Compassion is an interactive narrative experiment about dealing with getting help when you’re in pain, which is sometimes harder than dealing with the pain itself. 

It is also an experiment for me to learn how to use Construct2 with something with as little scope as possible!

FX and Music by Fingerspit @thefingerspit

Comments

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Me and my friend played this together and cried, it's very sad but also strangely beautiful at the same time.

This hit way too close to home omg

i wish i could take this bird to a vet or something, just make it  feel better

i killed the bird in the end, but not before covering it in flowers.

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Man, this hurted me inside. I thought that i needed to kill the bird. I am looking forward to make games with simple gameplay and narrative, but with great impacts.

Sometimes i feel anxious and empty about making my own games when i see the amount of games that already exist, like a single water drop in the ocean that soon will be forgotten. But, when i play these small games like yours, i remember that my games don't need to be "famous" to be memorable.

 Sorry for my english, i still need to practice.

beautiful <3

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This game kind of makes me uncomfortable because it hits too close to home.I dont know how to be vulnerable with people. And even if i try, all my relashionships end up being superficial even if i open up, am i the shalow one then? I wish i could be vulnerable, i wish i tolerated compassion from others and i wish i didint associated being in pain with being weack.

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I've been struggling with the same feelings since always too. I'd like to say that it gets easier as you keep trying, but it feels extremely painful every time still, getting older and more patient doesn't make it any less hard and fucked to be vulnerable- But I do feel like it's worth it to keep trying to understand the puzzle that being compassionate with your own self is, since the pain goes away the next day or week or month and what's left is a step forward. 

Thank you so much for your comment, keep going!

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Closed without killing the bird. I feel like compassion was just keeping it company for a while and feeling for it. Seeing some comments here about how it's wrong to put the player in the position where the only  option is violence but I think it's important to remember (in the world of video games where violence is often the main tool we're given to interact with the world given to us) that there's always another option - no one can force you to do anything. (Of course you're not going to spend $60 on a AAA title like GTA only to turn it off when you're given a gun, but this is different.) Though  I was honestly tempted to kill the bird because I often play out games to see multiple endings,  I couldn't do it. I wonder if I made the right choice?

Reminds me of a baby squirrel my boyfriend and I tried to save. I cried a lot when it died, it was so small and fragile. I hope that we were able to comfort it in its last moments - we only had it for an hour or two. That might be anthropomorphizing a bit, but we found it on the sidewalk and brought it inside and kept it warm in a washcloth. The thing is, most people would probably not have tried to help, and I understand - it hurts a lot to get invested even a little. It's easier to look away.

If this were real life I might have tried to take the bird home in a shoebox. But that wasn't an option, so I closed the game when I was done clicking the flowers. I understand that you're put in a position where you want to do *something* for the bird, but if you don't like the options given to you, you don't have to take them.

oh god what did i do to the poor bird. i wish there was a another way

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Really beautiful illustrations. I get the metaphor but that's still pretty hard to look at and do in this game.

To all of you who read my comment: stay informed about associations, shelters or structures that are close to your home and know how to deal with an injured animal (and try to heal). Sometimes an association exists in your town or the next town and you don't know it. Concerning birds, if you see one on the ground and wounded, put a piece of tissue in a cardboard box, put the bird in it, and try to give it a few water drops by letting it drop in the corner of its beak (if you see its throat swallowing the water, that's a good sign, continue very slowly; otherwise stop so as not to drown it or hurt more!) then bring the bird to a care associations/"bird care and protection". That's a great thing to do when this kind of association/shelter exists near your place

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I'm aware this is a metaphor, not speaking to actual birds. As a metaphor I'll admit it falls flat because you... flatten the bird's head with a fucking rock. 

  But people in the comments are addressing it literally so I'd like to address that.

Coming at this as someone who did animal intelligence/ethics as my BSc project - 'suffering ends with death'. It's a bit situational. Generally if I found a dying animal it would depend on which animal it is. A dying swallow might find my presence distressing. Projecting the idea that a bird doesn't want to die alone could lead to this animal, a prey animal, feeling distress more than needed in its final moments.

Be aware, commenters, of anthropomorphising actual wild animals. Do your research if you do want to help them. In some cases expediting their death IS kinder. Believing that you don't get to 'make choices for it' ignores that it didn't choose to be dying.


This applies if an animal is beyond help, I mean. If its death is imminent and painful it is kinder to kill it. Simple as. Choosing to let it suffer because you, a human, don't want to use your rational mind because you think you 'have no right' is wilfully denying our duty to reduce animal suffering.


Nature's brutal. Humans don't have to be.

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I loved reading your perspective on this, the way we humans view other creatures' suffering is a huge point that I wanted to reflect on with this game.
I find that there's a lot of human perspectives and emotions playing a big role in our decisionmaking when the subject is an animal's pain. There's so much that we instinctively get wrong!

Thank you so much for playing and for your comment❤︎

No problem! It's a good experience that can get people thinking and talking. I love swallows in particular, poor little scrap.

What I appreciate most about this experience is how it brings forward what is usually an underlying theme of literature. Pain and how the ones around you experience it are otherworldly, what can seem normal to you is completely foreign to them. I like this little project because it uses a universal theme of mercy to make the player care enough to read through the text, rather than just clicking through them. Although the end result is graphic, this kind of compassion is necessary. What i really enjoyed as well was the dialogue acted as if an inner monologue each time i put a flower on the bird. We are all figuring out life, and most of the times it's better if we help each other! Awesome little game, the community needs more developers like you! 

P.S. i didn't use the rock until i ran out of flowers. Don't poke a suffering bird you jerks! 

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IMHO the use of a bird (or any other animal) as a subject for this kind of experience is extremely wrong and morally harmful for the player. We don't know what a bird feels and wants, and even if in some cases ending their life would be beneficial (as not to feel pain anymore), many player could misunderstand the meaning behind this and feel entitled to choose between life and death of an animal. 
An anthropomorphous being or a human would have been better, in my opinion.
I hope I explained my thought well enough.

That's a very good point, and I agree.
I used the dying bird as a metaphor because it's a fairly common thing that everyone has probably encountered at some point in their lives, it's a ?mundane? picture. I never thought about the possible misunderstanding that using it as a metaphor can lead to, and I feel very strongly that having the ability to reason doesn't give you the right to rationalize animals feelings, but at the same time.... I would make a choice if I encountered this situation irl again. But I guess that would make for another game!
Thank you for your comment!❤︎

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Great execution, beautiful visuals and interesting message.

Yet I am not sure, as it is a bird, isn't it too anthropomorphising to give them readable thoughts, and to project on them a very human-like understanding of their pain and of its cessation ?

If I can't ease the pain of a creature or give them a little comfort, I'd rather leave the creature alone, to not scare them, and i would not kill them as I don't know if they believe that "dead" is better than "in pain but alive". 

I'd definitely consider the option for a human being, whom I can understand, but doing this choice for a creature that probably doesn't think like us, I don't really see this as compassionate ?

Interesting game, anyway. 

I was not trying to put the thoughts into an animal, but putting the player into the scene by using the imagery of a fairly common situation.  But as it is, the game is too vague to feel that way.
I strongly don't believe we have the right to make decisions onto other beings based off our own perception of how things feel for us, and reflecting on this topic would make for another game.
Thank you for your comment, really appreciate it! ❤︎

I think I understand. Thanks for your reply and clarifying your intentions. It is true that this situation is common and a good bunch of people lived it, so you were probably right to use this imagery, it really makes your game relatable, even if it kind of blurred the message for me.
If you ever explore the question of interspecies perceptions and choices in one of your future works, I'll be glad to give it a look :)

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Pretentious pseudo-intellectual claptrap. Don't quit your day job.

P.S. Early onset of psychoses nearly always manifests itself as cruelty to animals.

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Joke's on you, my dayjob is pseudo-intellectual claptrap too!

You spelled psychosis wrong...

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Plural, millennial. 

I was gonna apologize, and then I saw you called me a millennial... I'm a Gen Z... Use the right pronouns LMAO!!! I'm a Zoomer!!! I'm just messing, but yeah, I hope I made you laugh... Also, after taking 3 years of Psych, I probably should have known that!

Euthanasiaaa!!

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Great example of fitting gameplay with the theme and subject. Really like the art style. Thanks for sharing this game.

Thank you!❤︎

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The title are art style caught my attention, but my jaw nearly hit the floor the moment the message clicked in. Many games struggle to get half the amount of meaning in a full game that you accomplished in mere seconds of game play. Well done <3 

Glad to hear it made you feel that way, thank you for your comment!❤︎

(+2)

ah, I can't do right click while holding left click on my mac...

(+3)

We feel you bruh.

The mouse pad is mean to Hp users aswell bruh. 

o           ________                                                                                                                              \\         \\\\\\\\\                                                                                                                                  \\         | __ .  __  |                                                                                                                                 \\    (   ʍʍ      (

I know this is a thing since it happens on my laptop too, I've been giving it some thinking but I can't find a solution for this game that doesn't sacrifice being able to play the game with one hand only >< 
I'll for sure think of a solution for the next game. Thank you for your comment!

(you could allow pressing a keyboard button as an alternative? might be awkward to elegantly communicate though)

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Wow. This resonates so deeply.

When I was a kid, living in the country, I saw a dying bird on the ground. Its belly open, its guts out, its beak slowly opening and closing, as if trying to say something. After some seconds, I biked away.

But I couldn't take that image off of my mind. 

It took me half an hour --or one full hour, maybe even more-- to gather courage enough and do just the same thing that you do in this game. Then I buried the remains and the stone together and watered the crime scene.

Once again, I couldn't wipe the image from my mind for a long time. 

This game has summoned back a lot of things, including the painful epiphany that having a conscience sucks and that, sometimes, doing the right thing feels like the bad thing --if bad and good things are actually a thing.

Thanks  :*

Loved your comment, I've never found a dying bird in such a state, but the mental image sure makes the metaphor a lot heavier. 

Love, love, love this art and message. I didn't think I'd learn so much!! I'm going through a rough time in life right now, but I wanted to let you know that this made me feel better!

Keep up the good work! :)

Glad to hear this helped in any way,  best wishes regarding what you're going through and thank you so much for your comment!❤︎

Thank you for making this game!The brid is very poor but I can't do anything......

Thank you for making this game. 

Thank you for your comment!❤︎

(+7)

covering the suffering bird with flowers does nothing, it doesn't heal the poor thing, it doesn't help. the stick tortures the feathered creature and shows no empathy to the suffering it faces. without the option to help in any other way, the only option of Compassion, is to kill the bird without torture with the stone, instant, painless, quick. because you couldn't help the bird to keep it alive you have to take the second route, the one more brutal but understandable. yes, life is harsh, but at least death is effortless, a quick snap, a gunshot, a stone falling from meters above. yes, the bird is dead, but at least its not in pain anymore, the flowers would have done nothing but make suffering look pretty.

I killed the bird with the stone then covered it in flowers, because yes it's dead but the flowers can live off of the bird, and so yes a life has been lost but more granted, besides, its in our nature to make death look beautiful.

(+1)

This was something...but something in a good way. Thank you.

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Poking a dying bird with a stick is the opposite of compassion, what I am missing?

i love this. thank you.

Breathtaking. I loved it.

Can't wait to see your next games. Thank you for making Compassion.

Very therapeutic. I'm need to bookmark it for future use - god knows I'll need to experience it more than once. 

Thank you!! Glad you enjoyed it❤︎

Thanks for making a simple yet powerful game 

Thank YOU for playing!❤︎

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Im crying please tell me how i can help it i dont want to leave the game without knowing if theres anything i can do

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You've probably done everything that can be done, compassion is not always an easy thing :( Thank you for playing! ❤︎

So simple, so effective. Congratulations, you've made a game worth sharing with the world

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That means a lot to me, thank you!!!❤︎

This is so simple yet intriguing, beautiful and informative. Coupled with fingerspit's fx and music is just the cherry on top. Lovely!!

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Thank you so much! ❤︎