i hate the dark post-mortem/analysis

Posted by (twitter: @angrygeometry)
August 27th, 2013 7:13 pm

ihtd two

the game i made is a short puzzle/text adventure game based on a walk home i take a few times a week. it’s a short walk but goes through a park and down a few alleys, and in the dark i get a bit spooked. i start imagining what’s causing the sounds and the shadows and usually it’s something out to murder me. when i do the walk feels a lot longer. it is also an appreciation of playstation era horror games.

the basic idea of my game is a world obscured by a frightened and wild imagination, and a short walk that feels much longer than it actually is. the more frightened you feel, the more the world is cluttered with mazes and black space. when you feel calmer, by sitting on a bench, the world opens up a bit more.

ihtd one

unfortunately i didn’t have much time to do this, and pretty much had to scrape the thing together in a day. i quickly wrote a first draft of the game text, and was pretty sure it was going to be a twine game, but i also really wanted to put in some goofy playstation horror puzzles, scouring a mansion looking for arbitrary objects with strange names like Emblem of Destiny and putting them in statues to open doors, that sort of thing, so i figured my best bet would be RPG Maker. RPG Maker has a really neat map tool that lets you basically make a black void in game space in seconds, and everything else is an added bonus, which is what i was going for. it’s not that i don’t respect Twine Space, i’m just more familiar with RPG Maker.

i also wanted to create a sense of claustraphobia and feeling ‘trapped’. i talked to Crypt Girl lillith about this kind of thing, and figured the best way to do this in this game would be to emulate that feeling in old RPGs of an NPC getting in your way of a single tile path or bridge. lots of long corridors and maze-like walls blocking your way. it turned out pretty well, i think. i tested the screen with the shadowy figure blocking your way about 10 times and it definitely made me feel trapped.

when it came to executing these ideas, however, i think they get lost a bit in monotony and rushed mechanics. if i’d had more time i would have liked to flesh these ideas out more and make it all more coherent. the text is sloppy, i didn’t have time to edit it, so it’s all from the first draft.

overall though, i think it was an interesting experiment, and it felt good to just be making games again and to finish something. this is my sixth ludum dare now!

hopefully that gibberish didn’t disuade you from playing my game.. you can find it here:


*********SOUND PUZZLE SOLUTION************

i realise this puzzle is kind of silly and biased towards those familiar with rpg maker (and maybe not even that might help). when i made it i didn’t even think about how esoteric it was. recording the clues at a low quality also didn’t help! overall just poor execution.

anyway, the idea is that you get the clues from the trash which are ”H”, ”menu” and ”escape”.

inside the phone box, an area code of ‘740’ is given. this wasn’t meant to mislead but i guess it did, and i didn’t think about it.

these aren’t really ‘clues’, they’re ‘instructions’.

the solution is actually found inside the menu screen. the clues ‘escape’ (press escape), ‘menu’ (go to the menu) and ‘H’ (the number next to H) were your convoluted clues. the solution is 3037. the area code, 740 is found below it, next to the M, which was what was intended to help but ultimately just confused people.

normally these numbers represent HP and MP as part of the RPG Maker engine, and games that aren’t RPGs tend to have a hard time hiding these numbers. some just don’t bother. i figured i’d try and do something goofy with them, and it didn’t work out. truly it is the metal gear solid ‘the code is on the back of
the CD case’ of our time…


4 Responses to “i hate the dark post-mortem/analysis”

  1. cafeine says:

    Oh. The puzzle is actually quite clever. I saw the HP and MP numbers (and actually followed the clues that lead there so that part worked, at least for me) but I assumed they were just some leftover from the RPG Maker template you used (I’ve never used it so the fault is on me for making assumptions).

    Off to finish the game then!

  2. magicdweedoo says:

    cool I never even looked at the HP/MP !!
    I played the rest of the game, good job very nice/strange atmosphere
    I think this is one of the most interesting “theme” interpretations this compo too!

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