Thank you so much for playing. Lots of praise in that video, I'm not sure how to react! :)
I am glad you've had a good time, and I believe you've approached that experience with the correct mindset. It was a pleasure watching you play through it! New stuff coming soon, hopefully in time for Halloween.
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Thank you so much for playing. Lots of praise in that video, I'm not sure how to react! :)
Sorry for the late reply. Thank you for playing! You obviously took the time to look for all the small details, you're a very thorough player. I hope you found something enjoyable in my humble little title. :)
Interesting that you should share this video with me even though you did not enjoy your time spent with the game.
To your defense, it is a rather quirky experience, deliberately designed to be an alternative to typical horror games that are already available everywhere.
I appreciate that you kept your mind opened long enough to see it through, though. Thank you for playing. :)
Thank you very much for playing! You were one of the few players to include the form in the video of your playthrough, which should be of interest to other people curious as to what to expect to get the full experience of TSOTG.
Thank you for the kind words. It seems you approached the software with the correct frame of mind, considering that TSOTG needs to be taken as a tool for introspection and self-analysis. Of course, as with everything, moderation is advised, and if overthinking leads to anxiety, perhaps start there to retake control of your sense of self.
There are indeed 5 different church environments at the end, and each have their own set of messages centered around the 'theme' of the ending. It is meant for players to replay the software at different points of time and see what other / different results come up. I am glad you enjoyed it.
Hey! Thank you for taking some time to play my little experiment.
What you're saying about the photographs is absolutely fair, too. I figured I could get away with it because the experience is so short.
A screenshot of the filled form would do nicely, don't worry. I would also argue it's a good thing to take a while to think things over, as this software was made to be a place and opportunity for introspection. Thank you for playing.
I’m glad the experience could somehow reach out to you (or you to it? what’s the relation between a player and a game, after all?).
It was made for introspection purposes, and I am reassured everytime I hear something like this.
Expect Form 73-D in your emails sometime over the weekend. 😊
Thank you for the kind words! Yeah, I have a strong preference for a more abstracted narrative, even in the games I play. I prefer nothing be all neatly laid out to me. Glad the game can find a like-minded audience.
'please' is considered a full game by itself, so no more work is planned to add to it. I have at least one more idea for a game/experience happening in the same universe, so maybe one day something will come from it. I'll make sure to properly identify it as a game in the same universe when / if it comes out.
Thank you for taking the time to play. Everything you've seen in the game (including graphics and abstracted narrative elements) was intentional and the game is considered complete as it is. Guess it just didn't jive with you, which, you know, it happens.
Thank you for playing. You seem to have approached the game in the right way. It is supposed to be a space for self-reflection, and if the ending and its message speak to you, then I'd humbly suggest it's a mission accomplished.
Hey, thank you for putting in all that thought into a little something I made. It's great to see it generate so much enthusiasm. :-)
About the ending, I hesitate on commenting too much about it. I found that reading players' interpretation of it was very interesting and revealed aspects of the game to even myself. I have a 'canonical' meaning to it (I always have, for all of my projects), but people's point of view about it reveals stuff about my own process and ideas, and I kinda like it.
I guess the one hint I could give about what I intended to do with the ending is that, yes, it is about the war. I suppose this much was obvious. The protagonist has been part of the war effort happening before the game, which explains in part why they are 'good' at 'repairing' heavy machinery.
Sound wise, it's a result of a few processes. I am very picky about the sounds I use. Even good sound libraries have sometimes subpar sounds, so it really comes down to being patient and look for the right sound (prioritizing the quality of the recording). If I can't find a quality sound for what I am looking for, I look for alternate sounds that might evoke the original intention (like using a washing machine or creaking wood floor sounds for some of the machines heard in please). I would recommend my personal go-to soundbank Zapsplat for audio work, it's free (they recently changed their free policy for .mp3 files only, which is fine by me. You've heard mostly .mp3 sound files converted to .wav in please and it did a decent job) and they have a good selection.
Some sounds I can't find online I record on my own. I have an old Zoom H2 recorder at home (a carryover from my radio reporting days) and it is great for recording all sorts of things, in surprisingly high quality. For example, the groaning in the main power machine was recording by myself while laying down in bed under the covers (to muffle the echoes). So yeah, a big part of the creepiness of the groans is my performance, I guess? I really played around with my head, jaw and throat positioning, to get an uneven, surreal voice, to the point where it almost made me sick. I stopped recording voices earlier than I thought because I couldn't go on.
Last thing about sound design : never use the sound as-is. Always modify it / equalize it first. Make it your own. It'll unify the soundscape, give a single personality to the whole project. Add a slight reverb, down/up-pitch it, mix two sounds together (or three! or four sounds!), play with the volume, add a filter to make it sound like it's coming through a wall, etc. For example, my voice performance was tweaked, down-pitched, and mixed with machine loops to the point where it became unintelligible. I wanted players to have a double-take moment where they went 'wait, is that a voice?'. Each time you go back down to the machine it's a new voice sample loop that is used, evolving from just groans to clearer pleas.
I use a mix of Audacity, Sony Soundforge and Ableton Live for sound editing (yeah, Live is a DAW, not an audio editing software, but some of its plugins and its warping capabilities are top-notch).
Some indie creators stick to the low-poly aesthetics in visuals and low-fi slightly-bit-crushed sounds to really go deeper into the 32bit feel. I can appreciate the results, but I believe high-quality audio over the low-poly look fits just as well together and helps with the interpretation of the visual elements. To my personal tastes, immersion starts with the soundscape.
Thank you for the kind words, and for being so involved in the little world I created in this game.
My favorite Silent Hill was 4 for a while, until I played Shattered Memories which does a few interesting things with the apartment/home motif as well (and in that respect, Homecoming has a phenomenal segment happening in the home itself, while the rest of the game is a bit of a mess). As I mentioned elsewhere, strangely, SH4 was not a direct inspiration when I was working on the game, although I can't deny it must have been an internalized influence.
There IS something wrong about the protagonist of \SPEK.TAKL\, although the more I hear people's interpretation of it, the less I care about my own 'canonical' meaning. In fact, I'd rather never talk about it, so that the game can find a life of its own in players' minds. It also makes for a fascinating exercise in which people indirectly psycho-analyzes me, so that turns the whole endeavor into useful introspection. The themes you are listing are definitely there, though.
Now, about the ending(s). There are three endings to the game. Watching TV is one of them, but it demands a certain time investment. The other two depend on how you decide to open the wound on the wall in the blue room. Hopefully that helps.
Thank you for playing. You seemed to be more afraid of being scared than anything else, which is an interesting position to voluntarily put yourself through. Glad I could help with that, too.
Thank you for bringing the game to spanish-speaking audiences! Good thing the game does not rely on language too much to be understood.
My next project is intended to be longer, so hopefully it will satisfy players like you looking for a more involved experience.
Enough elements of the story are in the game, but I deliberately left it vague to amplify the mysterious tone. I'm thinking of expanding the lore of the game with maybe a sequel / other game in the same 'universe'.