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Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos
From Dischan Media, creators of the highly acclaimed Juniper's Knot, comes Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos. Dysfunctional Systems is a visual novel series featuring Winter Harrison, a student mediator from a utopian world. Learning to Manage Chaos is the first entry in the series. What is a mediator?
Release Date: Apr 4, 2013
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Buy Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos

$4.99

Reviews

“Learning to Manage Chaos is driven by an engaging story and lively dialogue.”
4/5 – Gamezebo

“Extraordinary story, writing, art, characters, and music. What more could you ask for?”
8.5/10 – Game Podunk

About the Game

From Dischan Media, creators of the highly acclaimed Juniper's Knot, comes Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos.

Dysfunctional Systems is a visual novel series featuring Winter Harrison, a student mediator from a utopian world. Learning to Manage Chaos is the first entry in the series.

What is a mediator? A mediator is someone who travels to chaotic worlds, attempting to resolve the issues plaguing them. The first entry in the series follows Winter's second mediation, where she shadows the experienced and aloof mediator: Cyrus Addington.

Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos features two distinct endings, unlockable bonus art, an animated opening video, and a jukebox of in-game music.

What is a visual novel?


A visual novel is a mix of choose your own adventure books, comics and manga, music, and animation. Play through the story and make choices for the main character to change the outcome of the episode and the events of future episodes!

Soundtrack Included


All Steam purchases of Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos include the official soundtrack absolutely free! Enjoy a total of 18 tracks, including a full rendition of the Dysfunctional Systems opening theme, in both MP3 and FLAC. The album is included with the game files. To access, right click the "Dysfunctional Systems" entry in your library, click "properties", then go to the "local files" tab, and click the "browse local files" button.

PC System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 or higher
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual-Core
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated Graphics Card
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space

Mac System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6
    • Processor: Any 64 bit processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: OS X 10.8 or higher
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz+ Dual-Core
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated Graphics Card
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space

Linux System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: "ia32-libs" package required for 64-bit Linux users
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual-Core
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated Graphics Card
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: "ia32-libs" package required for 64-bit Linux users
Helpful customer reviews
19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
EXTREMELY SHORT
NOT ENOUGH CHOICES
ME3-ISH ENDING
PRETTY MUCH A TEASER FOR PART 2 AND 3

BUT
DAT ART
DAT MUSIC
DAT STORY
DAT ATMOSPHERE
OH GOD WHY ISN'T THERE MORE.
PLS I NEED IT.
SEQUELS NOW.
THIS IS WHY I HATE PLAYING EPISODIC GAMES.


BUY WHEN CHEAP.
VERY GOOD, BUT FIVE BUCKS STILL KINDA PRICY.
Posted: August 18
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
One of the best written stories I've ever had the privilege of reading, paired with superb art and complementary music.
Posted: June 6
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
A thoughtful visual novel (with a couple of un/branching choice points) about social and political conflict and how a couple of Utopian trans-dimensional travelers attempt to resolve (or make it worse). Expect little gameplay and plenty of reading, but also some well done visual and musical vignettes. Unfortunately, once you do the main path, the other choices offer little replay-ability or meaningful content aside from getting the odd achievements. Developer Deschan promised additional episodes in this series, which hopefully will further flesh out the title's world and characters. Until then, I would avoid a full price purchase unless you are a big fan of the genre. 3/5
Posted: March 22
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
794.6 hrs on record
Nice.
Posted: July 13
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
I would like to give this VN a positive review as I did like its initial premise and I really do wish I could say it was a good experience.. except it wasn't. Despite its short lenght, it was a struggle to complete – but in order to at least give this game a chance, I felt I had to.

The good:
Visually, I would say that Dysfunctional Systems Episode 1 is pretty gorgeous overall. The details are beautiful, and if anything, there are too many poses and expressions (because they ultimately appear on only one side of the screen). I also applaud for the layout, which (unlike in many other games) looks well designed and appealing to the eye. Nothing bad to say about the music, either: it is enjoyable enough and far better than what I had expected for a game of this lenght and kind. In addition, the inclusion of the soundtrack so that it's possible to listen to the tracks separately grants an extra plus. Another comes simply from the fact that it is cheap.

The bad:
As one could expect from a VN, writing makes or breaks it, and it unfortunately broke it for me. My first ending lifted up the (otherwise miserable) experience into something near-decent, but the dragged out nonsensial epilogue successfully drowned whatever good was left. There is also little to say about gameplay in this game, as there only was one point where you are allowed to make choices – but I never minded the lack of interactivity so much as how the game felt so shamelessly pieced together and none of the pieces truly fit. I don't buy the reason that it is the first in the series; it just wasn't good enough for a release. It tries to be serious but never gets past awkward in any of the areas it tries to explore. Instead we get a stupifying amount of details that don't matter, and characters so blank and plain that they wouldn't talk unless the creators had forced them to.

Although not explicitly included in gameplay, I must mention that some of the fanart pictures (presented along with in-game art) in the "extras" section, are of questionable nature. Fanart is nice and all but I do prefer it as an entity of its own, separate from the game. For the creators to associate themselves with this material and comments kind of begs a question of how seriously this game ought to be taken in the first place.
Posted: March 29
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199 of 206 people (97%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
PLAY JUNIPER'S KNOT BEFORE YOU BUY THIS GAME!
Juniper's Knot is another game created by the same people that made Dysfunctional Systems, and is legally free to download for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS at Dischan's website. It's pretty short, and should give you a good idea whether or not you'll actually enjoy this game.

You'll probably notice that there was no sort of interactivity involved in playing Juniper's Knot, aside from clicking to progress to the next line of text. This is more or less how Dysfunctional Systems plays, except this game actually has moments where you get to choose from a short list of options what you (Winter) should do. However, there aren't many times you actually get to do this, and it is actually possible to play through the entire story by only making a single decision. All of the choice moments in the game are placed together around half-way through the game, and they only lead to two endings. The ending you get is determined entirely by whether or not you can convince your mentor (Cyrus) to listen to what you have to say, and not do what he initially decides he should do in order to solve the problem he's given. I wouldn't consider either ending to be a "good ending", but I suppose that's why this is only the first episode in the series.

As for how the game looks and sounds, the artstyle is similar to Juniper's Knot's, and you can listen to the ost on YouTube, so you can decide for yourself if you like those parts before you buy the game. If you really like the sountrack, you can find all 18 tracks in both flac and mp3 format in the game's files.

This game is short. I'm not a fast reader, but I played through this the first time in only about two and a half hours, then about another hour to get the second ending. You can get more playtime by going through all the routes for the achievements for a little extra replayability, but there's a guide on the game's community hub that'll tell you exactly what routes you need to go through to unlock all the achievements.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, episode 2 of Dysfunctional Systems is planned to be released by September later this year, and episode 3 by March 2015. Until these episodes are finished and released to the public, the story in this game is incomplete. If you're looking for a complete story, then you should at least wait until the next two episodes come out.
Posted: January 5
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