Tag Archives: horror games

I Have Finished My First Video-Game – A.T.O.M. (v 1.0.16)

It’s been a full couple of weeks for me near the beginning of this year – and still, when I got some free time I’ve worked continuously on my video-game.

A Tale Of Madness is now complete. And you can download it FOR FREE.

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It’s been a wonderful experience working on something like this. It is not that everyday you wake up and say to yourself – what should I do next? Working on a video-game takes time – lots of time. You don’t just follow a tutorial and voila – the project is done. You will encounter things that will not work – you will create bugs – you will have to build and rebuild the project many times. You will have to set up the story, the characters, the atmosphere, the levels, create the music and find the suitable noises to make a complete multimedia experience out of it.

A Tale Of Madness has reached its final form – version 1.0.16.

Download links below:

https://gamejolt.com/games/atom-prologue/449180

https://darkcodeworks.wixsite.com/atom

https://darkcode.itch.io/atom-prologue

https://www.indiedb.com/games/atom-a-tale-of-madness

https://www.moddb.com/games/atom-a-tale-of-madness

A.T.O.M. – Development Log

On a Saturday morning (August 25) I decided to follow some tutorials on Unreal Engine.

Little did I know that the entire day I would be building something that later will become my first indie game – A.T.O.M. – A Tale Of Madness – a horror atmospheric video-game – with a cinematic feeling.

One entire day – like 14 hours or so.

Later in the evening I would have a basic maze, some light configuration, I would know how to set up and create textures and so on.

Little by little – I would add pieces to it – and by now – I am almost ready to release a demo of it.

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I have written another article about the game – I Am Making A Game: ATOM – stating how my workflow regarding the project was established.

My game was inspired by titles like Layers Of Fear, SOMA and Noise, for example –  games which allow you to travel inside a fictional world and discover the story.

Initially I wanted to write a story in the form of a visual-novel – which is still planned (and it will be a space-horror themed project) but having it in the form of a first-person exploration game – made me think it would be more engaging with the player.

There were days all I wanted was to just sit and play around with the engine – and building this game offered me an insight and some ideas for a future project – I already know it’s name and what it will offer – sometime after I release the demo I will start constructing a basic level for it – to see where this will take me.

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What I observed that I like most – it is the level design – offering shape to a virtual world – from your own perspective and how you thought it to be – it feels amazing.

I recently created a website for the game – A.T.O.M. – Official Website. Here you can engage with a summary of the game’s story and listen to one of the soundtrack themes. Also I’ve added it to sites like Itch.io, GameJolt, IndieDB and ModDB – to built up a community interested in my work.

You can see the projects below:

And I have 530 engages with these pages in just two days.

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After releasing the DevLog on GameJolt – I was ranked second place in Hot Horror Games. And that felt good.

The demo is coming soon – I will not specify a date even if it is already established.

Until then – enjoy the game’s trailer. More updates to be released soon.

Layers Of Fear 2 [Conceptual Review]

“An act of creation begins with an act of destruction.”

A single light-spot. A portrayed illusion. A formless figure behind the curtain. A character to build. A captain.. a quartermaster.. a lost cause.

Alone.. in your cabin.. far from your crew. A missing eye. A story to tell.. A sequence of dementia.

When I first played the first Layers of Fear game I was mesmerized. Portraying a mental illness in a video-game and having the opportunity to live the character’s participation, decisions, visions, illusions, despair, hallucinations, regrets, sadness and hatred was quite an experience.

The second game came as a sweet easter-egg inside one of the horrible rooms in the basements from Observer’s main building. Then I saw the trailer for Project Melier, which became the materialization of Layers of Fear 2.

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A horror, first-person adventure-exploration game with a vivid narrative alignment and some puzzles to make the story whole – Layers of Fear 2 brings in front an actor who is trapped inside an internal crisis of building that one special character which he always was destined to portray.

He finds himself on an ocean-liner, working for a hard-to-please director, who never shows his face but dictates disaster through the schizophrenic episodes of the main character’s struggles. As per how things work in the Layers of Fear universe, each turn could potentially lead to another path, closed doors hide secrets and just behind you there is a disfigured shadow ready to consume raw flesh.

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You start exploring the ship, noticing that a voice, like a supernatural force is leading you towards accomplishment. But the voice is no friend of yours, and soon you discover that your surroundings are rotten paintings of regurgitated nightmares.

The game is structured into five acts: The Unmooring, The Hunt, Bloody Roots, Breath and Forever. Each of these sections lets you build your character through various choices. The story can be consumed through the game-play, the director’s and the narrator’s speeches, through phonograph cylinders, the movies you collect and posters, letters and documents.

The first act takes you throughout various locations on the ship, before entering the stage where the director demands a first choice – shoot one of the dummies (the male or the female). Throughout the game, real people were replaced with dummies – depicted as tortured beings, dead persons or other characters from the narration.

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There are more than 20 riddles and puzzles to be solved in order to continue with the story.

Each act has it’s own mysteries to be solved in order to create the character’s path. Some are quite easy to solve, others require a bit of thinking and further exploration, consulting notes or paying attention to the voice-overs of the director.

Once you get to know your surroundings you will become part of an existence into multiple dimensions, you will fill the stories of other characters, you will discover the tragedies that occurred on board of the vessel.

I’ve finished the game twice and each time I spend time just to explore all the areas, sit and listen to the atmospheric noise inside the cabins and sections of this world. I did encounter two jump-scares that managed to get to me and also listened daily the soundtrack of the game, which is absolutely amazing. Arkadiusz Reikowski did again a great job with this game too.

As the story progresses, you find yourself into deeper and darker corners, without a means to escape. The only way out is down, down into the abyssal conjunction of art. Below are some more screens from the game’s great corners of darkness.

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Gaming F.A.C.T. – SH2 – Mary’s Letter

Yet another series of articles – these will present various random facts from the games I’ve played [mostly], since they are quite easy to work on and these days I got so much to study I literally can’t write more elaborated articles.

We are talking about one of my favorite games – Silent Hill 2 – a survival horror that takes you into a nightmare without escape. The Silent Hill games are like poems – you just have to see the beauty in all that is depicted.

F.A.C.T. – Mary’s Letter

Mary’s Letter is an important item received in Silent Hill 2. The letter was written by Mary Shepherd-Sunderland while she was terminally ill and was meant to be given to James Sunderland; however, it is the mystery of the letter that brings James to Silent Hill. It is already in James’s inventory at the start of the game.

Depending on which ending the player receives, Mary may give it to James in the Leave and In Water endings, or Maria may give it to James in the Maria ending.

In the beginning, the letter ends at the line “Waiting for you…”, leading James to believe that Mary is indeed alive and waiting for him, whereas the final letter reveals that it was actually written shortly before her death.

“In my restless dreams,
I see that town.

 

Silent Hill.

 

You promised me you’d take me
there again someday.
But you never did.

Well, I’m alone there now…
In our ‘special place’…
Waiting for you…

Waiting for you to
come to see me.

 

But you never do.

 

And so I wait, wrapped in my
cocoon of pain and loneliness.

I know I’ve done a terrible
thing to you. Something you’ll
never forgive me for.

I wish I could change
that, but I can’t.

I feel so pathetic and ugly
laying here, waiting for you…

 

Every day I stare up at the cracks
in the ceiling and all I can think
about is how unfair it all is…

 

The doctor came today.
He told me I could go
home for a short stay.

It’s not that I’m getting better.
It’s just that this may be
my last chance…

I think you know what I mean…

Even so, I’m glad to be coming
home. I’ve missed you terribly.

 

But I’m afraid, James.
I’m afraid you don’t really
want me to come home.

Whenever you come see me,
I can tell how hard it is on you…

I don’t know if you
hate me or pity me…
Or maybe I just disgust you…

I’m sorry about that.

When I first learned that
I was going to die, I just
didn’t want to accept it.

I was so angry all the time and I
struck out at everyone I loved most.
Especially you, James.

That’s why I understand
if you do hate me.

But I want you to
know this, James.

I’ll always love you.

Even though our life together had
to end like this, I still wouldn’t
trade it for the world. We had
some wonderful years together.

 

Well, this letter has gone on
too long, so I’ll say goodbye.

I told the nurse to give
this to you after I’m gone.

That means that as you read
this, I’m already dead.

I can’t tell you to remember me,
but I can’t bear for you to
forget me.

 

These last few years since I
became ill… I’m so sorry for
what I did to you, did to us…

You’ve given me so much and
I haven’t been able to return
a single thing.

 

That’s why I want you to live
for yourself now.
Do what’s best for you, James.

James…

 

You made me happy.

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#Gaming – Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs – Review

What could possibly go wrong when machines created by humans could start thinking for themselves, act independently and turn against their creator?

Some of the answers can be described with the game-play of Frictional Games’ Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs.

Set in an imagined Victorian epoch – in a shade of existence – where science mingles with misunderstanding – the games takes you on a trip where darkness squeals, takes electrifying turns in torturing humans and lets rotten smells fill the air.

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Oswald Mandus – the protagonist – wakes up feeling amnesic – just like the main character of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. He soon finds out that the machine beneath the city – which is 1899’s London – has been sabotaged – and that he has to save his children who are trapped in the dark hallways underground. Piece by piece – you discover truths about yourself and about the doings of the machine.

You start by exploring a mansion, hearing whispers, screams, strange noises and seeing shadows and ghastly apparitions. You only have one goal in mind – and that is saving the children. Through written notes, journal entries, gramophone recordings and phone calls – you hear detailed parts of this story.

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After a certain spell – parts of you became crucial parts of the Machine.

The Machine is the malevolent antagonist of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. It was created by Oswald Mandus in 1899, and gained sentience after part of his soul was inserted into it. It’s sentience is referred to as The Engineer.

The Machine was created to harvest people and automate human sacrifice on an industrial scale in the hope that it might prevent the horrific events of the 20th century. It was envisioned by Mandus after the disastrous trip to the sacrificial steps of an Aztec temple in Mexico when he came into contact with the Orb.

The physical part of the Machine is enormous, stretching far and wide beneath London. The Machine is powered by Compound X, which in turn provides steam for the various machinery. It also produces large amounts of waste that needs to be discharged by a vast system of pumps.

Although designed with offices, catwalks, operation consoles, and panels, The Machine seems to be able to run mostly on its own, requiring manpigs for manual labor or small repairs. It also communicates with Mandus via a set of telephones and loudspeakers all throughout the system, further driving the realization of its intelligence and cleverness.

Interestingly, The Machine seems to be integrated with the hearts of Mandus’ sons. When Oswald’s soul is fragmented into two as well (seemingly by the fractured Orb when it ‘sucked out the fever’ that he had contracted in Mexico), The Machine gains sentience as another form of Oswald himself (aka, The Engineer). Thus, the true antagonist is Oswald’s own conscience, operating The Machine. It also refers to itself as the jaguar-faced man and a feathered serpent, attributes of the Aztec God, Quetzalcoatl, who in Aztec myth fled across the Atlantic after his removal from the sun throne, causing an apocalypse.

Man-pigs lurk in the shadows – pigs developed as humans – which learned how to live and work underground. The decaying of everything around tells nothing but a sad story of despair. Everything seems deserted, forgotten, hiding terrible secrets.

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When you finally encounter people is when you see that the city is gone mad, manpigs kill the living humans outside and turn them into fuel for the machine. You go deeper and deeper into the heart of the darkness – only to learn that once darkness conquers something – it is hard to oppose it and fight it back.

The survival horror genre has seen many titles – but the best games out there – in my opinion – are the ones with the first person perspective. They let you enter the atmosphere and live the story. In Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs you explore and fight the dark forces in order to re-establish some peace in the protagonist’s path.

The story is well written, the dialogues are deep, the voice-acting is great. Great soundtrack too.

This is not the first time I played the game – definitely not the last. Recommended for its plot and scare-jumps.

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