Cipher

Cipher is a short (15-20 min) side-scrolling platformer that follows the story of a young couple as they mature and grow. With an art style inspired by Baudot Code, uncover the mystery behind the characters' inner thoughts by decoding the levels you traverse and finding collectibles that slowly reveal the truth.


The one that started it all, Cipher marks Jared's first independently developed full-fledged video game. A series of unfortunate events during his college days sparked an inspiration to follow his dreams, and dedicate an entire summer to developing, designing, storyboarding, and sound engineering everything from the ground up.

Week after week, the game was submitted to various forums for feedback. Initial playtesters described the story as "so pretentious it makes me want to punch you in the face" and raved that the graphics were "virtual puke at it's finest!" Over the course of several weeks, eventually criticism became much more favorable, and it was clear that Cipher was moving in the right direction.

Cipher's crowning achievement was when an anonymous user openly admitted that the game brought him to tears by the end of it. It was assumed that this was meant in the "good" way, and was accepted at face-value for the sake of ego-boosting.

  • Developers: Jared Slawski (Solo Project)

  • Development Period: April 2013 - August 2013

  • Development Tools: GameMaker 8.3 (GML)

Accumulation of brainstorming notes, story re-writes, and to-do lists over the course of 3 months.  Many stacks of sticky notes were harmed in the making of this game.

Lacking professional sound equipment necessitated going full "MacGyver" on the sound effects and music.