives as they attempt to track down a rampant serial murderer, Eddie Mahoney, who is also a former member of their team. Three of the main protagonists have personal connections to Eddie, making the mission all the more difficult to endure. It is throughout the course of the investigation of Eddie that one of the members starts to notice some very peculiar happenings, and that there is much more to their former ally than they had ever realized.

Daniel- Eddie's former partner during his time working for the agency. Dannny is the first one to notice the strange occurrences surrounding the investigation.
Richard- Danny's current partner at the agency, also his most trusted friend.
Veronica- Eddie's ex-wife, engaged to be married to Danny.
Allan- Head of the agency and father to Veronica.
Eddie- After barely escaping from a mission 3 year earlier, Eddie has since quit the agency and has not been heard from since. It has been speculated that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Battles will utilize a shooting system where players need to get in position to see enemies while avoiding the enemy's target icon. Players may also opt to skip missions and just watch it like a movie. Two endings are achievable, but with slight differences that will both emphasize the shocking revelation of the dreamlike.

Latest Blog

Surreality development begins! Page coming soon.

While not a direct sequel, it is a sort of spiritual successor to Esoterica. It will not have an action shooting system in place, nor will any of the characters carry over. I can't even say that they share a universe, for sure, due to the fact that esoterica is much less grounded in reality. The surrealist theme will be much more prevalent, however, and it will play more like an oldschool adventure game. I can also say that players who experienced esoterica will definitely notice the parallels in plot.

One thing that is very similar is that it will be a complete mindfuck until the very end. Much less of an esoteric ending though, as there are no multiple meanings this time. There were diverting views on my ending commentary last time, so this will make sure there is no need for explanations. Don't worry though, it'll still be surprising, and everything will come together in a tight little package.

Timewise, it will be about as short as esoterica. In terms of development time, it is going to take longer than a month this time. The reason behind this is because I can't begin eventing until I finish all of the mapping.

Expect the new game page soon!
  • Completed
  • sbester
  • RPG Tsukuru 2003
  • Action Visual Novel
  • 08/02/2011 12:31 AM
  • 05/07/2019 06:45 PM
  • 08/25/2011
  • 70126
  • 14
  • 938


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Oh, thank you! I hadn't come across that one yet, glad you found a fix :)
i got an error when i try to play the game:
DirectDraw Error
is there a way to fix this?

EDIT: forcing the game to start in windowed mode fix it.
I'm not such a big fan of it in games either, but I did want to create a world that seemed realistic at the beginning, so it just seemed like there wasn't any way around it. You won't be seeing any F bombs in the eden legacy series or fragile hearts, promise!

I think the facing lock threw most people off at first. It's not a particularly well done battle system, but I had to come up with something quick and relatively easy to make given the time constraints. Anyways, glad you got something out of it anyhow, and thanks for giving it a play!
Guardian of the Description Thread
I'm not a big fan of all the profanity, and having my facing locked threw me off the first couple of times, but I had a bit of fun with this.
There were quite a few glitches, but nothing that came in the way. Lots of passability problems. I'll comment more on each game on a wrap-up article after I finish playing them all.
There were quite a few glitches, but nothing that came in the way. Lots of passability problems. I'll comment more on each game on a wrap-up article after I finish playing them all.
Thx! Hope there were no overbearing glitches, I'm always worried about those.
Thanks, and I really appreciate the encouragement and the bug report!
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
Oh, I see, well good luck for the end part! Great game though, story, fun and quick!
No I'll fix those parts, it's just the sideways movement part that I need to keep since fixing it could screw some other things up. Little hard to explain, I just made some mistakes with the eventing in that case and it'd take me forever to fix it now. I'll definitely be fixing the tile passage errors.
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
Yes, you are, haha! But you really want to leave it that way, nothing else in the game is like that ?! Not the other bugs at least: walking out of the picture and into some things?!
Or I misunderstood what you said lol, very possible.

edit: Okay, I'm retarded, and I know what you mean now lol. The sideways thing is supposed to be that way though. I could have fixed that at the beginning but it has since become one of those things I just left in.
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
.................................................................................... ?
Awesome! Glad you got it working, and thanks very much for your feedback! I'll probably wait a couple days to get a few more opinions before releasing a final version, but I'll look into the bugs you mentioned as soon as I get home tonight.

Edit: dang, I'm not running into that first battle bug you mentioned. Tried both shooting and melee. Hopefully it was just a one off type of bug (I doubt it though). Maybe if someone else runs into it they can help me figure out why it is doing it. I'd hate to think that everyone would be running around the first mission sideways :S
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
(That download works perfectly, glad to know my computer's ok!)Great game, great story even as short as it is it really holds as a whole game; the fights, imo, are just right, not too hard, not too easy; this said, the explanation part, to me, could have been or left out, or done in such a way that the questions of the player are left hanging somewhat; finally, there are bugs in the first combat scene: after the first shot, danny cannot move otherwise than sideways, also he can walk into things or even out of the frame, also, before the rooftop,in the passage way hecan walk down too far. The music is really catchy and goes perfectly with the theme.
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
Well, actually I looked up another game which works perfectly and the same folders are empty, so...?!
Really? That's too bad, I really hope you get it fixed. I'm not sure what the cause would be, but you should definitely post it in the help forum to see if anyone else has experienced it.
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
ok, I don't know what's happening : half the folders in your game are empty (monster, battle, etc.), same thing with another game I downloaded (BackstageII demo), so it's probably my computer?????? must have a virus or something.
Well I hope it works out with the new version, I'd ate to have to load up yet another but luckily the contest doesn't end for a few more days. I just thought it was odd because my beta tester had no problems getting it to load up the rtp stuff is all.
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