Pathos is a slow, experimental game that follows the story of a boy plunged into an unfamiliar world and trying to get back home.

You can read up on the interesting reaction to this game people had here.

It was made in 48 hours.

Discussion
Trent Sterling says:
December 30, 2010 at 7:56 am
I loved it when I had to turn the lights off on him. AHHHH!
Nice work.

Mike says:
December 30, 2010 at 10:45 am
Wow, that was intense 😀

lame game says:
February 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm
wtf it just randumly ends?

rabbitcarrot says:
February 20, 2011 at 6:27 am
wow………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
ssssccccaaaarrrryyyy

Kreender says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:41 am
Oh, it ends rather abruptly.
I would like to see more of this story. I loved the look and feel. Nice work!

unnoticedninja says:
February 20, 2011 at 11:33 am
Kind of reminds me of Inquisitive Dave flash game, but It made me kinda sad that you couldn’t let him go back before the end. Please make another that continues the story.

Hamish Todd says:
February 20, 2011 at 11:38 am
Click, click, click. If this is the extent of the interaction you are offering your audience, you seriously need to re evaluate what you are doing.

ViolentSleep says:
February 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm
Wow…I actually kinda liked that. I liked turning out to be the bad guy. ^_^

Asaf says:
February 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm
There is a lesson to be learnt here indeed, but.
You leave no other way. I believe the game would be so much deeper if we had a choice.

pakoito says:
February 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm
The thing got unfunny when I tried not to do what I was told and tried to won by doing nothing and it didn’t work. You forced me into being the bad guy just to see the end. Meh.

Seebach says:
February 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm
The kid is dropped into an alien environment by force, regrets events beyond his control, then gets poked by a shadow with an implication of death.

What have I learned about myself? I learned that choices lack meaning when there is no foreshadowing or apparent consequences, and I have learned that I can share this with people on facebook and twitter!

“It was made in 48 hours.”

Clearly.

Some Guy says:
February 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm
Sorry, but I didn’t care for it. The whole thing came off as an extended cut scene you’re not allowed to skip.

John says:
February 20, 2011 at 7:24 pm
Well I can sort of see what you were going for here, but it just doesn’t work.

There’s no weight to it, because there’s no choice, except play or don’t. You can’t decide to not follow the rules, as then nothing happens.

And if you do it just ends without any real end.

Nice try, but you missed unfortunately. It could have been quite a bit more if you’d had a bit more time to flesh it all out.

Kodmin says:
February 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm
I liked it. Not every game needs ‘choices’, they just need to tell a story. The story was told, and it indeed was a little creepy and a little sad and a lot awesome. It doesn’t need a sequel, it doesn’t need a ‘did the kid live or not?’, because that’s up to the player to decide. As soon as the screen faded to black I actually pictured the Black Child ripping the Normal Child to pieces. That’s my ending, though, and not necessarily anyone else’s.

Josh says:
February 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm
I hope Kodmin’s right. That kid deserved it after continuously whining for 15 screens straight.

Not that interactive, but cool design and nice integration of words.

tim says:
February 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm
this was not so great….
you peoples should play MONDOAGENCY instead of this
cuz that game rocks

DustbinK says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm
It seems people don’t get that this is a “meta game” and it’s about you forcing yourself onto characters in video games that you never questioned whether they wanted you to make them do these things or not.

Odeon says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm
Hmm, in “my” ending, the shadow and the kid are joined together to put back together the kid and his soul, which was split from him when he entered the mystery world.

Either that or the shadow was the anti-matter version of the kid and they both exploded violently into the most energetic outburst in the universe.

Sero says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm
Think one simple thing would have improved that, on the very last bit, where he falls over, if you could end the game by leaving the screen to the left, again an open ending, but a different one.

Was a little un-interactive, but worked because of its short length.

Tyson says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm
Wow, I felt so bad for the kid. It was sad to be his monster. Very unique and very moving.

Adam says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm
I liked it. For a game made in 48 hours, I think it is fantastic.

I don’t think taking away the choice makes it less meaningful, I actually think not giving you a choice makes it more meaningful. If I had a choice, I probably wouldn’t have done what happened in the end. But because I’m forced to do it, I have to kind of feel what happened in the end…and it was more powerful that way. Sometimes art makes you uncomfortable. But sometimes you have to get uncomfortable to see something in a way you haven’t seen before.

The whole thing was about control, to me. I was constantly fighting the kid for control the whole game—he would stop every so often and I just wanted him to get on with it. And then suddenly at the end, I had all the control…until I didn’t, because I couldn’t let him go. And then I kind of regretted pushing him forward, and chasing him down, but it was too late…I had to keep going.

I would kind of like to rationalize it by thinking that the kid joined with the shadow at the end, because it was a part of him (something kind of like Nega Scott in Scott Pilgrim). But maybe that is just my optimism shining through.

GarageGothic says:
February 20, 2011 at 11:49 pm
Lovely little piece of digital alchemy. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how to use the player/character divide as a tool for self-discovery, and for being such a short and hastily developed game, I think it does amazingly effective job with what it gets across.

Also funny to see how quickly some of the people commenting jump to the conclusion that the shadow is “bad” or a “monster”.

‘Where there’s a monster, there’s a miracle”
– Ogden Nash

Onaka says:
February 21, 2011 at 12:36 am
“Click to advance a video: The game” would’ve been a more apt name for this. If this is your idea of a game, you should probably turn to making animations or movies, because that is what you just made.

woomobile says:
February 21, 2011 at 9:09 am
I don’t think any of the negative comments understand that this was just a Ludum Dare piece…

Piku says:
February 21, 2011 at 9:47 am
I learnt it’s fun to torture people who whine about everything 😉

If this is an LD48 entry, expand it now into something bigger with more depth.

9miiiiiiiiiiiilllliiii says:
February 21, 2011 at 9:48 am
Ignore the hate this was cool!

Oonsen says:
February 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm
@ All the negative comments

Aw c’mon, are you serious?
This game is not about choices or interaction, that’s the whole point!
You are guided, forced to follow the instructions on the screen, there is no option to just go away. You simply have no choice (which could raise a very interesting debate about whether you do have a choice in real life). I mean, could you advance further when you didn’t want to kill the dungeon boss? Could you convince Bowser to give back the princess by conversation? Could you choose kill Alyx and join the Combine? Well, could you?

Personally, I found this game very interesting and also very finished (for a 48h LD entry) and, although it isn’t the only you-don’t-have-a-choice-game, I still think this one was well executed. Also, you’ve found quite a good name for this game if I remember my Old Greek correctely…

Oonsen

thunderkid says:
February 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm
I should have made popcorn instead of playing this. waste of time. basically nothing happened.

Tony says:
February 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm
Really nice little story

Lyz says:
February 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm
I kept trying to go back…but there really is no way, is there? Man, for something made in 48 hours, it’s a nice concept.

Jaded Cynic says:
February 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm
Sorry, Bit Battalion.

It seems that most of your audience doesn’t know what the word in this game’s title *means*.

PATHOS.

Think a little further about that, people…

ImpPulse says:
February 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm
I think alot of people miss the point of this little game beyond just it’s title. You know in your mind that pushing the kid on it only bringing on his demise, force him to move further and further where ever he is, torture him and then finally chase him down. All of that was your actions, not his.
It’s sad people need everything spread out for them with no room for one’s own imagination.

I knew fine well pushing him along was going to end in the lads death, and I still done it… So did we all. Says alot, doesn’t it?

JimmyJazz says:
February 22, 2011 at 4:42 am
Dialogue is too long when you can’t skip it.

I eventually didn’t really care for this game and kept swapping tabs and continue reading the web whilst the ‘text’ sound was still playing and switched back when there was silence.

General Wartz says:
February 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm
I really liked what you had going there. There are 2 fundamental flaws though. The story is great! But it lacks being an actual game: a few mouse clicks and arrow key presses doesn’t really constitute as fun. You need to make it more interactive, and at least slightly challenging to make it a “game” rather than a picture book. The game aspect is essentially flipping pages. Also, after the chase began, I assure you the extent of your audience was hooked, and also the extent of them were probably disappointed when you just abruptly ended the story. I see what you were going for by leaving the audience guessing, but in actuality it just felt kind of incomplete.

On another note…this is Mr Pwnage from stick online. Hi there buddy!

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