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Feb 15, 2013 | 8:38 PM EST
  • Daily 4th Place February 17, 2013

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Author Comments

"Ode To Pixel Days" is about a teenage boy, Hans, having a crush on a cheerleader. Hans gets rejected by the cheerleader, because he is ugly, and not charismatic. Hans tries to change this by building a machine that will make everyone look the same. When everyone looks the same, he can have the girl of his dreams! But of course, in reality, things don't work that way; and Hans is about to get into some bitter experiences.

The game is played in a castle, that represents the world created by Hans' mind. The game's artistic goal is to put the players in Hans' mind, to make them play through his emotional experiences, hopes and dreams. The core experience of the game is the feelings a boy goes through when he gets into puberty; loneliness, sadness, low self-esteem, the desire to change things about you and everything around you.

This game is made completely by one person, and that is me.

Reviews


eskalibereskaliber

Rated 2 / 5 stars February 18, 2013

boring as a monkey taking a shit (realy boring) great storyline



TheWanderingShadowTheWanderingShadow

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars February 18, 2013

It is a well written, well designed game. I can say I was touched by the story and enjoyed the clever way it was implemented with the shrinking mechanic. However, I'm not so ready with my praises.

The game falls under the same category as Braid and Dys4ia, in that it does not give the player a chance to easily experience the emotions of the story for themselves. Instead, the story is spoonfed to them through narration. The player has to either personally relate with the story or have a strong sense of empathy to really be affected by the story. It is arguably more important for the game mechanics to reflect or inspire the emotions that the plot intends to evoke, and I just don't really feel like this game did it too well. The final puzzle and confrontation was the worst case of this. The gameplay during that level was just jarring and didn't mesh with the powerful themes that the game was throwing at me while I played through it.

It is possible to have your game tell a story through gameplay instead of words (Limbo didn't need words, did it?), and I feel that is often more effective. There can be a balance between the two (The Company of Myself did this well, especially in one moment), where the gameplay fully reflects the narration, and I see a bit of it here. But it's done a little ham-handedly most of the time, such as Hans stomping on his own "ugliness", and the other times the puzzles don't really correspond to the story.

Let me reiterate, I enjoyed this game. The puzzles are well designed, the writing is clever and humorous at the right times, and I genuinely liked the story. But the the narration is so present and the game so linear, that I feel this leans a more towards interactive story than an actual game.

I hope my review doesn't offend, and I hope you continue making games in the future! :)


People find this review helpful!
talhakaya responds:

thank you for your very thoughtful comment. I can easily say that I agree, sadly. I'm trying to find better ways of incorporating the story to gameplay for my future games. I'm not really fine with the puzzles in this game, it still feels like forced challenges to me, not very much to do with story at all. I've tried my best to actually give some meanings to the puzzles through narration, yet it's not enough.

I don't think Limbo had a proper story, it was too vague for my taste, even though it's a fantastic game. It just didn't need a proper story to back the game. Like QUBE. If you want a proper story told without words, look out for the upcoming game, Monochroma. Although it's early to tell, I think they will do it well.

Company of Myself did storytelling perfectly. Hotline Miami did pretty good. I hope I'll do it good one day, I'm definitely working on it. Thanks a lot for the very kind comment, glad you enjoyed the game :)


TrancePacificaTrancePacifica

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars February 17, 2013

Amazing game, loved the story and the meaning behind it.
Had a few problems playing, like when a box fell on me, I didn't die and got stuck. But overall, loved it.


talhakaya responds:

Thanks man, glad you enjoyed it :) and sorry for the bug :/


LegendarybucketLegendarybucket

Rated 5 / 5 stars February 17, 2013

Such an awesome game and tells a fantastic little story. These are the games I come here for, these are the experiences i desire most out of these games.


talhakaya responds:

thanks man, means a lot :)


PollyEstherPollyEsther

Rated 0.5 / 5 stars February 17, 2013

Truly awe-inspiring works that rock the foundation of the heart, touching each and every person on a deep emotional level are hard to come by. Such works should be lauded for their ability to be creative and inspiring through use of their deep symbolism that transcends words, while simultaneously tugging at the right emotional strings through player interaction that creates an all-encompassing, personally-satisfying experience.

Ode to Pixel Days, an experience that I'm hesitant to call a game due to its profundity and transcendence over normal "game"-like media, is even more fulfilling, inspired, original, and evocative as those experiences that have inspired its creation. Games like Braid, Limbo, and Dys4ia only wish they could be as deeply touching, engaging, original, and so thought provoking.

The symbolism is staggeringly deep, entrenched in the feelings of isolation from others that we all feel going through our formative years. Interactions and triumphs on the player's behalf are the representation of our maturity and growth from such trivial matters, just as these types of games, so rich in experience and full of life lessons, are the representation of our casting aside modern macho bravado found in other forms of game media.

To those who say games (or Flash games) are dying, I defy them to play Ode To Pixel Days, nay, I defy them to "experience" Ode To Pixel Days, and relish in what true art can be.


People find this review helpful!
talhakaya responds:

Thank you for your very kind words, it means a lot to me that some people like you think it is a great experience. I think one of the reasons this game got its attention is that its story (or my story) is very relatable for a lot of people, especially at a certain age. Great artists like Jon Blow will not tell you what the game is about if you didn't find out by yourself. I was just open to tell everyone what I've tried to do with the game, because I wasn't okay that people thought Hans committed suicide. That's not the way to finish a game about growing up! I'm not okay with what I'm doing, I wish it standed out better without my help to explain. But I just don't want to depress people for no good reason.

I believe games are the true art form of the future, so I'm very okay calling my work "a game", I'm even proud that I'm making "games". I hope I'll make better games in the future. Thank you for your support. It means a lot to me :)