Wake up, get dressed, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, go to work. A true horror story.

A game about mental health.

Made for Spelkollektivet's 2019 Halloween Game Jam!

The main theme was Horror, and the sub-themes were: Archenemy, Profession, Personal.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Mental health, depression, anxiety, self-loathing, dysphoria, eating disorders

The theme we chose was: Personal + Archenemy

We hope you enjoy playing this game :)

You only need a mouse and a keyboard that has the Z key.


If you like this game, be sure to check out our other game, Death and Taxes, also dealing with serious topics over here: 
https://placeholdergameworks.itch.io/death-and-taxes


Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Paper Cages WINDOWS 23 MB
Paper Cages MAC 23 MB
Paper Cages LINUX 23 MB

Development log

Comments

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(+1)

5/5

(+2)

I give up, seem like I can't win this. Is it an hour long game? Ughhhhh my typing speeeeeeeeeeeed I caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan't :(

(+2)

Same here same here lol

(+1)(-1)

Interesting game for sure. I also liked the overall message of the game. Thanks for an enjoyable play!

(+3)

I uh, should've read the warnings before I started, lol!

This game was really cool! The concept and design were really nice, and as a person with depression (as well as anxiety and dysphoria, woo!) it felt very real and relatable. The frustration and disgust in particular is 100% accurate to my experience. And I appreciate the message at the end. 

That said, I do think the positive message is slightly overshadowed by the jumpscare and scary movie vibes right after the player admits their depression. That moment is what took me aback and while I liked it, I feel like leaning so heavily on the 'depression is scarier than any boogie man monster' concept is counter-productive for some if you're trying to send an encouraging message.  I definitely felt more anxious about the in-game scary thing at that moment than the real life reminder the game was trying to give me. Also, the prompt to get dressed on day two feels kinda broken? I understand they're supposed to be way harder, but every other prompt on day two was either doable or, once failed, still progressed the dialogue. I had to try to get dressed 10+ times before it worked. 

Overall though, this was really cool. I love the art style, the cat, the gradual shift in colors as you fail activities on day two, the self-talk loop... this is a very intimate portrayal of mental illness that I think will make people who struggle with it feel seen and people who don't have a slightly better understanding of it. And as a horror fan, I'm enjoying the trend of people sympathetically incorporating mental illness into the genre to explore and vent those issues. Thanks for sharing this!

(+1)

Thank you for your feedback <3

And you make very fair points!

It's nice to see that even to this day people enjoy this little jam game :3

(+1)

i have a question how do i brush my teeth cause i can not figure it out

you just smash the Z key like it owes you money

(+1)

mk well that helped me 😊 i feel dumb now🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😅🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

No worries! :D 

(+1)

That was amazing, and actually pretty close to the depsessing states.I wish people cuould just type different works fast to beat the depression in real life.

(+1)

this game hit me in the heart. it was short and meaningful, oddly relatable, and fun.

(+5)

it took me 10 minutes to just get the typing part. I'm not great at spelling when I cannot, in fact, see what I am typing. nor when the words I want to type are obscured. Story was good. This just killed the experience for me.

(+3)

almost broke my fingers typing those words. very good game, its really accurate

(+1)

Thanks :D

(+1)(-2)

it won't let me type in the words

Have you tried clicking with your mouse into the screen when the typing part starts?

oh ok i got it. 

a suggestion for the future? maybe as the letters are typed for each word, the letters you did already could turn red or something? so you have confirmation that you are typing and that everything is working as it should be. Tbh i thought my typing wasn't doing anything at first.... UNLESS THAT WAS THE POINT???

That even though you are working hard at something and following a regimen to improve, the efforts don't seem to make a difference until a you see what all the little dents did to take down your problem?

am just reading into this too much? probably. 

very well done btw (though i still don't know what the numbers and heads in the bottom right did)

I can't button mash fast enough to play this game :( Lowkey wish there was like, an easy mode option. I get that the point is how hard it is to do everyday things, but I can't for the life of me do this game and I've tried like fifty times now to get dressed on day three- 

The last day is supposed to be practically impossible. Try to leave the house and check the computer :)

(+4)

now i know that when i cant bring myself to do simple things its not because im a piece of garbage. good game man. good game.

(+2)

Remember, it's called garbage can, not garbage cannot!

All jokes aside, I'm glad it helped :)

This game is amazing and I am a little concerned with how relatable looking the monsters are, but thanks for addressing such an important topic!

(+1)

Damn. I haven't really ever seen a game that really pays attention to mental health.

There are some out there, but not really easy to find. GRIS is a really good example! It's quite famous as well.

I can't get it running in Firefox. All I get is a grey screen.


Also you might consider using this: https://naisky.com/2019/05/22/please-note-that-unity-webgl-is-not-currently-supp...

I'd recommend downloading the standalone build in that case. WebGL is a fickle beast.

(+1)

Hey!! My pc is a linux, and i having a problem, theres not a fullscreen, so i cant see the  fridge :c (sorry for my bad inglish, i have only 12 years old and im from uruguay)

Hey! Greetings to Urugay! ^_^

 Ah damn. Sorry to hear that! Have you tried both the downloadable and the browser version?

no, I'm going to try it right now and I'll let you know later

yeah, now i tried the game in the browser version, now i have a question, ¿is the game endless?

Hey! No, but you have 3 possible bosses that you can try and beat, each for a different mental problem :)

even though it was really short, it was a really cool game :) i liked it

Awesome! Thank you ^_^

We'd love to make something like this, just bigger in the future!

Wow! This game really have a heavy message! I got really envolved and scared in certain moments!

(+1)

Thank you! We only made it in like 2 days, but we're very happy with how it ended up ^_^

I'm feeling this game an emotional level. 

Oooh! Thanks so much for playing! Will check out the video as soon as I can :3

(1 edit) (+1)

I'm scared.. but #relatable - sometimes the scariest demons live inside of us

Extremely true.

Although it's short this game hit really close to home and made me feel really stressed buuuut I did like it!

Glad you liked it! <3


(+4)

Really nice mechanics. Point and click and the mashing for willpower felt nice to play.


SPOILERS:

I know the game was short because a lot of reasons, but the change between day 1 and 2 was too drastic. I believe the willpower decreasing over a week would carry a deeper message.

When the character talks about their friend, I had to guess some times to find, maybe if this friend had been introduced before the last part, the narrative would be "stronger". Again, I know there was very short time to make the game, so the game as is is pretty good.

The biggest flaw I saw was the cat. It can only be petted once daily, which is unacceptable.

Thanks for the experience. Good job!

(+1)

Postal 2 had a much better message about willpower.

(-1)

Oh my god :D

Fair enough :D

(+1)(-1)

I really enjoyed it, the game really shows how hard even every day things can be at times, also the boss battle had me on edge the whole time and was really well made too!

(-1)

Super glad you liked it! ^_^

(+1)(-1)

I played this game a few days ago, and I know that the developers already watched my video that I put on youtube, but I just realized I needed to say something here on the game's page because this game is wonderful. Apparently I picked very aggressive options and got a difficult monster, but I thought it gave a really good insight into how it can feel to live with these problems. 

The art is so good, I love anything with a pixelated feel and the color scheme is one of my favorites as well. I thought it was really well done despite the simplicity of the game and it even made me cry at the end when I thought about how horrible it must be for those who don't have anyone to talk to about their problems. Overall, this was a great experience and I hope that a lot of people play this game.

(-1)

Yes! It ends up in a mostly similar experience, but it is about the journey and what options you would pick for yourself :)

Thank you for your video and the kind words! We need more positivity in the world?

(+1)(-1)

Hi there, I am a youtuber and hope to get some support here from gamers wanting to play this game. Please like and subscribe to my channel and check my video out.

Paper Cages is an interesting game that explores the mundanity in a person's life and how our willpower to move on doing the same things everyday in our lives may differ from time to time. I like how the creator has tried to link the game to mental illnesses that impact many people in their lives. I think the game can be improved by extending the game to the workplace with more frustrating events and tasks taking place so that the player can get into the game better as the game for now is quite short. I look forward to a better version of the game to be produced so keep up the good work! :)

Please support my channel by leaving a like and subscribe :)

(-1)

Oh wow! Thank you! *__*

We're gonna watch it right away :D

This is a surprise :D

(-1)

:)

(-1)

The willpower thing was something I could really relate to. Nice to know someone else feels the same. I love your game!

(-1)

Thank you! 😍

(+1)(-1)

Amazing game! I know that I can relate to this! Amazing jo.

(+1)(-1)

Thank you! Is there anything in particular that you felt you could relate to? If it's OK to ask :)

(+1)(-1)

Minor depression. But it's a lot better now.

(+1)(-1)

Glad to hear ^_^