sick artwork, love the undertale reference. has a great message, incredible considering u made this in a week!!!
A certain school system shown through a private bird school's standards. And a jerk.
What is learning, really?
Made in under a week and in less than 1,000 words, I present the mild-flavored** jam submission to O2A2 (Only One of Any Asset) :D
**This means I would've liked to make the game more "intense", but didn't have enough time or words to make it... Yet.
NOTE: The web version is INCREDIBLY laggy (for me), so please only use it if you have no other choice.
Here's the video essay I watched if anyone wants to learn more about the topic!
Disclaimers and Very Important Notes <<
>> (Please press this text to read, even if you didn't/won't/do/will play the game) <<
This depiction of school, exams, teachers, students, stress, anxiety, and cheating does not apply to everyone.
Neither am I saying "school sucks so stop doing it". Many parts of school are good and great, it’s just that some things could be better, starting with the reward system.
I am simply sharing part of an experience in the current school system. My intention is to show how pressure from the letter grade, percent grade, or number grade makes learning feel more stressful than it should be. Learning should be fun/neutral, and schools are mainly for learning. Some tests do nothing but hinder learning because instead of learning the material, students might be tempted to learn how to pass the test instead to get the best score possible, like a twisted game in real life.
How else are we supposed to know how much society knows?
There are many ways to do this, but the surefire way to make people insanely anxious is to determine one's whole future based on a score.
Grades determine what colleges/universities/schools you get into. They determine if you get financial aid (money) or not. They determine if you get a “good” job (that pays you well and lets you live a "better" life). Since this is the case, why in the world would ANYONE want a bad grade?
The people who I have talked to at least (in technology and medical fields), say that at least half of what they learned at school isn't necessary for their jobs now, prerequisites included. That other half is necessary, and that's awesome. Schools should teach the necessary stuff that people want/truly have to learn for their future careers.
How are children (like the one in this game) supposed to know what they want to do with their lives?
Exposure. That doesn't mean memorizing the periodic table element for element. Make children feel overwhelmed with awesome career choices. Then again, the main reason some careers aren't "awesome" is the way those workers are treated and their salary...
If you have a higher average grade than your peer, does that make you smarter than them?
... Do I have to answer that?
This needs to change (and it slowly is), but this is merely how I feel.
Let me know how you feel (and maybe even talk about your experience too).
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, HTML5|
|Genre||Visual Novel, Interactive Fiction|
|Made with||Clip Studio Paint, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Audacity, Adobe Illustrator, Ren'Py|
|Tags||2D, Anime, Grayscale, Manga, Multiple Endings, Ren'Py, school, Short|
|Average session||A few minutes|
|Inputs||Keyboard, Mouse, Touchscreen, Smartphone|
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Ack, how did I miss this comment??? I'm happy you liked the reference, art, and most of all, the message!! >< Thank you very much for playing :3
Man, I love the vibe of this visual novel and I totally understand what's going on. I mean, I would also cheat and feel incredibly bad about it, but when I realized just how much was hinged on my grades I started to become numb towards it. I stopped cheating but the fact I got used to cheating all because I was afraid of failing never left me. Amazing visual novel, especially with the additional words you leave behind.
Becoming numb towards cheating at some point sounds quite... familiar, being more focused on grades than honesty, but students should never have to be afraid of failing.
We should be excited to learn and not care if we fail since failure is part of learning! But... You know.
How many endings is in there?
There are 3 endings, 6 routes (meaning they have slightly different dialogue at the end), and 1 optional choice! (There's also a walkthrough with more details if you're curious :D)
I'm playing this on my iPad on a browser because I don't wanna wait how many months until I get a new PC.
And I only got through the first few lines AND I HAD TO TAKE A BREAK AND COMMENT BECAUSE OKAY FIRST OF ALL HOW DARE YOU LOL
!!! SPOILERS !!!
"It's a beautiful day outside."
Me: Heh, that's familiar.
"Birds are singing, flowers are blooming."
Me: Wait a second... MINT IF THE NEXT LINE IS "ON DAYS LIKE THESE, KIDS LIKE YOU..." I'M GONNA
"On days like these, kids like you..."
Me: MINT I SWEAR -falls over laughing- OKAY LISTEN HERE SANS UNDERTALE
I shall continue my comment once I finish the VN! :D
I finished the VN! I was able to see all the endings! I really like the message and you should be proud you were able to tell it with the stringent conditions!
I no longer have to worry about school, thank goodness. But I can relate to that feeling of wanting to pass more than wanting to learn. I felt that in university, especially. Your portrayal of that feeling was nicely done. I love the ambience of the clock ticking. I thought that was a perfect choice. It brought back the dreaded test mode feeling as I played.
Also, your UI design was very nice! I liked the thought bubbles as choices. It added to the immersion, I feel!
Wonderful job on O2A2 and congratulations again for completing it! I hope you continue to create and tell your stories!
THANK YOU for playing all of it Cho!!!! I am a bit prouder now that you think so :D I didn't think it'd be possible to convey the message with the large amount of restrictions at some point! As my past games had like, these huge messages that take an hour to get through, I thought this'd be a fun challenge perhaps ^^
Lucky you too for not having to worry about school now... Ahhh, I hope that feeling of wanting to pass more than wanting to learn changes soon for more people D:
I've never had *ticking* clocks at the schools I've attended, but I wanted players to feel that sense of pressure and time limits and dread, like you said! I'm thrilled that the UI and thought bubbles added to the immersion.
And thank you again!! Actually, I want to do the Spooktober jam, and only MAYBE I will because I soon have to start focusing 100% on university for a while... But I'll definitely continue to create and tell stories, thanks for all of your support <3
LOLOLOL I LOVE YOUR REACTION XD and of course, I love Undertale, so I just had to make some reference at some point!!!
(they were literally the first lines I wrote of the VN, omg. I guess I thought the setting of the VN fit the feeling of the next line Sans says after "On days like these, kids like you...")
And no problem about playing it on an iPad on the browser, I'm glad that's actually possible XD. Hope it wasn't too much trouble!
hey mint! i liked ur game !!
Hello, are you interested in getting your games translated? Bc i can do it for free
This is a really interesting polished VN that pushes the constraints of O2A2! It's a standalone package with narrative that supports the strong theming: the futility of the education system.
The web build actually works pretty good for me without lags. Just want to add that here, given that some players hesitate whether they want to download a short game or not.
The art is great and I like the stuff you do with the GUI: the dialogue balloons and the choices expressed as thought bubbles. The greyscale dreariness fits the school life well.
As for the VN structure itself, I enjoy the grade stat as it feels like a throwback to management sims. Despite there are 3 endings, there are multiple ways to reach them, and it's engrossing to see what new flavour texts you get by trying out each branch (say you do test faithfully, then cheat or other way round, etc. The morse code is a fun addition!).
I also spotted Myx cameo! That's her, right?
Omg, you're too kind Potato ;; thank you for taking the time to comment/review <3
Good to know that the web build works well for you! I guess I thought that I had a pretty good PC/Internet connection, but maybe not XD
I'm glad the theme of school and the education system was conveyed as you thought!
I've never made a game with stats before, so that point means a lot. I'm also really happy that you tried out multiple routes and found out that there are different routes to get the same ending (but with the extra dialogue) :D
And yes yes yes!!!!! >< Yes, that's her, now... I must stop myself before I get too excited lmao
Hi Mint :)
Having better grades does not make people smarter than you are.
I do not know what you will think of my school experience( It is far behind for me but still very engraved in my mind)
I was the silent child that rarely spoke any words unless teachers were asking me to answer something which was rare to happen.
the others children liked to look down on me thinking I was a fool,
one day the teacher asked something to the class and even those people who thought themselves being smart-ass could not answer the teacher, seeing that no one answers I decided to answer for once because I was not a fool and knew the answer,
the teacher congratulated me and the other children were annoyed that me, the one they took for a fool outsmarted them, did I toppled them down their height? probably.
They always bullied me so I did not care at all about their feelings.
Yeah school is mostly more about grades and memorize stuff temporary than really knowing it, that is why most children cheats even though you need to know some stuff too.
I was having bad or average grades depending on the class,
Language class( my default language) I was doing alright with good enough grades, usually 70-75% with sometimes a peak in the 80%
second language of my country I was having weaker grades as It was not my default language and I always hated being forced to learn it without even knowing why ( it is not harder to learn than English..I just did not cared about it) My grades on that were like 60%
I was bad at math and my grades were bad usually between 50-60% with sometime 70 %
I liked History class but we barely had 2 hours a week and sometime nothing at all, that was one of the 2 classes I liked and studied hard for, my grades were between 80-90% with peaks above sometimes.
I like drawing since I am very young and whenever there were art class I always had good grades because the teacher saw I was really into it and drawings were alright.
That was like this for the first 6 years of school but then I failed the six one just because I had gotten a 46% in maths...so I had to do one more year, I do not remember grades on math after but I was always bad at it anyway.
Trying to not get into too much details but between being bullied all the time by other children and my father or stepmother saying "you should try to get better grades, look at the grades of your brother"...
Also this is something I want to talk about:
Being left-handed always been one reason to being bullied even by teachers or anyone else, stepmother bothered me a lot about it as much as teachers, during my fifth year of school I though to give it a try so they would stop pestering me about it, did that change anything? absolutely not..it was hard for me to write with my right hand, I was slower and they blamed me for being slow.
One day I thought something like "I am done with this" and decided to get back to myself, I am left-handed by default so that is how I will always be, they will not force me to be what I am not.
They were really angry with me after but I did not cared at all.
For them it was like being a witch or the hand of the devil.
MY years as teenager were even worse, I was getting bullied
like always, things at home were getting worse with my father and stepmom, my brother was always praised for his good grades while I was the black duckling with my bad grades,
The ten year of school was the worst, I had decided that I wanted
to study to be a cook, I always liked cooking.
That school was the worse I ever seen, most of the teachers were full of themselves, one even told me a bad word when we were introducing by turn in the class, I was stunned, needless to say that this course did not went well at all, I never cared to follow what that teacher was saying and started to skip her class, I decided to skip other classes that were annoying with like math or another because I hated the teacher, I am sweet and peaceful but once someone is bad with me I do not do what they are asking if I did nothing wrong, some teachers liked to pick on me like the other children in the classes, I failed that year with grades so bad due to that.
My father was so angry and did not tried to understand me,
after that I did not want to go school anymore( I was 15 that year)
of course you do not stop school at 15, my father forced me into another school near home because he knew I would not go if it was far from home, I went to school but I was done with all the shits.
(sorry for the bad word I cannot find another word to say instead)
In that new school things were a bit better but I did not really cared anymore about studying, there were various kind of classes along with the usual stuff, I was sad that there were no history class but that just how it is, except from cooking class(bakeries) and art class I did not cared about anything else, I was drawing in classes most of the time not giving a care about what teachers were saying, Oh there were a sewing class too which was a nice thing to be honest but I was not very good at it sadly.
I stopped school when I was 19, I was not getting good grades and stuff and I was past the forced age of school anyway.
Needless to say adult life does not go well like this, the grades change a lot of things in this world...nothing about being smart,
I see people that has been successful in school, are they smarter than I am? No.
And yeah we are being taught stuff we will never need unless it is needed for a job.
I always tried to study to the best I could but things just did not worked out well for me.
Despite writing a lot on itchio (and discord) I am an introvert which does not help either in adult life to get a job, extrovert have it easier.
I never though I would write that much on a comment.
Is this what you expected to hear from people?
Hi Anwynn :D
To answer your last question, yes, sure!
I just want people to talk about their experiences with school, good or bad. Then maybe someday someone will see these comments and not feel alone, or even better, maybe that someone will have the power to change something someday.
Thank you for talking about the family part of school and how terrible oh how friggin TERRIBLE expectations can be. (It's something I wanted this game to be more about but didn't have the number of words or time to write.) You already know how I feel about some of your past school situation 😔 Bullying is never deserved and will always suck.
For the what I didn't know, you showed those kids with what you knew!! It sounds like something out of a show, but it's true XD
You could've loved school if it wasn't for the lack of interesting classes, expectations, and mean people. It sounds like history was something you really liked along with cooking and art ^^ I wish you got more history classes...
Honestly, I was not one who enjoyed my history class at all (both of my high school history teachers liked to call on people and embarrass us when we didn't know the answer ;; I also just didn't like reading, and the majority of the classes were reading from a textbook and memorization lol) From what you say too, sometimes teachers/professors/students can determine your opinion on subjects/school too.
I wasn't able to respond to everything, but I read everything. Thank you for writing (and being passionate? idk if that's the right word) so much :D <3
Yes I do know how you feel and I tried to not get into details here (What you knew already is just part of it)
Yeah, I showed them hehe :) It was not an highly intellect thing but the fact that I was the only one at that time to know it is a proof not everything is learned at school, no idea what kind of life they had outside of school, I was early in age for various things.
I kind of liked school for the good part if that was not for all the bad things I went through and lack of interesting classes too,
Yeah history, cooking and art is what I really liked ( I still like those the same)
Yeah people and teachers can determine our opinion on things or change them for a better or worse.
The few history class I had, the teachers were passionate people, not just some random person who wants you to memorize a book, that sure helped me to do my best in class.
I know I wrote a lot and no idea if there is always something to answer to either.
I am glad it is the kind of story you expected to hear regardless on how it went (bad things is usually the way things goes with me Iam sorry)
I wonder how many people would spend the time to say a bit about their school life.
I like how you say that your experience is proof of how not everything is learned at school. People start learning the moment they're born actually, and some adults should really take that into consideration...
Some people also just learn faster/slower than others, so learning should surround the learner, not the teacher/system :/
I'm happy you agree :D And no need to apologize!!
Me (and many others) would be interested in more people talking about their experience, but if not, then that's alright too. Whatever one is comfy with sharing or wants to share :D
Indeed, we start learning from the moment we are born, these adults does not take it into consideration probably because they forgot completely their childhood or they were that way from the start as a child.
The system follows one path and the others who are slower or having other issues are thrown away, I could tell you more about my school time but itchio comments or such is not the best place for more details.
Hopefully more people will write their own school time like HusbandoGoddess and me.
I really enjoyed this game and the message you conveyed here! As someone who is done with school for the rest of her days
(thank god) there were points where I really felt like nothing mattered BUT the grade. The education system, at all levels, needs to be re-evaluated because there's way too much pressure on students. Plus, when people graduate, they aren’t prepared for the real world. School doesn't teach you life skills. It's ridiculous.
Now, don't get me wrong. There are some aspects of school I do like. I've met some fantastic professors and teachers. I've learned some greats things while in high-school and college from my peers and professors!
Anyway, fantastic job on the game. 💕
Ahh, thank you!!! It means a lot ><
And in some ways, lucky you for being done with school ;;
I want to say I'm glad you related to how nothing mattered but the grade, but I also wish this wasn't the case for the sake of your education... It is ridiculous!! The majority of people graduate, but some people I knew didn't know what to do with their lives afterward.
When I was in high school, they did start to have a class ONCE A WEEK where you made a resume and took some career tests, but then how are you supposed to research your career?? 😅
Thanks for writing about your good experiences with school too :D Meeting cool people is usually the best part about school for many (no wonder why there are so many shows about schools for that reason lol) and learning some things still applies!
Thank you so much for restating the message <3