A downloadable interactive experience for Windows, macOS, and Linux

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INSTRUCTIONS

This software is an interactive experience intended for psychological evaluation purposes. Patient must explore the environment at their leisure and answer every of the ten questions of the test before proceeding to the self-reflection portion of the software.

Once completed, clinical staff must take note of the thoughts and impressions of the patient in a debriefing session.

Make sure to provide patient with an adequate testing environment, free of noise, bright lights or other distractions, during the entire test duration. It is recommended to make the patient wear the clinic-issued headphones during testing, as sound is part of the experience.

Remind the patient that, for each question, they must choose between the three answers offered the one that best reflects their first impression of the scene encountered.

Also tell the patient that there is no need for lies or subterfuge, otherwise the results of the tests might provide an inaccurate portrait as a result.

Please report all results of the test to an examination supervisor using the standardized form 42-B, bundled with the software.

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TSOTG AS EXAMINED BY OTHERS

"[...]a thoroughly bizarre experience with some very striking imagery and a very unsettling atmosphere throughout. [...] Strap in for this cleverly crafted spooky psychological evaluation." - Free Game Planet

"[...] a very creepy, interesting experience where you wander around a strange, dying town. [...] Shape on the Ground will mean something different to everyone" - Rock Paper Shotgun

"[...] this a well-built adventure set in a place that's quite enjoyable to explore." - PC Gamer

"[...] a very exciting thing to invest in for ten minutes. Not only is it an unusual idea but also [has] a pleasant atmosphere." - plnehry.idnes

"`TSOTG looks quite appealing. The town has some colour and the stages and shadow-play puppets look excellent. [...] (...) anyone curious should give it a go." - Big Boss Battle

"[...] it is ominous and enchanting, with moments of genuine dread. (...) If you’re the right patient, maybe it’ll conjure real ghosts." - Sufficiently Human

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CONTENT WARNING
Software contains extensive death ideation. If patient is sensitive to such subjects, it is advised to refrain from taking the test.

Patient must complete the experience in one sitting, with a projected total duration of about 20 minutes.

Mature themes and imagery will be encountered, but the creators believe the experience is appropriate for online media platforms.

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CONTROLS

W, A, S and D to move around
Mouse to look around
1, 2 or 3 numerical key to answer questions when prompted
ESC to quit the application immediately

Programming, additional modeling and music by Somewhat.
For full attribution credits, please read the .txt file bundled with the software.

For press contact, or to submit your 42-B forms, please use :
somewhatsoftware@gmail.com

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DISCLAIMER

This software was designed for entertainment purposes only. Somewhat Software staff is NOT qualified to give medical opinion, and any such communication (through the software or through forms 42-B or 73-D) is meant only to amuse. Somewhat Software cannot be held responsible for any mental distress experienced through the use of the TSOTG software or its forms 42-B or 73-D.

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MAC AND LINUX USERS
Builds for MacOS and Linux are offered here, based on manifest interest on past titles. But please note that it is not possible on our end to do even basic testing on those versions, so there is a distinct possibility they might not work properly.

Please contact us if you come across any issues with those versions and we will see what can be done (if anything) to help create stable builds for those systems.

Download

Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

[Windows] The Shape On The Ground (Build 1.1.1).zip 458 MB
[MacOS] The Shape On The Ground (Build 1.1.1).zip 476 MB
[Linux] The Shape On The Ground (Build 1.1.1).zip 495 MB

Development log

Comments

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Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 53 · Next page · Last page

Shed the inanimate, what does it means? 

Really interesting the game, thanks, but makes me feel a little insecure walking in those dark streets.

I made the itch.io account just to be able to state my sincere respect for the authors. As I'm "that guy that overthinks everything" and analyse i immidiately searched for answers when i got "Seek the lesson to be learned" and seemed not many people got this one. Funny as people stayedthere were only 5 endings (maybe only towards opening "church gates" ? not to answer?) still fantastic work

Thank you for the kind words. It seems you approached the software with the correct frame of mind, considering that TSOTG needs to be taken as a tool for introspection and self-analysis. Of course, as with everything, moderation is advised, and if overthinking leads to anxiety, perhaps start there to retake control of your sense of self. 
There are indeed 5 different church environments at the end, and each have their own set of messages centered around the 'theme' of the ending. It is meant for players to replay the software at different points of time and see what other / different results come up. I am glad you enjoyed it. 

I like the ambient, like a horror style and even remember me some of the streets of my city, even I was a bit hesitant to walk through some of them (not a fan of walk into a bad illuminate alley) So I reached the church and had to go back for more answers. The music and sound effects mix perfectly with the scenery, it was amazing.

I want to send the form but I'm having troubles saving it, could I send you screenshots of it?

My phrase was "Tragedy begets opportunity" I'm going between a lot of troubles at home and family, and feel awful for all the homicides and other violent stuff going on my country and city, so I'm still thinking about the meaning and I tend to overthink so it will take me a while.

A screenshot of the filled form would do nicely, don't worry. I would also argue it's a good thing to take a while to think things over, as this software was made to be a place and opportunity for introspection. Thank you for playing.

I liked how the game was laid out. It gave 90's horror game vibes which was very pleasing to the eye. I liked the outcome since I usually take care of other people before I take care of myself (which rarely happens also). "Love yourself first" really set home. I sent in the form if you're wondering—I hope I did it right.

You should receive an email soon about the form. There was an issue in sending it and thus could not be analyzed.
Otherwise, thank you for taking the time to play. 

I don't know what I was expecting, but when I recieved the message "Let Go," I understood that this thing was reading my mind like a magazine. I recently went through a death in the family, so the message displayed really impacted me in a way I can't begin to describe. 10/10, Amazing experience. Form 42-B should be in the mail soon.

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I’m glad the experience could somehow reach out to you (or you to it? what’s the relation between a player and a game, after all?).

It was made for introspection purposes, and I am reassured everytime I hear something like this.

Expect Form 73-D in your emails sometime over the weekend. 😊

I'm in sort of a transitive state in my life right now, and I've always been hesitant to take the steps to go through with something; so getting "Open yourself to it," really spoke to me in a way I wasn't expecting. Don't know if you'll see this, but amazing work.

I'm glad the experience could be of use to you. Best of luck to you for whatever comes next in your life. :)

My ending was simply "Let Go"... honestly, i hold on to way too much thanks to anxiety, and as a result i always want control of a situation. This was very in tune with me, well done

Thank you for playing. You seem to have approached the game in the right way. It is supposed to be a space for self-reflection, and if the ending and its message speak to you, then I'd humbly suggest it's a mission accomplished.

Make peace with the anger... Anger, hatred, repulsion and rage - I experience them so often that I almost forgot what was my life like before all this.

I am glad the experience could reach out to you. It was intended as a place for introspection, so if it put you in a thinking mood, then I accomplished my mission.
Living with anger causes all sorts of damage, to oneself and also to others around us. Hopefully you can find peace for yourself. Don't give up.

Thank you for your reply...

"Build it Anew"

"Shed the Inanimate" was my result at the end. Very fitting.

Didn't bother with sending the form~ 

Love the game! 

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Do not worry, sending the form is not mandatory. We hope you found the time spent with the software satisfactory.

I loved this test and kinda gave me an insight at how I see things. Really well done. 

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest. The candidness with which you approached the evaluation honors you.

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I have completed my test and submitted my forum. Video documentation is above. This was an...interesting experience, and I mean that in a good way. Looking forward to my evaluation! - Zander "Crazyfanboysteve"

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Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest.  Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience the software made you experience in attempting to launch it and making it work properly.
Please expect Form 73-D in your email inbox today.

Looking forward to my evaluation. This was a good little surreal play.

Your game starts at 15:30, and i've filled out the form and sent it in!
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Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software.Your video performance was evaluated with great interest by our clinical staff. Your enthusiasm is contagious.

 Your form was received and analyzed by clinical staff. Expect form 73-D in your mail box in the coming day.

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It works yay. Had some issues getting to work but after awhile of finnicking it did work..

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest.  Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience the software made you experience in attempting to launch it and making it work properly.

This was a really neat experience! I only wish I had uploaded my video before submitting the first form, as now I'm curious what my form  73-D would have said with that added in. 


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Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest. 

As a supplement to Form 73-D, here is relevant information.  You have obtained self-reflective result :

"[X] Material Loss" 

 We can also ascertain the following senses were affected during testing : 

"[X] Spatial Awareness / [X] Visual / [X] Hearing"

As a side note, thank you for insisting on the entertainment nature of the software and forms. We feel it is an important point to make about the entire experience.

I think the gaming world needs more to offer with an Alice  feel, which this game had for me (maybe even some Terry Gilliam? Who knows). The weirdness is delicious and I ate it up. 

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software.  Your assessment of related works is correct. TSOTG could be seen as a companion piece for stated work and creator.  

The game crashes as soon as you start the "tests"... Tried fullscreen, windowed, aspect ratio changed - crashes all the time...

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Our guess is that it doesn't crash, just takes too long. Any interaction, such as mouse clicks, on the (admittedly poorly implemented) loading screen will be interpreted by Windows as an idle program and it will suggest you to close the program. 
If waiting doesn't help, we will need more information. Feel free to contact us with error logs at somewhatsoftware@gmail.com

I sent a mail with the error report, says it crashes - although what you wrote is also true, from what I noticed. 

After completing the evaluation and post-evaluation interview, my patient said the experience was, quote, "weird but cool! The graphics were pretty rad, though it was a little too blurry and unfocused. I liked how the questions were presented in eerie imagery instead of words.

It's an unconventional idea to create a personality test in the form of a game, and I think y'all pulled it off pretty well!"

I submitted the Form 42-B from the patient's evaluation. I am curious to see what will be revealed from such a strange being's psyche.

Respectfully,

Dr. Totallylegit

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your form was received and analyzed by clinical staff. Expect form 73-D in your mail box in the coming day.

This was one of those games that Just sucked me in. I immediately fell in love with the visuals and how weird it was

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

WHAT DO YOU /REALLY/ SEE? | The Shape On The Ground Full Gameplay Walkthrough

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Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your enthusiasm and willingness to share your train of thought were highly appreciated. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

You guys do love Quay Brothers, don't you ? :) You should have a look at Patrick Bokanowski...

Indeed Bokanowski falls under a similar aesthetic than our main visual influences for TSOTG, the brothers Quay and Jan Svankmajer (especially the latter, since he always included more actors and live performances in his output).

Greetings from MikeyBlighe's Examination Supervisor.

A pleasant yet rather excitable patient, MikeyBlighe played through the simulation with great interest, although did experience a rather large amount of disorientation, which according to the patient is completely normal for him.

The patient found the graphical qualities of the game to be lo-fi yet still eye-catching, and the queries based on visual representation to be a very interesting methodology. However he did seem confused by the ending of the test, but was nonetheless impressed (if not equally bewildered) by the experience.

Form 42-B was sent along to you via electronic mail earlier today, I sincerely hope you find its contents useful and informative.

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your form was received and analyzed by clinical staff. Expect form 73-D in your mail box in the coming day.

I am not crazy! I am not crazy! I am not crazy! Really cool "game". Was not sure what to expect but was pleasently surprised and I throughly enjoyed this experience! Very unique as far as I know and it is worth your time for sure!

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

A bizarre game with an interesting premise. I loved the game Nevermind, and how it showcased twisted imagery in the name of Psychology, and this was an interesting take on the Rorschach Test.


Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

Very interesting! I didn't necessarily have an ecstatic time, but this was intriguing! 

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. We are sorry you experienced discomfort during testing, but it is a known side-effect.

This experiment was very beneficial and I am glad I was one of the lucky test subjects to have also taken it. I thought I would go the extra mile and record my experiment for others to view so that they may come here to take it themselves. All joking aside, the game was really cool. More of a walking simulator with added effect but it was never going for a typical game feel so I enjoyed it!

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your form was received and analyzed by clinical staff. Expect form 73-D in your mail box in the coming day. 

Not sure I got the game, I guess that means I'm a loony.

This was a super cool idea! i enjoyed it!

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

Fun game best way to describe it is an interactive test I loved the map very victorian London and the questions were done well overall cool game and art style

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

I am not sure what to think about this "Game"... If you do not see it as a Game and more like a "Quiz", it is really good ( The atmosphere is done pretty well!).

After all I can sit down on my Throne in Hell ;)

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. The TSOTG software was not designed to be a game (not in the commonly thought of sense, at least) and we were careful to correctly label it accordingly.

I am left feeling overall indifferent. Good thing it was on the patient form! In all seriousness, I'm not sure if this "game" was meant to be "memed" or an actual game with an actual story behind it, but I'll give you one thing, its a good idea, perhaps think about expanding on it? People love taking quizzes!- Took a look at the form twice... Very interesting about the church segment itself, as I made enough comments to fill both spaces. 


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Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your form was received and analyzed by clinical staff. Expect form 73-D in your mail box in the coming day. The TSOTG software was not designed to be a game (not in the commonly thought of sense, at least) and we were careful to correctly label it accordingly.

really like the game very fun and interesting like how your tested this game reminds me of bio shock and fable feel cant cant wait for more games from you!!

  

I'm not sure what to make of this game? Do I call it a game as, it's suppose to be an, experimental test right? A look into t he psyche by a series of images and, determining the outcome based on first reaction. It was lost on me. The whole thing reminded me of one of those halloween mazes you go through to get a quick jump scare. The choices on the majority of the images I saw were vague and, none of them really portrayed what I saw in the scene at, all. Does that mean i'm demented? A deep thinker? This just left me confused. The end of it for me was confusing and, the  message at the end made no sense to me. I apologize I guess i'm not a good candidate for your experiment.

Thank you for taking the time to complete our software experience. Do not worry about your reaction. The TSOTG test software is not intended for every type of patient profile. Hence why we hesitated in calling it a 'game', as it felt like a dishonest misnomer.

Not really sure what I was supposed to be doing. Next time I try one of these games I may actually put some thoughts in my answers but throughout the whole game I felt a need to rush and complete it as fast as possible, sorry if I butchered your game.

Thank you for taking the time to complete our software experience. Sense of dread was determined as one of the possible side-effects of using the software, so your reaction is completely normal.

Gave it a go...

(+1)

Thank you for taking the time to complete our software experience. Your generosity in sharing the train of thought behind each of your answers was greatly appreciated by the clinical staff.

This is probably one of the weirdest LP's I've ever done, in a good way. This game's atmosphere, art direction and audio are all on point. The concept is very unique.  Not technically a horror game, per say, but it definitely creeped me out at times and could, oddly, fit into that category.

Thank you for taking the time to complete our software experience.  We believe you have already been sent a form 73-D via email, prior to publishing a video of your performance. It should not, however, alter the results described in the form.

This game was a huge bundle of atmosphere. Immediately, the player is urged to immerse themselves into the game. The visuals are gold. It felt like I was walking around in a work of art at a museum. The whole premise of the game was extremely clever and I love how it is made to look like a real psyche evaluation. I definitely enjoyed this game. Thanks so much for making it!

Thank you for taking the time to complete our software experience.  For a more in-depth analysis, do not hesitate to send a properly filled form 42-B to the address provided on the form itself.

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Interesting game! I won't waste time repeating everything I said in the video but I echo the sentiments of other comments here. Lovely imagery, brilliant execution of a simple idea that lends itself very well to multiple endings, and I appreciate that you maintained tight focus on the concept and tone instead of tossing in random elements just because you could. Also liked the layout of the area. It called to mind a town emptied by the plague. Good job and good luck with future games!

Thank you for taking the time to complete our software experience.  For a more in-depth analysis, do not hesitate to send a properly filled form 42-B to the address provided on the form itself.

This is a very interesting game! I really loved the artwork used and idea of people having different opinions on what they see.

When I played I didn't realise the game had different endings, and I'm still not sure what my ending meant, but I guess that just adds to the mysteriousness of the game!

You should definitely check it out for yourself, and I will definitely be keeping an eye on this developer 

Thank you for taking the time to complete our software experience. Your willingness to embrace introspection honors you. For a more in-depth analysis, do not hesitate to send a properly filled form 42-B to the address provided on the form itself.

Lol What in the world. 

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Thank you for taking the time to complete our software experience. Side effects documentation does include confusion, so your reaction is perfectly normal.

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