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Many years work...

Stephen’s Sausage Roll

website (I get a 90% cut, includes drm-free version + steam key)
buy on steam (I get a 70% cut, includes steam key)
humble store (I get a 70% cut, includes drm-free version + steam key)

24 Comments

  1. plurmio wrote:

    Sweet mother of sausage, it’s finnaly here!

    Monday, April 18, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink
  2. david cherepov wrote:

    well, that was a whole day gone, i don’t entirely regret it, my favorite level so far is the great tower because it looks intimidating but then there’s the insight that simplifies it a lot. i still haven’t completed that one, though, and i know there’s a lot left

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 2:54 am | Permalink
  3. napoleon wrote:

    A blast! So far I rolled 14 sausages and I’m having plenty of fun with this game. It’s also one of the hardest things I’ve played in a while. Amazing job with the puzzles and the mechanic, Stephen. It’s quite possibly your best creation so far.
    Also, it’s pretty hard.

    Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink
  4. yoshi wrote:

    What can I say… since I first found this site and savoured the first handful of your free games, I have been recommending to try all them to all my acquaintances that I know are intelligent enough to appreciate.

    For so many reasons, you deserve high success, commercial and financial success too.

    I wish your next “big” project be a point & click adventure game at the level of Lucasarts and Sierra real ones, curious wish is it not? :)))

    But having played Home, Via Dolorosa, I know you can make it.
    And frankly, making another puzzle wouldn’t be a meaningful path in my opinion.

    Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 11:57 pm | Permalink
  5. yoshi wrote:

    As for this game, I’ll wait until it’s on sale: sorry, but no dough here on my side ;)

    And hopefully I’ll see it on Itch.io, or at the very least GOG.

    Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 11:59 pm | Permalink
  6. Evan wrote:

    Thanks Stephen.

    Friday, April 22, 2016 at 11:39 pm | Permalink
  7. you’re welcome, evan!

    Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 1:56 am | Permalink
  8. Johannes wrote:

    Finished the game today! Really really fun, thank you so much :)

    Monday, April 25, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink
  9. you’re welcome!

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  10. jaime wrote:

    FINALLY *u* Great game!

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
  11. Gabriel wrote:

    I was going to wait for a sale, but this game was far too tempting so I gave in and bought it! I don’t know where the hours have gone, but 26 hours in and I’m still going strong.

    (I must admit I was stuck on one puzzle for probably about 6-7 hours, but I didn’t look it up — I got it in the end! It was Cold Cliff, that terrifying puzzle, which was so much easier than I thought it was in the end)

    I love you so much, thank you for this game. I really admire the approach you’ve taken with the game’s release. It is completely true to your persona (or rather, online persona) and although I’ve seen a lot of people complain about the naming and advertising on Reddit and Twitter, I believe that you’ve advertised this game such that its audience will only (or mostly) consist of people who really appreciate your work. That takes guts (and honestly part of your revenue), but I can assure you that it’s recognized and appreciated by more people than just me.

    I don’t even know if this is the best place to say all of this, but I’m going to keep talking in the hopes that you’ll actually see this. I just really admire your work, and everything I make is going to be heavily influenced by you from now on.

    I first really learned about you from a Humble Bundle, which included English Country Tune. I honestly only played one level and quit initially, because I previously had some not-so-enjoyable experiences with Humble Bundle games, and I was at the point where I was judging games by their covers.

    But, as I veered more into the indie scene and began enjoying puzzle platformers such as Braid and Fez, I began to grow in anticipation for new releases. I began following The Witness, although I was sadly the only person I knew who cared about these sorts of games. So, I waited alone, and was brought to immense pleasure when The Witness finally released. I bought it full price because I couldn’t wait for a sale, and I finished every puzzle without a guide (except for one-and-a-half, but shh).

    Puzzle games emphasize game design in a way that people both ignore and take for granted. I had friends who criticized The Witness for having a fluent way of weaving the player into puzzles and themes, because this way wasn’t a coherent story. And, as much as I understand that someone may be frustrated with The Witness, since the game seems at first glance to have some sort of glue in the likes of Myst, I personally found it frustrating that it was so hard to expose people to the values of pure design.

    The Witness was the game that allowed me to realize what puzzle design means in gaming. In a lot of games, I feel art gets in the way of design. So much may be invested in basic systems of player movement (such as in a three-dimensional space) that it becomes extremely difficult to figure our what else the player can actually do. The Witness takes design first, polishing it with art. I feel that this approach more than anything truly embraces what makes a game a game. Where I was first underwhelming by the ostensibly repetitive line puzzles, I eventually became enthralled with the intricate variety that these puzzles could entertain. The priorities of art and design switch without compromise.

    This brings me back to you. I needed more exposure and examples of wonderful design, veering further and further from styles of games that I previously lauded (of which Fez was the king). I came back to English Country Tune, and I guess that the puzzles really clicked with me this time. I finished the entire game without help in ten hours, I went on Twitter and found you, and I discovered Stephen’s Sausage Roll was the next game you were developing.

    I was so lucky to find you then, as you were nearing the end of the game’s development cycle. Only a couple of weeks passed before you updated the game’s website to reveal the release date. I eagerly consumed everything I could find about the game: there wasn’t a single video, only a few images, and tweets from noteworthy developers praising your work.

    I was extremely tempted to beg you for an alpha copy, but I waited, and after playing your game I just feel passionate enough about the quality of your work that I needed to write all of this down. This is the first game I’ve ever played where I feel the need to just exert the sheer influence I’m feeling in every way I can. I don’t even know what else to do. I’m studying computer science; I want to make games. Your passion and dedication is astounding.

    I don’t even know what else to say. I played your smaller games, “Puzzles”, and it gave me the same wonderful feeling where at one point in almost every level, I had to say to myself, “This level is impossible.” Later, I would solve that puzzle. I say the “same” wonderful feeling, because many of the levels in “Stephen’s Sausage Roll” give me the same feeling.

    I would say that I hope someday you are able to get commercial/financial recognition for your work, but I don’t know if there will ever be an audience for this type of art (which I don’t mean to say is a bad thing). I honestly feel that if “Stephen’s Sausage Roll” were released with a typical commercial release with standard advertising, then the game’s presentation would be tainted. Everything about the game is so preserved and true to itself that it’s fairly easy to admire the package as a whole. I don’t know what you could improve or where you make improvements, both inside and out of the game.

    God, I don’t know. I just admire you. I hope I can take whatever philosophy you have and just apply it to other mediums, or really anything in my life. You design trials that look hard, but with thought make sense, and with mechanics are solvable. No one I know will ever appreciate it as much as I do, to the point where I googled “Stephen’s Sausage Roll” about ten times a day prior to the game’s release. But it’s okay that no one I know has that appreciation, because the people who need to appreciate and experience your game have either had that experience or will find your game in the future.

    I’m going to compare you to the Velvet Underground very quickly. I’m not fond of quotes, and I hate to be quoting the Rolling Stone (Magazine), but there are certain things in my life that have stuck out to me and I have/will remember them forever. I’m paraphrasing, but the Rolling Stone said that at least originally, not many people heard the Velvet Underground, but everyone who did started a band.

    Stephen, you’re doing everything right, I’m sorry for any typos, I’m sorry for possibly wasting your time (reading this), but you’re just doing everything right. And to what Yoshi (in a previous comment) said, “making another puzzle wouldn’t be a meaningful path in my opinion.” I don’t know if that’s true, because game design to me has just been seeming more like an onslaught of puzzles in different presentations or packages. So, take all of the feedback you get, put it in a box and don’t forget about it, but don’t follow it word-by-word.

    You clearly have a grasp as to what you’re doing. I’ve now spent about forty-five minutes writing this, and not a lot of things can make me do that, especially when it’s now 1:11AM and I have to wake up at 8:00AM tomorrow. So, thank you again, sleep well whenever you sleep, I’m going to sleep now.

    Goodnight, and please please please keep making games.

    Monday, May 2, 2016 at 5:12 am | Permalink
  12. Ivan Reese wrote:

    I’m just shy of 150 Sausages, and many, many hours have passed.

    Firstly, thank you for making the game playable with one hand. Every time my (very snuggly) cat comes for a snuggle, I have just enough time to grab the controller and click the game icon.

    Secondly, thank you for taking the time to properly polish the game. I’ve seen some people deriding the graphics, but for me the aesthetic choices are perfect. The music in particular is just delightful, all atonal and feeling extemporaneous. But what those visual detractors miss is that the gameplay dynamics are remarkably well crafted, and the gradual revelation of this fact as the game progresses is just brilliant. It feels like playing a Lisp — everything composes.

    Finally, thank you for making the game incredibly fair. The feeling of frustration evolving into satisfaction I get from solving each level is so well-earned that it makes the experience just lovable. This fairness extends to the price, too — this is a substantial game, with substantial investment needed by the player, and tremendous reward for playing it, and you deserve every penny you can get for providing the experience.

    Oh, and thanks for the coin. My eventual children are going to WTF royally when I die and they find it among my belongings.

    Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 1:39 am | Permalink
  13. Christoph Zürcher wrote:

    I finally completed the game, which took me a lot of time. What a game, an absolute masterpiece of puzzle design.

    Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  14. bert wrote:

    @Gabriel
    You’ll probably never read this, but your words describe my sentiments and thoughts about the Sausage game and increpare’s work in general almost perfectly. Thank you for writing it.

    @Stephen
    What Gabriel said. Really.

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  15. Richie wrote:

    Hello Stephen. So far I’ve only spent 5 hours with this game (just made it to the third area). And I’m not familiar with your previous work (although now I’m curious). But so far it is some of the most mentally stimulating, satisfying and FUN gaming I’ve done in my life. Great work!

    Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  16. fakeemail wrote:

    dug it, homey. I was a little put out by the physics on split face until I decided to stand on a rolling pin and push the neighbors car off its blocks.

    god hates a coward. cowards love walkthrus. slap my name up on that sausage champs list, my man, cuz I grilled them all up.

    Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  17. congrats

    Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
  18. pac-attack wrote:

    1) Thanks for underlining the silliness of buying from Steam.
    No much hope it’ll do anything, though.

    2) Those sausages are very different from larvae I once met. Those were weightless (as they strived to camouflage); nothing of that here ;)

    Friday, September 16, 2016 at 6:27 am | Permalink
  19. fakeemail wrote:

    well the message worked for me. I would have bought thru the humble store had I not seen the 6 dollar difference.

    wish i’d played on steam tho (but would have had to install it all). just curious how long it took me to play and it sounds like it tracks that

    Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink
  20. anon wrote:

    Here is my mostly spoiler-free review, in the hope that you read it, increpare. I don’t use steam so this is the best place I could think of to put it.

    It took a long time to convince me to buy this game, because of the uninformative advertising and high price point. I was only really sold when I saw a video of an early puzzle, and heard someone offhandedly mention “world 5”, which meant the game was substantial enough to warrant that price, and not just another overpriced indie per Double Fine standards. And I’m happy to say that I found the game to be excellent as a whole, and well worth the money. It consumed my life over the past weekend.

    That notwithstanding, there are some aspects of the game that I wish were conveyed better. For one thing, I did not realize that Z was undo until after the first region, because the death menu put it below restart and I am an impatient person. (You may think I am an idiot now, so I’d just like to point out that I finished the majority of those puzzles on the first attempt. But I also think the advanced puzzle thinking has an affect on basic reading comprehension.)

    Another issue related to the complexity of the control rules and the resulting trial and error. Some of the obscure edge cases do not appear to follow the intuitive logic of the game (i.e. your mobility around ladders and falling off cliffs, and when things above sausages roll off vs. slide in the later levels). These rules can only be observed and learned by trying every possible combination of moves, as far as I can tell. And the puzzles that used these solutions made me more annoyed than anything when I solved them, because I had never been introduced to the main solving mechanic before, and the behavior was unexpected. Yes, there were many puzzles you could present with these obscure mechanics, but at the same time I wouldn’t call them “good” puzzles until you were shown once, and that didn’t happen in nice little sandbox puzzles.

    I was somewhat a fan of the themed region solutions, but around world four it started to get a bit same-y. Every puzzle started with that ladder square and required you to do the same thing, or in world five had a rolling section separate from the main puzzle.

    But the major gripe I had was with overcomplicated puzzles that had one unique solution and then a lot of faffing about with the grills. That one puzzle midway through where you almost had to grill each quarter of the sausages at different times in a long winded cycle was the bane of my existence – long tails after you already know the solution add a lot of player fatigue.

    Another major issue in the second half of the game was the cost of backtracking. Because all of the puzzles were a part of the world map, there was a lot you could do with a sausage in the combined area before you started the puzzle, and sometimes it felt like that was expected. I watched the first five seconds of a few youtube videos just to make sure I had the correct starting conditions, because I didn’t have the patience to try and fail for an hour before changing the starting scenario. Split Face comes to mind, since certain rotations were available outside of the puzzle, but there were many puzzles like this.

    Plus, backtracking in general was tediously slow. Why were there no shortcuts? It would have been easy to make two-high ladder blocks you push off a ledge, connecting two distant segments of the world in an unlockable manner. The lack of this made a certain part of the game take forever.

    Finally, let’s talk story. It wasn’t great. At world two I already had my assumptions (the second message was too much of a giveaway), and when the letters start talking about it outright at halfway through the game, it really fell apart. The whole point of a mysterious story like this one is to hold some cards to the end, and every letter after the reveal felt superfluous. Again, long tails create player fatigue, and I basically stopped caring what the letters said when 90% of them became fluff about how edgy the story was. Also, the ending felt more like an anticlimax, there was no critical decision made by the player, it was just more of the same and then the credits roll. If you really wanted to sell the story I would have liked to see a sausage next to an open grill with no obstacles, after a major reveal. Or an incorporation of the “burned” mechanic with the story. Something as clever as the puzzles themselves.

    Okay, I’ve written too much and it was mostly negative, in the interest of not spoiling the things I liked, or even hinting at concepts that lead to the things I liked. I guess I should reiterate that I found the game to be excellent, and I wouldn’t have written anything if I didn’t think so. 9/10, just a few grievances that I’d like to see addressed in future games. You have a new fan, and I look forward to what you come up with next!

    Monday, September 19, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
  21. fakeemail wrote:

    I did not like one of the things you could do on split face, but thinking about (and playing with) the initial sausage alignment was a fun part of the puzzle (and I’d think a trivial exercise for someone who solved most of the initial levels on his first attempt with no backtracking)

    Monday, September 19, 2016 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  22. fakeemail wrote:

    the jelly no guy just finished this game after plugging away (off and on, I’d guess) for 6 months. makes me feel a little better about getting stymied on 65/66 on his game

    Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
  23. Dan wrote:

    Just finished this wonderful game after lord-only-knows how many hours of mildly frustrated pleasure.

    Hopefully you are planning a vegetarian version.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  24. congrats!

    Friday, November 18, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

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