Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

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gagaplex
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby gagaplex » Tue May 20, 2014 9:51 pm

matt wrote:Well, to be fair, you might need a walkthrough to figure out some of the branches, but that's okay with me.


So, I'm curious: Way back you said you wanted to make the branching dependent on how many times players die in a given level. It now sounds like it'll be more about finding secrets or particular interactions instead perhaps? Without spoiling the branches, obviously, can you perhaps give us an indication of the sorts of conditions that'll have to be met to reach another branch? Will "number of deaths" still be one such condition among many? Will they be finding an item and interacting with it? Will they be approaching puzzles in particular ways?

Harry Sunderland
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby Harry Sunderland » Wed May 21, 2014 7:02 am

I realize I'm not the target audience, but part of what got me into Indie games is I enjoy their tendency to be shorter. With my job and spending time with my wife, I don't have a lot of time to sink into a long game these days (though if one is good enough, I'll make time), so I really appreciate interactive media that I can wrap up in a few hours.

For example, it takes me at least a month to complete an Assassin's Creed game, and in no way does that include collecting all the random feathers. While that can be fun for awhile, I like a game that I can start and finish in an evening.

If reviewers complain about the length, I think it's because we've been calibrated by games like Skyrim, Assassin's Creed, and even the multiplayer craze of Call of Duty to marvel at the 40+ hours of "entertainment" we get from our games. But honestly these games (with the exception of Skyrim, which I haven't played) are not very strong on narrative. Honestly for me every assassin's creed game follows the same plot. A dude tells me I should be killing some dude...he tells me to kill another dude. I kill him and he tells me to kill another dude. I go kill him, he mentions a location I need to bomb. I do this, and find out a plot twist that I should've actually been killing the first dude who told me to kill a dude. I kill the first dude in the game. I wake up in the present. Crazy shit happens. End Game.

I've spent probably well over 200 hours in the AC franchise, and I hardly remember any of the plot. I enjoyed the games, but the narrative is stretched so thin that it's almost not even worth tracking.

- Ed

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matt
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby matt » Wed May 21, 2014 6:31 pm

So, I'm curious: Way back you said you wanted to make the branching dependent on how many times players die in a given level. It now sounds like it'll be more about finding secrets or particular interactions instead perhaps? Without spoiling the branches, obviously, can you perhaps give us an indication of the sorts of conditions that'll have to be met to reach another branch? Will "number of deaths" still be one such condition among many? Will they be finding an item and interacting with it? Will they be approaching puzzles in particular ways?

I haven't decided on how all the branches will work, but I like to think of them as choices. However, they will be choices where you won't potentially know you are being presented with one just because we don't have UI or HUD. I think the secret will be basically how to play the level differently than you played it the first time. I suspect some people will find different branches the "natural" one.

However, by playing the earlier builds, we are sort of locking you into a way of thinking, so the current path will seem "obvious" and the other paths might require some exploration to discover.

Honestly, I'm not sure how it's going to work out, but in July, we'll probably put in the first branch and see how hard or easy it is to discover and adjust accordingly.

I'm not sure that really answered your question, but it is really hard to talk about them without specifics...

Harry,
I know exactly what you mean. I much prefer shorter experiences. I too have a demanding job and a wife with whom I like to spend time. :) If a review says a game is like 20 hours long, I think that's a bad thing for me personally. If it's 40 hours long, I don't even play it.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Harry Sunderland
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby Harry Sunderland » Fri May 23, 2014 6:53 am

matt wrote:

However, by playing the earlier builds, we are sort of locking you into a way of thinking, so the current path will seem "obvious" and the other paths might require some exploration to discover.

Honestly, I'm not sure how it's going to work out, but in July, we'll probably put in the first branch and see how hard or easy it is to discover and adjust accordingly. .


I find the idea of multiple paths to different branches very exciting! That's something that I really feel I haven't seen in a lot of video games lately, is sort of a push towards finding secret paths (I mean aside from FPS games with randoms secret rooms filled with ammo).

I found games like Super Mario World and Mega Man X so exciting because they really rewarded you for finding alternative paths around the side scrolling levels. Hopefully I wont' spoil anything for anyone, but for example, after the Lost Child smashes through the wall, I would love it if you could move forward a few screens (obviously wait until after he's done banging on the door!), and then return, and actually go through the hole he smashed in the wall!

If you want one fans opinion, I like that more than counting the number of times you die. When games punish me for dying, it always makes me sad. For example, I recently re-played Metal Gear Solid, and Psycho Mantis "read my mind" and called me wreckless because I got caught by the guards so many times. Screw that guy! Don't judge me!

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matt
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby matt » Fri May 23, 2014 5:49 pm

I found games like Super Mario World and Mega Man X so exciting because they really rewarded you for finding alternative paths around the side scrolling levels. Hopefully I wont' spoil anything for anyone, but for example, after the Lost Child smashes through the wall, I would love it if you could move forward a few screens (obviously wait until after he's done banging on the door!), and then return, and actually go through the hole he smashed in the wall!


That was going to be a branch, but we basically had to cut out a level of branching due to time constraints, so I think the first branch will be in the asylum. 5 deep, there will be 2 nightmares, and 6 deep, there will be 3. I had a really cool idea for the hole branch though. Maybe some day, we'll release a director's cut with extra branches or something...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby RightClickSaveAs » Fri May 23, 2014 7:11 pm

Exploration leading to the branches sounds great. I love exploring everything in games.

One thing that always confused me in Silent Hill 2 was the different endings, which I guess are kinda like branches. They were based on more vague and behavioral gameplay choices, like whether or not you kept the character's health topped off (which I always do in a game not matter what) and how many times you do stuff like look at Mary's letter. I like the idea of doing endings that way, but I think the implementation was lacking, because ultimately it's still a game and most people are going to treat it like one.

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matt
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby matt » Fri May 23, 2014 7:57 pm

As much as I love Silent Hill, I think basing the multiple endings on somewhat arbitrary factors seems like a bit of a cop out of having choices leading up to the multiple endings. It is by far the easiest because you don't really need to change anything leading up to the ending.

I think I mentioned in a developer diary that I want it based on choices you make, but not "important" ones like in the Walking Dead because I want the player to feel completely disempowered. Anyway, I'm not quite sure how the branches will turn out, but I have the advantage of showing it to you guys and getting feedback first. :)
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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matt
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby matt » Sat May 24, 2014 6:04 pm

Back to the topic at hand - DreadOut. I got the game, and I don't like it. I am stuck at the Scissor Phantom, and I think I'm going to give up. The controls aren't good, the scissor phantom is super cheap, and I spent most of the game until now, wandering completely lost. I followed a walkthrough video, and maybe I am misunderstanding what is going on in the game, but it seems like by doing random things, random things change in the school. Taking a picture of something makes a key appear somewhere... Plus there is no map, so it seems like the gameplay works out to wander around, things happen, wander around the same area over again, and hope something changed.

I can see why it feels short. There is not very much content. I think I am nearing the end, and there has been basically 3 enemies, and only one "real" puzzle (which was kind of interesting). They have a neat outdoor location, but it is just for the intro, and then you are stuck in a small school, where everything looks the same and it is super confusing to figure out where you are.

Perhaps if the game had a map like Fatal Frame or Silent Hill, the controls were better (and had an invert joystick option), this stupid enemy weren't so cheap, and I didn't have to wander for 3 minutes after I died, the game would be decent, but the cons seem to outweigh the pros for this game - at least in my opinion. Hopefully they will consider addressing some of these in a patch...

EDIT! With the help of the Steam game guides and the Steam forum, I was able to beat the scissor phantom as well as the game. My criticisms still stand. The game is really light on content, and the content that is there isn't that great (besides some neat ghost designs). I wish I had just continued playing Fatal Frame III instead of being frustrated by this game...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby RightClickSaveAs » Sat May 24, 2014 7:10 pm

Locking you in that school for the majority of the game was unfortunate, because the outside town looks so cool.

Are you going to play part II when it comes out? I'm not sure when that's supposed to be, but maybe they'll listen to the feedback and improve those issues. I'm hoping it takes place in that big deserted town at night.

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matt
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Re: Is anyone getting "DreadOut"?

Postby matt » Sat May 24, 2014 8:10 pm

I agree that the outside town was way cooler than the school, and I hope episode 2 uses some of that art.

I'll definitely give episode 2 a shot since I already paid for it. :) However, if they carry over your save and it doesn't reset your limbo timer, I'll give up instantly because I think it takes me 2-3 minutes EVERY time I die, and I die a lot. :( The limbo mechanic was an interesting idea, but the execution was poor (especially with the mocking "you should play causal games", which rubbed me the wrong way). Hopefully they'll get rid of it totally or cap it at like 15 seconds...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games


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