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"...Abide With Me"

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Eric hasn't seen his parents in ages. It's due time for a visit.

ABIDE WITH ME is a short story/game/visual novel about Eric and his troubled relationship with his family. It's a story about his inability to communicate, and the disconnect between what he thinks and says.

Playing in full screen and with headphones is recommended.

UPDATES: Thanks to the community, some changes have been made to the original version:
- Text scrolling has been removed and replaced with instant dialogue, to better accommodate players.
- The second chapter has received addition to the intro sequence, as some players thought the game repeated itself.
- Minor fixes, such as text not appearing clearly and certain sound effects not being mastered.

Thanks for everyone's feedback and kind words!

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great game. very unique subject matter

Ok. I'm done with chapter one and I'm currently going through chapter two. I've noticed that the main character, Eric, is positive (to me, at least), while in chapter two, I feel like there's a more realistic twist on it; Eric wants to get it over with because he doesn't like to see his dad like that. This is a really good game and really good at making me feel bad. I feel like the whole main theme of this game is kind of "Enjoy your youth" but also "Be around the ones you love while you can, 'cause they could just disappear from your life. Just like that."

marafrass responds:

Glad you're enjoying it! I'm real curious how or if your views on the characters changed after playing chapter two, so feel free to edit your review and tell us!

My mom has alzheimer and i wish i could tell her how much i love her like i used to do for the last time, Or make her remember me, its like the soul is gone and it really heart breaking thing to go through, i really miss her.

This game brings back memories of my grandfather. In the final years of his life, he was a shell of the amazing man I adored. I would sit with him watching TV as he repeatedly asked to see his mother. The look on his face when I had to tell him that she had passed long ago was so heart breaking and sad that I can't put it into words. A few minutes later, he would ask again. It was one of the most emotionally draining and painful experiences I have ever endured. I couldn't bear a second play through (the reprisal) but from what I did see, the game was beautifully designed, simple and thoughtful, although the dialogue progression could be faster. I would love to know the reasoning and thought that went into its creation. Nice work.

I love these kinds of games, where you can effortlessly project yourself into the presented scenario and experience it viscerally, immersively. Projection potential really is the game's greatest strength, and is very well executed, overall. I feel like, as far as true artistic expression goes, these types of games are at the forefront of what we as game designers are capable of.
I measure something's artistic value by how well you can relate to it; with music, do I understand what they're singing about? With movies, is there something there I can connect my personal experience to? Even if I don't know what it is about it that makes me feel the way I did, I understand there is something there. I can go looking for and try to figure out what did it, and by looking for it understand myself better. Even if it's not a game in the traditional sense, with goals and game play systems, it takes full advantage of the interactive medium to deliver an experience not possible with other art forms. Besides, I can't really relate to Mario now, can I?
This power comes from how limiting the text options are; they force you to think in ways which are uncomfortable, not like yourself, literally putting you in another person's shoes. Or maybe they don't force to think in ways unlike yourself? Maybe they simply provide an arena where you can express what you already think? The ladder applied to me, so I can't comment on how well the game might force you into someone else's shoes. If you've played 'Coming out simulator', it works the same way, but didn't do a lot to put me in the guy's shoes, so maybe some potential work to be done in that regard.

I don't want to make out like it's a perfect game, though. Where the purpose is to see the difference between the situation from two different perspectives, the second time felt too similar to the first to me. I felt it lost some potentially interesting moments from not exploring how the situations themselves, not just the character's thoughts, might have played out differently. More cutting himself off, changing the topic, more self doubt coming through basically. Maybe he would have stood up for himself for a few moments, before trying to repair it to prevent an argument from breaking out? By the end of the scenario, the writing felt redundant, since what we were picking wasn't making a difference in the events of the story. Since the entire game takes place on so few frames of art, introducing a new one at the end of the conversation would be like tonal change, signalling that you've entered new territory, paralleling the words left unspoken between the father and son. The scenario playing out twice provides time for reflection on the choices you've made, and feels completely vital to the experience in this regard, but without sufficient variation turns out to be a bit of a slog to get through despite it's positives.
One possible problem I imagine might be worse for others is if they can't relate to the story at all, then it would seem very boring. With a movie, you get some drama and intrigue weather or not you resonate with the film, but there is no such cushion to rely on here.
The quotes between scenes also fell a little flat, and didn't add a whole lot for me. I'd argue they conflicted with the game's purity, an ideal version focusing on the pacing provided by the scenes themselves.

Overall, an amazing experience. I think this game, or a game like it, should be required material at game design schools in the future. Potentially part of the beginnings of some greater movement in the game's industry as a whole, perhaps. A well polished lens to focus on and explore the events of our past traumas, certainly.

Credits & Info

Views
6,764
Faves:
44
Votes
260
Score
3.85 / 5.00

Uploaded
Aug 29, 2019
8:50 AM EDT
Genre
Adventure - Point 'n Click
Tags
Software
  • Unity