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A jam submission

They Came FirstView game page

A psychedelic lucid dream horror synthscape… where you’re an egg.
Submitted by LeverSoftware — 11 hours, 42 minutes before the deadline
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They Came First's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
BEST GAME#14.4384.438
HOSTS' CHOICE#1n/an/a
SCREAM MACHINES#1n/an/a
SCARIEST GAME#24.1884.188

Ranked from 16 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

(+1)

It's not too late to submit this to Dream Jam, just so you know.


Lin Ji.

Developer(+1)

OOoooOOoh, thanks man, I hadn't noticed that jam. I've submitted the game to Dream Jam  now. Good luck to everyone!

Although hard to control I really like the motion of the egg. It has an almost Limbo like vibe to the whole game with how small and insignificant you are. It's as if the game doesn't care about you

Submitted

It's the black and white that really shapes this eggsperience.

Interesting concept and executed in a very cinematic way. Not the scariest but... maybe the best.

Submitted

This is terrifying in its own subtle and hilarious way. The cinematic quality of the experience paired with the synth heavy soundtrack elevates the mood. The abstract construction paired with the simple shapes and moving parts, the polished lighting and video effects, everything belongs here and the polish is over the top. Nice work.

Honestly I really enjoyed this game because it feels original and polished. Though I have no problem using preexisting assets, this game is clearly not an asset flip and has been made in the spirit of gamejams.

Escaped the world a couple times but honestly it's  a gamejam it's not like there is QA.

It might not be "jumpscare" scary, but it doesn't try to be. It tries to be unsettling. It does that.

I very much enjoyed this game and its abstract sense of horror. You don't quite know what happens to you, nor do you know what the machine actually is. That works. You got a happy vote from me.

Jam Host

This is probably the most well-executed and realized game concept in this jam. I think you have an excellent knack of conjuring what I'm going to call 'the game experience' - the idea that a player is invested in the journey of completing a game and is fully motivated to see what twists and turns that experience takes. I think being able to create something that stimulates that feeling is the sign that you're on the right track of being a developer and have immense talent and creativity to boot. 

I know you've created a prior game that explores this theme ('Who Came First') but it seems this one develops the idea in a way that suits the theme of this jam and also illustrates your progression with development. I think this game really takes the concept of an egg trapped in a production machine and runs with it well. I love how the machines become obstacles in many ways that add challenge and gameplay - from eerie sensors, conveyor belts, pumps, and gaping chasms. It's a lot of fun to traverse!

On top of that, the game is striking and beautiful. This is a case of knowing when less is more and utilising monochrome to bring out the large cavernous spaces which would seem underdeveloped in a game that showed them in colour. The soundtrack is similarly excellent and really complements the epic journey of the player as well as the invasive mechanical environment and its respective enemies.

I think the only feedback I can give is in regards to some quirks with movement and camera angles, but it didn't stop me from completing the game and I completed it without a lot of hassle. I had a lot of fun playing this game and strongly suggest that someone throw a lot of money at you to make another! 

Thanks for submitting They Came First to the SCREAM MACHINE jam! 

- SCREAM CATALOGUE

Developer

Thank you so much for you in depth and praising review.  I've said it before, but it just means so much to me as a hobbyist indie developer to have somebody play one of my little games, let alone critique and praise it!

The game was made in a grind through the course of a week. It kinda just started out playing with some sound and visual fx script systems I was working on. Making the game, I had the idea of creating a sort of 3D version of limbo in terms of atmosphere (exploring monochromatic space and minimalist storytelling methods), only something more surreal to reflect the the machine horror aspect.

Perhaps more abstractly, much of my design thinking was inspired by the sweeping production method in Blade Runner (as well as being reflected in Jack Connor's synth based soundtrack). I liked the idea of exploring a production facility of replicants. However, humanoid models are extremely hard to convincingly animate and I think they would have only broken immersion had they been poorly made. Instead I chose something simple and innocent - eggs. It would have been morbid to see piles of bodies littering the levels. Eggs on the other hand... I believe they let me get away with much more creative freedom.

Above all however, I took one principle to heart:

Show, don't tell.

Submitted(+1)

I got way more into this than I expected I could get into a game about an egg. The sound design was amazing. The visual effects got to be a biiit much for me toward the end, but the game ended just before it really got to me too much to not want to play anymore. I was really impressed with the length, speaking of. You don't see a lot of multi-level games in jams, especially like this one that feels quite polished. I did escape the world a couple times, but other than that, I was never brought out of it by bugs/etc.

Developer

Thank you so much for the kind review and! As a hobbyist game developer, it means the world to me to have someone download, sit down,  and play one of my shitty little games - let alone enjoy it. 

Followed on Twitch for sure.

Cheers

-Jordan