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Welcome HOME, dear puppeteer.

This world has been waiting some time for your arrival. The tables
of balance has been turned, and the fate of the world trusted
into a familiar face. The guardian of zone 0 himself, The Judge. Your job is to lead him on a new journey, masterful puppeteer.

This world is wrapped in an enigma, a shroud of confusion overlapped the
once peaceful zones. The true guardian of zone 0 himself has the very marrow
of his bones rattled with the feelings of Deja Vu. The day that he would become the marionette of the new world is coming, and upon your very arrival the world will undergo otherworldly changes.

Just what is going on in this world? Why has the switch been reset? Has The Judge forgotten everything that happened? Has the world been reversed to a state of pristine ignorance? Only you can find out, fateful puppeteer. You will travel the world, and meet the guardians you know so well. However, you will face enemies and foes unlike anything you've imagined. New allies will join your side, and new personalities will be explored. New places will be visited, a zone that defies the logic and reason of the world you know. Puzzles that expand beyond the game and into our world. You will become one with your puppet, and in your combined state you will bring the land to the closure it deserves. The fate, and the direction of that closure however, is up to the decisions you make. Choose wisely my friend, its up to you to save their HOME.

HOME is a non-canonical fangame created with the permission of Mortis Ghosts, the creator of OFF - the game from which HOME was inspired. You take control of The Judge in this project, and see the world through his eyes.



New characters and enemies are introduced in this story, with a combat system that's more threatening and challenging than OFF's style. HOME makes uses of the elements and status effect system and stretches is as far as possible. It's recommended you play Mortis Ghosts "OFF" before you touch this project, as this game and its entirety is connected and continued after OFF. Playing HOME without first playing OFF will not only lead to spoilers but will lead you to a path of confusion and detachment from the entire world.

The game features custom sprites, music, icons, sound effects, and battle animations. It uses as much fresh resources where and whenever possible.

Latest Blog

Mac version 1.0.2 is now out.

http://thejudge.tumblr.com/post/140125206984/a-new-home-102zip

Newest version of HOME, now out on Mac platform.

Posts

I won't play this game until the full alpha version is released >w<
author=Chivi-chivik
I won't play this game until the full alpha version is released >w<
you mean beta? It's been out of Alpha phase testing since the first month of this year. Right now, my releases have been chapter based. Ending on cliffhangers to keep the next person interested in the next update. I do applaud your integrity in waiting until the game is fully finished.
author=TheJudge
you mean beta? It's been out of Alpha phase testing since the first month of this year. Right now, my releases have been chapter based. Ending on cliffhangers to keep the next person interested in the next update. I do applaud your integrity in waiting until the game is fully finished.

Nahnahnah I mean alpha, aka full revised version ready for release. ^w^ Any game in process is in its beta stage.

Ooooh, I see, so that's how you do it... ewé
Thank you. I can wait for long periods of time for anything of my interest, and this game will be no exception UwU
author=Chivi-chivik
author=TheJudge
you mean beta? It's been out of Alpha phase testing since the first month of this year. Right now, my releases have been chapter based. Ending on cliffhangers to keep the next person interested in the next update. I do applaud your integrity in waiting until the game is fully finished.
Nahnahnah I mean alpha, aka full revised version ready for release. ^w^ Any game in process is in its beta stage.

Ooooh, I see, so that's how you do it... ewé
Thank you. I can wait for long periods of time for anything of my interest, and this game will be no exception UwU


Yea. My usual testing goes.
Alpha.
Beta.
Release.
I thank you for looking forward to this project.
author=TheJudge
Yea. My usual testing goes.
Alpha.
Beta.
Release.
I thank you for looking forward to this project.


I already subscribed, so don't worry, I'll stay tuned. :)
Hm. This looks nice, though I'm more interested in the artistic/literary direction. What are the themes of this story? Does it build on the themes from OFF, or does it go in a completely different direction? Is it trying to send a message at all, or is it just trying to be a fun ride? Personally I felt that OFF was really jumbled (I believe some reviews have likened it to trying to awkwardly cram three stories into one and I agree) and something that only focuses on one theme/story (such as the purification of the Zones without all the baggage from The Room) would be good. Is that what you plan to do here?
Review time!

Like many, I fell in love with Mortis Ghost's OFF after my first playthrough of it, and not being a fan of game spin-offs I was at first reluctant when I happened across HOME in the original game's Tumblr tags. Greedily pining for more exposure to OFF's endearing cast, I found myself dabbling at this yet-to-be-completed "byproduct" of it with a pinch of salt. As TheJudge (the game-maker, not to be mistaken with the feline character of OFF going by the label of 'Judge') reiterates, I would also like to remind anyone who decides to give this game a shot that playing the original OFF game is integral to getting the most out of your experience with this spin-off.

The many commodities of this game begins with the player controlling the dear beloved, well-spoken feline JUDGE, when in the mass majority of OFF spin-offs it seems that Zacharie the items merchant is the go-to guy for anyone's ideal follow-up fan game. As you progress through the game, you find yourself once again condescending upon the Elsens, the timid denizens of the cacotopia that is Mortis Ghost's OFF world, while embarking on an undertaking to foil a deadly plot which avid OFF-lovers are aware is an imminent menace to the fate of this world.

By the blessing of TheJudge, we are treated to several other pleasant alterations, including puzzles that are far less challenging and much less time-consuming, plus increased severity in the difficulty of the turn-based battles. This provides a better balance for your enjoyment of the plot itself -- for if you're not the brightest bulb like myself, a few of the puzzles of OFF probably left you floundering for an hour or two at a time, unable to progress until enlightenment was shed by means of pushing to your cerebral limits, or simply a walkthrough. And did you think the original 3 zones were nasty? Wait until you explore TheJudge's fourth: it's perfectly wretched (and, incidentally, one of the reasons why this spinoff is not recommended for those unable to tolerate triggering themes such as suicide and drug intake.)

Asides from the somewhat clumsily-imitated dialogue for some of the original characters, the only real downside to this spin-off is that it's currently still in the works. But, if you're as patient for your rewards as I am for mine, I suggest camping out and waiting for TheJudge to complete the game: I have an inkling that it will be quite worth the wait.
author=argh
Hm. This looks nice, though I'm more interested in the artistic/literary direction. What are the themes of this story? Does it build on the themes from OFF, or does it go in a completely different direction? Is it trying to send a message at all, or is it just trying to be a fun ride? Personally I felt that OFF was really jumbled (I believe some reviews have likened it to trying to awkwardly cram three stories into one and I agree) and something that only focuses on one theme/story (such as the purification of the Zones without all the baggage from The Room) would be good. Is that what you plan to do here?

It does build off of OFF themes and then takes a ride in it's own direction. It sends messages, multiple ones. What you take from the game itself is what you get. I do have my own "room" in HOME. The Courtroom is the final location, but don't worry. The Courtroom will not be as jumbled and chaotic as OFF, but will still touch up some rather drastic and impacting themes.
author=prince_matsuba
Review time!

Like many, I fell in love with Mortis Ghost's OFF after my first playthrough of it, and not being a fan of game spin-offs I was at first reluctant when I happened across HOME in the original game's Tumblr tags. Greedily pining for more exposure to OFF's endearing cast, I found myself dabbling at this yet-to-be-completed "byproduct" of it with a pinch of salt. As TheJudge (the game-maker, not to be mistaken with the feline character of OFF going by the label of 'Judge') reiterates, I would also like to remind anyone who decides to give this game a shot that playing the original OFF game is integral to getting the most out of your experience with this spin-off.

The many commodities of this game begins with the player controlling the dear beloved, well-spoken feline JUDGE, when in the mass majority of OFF spin-offs it seems that Zacharie the items merchant is the go-to guy for anyone's ideal follow-up fan game. As you progress through the game, you find yourself once again condescending upon the Elsens, the timid denizens of the cacotopia that is Mortis Ghost's OFF world, while embarking on an undertaking to foil a deadly plot which avid OFF-lovers are aware is an imminent menace to the fate of this world.

By the blessing of TheJudge, we are treated to several other pleasant alterations, including puzzles that are far less challenging and much less time-consuming, plus increased severity in the difficulty of the turn-based battles. This provides a better balance for your enjoyment of the plot itself -- for if you're not the brightest bulb like myself, a few of the puzzles of OFF probably left you floundering for an hour or two at a time, unable to progress until enlightenment was shed by means of pushing to your cerebral limits, or simply a walkthrough. And did you think the original 3 zones were nasty? Wait until you explore TheJudge's fourth: it's perfectly wretched (and, incidentally, one of the reasons why this spinoff is not recommended for those unable to tolerate triggering themes such as suicide and drug intake.)

Asides from the somewhat clumsily-imitated dialogue for some of the original characters, the only real downside to this spin-off is that it's currently still in the works. But, if you're as patient for your rewards as I am for mine, I suggest camping out and waiting for TheJudge to complete the game: I have an inkling that it will be quite worth the wait.

Fantastically written. You should've posted this in the review section itself. :3
author=TheJudge
It does build off of OFF themes and then takes a ride in it's own direction. It sends messages, multiple ones. What you take from the game itself is what you get. I do have my own "room" in HOME. The Courtroom is the final location, but don't worry. The Courtroom will not be as jumbled and chaotic as OFF, but will still touch up some rather drastic and impacting themes.


Hm, okay, that sounds interesting. You might want to talk about that in the summary; it mainly just talks about paying more attention to game mechanics than the original OFF, which is nice but not what OFF fans are really looking for, I think. I'll give it a try when it's finished, regardless. The screenshots look nice and the art mimics Mortis' style quite well.
author=argh
author=TheJudge
It does build off of OFF themes and then takes a ride in it's own direction. It sends messages, multiple ones. What you take from the game itself is what you get. I do have my own "room" in HOME. The Courtroom is the final location, but don't worry. The Courtroom will not be as jumbled and chaotic as OFF, but will still touch up some rather drastic and impacting themes.
Hm, okay, that sounds interesting. You might want to talk about that in the summary; it mainly just talks about paying more attention to game mechanics than the original OFF, which is nice but not what OFF fans are really looking for, I think. I'll give it a try when it's finished, regardless. The screenshots look nice and the art mimics Mortis' style quite well.

I FREAKING did that originally but it kept getting denied and denied. Said it was either too run-off ish or didn't have enough in it. I was so frustrated. I should've kept the longer description copy/pasted someone on a note document. I edited it now to add more description to the story, please tell me if its any better.
takes it's own turn

That should be "its".

It is a little rambly but it is better. Right now it just sounds pretty identical to the plot of OFF, though ("It leaves you questioning just what goal your working for, just what are you doing with the judge, and why are you given control of this mysterious grinning cat.").
author=argh
takes it's own turn
That should be "its".

It is a little rambly but it is better. Right now it just sounds pretty identical to the plot of OFF, though ("It leaves you questioning just what goal your working for, just what are you doing with the judge, and why are you given control of this mysterious grinning cat.").

That's the point. I want people to have the same sense of wonder, the same sense of confusion.
That could potentially backfire, though. For me at least, I don't like derivative works to retread the same ground. I mean it's nice and all, but it'd be more nice to see something new that builds on the original, you know? Some hint that it might do something different would be nice, if that's what you plan. Maybe I'm in the minority though, I don't know!
author=argh
That could potentially backfire, though. For me at least, I don't like derivative works to retread the same ground. I mean it's nice and all, but it'd be more nice to see something new that builds on the original, you know? Some hint that it might do something different would be nice, if that's what you plan. Maybe I'm in the minority though, I don't know!

Well, there's new stuff building on the original. But I don't want players to know exactly whats going on. I don't want players to be like. "Oh, the batter was here so this is going to happen." I try to surprise players and keep them guessing.
I have no idea how to do the playing card puzzle in the library. Maybe I'm just bad at cards, I dunno.

And it seems like you really need an editor. There are typos and grammar errors all over the place. Lack of direct address and sentence fragmentation are the biggest offenders, but there are a few others. The Judge's syntax is often incomprehensible, as well.

I'm curious as to why you chose to make sprites colored. What's the motive behind that artistic decision?

Edit: Also the stats shown in enemy scans seem pretty inaccurate. Occuli clearly have more than 30 HP for instance. And this is really minor and may have been brought to your attention already, but if you get to the Alma gatekeeper's last question, fail, and then talk to him again, he lists his final question as #6 even though it's #4. He lists it correctly if you lead to it normally, it's only if you talk to him again that he mislabels it.
author=argh
I have no idea how to do the playing card puzzle in the library. Maybe I'm just bad at cards, I dunno.

And it seems like you really need an editor. There are typos and grammar errors all over the place. Lack of direct address and sentence fragmentation are the biggest offenders, but there are a few others. The Judge's syntax is often incomprehensible, as well.

I'm curious as to why you chose to make sprites colored. What's the motive behind that artistic decision?

Edit: Also the stats shown in enemy scans seem pretty inaccurate. Occuli clearly have more than 30 HP for instance. And this is really minor and may have been brought to your attention already, but if you get to the Alma gatekeeper's last question, fail, and then talk to him again, he lists his final question as #6 even though it's #4. He lists it correctly if you lead to it normally, it's only if you talk to him again that he mislabels it.


Yea. I have a huge list of Typos. I plan on getting them all removed once I'm actually finished with the project. Just find them all in one fell swoop. Yea, sometimes I forget to update the cat's eye page. My bad. Also no one has informed me of the gatekeeper question. I forgot it even had a second page.
Hm, alright. Also, there's another (minor) bug: In Damien, interacting with the left arrow on the train doesn't do anything.

Here are my stream-of-consciousness thoughts while playing so far. Apologies if they sound cranky or jumbled, they are stream-of-consciousness after all.


Not liking the music. Doesn't sound anything like OFF's. Why did you feel the need to change them in the first place, when the game seems to cover mostly the same areas?

"If it is of a reasonable request"? What?

"omnipotential"? Is the Judge just making up big words to sound smart or something?

Why doesn't the Batter help the Judge against the spectres? You draw attention to it but he doesn't explain. Seems out of character for him to not get in on the murderings. Maybe this is a plot point later on, I dunno.

Aw, equipment is actual armor? That's kind of disappointing, I was looking forward to see how you visualize the auras and colors.

I see you have not solved the problem of greyed-out text being unreadable in the menu. Intentional?

Elsens are too lively. Too many exclamation points and complete sentences.

Actual battle animations, hooray!

The smoke coming out of the rocks is a nice touch.

oh god random encounters why

Judge says there's no meat on his bones, so Alain says he'll eat him "instead"? What? I feel like that should be "anyway" or some insistence that he's lying. It doesn't make linguistic sense as-is.

Boss battle already? Hm. I kind of liked how sparse they were in OFF, to be honest. At least you actually let us see their weaknesses. (Stats would be nice too, though.)

So the Judge is casually mowing down burnts as well? I guess he's no better than the Batter then.

Crazy butcher burnt was kind of... underwhelming, honestly? He just sounds like an ordinary psychopath. That's not really the impression I got from the burnts; they seem more sympathetic in OFF or at least more... bizarre. Some of them don't even seem to realize they're hurting you, and most know there's something wrong with them and beg for help. I personally find that creepier because it's just so alien and dissonant, plus I feel more conflicted about killing them. This is, ironically, easier to deal with. It's just, okay, crazy evil murderer, I know how this goes. He's a stereotype of evil/craziness, and the familiarity of that caricature blunts some of the impact, I think. (A big part of psychological horror is the unexpected/unknowable, after all.) Also, he still has an identifiable face, which clashes with the established style of that being the first thing to go. Maybe I'm supposed to notice something fishy here and this is a plot point, I don't know.

Batter battle is interesting, if incredibly easy. I wonder if choosing whether or not to spar with him will have effects later on. Interactive story?

"Zacharie, you are not making within any reasonable region of sense." Neither is the Judge I'm afraid. "Not saying anything within a reasonable region of sense" maybe? It's still really awkward-sounding though, I'd reword it.

I thought Zacharie's cat mask was Valerie's face? How does he have it prior to Zone 2?

No post office puzzle, you just straight-up give the password? I am disappointed.

The burnt elsen in the post office says the exact same things as the one that attacks the Batter? That's bizarre. Guess this is some kind of alternate reality where the Judge does stuff before the Batter.

...Apparently not because the Batter's with Dedan even though the password guy was still alive! How is that supposed to work? Am I supposed to be utterly baffled right now???

The new flesh maze puzzle was nice, if a bit simple.

Hm, so you're foreshadowing The Room properly. Okay.

So beating Dedan to a bloody pulp fixed him? Hooray, violence solves everything, as always. That seems, uh, kinda contrary to the themes of OFF.

I'm afraid the game isn't really grabbing me. So far it's just rehashing the beats of OFF, right down to flashes of Not-Hugo. The gameplay isn't even significantly better; I'm still auto-ing through random encounters and boss battles are still just damage races. You've only changed it from a super-easy jRPG into a standard jRPG, at best. Maybe this is just early-game lack of options talking, I dunno.

The Zone 2 pan is kind of weird. There's a period where the pan stops but nothing happens, so there's this awkward delay before the "Zone 2" animation finally starts, and by the time it does, the pan has stopped so it loses some of the effect. Intentional?

There's no "read" prompt for the title-less cat book, so the yes/no choice is odd. Maybe change it to "read/don't read"?

Why are there monsters in the library if Batter already cleared it out? What is the Judge fighting, come to think of it? I guess you're running on the logic that not all the things the Batter fights are spectres?

There are few things more frustrating than random encounters during a puzzle.


I still don't have any clue how to do that card puzzle.
author=argh
Hm, alright. Also, there's another (minor) bug: In Damien, interacting with the left arrow on the train doesn't do anything.

Here are my stream-of-consciousness thoughts while playing so far. Apologies if they sound cranky or jumbled, they are stream-of-consciousness after all.


Not liking the music. Doesn't sound anything like OFF's. Why did you feel the need to change them in the first place, when the game seems to cover mostly the same areas?

"If it is of a reasonable request"? What?

"omnipotential"? Is the Judge just making up big words to sound smart or something?

Why doesn't the Batter help the Judge against the spectres? You draw attention to it but he doesn't explain. Seems out of character for him to not get in on the murderings. Maybe this is a plot point later on, I dunno.

Aw, equipment is actual armor? That's kind of disappointing, I was looking forward to see how you visualize the auras and colors.

I see you have not solved the problem of greyed-out text being unreadable in the menu. Intentional?

Elsens are too lively. Too many exclamation points and complete sentences.

Actual battle animations, hooray!

The smoke coming out of the rocks is a nice touch.

oh god random encounters why

Judge says there's no meat on his bones, so Alain says he'll eat him "instead"? What? I feel like that should be "anyway" or some insistence that he's lying. It doesn't make linguistic sense as-is.

Boss battle already? Hm. I kind of liked how sparse they were in OFF, to be honest. At least you actually let us see their weaknesses. (Stats would be nice too, though.)

So the Judge is casually mowing down burnts as well? I guess he's no better than the Batter then.

Crazy butcher burnt was kind of... underwhelming, honestly? He just sounds like an ordinary psychopath. That's not really the impression I got from the burnts; they seem more sympathetic in OFF or at least more... bizarre. Some of them don't even seem to realize they're hurting you, and most know there's something wrong with them and beg for help. I personally find that creepier because it's just so alien and dissonant, plus I feel more conflicted about killing them. This is, ironically, easier to deal with. It's just, okay, crazy evil murderer, I know how this goes. He's a stereotype of evil/craziness, and the familiarity of that caricature blunts some of the impact, I think. (A big part of psychological horror is the unexpected/unknowable, after all.) Also, he still has an identifiable face, which clashes with the established style of that being the first thing to go. Maybe I'm supposed to notice something fishy here and this is a plot point, I don't know.

Batter battle is interesting, if incredibly easy. I wonder if choosing whether or not to spar with him will have effects later on. Interactive story?

"Zacharie, you are not making within any reasonable region of sense." Neither is the Judge I'm afraid. "Not saying anything within a reasonable region of sense" maybe? It's still really awkward-sounding though, I'd reword it.

I thought Zacharie's cat mask was Valerie's face? How does he have it prior to Zone 2?

No post office puzzle, you just straight-up give the password? I am disappointed.

The burnt elsen in the post office says the exact same things as the one that attacks the Batter? That's bizarre. Guess this is some kind of alternate reality where the Judge does stuff before the Batter.

...Apparently not because the Batter's with Dedan even though the password guy was still alive! How is that supposed to work? Am I supposed to be utterly baffled right now???

The new flesh maze puzzle was nice, if a bit simple.

Hm, so you're foreshadowing The Room properly. Okay.

So beating Dedan to a bloody pulp fixed him? Hooray, violence solves everything, as always. That seems, uh, kinda contrary to the themes of OFF.

I'm afraid the game isn't really grabbing me. So far it's just rehashing the beats of OFF, right down to flashes of Not-Hugo. The gameplay isn't even significantly better; I'm still auto-ing through random encounters and boss battles are still just damage races. You've only changed it from a super-easy jRPG into a standard jRPG, at best. Maybe this is just early-game lack of options talking, I dunno.

The Zone 2 pan is kind of weird. There's a period where the pan stops but nothing happens, so there's this awkward delay before the "Zone 2" animation finally starts, and by the time it does, the pan has stopped so it loses some of the effect. Intentional?

There's no "read" prompt for the title-less cat book, so the yes/no choice is odd. Maybe change it to "read/don't read"?

Why are there monsters in the library if Batter already cleared it out? What is the Judge fighting, come to think of it? I guess you're running on the logic that not all the things the Batter fights are spectres?

There are few things more frustrating than random encounters during a puzzle.


I still don't have any clue how to do that card puzzle.


Well, there's an elsen that asks you to find his library card, when you find it he gives you a hint to the library puzzle. That instance where the dialogue wasn't changed is an error on my part. Must've been a dialogue box I missed. Zacharie's mask is NOT Valerie. Very huge misconception and Zacharie would never use his friends brother's face as a mask. My grammar and spelling is not the greatest. At one point I did get through a huge portion of the grammar fixes, but then my laptops hard-drive crashed and I lost about a months worth of work and didn't have motivation to go back and fix said typos. Instead I just carried on forward because it was exciting and I could get motivated to do such. I can't remove random encounters. I'm uncertain why that's brought up. It would be very out of style to create sprites on the map, and some of the ghouls/ghosts wouldn't convert to overworld sprites very easily. It's only a fangame. I'm not going to be able to properly capture the entirety that is the previous work, only mimic in my best abilities. As with elsen dialogue and such, It's not going to feel the same because it's not written by the same person. I felt the need to change the music because I wanted my own music in the game. It would be kind of boring and I really haven't had a single complaint about most of the topics here, not that your opinion isn't valid. I just can't seemingly see myself changing anything if the overwhelming views of the things I've created have been held in a positive light. It should be known that this fangame isn't perfect and isn't exactly for everyone. Just like not everyone likes the same fanfiction. I mean to write Omnipotent. It was an accident on my part when I wrote that dialogue out.
Hm, okay. And thanks for the library card hint, I had forgotten about that.

Zacharie's mask is NOT Valerie. Very huge misconception and Zacharie would never use his friends brother's face as a mask.
Ah, okay. It was a fan-theory I heard, is all.

I can't remove random encounters. I'm uncertain why that's brought up.
Well, you say that one of your motives/design philosophies is to focus more on the gameplay since OFF's was so wonky, yes? The random encounters were one of the biggest complaints I've seen from OFF players since random encounters are a universally terrible mechanic. The only saving grace was that they were so easy that you could just auto through all of them, but you seem to be changing that so now they're going to be even more time-consuming. If I were to "fix" some of the problems in OFF, that would probably be the first thing I'd change - but it would be a lot of work, yes. (Theoretically, you could make only a few, abstract sprites like in The Way or The Logomancer instead of making sprites for every monster, but it might not work with the way the areas are set up, regardless.)

If nothing else though, you should really, really remove the ones during the card puzzle in the library. They are absolutely infuriating.

As with elsen dialogue and such, It's not going to feel the same because it's not written by the same person.
Well yes, but that's the occupational hazard of writing fanfiction. It's difficult because your work will inevitably be compared to the original, and you may have to write in a different style from your own to maintain consistency, otherwise the audience may be jarred out of the experience. I mean it's not that divergent from the original elsen dialogue, and I am notoriously nitpicky, but it's something I noticed, is all.