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so i beat the game multiple times. using the knife as the artefact crashes the game. Using the photo film or photograph as the ancra got me to fight who i presume killed charles. preventing the phantom from taking the skull, and using that as the ancra caused me revive charles, and got me stuck in the void with his killer. i loved the game, but it leaves me with more questions than i came in with. Was i the aprentice? was she trying to revive charles? why would she be willing to sacrifice herself for someone like that? 

another question what is the song being played on side A of the  music box? i like the sound alot

You mean the record player right? Side A is a rough demo of a song from when I recorded an album for a friend of mine (Chris, who is also the writer for much of the text in this game). This is the finished song if you're interested, it doesn't sound much like the demo, mind:

I'll get the soundtrack uploaded somewhere at some point, so you can hear that record player song without it cutting out whenever lightning strikes. 

In case you meant the music box in the attic, all the songs the music box and piano play are generated per game session, so they're different for every player. 

Well congrats on beating the game! So what happens in this game? I guess that's the final puzzle. 

So I'm still planning on expanding the endings, which will help answer some more questions, and changing some of the journal entries to hint at some other stuff. So I don't really want to explain things too much at this point. But I will say: Yes, you are the apprentice. And: No, you never revive Charles. The 'escape' ending is still missing from the game, so that's why the whole game feels so grim and hopeless at the moment. You're damned no matter what you choose to do right now.

Thanks so much for sticking with this game! I'm going to give you a special thanks in the credits. =)

Thank you so much for making a awesome fucking game! Its both intriguing, and it doesnt really hold your hand at all i know you want to make a system where it helps you move on from puzzles but the difficulty here was part of the fun. Im very curious what infleunced you on making it? 

Influences! Well the game started life very differently. It took place entirely within the office and was a first person point and click. It was kinda cool but I felt very limited with what I could actually do with one room. Most of Chris' writing was in the game in some form at this point, but I felt the writing and gameplay felt totally divorced, neither influenced the other in any meaningful way and none of the progress you made felt very rewarding. So upon pretty much completing that game, I scrapped it!

So I spent some time looking at some other games for influence. I think the biggest influences for gameplay would be Resident Evil 1 and Super Metroid. I loved the feeling of slowly unraveling those games. It's not just a linear corridor of experiences, but this big knot that you have to pick at and unwrap piece by piece. I guess the classic Zelda dungeon design influenced me here too - namely the more open design you see in Link to the Past and Majora's Mask. (See the Game Maker's Toolkit series called Boss Keys for a great analysis of zelda dungeon design. )

'Her Story' was also a big influence, in regards to the story. Again, in this game you piece together the plot slowly, it's not presented to you in a linear fashion but you have to find snippets yourself and start putting them together to form the bigger picture. Seriously, it's a great game. Understanding the story becomes the gameplay itself. 

Turns out I could write quite a lot about the process of making this game. It's been a weird experience! Maybe I'll do a blog post about it or something someday.