You're home alone when you hear a knock at the door. Turns out it's an old friend, one you haven't seen in... a long time. One you never expected to see again.

Back When is a short kinetic visual novel made for the O2A2 Again Jam. As per jam restrictions, it has only about 1k words and uses limited assets.

Content Warning: This visual novel alludes to drug use (primarily alcohol) and death.


Back When - Windows/Linux 54 MB
Version 1.2 Aug 03, 2021
Back When - Mac 18 MB
Version 1.2 Aug 03, 2021

Development log


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I liked it. It was... quite sad, but quite nice considering the limitations for the jam.


Thank you for commenting, I'm glad you enjoyed Back When!

I have no idea what happened but when I tried to play the game on the browser it wouldn't work with an ERROR. Then I decided to download to play the game but when I clicked on it, it made my laptop freeze and my heart to go into panic mode. Luckily I was able to get it back in tip top shape however I'm not sure what happened and I don't know if I want to try again... I'm sure it's a lovely game, but it's too scary with the risks.....

I'm sorry to hear that :( It sounds like your laptop might not have the right specs to play it properly, unfortunately, although if you remember any more details about the error message I can try to look into it and see if there's anything I can do to help. (Also, sorry for taking so long to reply!)

It's okay! And you might be right when you said that my laptop doesn't have the right specs lmao. The error message had a lot of text but generally said something was missing and it couldn't start the game. And my antivirus software was going crazy when I downloaded the game which caused my laptop to crash so that might also be a reason for that... Thanks anyway!

Ah yeah sometime antivirus software is wary of programs from smaller creators like those of us here on itch, maybe it falsely detected a virus in one of Back When's files and quarantined it, making the game unplayable? It might work to redownload and check your antivirus to un-quarantine files from Back When/mark the folder as safe, but after a crash I can understand why you might not want to try that. Sorry I can't be of more help!


I enjoyed this game! The dialogue is vague, but not to the point of not knowing what happened. I like that it's up for the interpretation to the reader. Good work ^^

Yeah I figured not being too straightforward would be more interesting for a story this short, I'm glad that it worked and you enjoyed Back When!


Short and poignant. A well-crafted atmosphere!

Thank you for your comment, I'm glad you enjoyed Back When!


I Share A Fear Of Mine - Back When - Visual Novel - YouTube

I was having a hard time thinking this can be achieved with such limited assets... so yea, great job. Also, I don't know if I got the message right, but I still talked about my experience with what happened to me with people around me who are drunk so sorry about that... :3


I'm glad you enjoyed Back When :) It's not meant to have a message per se, and a lot of it is intentionally left up to interpretation. Because of that I was really curious how other people would end up taking it, so I'm glad you made this video and left this comment to share your thoughts. I think you definitely picked up on some elements I thought of as I was writing, even though there are other possible interpretations too. Thanks for playing Back When!


Thanks for making it. :)

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This is a surprisingly well-achieved VN from the technical standpoint. A cut above the average for short works, and hard to believe it was made with the limitations of ‘only one type of asset’ given the visual effects and visual queues used. The black-and-white palette enhances the story, and the piano music adds to the bittersweet tone. 

 Story-wise, this short narrative doesn’t feel like one, but rather as a prologue to something bigger. By the time it was over I wanted to know more details about the two character’s previous relationship and past. 

And, not related with the novel itself, but kudos to the author for the devlog where technical explanations of the effects used in the work are given. It is always nice to have more skilled folks sharing their expertise with us less experienced ones.

I'm glad that you liked Back When <3 Working with the limitations of the jam was a challenge but a very fun one, and it's good to hear that you found the assets I was able to use worked well.

I have other ideas for VNs but maybe someday I will be inspired to do more with these characters!

And no problem, I'm happy to share what I learn if it can help more devs make more cool VNs :)