[Possible Spoilers] Among The Sleep

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evilkinggumby
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Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:59 am

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Recently we have seen one of the most anticipated Kickstarter games released, Among The Sleep(ATS) by KrillBite Studios, and I admit I backed it and so downloaded it and played half of it the day of release (then finished it the next day).

It is a pretty powerful, moody, fascinating game. It oozes atmosphere and style and was a blast to play. I can't get into the plot or story, really it's fairly simple in its design, but very spoilery and so ruins the gameplay. I will also admit I teared up a few times towards the end. It has some serious triggers in it for folk that experienced similar things in their childhood.

Like "Gone Home" it is the kind of game that has a lot of story told in the environment and found stuff scattered and hidden in the levels. Very little is deliberate, but there are a few scripted moments and really, they're not immersion breaking when they happen.

One difference is in ATS it is possible you'll get a game over screen in a number of spots. So failure IS an option and the fear factor ramps up because of it.

Overall the visual design is rock solid and the game played great on my system. A few small lingering bugs in spots (mostly draw issues where lighting or meshes/textures blinked in and out) and one glaring glitch I caused somehow at the very beginning that made the opening scripted sequence.. weird... lol.

The game has a combination of exploration, pseudo-platforming (more like climbing) and stealth. It is weird to think it really is a stealth/survival horror game when you play a little child. hehehe. Lots of puzzle solving, but nothing brain-bending. Worst I found was a few spots that were tough to navigate and figure out where I should go. As well some of the areas "change" as you explore them and whereas it's a kool effect.. it makes it disorienting when you're trying to make sure you don't retrace your steps or to find a new area you haven't been to yet. For those with no patience, I can see how this might be annoying as hell.

There are a few spots that reminded me a LOT of Master Reboot, but with better visuals and more coherent design. I still need to finish Master Reboot, come to think of it.

Anyone else backed it and played through it? Impressions? opinions? Did anyone see aspects that might work well in Ghost of a Tale?

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I know what I'd love to see.. an agreement between Krillbite and Seith so eventually Among The Sleep gets a optional patch to make "Teddy" into Tilo. It'd mean cobbling up a 3d plushie version of Tilo for them to patch in, but then if they supplied the basic mesh/skeleton for Seith, Seith could implement Teddy in as an easter egg or side character for GOAT. :) I know if I played ATS with Tiloh in my arms.. the game would be a LOT more emotional, and vice versa. :)
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david
'Ghost of a Tale' Community Manager
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Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:20 am

wow, ATS sounds like a great indie title... inventive, with a clever and off the wall concept, including genuine emotional depth. Coincidentally, it caught my eye on the humble bundle store a few days ago.

...and kudos to you for being with them (and us) from the beginning. I sincerely believe, it is people like you, who are prepared to take risks by stepping away from the well-trodden path... patrons who help bring indie and non-indies games to new levels of richness, quality and... yes... art (and entertainment) :D

It's fascinating to be involved with games as they become a legitimate and mature art form.

Your suggestion of a crossover is EXCELLENT! A virtual plushie of Tilo... nice! Though perhaps it is a bit too late to do it with ATS, but it would be terrific to do something between GOAT and another game (or even more than one). Of course the usual caveats apply (limited time and other resources) but it would be mindblowing :mrgreen:
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JeremiahPena
'Ghost of a Tale' Composer
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Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:25 am

I also was an original backer for the game, and while I haven't had a ton of time to play, have played about 1.5 hours. I play a ton of horror games (recently finished Outlast/Whistleblower), and this one wins in the creepy suspense department by far. There's something about playing as a child that really ramps up the terror.
I compose the music for Ghost of a Tale. Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeremiahpena
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evilkinggumby
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Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:39 am

Hey Jeremiah, since you are a music guru, I am curious what you thought of the music in the game. :) Or the interesting use of the singing/humming?

The overall sound design is really solid. there are a few quirks, samples that bark out and feel too much like a "sample of an effect" and not a part of the game, but I only recall thinking that once.

Only problem i really had was one part of the game where you're navigating a fairly tricky section indoors has this repeating squeak/groan noise like wood rubbing or a really noisy hinge.. at first it is ok, helps get you on edge and creep you out..but after 5 minutes it just feels obnoxious and NEVER STOPS.. just stays on a permenant loop no matter where you are. I would have preferred they place the effect in certain positions so it faded in and out depending on location.. not full volume for the entire sequence.

the shrill static you get when danger is near is really kool. gets me freaked out EVERY TIME.
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