A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

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Share your hopes, insecurities, and favourite albums as you navigate an online friendship between two isolated high school students. 

Brandon is a recent transfer at his high school, having been torn away from his friends and hometown upon his parents' repatriation to Hong Kong. Rejected by his peers in his new environment and struggling to adjust to his parents' home country, he openly vents his frustrations on his blog for the world to see.

Sam (renameable) is a born-and-raised Hong Konger with an eclectic taste in music, who spends most of their time lamenting the lack of warped tour dates in their local area. By chance, Sam comes across the blog of Brandon, who loves all the same bands and lives in the same town...

so obscure; is a visual novel played through the interface of Sam's computer, where the majority of the game's story is told through a series of chat conversations.


Overview
- 1280x720 resolution
- 12,000+ words
- ~20 minutes playtime
- 4 endings
- 4 appearance options for Sam

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

so_obscure-1.1-pc.zip 178 MB
so_obscure-1.1-mac.zip 163 MB
so_obscure-1.1-linux.tar.bz2 169 MB

Comments

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I played this on a whim, but it's definitely going to stay with me. The conversations always felt completely natural and the vibe of the game was consistent. I'm totally in love with it.

Thanks for playing! Happy to hear that you enjoyed it.

Keep up the good work! Love this game :D!

Thanks Shelley lmao

Pleasantly shocked by the amount of polish and heart put into this. I have come to ask for help on ED 3 as I've gotten 1, 2, and 4 via the hints described. I've been trying to adjust for ED3 to no success.

Thanks! ED3 happens when the player character demonstrates more trust in Brandon, but comes off as mean or unfriendly otherwise. So you should follow the tips to achieve ED3/4 (the hints we've shared in the comments below, but I'll copy & paste them here) but aside from these, you shouldn't be too friendly to Brandon.

- On September 23, say that you're sorry to hear about classmates making fun of him.
- On September 29, say that while it's not the same situation, you changed schools recently.
- On October 6, say that you know what he means, instead of just saying "that's rough".
- On October 11, say that you should finally make an account.
- On October 15, say that your friends don't know the real you.
- On October 25, say that it makes sense to have doubt.
- On November 14, say that there's a reason for it, and it's that you got too nervous.

Tried following this many times and I keep getting ED2. Outside of the choices you specified, is it a matter of being completely cold or being slightly friendly?

If you're getting ED2 instead, it's because you're not choosing enough "trust" options -- other than the ones listed, there are still some other choices that build up the player's trust in Brandon, but don't necessarily raise Brandon's friendship.
A few more hints to build trust:
- On September 29, say that you just had to suck it up when he asks if it was difficult adjusting to changing schools.
- On October 6, say that it depends on your parents when he asks whether you'd like to study abroad or not.
- In general, you should respond positively when he wants to meet up.
Some hints to lower friendship:
- On October 11, tell Brandon he should use the new photo he took as his profile picture, and then change your mind and tell him not to.
- On October 15, be blunt when you tell Brandon to change the way he dresses (don't choose the option that starts with "it's not ideal but...")
- Also, if you don't already enough friendliness with Brandon, options that are meant to be jokes might be taken the wrong way, like saying "fuck you", or calling him "desperate for e-creds". If you already have a certain amount of friendliness, though, these options will increase it.

At last, got ED3! Sorry about troubling you for extra hints but also thank you very much. Above all, reiterating my thanks for this entire game and its immense polish.

Also until I checked your group page I did not realize you were the same team behind Reflections on the River. Dynastic Chinese stories, bless. Definitely checking out Last Call and Pangs on your page. Keep up the good work and good luck with school!

No worries at all, glad to hear you managed to get that ending. Thanks for your lovely comments, and hope you have fun playing through our other games as well!

ow ow

So I just really wanted to say I loved this game with all my heart! I still haven't gotten through to all of the endings yet but it just left me with this really nice bittersweet feeling. The writing and art for so obscure was really top notch! 

I’ve lived in Hong Kong most of my life and went to Sha Tin College and so really related to the two + how they felt. PLUS the soundtrack is super awesome, I’ve been listening to it for days and days!

I was wondering if you select diu option instead of the wtf option does it affect the ending at all? 

(And I’ve really gotta ask – are you two Hong Kong based game developers? It would be really awesome if you could hold a talk or something about this game in HK!)

Thanks very much for playing our game and sharing your thoughts! We're really glad you were able to relate to the characters.

The wtf/diu choice doesn't really make a difference -- it's just there since "diu" might be something the player character would say, but players not from Hong Kong might not know what it means, so the "wtf" option is there to make things clearer.

(We're both permanent residents of HK, but unfortunately we're based in New York and California at the moment. It'd definitely be cool to get more involved with the HK game dev community if we were ever back in town, though!)

whoa this brought back memories!!!! I really had fun playing this, great game!!!

Thanks so much for playing and leaving a comment!

I really really love your game! It's very nostalgic for me. I've meet my first love on internet, I lived my first relationship at distance by MSN. We are ourselves confronting the famous meeting, to never do it... Your game finds echo in me. Really and thank you!

Despite all player's comments and clues, I'm stuck at the second ending. I've no idea where do I must change my answers. :( 

(Sorry, I don't speak a fluent english, so maybe it's no very clear). 

Thank you for playing our game! Happy to hear that the story resonated with you.

A hint for each ending: ending 1 happens if you act too suspiciously, ending 2 happens if you don't display enough trust in Brandon, ending 3 happens if you display trust in Brandon but aren't friendly enough, and ending 4 happens if you display trust in Brandon and are encouraging and friendly towards him.

(Your English is perfectly fine -- no apology needed!)

Loved this game so much! Easily one of the best games I've played for a while.

(+1)

Thanks for playing our game! Glad you liked it.

Loved this game! I've played through it three times, and gotten three different endings. (1, 3, and 2 in order). I followed the tips below to try and get ending 4, to no avail. It bums me out a bit, but doesn't take away from what an awesome experience this game was! So full of raw emotion and nostalgia. took me right back to being their age (even if it was only 5  years ago!). A real atmospheric trip. Keep on making. :)

Thanks for playing the game and leaving a comment! A hint for getting ending 4 is that it's quite similar to getting ending 3, but you have to act friendlier/kinder towards Brandon -- like joking around with him and generally being supportive/encouraging.

Thank you for the helpful reply - I finally got ending 4! At first I thought I'd ended up with the 3rd again, but the subtle differences and the little twist at the end warmed my heart! Thank you again for such a raw, honest game. You guys are a talent!

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I'm so glad I found this game! It definitely feels nostalgic, and I actually got excited when they mentioned Fall Out Boy and Panic haha. It's so cool seeing a game set in Hong Kong. I'm not from there but my parents are from the mainland, and I hardly ever get to see Chinese characters in games. :) I've gotten three of the endings, one being bad, one being sort of neutral, and one revealing a twist at the end. I'm curious about the last ending I have to obtain, but I'm not sure what else I can choose differently. I guess I'll just have to keep trying. I'm too attached to Brandon and Sam to give up.

Thanks for playing our game and for sharing your thoughts! Glad to hear that it resonated with you. If you're unsure exactly which endings you've unlocked, you can check the Extras screen (accessible from the main menu) which has the list of endings numbered and named, so it's easier to find hints in the comments if you're looking to get a specific one.

Link to the full soundtrack

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1SF6pG_1rquyPkxQB-9JaTVtwEAZVXieO

Thanks for compiling all the songs in the game.
However, you might have to provide a link to each artists' profile in a text document or something with the files -- there are links in the game's "extras" menu if you're having trouble tracking them down!

I really like the concept of this game, the conversation feels natural and very realistic. And the music is so relaxing.
I got the first two endings but now I'm stuck. I tried four times to get another ending but I always end with second. I tried to follow the advices but it didn't work for me. And now I'm tired of trying anymore because there are so many choices. Could you provide a walkthrough? I'm dying to know the third and fourth ending.

Thanks for playing our game and sharing your thoughts!

I'd like to avoid giving a full walkthrough, but I can give you one choice per chat that you should definitely make:
- On September 23, say that you're sorry to hear about classmates making fun of him.
- On September 29, say that while it's not the same situation, you changed schools recently.
- On October 6, say that you know what he means, instead of just saying "that's rough".
- On October 11, say that you should finally make an account.
- On October 15, say that your friends don't know the real you.
- On October 25, say that it makes sense to have doubt.
- On November 14, say that there's a reason for it, and it's that you got too nervous.

Thank you! It helped and I got the fourth ending :D I didn't expect that twist at the end. I still don't know what leads exactly to the 3rd ending, but maybe I'll figure it somehow later. I'm happy that I got to know the best ending  :)

i was so shocked when i got the second ending, because i'm going through the same self-esteem situation. i had no idea it was a thing lol

great game, thank you for all the work, i have no energy left for the last two endings though i'm too weak goodbye

Thanks for playing our game and for leaving a comment! We're happy to have made a game that people can relate to. Sorry to hear that you're going through a similar situation, but I'm sure you're definitely not alone in that.

(+1)

This is a really heartfelt experience. This is one of those stories where it's almost impossible not to relate to. Well done! I made a lets play of this game here:

Thanks for making a lets play of our game! Happy to hear that you were able to relate to it. I hope you still found the ending you got satisfying even though you got the early bad end!

NSADH<JGCHVHVCGHC IM SO DEPPRESSED! THERE BETTER BE MORE THAN ONE ENDING! AM I RAYMOND?! I JUST CATFISHED MY SMOL PUR BEAN CHILD HOW COULD U! HOW COULD I!! I LUV HIM SO MUCCCCCC!!!! NOW IM DEPPRESSION!!!!!! (It's a really good game, I cried and also hate/love the devs.....)

(+1)

Haha, sorry to hear that you got the first ending (? I'm guessing??), but that's probably the "worst" ending in the game! The fourth one is the best ending, so it might cheer you up? There were hints posted below as to how to obtain it -- feel free to ask for more hints if you're still stuck after trying those.

I've loved playing through this game so far! It really does remind me of when I'd be using MSN, chatting with friends and overusing emoticons. The blogs were really cool, as was the choice interface! The dialogue was really natural too, and props for the animation for the webcam. (And all this for NaNoReNo? Geez, to do this under such time constraints is amazing.) The characters hit me real hard with the conversations I'd have myself back then, and it felt so nostalgic to relive it!

And now, to admit this: I've done several playthroughs of the game already, and I can't seem to manage any ending except for the first one. I've tried the advice below, but somehow I can never make it work! Any hints as to how I could unlock the other endings? ;)

Glad to hear you enjoyed the game, thanks for playing!

The first ending is the early "bad" end, which happens if you act too suspiciously. You can avoid getting it by not asking too many questions, especially in the earlier chats, and revealing more information about yourself when you can. Let me know if you're still having trouble and I can provide more hints!

Ahhh, I finished this sooner than I thought! Really nice game. I loved the whole interface design and the blogs were a really nice touch. The story is interesting because I somehow relate to these characters even though I don't live in Hong Kong. I would like to add that I love the soundtrack, it's just my kind of music. Good job! :)

Thanks for playing our game, we're happy to hear that you enjoyed it and were able to relate to the characters!

We were lucky to be able to find kind musicians putting their music up for use under creative commons licenses, so if you liked their music I'd highly suggest paying a visit to their pages to support them as well! (All the songs used in the game are listed in the extras menu, in order of when they are played in the game, with links to the musicians' pages.)

how the hell do u download the bloody game

There is a download button on the page, and the game is in a zip file. If you're on PC, you'll need something like WinRAR to open it.

When I downloaded this game, I had no idea the characters lived in Hong Kong. It was strange because, as a person who lives in Macau, I felt like I can relate to their lifestyle (And I did freak out with Brandon's photo on his trip to Macau). I think this is the first time I could really relate to characters based on their setting. Thank you for creating such an amazing story!

Thanks for playing our game! Yeah, we also get quite excited whenever we see games set in the nearby vicinity, so we decided why not make one ourselves, haha. Then it just seemed natural for Brandon to take a trip to Macau at some point, since there are so many scenic places he'd probably like to photograph there. Glad to hear that you liked the game, and could relate to the character's lifestyles!

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Just finished a playthrough of the game... and oh dear... I'm literally crying. It's not even something close to home to me, but man I got so invested in the characters! Not only the game is gorgeous music, art and GUI wise, but the story was so beautiful!

I must say I've REALLY enjoyed the twist by the end. I was wondering what was off with my character because of some of his reactions that were not up to me, but I honestly didn't expect that, it was great. 

I got the "so let's go where we're happy" ending, and I love it so much! Am I right to assume it's the best ending out of the 4?


Anyway, I'm really in love with the game! Thank you for creating such a gem!

HOW. I've played through multiple times and gotten the other 3 endings but not that one. Its driving me mad. Plz tell me your secret
(awesome game by the way!)

Hmm well... I couldn't really do a walkthrough but...


------SPOILERS AHEAD------

I've tried to always choose optimistic and respectful choices. Admitting faults if needed or backing down if Brandon's opinion seemed right, but I've tried not to hesitate either when the MCs opinion seemed to be the more reasonable one. I believe that when talking about music and so on, I've always picked the options that would imply the MC knows about the bands and events Brandon was talking about, even if I wasn't, and I've never asked directly about how was school, only if he feels good / better, how was his day and so on. Also, I've always acted in favor of meeting IRL at any possible point, and reassured Brandon that it's normal for people to be different online and in real life, but that the MC would never think of him a weird or anything in real life. In cases where the MC was telling him it's impossible to meet because various family reasons, always told him he'd rather meet him, or stay online longer or whatever. After the argument, I've decided to apologize every time it was possible and say the MC deserved Brandon's anger, and to be honest about having a reason for ditching him and telling it was because he got nervous to meet him.  I dunno if that's important, but when saying hi and goodbye, I've always chosen the polite and friendly options, but without being too familiar, like calling him bro and so on.


Hope it helps!

Thanks!! Not even sure what I even did differently but it worked! Defo the best ending, glad i got to see it.

You're welcome! Glad I could help!

Thanks very much for playing our game and sharing your thoughts! We're so glad to hear that it had such an impact on you, as we wondered if people would be able to be invested in the story or the characters if they didn't personally relate to them or the setting!

Yes, the 4th ending is considered the "true" or "best" end -- and congratulations on getting it your first try, since it seems like a lot of people have had trouble getting it, haha.

It's hard not to feel invested since the characters are so fantastic haha! And There's something really compelling to be about not knowing everything about the character I'm controlling, too.

And thanks! I guess my years of playing visual novels of all sorts helped me haha

BRO I CANT EVEN AS WELL

Interesting take on distance and, being distant. It has vibes like Emily is Away in this!

Thanks for playing our game, it's always interesting seeing what choices players make!

This game hit me like a truck! (in a positive way!!) I really appreciate how realistic it seemed, most of all I gotta say that I enjoyed the music. It was amazing and fit well with the art, as well as the general theme. It would be cool if the xenga profiles were more expandable though. So Obscure will definitely stay with me for a long time.

Thanks for your feedback, we're happy to hear that you enjoyed the game! Writing the blog posts and things were one of our favourite things to do, but unfortunately due to time constraints we weren't able to produce as much content for them as we'd like. If we ever revisit this project, the blogs would definitely be something we'd want to expand on.