December 14th-17th 2012 :: Theme: You are the Villain

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Amongst Shadows

by BlackBulletIV - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Description taken from the game's page on my website:

Amongst Shadows is a stealth game, relying heavily on light and shadows; for example, enemies can't see you in the dark. There's little plot other than this: you are infiltrating some underground base to obtain something for a mysterious organisation.

It isn't actually clear whether the main character, and the organisation he's working for, are good or bad. They appear bad, but the subject of what they do isn't delved into. On a more philosophical note, the identity of the villain is generally a matter of who you ask. You are the villain to the guards, but not to yourself.

The game is a bit short, containing only six levels. I didn't have to patience, nor time, to create more. It's also a bit rough around the edges; the AI can be rather stupid, and the lighting looks weird at times. I would have liked to have done more, but there's only so much one can do in two days.

Downloads and Links




epiplon says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 2:14am

I really liked this game. Mostly, because of the AI behavior. They see everything in front of them, they notice dead buddies and they search for you.
The only thing that I found hard was to stab, it needs to be precise to do it.
It's a great work!

Tobias Wehrum says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 4:46am

Sweet - the best LD25 entry I've played so far. As epiplon said, the AI is quite cool. I love how they run left and right over their dead colleagues, it looks so agitated.

The controls feel good. Sometimes it's really hard to land a hit though, but I guess that's okay, because sometimes the enemy has a hard time hitting me too.

And don't get me started on the lighting and the ambient soundtrack. Very atmospheric!

Overall: A really good entry. I can't wait to read the code later on!

BlackBulletIV says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 6:18am

Wow, I really wasn't expecting such positive feedback, thanks guys. Believe it or not, there's nothing in the code to that make enemies notice their dead comrades. However, enemies search around the last known position of the player, and that often tends to be where a guard kills.

As for it being hard to land a hit, it was easier when running in in the desktop Shockwave player (better performance). I could increase the distance to hit slightly; I don't think it would break the rules, since it's a minor port (from desktop to web) issue.

SaintHeiser says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 3:40pm

Not bad, man. But slightly buggy for me =(

MvT says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 4:20pm

Good IA, good graphics, but a little little bit hard and it miss accuracy with the knife.
Good job anyway. :)

Casino Jack says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 10:33pm

Really tricky until I realised you could actually hide in the shadows.

BlackBulletIV says ...
Dec 17, 2012 @ 11:19pm

SaintHeiser and MvT: Sorry about the buggy backstabbing. It seems that Flash/FlashPunk has some kind of input lag when in the browser. At any rate, I don't plan on using the system for Ludum Dare again.

Casino Jack: I stated that you could do that in the title screen. :P

MarekkPie says ...
Dec 19, 2012 @ 3:00am

Excellent, excellent game. Must have played Mark of the Ninja recently.

BlackBulletIV says ...
Dec 19, 2012 @ 9:58am

Thank you. I've actually never heard of Mark of the Ninja. This took inspiration from Dishonored, and in turn, the Thief series (though I've never played the latter).

bigbadwofl says ...
Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:43am

Good entry. I quite liked it. Could do with some polish, but what you have here is fun as is.

Colapsydo says ...
Dec 20, 2012 @ 11:32am

Really nice work on all levels.
I will repeat what others said, but the game mechanics (AI + shadows + backstab) are impressive and make this entry fun and involving.

Dec 20, 2012 @ 1:40pm

Great game. I liked the sprites a lot, and it did seem like the enemies were hunting me down. I especially liked the sound, I used GarageBand & bfxr for my audio as well. You did a way better job than me on sound effects, they fitted really well.

LTyrosine says ...
Dec 22, 2012 @ 5:31pm

This game have everything to go well in kongregate and other flash portals. Nice soundtrack, fun gameplay.

DeathBySnail says ...
Dec 22, 2012 @ 11:36pm

Stabby Stabby! I ended up just darting past everything in the end, and it was easier than I thought to do.

Dioiminik says ...
Dec 22, 2012 @ 11:45pm

Great Entry :D

JFlegle says ...
Dec 24, 2012 @ 12:24am

Great game as is.

Dec 24, 2012 @ 9:13am

Love the look and feel -- slightly too hard to not be frustrated, but the simplified stealth thing could work really well I think.

CireNeikual says ...
Dec 25, 2012 @ 2:54am

Pretty fun, kind of moody! The collision detection for the backstabbing seemed a little bit off though.

h.attila says ...
Dec 25, 2012 @ 9:26am

I think it's a hard, but nice game.

Dec 25, 2012 @ 5:29pm

Yea I'm definitely getting some Mark of the Ninja vibes from this game. The ambiance and mood being very, very similar to the game itself. Personally I would of liked a bit more variance in the character's design but it's probably my screen making their colors look almost barely distinguishable. The game is punishing, which is exactly how like my stealth games. And while it is a bit short it is by no means lacking. I'd love to play any further version of this game.

BlackBulletIV says ...
Dec 25, 2012 @ 10:57pm

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Now that I've taken a look at some Mark of the Ninja gameplay, I can see what you and MarekkPie are saying; it is pretty similar.

As for the character similarity, that would make sense. I used a dark blue for the guards, and black for the player.

Well, now I'm thinking of actually doing some more with this game, although I'd want to remake it in Love2D, not FlashPunk; that would get rid of the input lag problem.

Milo says ...
Dec 26, 2012 @ 3:45pm

This was a neat game. It made really good use of light and shadow and did so in a way I haven't really seen before. It looks really nice s a game and creates a generally dark mood.

I feel like the controls were a bit difficult though, especially with stabbing, so a few levels, I mostly just ran.

colincapurso says ...
Dec 27, 2012 @ 12:19am

I really liked it. I think the lighting should move to get a better feel of the land and add a bit of challenge.

Sestren says ...
Dec 27, 2012 @ 12:38am

This was a lot of fun to play. The slight delay between when the guards got stabbed and when they fell over dead was perfect. The AI, though dumb as you mentioned, played perfectly off of your ability to draw them into the shadows. A very simple idea that is pulled off extremely well.

BlackBulletIV says ...
Dec 27, 2012 @ 1:45am

Milo: Thanks. It's a shame about the input lag. I fear I may drop a point or two overall just because of that.

colincapurso: Yeah, I was going give some guards flashlights but didn't really have time to do so.

Sestren: I quite like the delay as well; they actually drop to their knees, then fall, although the drop is only one pixel down. Thanks for the feedback. :)

ilo says ...
Dec 30, 2012 @ 2:32am

The AI could be better in situations where you are close and you run past them they don't turn around, and maybe they shouldn't willingly follow you into the shadows to be stabbed so easily (they have guns after all).

The mechanics felt good though - I particularly liked the way you could lure a guard over an edge while you waited up against the wall - and I kept playing even after completing it. :)

If you continue to work on this, maybe make the guards a little smarter, the level layouts less linear, the environment more dynamic (guards with flashlights, searchlights if you get spotted, lights that go on and off) and perhaps teach the player a new new mechanic or two along the way. I think it would be an excellent flash game then. :)

bugninja says ...
Jan 6, 2013 @ 9:29pm

Another favorite for sure. Great platforming, really interesting graphics, I feel like I'm peeking in. It's really really hard too.

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