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

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos

 

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

PC
Mac
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
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
The Art is great, the dialogue is interesting, and the sound is outstanding. However, this may not be a game for you if you don't like reading, and there is A LOT of reading. I was hoping for more opportunities and situations to make decisions. It wasn't until I was over an hour into the game that I got the chance to decide what to say. Even then, it felt like my decisions had no impact on the story whatsoever.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
12 of 21 people (57%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
"He just wants her to drink ..."

In this little text adventure happens a lot of texting and visions. I don't really know what the story is about. But the achievements just concentrate around a small decision matrix in the middle part. With a savepoint you can test every possible combination. That's it. No more puzzles to solve ...

But the game has a nice soundtrack and well drawn graphics.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
Story:8/10
Soundtrack:10/10
Characters:8/9
Art:10/10
Effects:9/10

All in all it is a very interesting visual novel with an awesome soundtrack and likeable characters.

The first game Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos acts like an entrance to a much bigger world, and as
develpopers stated there will be sequels coming soon.

This particular VN sucks you in with interesting story, good
soundtrack and great art style but leaves you wanting more.

The one and the only downside in my opinion is the length of the game although as stated before there will be sequels,
the novel is quite short and most people finish it 2.5-3.0 h aprox.

This visual novel is well worth your money since it offers enjoyable story and OST.
Sequels are however going to be a must have if you want to enjoy it fully.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
SO SHORT
SO GREAT
SO AMAZING
SO GOOD
MORE?
WHEN?
EPISODE 2?
NOW?
I NEED NOW XD
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
Just great... no less!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Can't wait for the others :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
Typically I would not go out of my way to give a bad review to a game, but I feel like this game warrants a special exception.

Before I go on, allow me to summarise.
The up-sides:
- The artwork is excellent.
- The soundtrack is excellent.
- The story is excellent.

The down-sides:
- The game sucks.

The game is two hours long and is rife with critical flaws. Returning to this page, it's evident to me that Dischan Media put more effort into their Teaser video than the actual video game.

The artwork, while very good - is far too sparse to express the story in any meaningful way.
Take-away: Draw some more damn pictures and use them to express your story. What you've done is not good enough.

The soundtrack, is excellent - but there are not enough sound effects to express the story either. Fix it.
Take-away: Not everything is about music.

The story is great - but the writing is too lavish and the visual presentation is sub-par.
Take-away: If you want to write a novel, write a damn novel. This is a different visual medium for delivery and it has different rules! You should colour your text to express different characters. You should use unique typefaces to express the difference between character thoughts and dialog IF NECESSARY. Dialogue should ALWAYS be a priority and it should always be straight to the point.

The game is terrible.
This is not a game. There was one single decision tree point with a handful of questions merely seconds apart. I don't know what you were thinking. You need to space this out throughout the game, peaks and troughs - study Mass Effect and The Walking Dead. Test this on people and beware of decision fatigue vs. reading fatigue. Make choices APPEAR meaningful, even if they're not. Be really selective about writing choice breakers into your story! This is exceptionally frustrating!

Lastly:
Yes, I do know anything about making video games. You cannot use that as an excuse to disregard this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
I finsished this work of art and now im just sitting here......
waiting.......
for episode 2.......
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
Extremely good game. Backgrounds are drawn amazingly, characters designs are great. Story is very interesting and it never gets boring. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
I like this game so much I've bought it on all it's available platforms. Maybe it's the wonderful story and art that creates the immersive world. Maybe it's the concept of being a mediator between multiple universes. It's writing is mostly good, dodgy in some places, and I've heard from others that the overall pacing could be better, but none of those things diminished the experience I had playing this game. If it has any flaws, it's that it's so short.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
i realy enjoyed the story line....and hope to see more chapters come out soon
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
Dischan makes excellent VNs, though I sometimes think they'd be better off just making anime. If you don't know what a Visual Novel is then Google "Juniper's Knot", which is another game by Dischan that has similar presentation and pacing to this one. (It's free on their site.) That will let you know what to expect here.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
This game is just great :3 (also, u are convinced to drink alcohol illegally in 30mins of gameplay)
10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Very interesting premise, and a nice change from the usual dating sim themes seen in most visual novels. This is fairly short, as it's essentially a prologue to the rest of the series which is currently in production. The soundtrack is excellent.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
Seen from its overall construction, Dysfunctional Systems wants to be respected and so it well earn my respect. Storywise, it can be seen that its creator spends much time crafting the world setting, it's interesting and mildly engaging me to find out more detail on world background. Also the art and music add to the atmosphere which shows that this game is made by so much care.

For a visual novel that currently planning for episodic release, I saw this game as a proof of concept of the direction they want to take for their next installment. If they don't do anything wrong and stray from this direction, consider me sold for the next episodes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
A compelling and well written visual novel. There are only a few choices in the game, however, the story is political, hard-hitting and heavily character driven. The art is beautiful and the way everything is integrated together takes advantage of the visual novel genre. I thoroughly recommend it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
Nice story, great art, but very short.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
69 of 88 people (78%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
tl;dr: 6/10 - Pretty good but really short.

Full review (spoilers are real spoilers):

As a rather critical visual novel fan, I can't say I'm easily pleased. A visual novel being sold on Steam does raise some eyebrows, but nonetheless I decided to give it a go, and I was pleasantly surprised after reading the disappointing World End Economica a while back.

Although Dysfunctional Systems is an original English language (OEL) visual novel, which is generally a good indicator of poor quality, my past experience with another OEL VN (Katawa Shoujo) was actually rather good, so I wasn't deterred from the beginning. Overall, the visual novel was quite good, all things considered, but we can take a bit of a deeper look into things.

First thing's first: the writing. I can't vouch for the story being fresh and original, but it was well executed regardless. The characters' personalities were generally consistent and the story developed in a logical order. However, the visual novel was painstakingly short. I felt like I was just thrown into the middle of things, and even though the story wasn't too complex to figure out what was going on, a longer introduction would've been welcomed with open arms. There's also the issue of how easy it is to get to the bad end. After several playthroughs of making and recording different decisions, in desperate search of the good end, I was sorely disappointed to find that there was none. As it stands, the story is good, but much too short for my liking, and a lot more content is due. The ratio of number of choices to length of story was horribly skewed in the wrong direction, but I can respect the amount of tedious coding it would've taken to link everything together the way it was done.

Technically, the English was rather good. It was by no means perfect, but it made good use of stylistic devices and all of the other things English professors like to rant on about for an easy-to-read experience. There were a few mistakes that the more pedantic of us (such as myself) may wince at, and the word choice was often pretentious, to say the least, but otherwise, Dysfunctional Systems was well written. If anything, it was better than the disgrace World End Economica was, which I can only imagine was a machine translation done by an IBM 5200.

On to the art and sound - long story short, they were also quite good. While the drawing didn't exactly fit the conventional visual novel clique, there was something about the brushed watercolour style art that appealed to me. All the ren'py animations (yeah, I actually bothered to look through the game files to confirm it was a ren'py game) were used well and surprisingly weren't skimped on - this kind of production quality I can appreciate. I'm not much of an audiophile, but I can also vouch for the soundtrack being great on its own. In the game, it can be a bit overpowering at times, but the volume controls presumably exist solely for that purpose. If only they had some voice acting to go with it - in Japanese, of course, since I'm a filthy weeaboo and English sucks - but alas, one can only dream.

It might seem like I'm bashing the game pretty harshly here - and that's probably true - but I actually did enjoy the game. Although it was extremely short (short enough for me to get 100% completion after only 3 hours), and there were the other issues I'd mentioned previously, it was an interesting story and fun to read. Even though I'm bringing it up again - the sheer lack of content was detrimental to the score I gave - we mustn't forget to interpret the ten point scale correctly. 5/10 is perfectly average, and not garbage by any means. Going from there, 6/10 isn't a bad score, despite what IGN and whatnot want you to believe - but that's a story for another time. I know episodes 2 and 3 of this series are due to come soon, though, so hopefully they can make up for where this episode fell short and salvage the trilogy as a whole.
Was this review helpful? Yes No