I like a lot of what this game offers, in terms of the unique battle system and the non-linear progression. As I got closer to the end though I got more and more stuck, and found myself doing a lot of backtracking through old areas, 'brb-ing' out of a bunch of encounters along the way. The red slime especially confused me, since you don't actually use the Mint Pudding on the red slime but on the player character, which I was hesitant to do because wasting it meant another long backtrack to refill the cup...I also assumed that choosing not to go back to the real world after dying was just a way to end/quit the game, so I didn't figure out the character-change thing at all. I do want to go back and see what I missed, I think I'll enjoy it now knowing more about it. I also somehow completely missed whoever Smith was
Death? Preposterous! - A Non-violent RPG
A downloadable game for Windows and Linux
Playing on a Mac, or mobile? Try the browser version here:
What Happens When We Die?
Is death really as it seems?
What if we had the wrong idea?
What if death wasn't death at all?
When a visit to the island's mansion turns out to be much more than our protagonist bargains for, discover what happens in the aftermath, uncover a nefarious secret, and earn an audience with the prestigious lord of the estate.
Explore The Island
Explore the island to find curiosities. Experiment to discover their purpose. Search the island for a way into the mansion. Talk to people and get to know them (or don't, it's up to you.) Who you choose to interact with can change the way the game unfolds. There is more than one way to approach this story, and more than one tale to be told.
Discover Curious Creatures
During your journey you'll encounter a variety of strange and wonderful creatures to interact with. Some might be friendly, others might be afraid of you, and others still can be dangerous if handled the wrong way. But if you take the time to observe them, you might learn a thing or two, and get to know them better.
Darling is the main protagonist of the story. After a lengthy preparation period, he arrives as a new resident to the island, ready to begin a meaningful chapter in his life together with his wife Madeline in their new seaside home. But things turn out a bit differently than either of them planned, and a note left by Madeline is the start of an unbelievable chain of events...
The proprietress of the local tavern, Berta's meals are popular with residents of the island and visitors alike. There's never a slow day at her tavern, and she does what she can for those in need. Though, she has been known to take on more than she can reasonably handle sometimes.
Trudy is the headmistress at the only schoolhouse on the island. It is her joy teaching children, and she makes the most of every day watching them learn and grow. But due to recent occurrences on the island, she and the children have lost their access to the school. To make matters worse, now she is being forced to tutor the son of the person who caused all this!
Mindy runs an herbalism practice on the island, as well as a storefront for a variety of flora. Effectively she's the island's naturopathic (and only) doctor. When dire circumstance begins befalling the residents of the island, Mindy discovers she has lost access to her supply of medicines.
These and many more characters await you in Death? Preposterous!
- Play as up to 10 different characters, or as few as 1.
- Befriend key characters and learn more about their lives. Or don't. It's up to you.
- Interact with creatures in refreshingly non-violent, puzzle-like encounters.
- Earn a variety of ending sequences to the game that will differ depending on the way you played through it.
- Save your progress anywhere in the game for a more flexible and enjoyable gameplay experience.
- Play Death? Preposterous! using any of the following devices:
- You can play using just your mouse!
- Or, using simple keyboard controls (4 arrow keys to navigate, 2 other keys for action/cancel/menu functions)
- Or using a game controller that supports X-input, such as a USB Xbox 360 controller, an Xbox One Wireless controller, or the Logitech brand F310 and F710 model gamepads, just to name a few possibilities.
Please keep in mind that these are approximate minimum system requirements.
|OS||Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (32bit/64bit) Linux Mint 18 or above, Debian 8 or above|
|CPU||Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent|
|RAM||2GB or more (4GB or more recommended)|
|HDD||2GB or more of free disk space|
|Graphics Card||One with OpenGL support|
|Display||Resolution of 1024×768 or greater|
|Made with||RPG Maker|
|Tags||2D, Colorful, Controller, Creative, metaphysical, Multiple Endings, Non violent, Relaxing, RPG Maker, Singleplayer|
|Average session||A few minutes|
|Inputs||Keyboard, Mouse, Xbox controller, Gamepad (any)|
|Links||Buy me a coffee at Ko-Fi, Find more of my projects on Linktr.ee, Say hello on Twitter @JayRayHawk|
Click download now to get access to the following files:
- Want to play on a Mac, or mobile devices? Try the new browser version!Dec 17, 2020
- Moving to a Pay-What-You-Want Pricing Model (Again) and Looking BackNov 08, 2020
- Death? Preposterous! v1.2 has been released.Sep 24, 2020
- A new project is underway! Let's shape it together!Aug 08, 2020
- (Spoilers) I'm just curious...Jul 28, 2020
- A new version (v1.1) of Death? Preposterous! is now available.Jun 18, 2020
- Stuck in the game? Here are some tips (and some Spoilers)Mar 22, 2020
- A Note For New PlayersMar 19, 2020
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First off let me just say that I appreciate your comments. I'm pleased to know that folks are still enjoying this unusual little game even now.
There is some backtracking that is required at times, but the progression becomes easier as things go, and nearly every encounter while backtracking can be quickly skipped (except the Block Rocks of course.) Subsequent playthroughs of the game are much quicker once you know how things work, and they can be done in a fraction of the time compared to the first experience.
I tried to do things in a way that would surprise players, including breaking the game's "rules" at times, like with that particular encounter you mentioned. The unusual way of approaching the player character changes was another example where I tried to get creative and go against conventional expectations. My goal was to leave players with a feeling that they got to enjoy something a little unique or different from the norm.
I've not played this but I really like your concept and mapping! :)
I really like this game, but I can't figure out how to open that door. I've replayed it, like, 3 times, completed all the side quests, talked to Magsjdkaslkeoas but I can't figure out how to open that stupid door!
Hi n03113, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the game. Which door are you referring to that you can't figure out how to open? I can only think of two doors that might be stumping you.
Spoilers ahead for those who wish to avoid them.
If you mean the door in the Guest Quarters, have you successfully completed the encounter with the Foul O'Door? If so, you may just be missing the combination to the lock. You can find that in the Basement.
If, instead, you mean the door in the Garden area by the fountain, it's locked from the outside only, and leads to the secret room area that you discovered via the Basement. To open it, simply exit that room from the inside first to unlock it.
In any case, if you've already completed the game and the side quests, you're not missing any essential content from the experience behind locked doors.
Yes, the garden door. Thank you, I was so frustrated that I couldn't open it and I thought I was missing something.
You're welcome! Glad I could help.
It was one of those things where I figured most players would try to leave the room in the more normal way after having entered it so unusually, and they would unlock the door in the process. But I understand it being frustrating and confusing if you happened to miss you could do that, and instead went back the way you came in.
This was a neat game, I'm just playing now after the Racial Equity bundle. The Undertale influence is pretty clear, taking the conventions of a known genre and using the mechanics themselves to tell part of the story.
I did find the language used in the afterlife to veer a little close to glorifying suicide for my comfort. Still, I'm reminded of a short story which took the idea that every human life is a reincarnation of the same being, that from an outside context will have experienced every interaction in history from both sides.
I had some frustrations with the RpgMaker format; random encounters made backtracking annoying, and I found the text boxes progressed slowly with multiple hard breaks (I always set text speed to 'instant' if available). Visual novel tools would've been really nice, especially a Skip Read option (and ideally a History option for when a text box flies past due to thinking the scene was over). Toggling encounters would've been nice, like the Repel in pokémon. Other suggestions with spoilers below...
I wasn't quite stuck, but had a bad time for a while due to the Hot Potato. In the Kitchen, at some point there's a Block Rock which prevents you from walking back to the entrance unless you have the Hot Potato page, which is only possible if you have a curiosity from outside the mansion (which was on the one screen of the external island which I hadn't noticed before going to the mansion). This doesn't lock the game, but combined with the basement being mysteriously blocked off at some point, the only way out was through the back along a long and winding path with encounters every few steps. This was particularly frustrating as the same area gives access to ice cream which specifically mentions cooling down, which feels like it should work. If you ever do a quality-of-life tweaking pass, I recommend shifting that required page to the Breezy Freezie, and perhaps double-checking that there aren't any other Block Rocks which check for pages which need items behind them.
Block Rock gates in general could have really used more hints. My first mansion access was through Wiz's quest, and after finally gaining a foothold past the fence, I couldn't pass one narrow hallway before being presented with an unsolvable encounter. Fortunately the comment here about needing to solve other encounters first was enough to unblock.
Thanks for your detailed post and thoughts about the game. I can appreciate differences in viewpoints, and though my intention was not really based in glorifying suicide in what I was presenting, it's of a sufficiently unusual nature that I could see why it might be viewed in that light. In fact, I was half expecting more backlash in general over presenting arguably radical viewpoints of death and those kinds of things.
I had some frustrations with the RPG Maker format too, but it was the tool I had available to me to work within that I knew how to use, and having zero budget to put to the game, I did the best I could with what I had available to me. Although I do understand it leaves a bit to be desired on the player side as well, but I appreciate your suggestions for feedback on what you would have preferred to see, even if I may not be able to actually enact those changes necessarily, it's nice to hear from folks about the things they prefer.
I'm not quite sure just from reading your description of the issues you came into contact with from the Block Rocks and using the entrance from Wiz's quest, but you may have run into one issue that I was never quite able to figure out how to solve. The way I set up the progression through the mansion was such that if you started from one direction, and then came back into it from the other partway through, there was an overlap of sorts, where the particular transition between the Kitchen area of the mansion and the Main Hall would basically not allow you to progress as usually intended. It didn't necessarily break the game as far as I was aware of anyway, but it was disruptive to the overall flow, as it sounds like you're describing in your comment.
In any case, even if that particular issue wasn't what you were trying to describe, thanks again for taking the time to provide feedback on your time with the game.
There was nothing too overt, but the people in the afterlife expressing such intense relief and happiness after having 'returned' got a little worrying. This is an issue any depiction of Heaven has to deal with, Christianity's approach was to mention that this amazing paradise after death very specifically would not be granted for suicide in order to reconcile living. That said, the ninth character's journey was fascinating within this context.
I don't expect you to fix problems with the engine. It's a great tool for what it is, and part of the game's charm is in how it leans into the structural limitations. I'm just not familiar with the MV tools, if any prebuilt options were there (like player-controlled encounter rate) then filing down those pain points would be a big win. I still wish that the big-budget RPG games took a leaf from visual novels on how they manage text...
Sounds like you're describing the same issue. Going into further spoilery detail: Wiz's entrance (blocked based on encounters in the forest you pass through to get there) lets you enter the garden which lets you into the kitchen (blocked based on encounters in the garden), then from the kitchen you can enter the main entrance (blocked based on kitchen encounters, one of which needs a Curiosity from outside the mansion). Meanwhile, the mine entrance lets you into the grounds, then you can get into the hedge maze, then into the main entrance (blocked based on hedge maze encounters, which use a curiosity found within the hedge maze). I forget if going from the main entrance to the kitchen was blocked (which might've needed an external curiosity for Banshy), but it was surprising to be allowed through in one direction but not the other, especially when it was much easier to get out of the mansion from the main entrance than through the garden.
I like the colorful trees
Me too. I wanted to make even more of them than I did. Maybe I should have! I'm glad you liked them though.
Yesterday I added a new devlog post explaining the recent change in pricing model for this game, as well as taking a look back at everything that has happened since its release back in March 2019.
For those curious and interested to learn a bit more about behind-the-scenes stuff, you can read the post here: https://jayrayhawk.itch.io/dp/devlog/194130/moving-to-a-pay-what-you-want-pricin...
Hi, I got a bug in the ending when Darling in supposed to enter the shop but he's stuck outside so there's nothing I can do besides closing the game. I think it happened when I was pressing the arrow keys during the cutscene and I happened to move Darling so he wasn't on the usual path into the shop which is why he's stuck.
Just wanted to let you know just in case someone else is stupid like me and starts mashing buttons during cutscenes. I really enjoyed the game a lot! But I didn't actually find all the pages.
I was missing page 5 the lance dude I believe and I KNOW I need to find a princess doll or something for the "hero" to save from the dragon (just a gut feeling), but I really don't know where I can find it. I'm also missing page 12 but I'm assuming I can find that monster after the room with the lance dude. So any hints would be helpful!
Also, I'm just curious where Bennie went. I didn't die so I assumed none of the characters went missing, but I've only found Bennie once in her cave and I couldn't ever find her again. I'm curious as to what happened with her because I managed to become good friends with everyone else too.
Thanks for posting your experience with the game here. The bug you found is a known issue, and I usually see it happen most often during the introduction scenes of the game, but it's sadly possible during the ending cutscenes too.
Included in with the game download is a Help & FAQs text file, and in it I explain the issue you stumbled upon in more detail, but the gist of it is, it's an elusive bug that seems to happen with the RPG Maker MV engine itself, and as far as I am aware, there's really no way to fix it on my end.
It can happen when players are pressing or holding down buttons when the game takes over control of moving the character (during cutscenes or etc.) Doing this speeds up the text and events on screen, and sometimes RPG Maker seems to skip some movement instructions in its haste. Then the game gets stuck and you just have to close it manually as you observed.
Basically, the only real "solution" I've found is the same conclusion you came to, just try not to press or hold unnecessary buttons during parts of the game with scripted movement, and the scenes should play out normally without issues.
For those reading who wish to avoid spoilers, kindly ignore the remainder of this comment.
Let's tackle your other questions:
Pages 5 and 12 as you've no doubt surmised are optional, but I can understand wanting to experience them all (5's encounter is especially fun if I do say so myself.)
You are correct that there is a princess doll involved with Page 5 (good instincts!) and to find it, you'll want to search carefully on the shore. There's a somewhat hidden stretch of beach that you may have missed.
Page 12's encounter is indeed in the part of the mansion beyond that. It's a bit of a tricky one, but it has a nice reward that makes it easier to progress in the mansion without having to backtrack to recover. Probably not much use for you at this point since you've already finished, but perhaps as a convenience for a future play through, or just for completion's sake.
As for Bennie's location after you first get acquainted, she likes to spend time on the beach, getting nice fresh air and some time away from folks for awhile. Search the shoreline areas again and you'll find her.
Hopefully that helps! Thanks again for reaching out, and I'm glad you had an enjoyable experience with the game overall! If you need any further clarification on the hints, just ask.
Thank you so much! I’ll make sure to check all these stuff out.
I forgot to mention that I found the hidden testing area early on that you used as well! It was interesting to see how you tested everything as a game developer myself. I’m still studying, but I hope to be able to start releasing games soon too!
I also found the 3 ways to get into the mansion and I have to say that it’s smart on your part for having a fail safe way, because as I understand, other characters go missing each time Darling dies and if the player hasn’t completed the other quests, then they’re stuck besides the ship way.
Thank you for taking the time to reply! I’m sure I’ll get all the pages now :D
Edit: I found bennie and became good friends with her too, but now I’m confused because I found the princess doll and I can’t seem to use it while fighting the toy soldier. He slays the dragon every time I try, but the princess doesn’t appear. Is there something else that I need to do or something that I’m missing?
You're welcome! And congratulations on finding that little secret!
That's what I think is nice about the RPG Maker software is that anybody can do it. All it takes is a few months getting comfortable with using it and then once you are used to working with it, you can start making things pretty well. Don't be surprised if it takes a few years though to make a decent length game, especially if you're going at it by yourself rather than with a team of folks. A lot of hours creating goes into even short game experiences, and it seems daunting when you try to look at the whole thing before you start.
I'd say the important thing though is to enjoy your time creating whatever you envision, and just focus on what you're enjoying in the moment! String enough days like that together and before you even know what happened, you'll have a game. Passion and persistence are really the secret ingredients for making it all come together. Keep it fun though too! It doesn't have to feel like work, though some days it might. Also remember to give yourself rests too, especially on days when you really aren't feeling motivated or creative enough to make progress. Forcing yourself too much during times like that will start to come through in what you create, and you might feel unsatisfied with the end result in the long run. It's okay to rest, even for long stretches of time if you need it, just stay the course and keep at it little by little! That'd be my advice in a few paragraphs at any rate!
Anyway, back to your comments. I had to make at least one way into the mansion that didn't require any condition to be met so it could be used no matter what took place in a given playthrough. The way this game was designed, because each person is able to play the game a bit differently, there were a lot of possible ways to experience the sequence of events. Possibilities also include things like skipping characters entirely if people just happened to miss them, and other situations where your options for entering into the mansion become restricted. It goes without saying that it would have been a bad experience for players and a poor design oversight to get stuck in the game with no way in or out of the mansion from no real fault of their own.
That last bit of your comment sounds a bit unusual... it might be a bug and I'm curious to know more about what exactly you're experiencing there. Once you have both the Princess Doll and the Tiny Dragon curiosities in your possession, it should play out the scene properly when you pick up the toy soldier using your sense abilities during the encounter. It sounds like it's not doing that for you however. What are you seeing after the dragon disappears? Does the game act like you haven't gotten the Princess Doll curiosity at all?
Off the top of my head, I'm wondering if it has something to do with the fact that you partially progressed the scene before having the Princess Doll, then went back to get it, and now it has perhaps messed up the event's usual progression somehow. I was fairly certain that I accounted for that sort of possibility in the way I set it up, but it's possible some issue eluded my testing. Any other details about what exactly you're seeing and doing during that encounter would be helpful for me to try and narrow down the possible issues.
No, you’re right. It just plays out the scene as if I didn’t have the princess doll. So the hero defeats the dragon and then it says something is missing.
I did try it before when I didn’t have the doll so maybe that’s why? But I’m not 100% sure that’s the reason either. Could be because of the story progression or the page collection progression? I can’t help you much because I don’t actually have a save file from before all this, I just saved over the same slot.
I tried a few other stuff though, like exiting the room and coming back in and trying again. I also tried touching multiple times, but that didn’t help either.
Okay, thank you for the additional details. That clarification was helpful. I will try to see if I can reproduce the issue, and if I can find some way to fix it so it works like it's supposed to. I apologize for the inconvenience but I appreciate that you've let me know this is happening. I don't think I'll be able to resolve it for your particular save file though unfortunately.
So in the meanwhile you may wish to start a new file and just get to that point of the mansion again, but get both curiosities before engaging with the encounter this time, and it should proceed like it normally was supposed to. There's no grand reward for collecting every page or anything like that, so you don't have to worry that you missed out on anything terribly important in your original file. On the plus side, once you've already experienced the game, subsequent playthroughs go much more quickly when you already know what to do.
I was able to find the issue and fix the errors that I had made in setting up that particular encounter. I released version 1.2 of the game today and it should fix the issue you were having with not being able to collect page 5 for any future players at least. Thanks again for bringing it to my attention.
My game is stuttering and skipping a lot. I have this problem with some other RMMV games as well. Do you know how to fix this issue? I am using Windows 10 with 4GB RAM.
Hi Irin, thanks for reaching out. I'm sorry to hear you're having issues playing the game. 4GB of RAM should be plenty.
Are there some other RPG Maker MV games where you don't have the stuttering issue? If yes, then it might be related to a particular plugin used by the games that are giving you trouble, or it might have something to do with the version of RPG Maker MV that was used to create the game (Death? Preposterous! was made on an older release of RMMV, version 1.5.2 just FYI.)
If you're having the same issue with all other RPG Maker MV games you try to play though, it might be something related to the engine itself, or your particular system perhaps.
In any case, I'm not certain I'll be able to help solve this sort of issue for you, and you may be better served contacting RPG Maker's support team to get their assistance directly.
However, a few ideas off the top of my head that you might try if you haven't already:
- Playing the game in Windowed mode instead of Full screen (or vice versa.) You can toggle between modes in the game's options menu, or by pressing the F4 key while the game is running.
- Updating your graphics drivers to the newest version supported by your system, or if you're already using the newest drivers, maybe trying a slightly older version to see if the issue is present (sometimes new versions can cause new issues too.)
- Try running the game in compatibility mode (I really don't think this should be necessary normally for MV games, but it's worth a try if all else has failed.)
That's about the extent of what I can think of to suggest that might help. I hope that you're able to find an answer that works for you. If I can help in another way, feel free to reach out again!
I did all 10 endings, I'm rarely a completionist in games, that is to say how much I love this game ! Everything was perfect, the only bug i came with is on my last ending with digsby, I had twice the character of Morty in the study, I screenshoted it if you want to see it, as much power digsby have, I don't think cloning a prince is one of them haha
Thanks a lot for this game !
I'm glad you enjoyed your time with the game enough to see all the endings, a1anne. That means a lot to me knowing people are liking it that much. While it's true Digsby does have some unique talents for players to discover, cloning Morty is definitely not supposed to be one of them! Nice catch. A screenshot would be appreciated so I can narrow down which instance of Morty is appearing when he shouldn't be.
Also if you happen to remember what you were doing at the time you saw that happen, that may also help me figure out what's going on with it. Were you in the middle of Trudy's requests? Or maybe you hadn't started it yet or already finished it? Did you leave the study and come back in again right away? Any other small details like these that you may be able to remember would be helpful as well.
Oh I just realised it wasn't twice Morty, but could it be that Malignaunsse replaced Trudy's with another teacher ? If that's the case they look alike a bit ^^ And Malignaunsse was fast on this one :(
I absolutely adore this game. I just got Darling's ending and am now going on to get the other ones. How on earth a gem like this hasn't grown a bigger following is beyond me, and I'm most definitely recommending it to everyone I know. Thank you, Jay Ray Hawk, for making one of the most wonderful and replay-worthy games I've played in a while!
I'm glad you enjoyed your time with my little game, polychrostatic. Thank you for taking the time to post your kind words. Having even a few folks out there enjoying their time discovering the game... well I feel a combination of humbled and delighted whenever I get to learn about it.
Hey just a few lil bug reports, it's not a big deal for me because I've found other ways to progress and the rest of the sequence seems to be ok.
Oh right also spoiler warnings to people reading this comment, because I dont know if i can use spoiler tag markdown on itch and if so how. I'll try be as vague as possible whilst still describing the bug, but maybe give it a skip.
So I found Milton and i helped him escape, spoke to jack and we are bffs everything is ok. I went back to where milton was originally and he was there again and the sequence played out as first time so thats the first lil niggle. Then i accidentally walked into the fence and died because i was a bit clumsy with my input. So i went to vist jack and milton and there they both were, ok fine, cool. Wiz's fence hole however now isn't working? it won't kill me but i can't pass through it, it's like a wall now. But fine, I know another two ways to get in, I walked back to where i dropped milton off before and he escaped again to go find jack (even though i had died, and visted him in jacks house, between picking him up the second time and dropping him off a second time)
Like I say not a big deal for me, I am still progressing, but i thought it would be good manners to let you know!
Also I just wanted to say thanks, This game is really fun and ive been really enjoying it, i like all the different ways you can solve getting into the mansion, and the secret tunnels you can find and all the people you can befriend, and all the puzzles for beating monseters it's just so intricate and lovely. I've been having a wonderful time with it so honestly GOOD JOB. and i really appreciate that you gave it away for free when all this kicked off, it has helped me have a much nicer time. to anyone considering it, I would genuinely say it is well worth the dollar it currently is at, way way more even, I'll admit i wouldnt have even found it if it hadn't been free but i'm so glad i did and if i wasn't struggling right now i'd love to donate.
Couple extra things i wanted to mention, I've noticed the randomly generated 'gentlemen and ladies' all also seem to have random aesthetics, but quite often i've seen npc's called gentleman with drills or twintails or dresses and it has tickled me. I'm trans so I have also decided that this is representation hahah. yeah i find that amusing, I don't think its a problem in anyway, just something that really makes me smile.
Also a couple other things i've been doing as i play the game that im not necessarily sure are the intended experience, but I've kept doing because I guess i'm enjoying them. The first is I've been rapidly advancing through all the npcs plots and friendships and 'give me a lil bit and come back later' by just leaving and immediately rentering a zone, and i can see thats how youve decided to advance the statemachine based on area transitions, but i just wanted you to know that i have no shame in exploiting that.
**big spoiler part**
The other thing is I got into the building but got stuck, maybe i hadnt picked up a curiosity or just couldnt solve a puzzle, but when i died i decided to see what would happen if i said no to a respawn. I came straight back as madeline (I had died ALOT up til this point), I just wanna say as a quick aside that I adore how full of (entirely righteous and valid) rage she is that all the rocks just bail, i love her and her extreme power, angry waifu best waifu. I accidentally lost that save and started over and have since learnt the order of disapperances if you keep who you are match the order of player character cycling if you don't (both of these are super super super amazing and cool features by the way, it really gives weight to dying and also choosing what to do when you do). but because once they disappear you dont then play as them next time i've become paranoid that they are dying as well... and because i really want to keep everyone alive i'll admit i have been save scumming... now that's not your fault as a creator, you've created a wonderful and compelling system, but because ive made friends with all the characters and care about them i keep finding myself bypassing it... which obviously is non ideal... can you rescue people who have disappeared?
Anyway once again amazing game
Thank you for such a wonderful detailed message! I'm glad you're generally enjoying your time with the game. I'll try to address all your points here.
First, thanks very much for the Milton related bug reports. I had no idea any of that was happening and those are all definitely bugs that I'll need to take a look at more closely and see if I can come up with some way to fix them. Things can get especially weird when deaths happen mid-quest sequence and I thought I got most of those straightened out elsewhere but... apparently not for Milton and Jack's stuff based on what you were experiencing with that.
It really helps to receive reports like this because while I did plenty of testing myself, I didn't have a large pool of testers or anything to help point out issues, and some of these events are interwoven in ways that make unexpected errors and require complexities behind the scenes to get them to work together fluidly. So they can appear to be working as intended for the most part, until things proceed in a certain way that wasn't tested specifically, and then everything breaks as you're experiencing in your playthrough.
I appreciate the kind words, and again am glad you are enjoying your time with the game. The amount of people that discovered the game during the recent giveaway period has honestly been staggering compared to the relatively small amount of attention it had received in the entire year prior to it, so it has been very helpful and wonderful to see so much interest all of a sudden these past few weeks during the giveaway period. More than anything I just hoped people would find the game and be able to have fun with something a little different than most games out there, and now that's finally starting to happen it seems.
The quirkiness of character design was part of the fun, but also it was to help facilitate things more easily to be honest too. At first I had the idea to name each NPC as you see in some games where it's descriptive of an impression you might get from them or some kind of aspect of their personality or facial features, etc. but I ran out of ideas pretty quickly for keeping them unique and fun, and trying to create multiples of them with the admittedly strange way that I decided to do random NPC dialog in this game, well it started to get to be a lot of tedious extra work for seemingly little gain, so I simplified this process a bit by simply calling them all either "Ladies" or "Gentlemen" and it was solely based on their templates during character creation.
Some of the ladies look a lot more like gentlemen from a visual perspective, and vice versa, and some of the color combinations or hairstyles are a little less reserved too, but I wanted them to stand out from one another and wasn't too worried if they took on unusual garb or hairstyles/colors etc. There's no deep reason behind this from my personal standpoint other than wanting the NPCs to be visually interesting and somewhat distinct from one another, but if you're finding meaning and significance to it beyond my simplistic ideas for them, then I think that's wonderful in its own right.
Leaving an area and immediately coming back to it, in order to progress events, is not an exploit or anything like that. I realize it can be a little bit immersion breaking in a sense, but I'd rather have player convenience in this case. It's how I often did things myself during testing and while playing through the game, and honestly once you figure out that's how the game's progression works, I kind of expect folks to decide to do it that way for time saving/convenience sake.
I could have done it more traditionally where I decided to lock progression behind an ingame timer system, or some other event triggering someplace else, but I was never quite satisfied with any implementation of that nature that I could come up with, as it hampered some of the freedom of player choice to decide how and when they wanted to do things and in what order, so I just left it up to the individual person to decide how they want to go about it. You could just as easily forget about a quest line for awhile and come back to it 30 minutes later as you could progress it completely in 5 minutes by moving between the nearest screen/area transition. Totally up to you!
Madeline is a very special case, even among the rest of the cast of playable characters, and I'm glad to hear somebody stumbled upon the ability to play as her organically without knowing about it ahead of time. The theme I had in mind for her character was definitely anger and/or revenge, so I'm also glad to hear that came across well. As you no doubt noticed, things end up proceeding in interesting ways as you are playing as her, and I had a lot of fun with making one character like her break (almost) all the established rules of the game. She's absolutely one of the later characters in the roster, and none of the others are like her honestly.
In addition to offering a unique experience among the cast, another thing I had hoped to accomplish with her being one of the later characters was that, if players were struggling with the game and dying frequently and feeling frustrated, they just might try the other option in the afterlife and find themselves playing as her, and she represents somewhat of a "free pass" through the mansion, to make the game easier to get through than it normally otherwise would be.
As to your last question, I'll just make some generalized points here without spoiling the story specifics: You can find characters who have gone missing, and those who have stayed behind. However, once they are "gone" via either method, you can no longer return them to their usual places in the game, so you "lose" them from a functional, quest fulfilling, friendship gaining standpoint at that time.
One of the reasons I chose to make it so you could save (almost) everywhere in the game was so that folks could frequently save/reload as they pleased if that was how they wanted to experience the game. I wanted the game to be enjoyable to progress through and not seen as a hassle where you had to go back and redo a bunch of stuff.
However that said, it was fairly intended that most players would probably take one initial playthrough to really figure out the game and how it works, and then potentially another separate playthrough (which ends up being much shorter than the first time through as the game is now understood and known) to be able to get the exact experience out of it that they intended, though of course that's also possible with generous use of save files and reloading etc. even on a single playthrough. Or you can play through the game dozens of times if you're having enough fun with it to justify that. I wanted folks to have as many possible ways of approaching and enjoying the game at their own pace and in their own way as I could come up with.
Thanks again for reaching out and sharing your experiences with the game. I'm going to give it some more time and see if there are any other errors and such that people uncover now that more folks are in there and playing the game, and I'll be able to consider some bug fix updates and such in the future.
I just wanted to add an additional note here for you, that today I have updated the game to version 1.1. The issues that you reported here with Milton's quest restarting when it shouldn't be, and the subsequent blocked entrance to the mansion should be resolved now in this new version.
You can see the other changes in today's devlog post here if you're curious: https://jayrayhawk.itch.io/dp/devlog/155544/a-new-version-v11-of-death-preposter...
It's a minor update however, and I consider it non-essential for returning players, though would recommend it for folks who haven't downloaded the game yet. So only grab the new version if you feel like it's compelling enough incentive for you.
Thanks again for letting me know about your experience with the game both good and unexpectedly strange! I especially appreciate getting to hear from people who had fun with it.
I've added a new devlog post here with some tips to help folks who might be getting stuck at various points in the game. It has spoilers though, so keep that in mind before checking it out.
I'd rather folks know what to do to progress than give up in frustration. If there's something I didn't cover in the tips article and you need more specific help, please reach out via comments and I'll assist.
I activated two side-quests that required going to see Mindy at the same time; one with Jack to get through the barrier and one with Misty... which requires getting through the barrier.
Misty's side-quest took priority, and now I can't progress Jack's side-quest because Mindy is busy. What do I do about this?
Thanks for posting with an excellent question. You've discovered one of the messier situations and this can get a little cumbersome, but one quest line had to take priority over the others as Mindy couldn't be in two places at once... I just imagined it as her putting everything else on hold for Misty, but more to the point, you should be able to proceed with Misty's quest line and then if all else remains unchanged, Jack's should be possible to resume after Misty's is completed.
That said, it's possible there could be bugs of this conflicting-quest nature that eluded me, so if you try that and it doesn't work out for you as I've described, please reach out again and let me know so I can look into it more thoroughly.
My apologies for the strangeness of the setup, but thank you for trying the game!
That's about what I assumed, but the issue is that Jack's side-quest is the one I need to do to get into the barrier (or so he says, unless it's a fakeout?), while Misty's requires me to be able to get into the barrier to progress.
A little bit of a paradox there, unless there's another way to get through the barrier? I've been wandering around for a while and haven't found anything
There are indeed multiple ways one can bypass the barrier, including one way that's slightly less reliable, but requires no interaction with the main story's characters. It's something of a fail-safe in the event the player chooses to ignore them entirely, or some other circumstance prevents progress during a playthrough (as is the case here for Jack's quest being temporarily put on hold in favor of Misty's.)
If you'd like a hint on how to find the always-available entrance... hmm let's see... you may wish to pay special attention to the names of seemingly insignificant NPCs and see if you can find any that are different from the majority. Particularly on the South end of the island.
If you need better hints, or want me to tell you outright, I can oblige. I just prefer to let folks discover it a bit for themselves first and give out clues unless they insist otherwise.
this game is wonderful but i seem to be stuck. there are a lot of creatures that ive tried interacting with that does nothing, ive tried all of my curiosities with them and i cant find any more curiosities
I'm glad you're enjoying your time with the game! Thanks for taking the time to reach out.
Helping you progress specifically will depend on what creatures you are feeling stuck with. Some of them are a little more particular about what order they require you to interact with them in. You may try the same interaction more than once and see different results. Most curiosities you can find outside of the mansion grounds around the island. They aren't all found outdoors either if you haven't explored the indoor areas much yet.
If you've tried all that though and explored everywhere you can find or think of, and you're still feeling stuck and want some more specific directions, let me know what area you've managed to reach within the mansion and what creatures or part(s) you are feeling stuck at specifically and I'll give you some more details if you'd like.
ive been able to get inside the mansion grounds three ways but i can only leave via the one ledge. in the kitchen i have only managed to figure out how to fight the hot potato. there is a curiosity outside that i cant get to and i cant find any more curiosities inside although i get stuck when im in the basement
Okay. It sounds like you need one more in the kitchen/dining hall area, and then you'll be able to continue through to the next area. You may have simply not encountered it yet, or even if you did, it probably gave you some trouble. It's one of the more challenging and specific creatures to progress through so I'm not surprised if players are getting tripped up there.
To get through that particular encounter, you'll want to make sure you are thorough with your observation of the creature before you try any of your other options...
The basement is a mysterious place. The dim lighting, that guard standing watch... Rumors have been spreading among the mansion's guests and residents too...
(Hopefully those hints are enough to get you back on your way and enjoying it again. I tried to give you nudges without totally spoiling exactly what to do. If you still need more help just ask, and I'll be happy to clarify the steps needed.)
that did help a lot! now i have to figure out how to deal with the hot blob and get the curiosity in front of the castle!
I'm glad that was helpful enough for you!
That hot blob is tricky. You'll have to do something you probably weren't expecting, and it's going to involve curiosities for sure. Something to make the heat less intense...
As for the second part you mentioned, the curiosities on the mansion grounds, a little patience will see you through... There are a few folks that sometimes appear in the hedge maze as well with helpful tips if you haven't spoken with them yet.
I just saw your review that you left about a month ago (I never saw any notification that the game had gotten a review, so I must have missed it) and seeing as I have no way to directly contact you or reply to that review, I wanted to post here in the hopes that you see this.
First of all, I apologize for the inconvenience of the situation. It was my understanding that once you claimed the game, you would thus "own" it and it would be available to you regardless of whether or not prices changed in the future. Judging by your frustration in the review you left it seems that was not how it worked, and you lost access to it instead. That was never my intention, so I'm glad you let me know about it in some way at least.
If it helps and you're still interested, you can claim the game for free again until March 31st 2020 as part of the current sale. In the event you happen to see this after the current promotional sale period is over, reach out to me again here in a reply comment and I will try to help.
For clarity purposes I'd just like to add that this game actually started out as paid game with a $5 minimum price, and the demo version was released back during the game's original release as well, and it was only later on that it was moved to a Pay-What-You-Want setup with the demo temporarily removed for a time, as something of an experiment on my part to see if it caught more peoples attention.
At any rate, allow me again to apologize, as I did not know that sort of thing was happening, and to thank you for giving the game a try when you did. I do appreciate everyone who plays the game I spent almost 2 years creating, even if they end up disliking it, that's okay too. I'm thankful for all of it, and all the more so if they are enjoying their time with the game as you seemed to be.