Here we are, finally finding the time to write something about The Lamp!
You do not know what The Lamp is? Then check it out! Also, here is a GIF for you!
So, what is The Lamp?
The Lamp is the only object you will find in the room you are stuck into, and it represents both your only hope and your sure doom.
Turn the lamp off, turn it on, watch what happens. Try to survive as much as you can!
Ok, that’s the marketing speech, but what EXACTLY is The Lamp?
Fine! The Lamp is a minimalistic survival horror game.
We tried to make the game as minimalistic as possible while still retaining its ‘survival horror’ qualities: there is a single, square room, there is a single lamp in the middle of it and the goal is always the same: turn the lamp off, then find it again and turn it on, before the monsters can get to you!
Monsters will spawn only in the darkness and will disappear once the light gets turned on again.
Even with such a minimal mechanic, we are pleased with the result! Here are some comments from the players:
“Much fun. At times i felt like I didn’t want to turn off the lights, too scared.”
“Very creepy for a so minimal game!”
“Very enjoyable, I got some thrills playing this one.”
“Great horror game. Simple means achieve tense atmosphere.”
“Very nice atmosphere, pretty scary! Even if it is minimalistic!”
Looking at the comments, we are very happy and proud about the result, as it seems the mood was conveyed successfully! We thank the commenters and everyone who played the game thus far!
The intro screen for The Lamp showing its main character (yes, the Lamp)
Arghhhhh the monsters!
Yes, the monsters.
There are seven monsters in total, each with its own graphics, animation and movement pattern.
If you are really curious, here are ALL of them together, as they would appear under the light:
We are happy with the monster designs: some are more predictable, others more erratic, some can be easily seen and others can’t almost be seen at all!
You want to know what they do? Then play the game!
You are not telling us everything… what about the torchlights?
Ok, we have not been completely honest. The game features one additional mechanic: the torchlights.
In the game, you will find that monsters are attuned to different colors: blue, red or yellow. You will find small squares when the light is on, which are actually torchlights. Pick them up, then when the lights turn off you will have a majestic torchlight in your hands to help you!
Torchlights of the same color as the monsters’ eyes will scare them away, while torchlights of a different colors (and even if the monster has NO EYES) will drive the monster mad and it will charge you even faster!
The problem is: you do not know what torchlights will appear in the light and you do not know what monsters will appear when you turn the light off, so you are left with a few choices: will you get the torchlight? If yes, which one? Are you confident enough that you will find the correct monsters in the dark? This kind of mechanic adds a rock-paper-scissors gameplay element that rewards sheer luck, something you will need to be able to survive!!!
Blue torchlight, yellow monster. Good luck next time, my friend.
Why did you choose such graphics?
Actually, during development, we changed the graphics back and forth between a minimalistic, square-like graphical style to a sprite one. We could not decide until the end which one to choose, so we have a few unused sprites resting in our hard drives.
For example, here is the main character in sprite form
Yes, he was quite sad, pessimistic and without hope. But still, now he’s just a square, and we think squares can be sad too!
At last, we decided to use the current graphical style, which has been chosen to convey a kind of psychologic meaning. There are a few differences between the light and dark phases in the game:
When the light is on, everything is minimalistic (the room, the player, the items) BUT the lamp is not. What does this mean? Is the lamp real? Does it come from some other world?
When the light is off, the monsters appear. Their eyes are still minimalistic, made of small squares, so to suggest that they too belong to the abstract world of the light. But there is more: if you try to aim one of the monsters with your torchlight you will notice that all monsters actually have a concrete, detailed and animated body.
Some touches such as the steps left by the character and the monsters have been added both for feedback and atmosphere.
There is a contrast between the detail of the monsters and the fact that, for the most part, you will not even see them! We feel this contrast is what helped to convey part of the atmosphere.
Here is how a monster (the dog monster) actually appears in the light. You can see only its eyes in the dark, instead, but you just KNOW it is there and it HURTS!!!
At last, the good and the bad!
Yes, we are at that part of the post.
- the atmosphere was well conveyed through sound and music
- mechanics are simple and the game is fun to play!
- we managed to add a few touches (the time-scorer, the steps, the hint text)
- we added all the monsters we wanted
- I managed to sleep more than last year (and worked on monday as well :P)
- a few imprecisions in the sound effects make some combinations of sound out of place
- the balance of the monsters is not perfected (we’ll do that)
And what do you think about The Lamp? Come play it and tell us! Click here!