Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ode To Pixel Days Extras!

Thank you for playing Ode To Pixel Days!
If you've enjoyed your experience, you probably want more!

Extras include:
The Meaning of The Story And Narration
Wallpapers
Free Soundtrack
Credits

Hope you enjoy these:


The Meaning of The Story and Narration:
(!!!SPOILERS!!!)


I'll try to explain what I've tried to do with this game. I always had this low self-esteem thing going, and through teen years, social interactions got very uncomfortable for me. I wasn't a very social person. I lived through things in my mind, and not by actually living; like I never told a girl I liked her, I never felt confident enough to try my chances on things and people, I just lived through my life since now, expecting something to happen by itself.

I think I pretty much changed that behaviour now, because now I work for my dreams, like making the games in my dreams, and telling stories that I was never able to tell the other way. Because I know that, playing a game is very different from watching a movie or reading a story. The difference is beyond "interactivity". Games have the chance to actually let the players live through something, experience something on their own and learn through the game. For example, in Cultivation, Jason Rohrer's old game, you experience a very difficult trade-off between neighbours, and you actually get to learn through the experience, not like you try to understand the message of a movie, but you actually experience something and learn.

I tried to create this "learning experience" throughout this game. I don't think I was able to fully do it, but I'm sure my games will get better with time.

In the game, Hans builds a machine that makes everyone look just the same. The reason of that is, a young person would always try to change the world first, instead of changing himself. He doesn't know that the world is not easy to change. He changes the world, but only his mind.

He eventually succeeds to get to cheerleader. They become lovers, but not for long. Cheerleader leaves him, tries to get out of this utopia. Because the cheerleader is so obsessed with looking beautiful, a relationship is only meaningful if she looks great.

The relationship, like almost everything of the game, is in Hans' mind. The question that should be asked here is, since Hans' utopia was in his mind, he must have chosen to collapse it, he must have made cheerleader leave him. Why? The answer is... Hans is a very imaginative boy, but that doesn't mean he has the full control of his dreams. He is a traveler, in his own mind. He doesn't really know where he is going. Hans lives through bad dreams in his mind the same way all people see bad dreams while they're sleeping. So, Hans' relationship with cheerleader didn't work out in his mind. There's a strong clue to all this happening in Hans' mind. Just before the credits, there's this black and white level, where cheerleader chats with two girls. Hans walks to her. She looks at him, but she doesn't know him, so she immidiately gets back to chatting with the girls. This scene is a confusing one, but I think some players will be able to understand what's going on here. All the time spent in the colorful castle represented Hans' dreams. And now the black and white level represents the real world. What player knows is that Hans experienced a relationship with the cheerleader. But here, the game shows that the cheerleader doesn't even know who he is. She ignores him completely. He is invisible to her. That way, we know that Hans experienced all this in his mind.

The castle that the game is mostly played in represents Hans' storage of hopes and dreams. Through the game, the castle misses bricks, one by one. There are holes through walls where you can see clouds and birds. The inevitable end of the castle, the collapse gets nearer. That of course, is the death of Hans' dream, the utopia, where everyone looks just the same. But as he runs out of  his castle, he finds some kind of peace. The fall from the castle symbolizes that peace.

He succeeded to find some peace when the utopia collased. But actually, as I just explained, the black and white real world is still full of suffering. Hans learned how to be himself, without letting the others criticize him so unforgivingly, without even knowing him.

I put my heart and months into this game. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading.


Wallpapers:

(1366 x 768 resolution)



Soundtrack: (Free Download and Online Streaming)


Credits:

Sponsored by MaxGames.

Everything on the game is done by me, Talha Kaya. I have designed, programmed, drawn, animated the game, recorded and mixed the soundtrack, generated the sound effects. But who I am without these wonderful free tools?

FlashDevelop
Flixel Framework
Paint.Net
Audacity

And who am I without these wonderful people?

Tarik Kaya
Nazire Aslan
My Family
Nowhere Studios

Without your help, support and motivation, this game wouldn't be able to come to life.

Very Special Thanks To:
Orcun Nisli
Burak Tezateser
Refik Toksoy
And the whole Nowhere Studios team. This project has started with your help while I was an intern in Nowhere Studios. Thank you for everything.

Playtesters:

Tarik Kaya, Nazire Aslan, Cem Evin, Orcun Nisli, Burak Tezateser, Ali Bati, Umut Dervis, Emrah Ozer, Ozan Komurcu, Refik Toksoy, Gokhan Yildiz, Caglar Sahin, Murat Kalkavan, Hande Basar, Oguzhan Tocan, Melis Colak, Burak Kadron, Efe Alacamli, Ozan Yildiz, Durmus Ali Collu, Ahmet Erdem, Yunus Emre Tekin, Cagatay Yildiz, Emre Erdogan, Melih Saglam, Oguz Demir, Muhammed Cicek, Kutay Ata Sen, Bugrahan Memis, Hakan Yilmaz

Hans will grow up
Be a random guy on a street
But the pain in his throat
It's going to stay for a while.

Thank you :)


38 comments:

  1. You made me cry.
    I am experiencing your dilemma (being introvert, reaalllyyy shy, socially awkward, etc).
    I also have an illusion where everything was perfect; where what I wanted happened.
    Where my grades were high. Where my bestfriend became my girlfriend. Where I pleased everybody.
    To tell you the truth, I was stuck on that illusion. WAS

    After playing your game, I was inspired to find my voice.
    Hans INSPIRED me.
    You INSPIRED ME.


    Thank You :)
    God bless:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, this is the best comment this game could ever get. This made my day, this moment is worth all the trouble of making the game. Thank you so much :)

      Delete
  2. This game was a masterpiece. Reminds me of the company of myself, only this is a different situation. This game makes me happy to know there are still some thought and work into the games today. I loved the game a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment! Company of Myself is definitely a huge inspiration for the puzzle platformer genre I think. Glad you find the game thoughtful. I feel proud hearing that! Thank you :)

      Delete
  3. Thanks for making this wonderful story. I hope that you receive the recognition for this that you deserve. And thanks for the tips on how to be a good person. I shall take them to heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're too nice to me! Thanks a lot man! :)

      Delete
  4. Talha,

    My name is Aaron from ArTechnik podcast. We'd love to have you on as a guest some time, if you are interested. We talk about different ways that Art and Technology interact to create new media experiences, like sharing personal experiences through a video game. We also encourage our personal 'Do the Thing' mentality, getting out there and doing whatever it is one is compelled to do no matter what. You seem like a great fit. Drop us a line at artechnikpodcast(at)gmail.com if you're interested and we'll figure out the details.

    Thanks for the Game!
    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hit you up an email a while ago. If you didn't get it and you still want me, then send an email to taloketo@gmail.com

      Delete
  5. Talha, beautiful, beautiful game. To be honest I really hadn't expected it to be so thoughtful when I just read about it on Jayisgames... The truth is in the playing! Thank you so much for making and sharing this wonderful creation with us all. Your YouTube channel bio says you are a "wannabe indie game developer." I disagree; you're definitely the real deal, not a wannabe.

    As someone who sometimes feels like Hans and sometimes like the Cheerleader, though, I do wish there had been a little more complexity added to her character as well. There was a moment--when Cheerleader started being the one to reverse the machine--where I got confused between the two pixels, and thought I was now playing the Cheerleader (and that Hans was the one jumping around like the annoying puppy). I know now that it would've complicated your storyline, but I still do sort of wish something like it could've been used to add a bit more dimension to the "bad" or "wrong" characters here or in your future stories. Maybe not as drastic as literally reversing the roles of who you're playing--but something to provoke thought, and help gamers see it from the other, complex, less comfortable and less obviously life-affirming side of problem. As you point out above, the immediacy of the gaming experience--actually BEING a character, not just watching them on a screen--is a big part of what makes a game different from (and in some ways more compelling than) a film. It seems sad to me that this intense identification with others be used only in one direction, to more deeply entrench a single side of the story, instead of using it to show the many facets of a single problem like body image. After all, it's easy to blame the cheerleader for disliking Hans because he's ugly--but didn't he love her for her beauty in the first place? The two feelings seem like sides of the same coin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, glad you enjoyed the game!

      I've been trying to analyse what's wrong with the game for a couple of days now, and I now see that I couldn't tell some stuff I wanted to say with the game.

      Even though I've been never been in the position of the cheerleader, I know it's a very hard and disturbing situation to be in. Wish I pushed that into the game somehow. The opening lines: "Hans liked a cheerleader, because she was pretty. She didn't like Hans because she was ugly" were actually put there consciously to tell the player that Hans didn't really like her personality, maybe he was just feeling lonely, maybe he was too curious how it is like to be with a cheerleader. None of these are good reasons to be with somebody, right? I wanted to tell that the relationship wasn't a good idea, from the beginning. That didn't get across with the majority of the players.

      Because Ode To Pixel Days' story is very much a retrospective story for me, I knew that it's not fair to cheerleader, too. But I was too focused on bringing out a nice thoughtful story for Hans, I just dismissed the cheerleader, which is not fair. So I agree with you that this game could have been much more fair between the characters.

      Yet, art in any form is a very selfish activity. I told my perception of the story, because I'm the author, and that's what I do the best. For example, every protagonist in Jason Rohrer's games are males like him. And for a reason why, he simply puts that "I'm the author of this work, and I'm not a woman." There are so many different angles to tell a story, it would be a lot easier if every one told stories and put out their perception of the thing. But since that's not the deal, I should be more responsible with the morals I put out there with my games.

      Ode To Pixel Days was my first attempt at serious storytelling. I have a lot to learn. And comments like yours make me want to be a better game developer. Thank you. :)

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. it seems that your game has created a bit of a debate on "Jay is Games,"
    you should check it out.

    http://jayisgames.com/archives/2013/02/ode_to_pixel_days.php#comments

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I checked that out, thanks. It feels very strange to me that some people thought I was being sexist. The cheerleader doesn't have a name because she is not supposed to have a name. Her feelings are not real because it's all a dream of Hans anyway. It would be rude to her existence if I tried to make her a real person, because I know that situation she is in, is not fair to the cheerleader at all. The cheerleader doesn't even know Hans in real life, Hans just keeps daydreaming about her. She's a trophy, a symbol for Hans' ugliness complex. And one of the things Hans is learning through the experience is actually how wrong his reasons are for liking her, and it's not fair to the cheerleader either. So I don't see why I am being a sexist here. If I was a girl maybe I would do the same game, with Hans being an antisocial girl and the cheerleader being hot popular guy that all girls daydream about. It would be the same game, same message.

      Jayisgames is great for having intellectual debates like that, I don't know any other flash portal that has that kind of a quality on its comment section. So I'm very glad I was able to contribute to the portal of such quality. Thank you all :)

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Helal olsun oyunun sonunda isimler Türk çıkınca biraz şaşırdım :) Güzel oyun olmuş tebrikler

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. teşekkürler, beğendiğine sevindim :) oyunu tek başıma yaptım ama çevremdekilerden de bol bol görüş aldım.

      Delete
  10. Thank you for this thoughtful game! I realize I am sort of doing this to people, (although not as simple as going, she is pretty, be my girlfriend pretty girl) and being an introvert myself, I really connect to you and the wonderful game you made :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it's how human-interaction works in a way. We like pretty, we get attracted to visuals more than we should. Very glad you liked the game :) Thank you :)

      Delete
  11. Oyununu çok beğendim, müzikleri de çok güzel yapmışsın. ^_^ İndirme linkleri bozuktu ama. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hemen baktım, indirmenin şuanda düzgün çalışması lazım. Bir daha deneyebilir misin?

      http://talhakaya.bandcamp.com/album/ode-to-pixel-days-soundtrack

      Bu link üzerinden Buy Now'a tıkladıktan sonra vermek istediğin paraya 0 yazarsan bedava indirebilirsin.

      Oyunu ve müzikleri beğendiğine sevindim :)

      Delete
  12. Çalışman gerçekten güzeldi. Bizden birisinin bunu yapması beni sevindirdi, tebrikler. :) Bu arada oyunu hangi dille yazdığını sorabilir miyim? Gelecek projelerinde de umarım aynı başarıyı gösterirsin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oyun flash oyunu olduğundan dolayı ActionScript3 adlı dille yazdım. Teşekkür ederim, oyunu beğendiğine sevindim :)

      Delete
  13. tebrikler dostum çok tatlı bir oyun olmuş (: bizden birinin ismini görmekte gurur verici. ayrıca adaşımsın (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. teşekkürler, beğendiğine sevindim :)

      Delete
  14. This game make me cry, I feel I identifies with Hans when i was at school days and until now. I want to say thank you, thank you for publish this game, thank you for shack me of from my unreal dreams, thank you for make me understand that i have to do something and not wait them happen by them-self, thank you for give me the ability to accept myself as I am and love myself as I am. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow man, I'm just glad that it touched you in a special way. All my life I've had these isolated feelings. And now that I put them in a game, I'm able to meet a lot of people like you who share similar feelings about life, and it makes me crazy happy to hear from people like you. Work for your dreams and keep being awesome! :)

      Delete
  15. Hi :)
    It's a wonderful game and I'd love to make a let's play out of it. Is that ok for you? :) Of course I'd give credit to you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I love watching Let's Plays of my game, so it's very OK making them! Please send me the links if you make the video! Cheers and thanks :)

      Delete
  16. Eline sağlık, harika bir oyun olmuş. Oldum olası piksel tabanlı oyunlara bayılmışımdır zaten ve bu da harika bir deneyim oldu. Company Of Myself gibi epey etkiledi beni, gerçekten harika:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Çok teşekkürler :) Company of Myself çok etkilemişti beni de. Hala örnek alırım çalışırken. Beğendiğine çok sevindim :)

      Delete
  17. Wonderful game, you have a great talent for blending meaningful story, game design and the your own soul into a great exprience. Keep putting the same amount of thought and hard work into everything you do. Thank you for sharing this, I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much :) Your words are humbling. I'll do my best to make better and better games! I'll release a small project soon. It's not as thoughtful as Ode To Pixel Days, but it's a fun game nevertheless! Thanks again for the very nice comment!

      Delete
  18. I would like to add my fulsome praise to this blog. It is a wonderful heartwarming game, without being soppy or sentimental. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words :) "Heartwarming" is one of the best comments I heard on Ode To Pixel Days. So thank you!

      Delete
  19. Biraz Türkçe şeylerde yazsaymışsın :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haklısın aslında, yazmalıydım. Oyunu oynadığın için teşekkürler :)

      Delete
  20. This is the great games but i personally like and love to play the online dress up games.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is the best website of gaming while playing the one of the best games in the world benten games

    ReplyDelete