Fish Out of Water (WIP)

Newest update: Dec 27, 2020

Hi everyone, I’ve been working on this game for a few months now and I thought it might be time to share it with people!

FISH OUT OF WATER is a game about a salmon who was turned into a human by a young but well-meaning witch. With her help, you have thirty days until the next full moon to decide whether you want to change back, or stay as a human and embrace all the opportunities, joy, and awkwardness that humanity has to offer.

It’s set in a low-fantasy, lighthearted world, drawing inspiration from Ghibli movies like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Pom Poko, Ponyo, and Howl’s Moving Castle.

  • Play as female, male, or non-binary
  • Customizable appearance, to an extent–you still kinda look like a fish
  • Embark on a quest to gather magical components for the spell that will permanently turn you human, or change you back sooner than the next full moon
  • Make a place for yourself among humans, or reject all customs and be an unsettling fish-person
  • Learn magic from your helpful witch hosts, or from another source…
  • Personality and skill stats, shaped by your fish-influenced reactions with a new world
  • Five romance options, and one hidden bonus one, or don’t romance anyone at all and make some lifelong pals

It’s currently at 30k words, with the final version to be much, much longer, because I’ve only finished day one of the expected thirty so far!

Apologies for the many dead ends–I know it makes it a bit difficult to play through right now, and you’re a champ for trying.

Content warning: drowning.

Click here to play the demo!

Thanks for checking it out, any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Changelog

Dec 27, 2020
Minor bug fixes, (most) dead ends expanded or rerouted.
Current wordcount: 32k

163 Likes

omg I love this :rofl::rofl:

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Hi! This is rly interesting so far. I did encounter a bug(?) tho; when I’m going to Merit’s shop and I click “Okay. Wait here” a pop-up that says “line 795: Not a number: We’re going to see Karolin, and you were on the way.” appears. Other than that, it was rly fun! I look forward to seeing more!

Listen. I kinda understand that magic is a powerful tool in fantasy (bending reality or talking to animals like here for example) settings but I think there is a limit of suspension of disbelief.

I cannot for example belief that a fish turned human for an amount of 10 minutes can think like

Long twisting vines and errant bushes grow snugly against its stone sided walls. Flickering candles illuminate the diamond latticed windows, shaded delicately by beaded curtains. You can hear a cauldron softly bubbling over a fire inside, divulging its presence by the soft plumes of smoke drifting from the cobblestone chimney.

Or anything like that. Does magic also used to download a database of all human things into it? Like how does fish know what a “diamond latticed windows” are? So instead of using first person like here

The young witch leads you to her teacher’s hut, a humble home in the woods.

I suggest you use a third person perspective, so it does not ruin the immersion.

The young witch leads the newly made human (or MC name) to her teacher’s hut, a humble home in the woods.

But overall I enjoyed the writing. So great job!

9 Likes

Oh this is such a fun idea! I really enjoyed the passages you have so far!

3 Likes

This is a lovely story! You definitely have that Ghibli vibe you were hoping for. I can even imagine the world as it would be in their timeless, and warm animation style, too. :blush:

I do have to agree that there are some things a newly humanized salmon couldn’t know about the world of humans, but even with that being the case, it didn’t mess with my enjoyment of what you have written out, and available so far. The perspective of the narrative in this case can be a useful tool for describing scenery without compromising our new to humanity MC. :slightly_smiling_face:

8 Likes

I haven’t played it yet, but looking at this text… its not the “you” or rather the fish thinking, but simply descriptive narration. And also… nice prose!

11 Likes

The young witch leads you to her teacher’s hut, a humble home in the woods.

Long twisting vines and errant bushes grow snugly against its stone sided walls. Flickering candles illuminate the diamond latticed windows, shaded delicately by beaded curtains. You can hear a cauldron softly bubbling over a fire inside, divulging its presence by the soft plumes of smoke drifting from the cobblestone chimney.

It looks as warm as it feels.

That’s the full quote. While I can agree that this is descriptive narration… from the view of the fish. Since character “you” is describing what “you” see. If there was a distinguishment between narration and character thoughts than it wouldn’t be a problem. Like adding

The young witch leads you to her teacher’s hut, a humble home in the woods.

Long twisting vines and errant bushes grow snugly against its stone sided walls. Flickering candles illuminate the diamond latticed windows, shaded delicately by beaded curtains. You can hear a cauldron softly bubbling over a fire inside, divulging its presence by the soft plumes of smoke drifting from the cobblestone chimney.

It looks warm.

Something like that.

Here’s another example:

You hear the sounds of tools being set down, footsteps, a door swinging open. A witch—much older, wiser, and weather-worn than her apprentice—wipes her hands on her apron. “What is it, Helina?”

Is it a character who is describing a witch as “older, wiser and weather-worn” or is it a narration? It is “you” who hears a sound and sees “a door swinging open” so it must be the character describing these things.

But maybe this is a bad take since I am not an author. I just pointed out what seemed wierd to me. If it does take toll on your enjoyment then it’s okay but I can’t help but notice this.

(sorry elizabot)

8 Likes

Hmm, I think you are right. Your examples are good too. Never thought of 2nd person POV like that. Something to ponder about.

Found this

It looks like you’ve hit a dead end, so yes it’s a bug haha. Thanks for playing!

1 Like

You’ve hit the nail on the head of some of the difficulty of the choices I had to make about exactly how much a new human would know. Suspension of disbelief is something I have to really lean into here. I wanted the MC to be less knowledgeable about the things that would actually be explored in this game (interactions with humans, mostly) and more knowledgeable about things I thought were less important and could spend less time on.

For all intents and purposes, basically yes, the MC has downloaded a few basic things about being human, like breathing and walking haha. MC was a salmon who was about 3/4s to end of their life cycle, and when “translated” to human is roughly in their early 20s. So I wanted them to have their general life experience amount to that much, but without knowing or only having a vague idea of the things I wanted to explore in this game.

I think there’s a few things I can get away with in 2nd perspective–if it were 1st, I would definitely have the MC be confused about more things, be less descriptive, and use made-up words to describe the world. But I thought it would also be a lot more confusing to read for the players. I think I’ll consider 3rd person, it would give me even more freedom than 2nd!

You made a lot of good and valid points and I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you for being respectful and constructive with your criticism, and pleease don’t be sorry!

8 Likes

Oops oops oops thank you for showing me that!

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Oh my goodness! I love the premise and I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli!

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Salmon after turning human: wait, you mean I DON’T mate once in my life then immediately rot to death as a human?

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This is incredibly cute! I wish I had more constructive criticism beyond that, but it sorta feels like a cozy story, if that makes sense.

2 Likes

It’s really adorable so far! So I’m looking forward to more :>

The only thing I noticed, when I was at Merit’s shop, after asking them if they are free at the festival it changed over to a different scene on the same page. Judging from the text it seems to be the one of if I had chosen my MC to leave the shop instead to talk.
That’s about the only mistake I found though, I think.
(I try to put screenshot here, not sure if it will work)

1 Like

You’re now free to choose to immediately die after mating if you want to! Haha

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Thank you! Yes, I think that’s a huge bug because the whole scene hasn’t been written and properly coded yet haha. Thanks for playing through it, though!

3 Likes

The writing is so simple even my messy head can understand it. I love it :triumph: :heart_eyes:

3 Likes