This is a Work of Fiction


  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 4/5 (136 votes)
| Comments (58) | Views (388)

MikeThis is a Work of FictionWhen you get yourself a kit for a bookshelf, or a model car, or a perpetual motion machine, do you carefully read the instructions, sort all the parts and pieces into easily accessible piles, and follow the directions with diligence and exactitude? Or do you dive in, confident that you can work out what needs doing without consulting stodgy manuals or schematics? If figuring out instructions on your own is as much fun for you as following them, you may enjoy This is a Work of Fiction, a suite of abstract riddle and puzzle games by Eli Piilonen with a conspiratorial vibe, where figuring out what to do is the heart of the gameplay.

Once you determine how to start This is a Work of Fiction, you may choose from among five categories of mini-games. You get no instructions or directions except for what controls to use, but you can always restart or return to the level selection screen if it is too confusing or difficult. Complete enough of these games, and you can play the next "round" or column of games, which are more difficult permutations of the same sorts of games. As you complete each level, you also gain access to several "documents," which may or may not be related to each other, or to the games you are playing.

Something about the presentation in This is a Work of Fiction reminds me of the Submachine series, with its collection of strange documents, its moody ambient soundtrack, and its focus on oblique puzzles surrounding murky motivations. Indeed, the presentation enforces the idea that there is something mysterious about these little games, which really drives you to unravel how they work. The one disappointment is that once you figure out how a type of game or puzzle works, the later rounds become less exciting and more tedious. Unravelling the point behind a type of game is fun, but playing harder versions of the same game is less fun if you have already figured out the point.

Still, if you like edgy atmosphere, mysterious trappings, and figuring things out without instructions, This is a Work of Fiction is well worth your time. Just be persistent, and don't let the paranoid ambiance get to you. It is a Work of Fiction, after all.

Play This is a Work of Fiction

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Here's a picture for "River," Round Three.

Image

I got it to work after nudging the wells around a lot. If I read it correctly, this is more or less Tom's solution. Probably.

Tip: if you want to move a gravity well precisely, click its center and move your cursor just a few pixels over in the direction you want to move it.

So I thought I would revisit the documents and make some sense of them. Here is the transcript for anyone who just wants to read them without doing half a line at a time.

Introduction

This game contains 20 files given to me a few months ago by an anonymous internet user. They were sent with the label "For any use deemed fitting." Some of it gets pretty eccentric, but everyone likes a good conspiracy theory, right? Every puzzle you complete will unlock one file. Your progress is saved automatically, so you don't need to do it all in one sitting.

Also note that the puzzles do not come with instructions. You'll have to figure out how to win on your own.

If you have any information about the original author or have any other questions/comments/concerns, you can email me at ThisIsAWorkOfFiction@gmai.com.

Oh, and for the best experience, definitely wear some headphones.

-Eli Piilonen / 2DArray

1: warning

To whom it may concern,

For starters, a word of warning. Everything contained here is a work of fiction. None of it should be considered meaningful or relevant. Do not, for even a second, pretend that this represents anything more than a mostly random collection of arbitrary information and possibly flawed insight. Whether or not you find any meaning here is of no concern to me.

-The Doctor

2: influence

"The Influence is not an organization. Don't call it an organization. The Influence is a force. A force of nature. An organization is just a group of people, and it behaves like exactly that: Just a group of people. The Influence's reach is so unfathomably broad that it no longer behaves like a group of people. It behaves like a force of nature."

-Harold Finch
Excerpt from
Thought Experiments:
Find Your Mind,
Gladstone/Wellsworth,
1968

3: unexplainable

To whom it may concern,

What compelled you to start looking though these files? I can tell that you're curious. Otherwise you wouldn't be reading. I have a question: How many times in an average day do you try to understand something, and simply fail? So much of the world is beyond our reach, in terms of what we can comprehend and what we cannot. You chalk it up as "the unexplainable" or maybe just call it "God." Really, it's both much more simple and much more complicated than that. But the answer is always the same. The answer is always The Influence. Keep looking. You'll see what I mean soon enough.

-The Doctor

4: mlk

Mrs. King Says Husband's Death Was Will of God
By KATHRYN JOHNSON
Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) - "I do think it's the will of God," said Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr., a few hours after the death of her husband. "We always knew this could happen."
Mrs. King was in seclusion of her home Thursday night, receiving only a few close friends in her bedroom. Friends and relatives greeted the streams of mourners, who passed 15 policeman [sic] guarding the house.
The slender, attractive wife of the civil rights leader was composed but seemed dazed. She wept occasionally and accepted a few phone calls, one from President Johnson.
Mrs. King, who is recuperating from major surgery, reclined on her bed watching television reruns of high moments in her husband's life. She was clad in a rose-coloured robe.
A half dozen women friends were in the room with her and the Kings' eldest daughter Yolanda, 12, in pajamas and a robe and with her hair in curlers, lay on the floor, watching.
Mrs. King, 41, was told of her husband's death by Mayor Ivan Allen Jr., while at the airport waiting to fly to his bedside in Memphis.
The mayor had driven her and her two eldest children, Yolanda and Martin Luther King III, 10, to the airport when he received word that King had died. Allen took Mrs. King into a waiting room. She emerged weeping. He then drove her back home.
At Indianapolis, a spokesman for Sen. Robert F. Kennedy said Kennedy had chartered a plane to take the King family to Memphis today and return the body to Atlanta.
Mrs. King requested that the plane be chartered after Kennedy telephoned to ask if he could assist her, the spokesman said.
Mrs. King had long lived with the threat of danger to her husband.
"We have lived with the threat of death always present," she said after her husband received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Since 1954, when King began preaching nonviolence as a tactic in fighting segregation, she had seen him jailed numerous times, stabbed once and threatened often. She was with him in 1956 at Montgomery, Ala., with their first child, when their home was rocked by a bomb blast.
Of the effects on her four children, she once said:
"I've tried to give them an understanding that their daddy is trying to help people. The two older ones understand. They take great pride and accept the dangers quite well.
"We all realize that something could happen. If it does happen, I think it will be the will of God. If it does, it would be a great way to give oneself to a great cause.
"But I pray to God nothing happens."

5: secret

"The Influence has managed to do something that no one else has ever accomplished with such success: Keeping a secret. A group of students in a middle school can't keep a secret for more than thirty minutes. A corporation, with bankruptcy in sight, often manages to maintain a secret for months or years, but always slips up eventually. The Influence is orders of magnitude beyond something like a local startup, but somehow the secret has largely been kept safe from mainstream knowledge."

-Anonymous Patient
Excerpt from
A Study of Schizophrenia
and Related Psychoses,
Peterson, 1975

6: steganography

To whom it may concern,

Steganography is incredibly relevant to The Influence. It's an alternative to normal encryption. See, the problem with encryption is that when someone sees an encoded message, it just looks like garbage, but they know that something is up, and so might they try to crack it. When someone sees a work of steganography, they don't even know that there's a secret to be found at all. It just looks like a letter to one's mother. Or a power bill. Or a commercial on television. Or the Magna Carta. Or this message.

-The Doctor

7: vanishes

"The thing that never ceases to startle me is exactly how often it is that a person simply vanishes off the street. No traces left. Nothing. They go to the store and no one ever hears their voice again. Often, over the years, this gets translated into a vague story about how a relative died during a trip to the beach, where the details just don't seem specific enough to really come together. But for some reason, even when everyone is ultimately in the dark, no one is willing to ask what really happened, and eventually, the whole thing is forgotten into a sea of statistics."

-Arthur Kindle
Excerpt from
Modern Crime,
Billings/Shortman, 2000

8: transistor

"One important aspect of The Influence is that it doesn't solve problems like a human being. The human element of The Influence is similar to that of a transistor in a computer: The people make tiny decisions that add up with millions others, and thus, The Influence functions as an overall unit. And this is why it is so difficult to avoid angering Influence. It doesn't decide that you are a problem in the same way that you would, so you never know what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong."

-Sherry Cole
Excerpt from
"10 Conspiracy Theories that People Actually Believe,"
Burgs/Fuller, 2005

9: serial

Serial Killer Caught

Tom Banks has been identified as the Third Street Killer. Local law enforcement had been scrambling to put an end to his three month long rampage ever since his first victim, Carla Langley, was found dead in late July.
A citizen who wishes to remain anonymous identified Banks at a supermarket, buying twine, several large water pitchers, and a collection of silverware. The police were notified, and Banks was arrested at 4:05 PM.
The man who caught Banks was clearly distraught by the experience. "I was just waiting in line, and I see the guy that everyone's talking about waiting right in front of me. I didn't know what to think. We talked for a bit, and I motioned to the clerk to call the police. The guy noticed that we recognized him, but he didn't seem to mind. He realized that he had nowhere to go, so he just sat down on the floor and waited.
"Yeah, it was scary. The worst, though, was the stuff he was saying. I don't think I'll ever forget it. 'It was impulsive, but it had to be done. I will forever be their shepherd. I don't think you understand what I mean. I don't know if I do, either. One thing is for certain, though: My work here is done.'"
Banks was responsible for eight deaths.

10: headlights

"You-you-you know that feeling you get when you're dr-dr-driving at night, when you see headlights in your, in your rear view mirror? When you c-can't tell what mmm-model of car it is? Of course you think that it's a-it's a-it's a cop. But that's nn-not what I fear. I fear that it's someone worse. Someone who doesn't ssshhhhow who they are by wearing a blue uniform and a badge. A cop w-w-wants you to know that he's a cop. The mmm-man that follows me doesn't wear a uniform. And he drives a different car every day. He doesn't want me to know that anything is sss-suspicious at all. B-but I've almost c-c-c-caught him. I'll c-catch him ss-soon."

-Bill Stallman
Excerpt from
Paranoid Delusion and the
People it Affects,
Cruz, 2003

11: diner

To whom it may concern,

Once, there was a man who worked at a local diner for years. He never admitted it, but he was endlessly enamored with the "down-home" feel of the place. A real Mom 'n' Pop kind of joint. He came in five times a week, and was close friends with all of the other regular customers and staff. One day, three mobsters showed up in black suits, carrying Berettas and shouting at these people who were eating. The people at the table tried to explain something or another, but in the end, the suited goons executed them all on the spot. The table shined a brilliant crimson, scattered with utensils and death. The man who was working, drenched in sweat and drowning in tears, let out a pitiful cry. "Why have you come to this place? You have spoiled it with your violence and crime." Once of the suited men, casually wiping some blood off of his hand, responded, "Spoiled it? This diner is a front. The mob owns this building."

-The Doctor

12: outlets

"Most people in modern society are astoundingly unaware of the power outlets in their home. A common practice in illegal surveillance is the insertion of tiny microphones or cameras into these power sockets. Chips, scratches, and any other indication of hurried and forceful removal are all clues.

One of the most useful locations in a household, as far as this kind of surveillance is concerned, is the bathroom. Almost every time you're in the bathroom, you're totally alone. This means that the most honest part of your day is spent in there. It's very simple, really: You can understand exactly who a person is rather quickly by seeing how they behave when they think that no one is around."

-Stella Turner
Excerpt from
The Hidden World of
Eavesdropping,
Turner, 2008

13: darkness

To whom it may concern,

I would like to discuss a very interesting concept that stems from the study of Quantum Mechanics. One conclusion that can be drawn is that any time an idea is created, the simple fact that the possibility exists means that a separate universe has been formed in such a way that the idea will be true. More interesting is that once one of these universes begins to exist, it not only exists now, but it has existed forever, and will assumedly continue to exist forever. For example: Imagine a world where there is no light. No sun, no incandescent bulbs, no vision. We could never survive there-life simply wouldn't be supported in the way that we understand it. But imagine anyway that somehow, the people and creatures there survive without seeing. The plants somehow grow without energy from photosynthesis. Simply by imagining this world, you've created a universe where an infinite number of living things are buried in eternal darkness.

-The Doctor

14: story

To whom it may concern,

I have a question for you about the ideas from earlier about Quantum Mechanics: What happens when someone writes a story? Let's say a book focuses on a boy and a girl who meet on a bus and fall in love. Adorable, yeah? But now somewhere, in another instance of the universe, those people would actually have to meet up on that bus. What leads them there? The timing of that day has to be perfect for them to both end up in the same place. But even that is oversimplifying the issue: Why are they even in the city at all? Why did their parents give birth to them? There are an uncountable number of tiny factors that all have to add up. How might a universe (that was created from the viewpoint of a human) make sure that everything happens in exactly the correct sequence?

-The Doctor

15: concealed

"They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them."
-1 John 4:5

"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known."
-Matthew 10:26

16: evil

To whom it may concern,

I hope that you've started to put the pieces together by now: The Influence ensures that the universe's primary purpose is fulfilled. In a universe created as a result of storytelling, that purpose is for the Story to occur as written. But what does that mean? Who actually does the work? The answer is a bit unsettling: It's normal people. It's not emotionless men in suits or horrible creatures from some terrible hole in the darkest corner of your house. It's just average people. I call them Shepherds. Sometimes they work alone. Sometimes they work in groups. Sometimes they know that they're doing a job. Sometimes they don't. And it could be anything. Some Shepherds get an Impulse to buy something. Maybe a car. Maybe a bag of candy. Sometimes they think they're working towards some reasonable goal, like a construction team putting together a building, but really, they're just the universe's personal puppets. Sometimes, though, they know that something is wrong. They get an Impulse to do something horrible. This is when steganography comes into play. A touch of secrecy is necessary when it would appear that all of the evil contained in the most basic part of your psyche is coming out in one glorious instant.

-The Doctor

17: irresponsible

To whom it may concern,

I lied to you earlier. I'm sorry. I'm not a doctor. I was worried that you wouldn't listen to me if I didn't have some kind of impressive background. But no, I'm not a doctor. I'm just a Shepherd. Yeah, yeah. Shock and awe. You want to know what my Impulse was, don't you? I have a lot of stories, but one stands out in my mind: I started a fire in my little dead end of a town in California. A big fire.

The truly distressing part, though, was that I had no idea why I had done it. I was petrified that I had done something wrong. But no, I wasn't an arsonist. I was fate's battered rifle, handled with care and prepped for years so that when the moment finally came, I would be ready to do my job. I can't be held accountable. Saying so would be irresponsible.

-The Shepherd

18: weakness

What is the difference between a decision and an impulse? And what is the difference between a normal impulse and an Influence Impulse? Other than perhaps timing, there's no difference. They are one and the same. In this universe, everything must play out perfectly for the Story to come true. That means that every person must live in exactly the way that is expected of them. The Influence is comprised of every single sentient being on the planet. And this is because only the sentient ones have that key weakness to Impulse. Do you believe that you are capable of making decisions? The spin of the universe has already determined every choice that you will ever make. But what's that feeling that you get when you incorrectly believe that you are making a choice? That's what I refer to as an Impulse. Free Will doesn't exist. We are all Shepherds from the moment we are born. Most of us don't realize it. But I do. We do. Like the blood of a friend, some things never really wash out.

-The Shepherd

19: after

[this area intentionally left blank]

To whom it may concern,

It looks like our time together is almost up, but I have one more revelation regarding the nature of our universe. If everything is building up to the Story, what happens after the Story successfully occurs? There would be no more constraint, which means no more Impulses. No more Influence. No more Shepherds. It would signal the birth of true Free Will. But then, here's the problem. When it finally happens, will we be able to tell? What if it already has?

-The Shepherd

20: final

Dear reader,

When I first came to understand The Influence, I spent quite a while in denial. It couldn't be true. It mustn't be. Sounded like the words of a madman.

Having studied enough, I can now say with confidence that there is no other explanation.

I suppose the least I can do is find a way to distribute this knowledge.

-A friend

credit

You solved all the puzzles already? I have to give you credit-That was some excellent work.

Hope you got as much of a kick out of the documents as I did.
-Eli

Design by Eli Piilonen
Audio by David Carney

Sponsored by Armor Games

My thoughts:

[Document 16] outlines the Big Idea: the universe exists in order to make real a particular idea. Our universe is just one of a number of parallel universes [13, 14]. In order to do this, the universe must be entirely deterministic [18], at least until the idea has been realised [19]. [11] appears to foreshadow these revelations.
In order to ensure that things happen as they should, ordinary people (Shepherds) get impulses (intrusive thoughts or commands comparable to what are described as compulsions in the language of psychiatry), from something called The Influence [2], to do things [8]. [15] appears to refer to these Shepherds. The truth is hidden so well because the universe seems to go on as normal [5, 6] and people appear to have free will.

This viewpoint can be used to explain otherwise baffling crimes [7, 9] especially those that have altered the direction of the world [4].

Alternatively, this is all just a conspiracy theory [7] that you would be mad to believe [10]. Or it's all a work of fiction anyway [1].

We learn that the person who discovered all this about the universe was responsible for starting a fire in his home town [17], acting on the impulses he/she received. He/she has been calling themself a doctor to get your attention.

All this information passed through the hands of "A friend" [20], possibly the "anonymous internet user" [Introduction], who gave it to Eli Piilonen, who has distributed it to you [credit]. I've been an instrument in this process. Oh no, now I feel used...

On a simpler level

It seems a lot like Eli Piilonen needed some form of reward for solving the puzzles, so decided to create this hybrid sort of game to tell an interesting tale at the same time as presenting some puzzles to solve.

The general solution to Rotary 4 (with example images) is this:

Start.
Note: this shows the random initial conditions can include a wholly-solved triangle, as well as several 2/3-solved ones.

1. Find all the triangles that have two like-colored sides, and rotate them such that their different-colored sides face the circle.

Done. (Upper-left (cyan) triangle solved)

2. Now for the unsolved triangles (three different colors). Rotate the circle until an unsolved triangle becomes 2/3-solved, and rotate it so its different-colored side faces the circle. Repeat until all the triangles are 2/3-solved and in this orientation.

Done. (From previous: circle 2x CCW, then top left triangle 1x CW)
Note: the top right triangle is now only 2/3-solved, in the state cyan-cyan-green.

3. Next some quick solves. Look at the current state of the triangles, and see how many are solved. Next, rotate the circle 1x CW and check again. Then again, and again, and again, and again. Rotate one more time and you're back to the first number, where you were initially.

From the sequence of six numbers you just got, find the one with the largest number of solved triangles and rotate to it. (I generally get 3.)

Previous picture. (Sequence: 0-3-1-1-1-0)
Done. (Rotated to second position)

4. At this point it comes to shifting the edges around (very carefully) so the ones currently solved remain solved. I'm not sure exactly how to describe this part, but the procedure is somewhat as follows:

Rotate the circle in one direction,
Rotate the triangle containing your edge ("your edge" being the edge you're moving) such that your edge is not facing the circle,
Rotate the circle in the other direction,
Rotate the triangle containing your edge back towards the circle,
Repeat.

A solve.
Edge switch.
Finished.

There are similar ways to solve Rotary 1, 2, & 3, but they're not quite as hard as Rotary 4.

What I think is interesting is when a game comes up like this with a particular puzzle, occasionally an entire permutation methodology and vocabulary is created by the community to solve it.

I hope that isn't a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"Route" Solutions

Route - Round 1

This is solvable in a lot of ways. This is the intuitive, simple solution.

Make an outward square spiral in the same direction as the rings, starting by going up, then right. Don't worry if you miss any rings on the way out; just ensure the spiral is wide enough for your return and you should be able to catch them on the way back.

Route - Round 2

This is left-to-right mirror-solvable, so you can reverse the instructions in those directions.

Move up into the row of rings, then to the left and up into one arch of the "m". Edge left and go back down out of the arch. Go left again, then up and right. Go down while staying close to the edge of the "m" so that you can return. Move left, into the arch, left, back down, and then move back around CCW to the exit.

Route - Round 3

There's only one path here.

From the start, move right to the intersection; then take the following directions at each consecutive intersection to get all the rings and get to the exit:

U R D D D L U L D L U U R U L.

Route - Round 4

There are two paths for this one. Both are the same length. I'm only giving one.

Edge to the left until you collect the first ring, then move down, right and down the middle path. From there, take these directions at each intersection:

R U L U L D D.

I've compiled all of Fritware's hints for the riddles into this single post. Thanks Fritware!
Riddle One:

Hint 1:

The sad ones choose to use it -- the bad ones do not.

Hint 2:

The people who use this generally have something in common with a grammatically incorrect participle.

Hint 3:

The people who use this are sometimes described as dancing, but they're doing it alone and not having much fun.

Hint 4:

This item is indeed adjustable, but only if tied properly.

Answer:

"Noose" ("Gallows" also works, I'm told.)

Riddle Two:

Hint 1:

I didn't like this one very much. The last line is a blurry. Focus on coming up with something that can capture a moment.

Hint 2:

If you wanted to preserve an event for posterity, what would you use?

Hint 3:

Smile!

Answer:

"Camera"

Riddle Three:

Hint 1:

This riddle is a bit confusing, because it's not entirely clear whether you're trying to identify the "stack" or the items that make up the "stack." It's the latter.

Hint 2:

Three letters of the answer appear in a three-letter word in the riddle.

Hint 3:

If you ever paid for this item, you probably don't any longer, because you, the puzzle solver, clearly have access to a computer.

Hint 4:

The items in the stack might also be sold or given away on the sidewalk, or, depending on where you live, thrown randomly onto your front lawn.

Hint 5:

What's black and white and read all over...? Except that most of them are in color now?

Answer:

"Newspaper"

Riddle Four:

Hint 1:

What has both characters and strength?

Hint 2:

Some have minimum lengths

Hint 3:

Some are required to have different kinds of characters

Hint 4:

Writing it down is generally discouraged

Answer:

"Password"

58 Comments

I like how this guy thinks the story to his games like Viricide and The Company of Myself. This is a total brainer but the addition of documents (accessed from the lower right on the menu) urges me to find them all.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I rage quit on the third round of the avoidance mini game..

Score: 1 (1 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Finished the game. No ending and the notes don't make sense to me.
(Probably because I got bored of reading all of them.)
Why does this guy always make games that are great, but are too depressing to enjoy?

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
D. Gates April 12, 2011 1:52 PM

Diego: The avoidance mini-games are puzzles too. You won't be able to get the later ones if you just avoid all the obstacles. Figure out exactly what counts as progress and they're a lot easier. Also, the spawning is NOT completely random; you have a lot of influence on it.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I was forced to give up on the third round of the game where

you place 'gravity wells' to make particles fill up two shapes. It just seems like trial and error to me. Not much 'puzzle' to that sort of gameplay.

Also, the fact that the viewing window is half the size of the document being viewed is really annoying. It's quicker to take some screen captures and assemble the document in Paint than to use the document viewer.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Power of posting... :/

I found a solution where the blue and green stream cross. 1 well on both sources, 2 wells to complete the blue stream (the angle between them was about 40 degrees from the horizontal), 1 well to complete the green stream (at a slightly steeper angle from the horizontal). Too lazy to screenshot, sorry.

Onwards and upwards!

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I very much enjoyed this. Frustrating to know that there is almost certainly more hidden stuff beneath the surface of those documents, but having no time to chase it down.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

What's the second riddle
First riddle:

"Gallows". Kills criminals and fits the neck of all. Kinda nice guess, even if i say so myself :P

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Anonymous April 12, 2011 3:56 PM

Hey, for the third level of the evasion thing

the green part will only fill up when your cursor isn't moving

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
elbottso Author Profile Page April 12, 2011 4:05 PM

Got everything but the last riddle. Any help?

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Fritware Author Profile Page April 12, 2011 4:16 PM

@elbottso

Hint 1:

What has both characters and strength?

Hint 2:

Some have minimum lengths

Hint 3:

Some are required to have different kinds of characters

Hint 4:

Writing it down is generally discouraged

Answer:

"Password"

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
elbottso Author Profile Page April 12, 2011 4:20 PM

@Fritware

Thank you! Good hints. Got it after the second one.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Did all twenty puzzles; have no interest in reading the text.

(Sorry, Eli!)

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Fritware Author Profile Page April 12, 2011 4:24 PM

@Ayush --

Hint 1:

I didn't like this one very much. The last line is a blurry. Focus on coming up with something that can capture a moment.

Hint 2:

If you wanted to preserve an event for posterity, what would you use?

Hint 3:

Smile!

Answer:

"Camera"

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Fritware Author Profile Page April 12, 2011 4:25 PM

@elbottso --

My pleasure!

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Third avoidance game can't be done. Sorry, but it can't.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

If anyone gets the last two (especially the last) avoidance games, could you post the text. I would like to read it, but I find the avoidance game wickedly hard, and worse, no fun.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
elbottso Author Profile Page April 12, 2011 4:41 PM

@ Wolfgang

Green only fills when your not moving. So you gotta move, pause, move, pause etc. It's tough but doable.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

The documents interface appears to be horrible on purpose. I don't like when people deliberately hurt usability, so I'm going to miss out on the documents (and be sad).

I'll try them again if somebody adds (or discovers) a way to view the entire document width at once.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
xkingfrogx April 12, 2011 5:21 PM

This one's interesting, but only certain parts are really difficult...

@Wolfgang and @Tricia:
3rd avoidance ("Riot") game:

As elbottso already indicated, this one just takes patience. You have to keep your cursor still, and only make short, quick movements when you have to. The green only fills up when your cursor is not moving.

4th avoidance ("Riot") game:

This one requires movement. The faster you're moving, the quicker it fills up.

Both can be done (I just finished the game) but they take a bit of patience.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
xkingfrogx April 12, 2011 5:26 PM

BTW - I completely had no use for the Documents, but apparently there might be something more to them than I/we realize:

Only open this if you want info that you only receive after beating all 20 mini-games.

In the "Credits" document, the game creator Eli says "Hope you got as much of a kick out of the documents as I did." Does that mean there's something more to them than just crappy interface?

If anybody has more info on that, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

@king frog:

I think that was just a general, harmless comment. I imagine it's the sort of situation where you are supposed to link them together for yourself, or not, as it may be. I think all that he means by that is 'My imagination evoked some interesting things at these, I hope yours does too'.
I could be wrong, of course.

As for the actual puzzles, they were all pretty enjoyable except for the last (or penultimate, can't remember) gravity well one and the riddles. The thing I don't like about riddles is how so many answers can fit, especially the one about falling insubstantial piles. I mean seriously. >:

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

The avoidance minigames are extremely irritating. I completely gave up when I realized getting hit knocked you all the way back down.
Rotation and path ones were pretty fun.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Here's a picture for "River," Round Three.

Image

I got it to work after nudging the wells around a lot. If I read it correctly, this is more or less Tom's solution. Probably.

Tip: if you want to move a gravity well precisely, click its center and move your cursor just a few pixels over in the direction you want to move it.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I can't figure out the codes in the documents AT ALL. And I'm sure that's the whole point of the game. I think the mini games are just a way of unlocking the documents.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

So I thought I would revisit the documents and make some sense of them. Here is the transcript for anyone who just wants to read them without doing half a line at a time.

Introduction

This game contains 20 files given to me a few months ago by an anonymous internet user. They were sent with the label "For any use deemed fitting." Some of it gets pretty eccentric, but everyone likes a good conspiracy theory, right? Every puzzle you complete will unlock one file. Your progress is saved automatically, so you don't need to do it all in one sitting.

Also note that the puzzles do not come with instructions. You'll have to figure out how to win on your own.

If you have any information about the original author or have any other questions/comments/concerns, you can email me at ThisIsAWorkOfFiction@gmai.com.

Oh, and for the best experience, definitely wear some headphones.

-Eli Piilonen / 2DArray

1: warning

To whom it may concern,

For starters, a word of warning. Everything contained here is a work of fiction. None of it should be considered meaningful or relevant. Do not, for even a second, pretend that this represents anything more than a mostly random collection of arbitrary information and possibly flawed insight. Whether or not you find any meaning here is of no concern to me.

-The Doctor

2: influence

"The Influence is not an organization. Don't call it an organization. The Influence is a force. A force of nature. An organization is just a group of people, and it behaves like exactly that: Just a group of people. The Influence's reach is so unfathomably broad that it no longer behaves like a group of people. It behaves like a force of nature."

-Harold Finch
Excerpt from
Thought Experiments:
Find Your Mind,
Gladstone/Wellsworth,
1968

3: unexplainable

To whom it may concern,

What compelled you to start looking though these files? I can tell that you're curious. Otherwise you wouldn't be reading. I have a question: How many times in an average day do you try to understand something, and simply fail? So much of the world is beyond our reach, in terms of what we can comprehend and what we cannot. You chalk it up as "the unexplainable" or maybe just call it "God." Really, it's both much more simple and much more complicated than that. But the answer is always the same. The answer is always The Influence. Keep looking. You'll see what I mean soon enough.

-The Doctor

4: mlk

Mrs. King Says Husband's Death Was Will of God
By KATHRYN JOHNSON
Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) - "I do think it's the will of God," said Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr., a few hours after the death of her husband. "We always knew this could happen."
Mrs. King was in seclusion of her home Thursday night, receiving only a few close friends in her bedroom. Friends and relatives greeted the streams of mourners, who passed 15 policeman [sic] guarding the house.
The slender, attractive wife of the civil rights leader was composed but seemed dazed. She wept occasionally and accepted a few phone calls, one from President Johnson.
Mrs. King, who is recuperating from major surgery, reclined on her bed watching television reruns of high moments in her husband's life. She was clad in a rose-coloured robe.
A half dozen women friends were in the room with her and the Kings' eldest daughter Yolanda, 12, in pajamas and a robe and with her hair in curlers, lay on the floor, watching.
Mrs. King, 41, was told of her husband's death by Mayor Ivan Allen Jr., while at the airport waiting to fly to his bedside in Memphis.
The mayor had driven her and her two eldest children, Yolanda and Martin Luther King III, 10, to the airport when he received word that King had died. Allen took Mrs. King into a waiting room. She emerged weeping. He then drove her back home.
At Indianapolis, a spokesman for Sen. Robert F. Kennedy said Kennedy had chartered a plane to take the King family to Memphis today and return the body to Atlanta.
Mrs. King requested that the plane be chartered after Kennedy telephoned to ask if he could assist her, the spokesman said.
Mrs. King had long lived with the threat of danger to her husband.
"We have lived with the threat of death always present," she said after her husband received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
Since 1954, when King began preaching nonviolence as a tactic in fighting segregation, she had seen him jailed numerous times, stabbed once and threatened often. She was with him in 1956 at Montgomery, Ala., with their first child, when their home was rocked by a bomb blast.
Of the effects on her four children, she once said:
"I've tried to give them an understanding that their daddy is trying to help people. The two older ones understand. They take great pride and accept the dangers quite well.
"We all realize that something could happen. If it does happen, I think it will be the will of God. If it does, it would be a great way to give oneself to a great cause.
"But I pray to God nothing happens."

5: secret

"The Influence has managed to do something that no one else has ever accomplished with such success: Keeping a secret. A group of students in a middle school can't keep a secret for more than thirty minutes. A corporation, with bankruptcy in sight, often manages to maintain a secret for months or years, but always slips up eventually. The Influence is orders of magnitude beyond something like a local startup, but somehow the secret has largely been kept safe from mainstream knowledge."

-Anonymous Patient
Excerpt from
A Study of Schizophrenia
and Related Psychoses,
Peterson, 1975

6: steganography

To whom it may concern,

Steganography is incredibly relevant to The Influence. It's an alternative to normal encryption. See, the problem with encryption is that when someone sees an encoded message, it just looks like garbage, but they know that something is up, and so might they try to crack it. When someone sees a work of steganography, they don't even know that there's a secret to be found at all. It just looks like a letter to one's mother. Or a power bill. Or a commercial on television. Or the Magna Carta. Or this message.

-The Doctor

7: vanishes

"The thing that never ceases to startle me is exactly how often it is that a person simply vanishes off the street. No traces left. Nothing. They go to the store and no one ever hears their voice again. Often, over the years, this gets translated into a vague story about how a relative died during a trip to the beach, where the details just don't seem specific enough to really come together. But for some reason, even when everyone is ultimately in the dark, no one is willing to ask what really happened, and eventually, the whole thing is forgotten into a sea of statistics."

-Arthur Kindle
Excerpt from
Modern Crime,
Billings/Shortman, 2000

8: transistor

"One important aspect of The Influence is that it doesn't solve problems like a human being. The human element of The Influence is similar to that of a transistor in a computer: The people make tiny decisions that add up with millions others, and thus, The Influence functions as an overall unit. And this is why it is so difficult to avoid angering Influence. It doesn't decide that you are a problem in the same way that you would, so you never know what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong."

-Sherry Cole
Excerpt from
"10 Conspiracy Theories that People Actually Believe,"
Burgs/Fuller, 2005

9: serial

Serial Killer Caught

Tom Banks has been identified as the Third Street Killer. Local law enforcement had been scrambling to put an end to his three month long rampage ever since his first victim, Carla Langley, was found dead in late July.
A citizen who wishes to remain anonymous identified Banks at a supermarket, buying twine, several large water pitchers, and a collection of silverware. The police were notified, and Banks was arrested at 4:05 PM.
The man who caught Banks was clearly distraught by the experience. "I was just waiting in line, and I see the guy that everyone's talking about waiting right in front of me. I didn't know what to think. We talked for a bit, and I motioned to the clerk to call the police. The guy noticed that we recognized him, but he didn't seem to mind. He realized that he had nowhere to go, so he just sat down on the floor and waited.
"Yeah, it was scary. The worst, though, was the stuff he was saying. I don't think I'll ever forget it. 'It was impulsive, but it had to be done. I will forever be their shepherd. I don't think you understand what I mean. I don't know if I do, either. One thing is for certain, though: My work here is done.'"
Banks was responsible for eight deaths.

10: headlights

"You-you-you know that feeling you get when you're dr-dr-driving at night, when you see headlights in your, in your rear view mirror? When you c-can't tell what mmm-model of car it is? Of course you think that it's a-it's a-it's a cop. But that's nn-not what I fear. I fear that it's someone worse. Someone who doesn't ssshhhhow who they are by wearing a blue uniform and a badge. A cop w-w-wants you to know that he's a cop. The mmm-man that follows me doesn't wear a uniform. And he drives a different car every day. He doesn't want me to know that anything is sss-suspicious at all. B-but I've almost c-c-c-caught him. I'll c-catch him ss-soon."

-Bill Stallman
Excerpt from
Paranoid Delusion and the
People it Affects,
Cruz, 2003

11: diner

To whom it may concern,

Once, there was a man who worked at a local diner for years. He never admitted it, but he was endlessly enamored with the "down-home" feel of the place. A real Mom 'n' Pop kind of joint. He came in five times a week, and was close friends with all of the other regular customers and staff. One day, three mobsters showed up in black suits, carrying Berettas and shouting at these people who were eating. The people at the table tried to explain something or another, but in the end, the suited goons executed them all on the spot. The table shined a brilliant crimson, scattered with utensils and death. The man who was working, drenched in sweat and drowning in tears, let out a pitiful cry. "Why have you come to this place? You have spoiled it with your violence and crime." Once of the suited men, casually wiping some blood off of his hand, responded, "Spoiled it? This diner is a front. The mob owns this building."

-The Doctor

12: outlets

"Most people in modern society are astoundingly unaware of the power outlets in their home. A common practice in illegal surveillance is the insertion of tiny microphones or cameras into these power sockets. Chips, scratches, and any other indication of hurried and forceful removal are all clues.

One of the most useful locations in a household, as far as this kind of surveillance is concerned, is the bathroom. Almost every time you're in the bathroom, you're totally alone. This means that the most honest part of your day is spent in there. It's very simple, really: You can understand exactly who a person is rather quickly by seeing how they behave when they think that no one is around."

-Stella Turner
Excerpt from
The Hidden World of
Eavesdropping,
Turner, 2008

13: darkness

To whom it may concern,

I would like to discuss a very interesting concept that stems from the study of Quantum Mechanics. One conclusion that can be drawn is that any time an idea is created, the simple fact that the possibility exists means that a separate universe has been formed in such a way that the idea will be true. More interesting is that once one of these universes begins to exist, it not only exists now, but it has existed forever, and will assumedly continue to exist forever. For example: Imagine a world where there is no light. No sun, no incandescent bulbs, no vision. We could never survive there-life simply wouldn't be supported in the way that we understand it. But imagine anyway that somehow, the people and creatures there survive without seeing. The plants somehow grow without energy from photosynthesis. Simply by imagining this world, you've created a universe where an infinite number of living things are buried in eternal darkness.

-The Doctor

14: story

To whom it may concern,

I have a question for you about the ideas from earlier about Quantum Mechanics: What happens when someone writes a story? Let's say a book focuses on a boy and a girl who meet on a bus and fall in love. Adorable, yeah? But now somewhere, in another instance of the universe, those people would actually have to meet up on that bus. What leads them there? The timing of that day has to be perfect for them to both end up in the same place. But even that is oversimplifying the issue: Why are they even in the city at all? Why did their parents give birth to them? There are an uncountable number of tiny factors that all have to add up. How might a universe (that was created from the viewpoint of a human) make sure that everything happens in exactly the correct sequence?

-The Doctor

15: concealed

"They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them."
-1 John 4:5

"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known."
-Matthew 10:26

16: evil

To whom it may concern,

I hope that you've started to put the pieces together by now: The Influence ensures that the universe's primary purpose is fulfilled. In a universe created as a result of storytelling, that purpose is for the Story to occur as written. But what does that mean? Who actually does the work? The answer is a bit unsettling: It's normal people. It's not emotionless men in suits or horrible creatures from some terrible hole in the darkest corner of your house. It's just average people. I call them Shepherds. Sometimes they work alone. Sometimes they work in groups. Sometimes they know that they're doing a job. Sometimes they don't. And it could be anything. Some Shepherds get an Impulse to buy something. Maybe a car. Maybe a bag of candy. Sometimes they think they're working towards some reasonable goal, like a construction team putting together a building, but really, they're just the universe's personal puppets. Sometimes, though, they know that something is wrong. They get an Impulse to do something horrible. This is when steganography comes into play. A touch of secrecy is necessary when it would appear that all of the evil contained in the most basic part of your psyche is coming out in one glorious instant.

-The Doctor

17: irresponsible

To whom it may concern,

I lied to you earlier. I'm sorry. I'm not a doctor. I was worried that you wouldn't listen to me if I didn't have some kind of impressive background. But no, I'm not a doctor. I'm just a Shepherd. Yeah, yeah. Shock and awe. You want to know what my Impulse was, don't you? I have a lot of stories, but one stands out in my mind: I started a fire in my little dead end of a town in California. A big fire.

The truly distressing part, though, was that I had no idea why I had done it. I was petrified that I had done something wrong. But no, I wasn't an arsonist. I was fate's battered rifle, handled with care and prepped for years so that when the moment finally came, I would be ready to do my job. I can't be held accountable. Saying so would be irresponsible.

-The Shepherd

18: weakness

What is the difference between a decision and an impulse? And what is the difference between a normal impulse and an Influence Impulse? Other than perhaps timing, there's no difference. They are one and the same. In this universe, everything must play out perfectly for the Story to come true. That means that every person must live in exactly the way that is expected of them. The Influence is comprised of every single sentient being on the planet. And this is because only the sentient ones have that key weakness to Impulse. Do you believe that you are capable of making decisions? The spin of the universe has already determined every choice that you will ever make. But what's that feeling that you get when you incorrectly believe that you are making a choice? That's what I refer to as an Impulse. Free Will doesn't exist. We are all Shepherds from the moment we are born. Most of us don't realize it. But I do. We do. Like the blood of a friend, some things never really wash out.

-The Shepherd

19: after

[this area intentionally left blank]

To whom it may concern,

It looks like our time together is almost up, but I have one more revelation regarding the nature of our universe. If everything is building up to the Story, what happens after the Story successfully occurs? There would be no more constraint, which means no more Impulses. No more Influence. No more Shepherds. It would signal the birth of true Free Will. But then, here's the problem. When it finally happens, will we be able to tell? What if it already has?

-The Shepherd

20: final

Dear reader,

When I first came to understand The Influence, I spent quite a while in denial. It couldn't be true. It mustn't be. Sounded like the words of a madman.

Having studied enough, I can now say with confidence that there is no other explanation.

I suppose the least I can do is find a way to distribute this knowledge.

-A friend

credit

You solved all the puzzles already? I have to give you credit-That was some excellent work.

Hope you got as much of a kick out of the documents as I did.
-Eli

Design by Eli Piilonen
Audio by David Carney

Sponsored by Armor Games

My thoughts:

[Document 16] outlines the Big Idea: the universe exists in order to make real a particular idea. Our universe is just one of a number of parallel universes [13, 14]. In order to do this, the universe must be entirely deterministic [18], at least until the idea has been realised [19]. [11] appears to foreshadow these revelations.
In order to ensure that things happen as they should, ordinary people (Shepherds) get impulses (intrusive thoughts or commands comparable to what are described as compulsions in the language of psychiatry), from something called The Influence [2], to do things [8]. [15] appears to refer to these Shepherds. The truth is hidden so well because the universe seems to go on as normal [5, 6] and people appear to have free will.

This viewpoint can be used to explain otherwise baffling crimes [7, 9] especially those that have altered the direction of the world [4].

Alternatively, this is all just a conspiracy theory [7] that you would be mad to believe [10]. Or it's all a work of fiction anyway [1].

We learn that the person who discovered all this about the universe was responsible for starting a fire in his home town [17], acting on the impulses he/she received. He/she has been calling themself a doctor to get your attention.

All this information passed through the hands of "A friend" [20], possibly the "anonymous internet user" [Introduction], who gave it to Eli Piilonen, who has distributed it to you [credit]. I've been an instrument in this process. Oh no, now I feel used...

On a simpler level

It seems a lot like Eli Piilonen needed some form of reward for solving the puzzles, so decided to create this hybrid sort of game to tell an interesting tale at the same time as presenting some puzzles to solve.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Anonymous April 12, 2011 8:47 PM

did everything but riddle three...little help?

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Thanks for doing that, Tom. While not a walkthrough, per se, I've added it to our walkthrough section above the comments for easy reference.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Thanks Jay!

Couple of typos to correct please:

4: "tkae" -> "take"
9: "nowehre" -> "nowhere"
16: "psyche out" -> "psyche is coming out"

@Aexis

Yes, that's how I solved it. Probably the only way to solve it.

[Typos fixed. -Jay]

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Aaargh, the avoidance games. Getting killed in one hit wasn't any fun in Viricide either. I guess I can play the rest of the levels and read the walkthrough for those documents -- thanks, Tom!

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I had a different solution for river round three than Tom and Aexis. No screenshot but here's the basic idea:

Put a well more or less dead center, and put two wells diagonally going to each source in an inverted "v." You'll have to fiddle around to get the streams going in the right direction, but the two pairs of wells at the bottom will send the streams into the center with great force, and then the central well will just barely get them the rest of the way.

It's got a nice foreboding atmosphere, but there doesn't seem to be much link between the puzzles and the text. One great thing about the Company of Myself were that the gameplay and the story were very tightly integrated. Figuring out the last rotation level was fun. As for the avoidance games, just not my bag (and not for people with trackpads, maybe).

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Night Stryke Author Profile Page April 13, 2011 12:18 AM

Uh, are some of the colors in rotary round four green? I seem to have it right but it didn't take me back to the menu; I'm red-green colorblind, and it may be that some of what look to me like yellow bars are actually green...

That or it bugged out. The music did change when I thought I should have won.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

@Tom: Regarding your "On a simpler level" spoiler:

C'mon...in this crowd, a simple "Yay, you solved the puzzles!" splash screen would have been reward enough. :-D

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Thanks, Fritware, for your very fine hints! And thanks Tom for your transcriptions!

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Bunnehwyld April 13, 2011 4:20 AM

I'm curious... the game mentions steganography. Has anyone tried piecing together the "document" pictures using an image editor, and then doing a steganography-based analysis of them? I don't have the know-how to do it myself, or I would. There might be more to the game hidden in them...

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Citrustang April 13, 2011 5:24 AM

Got everything except Avoidance 3 + 4. Those are pretty frustrating.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Whats the second riddle?
The first riddle

"Gallows/Noose". Fits the neck pretty well and kills the bad guys. Pretty good guess even if I say so myself. :P

the third riddle

Newspaper. o.O

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Anonymous April 13, 2011 8:49 AM

I don't know about what this is about, but I noticed something.

In document 19, at the very end it mentions the blood of a friend. And then on document 20, it refers to you as a friend.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Fritware Author Profile Page April 13, 2011 8:49 AM

To round out my hints on the riddles, here's a set for Riddle Three:

Hint 1:

This riddle is a bit confusing, because it's not entirely clear whether you're trying to identify the "stack" or the items that make up the "stack." It's the latter.

Hint 2:

Three letters of the answer appear in a three-letter word in the riddle.

Hint 3:

If you ever paid for this item, you probably don't any longer, because you, the puzzle solver, clearly have access to a computer.

Hint 4:

The items in the stack might also be sold or given away on the sidewalk, or, depending on where you live, thrown randomly onto your front lawn.

Hint 5:

What's black and white and read all over...? Except that most of them are in color now?

Answer:

"Newspaper"

And a set for Riddle One:

Hint 1:

The sad ones choose to use it -- the bad ones do not.

Hint 2:

The people who use this generally have something in common with a grammatically incorrect participle.

Hint 3:

The people who use this are sometimes described as dancing, but they're doing it alone and not having much fun.

Hint 4:

This item is indeed adjustable, but only if tied properly.

Answer:

"Noose" ("Gallows" also works, I'm told.)

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

@Ayush --

I provided hints and an answer for this one up above in response to your query yesterday.

-- F.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
argyblarg Author Profile Page April 13, 2011 4:25 PM

@Bunnehwyld

Stenography is kind of one of my hobbies, so I did exactly what you mentioned. I put the image to every kind of test I know (I'll spare the details), and there's really nothing I can find. Just because it claims it's a secret message doesn't mean it is.

@Betty

I really don't think so. I think it is exactly what it appears to be; four mini-games (not counting riddles) surrounded by ARG-ish "documents".

Of course, I'd love to be proven wrong...

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I don't think there is any way to present a logical argument against the ideas presented.

A Note:

"Noose" works for the first riddle too.

-T

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Seems a good game - too bad it's only the "rotary" part that really interests me, the others not that much... Especailly the "river" segment - seems genuine pixel hunt - to find "that one pixel" to click...

bio

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

@ Night Stryke: Yes, Rotary 4 has six colors:

Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Magenta, Cyan.

Among the things that make this game hard are the low resolution pixels and the darkness and close hues of the colors. Green & Cyan are fairly close together in hue, as well as Red & Magenta.

Though I have a general method of solution for it, I don't know if it would work for the colorblind.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

The general solution to Rotary 4 (with example images) is this:

Start.
Note: this shows the random initial conditions can include a wholly-solved triangle, as well as several 2/3-solved ones.

1. Find all the triangles that have two like-colored sides, and rotate them such that their different-colored sides face the circle.

Done. (Upper-left (cyan) triangle solved)

2. Now for the unsolved triangles (three different colors). Rotate the circle until an unsolved triangle becomes 2/3-solved, and rotate it so its different-colored side faces the circle. Repeat until all the triangles are 2/3-solved and in this orientation.

Done. (From previous: circle 2x CCW, then top left triangle 1x CW)
Note: the top right triangle is now only 2/3-solved, in the state cyan-cyan-green.

3. Next some quick solves. Look at the current state of the triangles, and see how many are solved. Next, rotate the circle 1x CW and check again. Then again, and again, and again, and again. Rotate one more time and you're back to the first number, where you were initially.

From the sequence of six numbers you just got, find the one with the largest number of solved triangles and rotate to it. (I generally get 3.)

Previous picture. (Sequence: 0-3-1-1-1-0)
Done. (Rotated to second position)

4. At this point it comes to shifting the edges around (very carefully) so the ones currently solved remain solved. I'm not sure exactly how to describe this part, but the procedure is somewhat as follows:

Rotate the circle in one direction,
Rotate the triangle containing your edge ("your edge" being the edge you're moving) such that your edge is not facing the circle,
Rotate the circle in the other direction,
Rotate the triangle containing your edge back towards the circle,
Repeat.

A solve.
Edge switch.
Finished.

There are similar ways to solve Rotary 1, 2, & 3, but they're not quite as hard as Rotary 4.

What I think is interesting is when a game comes up like this with a particular puzzle, occasionally an entire permutation methodology and vocabulary is created by the community to solve it.

I hope that isn't a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Sean Collier Author Profile Page April 13, 2011 6:02 PM

I enjoyed the documents, but agree with those that feel cheated at the lack of a payoff...if you're going to go to all that trouble, why not have it add up to something?

I also have a weird beef with the riddles - I know it might be too big of a help, but keep with a theme.

I got noose and newspaper, camera/photo was too vague, but it fits. But password is out of left field in comparison.

Did enjoy it enough to blow off a good bit of work, though.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

"Route" Solutions

Route - Round 1

This is solvable in a lot of ways. This is the intuitive, simple solution.

Make an outward square spiral in the same direction as the rings, starting by going up, then right. Don't worry if you miss any rings on the way out; just ensure the spiral is wide enough for your return and you should be able to catch them on the way back.

Route - Round 2

This is left-to-right mirror-solvable, so you can reverse the instructions in those directions.

Move up into the row of rings, then to the left and up into one arch of the "m". Edge left and go back down out of the arch. Go left again, then up and right. Go down while staying close to the edge of the "m" so that you can return. Move left, into the arch, left, back down, and then move back around CCW to the exit.

Route - Round 3

There's only one path here.

From the start, move right to the intersection; then take the following directions at each consecutive intersection to get all the rings and get to the exit:

U R D D D L U L D L U U R U L.

Route - Round 4

There are two paths for this one. Both are the same length. I'm only giving one.

Edge to the left until you collect the first ring, then move down, right and down the middle path. From there, take these directions at each intersection:

R U L U L D D.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

While reading the first several documents, I became convinced

there's hidden message in them (e.g. using steganography). I'm a little less certain, now that I've read them all and they provide a pretty interesting tale at face value. Anybody had any luck finding anything?

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Menschenjaeger April 14, 2011 2:50 PM

Rated very highly. Mystery, enough challenge to keep my going (annoying when I figured out the "trick" for riot 4 right out of the gate, though! :D), unique puzzles. The only minus was the presentation of the documents. I was seasick after reading just a few. :D Still working on the final riddle.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

I would love to know how/ where to get the music to this wonderful game. Unless it's very obvious and I'm being ignorant without knowing it, if anyone has got/ knows where to get the music, then please tell me.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Cerulean Flame April 15, 2011 1:48 AM

Loved this game, and I thought it was easy :o

I've this feeling that if there is any stenography involved, it's gotta do with letters, not pictures (hence no results from our resident stenographer here). Maybe every 5th/10th letter etc, or some code word or something. I've no experience in this kind of things. Anyone up for it? :D

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

Oh, wow. My solutions are in the walkthrough section!

Thanks, Jay!

On another note, I don't think I commented yet on the game itself.

The music definitely fit the atmosphere. At about the time I thought it was getting repetitive, it changed the loop. I did get a bit unsettled by that loud knocking sound in the one, though...

Personally, the games were only difficult physically. There was not much of a mental difficulty curve. In order from easiest to hardest (personally), they were:

Route (got a little harder),
Riddle (if anything the difficulty curve went down),
Rotary (about the same until 4),
Riot (primarily annoying),
River (high the whole time).

And, as was said before, the games lack some consistency. I mean, most people can probably think themselves through the 4 Routes in one try, but solving the first two Riddles was like a shot in the dark.

And they obviously have nothing to do with the storyline.

But I don't think the focus was really put on the minigames themselves, so much as on their use as key to unlock the mysterious documents (all of which I read, and unfortunately almost took seriously until 'credit'). For that, at least, it is a good game.

However, I agree with, well, all of you that the document viewing interface was disappointing. When no attention was spared to the detail anywhere else, I expected to see at least a scrollable Submachine-style doc viewer. And since I can read rather fast, I ended up moving the thing back and forth repeatedly and hurting my eyes.

As a whole, though, I enjoyed it, and as the review states, it stayed novel for a decent period of time.

Oh, and the rotate-to-begin start screen reminded me of Coil.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
lorenzolamas April 17, 2011 1:47 PM

Note 6 talks about stenography, and at the end of the note it suggest that the note itself has a secret message too. Has anyone been able to decode the secret message in the note?
I have a feeling that some of the other notes that begin with "to whom it may concern" may also be examples of stenography.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
argyblarg Author Profile Page April 18, 2011 4:54 PM

@Cerulean Flame, @lorenzolamas

I do think any hidden message would have to be within the text itself. But I'm still not convinced there is any...

...since even careless randomness eclipses the world of real deduction.

Did that sound stilted? That's because I hid a message in there

look at the first letter of every word

The problem I have with thinking there's a pattern to the letters or words, is that you usually find "tell words"---words that sound stilted or strange because they're an essential part of the hidden message. Only one set of words sounds the tiniest bit unnatural: "and so might they try to crack it" which I believe is an honest typo, or just odd word choice.

I wrote a program to show only every first, second, third, etc. letter. The result: Nothing interesting. Taking evenly spaced letters yields gibberish.

So, then I modified it to show every other word, every third word, and so on. Now, some of the "documents" yielded amusing results, but not, in my mind, meaningful ones.

Examples:

  • What tell a try world comprehend unexplainable more is looking.

  • Steganography alternative is just is it. don't found to commercial message.

  • Once, admitted real friends up people suited with tears, spoiled blood owns

Now, we could look at the second letter of every second word, the third letter of every fifth word, or some obscure combination, but the problem there is "why"? If something is hidden in there, the author intended us to find it (the intention wouldn't have been to create such a complicated scheme no one could ever crack it).

So I still don't think there's anything in there (but, again, would like to be wrong).

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

After doing research on the documents there is in fact a conspiracy all the newspaper acticle are real and more than names mentioned have actully been shot by "police" in cases that have been falsify ex:Kathryn Johnston all of the documents add up but it still might be... a work of fiction

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
Anonymous May 23, 2011 2:05 AM

Maybe some one could try something with Stenography r's and 5 5 6 6 4 (route river riddle rotary)

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply
catastrophic.heart Author Profile Page May 11, 2012 9:22 PM

I've got a screenshot for level four river.

[IMG]http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f307/tonig222/Untitled.png[/IMG]

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

Leave a comment [top of page]

    Please consider creating a Casual Gameplay account if you're a regular visitor here, as it will allow us to create an even better experience for you. Sign-up here!
  • PLEASE UNDERSTAND SITE POLICIES BEFORE POSTING COMMENTS
  • You may use limited HTML tags for style:
    (a href, b, br/, strong, em, ul, ol, li, code, spoiler)
    HTML tags begin with a less-than sign: < and end with a greater-than sign: >. Always. No exceptions.
  • To post spoilers, please use spoiler tags: <spoiler> example </spoiler>
    If you need help understanding spoiler tags, read the spoiler help.
  • Please Preview your comment before posting, especially when using spoilers!
  • No link dropping, no domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! (rel="nofollow" in use)

Recent Comments

 

Display 5 more comments
Limit to the last 5 comments

Casual game of the week

Nevertales: Shattered Image

Browser game of the week

Escape to Hell

Mobile game of the week

Nautilus Escape

Your Favorite Games edit

add
Save links to your favorite games here. Use the Favorites editor.

Popular on JiG


The Room

Virtual Villagers: Origins

Submachine 9: The Temple

Surgeon Simulator 2013

The House 2

Papa's pastaria

Fireboy and Watergirl 4: The Crystal Temple

Fireboy and Watergirl 3: The Ice Temple

Moonchild

The Royal Trap

Loren the Amazon Princess

1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum

Magical Diary

Heileen Series

Visit our great partner: maxcdn!

Monthly Archives

Legal notice

All games mentioned or hosted and images appearing on JayIsGames are Copyright their respective owner(s).

All other content is Copyright ©2003-2014 JayIsGames.com. All Rights Reserved.