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Four friends from the same university go out camping together. But while gathering firewood, strange sounds can be heard from the forest.
After that, things get gradually worse.
This is the classic camping-trip-gone-wrong movie from the eighties made into a RPG Maker game.

It features a minimalistic soundtrack, with mainly the ambiance of the forest and all the creatures in it accompanying you in the increasingly dark forest.

I recommend turning off all lights, pulling down the blinds and putting on headphones for maximum enjoyment.
Playtime is roughly 20 minutes.
Story is based upon the Skinwalker creature and the stories surrounding it.

Latest Blog

  • Completed
  • SnowOwl
  • RPG Maker VX Ace
  • Adventure
  • 03/06/2013 05:08 AM
  • 10/02/2021 07:23 PM
  • 03/13/2013
  • 309230
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  • 19634

Posts

author=kumada
Also, while I agree that interactivity is what separates games from, say, movies or books as mediums, I don't think more interactivity always = better game.

Interactivity, even in a thing like a VN helps with immersion. Choose Your Own Adventure novels give little choices throughout. The issue here is is it a straight narrative or one that the viewer has a hand in. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but in its current form what interactive elements that do exist seem more teasing than immersing.
@SnowOwl: Again. That post was NOT directed at you. And that part was just a general sardonic remark. Geez! Sense of humor, plz. :|

author=kumada
Also, while I agree that interactivity is what separates games from, say, movies or books as mediums, I don't think more interactivity always = better game.

True. But the plead is not so much: "More interactivity", as it is: "Meaningful interactivity". ...For example, I "whined" about the maps in this game because I didn't feel walking down the same little path in three different times added much to it; It was a mere distraction! So in this case you could say one answer could be: "Less interactivity". Spare me the chore of fetching wood and just let me read about it.

I prefer the creative solution, though. That's why I suggested for the areas to be more open, so the player can regain some control. So they can explore a bit and feel genuinely confined to a remote area, or lost and disoriented in a thick, large forest. Because even if that was SnowOwl's intention, the trees don't naturally grow into little mazes. And even little details like that can break the immersion...
@SnowOwl, would you like me to do a full review of your game? You've gotten a lot of feedback lately, and I've left my basic thoughts somewhere above in the comments, but I really wouldn't mind doing a full review. Horror games/stories/visual novels, all that are some of my favorite things, so I could do an indepth review, if you'd like :)

Also, I had another idea. On the text heavy scenarios where it is all black, I think the game could benefit by just having something visual occurring in the background. Even if you're just panning through the woods or something, like maybe static or something on screen to look at and see moving, or just look at in general. However, some scenes definitely needed and benefitted from it all being black (such as the screen when the girl's face popped up when the protagonist was grabbing her hand at one point. The names escape me at the moment, but I loved that part, haha!). I can give specifics if you want, but yeah!

Let me know about the review thing :)
^I think I have enough thoughts on what needs to be worked on for now to start improving the game. The idea with adding something visual on the black parts is good though, I will definitely use that.
I would very much like a review when I've made some changes, though, if you would feel like it.
Alright! I will await the changes and review it then! :D
Wow SnowOwl, your Project is receiving a ton of attention as it should. As a person who has been watching over your projects for a while I've noticed that "exploration" is a core theme and factor within your games. I enjoy the way you visually express yourself. Can't wait for an update if you're planning on one that is.
Brady
Was Built From Pixels Up
3134
in response to alter:

Keep it on hi hard drive? Really? That's your reaction to "you need to make sure you like your own game?"

No, I never once said he shouldn't care about public opinion and he should ignore whether or not anyonee else likes his work. But fact of the matter is, the most important priority is himself. He cuold make the best game in the world with 100% positivee feedback from even the koreans, but it won't mean shit if HE doesn't like it.

Fact is, you have to make sure you like your own work. After that, you can start worrying about what other people think. All I was saying is to make sure that any changes he makes in the name of pleasing his audience do not come at the expense of changing thee game into something he doesn't want it to be.
I think you used very specific language in that post I replied to, man. Don't try to spin it now. -_- "You're the ONLY ONE that needs to like your game" is not the same than "You need to like your game". Of course you have to like your work! But that goes without saying, really... Also, it's kind of selfish to put the author's vision above of that of the public's, and it's foolish to do the opposite. So the only priority should be the game itself. An effective game will always transcend its creator's wishes and the audience's expectations.

i.have.spoken. :B
Brady
Was Built From Pixels Up
3134
"You're the ONLY ONE who needs to like your game"
is not the same as
"You're the only one who NEEDS to like your game"

Sure, he wants other people to, but they don't NEED to like it. However, he needs to like it, or he'll just feel like he's doing some chore and eventually lose interest.

And you can't use selfishness as a defence. This is a site for hobbyists mostly, and as sharing and communal as you may be, at the end of the day not many people are here expressly with the purpose of doing everything in their power to make everyone elses lives better. You enjoy making games, you enjoy playing games; you do both, you share, you collaborate. But you don't sit down and spend your free time working on a game you don't give two shits about, purely because a group of people you've never met think it's a really cool game.

This is creation, remember; you want to create something that you enjoy, that you want. Creating something that you don't care about isn't going to mean much, regardless whether or not it's a success. If I ask you to make some new toilet product, would you be emotionally invested in whether or not people liked using it? For free?

Banging a product down to suit as many demographics as possible is only going to make it paper thin and ultimately no one's going to be fully interested in it. Even by your point of view, it's better to focus on a single demographic and make it the best possible game for that group, so the game will be a success in their eyes, and worry less about appeasing other secondary demographics.

Remember, making a visual novel in game form with zero interactiveness is may read on paper "like a book or a movie", but it will play like neither; it'll still be unique as a creative storytelling medium.
I look forward to retrying this. Keep up the hard work.
@obsorber
I'm a bit surprised, myself.
@alterego/Brady
Making a game that tries to cater to everyone is indeed a surefire way to make nobody like your game, at least in my experience. Because, quite honestly, there are as many likes and dislikes as there are people. You're just going to end up with a mess.

I disagree that it's selfish to put the authors vision above the publics, at least in this specific instance.
We are all making these games in our spare time, for free.
That said, it's still a good idea to listen to advice and opinions.

I dunno what you are trying to say with those last sentences, alterego. So I should have no vision at all, and ignore everyone else's vision? How do I know what to do?
author=SnowOwl
@obsorber
I'm a bit surprised, myself.
@alterego/Brady
Making a game that tries to cater to everyone is indeed a surefire way to make nobody like your game, at least in my experience. Because, quite honestly, there are as many likes and dislikes as there are people. You're just going to end up with a mess.

I disagree that it's selfish to put the authors vision above the publics, at least in this specific instance.
We are all making these games in our spare time, for free.
That said, it's still a good idea to listen to advice and opinions.

I dunno what you are trying to say with those last sentences, alterego. So I should have no vision at all, and ignore everyone else's vision? How do I know what to do?


stick with ur idea!
u cant please everyone
its ur game
ur idea
I was going to. I'm just curious what alterego is trying to say.
author=SnowOwl
I was going to. I'm just curious what alterego is trying to say.

i know
but pls dont change ur way in how u make games
just because 1 or 2 person doesnt like it
its ur art...
i love it just how u make ur games the way it is
Oh, the good ol' "We're just hobbyists making games for free" argument. Why it doesn't surprise me that things boiled down to this? EVERY GOD DAMN TIME. Man, that's such a cop-out! xD ...just humoring that very thought is like giving in to mediocrity. Sure, there will come a point when practical experience will 'stonewall' you. But until then, is your responsibility to give the best of yourself and remain receptive to what others can teach you. Because you're here to learn, before anything else. And once you've learned enough you can keep going up-- It may sound harsh, but if you don't like this idea, then you're indeed better off building a train track in your attic, or something.

On the niche thing... I never said "mix all genres to please all audiences" if that's the impression you got. I talked about making "meaningful" additions to a game. I talked about visual novels not being my "cup of tea" but still being able to enjoy one that is well done. And I think most players are like this; so there's just ONE audience if you think about it. Sure, some people may gravitate to one genre more than others, but they're still knowledgeable of them and what makes a game good. And if a game is good, they will like it and play it.
_
@SnowOwl: That was just a fancy way to say you should find a balance between the two and let your game come to life on its own...
There will be times when won't know what you're doing. But as long as you don't go down the road of self-indulgence, you'll be fine.
Brady
Was Built From Pixels Up
3134
A cop-out for what, exactly?

No one said the games should be made half-assed because they're hobbyist projects. The point was that the creator of the project should be making sure he likes it himself. Professional game designers are more obligated to worry about whether or not the public enjoy their games because if they don't, then the game flops and the designer gets fired.

Here, however, that's simply not an issue, so the priority is making sure you enjoy your own games. The public is secondary.

Don't try and twist the debate into something it's not; it should have been pretty obvious I mentioned hobbyist projects as a direct response to what you said.
Does it look like I'm going down the road of self-indulgence? Sure I got some specific parts I don't really want to change, but I'd imagine that's the same for most of the gamemakers here. Would someone change the genre of their game from RPG to action just because enough people told him to? I've listened to most thoughts I've got so far and made several changes in the yet to be released 2nd version, but that doesn't mean I'm willing to do just about anything.
There's a balance, between what I want (which weighs heavier than one player), and the players.
It's also not like I'm actively trying to make it as bad as possible.
SnowOwl is beholden to no one here, just as a person who paints, writes, or plays music for personal pleasure is not beholden to anyone. Does that mean there is no possible pleasure to be gained by others? Not in the least. It just may not appeal to some.
@Brady: Examine what transpired here. Some people manifested objective complains about the game and suggested changes to improve it. And along came others, overly defensive of the author's design choices for no legitimate reason. "Don't listen to them. Only you matters. You're a hobbyist after all." are all cop-outs because they intend to prevent the author from weighing out his decisions against the ideas of his fellow developers, and thus failing to rationalize why they're better or worse. -No. They're better just because they're the creator's. Period.- And that just cannot stand. Not in a game design community. And I can't stress this enough.

@SnowOwl: Not at all, and I salute you for that! You seem to be handling this very well for what is worth, misunderstandings and all. ;P
Brady
Was Built From Pixels Up
3134
I never said his ideas were better because he was the creator. I've already said I'd personally prefer Skinwalker if it was more interactive (and suggested as such) but it seems that he's not inclined to make it more interactive and, forgive me if I'm wrong SnowOwl, but I get the impression he wasn't 100% happy with the current amount of interactive play.

Now either stop ignoring me or stop talking to me. I'm not telling him to ignore everyone else and do whatever the hell he wants. I'm just saying that since he's not designing this game for other people (since, yes, he's designing it for himself and is choosing to share it with the community) that he should take in everyone's advice, but ultimately prioritise his own opinion over them.

If everyone says they want more gameplay elements, fine. But if he just doesn't like the game anymore after adding them, then he should absolutely ignore public opinion and take them back out.
This is a hobbyist site, he is making the game as a hobby, and as much as I'm sure he'd like everyone in the known world to like his game, that's just not as important as him liking it himself. He's doing it for all the wrong reasons otherwise.

I'm sure he's intelligent enough to rationally weigh out good and bad decisions while still managing to keep a perspective on what's important to him. He's not going to suddenly add dinosaurs and flying saucers with music rhythm mechanics just because he thinks they're cool, too.
You seem under the impression that I'm advising him to just ignore critical feedback and allow flaws to remain, but I'm just saying that the final decision on what changes to make should rely on how he personally wants the game to turn out.

Get it, yet?