A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

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After the death of their partner and best friend, officer Shearsmith struggles to adjust to working life with their newly assigned partner. Forced to spend the literal graveyard shift on a cemetery stakeout together, can the two of them see past their differences and learn to get along? Perhaps Volkham can help Shearsmith overcome their loss. Or will the night watch prove too much for the pair? It's up to you to decide.

Some things are better left buried...

- Pick your portraits -

(for Officer Shearsmith & Officer Volkham from the options above)

- 8 original CGs to unlock -

(14 including variations)

- Full English voice acting -

- Atmospheric audio -

(designed for head/earphones)

- OST -

(with 7 original BGM tracks)

- Approximately 5k words - 

- 3 different endings -

(depending on your choices)

- Unlockable extras section -

(with bonus sketches, music box, and bloopers)



Please note that this game contains the following content warnings:

- Blood -

- Injury detail -

- Threatening behaviour -

- Bad language -

For players with photosensitive epilepsy, please be aware that the title screen for this game features randomised flashing lights to simulate lightning. If you would like a version of the game without these effects, please let me know, and I'll send you a copy with them removed.

Need a walkthrough for the game to unlock all the CGs and reach all the endings? Head here!


Found a nasty bug that needs squashing? Head here to report it!

Or need help with opening the game on Mac? Head here for a list of suggestions from fellow players who have managed to get my games to open on Mac in the past.

Due to the way the backgrounds and sprites are organised, it is advised the game is locked to 16:9 and 16:10 resolutions to avoid cutting off large parts of the images on-screen. The game is designed to be played in 16:9 1920x1080. When playing in any other resolution, the UI may appear somewhat out of place + parts of the image will be cut off.

Please note that the game was designed to be played with head/earphones on and all audio turned on. Some of the SFX are timed with the voice acting, so if you change the text reveal speed or skip through text, SFX may play slightly out of time.

- Controls -

Advance Text - Left mouse click, mouse scroll wheel down, spacebar

Rewind Text - Mouse scroll wheel up, left arrow key 

(text cannot be rewound after making a choice, so please save the game if you want to pick a different choice faster)

Skip Mode (fast) - Up arrow key

Skip Mode (toggle) - Right arrow key

Auto Mode - Down arrow key

Open Backlog - B key

Toggle/Hide UI - H key

If you need help with anything, enjoyed the game and want to talk about it, or just want to tell me something in general, please either use the comments section (and don't forget to rate and review the game too if you had fun because it helps a lot :3) or feel free to message me here: melancholicmarionette@gmail.com

The Graveyard Shift was made in under 1 month for Spooktober VN Jam 2022

- Created by Melancholy Marionette using Naninovel x Unity -
Based on a script by Reece Shearsmith & Steve Pemberton (Adapted, altered, and added to by Melancholy Marionette)
@Marionette_Mask

- CG & Car Interior Art -
Eufasy
@eufasy - Instagram -
ArtStation

- Additional CG Sketches & Line Art -
LazyCrocodile
@MrsLaziness0 -
tumblr

- Bonus Art -
sophrossynes
@sophrossynes - Instagram -
tumblr

- OST -
Melancholy Marionette

- CAST - 

Officer Shearsmith (female)
Amanda McKnight

Officer Shearsmith (male)
Dominic Devlin - YouTube

Trainee Officer Volkham (female)
Rebecca Chiara Marano@rcmvoice - itchio

Trainee Officer Volkham (male)
Jerron Bacat@JerronBacat

Control
Melancholy Marionette

- Additional Assets Used - 

Sprite Art - Usugata Curry TV (edited by Melancholy Marionette)

Graveyard Backgrounds - Rachel Chen (edited by Melancholy Marionette)

Additional Background Art - Minikle & Background material shop (edited by Melancholy Marionette)

- UI Art Elements -
UI design by Melancholy Marionette, created with the following assets:
kagotori & Scratcher (edited by Melancholy Marionette)

SFX - Mainly from freesfx.co.uk (edited by Melancholy Marionette)

Additional SFX - Sidearm Studios, www.fesliyanstudios.com, car window up/down sfx freesound.org/people/RutgerMuller, 2 out of 3 rain hammering on car roof sfx freesound.org/people/mirkosukovic (edited by Melancholy Marionette)

UI  SFX - GameDev Market Sellers Epicstockmedia & TomWinandySFX

Voice FX - Created by Melancholy Marionette using a mixture of Audacity and FLstudio

Loops from the following looperman users were used to compose parts of the OST:
JacquesToni, zonkymob,flsouto, frankcoronabeats, Rasputin, YassineSayar, alyson66, 40AArasanah, Aberyus, packness, DruciferBeats,
UziSprayer

Other loops and samples used to compose parts of the OST came from Laniakea and Prime Loops (Producer Loops) - purchased from Humble Bundle Music Producer Asset Bundles



Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

The Graveyard Shift - Windows 282 MB
The Graveyard Shift - Mac 285 MB
The Graveyard Shift - Linux 287 MB

Development log

Comments

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The Graveyard Shift had a very unexpected plot twist! I had not seen that coming and the minor variations caused due to different main characters was really interesting! Overall, I quite enjoyed the game. Looking forward to more  games in the future! :D

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Played this after Dawn of the Damned and I loved the story of this one just as much! I didn't expect how the story to turn out, I thought the complete opposite was going to happen haha.

I like the multiple choices in the beginning, but I felt pretty bad when choosing some of them because of how mean they ended up being :( Still, it was great to see how the conversation flowed between each choice! It gave a nice insight of their character. And the option to have a different MC and partner was also a nice change from other visual novels I have gone through! It adds a nice variety!

Thank you again for creating another fantastic game! It was a really enjoyable experience!
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Huzzah :D So glad you ended up liking both of them :3 Hehe, yeah, some of those choices are pretty rude really xD Thanks for playing this one too!

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They both were a great experience! They were! But I think it's a nice change, even if it was a little surprising! 

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This one was lovely! Loved the art, the music...and the story.

As per usual my playthrough offers nothing more than the game itself and only one ending. :)

Here is the first part, the rest will be coming in due time:


I will be back for more....

Woo! So glad you ended up liking this one too :3 Thanks so much for playing it!

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Haven't even gotten all the endings yet, and I'm still pretty impressed. I've played visual novels with horror themes on a much longer development time than this one and, while that occasionally shows, I would be lying if I said they weren't telling their story on a similar level of expertise. Really well made.

Super glad you've been enjoying it :3 Thanks so much for taking the time to check it out and leave such a nice comment!

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This game was amazing! Once I finished, I had to sit down in silence and put all the foreshadowing pieces together! Which I managed to catch in my video so with context behind my silence I find the ending hilarious lol. I should've seen it coming but I didn't have the slightest clue! Great plot twist and character designs! I loved putting the male Shearsmith with the female Volkham just because they looked like they would clash together lol!

Hehe, yeah, they certainly do clash xD So glad you had fun with it :3 My brother wouldn't let up about how much he hates the twist, so it's nice to know that not everyone is of the same opinion that he is, haha. Thanks so much for checking it out ^-^

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Oh, my gosh I absolutely loved this game!! The voice acting was so amazing! I also loved the story and the plot twist at the end genuinely caught me so off guard in the best way possible! I feel like plot twists can sometimes be super obvious before they happen or can feel really forced, but the twist at the end of this made complete sense in retrospect and I never saw it coming. 

Really amazing job!! 

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Super glad that the twist got you because my brother wouldn't stop going on about how predictable the twist is x3 He's one of those people who always claims to have seen stuff coming though! Thanks so much for checking it out <3

I really didn't see it coming at all!! But it absolutely made sense in retrospect! A very cool plot twist :-D

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What a twist! I love it! The art is amazing and the story is really captivating! Being able to choose the appearance of the characters is new to me, amazing!

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So glad you enjoyed it :D It was a lot of fun to make! I did kinda wish I hadn't included the option to pick character appearances when the jam deadline was looming cos it's so much extra work xD but it's worth it :3 I've tried really hard to include it where possible ever since I made Impostor!

Thanks so much for taking the time to check the game out and leave such a lovely comment ^-^

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So, this game was great the music was great the art and designs the backgrounds were amazing the voice acting was great 100% gets me hyped for Halloween and cannot wait to see what some of your other games have to offer.

Now this is just if for any reason you watch the video I may or may not have had a few issues going on if you happen to hear random beeping throughout my video that's because my smoke alarm kept beeping so I got that fixed now but you can still hear beeping throughout the video. Also, at the 22:28 mark I say I'm experiencing technical difficulties that's because my PC crashed and got that stupid blue error screen that appears on windows, so I had to playthrough the whole beginning again to get back on where I was. I'm pretty sure that wasn't the game that did that but more of I had PC problems they should be fixed now so hopefully that doesn't happen in the future but my problems with my PC and smoke detector aside that did not stop me from enjoying this amazing game. 

10/10 game I recommend playing it.

:)

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Woo! So glad you liked it :3 The whole of Spooktober Jam got me hyped for Halloween, haha. We worked our butts off to get the projects completed in time for the end of the jam, but I knew even if I accidentally made myself burn out, the spirit of Halloween would revive me in October :P

I don't think the beeping was even that intrusive :3 I just sorta wrote it off as general background noise, haha. That sucks your PC crashed with the blue screen of death though >.< that's never fun! Hopefully, your computer will be okay from now on so it doesn't happen again :3 I sure hope it wasn't the game, haha. I'd like to think not since I managed to test it fully on our family potato laptop and it was fine x3 but you never know with computers! Sometimes they seem to have a mind of their own >.<

Also, that Ella reference made me chuckle :P

Thanks so much for playing it and linking the video! I hope you're having a happy October and that you get to have a spooky Halloween :D

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This was super good!

*************

SPOILERS!

*************

I did not see the twist coming at all. But as soon as it hit, all the little pointers along the way become delightfully apparent. My favourite was how Volkham didn't get the mirror riddle. That was a really nice touch. But yeah, even the title and logline give you a cheeky prompt. The setup for this was all so good.

Loved the sprites and the backgrounds. All great. Music and sound effects were all well done too.

Voice acting was superb, especially 'Dispatch' ;). It blows my mind that you're actually able to get voice acting organised and into in a game jam game. So impressive.

Also super impressed with the character choices. I went female female but am keen to try out the other combinations.

All in all, fantastic little game and highly recommended.

So glad you liked it ^-^ especially the twist and stuff since my brother told me I was an idiot for deciding to adapt that particular episode based on his opinion that “it's probably one of the most boring twists ever” xD I do agree with him that it's not the best, but I still think it's fun and also super appropriate for Halloween x3

Also happy you describe the title and logline as giving a cheeky prompt because I was trying so hard to do that, was really happy with the stuff I settled on, my dad said he thought it was snappy, and then my brother went and said it all sounded stupid >.< so then I began to wonder if he was right, haha.

Hehe x3 I cringe so badly at my attempts to play extras in Spooktober projects xD I just always feel like if it's a super small role, I might as well try to cover it myself rather than spend time trying to cast a proper VA for it. Last year was a lot easier to organise VA for Limbo Line because we had some VAs on board that I already knew, and they knew plenty of folks who were happy to help out, so we didn't even need to run auditions or anything! This year was much more daunting because I wasn't fantastically organised >.< Rebecca was on board who I worked with last year, so that gave me much comfort, but the rest was all thanks to Casting Call Club! I honestly don't know what I'd do without that site and community sometimes x3 It just makes it so easy to connect with voice actors and start working together :3

I also can't believe the number of voice actors who willingly sign up to be a part of multiple Spooktober projects! At that point, they must be working as hard as the devs to get everything done by the deadline. But it's amazing to see so much enthusiasm for the Spooktober projects from the voice actors there ^-^

I mainly manage to get through the editing side of it thanks to a lot of cups of tea and coffee x3

There's not really all that much to discover with the different character combos anyways besides the change in sprites + CGs + riddles x3

Thanks so much for taking the time to go through it and for all your kind words <3

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I noticed Carrot's reply below and I think it's safe to say you can entirely ignore your brother's opinion on this one :D

Everyone hates hearing their own voice, so it makes sense you cringe at yours. But you were great! Very convincing and official sounding.

Maybe I should try and be brave enough to see if I can get some VA for a future VN. Just feels so daunting.

Ah okay, would still like to check out the male side of it though. Will be interesting to see how different it feels. But yeah, after making my way through the billion other Spooktober games :D

You're welcome! It was a pleasure to play. I'm going to check out your other stuff too. You know... eventually :D

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To be fair, I should probably ignore my brother's opinion on most things related to my project stuff since he pretty much thinks everything I do sucks xD (he hasn't even checked any of them out! He just thinks that making VNs is lame because, in his opinion, they're not proper games >.>)

Yeeeees!! Do iiiiiiit :D I would love to hear VA in your future games :3 Heck, I'd even offer to help if there was anything in particular you were worried about! Dunno how much help I'd actually be, but I'd try, haha. Casting Call Club really does make it a breeze to connect with folks though!

Hehe, yeah, I have like a billion things I want to play at this point and never enough time to do it >.< I still haven't played a single game from this year's otome jam T_T and I'm way behind on what I thought I would be on Spooktober games too. One day! x3

Oh he's one of THOSE, huh? I see. Definitely ignore him then :D

Thanks for the offer and advice! I'll see how brave I'm feeling with the next project.

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Ahh <3 yay Halloween! I love it

Halloween is life <3  hehe. Merry spooky season!! ^-^

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OH MAN. I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING AT ALL.

Don't wanna give any spoilers or anything in here but WOW!! The slow build-up to that ending was SUPERB! Especially since after the twist, everything made so much sense! You did such a brilliant job of setting everything up, from the character dialogue, to the slow reveal of details. Just absolutely wonderful all around.

I LOVED the choice to be able to customize the characters—from choosing which protag you want, to even choosing your partner! I went for both a male Shearsmith and a male Volkham in my first playthrough, though now I'm so curious as to how things might be different with other combinations. At any rate, it was a really unique touch that at least to me, also helped me resonate even more with the story and chars, perhaps because I somehow felt even more invested after choosing them LOL

The voice acting was EXCELLENT. So incredibly well done. And COMPLETELY voice-acted, too! So for once even though I've almost never done it in the past, I just put it on auto and let the characters come to life for me hehe. I think one reason especially the voice acting works so well (besides just being wonderfully done) is because this is very much a dialogue-based story. You do such a wonderful job of introducing us to the characters, weaving together their story, and setting things up using almost entirely dialogue with just a few narrative bits here and there. The back-and-forth ripostes between the two officers feels incredibly natural and enjoyable to listen to.

The art is fantastic! Love how you've done so much even with the minimal setting of just a car! The sprites are incredibly well done and all their expressions a delight. And the music fit so well to set the mood—subtle and mysterious at first and building as the game goes on.

Just overall a really wonderfully done story with an excellent twist and nicely done character that will pull you in right away with its engaging dialogue and keep you wondering where it's going all the way up until the end! Fantastic! ðŸ’•

Huzzah :D I did wonder if it was something that was actually gonna get people, or if it would just produce the same reaction it did in my brother of simply sighing and rolling his eyes xD

Also kinda worried about the build-up being too slow and people being like, uhm, this is tagged horror, soooo, when is the horror gonna happen? X3

As I've said in response to a couple of other comments, I can't take too much credit for the overall story with this one being an adaptation, but parts of it were my own original writing at least. It's one of the reasons I desperately wanted to try and make 2 games instead of 1 this year x3 cos I felt like I really wanted to try and make an adaptation of a No.9 script again, but I also wanted to make something else that was entirely original. So that's why I wound up making this and DotD, haha.

Glad you approve of the character choices ^-^ It's something I've tried really hard to implement in as many of my games as I can since I did it way back for Impostor. I often begin to regret it with how much extra work it creates x3 but it's worth it in the end :3 I just know how picky I am as a player these days and how many games I like the look of, but skip if I can't play as a fem character of some sort. I just figure it's more fun and inclusive if I can somehow give people a little flexibility with how they play.

Other than the voice acting, there isn't a whole lot of difference with who you pick for each character, but there are 1 or two tiiiiny bits of alternative dialogue when it comes to the riddles, haha.

Hooray, we are now auto companions xD And similarly to what you said, I'm glad to hear that auto works okay because I didn't actually get a chance to test it properly x3 The only thing I know is that if you change the text print speed in the settings, it can mess up some of the VA and SFX timings in certain scenes cos that's something one of the artists came across while testing, and something that's present in pretty much all of the games I've made with Nani because I have no idea how to fix it T_T

Dominic and Rebecca actually recorded a live session together for male Shearsmith and fem Volkham :D I feel like you can definitely tell that from the way they bounce off of each other :3 But I was also really surprised at how well all the VA came out in general with it being so dialogue-heavy. I kinda wondered if, for the pairings where they weren't recorded together, they might not flow quite as well, but they did! I don't know how everyone managed to pull that off while recording separately from different locations around the world, haha.

Yeah, if Eufasy hadn't drawn such a wonderful car interior background, I feel like the whole project would've fallen apart x3 The only free resource I could find for a car interior was not so great, haha. Same goes for all the CGs, because it would have been near impossible to portray those moments with sprites alone! I would have had to go to black screen and attempt to rely solely on sound or something, which wouldn't have been half as cool.

Yay for the music fitting too ^-^ That track I made for more casual moments and wound up calling fortunately/unfortunately ended up practically becoming my theme tune for the jam xD I listened to it a lot in the background while I was doing other stuff, haha. To the point that I started to find it extremely irritating x3

Thanks so much for playing and for being such a sweetheart <3 You always put a lot of thought into your comments, and I can't even tell you how much I appreciate it :3 You wonderful human, you!

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Wow! This has such an eerie atmosphere. The sound effects and music are immersive and the lighting is spot on.

The interior of the car as the setting is so effective and I loved how the scenery shifted during the story.

Also the intro and the ending paid off big time.

I'll definitely be playing again to see the other endings!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to play and leave such a lovely comment <3 So glad you had fun with it ^-^

(+1)

Another awesome game by Melancholy Marionette, this time a really mysterious mystery!  Man the plotwists on this one are really good, had me guessing the whole time. thankfully it also packs some nice humor to light things a little bit.

The art is top tier as usual and although I wasn't sure about the voice acting at first, it is a nice cast that fits the characters really well.

Solid 5/5 stars, it also has some nice credits and cool extras!

Keep the good work!

(+1)

Thank youuuu ^-^ You're always so kind <3 

Glad you had fun with it! You got the true ending, which is good because that's the ending I kinda tried to push people into getting on their first go through by purposefully making it harder to get the other 2 endings, hehe. 

Eufasy's art certainly is top tier :3 And I'm happy you ended up enjoying the voice acting! I've worked with Rebecca before, and she's pure awesome :D But everyone else in the cast I've never worked with previously. They were all awesome too :3 My voice is so bad, but I figured that Control is such a small part, it seemed silly to look for someone to play it when I could just do it myself and try to hide my voice with radio SFX xD

Thanks so much again for playing and I hope you have a super happy spooky season!!

(+1)

Amazing game! The story is simple but well constructed from the beginning to the end. I think this quality is present in all your games but I really appreciate the more we discover about the characters the more we deepen the layers between their actions and dialogue. 
The voices were nice as always and it was fun hearing the familiar actors again!! 
I really liked the UI and the character selection too. The game was really fun, congrats on the release. 

Thank youuuu <3 You're always so sweet ^-^

Hehe, yeah, Rebecca with the curse of the pink-haired Spooktober characters :P Maybe I was just accidentally channeling Nyari when I settled on the sprite for fem Volkham x3 

I'm genuinely surprised that you liked the UI though! I felt like I went kinda lazy on the stuff I did for this x3 even if it was still a pain in the butt to get everything working right.  But I was trying to make it as simple and clean as possible while still matching the game so that it wasn't intruding too much on the scenes in the car. Oh, and I had to make multiple of the buttons twice because I was an idiot and forgot to make the text layers fill the canvas on some of em before adding the glow for hovering, so then the glow was cut off with straight lines from the tiny box surrounding the text >.<" It still is on some of the buttons that I didn't have a chance to go and fix, but hopefully it isn't too noticeable on the ones that got left behind x3

Thank you again for being your usual awesome self :3 

(+1)

Wow!! I was on the edge of my seat! Fantastic art, writing, soundtrack, VA- all of it was super cool, and I'm gonna have to replay and get all of the endings. Really fun game, and what a great twist.

Thanks so much for playing and taking the time to leave such a sweet comment! I'm so glad you had fun with it ^-^

(+1)(-1)

This is an amazing visual novel with great voice acting. I hardly ever find visual novels where there's voice acting like this. I was definitely immersed while i was playing. 10/10

Thanks so much for playing and sharing the video <3 So glad you enjoyed it ^-^

Don't quote me on it because I haven't actually timed how long a full run-through of the game takes in all the time I was testing it, haha. But I think you were probably around 5-10 mins away from reaching an ending if you do decide to do a part 2 at some point :3

And I'm so happy you like the voice acting because the cast were all absolutely amazing! We worked our butts off to get everything done in time for the end of the jam, haha.

(+1)

You're welcome, I could tell while playing it that a lot of work was put into it. I felt like I was close to the end, but I'm pacing myself because of my cold. I'll make sure to finish it asap. 

Just make sure to take care of yourself first :3 Rest up and feel better!

Thank you, I'll make sure to do that this weekend. Have a good one. 

(+1)

Oh my god, Mari Mel, you're a writing beast!! â¤ðŸ˜

This is so good!! ðŸ’•

I really love the whole vibe of the game and how you can tell a great story with only one background and a few sprites!! The voice acting was amazing and I really liked the audio direction (both sounds and music)!! The characters feel really human when they talk, the dialogue feels very natural and plausible.

The twist at the end, aaadgbsdgj so worth it!! I was suspecting something but not everything it ended up being so it was pleasant surprise!!

Great job!!💕

(+1)

You're so sweet as always <3 Thanks for all your kind words ^-^

Though, I can't take too much credit for the writing in this one x3 I wrote all of Dawn of the Damned, but with The Graveyard Shift being more of an adaptation, the story was more a case of me following the original script, tweaking it here and there, and adding to it in order to turn it from a kinetic TV episode story into something interactive that has choices, different reactions depending on those, and then the different endings. The one that I refer to as the 'true' ending in the little guide I made is the true ending precisely because that's the way the original version of the story ends (although I did add to and edit some of the dialogue in it still! But what happens is essentially the same) :3 The other endings are entirely my additions, haha.

I just hope that my additions and edits aren't an insult to the original because that would be mortifying x3 I really loved the way it looked on TV and thought it may potentially make for a cool VN if I can adapt it somehow! There's no way I could have done that alone though because, for starters, the only car interior background asset I could find was kinda awful, so Eufasy drawing such a brilliant background for the car interior made a huge difference alone! Not to mention all the other amazing CGs that were created :3

It was a bit of a pain in the butt trying to find additional scenery backgrounds to use for what you can see through the car windows, haha. Cos I needed quite a few for when the car is actually on the move or it would've looked really odd having static scenery outside the car x3 And, being the nerd that I am, I had to edit most of them to try and make them look like it had been raining.

I knew I wanted to try and use more in the way of SFX with this though in an attempt to build some atmosphere without relying entirely on BGM tracks, so it makes me super happy that you approve of the audio direction ^-^ I edited a ridiculous number of SFX to get everything I needed, and a lot of the sounds weren't actually of what I used them for. Like the shaking of the teabags was actually someone shaking a can of spray paint x3 And the more metallic sounds for the car were things like bin lids and swords xD I had to edit and combine a lot of stuff to create the rain on the car roof and the thunder and such as well. It was really fun, haha. I always seem to get a lot of joy out of sound design, whether it be editing SFX or trying to make original music tracks :3 I still feel like such a noob because I don't really know what I'm doing from a technical standpoint, and have no education in any of it xD I just try my best and hope it turns out decently, haha.

And yeah, the voice actors all did such a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life :3 It wouldn't be the same without them!

Glad to hear the twist wasn't entirely predictable as well because in the first week of the jam when I mentioned it to my brother, he just looked at me with a sort of disgust and said, but that's one of the crappest twists ever xD And I was trying to defend it like, sure, it's not the very best, but it's still a fun one, damn it! x3

Anyways, I will shut up x3 Thank you so much for going through it and leaving such lovely feedback ^-^ If it weren't for my stupid headache, I'd be playing Panacea right now!! >.< At least I have it to look forward to tomorrow :3 Coffee + spooktober jam games? Yes please x3