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black_and_noir

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A member registered Dec 30, 2020 · View creator page →

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Thank you for your kind words, Dreamkilled! So glad you liked my little game. :)
Yes, the ghost was redrawn to be more frightening at some point: if you watch the trailer, you'll notice that the original one was completely different.
As you say, I had fun putting quite a bunch of details in such a short experience (and I'm trying to do the same in the second project I'm currently working on, yet on a different scale... But that's another story).

To answer your questions:
[SPOILERS AHEAD]
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Yes, there is a way to stop the ritual. Even if it's not explained,  but only suggested, in that occasion you have the chance to perform a special melee attack; you should wait for the right moment, though.
After that, you will still have to choose whether to go up or down the stairs, but you will have access to the fourth ending.

The four endings are in fact:
- going down the well;
- going down the well with the four alien coins;
- wake up (stairs up from the ritual chamber);
- going down the well after defeating your evil self.

As regard to the sentence in the main menu... Well, it's deliberately ambiguous and left to your interpretation! :D

Hi Arthur!
Thank you for the time you took for testing my game and writing such a thorough comment to it. I truly appreciate your remarks, with most of whom I quite agree.

You don't like the inertial movement of the player? Neither do I.
At first I thought it was a nice idea, and it would add realism to the difficulty of running in environments dense with obstacles.
Now I find it just slightly annoying, and in fact I didn't implemented it in the second videogame I'm currently working on.
If I didn't remove it from Their Eyes it's only because that feature was present from the very first moment, and I'm almost positive you are the first one complaining about it. But, who knows?, I might reconsider this point.

Combat is not an option, you say.
Actually, although it's not possible to beat the game without shooting a bullet, you can theoretically avoid most of the enemies.
Pigs and cows attack only if provoked, as you know; bugs and darkmen can only see before themselves, and only if they have a clear line of sight; hounds can smell you within a certain range, regardless of obstacles, but will not stray too far from the starting point. Not to speak of worms, which are basically harmless if you deal with them with a little cold blood.
Most of those enemies can be killed with a single hit, if caught unaware, and they never respawn - with few exceptions. Furthermore, bugs can be removed permanently from the game.

As a general idea, sounds are of great help in understanding whether you are dealing damage to someone or not.
Bouncing (i.e. ineffective) hits produce a sharp sound, while damage-dealing hits  produce a very different, deeper sound.
The graphic effect is pretty different too.

On the other hand, I didn't implement sneaking mechanics on purpose (sorry for the ambiguity represented by the tall grass! I didn't think about it, but you're perfectly right).
I like them a lot, as a player, but I felt it was definitely beyond my reach to implement an interesting sneaking mechanic in my very first game.
Furthermore, I wanted to prevent the protagonist from becoming too comfortable in a place that was meant to be uncanny and inherently unsettling.

I'm surprised about the issue you encountered with hurtboxes.
They are supposed to be aligned with creatures, and even to change shape accordingly, wherever the vertical and horizontal sprites differ substantially (for instance, the pig's). They actually do, as far as I know. They appear to behave correctly also in the playthroughs of my game I've watched on YouTube.
Nevertheless, as a newbie developer mostly familiar with MacOs, I can't exclude weird bugs I'm not aware of, maybe on some versions of Windows? Would be helpful if you could post a short footage of the problem.
Conversely, I have to admit I don't really understand what you are saying about breaking a door. You mean the door's hurtbox feels off too, or something different? Please explain, I'm really interested.

What you say about the menu  is so true!
Would be very helpful to somehow recall the functionality of each object. Since, as you remark, once you miss the tutorial popup for any reason you have no clue whatsoever on how to use items!
Thanks, I'll work on that - and I'll implement something similar in my new game too (future players will be grateful to this post! :D).

The doll is not working always? That's weird, again.
I assume you are conscious that the doll is a disposable item, correct?
With that said, I'm not aware of any bugs concerning it. I'll look into it.

In conclusion, I'm not trying to persuade you that my game is good and you are wrong! :D
I'm sorry if you had too high expectations because of some positive comments: Their Eyes is just the first experiment of an amateur, most real programmers would have done better in almost all respects.
Some people did like the game, some other didn't, but I reject the accusation of making the game unfair just for the sake of it.
I did my best, trying to make something tough but entertaining.
I really hope I'll do better in the future, and this also thanks to detailed reviews like yours. :)

Ha ha
Well, dunno actually. I probably decided to use the adult tag assuming it could have been a bit scary for a very young audience. :D

Wow, if you're not a fan of horror games in general your appreciation is even more valuable. Thank you! :)

To be honest, I have a Mac; which I already partitioned to install Windows.  I'm a little afraid of messing up my computer too much! :D
I'll look into it, btw. Thank you for the advice!

Well, in theory I could. But I have no Linux machine to connect to, which is an essential requirement in order to compile for that system. :/

Thanks man, really appreciate your words. :)

Hi again, DreadDecripth.
It took me a while, but I did not give up - as promised!
I should have fixed the issue with code signing that was preventing my game from working on the latest OS. If you:
- download the executable (version 1.1.6);
- move it into the Application folder (or any other folder other than the Download foder);
- open it by clicking with the right mouse button;
- confirm "Open"...
...it should work. :)

Let me know how it goes, if you want!

Hi, yarsavenger! Hope you read this.
I think I've solved the problem, finally (fingers crossed). It was an issue with code signing.
If you:
- download the executable (version 1.1.6);
- move the file into the Application folder as requested;
- open it by clicking with the right mouse button (or Control + click);
- confirm "Open"...
...it should work, even on the latest OS!

I'm sorry it took me so long, but code signing on Apple is really very complicated.
Let me know if it works! :)

...And this was my Christmas present, I guess. :D

I'm doing my best not to disappoint your expectations, btw.

Oh, wow... You made my day, Jubile!

Well, actually I'm working on my second game, a much more ambitious project, which is somehow... related. :)

You definitely should find some time to try it again.
You can't give up now, man! :)

That was another great video!
It's really rewarding to have such players, taking their task as seriously as you do. :)

I found very nice, and very interesting, what you say about the gun/mouse device.
Although there is an alternate key (Ctrl) for reloading (even because, as a Mac user, I'm very aware that not every mouse has the third button! :D) I think you got the point.
As I first designed the gun, my idea was to provide the player from the very beginning with a quite powerful weapon, able to put down in one shot most of the opponents (as long as they're still unaware of your presence); but also a clumsy one, noisy and slow to reload, in order to boost the empathy with the protagonist of this unsettling adventure.
I'm thinking to add, just in the casual mode, some kind of icon always on screen to check at first glance wether the rifle is loaded or not, without pulling out the weapon and looking for the small rectangle that appears on it.
Not everybody like my design choice, but at least I'm not the only one who like it! :D

About the old lady's potion, it "simply" doubles your stamina.
This is not a spoiler, since you're supposed to feel the effect inside your body; but the only immediate feedback is the stamina bar that suddenly empties before filling up again (the total length of the bar stays the same, unlike what happens in Dark Souls - for instance), and the old lady's words ("this potion will make you stronger") are a bit vague.
I will make them more explicit in the next release, because a lot of players have been wondering about the effects of the potion without ever figuring them out.

Eventually, I can only recommend - once again - to talk with people in order to understand how to deal with the giant and where to find some oil for the lantern.

No more tips.
I guess at this point you're experienced enough to make it to the next ending! :D

(1 edit)

This is probably a silly question, but... Is there a quick way to clear the sound list in the bottom left corner?
I've been creating sounds for months, and at this point I have a lot of items I'd like to get rid of.

Thank you for the detailed feedback, I really appreciate it!

First of all, one quick question: have you played the latest version (1.1.5), which features a (kinda) "casual mode"?
If not, you should probably give it a try.
However, I'm aware that the game is hard - and partly not by choice but due to the roughness of the code that I've put together.
I'm definitely trying to learn from the (many) mistakes of this first attempt, and I'm currently working on a new game that will (hopefully!) be more enjoyable also for those who are not hardcore gamers.
(I am anything but a hardcore gamer, after all! :D)

Yes, the tree is tough; and the forest is probably the most confusing level.
The problem you encountered when shooting with the rifle is (likely) because walls, and most of solid instances, use two separate invisibile collision objects: one to block the steps and the other one (slightly offset on the y axis) to block bullets and attacks. I'm pretty sure that trees has just one that serves both purposes.
I will check as soon as possibile, and try to correct the issue.

Also yes, pigs and cows get angry (collectively) if you shoot close to one of them.
You  get a hint about that from the warden in the first hut.

The invisibile thing in the graveyard could be theoretically avoided, with a lot of luck, but is meant to be dealt with only once you got a certain object I'm not going to spoil (you get some hints about that from a couple npcs): that's why I preferred to not give any indication to the player about its position.
In theory you can run through it, the problem is once you get hit you have only one second of invulnerability; so, by the time the knockback effect is over, you are vulnerable again.
I'm going to double the invulnerability period in the next release (it was already planned), also to prevent frustrating chained deaths.

I will also add an indicator (at least in the casual mode) to make it clear wether the rifle is loaded or not.

Thanks again! :)

Thank you for playing, man!

I'm sorry for the lack of details about how to shoot and reload.
In the version you were playing you just got a popup as you first collect the rifle. If you happen to try the latest version, though, you will find several improvements and bugfixes.
For instance, you will get a reminder in case you try to shoot while the rifle is unloaded - saving you quite a lot of of failed attempts! :D
Also, you'll see that when a certain object make you resurrect, you will start over in a better location - getting the chance to survive longer.
I also implemented a "casual mode" (not so casual, to be honest) that grant you a little more health and some tweaks, in order to make your life a little easier. :)

I hope you will enjoy it, as I enjoyed your video!
In any case, I'm currently working on my second project. So, yes, I will definitely give you the opportunity to play more. :)

PS: unlike other games, talking with npcs doesn't "unlock" anything; it's just a way of collecting lore as well as very useful informations that will help you to survive and defeat your enemies. Therefore, there's no point in skipping the dialogues. If you already know what a npc has to say, you should probably save your time and avoid the conversation.

I've enjoyed your playthroughs quite a lot, so far!
I definitely hope to see more.
Your theories are pretty interesting, but I won't comment on that: as you delve deeper into this game, I'm sure you will collect quite a few other pieces of the jigsaw.

A couple of remarks.
You toggled off the tutorials almost immediately: I understand that the very first popups about how to walk and stuff can be bothering; by doing so, though, you've also deactivated the explanation on how to use a new item you've found down in the village: the lockpick!
My suggestion is to leave the tutorials enabled, they are not so frequent and in some cases can make the difference.
Also, I'm aware that dive straight into the action is sometimes more entertaining than talking to npcs: most of them are there for a reason, though, and if you pay attention they will provide you with precious hints on the lore and, most important, on how to deal with enemies and things in general. Also, dialogues change over time, depending on your deeds; so it's always useful to have a chat with someone who isn't apparently going to kill you. :)

At some point, talking about the aiming - shooting - reloading mechanic, you state that you're not used to such a layout of controls.
Since I'm not very experienced in playing action(ish) games with mouse and keyboard, I did some thinking (and some researches) about this topic; but I'm far from satisfied.
And now I'm developing my second game, so the question becomes crucial in order to build a better experience: which layout do you think would have been the best one?
Which the most handy, or at least the most common one, for such a game?

A final tip: the version you played was 1.1.4, but from 1.1.5 on the game features also a "casual mode" - which is not that casual as the name might suggest, instead a slightly tweaked version meant to prevent frustration. :D
Basically you get a little more health at the beginning, ammo packs contains four bullets instead of three, and so on.
Check it out, if you are interested.
In any case, newer versions come with bugfixes too.

In conclusion, thanks a lot for playing my game and making great videos! :)

Ok, good to know. :)
Enjoy the game, then!

Are you a Windows or Mac user? Either way, you should be able to switch between full screen and windowed mode just pressing F1... Let me know if it doesn't work. :/

Thank you for the feedback, btw! :)

You made it!
I mean, you didn't beat the game yet, but you've made a great video! :D

The "teleport" feature is not actually what it seems (although it would have been a neat mechanic).
That's just a script that was supposed to unstuck you in case you got pushed inside solid objects, but sometimes it behaves in unpredictable ways; I'm definitely not using that script in the next game.

Also, watching your playthrough I've learned something new about how to pass tips and useful informations to the player.
As a general rule, in Their Eyes is a good idea to talk to anybody who isn't trying to kill you, and listen carefully to what they say.
Bullets are rare (at least until you meet a certain character), and an ammo pack provides three of them (four, if you're playing in casual mode - which isn't so casual, beware!); so you should avoid to collect ammo packs if you're missing just one bullet or two.
Don't hurry: explore carefully and thoroughly.
Don't waste your time, either: three chimes to the night, remember?

Well, I really hope you will play again.
I'm so glad you liked the game! :)

That's really nice!

Tall grass is an eyesore: I don't think it's just your screen, since you're not the first person to complain.
Maybe I should do something about that, even if I'm not sure what... I'll think about it.
(Just to get it straight: tall grass was meant to be hypnotic and befuddle the player while traversing it, but the final effect is probably disturbing!)

By the way, I'm very glad to know that you got back to my game and also achieved the first ending!
To be honest, I don't think the game is really hardcore: the learning curve is a bit steep in the beginning, which may end up causing frustration; but if one is patient and motivated enough, everything get manageable very quickly.
Congrats! :)

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

I don't know if you ever noticed, but I added an alternate key (CTRL) to reload. Hope this helps!

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Just letting you know that the new version with "casual mode" is here: an easier gameplay, designed to reduce frustration and allow casual players to delve into the disquieting secrets of Lockwood.

Hope you'll enjoy it! :)

I'm sure it has been fun!
It was the end of July 2020 when I "coded" my first game, following a tutorial to recreate Asteroids in GameMaker Studio 2.
Back then I had no doubt that I would have stick to the lazy drag & drop interface for the rest of my life... Except that it was so exciting that I immediately changed my mind. :D

About the relation between graphics and atmosphere, I guess that less is more.
For my personal taste, the crude volumes of a Gothic's scenery are way more enthralling than many modern super-detailed landscapes with ray tracing and stuff; as well as low-poly models can be scarier then hyper-realistic monsters.
In the architecture of terror, the true keystone is our imagination.
This is my opinion, at least.

Have fun with coding! :)

Yes, that is a sore point and a polarizing issue... I am definitely developing a better system for my new game.
Also, I am thinking about implementing a kind of "slightly easier mode" in the next release (1.1.5), thus allowing casual-ish players to see more of my game - as you say.
I am a casual player myself, after all! :D

Apart from that, thanks a lot for the precious feedback.
And keep an eye on the next release! ;)

Thank you for your words, sopu. :)
They are very motivating to me, since I started  developing my second game just few days ago - and I'm both excited and scared.

Actually, I haven't played a lot of top-down action-rpg (as an example, I'm ashamed to admit that I never played a single Zelda).
Nevertheless, I always found very appealing the top-down perspective: so simple yet powerful.
Some have defined my game as a "pixelated Darkwood", which is funny because I swear I played Darkwood for just three hours three years ago (Steam is my witness! :D); it is also pretty inaccurate, since Darkwood is based on procedural and crafting mechanics - which I personally don't like, despite having loved the atmosphere of that game.
As a matter of fact, a couple of months ago I installed Darkwood once again just to make sure I didn't steal something unintentionally: and I was shocked because the intro begins with "I see hatred and fear in their eyes"... :D
Other than that, and the (not very original) finding that also Lockwood is isolated from the rest of the world, "no roads in or out", I don't see many similarities between Darkwood and my game.
(Ok, let's throw in the "-wood" part of name too - ha ha)

In short, I really couldn't say if a game (or more than one) in particular inspired me.
I think that I've tried to put together some atmospheric elements that impressed me (one among all: the intentional vagueness of Dark Souls' lore) with the aesthetic of totally different old-school games that made me dream (without pretending to be philological, as demonstrated by certain not very 8-bit sound fx).

Ok, I've been boring enough, but I have to say one more thing: you should definitely try to make something yourself!
They say the hardest part is starting, but I beg to differ: the way I see it, the hardest part is keeping up. However, since it's also very rewarding, shouldn't probably be hard at all! :)

Thank you man!
I finally watched the video. :) But why on earth are you shooting to everything that comes within range? :D
As a general tip, npcs and journals can provide you valuable informations on how to deal with enemies and deal with things in general.

I noticed that you are playing an outdated version (1.1.3); if you really decide to come back to my game I'd warmly recommend to download the latest one. Even if there is no actual check-point system, the way how a certain item works from version 1.1.4 on does a great difference in terms of starting over.

From the end of February to the end of July; although, in fact, I kept working on frequent updates and bugfixes in the following weeks.
(It would probably have taken just a couple of months to a more experienced programmer!)

I'm glad you appreciate my efforts, by the way. :)

Yay!!!
I have to make a new game, now. :D

You're welcome! :)

Thanks a lot!
I appreciate it. :)