Part 1: Writer's Block
Writers Block: After a week at the Hou
Each chapter starts like this, with a typewriter writing the title and starting to describe it.
You might notice that we have a particular angle on the room. As much fun as it would be, this isnt a Very Tall Man Simulator. That game doesn't even exist. No, its a Light Being Monster Simulator!
Yup, were possessing a ceiling lamp. Its one of the many perks of being a telepathic light monster. While possessing an object, things look a bit desaturated and were invisible to the Kaplan family. If they see us, then they get hella spooked and we might lose the ability to influence them that chapter. But I'm on story mode so that won't be a problem.
If you look out the window you see a dusky ocean view. The weather is actually (mostly) random. Sometimes the game will start at sunset, for example.
This is another important mechanic. We can teleport between light sources. We cant be seen while hopping between light sources but walking around is necessary to reach most notes so its a trade off. We can also make lights flicker to draw the family away from places we want to go on stealth mode.
You might have noticed this note in the chapter intro screen. If youve guessed that we need to read it, then you now know how to play the Novelist. Its a note-collecting story game, similar to Gone Home. Except no one says it's not a real game because you're a light monster and not a woman.
So it seems like Dan's the titular novelist. He's also a pretentious dudeguy who likes to break out his appreciation of Joyce and Dickens in a friendly letter.
In Dans study on the second floor, AKA where the magic happens, we can see his typewriter. This game isnt set in the past as far as I know, its just Dan using an old-timey and inconvenient method for his writing. I mean, he has record player and rabbit ear tv downstairs. Dans just That Guy.
Anyway, theres a little blue notebook on his desk. Lets invade that privacy!
Those are a lot of words about not being able to write any words.
That said, we can see the titular writers block here and how his career is falling apart. He seems pretty far behind but maybe a light monster can get him back on track. It also gives so insight on why he's here at all: to simplify his life.
In his bedroom around the corner we can see their baby blue-painted mirror. Its starting to make sense how he could afford this place. Theres a note on the desk but were going through Dans storyline right now so were going to focus on the purple notebook behind the desk instead
So the notebook contains his ideas for his novel. Its kind of terribly generic drama but whatever, its his rough draft.
Now we need to find Dan. Sometimes he'll be clacking on the typewriter, other times he'll be watching tv. Here he is staring out the window wistfully. Another perk of being a Nebulous Telepathic Light Monster is that we can just read people's minds on a whim.
Here we see why Dan's really here: to escape the trappings back home and focus on his novel.
Actually, screw just reading minds, lets invade them! That's right, if we get close enough, we can jump into someone's recent memories.
Do you think coming here will help?-Linda
It has to.-Dan
In his mind we find the memory of Linda helping Dan set up his office. They don't move and only talk when clicked on. Also, each memory hums loudly to help you find it.
Another hum leads us downstairs to find Memory Dan writing at the dinner table.
As a self-identified emotional sponge, I get this. Anyway, this is the last thing in Dans memory and his final note this chapter. Because weve collected everything important to Dan this chapter, something will change when we leave his memory.
Now that we have all his memories/notes, Dan reveals that he wants his lost notebook. Now, weve found that notebook: its one of like 5 things in his bedroom. But Dan will never ever find it without supernatural assistance. And its not like he can think of something as brilliant as Alice sees them as shes walking by on his own.
We can choose to find his notebook now and take his solution. However, if we dont find someone elses notes/memories we wont be able to form a compromise. So lets see whats up with his wife, Linda. Also, yeah, he changes rooms because it took me a few tries to get all my screenshots.
Notes arent organized neatly in this house so in order to get to Lindas note we need to go back to the living room and inspect the front door.
It seems like we have an artist here.
Even though her name isnt on the actual paper, Linda 1 of 3 Clues Found pops up to let us know that this is indeed her to-do list.
And we find Linda hard at work in her conservatory. Notice the blank canvasses to her right? Those will get filled in as time goes on.
Heres her painting so fair. Its something. Dont know why she has the rainbow color palette next to her if she is only using grey but who am I to judge the process of a creative mind? Anyway, let's look at the note
Lucky for us, her diary is just out in the open. Like every note.
We are not a backed up toilet and theres nothing wrong with us, Linda. <> Were just a telepathic light monster that toys with the minds of all who dare enter our domain, is all.
So, it seems like Linda hasnt been painting for a while. Nonetheless, she seems to really enjoy it. Unlike Dan who writes for a living and is incredibly frustrated with it at the moment.
Because there arent a lot of rooms in this house, we need to go to the bedroom again to find her final note.
There isnt much new in this note besides that shes worried about their son, Tommy. It just seems to be general mom-worry though.
Now that weve done our snooping its time to do some mind probing!
Apparently, Linda has taken a break from painting to stare wistfully out the window. This is a family trait, I suppose.
Woah, it seems like theres more going on here that just her desire to paint. It looks like were going to have to explore her memory to see whats up.
Huh, all her memories are concentrated on this floor. Lets see what Floor Lindas writing first.
Oh. There is definitely more going on here. Their marriage is falling apart and shes trying to hide it from her son. But theyre giving it another shot. Could the meddling of an omnipotent light being is exactly what this couple needs?
So it seems like they are trying to work on things, at least. This memory is really sad, lets leave and see what Linda wants.
So she wants to have drink and hang out with her husband. That seems reasonable but, then again, the livelihood of the entire household is at risk.
Okay, lets hope Tommys story is less sad. Hey whats that on the window?
Oh, goddamn it! Well, I guess this is a good time to explain that Tommy doesnt write notes like the others. He draws crude pictures of his emotions instead, making him a juvenile psychologists dream.
It seems like Linda isnt the only one being neglected by Dan. Lets see if we cant find another of his drawings.
Aww, he made a picture in the conservatory, just like mommy.
So it seems like Tommy wants to spend time with his daddy even though hes been rebuffed. This is actually pretty cute. Lets see if we cant find a third note to destroy this smile.
Yup, Tommys final note is the one on the bedroom desk. Lets finally see what it says.
Oh, sorry about the message in the corner. I didn't notice it until it was too late. vv
Aww, it seems like hes falling behind in school. So, while his parents have all of their own drama, now they need to focus on helping their child learn things too.
Is this what being an adult is like? Can I stay a babyman forever?
Here we see Tommy playing with a different toy in a slightly different location. Lets jump into those memories and finish this update, yeah?
Ethereal Memory Tommy is still in his room. Even is his mind he isnt allowed to get more than 20 feet away from his kite, I guess.
Oh. Apparently Tommy feels really badly about his relationship with Dan and it makes him want to cry.
He also drew his father with a snake-oil salesman mustache which kind of owns.
"Are there any other kids?"-Tommy
"Well have to find out."-Dan
Tommy somehow managed to escape his room AND make it outside. This is the only time anyone leaves the confines of the house, by the way.
So finally we get to Tommys desire: bonding with his father. Its a simple and worthy goal but how does it compare to providing for your family or saving your marriage? Thats a tough one that Im relying on the wise minds of Lets Play goons to decide.
Remember: Youre allowed to vote twice. The character with the most votes get their desire accomplished, the character with the second most gets theirs partially accomplished and the character with the least votes does not achieve their goal that day. Get votin' and discussin', ya goons!