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waterborne

An atmospheric horror short visual novel about a cabin-in-the-woods weekend where things go predictably wrong


LATEST UPDATE 0.2.2 – added a cabin free roam mode!

Waterborne 0.2 update: This version of the game built without game jam time limit constraints (Spooktober 3rd Annual Visual Novel Jam) more fully realises the original vision. It contains significantly more dialogue and choices; an alternate ending; several minigame portions; revised and expanded point and click section; a new puzzle to solve.; plus an achievement system has been implemented.

SYNOPSIS

Sam is abruptly woken in the middle of the night by a phone alarm obnoxiously blasting Beethoven's Fifth in their ear. Now wide awake with rain from an unexpected storm heavily drumming against the window, they decide getting back to sleep is futile and get up. Sam soon discovers that all is not well, and their cabin-in-the-woods weekend with friends starts feeling suspiciously like a horror movie.

ABOUT

Waterborne is lazytiger’s first attempt at game dev. It is an atmospheric horror short visual novel with a focus on narrative, dialogue and immersion. It revels in pop culture, broadly referencing movies, music and video games, especially survival horror. The game was originally created as a submission for the "Spooktober 3rd Annual Visual Novel Jam". It was shortlisted among 35 other games out of 114 entries with highly positive reviews from those that played it.

The game is still in development and requires more polish and refinement. Galleries and other bonus extras are yet to be implemented. But from a ‘story experience’ perspective, the game is largely complete.

Comments and feedback regarding the game are welcomed. Feel free to link any lets plays or reviews etc. Very interested to see/hear/read reactions to the game. If you'd like updates to this game or other lazytiger projects, you can follow here or on twitter

FEATURES

  • Thought provoking storyline
  • Unique watercolour art style
  • Atmospheric immersive sound design
  • 7500 word count
  • Estimated 60 mins of playtime
  • Two endings
  • Point and click exploration area
  • Light puzzle section
  • Achievement implementation

CREDITS

Made by lazytiger using Ren'Py

Sounds sourced from freesound.org 

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

waterborne-0.3-win.zip 231 MB
waterborne-0.3-linux.tar.bz2 218 MB
waterborne-0.3-mac.zip 215 MB

Development log

Comments

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(+1)

Really good. Really liked the mystery that was so obvious yet so impacting.


Thank you for this.

Thank you for taking the time to  play and comment! Really means a lot.

Had a great time with this game!  Great puzzles and atmosphere!

Kiiinda felt like you hated it :D But that's okay, can't please everyone. Thanks for taking the time to play it and sharing your video. Appreciate your feedback.

No way!  I was emotionally invested in the characters, I saw myself in their place!  My commentary can be a little sharp, but I promise you I dug your Visual Novel quite a bit!

(+1)

This was such a great novel too! The way the conversation flowed between the characters actually seemed real and there was so much personality! The art was really nice and the way things were ramped up; like the ending as well as the raincoat was well done!

Only thing that I would say that wasn't as well inclined towards would be the fact that the rain was the reason why everything was happening as well as how this all started; having some sort of backstory or reason for the rain to behave the way it does would give everything a good foundation and solidify the story more, and also the realisation of the rain being the big bad seemed really sudden and I felt like there wasn't much lead up to that except the few words at the start of the story (That might just be me though.) The plot hole for this is where Misty is indoors when she becomes zombielike whereas the rest of the gang had to go outside for that to happen to them.

But the rest of the game was made really well! The puzzle wasn't too complicated and it was pretty challenging but just easy enough to figure out; the stars being on the barrel and the 'Time Machine' written on the lock do push the players to keep an eye and and explore around at the start of the game, which I think is is a really cool! 

The references and connections were pretty nice and so was the story about the smelly suit that eventually payed off at the end!

Overall it was a beautiful novel and a great story and it was really fun to play! From the version of the game file, I'm assuming that this is just the 0.2th version, so hope there's more because your stories really are compelling and you do a really good job at creating an environment and ramping up the creepy factor and doing payoffs in stories! Good luck for future updates and games and do take care

(+1)

Thanks again for a great review and for sharing your play through. Looking forward to watching it.

Fair call on your thoughts regarding the water. Personally, I like my 'big bads' being mysterious and under-explained. I like when stories only give minimal information and leave the rest to the imagination. But it is possible this was UNDER under explained. So I definitely can't say you're wrong.

I will however, respond to "The plot hole for this is where Misty is indoors when she becomes zombielike whereas the rest of the gang had to go outside for that to happen to them", and point out that the roof was leaking in Misty's room which was the source of her exposure.

As for this game, I am essentially considering it 'done'. I'm intending to add some more extras like a gallery etc to polish it up as a package. But the visual novel itself it complete in my eyes. I'm intending to work on a Waterborne 2 at some stage and continue theme but not necessarily the characters. But that's all way down the track.

Anyways, thanks again for you playing and the time taken to do what you've done. It's very much appreciated!

(+1)

Oh, I'm so sorry, I completely forgot the bucket of water! That was a nice small hint to what happened to Misty now that I remember it! And can't wait for the next game and what you have in store; good luck and hope developing it goes smoothly!

(1 edit)

I had so much fun with this game. At first, I thought it would be a conversation visual novel but I love that there are so many routes and options you can choose. I can tell that so much work and effort went into this and I love how unsettling it became. This is really great work.

(+1)

How I managed to not know about this game for almost three months is a crime that I have set out to make up for by finally playing it.

Waterborne starts off as an unsuspecting night out in the woods as you awake in a dimly lit cabin with the sound of rain and Beethoven. After a myriad of puns and looking through the area, you're able to meet Jordan, a lovely young woman who tests your knowledge of video game music by playing snippets on the guitar. You soon learn through your conversations that the night was more eventful than you first thought, and the real story begins from there. I'll leave my brief description at that. It's worth finding out what happens for yourself.

I found out about LazyTiger's work through their short game "Stevens", and that game was unable to prepare me for the level of quality that Waterborne has to offer. From the artwork that is incredibly stylistic and makes everything pop to life, to the dialogue that is crafted to feel natural for the most part. My playtime came to just over an hour, and I was able to complete both endings with some help from the game's creator on Twitter. I didn't realize you could keep going with some dialogue options at the end to change the outcome.

What you end up with is a great short story that has more room to be expanded on in the future. The narrative and characters are intriguing and leave you wanting to know more. Different parts of the game reminded me of some of my favorite media such as Gravity Falls, and Life is Strange or perhaps an Escape Room. I hope to see a continuation, or at least more games like this in the future!

Thank you so much for the kind words! I am actually a little low key bummed that my silly five minute cat game has so much more attention than my 'genuine attempt at dev' game. But it has cute cat power so it's to be expected :D I'm glad it brought at least one person over. Super happy you enjoyed it! Thank you for your comments and lets play. Means a lot!

(+1)

I wouldn't feel too bad about Stevens being more popular, it's really short and playable in the browser which makes it easy to get into.  Waterborne getting more attention in the future I think is just a matter of getting your name out there. Once people associate your work with quality games, you'll build up a following. I'm definitely looking forward to whatever projects you release in the future.

You are very kind, sir! I appreciate it.

(+1)

This game is beautiful and creepy!!!!! Loved the story and visuals!!!! Got serious "Happening" vibes from it too, which succeeded in freaking me out!!! Looking forward to additional updates for this game!!!!

Note: Regarding the issue listed above, I personally did not experience any during my gameplay. And my comp is usually loves to lag, but I didn't have any issues with this (except rain volume compared to my mic audio, but that's my fault).

Here is my play through, in case anyone is interested!!!

(+1)

Thank you so much for your feedback! And taking the time to make and upload a play through! Very much appreciated. It's so great to see how people react to the game for the first time. And not just the atmosphere, but  to little bits of dialogue and whether people pick up on some of the subtler things in there.

And thanks for your feedback on the lag issue. I could see it didn't affect you in your video. It's seems pretty random whether it's going to be a problem or not in any given case. So, welcome to game development, me. I guess :D

Anyways, thanks again!

(+1)

This is such a gorgeous visual novel! The story was so compelling, and honestly, I'd play more. ALSO, the point and click section is perfect, one of my favorite mechanics to see in VNs.

Thank you! I also love me some point and click :D I've started working on the puzzle section that didn't make it into the game jam build. And just generally fleshing everything out a bit more so it feels like a bit more of complete experience. Hoping I'll have it done by the end of the year.

(+1)

Oh, how I loved this story!!! It's mysterious, creepy, and compelling. The ending was just right to make me jump back👀👌 It was really good and I enjoyed it a lot.

Also, the characters are cool and the art is so pretty. Everything is very polished. Awesome work 🤗❤️

(+1)

Thank you so much for your kind words! Very much appreciated. 

Do you have an entry in the game jam? I'm very gradually working my way through the entries. I'm a pretty slow reader :D

(+1)

🥰❤️❤️

Yes, I have a entry. It is Colorful MIRAI Spooky Edition. But oh gosh I totally understand. I'm also trying to play it all but there's so many and it's all do good 😩👌👌❤️

(+1)

Ah, cool! I will try and prioritise that one. And yeah, all the goodness is pretty overwhelming :D

(+1)

I saw Cupahnoodle streaming this a few days ago! Everything about the artwork, music and UI is stellar, and the story is also really great. I found the ending a bit abrupt though, so I'm glad this is part of a larger story and I'm looking forward to more!

The Cup stream was good times! And yeah... the ending was supposed to be more of a 'come to your own conclusion' but it just felt like a cliffhanger. Definitely needs work. But thanks for your kind comments, much appreciated!

(1 edit) (-1)

Amazing story dev 


Thanks. But that ain't my game.

(+1)

omg my bad lol i was uploading 2 videos and mixed them lol but now it's ur game

Ah, I see. Wasn't sure if you were trolling :D Thanks for playing and taking the time to upload the playthrough. Cheers!

(+1)

Thank you :D

(4 edits) (+1)

The art style is gorgeous, everything looks tidy and the atmosphere... magic. My only issue is the point-and-click screen. I see you made imagebuttons but they are quite slow to show up, try hover not auto, maybe this will speed it up. Nonetheless, can't wait for the next part of the story, you got me quite hooked up for it.

(+1)

Edit: Tried it myself and didn't help, so I believe the issue is drawing lots of buttons on top of background. No major issue tho. Good job

(+1)

Thank you for your kind words, much appreciated! And interesting you had that problem. I also had it on my 11 year old Mac Pro, but my 2014 Mac laptop and Windows PC worked flawlessly so I just assumed it was an old hardware problem. I will definitely have to look into optimisation. Thanks for the feedback!

(+1)

Really atmospheric and immersive experience with a really compelling story. Had genuine chills while playing this. Can’t wait to experience the full version when it’s ready!!

Thank you kindly!