Into the Black: Psychological Light/Dark Horror (COMPLETE)

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Into the Black: Psychological Light/Dark Horror (COMPLETE)

Postby lightnarcissus » Thu May 16, 2013 11:54 am

Brain is the fisher while you -- a faceless, depressed human with only a distinctive sad face :( are the bait.

It starts with you diving into the sea with a constant force pulling you down. It could be you or it could be the brain. Is there any difference? What matters is that you're controlling that part of yourself who needs to stop the fall before you hit the rock bottom -- literally in this case.

Image

Gameplay:

Wanted to make a simple game composed of disparate mechanics that are tied only thematically and by player's common purpose.

"Into The Black" is basically a light/dark based horror with psychological elements. You have taken a dive into your depressed mind(the ocean) and are constantly being pushed downwards by your brain(the fisher). Negate the downward force and find light in the darkness before it's too late.

Objective:

Find ways to reduce the constant force pushing you down in the pitch darkness of your mind before you hit the rock bottom.
There will be ways to increase it and ways to decrease it.

Image

The above image explains it quite well.

You move your mouse around but initially only a small part of the screen(the inside of your mind) is lit. Everything else is pitch black. Your mind's insecurities (better called as "MIND") spawn randomly in the darkness. A "happy person" will spawn all colourful and surrounded by light speaking words of positivity but meanwhile slowly but steadily moving towards the mind.

It's basically a race of who reaches there first. The twist is you cannot see the mind hidden in darkness.
You can either:
    -- follow the general direction of "Happy" and reach the "Mind" first
    -- or follow the specific depressed voice of "Mind" to find where "Happy" is

Either of these two cases can happen:

    -- If you reach to the "Mind" first, your downward force decreases and LIGHT gets spawned so now you can see more of the screen
    -- If "Happy" reaches to the "Mind" first, then your downward force increases and LIGHT gets destroyed. So now, you are in more darkness than you were before -- basically describing how positive people do more harm than good in such times

    -- You collect colourful balloons to reduce the constant force temporarily. The more balloons you collect, the more force you decrease
    -- Chains get anchored to your feet and drag you down with an increase in force. (of the mind).

    On top of all this, there are the above-mentionedjellyfish-like creatures who constantly move towards you -- taunting you. This is basically the part of your own mind you need to stay far from. If you come in contact with them, you freeze/become numb for a few seconds, thus putting you at a disadvantage in racing first to the "Mind"
.

Instructions

Negate the downward force by:

    -- Collecting balloons
    -- Reaching to the insecurities of your mind hidden in the darkness BEFORE the "Happy" people do(also creates more light in the darkness)

Downward force increases with:

    -- "Happy" people reaching to the "Mind" before you do (also destroys a light creating more darkness)
    -- Chains get anchored to your feet dragging you further down
    -- If you come in contact with Jellyfish-like creatures who stalk and taunt you

Victory: If you reach ZERO force before you hit the bottom
Lose: If you hit the bottom

Files/Places You Can Play

Direct Links :

PC Version:
http://db.tt/ulWwZxSM

Web Version(Unity):
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/167 ... ngJam.html

GameJolt:
http://gamejolt.com/games/other/into-the-black/15036/
Last edited by lightnarcissus on Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:22 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Into the Black : Fishing into your Own Depressed Mind

Postby lightnarcissus » Fri May 24, 2013 9:59 pm

Update #1 (on May 25)


Been working whenever I could find time in between my finals. Made decent progress thus far, though this being only my second game (first one being in the recent Ludum Dare) me working is 60% learning and 40% doing actual work.

Regardless, the game's concept has evolved a bit since then focusing more on physics and light/dark elements but the core remains the same.
    --Your objective still remains to negate the downward force your mind is pulling you into before you hit the ocean floor/rock bottom.
    --The twist is that now there's a light/dark element. You get increasingly isolated by a light centered on you with everything around you being pitch black.
    -- Your depressed mind is now being pulled down into the ocean/mind by heavy steel balls. These balls automatically get clamped to your feet and drag you down like an anchor with an increased force.
    -- You counter them by hanging onto balloons. More balloons = greater decrease in downward force. More balloons also increase the light around you enabling you to see things -- the dangers and randomized events taking place in the ocean/mind more easily.
[list]
-- There are weird fish creatures with smiling masks (with a hint of blood) who in darkness/light repeatedly taunt you offering some background
My finals means I'm constantly distracted but thus far I've managed to implement the basic mechanics (force,win/lose) as well as managed to make workable physics and collisions. This is how it looks right now:

Image

Kinda shows the light/dark mechanic. Try not laughing at the art. :cry: I hadn't drawn properly in ages before this. :oops:
Last edited by lightnarcissus on Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Posts: 7
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Re: Into the Black : Fishing into your Own Depressed Mind

Postby lightnarcissus » Sun May 26, 2013 5:50 am

Update #2

Started producing music last night along with some voice clips.
This is a rough demo of the background music from the game. Done entirely in FL Studio and I took a more minimal, no-keys, ambient track approach with this one.
https://soundcloud.com/lightwarrior179/ambient-noise

Also, recorded some voice clips on my own. To give it a creepy edge, I thought I'd use the vocoder plugin but it didn't turn out good. So, instead simple timestretch and pitch shifting gave me the desired results. :)
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Re: Into the Black: Psychological Light/Dark Horror (COMPLET

Postby lightnarcissus » Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:25 pm

More Info

Art Style

Like I said above, I have poor drawing skills and was sorely out of practice, so I knew I wouldn't be able to draw in a normal "beautiful" manner, so I did few unique twists in the form of art style.

    -- Everything above is sunny and colourful. You are the only one who is colourless.
    -- Inside the ocean/your mind, the only things that appear colourful are "happy/positive people" and the taunting jellyfish which represents that condescending part of your mind who thinks you are its inferior

    -- The happy people have a small hint of blood trickling down their mouths. Indicating they do more harm than good when it comes to dealing with depressed people and understanding their situation


Sound

Music

    -- Only one background track running while you're in the ocean. There's a SoundCloud link in the above post to a slightly different mix I did before changing it to a more ambient form.

Voice

-- My voice. Initially thought I'd use a vocoder to make them sound intentionally creepy and unsettling but instead I used simple timestretch and pitch-shifting to make them sound like they turned out.
-- Notice how it's only the depressed part of the mind which feels the most normal to you. Perhaps, an indication of how it's more relatable than external voices (the positive voices sound the most distant)
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Re: Into the Black: Psychological Light/Dark Horror (COMPLET

Postby lightnarcissus » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:21 pm

A 5-minute demonstration video is up on YouTube.
Have a look if you are not quite sure if you want to play this. Although, if you ask me, the video doesn't quite do justice to it. :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWdOJ5KTcO0&feature=youtu.be
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