Thank you so much for making this! I loved it so much!
Secret Little Haven
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux
Secret Little Haven is a game about old computers, community, creativity, fandom, gender, and the internet. Alex Cole is a teenage trans girl in 1999 who has yet to figure herself out. She spends much of her free time on the internet, browsing a fan forum for her favorite magical girl show, and chatting with her friends.
Join her on her story of self-discovery through friendship and media as she explores her computer for the treasures and curiosities of the early internet.
Play with SanctuaryOS, an entire operating system developed in Unity, with nearly a dozen applications such as a Web Browser, Chat Client, Doll Maker, and Text Editor, as well as an entire web forum for you to search through.
Explore the internet. Explore yourself. Find haven in your life's small comforts.
[CONTENT WARNINGS: Parental conflict, gaslighting, flashing visuals]
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Tags||90s, computer, Cute, Female Protagonist, LGBT, mac-os-9, Transgender, vaporwave, Yuri|
|Average session||About an hour|
|Mentions||itch.io Recommends: Jokes, Technology, a...|
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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Thank you so much for making this! I loved it so much!
I remember reading about this game months ago, in a Tumblr post I bookmarked. I was in my bookmarks today when I stumbled back upon it so I decided to actually buy it.
Fast forward to now, after staying up past midnight playing it. The writing flashes me back to being in middle school, on the gaiaonline forums, being on Yahoo messenger, being young and having nothing figured out. But to a greater extent, it captures the uncertainty of my egg cracking, and the rigid oppressive expectations from those who want me to be something I'm not. Not many games ive played capture the realness this does. So thank you, it was a delight.
Out of all the 'learn to hack' games out there, Secret Little Haven's slice of hacking is most realistic I've seen. I wasn't expecting that out of a nostalgiaOS game.
Also, the hard-core dad is my favorite. 'I had to leave my wife because she was holding us back, son. She is weak !!!'
nice game tho i am stuck at a part where laguna tells me to write in the terminal ~./Applications/Gem_Writer.play because the game won't make me type the "~"
this game really uh, stabbed me right in the feelings
kinda curious though about uh how one goes about sending a crash log to hummingwarp or whatever
got the game on steam and it like, crashed after the final um. . . cutscene? images? the uh, final part. hopefully not missing anything that happens after that. . .
Are you able to get to the credits? Do you see the issue present in the Itch version (If you've played it)?
haha nvm i didn't know what i was doing excellent game
Hey, not sure why but the Is command in terminal isn't working, even just Is by itself does nothing/ .play i can do. I tried reinstalling and i looked up a youtube playthrough to make sure i wasn't doing something wrong. I saw a steam commment from someone with the same issue to.
loving what i'm playing so far but kinda stuck now.
Are you sure you're typing it in properly? It sounds like you're typing it in as "IS" , not "LS", as it should be (Make sure it's all lowercase)
That game was amazing, simply amazing, I really hope you do a sequel where she figures it out and sorts her relationship with her dad out, I came for a casual, chill vaporwave game for some nastolgia, and I got one of the best games in history by accident.
This broke my egg thank you
Hi! Just wanted to say "thanks" for making this little game. I enjoyed playing it through, and it honestly gave me some things to think about that I hadn't really thought about before.
Love the game! I'm just old enough to remember using a old DOS machine to play the Putt-Putt games. You replicated it really well! I got really invested in the characters, I ACTUALLY WROTE FIC for the in-universe show, and oh my gosh I love how everyone's flaws are important but not off-putting to their character, and the way the characters talked (typos, emotes, etc) really brought out their personality.
I ran into some bugs:
-Closing MNet can result in progress being lost, even if you don't exit the game
-Sometimes, the active window isn't on top and is thus invisible
-in fullscreen mode (might be unique issue to my 3:2 display) mouse cursor's position desyncs from the sprite representing it.
Thanks so much for making this game <3````
This was wonderful. good job.
cul I guess
i don't even know what to say
this shit hit me straight in the heart. not even words can describe how powerful of a shot it was
to everybody reading this, on the fence on whether to buy this game or not, it's worth every penny.
best of luck with you and your future endeavors, i'll be right here ready to see 'em
(also, i love how the comments on all the ost tracks are "PGLF 4 EVER!!1!" and the year is set to 1999. great lil touches)
i had the best day playing secret little haven, and i don't know how to find the words to express just how much the game means to me as a trans girl. i wish i could share the sheer excitement and happiness and catharsis, and how much it helped me process emotions i didn't realize i had blocked up for so long.
like, i initially went into it expecting fond memories of that period of my life, growing up on the internet, but secret little haven is everything i didn’t realize i wanted someone to say to me right now, tailored so perfectly to me and my life in so many details that it honestly still feels kinda surreal.
the experience of re-living those years and having someone tell me that it's gonna be ok, and to feel fully accepted, was so cathartic and good, that the moment i closed the game i just collapsed crying until my boyfriend carried me to bed and we had a long talk and i realized just how much i had not accepted my own transition, and how invalid and fake i felt.
can't save progress. running on yosemite (bad i kno)
Changing the permissions might possibly help with this, but I haven't encountered this specific bug on the Mac version. Try running this command:
chmod +x Secret\ Little\ Haven.app/Contents/MacOS/Secret\ Little\ Haven
"Not exactly a common thing for a doc to do right now"
And it sadly still isn't here.
[macOS sierra 10.12.6] unfortunately whenever i try to open this game my computer tells me that "the application secret little haven could not be opened". is there anything i can do? i can't play the game.
It's a rare error, but one other Mac user has reported this. Running this command fixed it for them:
chmod +x Secret\ Little\ Haven.app/Contents/MacOS/Secret\ Little\ Haven
Thank you! It seems like the file in contents/macOS/ wasn't being read as an executable for some reason, I can play the game now.
Hi! I just bought the game and am excited to play it but am having the exact same error. I tried running that command in Terminal and it says "chmod: Secret Little Haven.app/Contents/MacOS/Secret Little Haven: No such file or directory" but I definitely have the game in my Downloads folder. Not sure how to fix this. Thanks!
Never mind -- fixed! I forgot to navigate to that directory in terminal. Sorry about that! Disregard previous comment lol.
I've got my copy of the game on my desktop, inside a folder. I copy/pasted "chmod +x Secret\ Little\ Haven.app/Contents/MacOS/Secret\ Little\ Haven " into Terminal but am also getting "No such file or directory". Could you explain how I should modify the command to navigate to the correct directory in Terminal? Thanks for any help!
I ended up taking the game app out of the folder and adding "Desktop" after "chmod +x" in the command:
chmod +x Desktop/Secret\ Little\ Haven.app/Contents/MacOS/Secret\ Little\ Haven
I was then able to open the game via ctrl click->open :)
I love it!!! :3
this hit me like a freight train in so many ways. i just finished it and i cant even express how happy this game makes me. thank you so so much to everyone involved, im kinda welling up right now, ha ha. hopefully i'll figure it out too <3
This game is incredibly good and I cried for 2 straight hours while playing it. Thank you! <3
Whenever I start the game & press the green arrow, the game closes and redirects me to the steam page. Figure this has to do with the steam api. Looking forward to playing once this is fixed :)
Super-sorry for the inconvenience - I just uploaded a new build that should work, so please let me know if you have any further issues!
Gosh, how to sum up my love for this game.
An adorable nostalgic experience in a world of nerd culture and trans feels. As soon as I booted it up I fell in love.
This game came when I needed it. I'm already in college and already trans, but right now while I'm trying to make it through summer break, the aspect of feeling trapped and desperate in your parents' house hit home for me as hard as it ever could have before.
Thank you for the sanctuary.
I miss in high school when I used to message with my friends. There is something so special about the way we used to talk, how the sterility of text made us *more* open and earnest instead of less, using all these silly emoticons and stuff to create a voice more vulnerable than we knew how to be in person. Somehow I lost the confidence to be open, and loving, and un-self-conscious. I lost the confidence to text my friends at all. But I want to try again. I don't have to feel alone.
I want to write "bad" fanfiction that expresses my feelings. I want to talk to other fans about things that make me happy, whether or not any of it is productive, or insightful, or skillful in any way.
To give a more conventional compliment, I loved the command line programming aspect and how it grew into a more central challenge! It's kinda the only time that kind of meta hacking thing in a game has felt believable to me. :)
The horrid static effect with John was so real.
After the climax, I was upset at first because I didn't understand how John could suddenly be so understanding, or what Alex had really said outside the metaphor of her friends speaking that could have gotten through to him like that.
But later I realized I wanted to have a talk with my own dad. And I did. It was just a start, but it went well!
And I think I feel better about the ending now. John is a monster and a person. And it helps me feel like you can build understanding with someone without it invalidating what you've gone through in the past.
I want to hold onto the way this game made me feel. The sense of security in doing things that make me happy, the feeling that friends don't have to be so far as long as you can speak with each other, the idea that I'm still learning and I don't have to be anything yet because everything that feels like it's missing is already a part of me. And that the feelings that make me feel like the world is splitting apart can be acknowledged and written and captured in a screen, and that everything comforting and good is still there when they pass.
Thank you so much.
P.S. I'm also really happy that, later, Alex and Sam will meet another girl named Clover, move to Beverly Hills, and become the greatest spies ever.
I loved it~ I know I didn't quite play around with everything, but the writing was great. Reminds me of how much I love my online friends and how bad I am at interacting with them, hehe.
I did a dumb and thought the answer to the "any last statements" part was to close the game and now my progress is set back because it didn't save :<
I'll get back to it later but I need a bit.
Okay, so I finished it just now and I am having a good cathartic cry.
This game was amazing, and not just because I was in Alex's exact situation at around the same time in history (although in the late 90s I was in college, not high school, and it was my mother, not my father, who behaved - and still behaves - in that way towards me).
I wish I had this game - and those friends, and those communities - available when I was a young girl-in-waiting, but I am so glad that the world is improving in general for people like us today.
[spoilers] I'm having trouble with the bit where you need to enter the blocker password - I'm pretty sure I've found the correct password but when I type it in, the Terminal doesn't accept the command when I press enter; sometimes it'll highlight the line of entry text instead. Any other thing I enter just tells me the password is incorrect.
I'm on macOS, if it makes any difference.
If it is the first password, make sure that the capitalization is correct. Try it in all caps. :)
Right, I was typing it in all caps, but the problem is that it's just not letting me press enter at all. But I think I know what's going on, I was running the game from the itch.io app and that probably screwed up unity's file permissions. Going to try running the .app directly to see if that fixes it.
Yep it was the itch.io app sandbox that was causing it, phew!
Might be nice to add a note to the game page that the app sandbox doesn't work with this game, at least on macOS - it was a very bizarre and frustrating game-breaking behavior (and one which would be difficult to fix).
How do I force reset the game?
Its kinda late to get a steam key right?
Well, that's gone and cracked my shell now, hasn't it? Amazing game, thank you so much for the experience x
Really great game, definitely keep up the good work! :D
I do keep running into a bit of game breaking bug though. Every once in a while, a window will stick to my cursor after moving it, and never ever let go. Even if I close the window by hitting File -> Quit, and then open it afterwards, it will still keep following the mouse around.
I'm actually trying to figure out a fix for this - it's an issue if the game manages to detect very rapid double-clicks and confuses them for the click-and-drag behavior, and since the listened click-release has already happened, it never lets go. I'll hopefully fix it really soon!
Yes that sounds exactly like the bug I ran into. I have indeed been having issues with my touchpad double clicking very rapidly in the past. Hope you have the time to fix it sometime, but this also means that it's highly unlikely that many people are affected by the bug :)
This happened to me too (I'm on windows) A simple right click made the window 'unstick'. Might work for you?
I never thought I would play a game that understood me or spoke to me as deeply as this one did. Thank you so so much for creating it.
Really hit me hard, I am at the point where I told my mom a month ago and my dad is next and while he is way nicer than the dad in this game it really did a great job of summing up my insecurities about the whole thing. Thanls for making a great game.
Does The OST come in the Steam version?
Will people who bought the game earlier get a steam key?
I loved this game!
I have not finished playing the game yet. I actually just started a while ago but thanks so much for making this game. Feeling a wave of emotions already. 11/10 recommend