Really neat premise, reminded me of the timefall from Death Stranding. Never seen this type of gameplay before though, original stuff and well executed. I never miss a release by you.
Recent community posts
Understandable. You have a lot on your plate, and getting bills paid comes first. But I'd wager you have bigger dreams, of going into business for yourself as a game developer. Consider the critical reception to this demo to be an invitation to do just that, if you can stomach the risk. There is no reward without risk, as ever.
I would like to offer my services, as a publisher horror author who has written a similar story about a world overtaken with self-replicating automated slaughter houses operated by a privileged class, raising human cattle who have been intentionally brain damaged with lead contaminated water. It explores the ethics of meat consumption, the cognitive tricks we use to rationalize it, and comments on the moral and environmental cost of our appetites.
The games which endure in the public imagination for decades after release all tend to have compelling themes which provoke feeling (Undertale being one well known example). The inherent horror of meat, which we at the same time are helplessly in love with, is a rich source of conflicting feelings. Guilt, pleasure, fear. This is fertile ground from which to grow an emotionally resonant story. Though I confess, I fear you will have no need of my services as a story of this kind is not best told through exposition dumps but through the wordless actions and experiences of the player. (perhaps in optional monitor logs, once the player has learned to read?)
I believe we spoke about this game's future prospects in the past, and you voiced the desire to allow the player to pick up and use the pig butcher's saw, as a very limited fuel disposable item. This is a good idea in my estimation, and can be prevented from unbalancing the game if they don't all have saws, some have butcher knives, which are melee weapons no more effective than the pipe. Also if the saw takes up a large portion of the inventory, so that you cannot carry spares.
I would also like to repeat my suggestion that the game explore the entire logistical process of meat production, starting the player off not in the slaughter house but as an infant being raised in a pasture, enjoying the verdant fields, oblivious to what the future holds.
The game as-is can comprise the middle act, with the final act taking place post-escape as you and the other humans reach "civilization", infiltrating a fast food restaurant or deli, discovering what ultimately becomes of humans in this world. That we are only a popular edible product, in the final analysis. This would afford the opportunity for some cathartic retribution, as you sabotage and burn down these meat purveyors, even if such a small act of defiance does not stop the larger meat industry.
I consider this to be such a self-evident direction to take the game in that it basically writes itself, following the "meat" from cradle to grave. But then, that's my vision, it may not be yours. I trust that the author of a game I enjoyed so greatly already will have more surprises in store for me, and that I'll enjoy whatever you came up with just as much as I enjoy the game in its present form.
This made me feel some kind of way. Still can't pin it down exactly. Some core memories were unlocked of exploring the woods by the school as a kid, where rumor had it a witch lived that would mesmerize and make a servant of you. Revisiting the same woods as an adult, they weren't scary, now a known quantity. Magic hides in the unknown. Everything was smaller than I remembered and the magic had left, only ever a collection of beautiful misunderstandings.
I am commenting again only to echo others urging you to flesh this out into a full game. You struck gold here, this really resonates with players. Better graphics, expanded gameplay mechanics and a longer campaign will get you $10 per copy on Steam, and even in its current form it's ideal streamer bait.
That was really neat. I can't think of any other game with the same concept of bringing objects from dreams into reality or vice versa, which is odd because it's a compelling mechanic with relatively simple implementation.
There might be grounds for expanding this into a larger game, where each "Chapter" has its own distinct dream world with its own puzzles.
First, the bad: Could not tell what to do/where to go. Found a couple of tapes, explored the entire map, did not find anything of note. Had to eventually quit. Sonar does not appear to reliably lead you to any objects of interest. Really unfortunate, was greatly looking forward to this. I understand it was made quickly for a game jam though without much opportunity for play testing.
If you continue working on this concept, some proposed additions:
1. Ambient atmospheric life support noises
2. A robot arm for collecting the tapes
3. The sonar monitor doubling as a down-facing video feed using one of the buttons, maybe some other views to toggle between (up, left, right, rear, opportunities for spoops to appear on the monitors when this is happening)
4. Finite but generous O2 supply which visibly dwindles over time to furnish constant low level anxiety
5. Finite battery which also dwindles as you use it up, see above
6. Ability to surface in order to replenish O2 and battery (from solar) on missions in shallow water, but not deep water missions
7. Drop weights (which can malfunction for a few spoop moments)
8. Increased variety of marine life (Obviously you did not have time for this, even the whale was nice though)
Having said all that, some well deserved praise: This control scheme rocks for a submersible game. Piloting the sub while simultaneously being able to look around inside it to operate the controls, I mean. I'm shocked I haven't seen in done in any big budget games before.
It'd also work very well in VR, looking around with your head, reaching around to push buttons/flip switches with your own hands, some spoops happening *inside* the sub itself. Like when you turn around, after perhaps seeing a moving shadow on the wall of the sub to one side, or hallucinations where there's another bubble window behind you, very fertile concept for horror and very intuitive/capable mechanics!
I would very much like to see this expanded into a full game with expanded mechanics and modernized visuals, especially if it supports VR. It's got a lot of untapped potential, there's nothing like it in the horror space to my knowledge.
I wrote the in-game dialogue and consulted on marine technology details for Narcosis, a well received VR deep sea survival horror game, and would be happy to lend my talents to such a project if ever you felt inclined to move in that direction.
Years on and this game still haunts me with its implications. I feel unfulfilled without the alternate ending you've teased. Surely you can find time to come back to this project and give all of us long time fans some proper closure?
Hi, I wrote the dialogue and did consulting for the technical details in Narcosis, another undersea horror game. Have you played it? I'm curious if perhaps you have need of either a dialogue writer or marine engineering technical consultant. I have been writing horror since 2012 and a great deal of my oeuvre is undersea horror fiction.
Currently impossible to use gamepad because it's assigned to P2 for some reason and cannot be manually reassigned to P1. It looks like the reason is, I have a Space Navigator 3D mouse plugged in which is being read as a gamepad and there is no way to tell the game not to use it as P1 without disabling or unplugging it and restarting the game.
First, very impressive. Needs proper 21:9 and gamepad support, but I would pay full price for this if it were expanded into a full length game. Puzzles, traps you can lure the butchers into before you have a weapon, More ways to raise hell than just opening cages, etc.
Better butcher AI too: They should not stand there waiting to be killed if you're in an inaccessible spot and they just saw you shoot their buddy to death. If they retreated around the nearest corner and lay in wait for you, for example (but you could lure them out with noise). Hitting them with barrels should stun them briefly imo
I got Little Nightmare vibes from this, which is a fine game to be compared to. Oh, and the ability to pick up and use the power saws from fallen butchers! Balanced by limited gas, and the fact that they constantly make noise.
Anyway thanks for blessing us with this awesome game! I hope you feel encouraged to do more with it.