Looking for feedback on my latest game: Delve, a surreal point and click interactive fiction about how job searches are hell

Would love some feedback and/or bug reports for my latest game!

Made with Twine, with a lot of point and click elements. Should be mobile-friendly, though there are more features on PC, such as mouseover cursor art for clickable elements.

Game explores how tedious job interviews are as well as light introspection on topics such as career stagnation and abusive relationships.

Overall theme is a surreal take inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy.


It’s great. I’ll try to play it a bit more. Really like the artwork.

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Thanks, I’m glad you like it!

The artwork is all AI generated via stabilityXL because I couldn’t find an artist. If I made this a paid game, I would hire an artist using the existing images as storyboard/inspiration. I see it as placeholder art which sets a vibe.

I found the process really interesting - I let the AI results guide the click areas and inspire my narrative text.

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Ok, i played the game again until the end.

I like your idea of working backwards a bit from the images. It’s what i do too, but with renders.

So, these are the only problems i found:

For some reason the game takes a long time to load. Initially i thought this was my internet (perhaps it is), but also on mobile it takes a long time. Also the screen goes black and it looks like it isn’t working.

On mobile browser (Firefox in this case), clicking on things in the picture can generate the “copy/paste” popup. This causes a bit of interference with the interface. I didn’t get this on desktop, and perhaps it’s browser specific. But something to check out.

Otherwise, great game!

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Thanks for the feedback. The long load is from using the <> macro in twine from cycy, which loads all assets before the game is initialized - the images load on each page otherwise and can be slow to display when playing on web. I need to scale them down overall on a future build, which should solve that issue but thanks for noting it as it’s something I am not liking myself. Smaller image resolutions should sort that out I think!

Thanks for the Firefox mobile feedback. I have only tested mobile emulation + physical android chrome and definitely need to look into that. I will research how SVG works on other browsers.

What job title did you get?!

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Aha! I had a theory the startup delay was due to it acquiring all the assets up front. Basically this is a bad plan as it does not scale.

I have the same problem with loading images and sounds for the web. The sounds are easier because you can stream things like music. ie download and play at the same time. This is not in twine tho.

However, images present a problem. I like to have high res images around 4k. But this proved too slow for mobile networks. I switched to .webp format because it’s smaller for a given quality and thus quicker to download. But even so, 4k images take too long over mobile, so i now set my web size to a max of 2k, or even 1440x1080.

Embarrassingly, i don’t remember what job title i got. But i think i didn’t do too well.

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Oops the macro got stripped out by formatting, it’s called preload. Yeah the images are huge, 4kx4k I think, but since it’s a jam I didn’t have time to scale them before submission. And since there are so many it takes so long when preloading. Going to do some testing in load speed after scaling them down - the images behind the elevator doors definitely need to be preloaded at the least for that impression of doors opening to work. I’ll give 2k a try, thanks for the advice. Haven’t heard about webp, so going to research that!

Interesting game! I couldn’t beat it because I didn’t have enough willpower on the 8th level, and no matter where I went (re-visited floors 3-6 and the lobby), everything I did only managed to make my willpower go down more. It got into the negatives before I gave up. I don’t know how to get more willpower.

I do love how you can mouse over parts of the screen to focus on specific items and get details on them. I’ve never seen that in a Twine game, but it’s incredibly cool and makes the environment feel much more interactive.

Though it’s sometimes confusing what the difference is between the options accessible through clicking parts of the image, and the options accessible through the red links on the bottom. I did notice after a bit that the cursor became footsteps when clicking would take you somewhere else, and a magnifying glass when it wouldn’t. But maybe make the red link text the same as the footstep text, so it’s clear both will lead you to the same new area? Or add another indicator for which parts of the image will take you to a new area?

Few more notes
  • In the cooking minigame, when I try to put something in the fryer while it’s full, I get the message: You are already cooking fryer in the fryer! I’m guessing the dish name is supposed to appear there.
  • Cooking minigame is interesting. This game has a lot of neat minigames and interactive bits, it’s apparent that a ton of effort went into it. I do wish it was more clear which dish is supposed to go in which appliance, though. On the other hand, not knowing might be part of the concept. Also took me a while to understand what the numbers next to each cooking appliance meant.
  • The game seems to work way better in full screen, and a lot of stuff, especially the tiny menu at the top, seems to be designed specifically for full screen. Maybe remove the option to play in the tiny window?
  • Love the elevator music. Fits the mood well. Also love how Bob slowly grows horns as you descend the levels.
  • Elevator opening animation is slick. Looks great.
  • The inventory doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose. Never really checked it, and the items don’t do much once you get them?
  • On a related note, I’m not really sure how your age matters, and what the character traits (like Rebellious | Virtuous | Restrained) change about the story. I got different ones over time, but they didn’t seem to impact anything?

Fun overall, though. Job searches truly are hell!

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Thanks for this feedback!

The 2nd floor and 7th floor (cooking kitchen and ballroom) should both give willpower on a revisit, and the casino has some gambling options to earn it. There are also 3 secret spots in the mirror maze to get willpower. I should probably add more.

I am thinking about moving that final willpower check to the end instead of at the end of the maze. I was initially thinking of the maze as a “final boss” but I think overall it’s too tedious as-is so it definitely needs some revisions to be more fun.

Thanks for the feedback about cooking - overall it seems to be both one of the favorite levels and also one which needs more refinement. It definitely shows the “jam game jankiness” and I want to make it better.

Inventory was a scrapped concept due to jam time limits (3 weeks is oof) so I will be revisiting it. The objects all have on use text already setup.

UI - I focused too much on making it mobile friendly and overall it all suffered a bit. Definitely will work on tweaking it all. Very helpful feedback about it. I might add the footstep icon next to options which are the same - I ended up adding a lot of the same navigation options to the choices to facilitate mobile play as you can’t get those mouseover icons on mobile. I’ll also add a short tutorial in to show players how the mouseovers work eg navigation vs inspection. Please feel free to use this concept in your own twine games! All you have to do is style the cursor based on different elements, I’m happy to do a short write up if people are interested!

Age was a currency for the casino and the stats dictate the job title you get at the end. I’ll work on making these feel more meaningful!

I love that you liked the music (girl from Ipanema was our inspiration for the elevator) and that you saw the evolution of Bob as the interviews went on! Kinda weirded me out that using (demonic:x%) worked as a prompt appendation for the AI art.

Thank you again for such a helpful review! This will definitely help me improve this game!

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