I loved this a lot... the anxiety depiction is too real.
I really hope this project is still ongoing!
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux
This game is a free demo released for the 2017 Yaoi Jam event, and is just a small part of the full game. Content may change with final release. Please visit the game's website for details about the full release as they are announced.
Genre: Visual Novel, Boy’s Love, Adult
Length: ~11k words
Ren Matsuura is a camboy, someone who makes connections with others, even if just for a moment. But they’re all fake, a defensive facade. Ren is terrified of people seeing him for who he really is - someone who is so anxious and depressed that he rarely reaches out to anyone, to the point that he’s become a shut-in. His job is basically his worst nightmare, yet he continues it out of self-punishment more than anything else.
One day, Ren’s brother, Haru, announces that he plans to visit. This sends waves through Ren’s solitary life and sets him on a course he never would have expected; reaching out to others.
Focusing primarily on the protagonist's anxiety and fear of intimacy, 404's plot revolves around a male cam model and three of his "regulars." The game centers in on the issues that arise from Ren's agoraphobia and anxiety, as well as the connections spawned with others without ever having seen their faces.
Note: Since this is a new game, it may trigger false positives with some AV scanners. Please whitelist the game if you encounter any issues with launching.
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I loved this a lot... the anxiety depiction is too real.
I really hope this project is still ongoing!
Thank you for the comment!
The project is still ongoing. Life gets in the way sometimes, but we do have some progress updates on our Twitter. Find us @codephantasm!
So I just finished playing the demo and I have to say I am very impressed. The characters seem so real and the writing is amazing. It really managed to make me hold my breath and panic along with the main character, which is something that doesn't really happen for me.
Can't wait for the full game release! Any idea when it's gonna be completed?
Hey there! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the game! We tried to make the characters as realistic and relatable as possible, especially with the subject matter we want to handle.
Right now we're planning on running a Kickstarter for the game in spring of 2019, with a full release scheduled after. We'll have more updates posted on our tumblr and Twitter as they're available.
Thanks for playing!
Okay, first of all, holy crap, I love all of this. I just feel like - I dunno, the immidieate relation between myself and Ren had me stunned. The emotions and the feelings were all there, and the artstyle was great. I especially liked the way chat was implemented and characters were introduced through there - they seemed exactly like a group of people who could exist in real life.
Overall, fantastic game. I will certainly be awaiting further updates!
I'm really impressed at how easily 404 sucked me right in! I found the introduction of the regulars to be really smooth (unlike some VNs that just force strangers onto you). Artwork is cute (dem nips be scandalous!) and I'm curious to see what the artist you guys found will do. :D The writing is natural, not cringy at all, and I can imagine real people saying the dialogue. I was able to laugh and feel sympathy all at once! Can really feel you guys' love for your characters.
The only thing that off-put me a little was the ringtone for the video call. It sounded to me like an unmemorable section of a track than what someone would put as a tone. But that's just me being a huuuuge nitpicker. :P
Truly though, please continue 404 as it's a fresh idea and the demo so far is full of potential!
Oh god, I love this game I love this game I love this game.
I'm fairly (really) new to this genre of game, so I can't really tell you how it compares to the others.
but in MY opinion, amazing.
The struggles I feel of the main character are things I feel personally on a daily basis, the artwork, the overall detail I see being put into just a simple demo is so so so so beautiful. I'm like salviating for more honestly.
I'm going to try to be active and support you as much as possible, and sweet jesus I can't wait for this game to come out fully.
I just really like this game.
This doesn't even really feel like a game, it feels like I'm getting intimate with Ren, the simplicity yet complexity (that doesnt make sense but i hope you know what i mean) is so shocking to me, because I've never seen something like that. I don't even know where this game is heading, is it a romance or a "get your shit together and be happy" kinda game. EITHER WAY IM STILL GONNA SALVIATE OVER IT.
As far as I can tell this is something thats new to this genre of gay-visual-porn(?) There isnt a clear clear indication within the first few scenes of gameplay of a love interest AND I LOVE ME SOME SELF CARE.
Yeah no I just really like your game.
I hope I haven't freaked either of you out, you both seem like lovely people :))
Have a great day/night/whatever
and you bet your asses I'll be there when you finish the game!
-A new (but devoted) fan
My goodness! This has to be the nicest comment we've received thus far on this project!
Pardon us while we scream excitedly
I am so glad you enjoyed our demo! 404 is a project that became very close to our hearts very quickly (so quickly that within a week of conception Sei and I were so thoroughly attached to the cast that it was nearly all we could talk about). What really drew us to the idea was that both of us also struggle from a lot of the issues Ren does. We wanted to create a game that would break the mold and focus on the character's self-improvement with the support of friends and loved ones instead of the usual theme we saw of "falling in love fixes everything!" A yaoi romance visual novel focusing on the main character coming to love himself just as much (and not in the way he does in the opening scene lmao).
Basically, the goal is for Ren to get his proverbial shit together with his friends and loved ones supporting him. We felt that was a better message to send. And we also want to emphasize that it's okay to reach out for professional help!
The art was done by me (the programmer!) in under a month, so it really makes me feel warm and fuzzy that you enjoyed it. We are hiring a professional to do the art for the final project so I hope you like their work just as much!
Again thank you so much for the wonderful comment. It made our day! We'll be updating this page and our tumblr as soon as we have information for the Kickstarter.
Youre awesome! Happy New Year!
I've played the demo and oh my... I don't even know where to start...
Your game is incredible. I'm utterly stunned by it. I've never seen that kind of plot, or at least not with the main character being the one suffering that kind of problems - usually it would rather be a romanceable character, and the main character would have to help them, if doing their route. Seeing that kind of role reversal is delightful.
I've really enjoyed the writing style, and the music choices and art style complement it very well. The music conveys all the right emotions in a very subtle non-invasive way, and the character sprites are expressive and nice.
And the feels! It may be the first demo ever to genuinely bring me to the verge of tears, so I can't even imagine what it'll be in the full version! Ren is a great character, so unusual for a MC as I've already mentionned above, and I really like Haru and the three patrons so far too. The cute little brother is one thing, but you did a really good job in making the players attached to character you can't even actually see so far.
I really can't wait for the full version of this. You did an outstanding job and made me really happy with this game, even though the subject is very hard and heartbreaking. Thank you very much for creating this! And good luck with the full version of the project!
Thank you so much for the kind review, it really means a lot. And I’m really glad that you enjoyed the demo!
I’m Sei, the writer. This is probably the nicest comment that I’ve gotten on my original writing ever and I’m sitting here and blushing with a giddy smile on my face. Ren is really near and dear to my heart since I’m also a ball of anxiety. I really wanted to explore how pervasive anxiety can be in someone’s life, especially how seemingly benign things like a younger brother coming and visiting can make it spiral out of control.
Haru is one of my favorite characters to write for 404 (Ren is my favorite to write), but I adore all three of Ren’s regulars. Fuu and I are very attached to all of them. I’m really glad to hear they’re likeable even though you don’t get to see their faces in the demo.
Again, thank you so much for the thoughtful and kind comment! -Sei
Oh my goodness, hello!
Oh man...I don't know where to begin with this response! This is Fuu, the programmer and artist! This was such a lovely thing to read that I'm still sitting here screaming in joy! It means so much to get feedback like this and even more that you enjoyed the game! We really wanted to create a game that explored things that so many experience, but not many actually take the time to write about, let alone in a game setting. It was definitely a journey to get the demo done in time, and I really hope to get even better art done for the full version of the game!
Thank you so much for the lovely review. I'm still screaming like a pterodactyl over here! If you want we'll be posting status updates on the game as they come on the tumblr page!
I am downloading this. My God the plot is amazing. I have never seen something like it. Iam anxious to play the finally version. Is the game long or short? I will play and then comment again. =).
We're so glad you like it! The game will be fairly long. Right now it's projected to exceed 60k words, but it will likely be longer, especially if we get to put in the secret routes! Thank you so much for downloading and sharing!