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?
User reviews: Very Positive (587 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 4, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"A short visual novel and the first of a planned episodic series. Beautiful art and an interesting story <3"

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 This 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.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    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
    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
    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
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
Two things!

As I was much younger I loved the book "The Warlock of Firetop Mountain" and the many books that came after this, it started my year long affection to roleplaying games and adventures. You try to affect the game with your decissions, the newes fad in this category are "Visual Novels" - some of them are quite blatantly Dating Sims. Luckily this game doesn't fall into this category of "Visual Novel" or "Romantic Readalong". It has a dystopian backdrop, and some, well you can say demands. During the past months I developed a healthy - avoidance syndrome - towards this relatively new genre of games, but since so many of them landed now in my backlist, I'll play them. Some of them are good and interesting, the most are not. This game is no exception to the later group.

Second, the game was praised for the different and variable outcomes of the game. Ok, there are some choices, but the choices are leading to the same end result (not the epilogue - that isn't even a funny little thing with the room-mate, dear developers). I played it several times only to gain the achievements - but alone on the end result of this first part, I wouldn't buy the second part. You are very limited in the choices, and the outcome is with just little variations the same.

To a fan of this genre it might be a godsend, to all others it can become a burden and bore to play, it's winded up in it's own verbosity, it lacks a lot of humor (naivity of the protagonist isn't really funny) and the really good artworks are like a dull firework in a even duller story.

I'd vote for more ingenuity.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
I really can't put into words how good I feel about this game. But I'm gonna try.

Learning to Manage Chaos is Part 1 of the Dysfunctional Systems visual novel series. It follows the story of Winter Harrison, a student at some kind of... orginization? It's never too clear. Regardless, you follow the story of Winter and help to make choices that lead to multiple endings, each with varying differences.

The story is amazing. It takes place during a futuristic, post-apocalypse setting, where technology to travel between planets in an instant is available. The characters are all unique and very engaging, making you take sides very often in the story. (Go, Winter!~) For someone like me who likes to escape reality (assignments most of all) it is amazing. It constantly keeps you on your toes, and for the amount of value the story offers, the price is soooo worth it.

The artwork is goregeous. An almost rustic, stylized and crisp style brings alive, yet powerful character designs and image stills for the story events. If you're someone like me who loves a good browse through artwork, the images are available after a certain point.

Finally, the music. What's better than a soundtrack that caresses your ears like a silk glove on your bare bre- arms. I mean arms. What can be better than that? If said soundtrack comes with the game once you purchase it. Done and done. :3

In short, this game is a must-have for your steam library this Chirstmas, with a soundtrack to keep your ears warm by the fire.

~Gen~
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
I cannot wait for the next installment of this game! The story is interesting, the music is nice, though i wish there was more, and the art is beautiful. It's a short game but i actually find that to be a good thing in this case. It never feels as if i'm clicking through worthless dialogue like i do for many visual novels. Definitely worth the 5 dollars.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
The artstyle is beautiful, the characters are interesting and promising; Overall, it has a lot of potential. The dialogue needs a bit of improving, though, and it is an INCREDIBLY SHORT game- Not really worth this much money, at all. Wait for it to get cheaper, then certainly do buy it.

Looking forward to the next chapter!
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
The art was amazing, the music was amazing, the plot was amazing - I thoroughly enjoyed every single aspect of this game. The developers took extra care to create an immersive setting with many overarching themes that allow the reader's mind to wander, even going a step further - making the reader question him/herself and what he or she would have done in the same situation. My only complaint is that it was extremely short, but VERY worth the five dollars that it costs.

The decisions you make really do matter - episode two will most likely be very different depending on what choices you made in the game.

All in all, I strongly recommend this game, if not for the plot then for the AMAZING soundtrack.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
Great art & UI
The music is not really good, an there's no voice acting
7/10
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
This was different. I cruised thru it and took the easy perfect game.

Not my thing, but does what it intended to do.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
First off let's get the music out of the way. Excellent, quickly became one of my favorite soundtracks. The characters were consistent, though I may have disliked the protagonists personality it was a dislike of "Yeah, I know someone like that." The art doesn't detract from the game and even enhances it in key points throughout.

Now for the downsides. The game is excrutiatingly short, and it is extended to just below reasonable by the slow text boxes. Seriously I feel the transistions and text alone double the game time. The choices are few within the game, I can say I don't have a lot of VN experience but I would've expected more than 2 real interactive dialog points. Even at a low price of $5 it still seems like you aren't getting the full value per dollar. The seemingly branching path does add some replay value but using a save is much easier than wading through the text wall that leads up to the 3-5 questions as nothing mentioned is necessary or even relevant to your responses.

The game appears to be setting up for a much larger sequel and that may or may not pend on the success of this one.

I enjoyed the game but I hope you understand the true length of this game is a mere 2-3 hours if you read all of the text. If you get it on a deal Great!
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
Tirando a falta de escolhas durante a história, Dysfunctional Systems é uma ótima Visual Novel, o universo apresentado é bastante interessante, os diálogos são gostosos de acompanhar, a arte é muito bem feita, assim como a trilha sonora.
E bem... é baratinho, então compra aí.
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5 of 12 people (42%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Can't wait for the others :D
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2 of 11 people (18%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
Im not saying at all that this is a bad game or that people shouldn't play it. I'm just not into this sort of visual novel game, and if you are not either... lol don't play it. for people that are into it that sort of game experience, there seem to be a ton of great reviews,
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1 of 12 people (8%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
I only recommend it if you can get it cheap (1$ or 1 Euro) and enjoy reading. It only took me 3.5 hours to get all the achievements. So it is very short.
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1 of 12 people (8%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
The dialogue in this game is actually painful. The images are fine, the stylings are cool, and (most importantly) the story even looked to have some real potential, but the dialogue, my God. Jesus wept!
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6 of 31 people (19%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
not hentai
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos for a visual novel its not that bad and quite iteresting and i liked the poltics in it its just a shame they never made a sequal still SPOILER ALERT most of the interactivity becomes available in the second half but the story is worth reading because i found it to be quite interesting and intense in a conspiracy kind of way it is for these reasons i feel that Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos i should give a personal rating of 9/10
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1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
This is my first visual novel, and I must say it was an excellent introduction into the genre. The art is beautiful and the accompanying soundtrack is nothing short of outstanding and immersive. It took very little time to get to know the characters and begin to like or dislike them. I am very much looking forward to attempting other paths available to me and saving alternate profiles for progression into Episode 2 when it is released! :)
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4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
Starting off in a place resembling a different timeline, two travelers are there to observe and correct any possible disasters. In a world where science has progressed but humanity still suffers.
Know that this is only one chapter out of a trilogy. The rest won't be released until later. It is text heavy but enjoyable when you get into it. My first playthrough was quit short, taking less than a couple hours to complete. I didn't quite get into it until I was little more in the story but after that it was refreshing. My second playthrough was more enjoyable. I would recommend it for those who enjoy a good story.
The art and music are beautiful.

One more thing to be aware of is that it's a visual novel. As an added bonus, the OST is included with the game in FLAC and mp3 formats. It's perfect for studying music on its own. Enjoy!
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2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
Only liked the music and art.
Even though I really tried to like the characters (specially the main) I just can't stand her, she's so annoying and arrogant (although I understand her ways of thinking and her morals, I can't stand her reactions, they're really childish for me, and I know she's 14 you don't need to tell me).
Also, the whole concept of an interventionist reality didn't appeal to me.
If you like that kind of science fiction I say go for it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Disclaimer: review copy provided by the developer.

As visual novels go, this game has very few branches. It is possible to go through the entire game and only make one choice. (One branch from that first choice has other choices to be made.) Even still, the game doesn't allow the player much freedom. What it has, though, is really good writing. The characters and setting are very interesting and the dialogue is great.

It's the first chapter in an episodic series and the developers have promised that there will be more branching later, with decisions made in this first chapter affecting later episodes. It seems they were trying to keep the scope of the whole series under control going into the future by limiting options now. Given how it ends, I'm really looking forward to seeing where future episodes go.
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73 of 96 people (76%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
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.
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