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"Ethan! Look! A snowman."
"Huh? Wow, it’s huge."
"So sad, it has no face."

You are a sentient snowperson who sprang to life on an arbitrary wintry December morning in a sleepy North American mountain town.

It is the change of auditory stimuli that stirs your desire to experience the world.

What kind of earthly wonders will you witness? Or will it be a harsh place not meant for creatures like you?

A melancholic story that allows the player to uncomfortably creep inside the head of the snowperson. You seemingly wake up as a blank slate, but you gradually develop a personality for better or worse. Learn about the mysteries of its existence alongside your player avatar.


This is a demo specifically made for "Winter VN Jam 2021".

Format: Visual Novel, Choose Your Own Adventure

Genre: Psychological Horror, Mystery, Abstract, Surreal

Themes: Existentialism, Isolation, Anxiety (Christmas, Winter)

Demo playtime: 10-15 minutes

Content Warning: The full VN will cover heavier themes but there are no particular warnings for the demo version. The story does not feature gore despite the horror label, only slight cartoony violence.


Features:

  • The demo has about 3k words in total and covers 'The Awakening' scene. There are choices, however only one ending.
  • First-person style presentation for immersion. Background image transformations and transitions are applied to represent movement.
  • All art (4 BGs, 1 CG, character sprites) is specifically drawn for this project and tailored for the winter theme.
  • Audio: Features an original musical theme that is composed for The Awakening scene. The rest of the audio consists of horror sound libraries from Zapsplat.
  • Full game should have 2 lengthy route branches that are decided from the choices the player made.

(Known bug is that skipping can mess up with transitions. If the bg looks off during the 'crawl' choice prompt [grey checkerboard visible on the bg], performing 'back' at this point [mouse scroll wheel up] somehow fixes it to the proper bg alignment)


Team Credits:

The credits only extend to the demo build and will be updated to include the full team in the future.

DeveloperRole
Gaming Variety Potato
Concept, Writer, Programmer, Artist
kochabBackground Artist
Luis "RunnerGuitar" GuerreroMusic Composer

Special Thanks: Tamafry, DemonBear, Enzo Capun, Maple

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

TheSnowpersonDemo-1.0.3-linux.tar.bz2 148 MB
TheSnowpersonDemo-1.0.3-mac.zip 143 MB
TheSnowpersonDemo-1.0.3-win.zip 160 MB

Development log

Comments

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Enjoyed every bit of it! 5/5 ^v^)/

Looking forward to the full ver. <3

(1 edit)

Thank you for giving "The Snowperson" a try, and for leaving a comment and rating! I'm glad you enjoyed it. 

Hopefully you look forward to the rest of the mystery just as much as I look forward to write it. :D

Of course! <3

As someone watching the development from a close view, I want to say that I'm so happy to see how good the game is and that I'm sure it'll surprise me even more in the future ❤️

From the first scene to the last one, you got my attention and made me eager for more. It was so good to see all the ideas working together so nicely in this game.

The soundtrack is great, the art is truly beautiful, and I love how everything is so aesthetically pleasing.

Also, you did a great job with the transitions and the camera. It animated the story and brought a lot of life into it.

I felt the winter's melancholy in each scene, along with the curiosity for what's coming next.

The demo is very well done and I can't wait to see what other surprises you have in store for this game 🤗❤️

Thank you for the kind words, demonbear. I'm glad that it's still fun for you to see this VN play out when you technically already know the entire story (although I did change up a few scenes from original plot outline without editing that document to reflect them, haha).

I enjoyed my time playing The Snowperson! I really liked the visuals and cool transitions. The music was haunting and lovely, and the idea was really neat and kind of creepy! Excited to see where this story goes!

Thank you for giving the demo a try and leaving a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed The Snowperson and we can't wait to show you the full story!

The striking and minimalist visuals and the beautiful blue is the first thing that caught my attention as I booted it up, and it's abstract nature kept me intrigued as I played it to the end.

I think the the entire team did a great job! It's hard writing for a game of this nature; heavy descriptions helped with empathising with the MC's plight, the first person point of view, and understanding how the MC moves around the environment and perceives with their senses due to way the character is set up. The writing does its best to do all of this without extending it's welcome.

Dread was something that the game played with — with its choices that it presented the player with, the sound effects that made me feel uncomfortable, and the entire premise and set up of the game. The music was dramatic and quite emotional, great work Runner!

Since the game is Demo I'm sure there's a lot that the team would've implemented, but didn't get a chance to.
The effort is clearly a well-thought out one — congratulations to the team!

(3 edits)

Thank you very much for taking your time to write a detailed review! I love hearing about a player's experience in general, but it means a lot for the team to receive such kind words. I wish I could pen a response befitting your review, but since it's another variance of gratitude, I will respond to your last paragraph.

What basically boiled down to was that I wrote a plot outline for the original story concept with the route branches which is worth slightly over 10K words if it were a fast-paced style of writing. This also demands more assets because of more locations and scenes. I realised that it would be stressful to squeeze all of it within a month time (technically we already started planning in November and the plot was already fleshed out by the end of that month, but the main bulk was to be created in December). So the scope was significantly reduced that it would demand far less for everyone involved. Truth is, it's especially a breather for me, because I'm bad at multi-tasking and did not recruit more members to take over my tasks. Therefore as a mutual agreement around the start of December, we decided on a demo to only cover the initial parts of the story and take it easy.

I did say in the game that I wished I covered more story content in the demo. This happened because the original word count planning did not match my actual writing style: the events in the demo were meant to be conveyed in about 500 words but I already side-tracked with unplanned descriptions. Wanted the next scenes to actually hint towards the existential dread theme but this never came up because I still had to put the VN together. But since the intro is already so long, I'm not even sure if the full game can even fit into the ~10K words as I thought.

That's totally okay! Thank you for sharing your thought process and what went through the development cycle. Your team were able to put up a piece that can stand on it's own as a demo, and it's good that you were able to make decisions about the scope of the game to take care of yourselves.