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Sean

Oneshot

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I discovered this RPG Maker game entirely by accident the other day when I was browsing through a list of video game OSTs on Bandcamp. Of course, the cute kitty character you see in the above pic stood out to me like most cute fictional characters do, and obviously I wanted to play something with such an adorable lead!

I had no idea what the fuck I was getting myself into.

Oneshot is a game about Niko (who apparently has no confirmed gender), a cat-like child who wakes up in the middle of the night in an unknown abandoned house. From there, they...

... Well, honestly, I think I'll let you find out for yourselves. Oneshot isn't just a story about Niko; it's a game about a choice. The creators cite Yume Nikki as an influence, and although Oneshot doesn't play quite like it, it has very similar vibes. It's not outright horror, but it gets under your skin and leaves with you with a lingering sense of paranoia. There is an ever-present feeling that something just isn't quite right, and you get that within the first few minutes of the story. It also has an unprecedented emotional depth that caught me by surprise. I finished the game today, and despite its length I'm unlikely to forget about it for a really long time.

I'm trying to keep the majority of Oneshot a mystery to you guys, because I think one should go into this game unspoiled. However, I'll give you a tip: DO NOT close the game and leave early. It's imperative that you keep this in mind and set aside a block of time when you can play chunks of the story uninterrupted. There are a few areas where Niko can sleep in a bed and suspend progress until the next time you load up the game. It's recommended that you do this even if you plan on finishing it in a single sitting, and you'll see what I mean when you get to those points.

There is also something you should keep in mind once you finish the game. Spoiler-tagged with some minor story details:

You cannot replay Oneshot after completing it.

There are two endings to the game, which can be chosen with an end-of-game question. After the credits roll, you can try to boot up the game again and you'll find you cannot start over. It doesn't even matter if you delete the game and reinstall it; the ending you have chosen is your permanent outcome. This is what I meant earlier when I said that Oneshot is a game about a choice. You have one shot.

For those who want to replay the game, there is a way to do so.

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I've been meaning to play this game after someone who made an OFF Fangame recommended and reblogged stuff about this game.

 

After OFF, I've been pretty interested in creepy RPG Maker games, so as of now, this is on my large list of games I'll need to get through. Seeing as how I wont be doing much this summer, I'll definitely check it out in the neat future.

 

Also, the protagonist looks adorable.

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You know, having finished the game, it's only now that I'm reminded of another experiment of this type, I think it was You Only Have Once Chance on Newgrounds? I'll be frank, I thought that was complete and utter crap. This on the other hand, plays the concept so damned brilliantly by comparison - partly because it's not so damned predictable, and partly because it actually thinks to develop endearing characters, and a protagonist that you can actually grow pretty damned attached to through some really clever mechanics and mindgames, as well as some things that I'll agree are best discovered in a completely blind playthrough.

 

Despite that, I'll go into some more huge spoilery things, with the disclaimer that you should probably only read it if you've finished the game:

 

There is only barely a fourth wall in this game. And I don't mean that in the sense that it occasionally pretends to know about the person behind the screen:

this game literally knows your motherfucking name. And a mindfuck like that sets the score for a lot of the game's tone - you and Niko bounce questions back and fourth, asking about each other's worlds and stuff, and it's really sobering to feel like there's actually a living world on the other side, and that Niko's a living being you're guiding at any given moment.

 

A world you can abandon to rot and decay, and a life you can literally end at any moment simply by closing the game without saving.

 

On one hand, this seems to go against a lot of basic curiousities and instincts I have. I genuinely wanted to know what would happen if Niko touched the pixelly square mist stuff, despite the game outright stating that anything that touches it disappears. And though I had a sneaking suspicion that the mysterious fourth-wall-breaking entity was lying when he said smashing the bulb would bring Niko back home, it still nags at the back of my head that I'll never know for sure. I even considered closing the game just to see what would happen when I came back. But because of the effort the developer has put into making the characters and world so relatable that they honestly felt real in their own sense, I still felt like a monster for even considering killing people just to satisfy some inane curiousity I would usually reserve for a checklist of endings most other games would limit themselves to.

 

There really needs to be more games that inspire this kind of empathy. Holy. Fucking. Shit.

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^Completely agreed and I'm glad someone was reminded of that pretentious Newgrounds game and how Oneshot does it so much better. You also described the emotional investment pitch-perfectly, which I neglected to explain in detail in my own post

I actually did the exploit I mentioned in order to see the second, "worse" ending, where Niko breaks the bulb, out of sheer curiosity. It's definitely worth seeing on its own for technical reasons, but with the first ending I was overcome with an insane amount of guilt and really wanted to see what would happen if Niko really did go home, and judge whether it'd make me feel better.

...

It... didn't.

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I'm thinking about giving this game a shot sometime later in the summer when I don't have much to do. It's really intriguing how the game handles it's storytelling. To me, Video Games are all about the player interacting with it's mechanics, lore, and characters.

 

Seeing a game where you are the character's guidance and they directly talk to you is something that seems really cool in any video game. When you go to the exit points in the game, and then play it again, you'll get to see a dream that Niko had, and when he wakes up, he asks you questions, questions that immerse you in the game. He'll ask questions about the world we live in, and what it's like there. Hell, this is something that would totally fit in something like a TellTale project. Totally.

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Abort everything, because Oneshot's (Extended) Steam release is coming soon. Steam release is gonna be published by DegiGames, and will have new content and changed mechanics. Still no date, but it's definitely real soon. Nightmargin will be at Katsucon to promote the game, and Mat will be at the IndieMEGABooth showing the game.

AND TRAILER

I interviewed Night awhile ago on the game, which you can check out here. If you don't like ads and weird wordpress stuff, here are a few things she talked about;

Quote

Me: Alright, that’s pretty cool!
You are currently working on a new release for Oneshot, a game you worked on with Mathew Velasquez! For those curious, would you like to maybe share some small details on the things that you’ll touch up on (change, revise, add) in the new version?

That is correct! Mat and I have been working on the extended version of the game for commercial release for quite a while now. We’re focusing on 3 things: 1) Redesigning/streamlining one of the areas due to player feedback 2) Putting in the content that didn’t make the original cut (there’s a lot! we had to significantly shorten two areas to meet the deadline) and 3) Oneshot was originally only meant to be played once, which is a mechanic unsuitable for a commercial game. We’ve been working on postgame segments that will keep the spirit of the original ending’s impact over multiple playthroughs. There will be a few mysteries to uncover, for sure!

Note: The area in question is the first one, the Barrens.

Get hypeeeeeed

Game's Store Page should be here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/420530/ Currently doesn't work atm

According to a rep the Steam Store Page is going to appear starting next week

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Oneshot was a very memorable game, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't seem like something that I'd pay money for - and not just because it was only originally designed to be played once. I don't doubt them when they say they had to cut a lot of content either, but at the same time I'm not convinced it'll last more than, like, three days at the most even when extended.

But if it helps with exposure, hey, power to them. Everyone needs to play Oneshot. Everyone.

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I didn't realize there was cut content to begin with. I thought Oneshot was a complete experience and its literal lack of replayability stood out as a good choice. I'm not certain if I'll be jumping at the opportunity to buy this game right away until I learn what the new features are.

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The real justification is that those mechanics aren't suitable as a commercial release. I do think there's a lot of potential to explore in post-game elements for something like OneShot, so I'm not as worried about it's original mechanics missing.

Also, a lot of what's changing is mostly content-wise; I don't think this was said in the interview but Night has mentioned before that the game was being completely rewritten from the ground up.

Here's a full checklist from what I can gather of what's currently known?

  • -The Barrens (First Area) will be completely redesigned due to player feedback.
  • -The City (Second to Last area of the game) looks like it'll contain completely new characters and plot points, and possibly changes on the map.
  • -Game will be replayable versus the original, and will be compensated with post-game elements and your consequences affecting future playthroughs. Dunno how that's gonna work :/
  • -New tunes for them soundtrack
  • -Rewritten content
  • -Will benefit from Steam-integrated features I dunno

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24 minutes ago, 风之Klonoa said:

The real justification is that those mechanics aren't suitable as a commercial release. I do think there's a lot of potential to explore in post-game elements for something like OneShot, so I'm not as worried about it's original mechanics missing.

In which case my concern is that the game will lack the same charm as a commercial release, the charm that drew me into the game and kept me thinking about it for weeks after I had finished. I'm not against these changes but I can't claim interest in revisiting it when the original version of the game was a completely done deal for me and was satisfying enough as it was.

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OneShot's Steam release is officially out on Steam at $10 ($9 for launch discount)

http://store.steampowered.com/app/420530

This is everything I could had asked for out of a Steam Release. The writing is completely different and I've been non-stop gushing over the cute interactions you can now have with Niko, the UI and sound design have vastly changed for the better (+ Controller support!), reworked but familiar puzzles from the get go, and so much more story in the game. If you enjoyed any ounce of the original, you will absolutely love the steam release. Regarding the major mechanics that's changed, here's a spoilers for that:

Spoiler

- You no longer only have one shot but the game will treat your playthrough as such. Playing it again will change character reactions and have some decisions and actions carried from previous playthroughs.

- You cannot kill Niko anymore (^_^), closing the game lets you auto save anywhere. Niko will react to this poorly. Beds are still present with their same functionality.

- Way more interactions with updated NPCs and more dialogue when attempting to combine objects or use objects on something.

- The first area in the game (Barrens) is completely modified, with characters being in different places and completely new buildings being present

- The third area (The City) is much more expansive and has way more characters and puzzles to solve.

Note: Windows 7 users may experience crashing towards the end of the game, which is currently being fixed at the moment.

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