Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Discussion of the game should go here. Let's keep the rest of the forum free from spoilers! :-)
User avatar
matt
Posts: 2316
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:48 am

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by matt »

- Something I did note however is that when you view the portrait in "Closer look mode", the background behind the painting looks blurry (Picture of this: http://i.imgur.com/EVZnEUf.jpg). I'm not sure if that was intentional or not, to create a blur effect or something, but I just felt like pointing it out in case it was a mistake.
I just enlarged the background texture as a test instead of having an artist redraw it, so yeah it looks pretty crappy. I’ll have an artist redraw it when they have some free time. You have a good eye! I was hoping no one would notice. Hahaha
That new scene that comes after the basement came outta nowhere! I was not expecting that, pretty gruesome stuff
What did you think of it? I expected to hear more about it, but I suspect a lot of people aren’t replaying the initial levels. Does it fit in? Was it surprising? It does seem a little weird, but it is really important for me to get it in because that is actually an intrusive thought that has haunted me for many years...
- Something I generally wanted to note. I feel like in certain instances when running that it can be hard to hear Thomas breathe over the music, I noticed it especially on this level. It could just be my audio setup however so I don't know, anybody else have this sometimes?
This is 100% true and it’s a tricky problem to solve. I discussed it with the sound designer, and we’ll try and work something out in the mixdown pass, but there is still a ton of audio work to do, so it might be a while before we figure it out. We had a similar problem in Retro/Grade, so what I did is analyzed the music volume and how it changed over time, and then adjusted the sound effect volume accordingly. It wasn't perfect, but I think it helped.
- The hand jump scares: First one = Great - Second one = Alright - Third one = Ehhhh. I feel like you should probably just cut it to one as it happens too often and seems a little cheap (At least in my opinion)
My thought was that people wouldn’t see all of them, so we’d put in a few in case they were skipped. However, we added the closer looks to EVERY door after we added those, which incentivizes viewing all the doors, so I guess the likelihood of seeing them all is pretty high. I’ll make it so they only trigger once when I get a chance.

Good catch with the cell doors! I thought we got them all.
My only curiosity now is how it will all end of this playthrough and how you'll top the previous level with this last one, so no pressure
We have some really cool things planned (some of which have been hinted at), but I am really happy with how this turned out, so it is going to be a challenge. We might have to do something like the asylum level where we push it before it is “done done”, so the first pass might not be quite there yet, but in the end, it should be pretty intense.

Anyway, thank you so much for you feedback! I really appreciate you taking the time to play through everything!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

User avatar
nsane
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:39 am
Location: Right behind you
Contact:

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by nsane »

matt wrote:
That new scene that comes after the basement came outta nowhere! I was not expecting that, pretty gruesome stuff
What did you think of it? I expected to hear more about it, but I suspect a lot of people aren’t replaying the initial levels. Does it fit in? Was it surprising? It does seem a little weird, but it is really important for me to get it in because that is actually an intrusive thought that has haunted me for many years...
It's very interesting and quite surprising. I wasn't expecting it, but I don't feel it's out of place. Being where it is gives a surreal feeling to the end of that segment.

User avatar
RightClickSaveAs
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:22 pm

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by RightClickSaveAs »

matt wrote:Sure that would be helpful. I can honestly think of no reason why he would be going any faster. It might be worth comparing a video of his speed walking if you play up to the level and if you load the level from the menu... Maybe it is some cumulative thing? I've played a lot of Neverending Nightmares, but I've never noticed it... Weird!
It does look like it builds up as you play through from the beginning. At first I was thinking it was intentional to raise the tension as the nightmare gets worse, undocumented feature perhaps? :)

There definitely is a speed difference in the later levels though, I cut this together from the video I recorded yesterday, where I was playing straight through from the beginning without exiting the game:
http://youtu.be/Ka4HdWOBsrU

And here's a recording from today of each of the levels restarted from the menu, it doesn't seem to happen in these:
http://youtu.be/60BJpCYRoCM

Could Fraps have anything to do with it?

EDIT: Oh and just to let you know, the game runs on my laptop (i3 M 330 with the integrated Intel HD graphics) now! I hadn't tried since the first alpha build.

User avatar
AironNeil
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:55 am

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by AironNeil »

I'm sure this problem is just me, but for some reason NN has a hard time opening. For some reason, whenever I try to open it, steam will say that it's preparing to open NN, but then it never does. The only way I've found to fix this is to restart steam, but that doesn't always work. Any suggestions for my problem that I'm sure I only have.

User avatar
gagaplex
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:32 am

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by gagaplex »

RightClickSaveAs wrote:
matt wrote:It might be worth comparing a video of his speed walking if you play up to the level and if you load the level from the menu... Maybe it is some cumulative thing? I've played a lot of Neverending Nightmares, but I've never noticed it... Weird!
Could Fraps have anything to do with it?
Dunno, I'd guess neither.
I mean, when I noticed the seemingly higher speed, I didn't record at the time (I don't have Fraps and I didn't have Bandicam running), plus I started with "Continue" (which put me right outside the door of the asylum where 0.3 ended), not from the beginning of the game/not from the nightmare selection screen.
You'll note one of my comments was also about the high speed of Thomas' drinking animation (when we get the milk), which I attributed to the overall speed-up, but perhaps that's unconnected and that particular animation is just very quick/unfinished?

User avatar
JPrice
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:20 am
Location: Abertillery, Wales
Contact:

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by JPrice »

What did you think of it? I expected to hear more about it, but I suspect a lot of people aren’t replaying the initial levels. Does it fit in? Was it surprising? It does seem a little weird, but it is really important for me to get it in because that is actually an intrusive thought that has haunted me for many years...
I think that it fits in quite well actually, I think the shock and surprise of it works really well within that particular section. Seeing as it builds on top of what happened prior (Dead body visions and ghost Gabby following you) I think that it caps off the growing intensity. I think you should keep it in seeing as it does work well and it's an important thought that has been apart of your mind as you stated :)
"Always look on the bright side of life"
Check me out on Steam if you like! - http://steamcommunity.com/id/JPrice321/

User avatar
matt
Posts: 2316
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:48 am

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by matt »

I'll have Dan look into the walk speed issue. That is really weird. I'm not sure if that is affecting the milk drink animation or not. In general, we tried to animate that one, so it goes by pretty quickly because I don't think anyone really wants to watch Thomas drink a bottle of milk for 15 seconds.
I'm sure this problem is just me, but for some reason NN has a hard time opening. For some reason, whenever I try to open it, steam will say that it's preparing to open NN, but then it never does. The only way I've found to fix this is to restart steam, but that doesn't always work. Any suggestions for my problem that I'm sure I only have.
Does the window ever show up or is this before anything starts? If nothing is starting, I'm not really sure. Can you check the task manager and see if nightmare.exe is running?
Oh and just to let you know, the game runs on my laptop (i3 M 330 with the integrated Intel HD graphics) now! I hadn't tried since the first alpha build.
Excellent! I did a bunch of work to support older Intel HD graphics (it was a bit of a nightmare, and I ended up reformatting my netbook to try and see if it was a driver issue), so I'm happy it helps someone. :)

I'm glad the new mini-nightmare of the vein pulling doesn't seem out of place. I have some more ideas for things like that, which I'd like to sprinkle in throughout the game, but they are a bit of a pain to do, so we haven't gotten the chance to get them in yet...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

User avatar
AironNeil
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:55 am

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by AironNeil »

matt wrote:Does the window ever show up or is this before anything starts? If nothing is starting, I'm not really sure. Can you check the task manager and see if nightmare.exe is running?
Yeah, nightmare.exe starts then closes itself and nothing else happens. No window shows up, except for the steam window saying that it's opening it.

EDIT: I restarted Steam and it started to work again. I'm not really sure what's going on...oh well, hopefully it doesn't have the same issue on the next build even though it sounds like an issue with steam or my computer...

User avatar
RightClickSaveAs
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:22 pm

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by RightClickSaveAs »

OK this will be pretty long, sorry, I was collecting my thoughts and wanted to go back and play it again. I hope I'm not ruining any metrics you're tracking because I went back and tried a bunch of weird stuff and died a bunch of times. I did replay the whole build, so I wanted to comment on some of what's been added to the beginning levels.
  • The new menu sounds are AWESOME! It sounds like insects in your ears and make you think of disease and decay.
  • The sound in general seems to get more and more layered with each build, I hear whispers and subtle background things I'd swear weren't in before.
  • Whoah, the credits list is in! I see Johann Sebastian Gilgenbach has made another appearance. That guy must have been a big spender :)
  • I like that running back into the darkness in the second level now has consequences. It makes you feel like you're being pushed forward to your fate. It's a nice touch how the darkness only closes in on you after you grab the axe, it's like now that you've got the axe there's no backing out.
  • Adding the cupboard in the first monster hallway is such a nice solution. What would you think about making it take one or two fewer times to activate though? It took me at least 5 deaths to get it to appear, and I think anyone dying that much is going to be really frustrated.
  • The backer portraits are starting to blend in a lot better now. Also I missed this the first time but I absolutely loved how you gave a whole new spin to one of them in the new level, that's such a great idea. I can't remember where else this guy appears but I thought I remember seeing him in a different painting before:
    Image
  • The cutscene in the basement with the arm vein fits perfectly, that's a much better way to end out that scene. The basement is so dark and scary it seems like a horrifying consequence to getting stuck down there in the dark. That's such a visceral thing to watch too, I still find it really disturbing.
  • The stairs add so much to the overall experience. Especially when you're carrying an axe or a candle, it's so atmospheric.
  • I like the lumberjack in the pictures more than Slender man. I never was a big fan of Slender man, I just don't understand the whole thing.
  • Whoah, Gabby from behind with the syringe and Achilles tendon slice :shock: I know you mentioned a while ago there was going to be something involving the achilles, and that made me cringe seeing it. Whatever's in that syringe looks like such an unhealthy green color too.
  • I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do at the end of the Asylum level now, so I ran around like a dummy for a bit before I finally figured out I had to go back in. I thought at first maybe you had to jump off the edge or walk down that corridor that stretches out into the distance.
  • One more thing on the last level, I like how Gabby will tell you to take a candle if you don't pick it up from the bedside. It's a good way for the game to let you know you need that to leave the room without it feeling like the game itself is telling you.

User avatar
matt
Posts: 2316
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:48 am

Re: Alpha 0.4 discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by matt »

Thank you so much for all of your feedback!
The new menu sounds are AWESOME! It sounds like insects in your ears and make you think of disease and decay.
I actually was on the fence about that, but usually I have to listen to sounds/music a million times before I decide if I like them or not. I’m glad to hear that you like them.
Johann Sebastian Gilgenbach has made another appearance. That guy must have been a big spender
I thought my dad would have put in his real name for that, but apparently not. Hahah It's not like his name is a big secret. It is the second hit in google for Gilgenbach. (I've beaten him now! hahha Yay, polygon article!)
I like that running back into the darkness in the second level now has consequences. It makes you feel like you're being pushed forward to your fate. It's a nice touch how the darkness only closes in on you after you grab the axe, it's like now that you've got the axe there's no backing out.
People kept reporting a bug that no consequences for the shadows in that hallway, which was intentional, but I figured I might as well incorporate (steal!) your ideas. Hahah
Adding the cupboard in the first monster hallway is such a nice solution. What would you think about making it take one or two fewer times to activate though? It took me at least 5 deaths to get it to appear, and I think anyone dying that much is going to be really frustrated.
I lowered it to 3 in the demo at E3, and it worked well, so I was thinking I would do the same in the actual game.
The backer portraits are starting to blend in a lot better now. Also I missed this the first time but I absolutely loved how you gave a whole new spin to one of them in the new level, that's such a great idea. I can't remember where else this guy appears but I thought I remember seeing him in a different painting before:
That’s actually a new backer portrait. He gave me a picture holding a tennis racket, so I thought it might be neat to make a twisted backer portrait that fit in with the craziness in the level.
The cutscene in the basement with the arm vein fits perfectly, that's a much better way to end out that scene. The basement is so dark and scary it seems like a horrifying consequence to getting stuck down there in the dark. That's such a visceral thing to watch too, I still find it really disturbing.
I’m glad to hear you like it! If it is disturbing, we are doing our job right. In the trailer, we only animated the half second that appeared. To create the cutscene, we ended up having to redo most of it.
Whoah, Gabby from behind with the syringe and Achilles tendon slice I know you mentioned a while ago there was going to be something involving the achilles, and that made me cringe seeing it. Whatever's in that syringe looks like such an unhealthy green color too.
We actually went through a few colors to get a nice scary green. Blue wasn’t cutting it. haha
I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do at the end of the Asylum level now, so I ran around like a dummy for a bit before I finally figured out I had to go back in. I thought at first maybe you had to jump off the edge or walk down that corridor that stretches out into the distance.
I think it was partially confusing because before, it just stopped there. Perhaps in the future, there will be alternate solutions in that particular area. :)
One more thing on the last level, I like how Gabby will tell you to take a candle if you don't pick it up from the bedside. It's a good way for the game to let you know you need that to leave the room without it feeling like the game itself is telling you
Thanks! I am pretty pleased with that solution. I wish I had something as elegant for the checkpoint rooms. I need to make sure people don’t skip the candle thinking it is a solution. It seems I’m going to have to just force the player to auto-pick up the candle after he stands up.

Anyway I appreciate all your feedback, and I'm happy to hear it seems like you are enjoying all of our changes! :)
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Post Reply