This game has become slightly more relevant recently as it served as base-inspiration for our Dreamhack entry Sins of the Past. Patient 06 was planned to release on 6/6/06 but never saw the light of day.
This game was our third and final-for-a-decade attempt at a light-system game. I knew the light system from Project C made my art look better with assisting me fake depth, and I learned from Train that light made my dithered edges look pretty sweet. Unluckily though I was a terrible terrible pixel artist who just dithered the fuck out of everything, not to hell but beyond stylistically, you know? It got a little overboard with this project. I definitely didn’t do the light any favors by picking this weird, awkward tile style. I remember being really proud of it at the time, but looking back it reminds me of the Nightmare on Elm Street DOS game, except that game had the good sense to have some character and not assume that any shortcomings in the art would be fixed magically with light.
The plot of this game is silly. It’s about a daughter who is going to visit her father in the psych ward of some “crazy person” hospital, and he’s in cell 06, and he’s patient 06. Upon arriving you find his cell empty except for a cryptic note, then the game starts proper. Or something like that, we didn’t completely get around to fleshing out all of the plot (which was mostly my task). It had a bunch of different versions, but the one that was developed the furthest just feels like a rehash of Project C. Frustratingly lost in a maze of darkness solving boring door-key puzzles while attempted to avoid the real meat & potatoes of the game, the enemies.
Each enemy was based around a different sense, so when you ran down the halls you’d make noise and alert the sound monster. To combat that, you could remove your shoes, but potentially cut your foot on broken glass and alert the smell monsters. That sort of thing was core idea of the game. Ideally levels would be built cleverly around those systems (see: Sins of Our Past DX) but I’m really a terrible level designer most of the time, if always eager to try.
In the end, we didn’t meet our deadline and momentum completely died for the project. Young game developers seem to have a better time of just saying ‘fuck it let’s make another game instead’, as opposed to working on something to completion. I was rushing to finish maps with boring puzzles in hallways that were too tight to even effectively experience the enemies, mostly because I didn’t give myself enough time to slow down and listen to the game and what it was actually giving me. I’d be years until I’d learn that was even a thing.
I’ll eventually find the ‘latest version’ of this project and release it here. Our old secrets need to find their ways into the hands of our enemies.
Art dump from Sins of the Past, a 72hr game made for the DreamHack Jam 2017. Instead of deleting all of these (like I normally would), I’ll just leave them here instead.
Since we’re not getting full Monster Madness this year, we decided to try and help fill the void. We hope our offerings help.
New comic every day in October!
Video Memories is the first game made under our Crab Attack title. Not really sure if that means anything, but it’s like, trivia, or something. It was made for the maiden Asylum Jam in 2013, a contest with only one rule:
“You should not use asylums, psychiatric institutes, medical professionals or violent/antipathic/’insane’ patients as settings or triggers.”
VM was made in 48 hours, because we either really hate ourselves or can only manage to finish things under pressure. I wrote the script, built the house, did the art, decided the dialogue triggers, made a font.. the game really reeks of me. I had fallen in love with this sort of ray-casted visual effect that they used in Wolfenstein3D. It hadn’t dawned on me that it could be used for spooks until I played Judith around 3 years earlier, and told myself if I could ever convince Hawk to do a silly horror game for a ‘jam’ that was the direction I wanted to take it visually. Looking back on the style now, it’s a fucking anti-aliased nightmare that shows I was really more focused on my narrative than I was the visuals.
The game is made of 8 scenes. All the player
gets has to do is talk to the people in each scene to trigger the progression to the next scene. The story centers around a father who’s been given a video camera for his birthday from his wife and young son. He gradually becomes obsessed with filming every aspect of his life, even when it starts having a strain on the relationships around him. The story is a look into a man’s misguided attempts to use technology to feel closer to his family, and how living vicariously through a screen keeps you from noticing the important things around you. The game ends with the discovery that this notion isn’t isolated, and that this voyeuristic tendency may be inherent to the technology itself, and catching.
Although this isn’t “real 3d”, this game is technically our first “3d” game. A lot of growing pains involved in this, the biggset and worst one being that I made all the maps way too big. The house feels like a giant empty maze, and the draw distance doesn’t do it a lot of favors. The blurry-grain effect over all the tiles really starts to be a bother when you’re fumbling around in the dark looking for the door outside. Looking back, I feel like a much smaller, more cramped area with more odd stuff in it would have been a more effective use of this style, especially if I had taken advantage of seeing through windows. I have a feeling our next 3d game will have to be actual 3d.
This game is by far our most “Let’s Play”d game, which is a lot of fun. Accessible flash-horror definitely has some sort of.. built-in streamer base, it seems. I’d never had the joy of watching someone be amused, terrified, and ultimately disappointed by something I’d made in almost-real-time before. I highly recommend it.
I’ve compiled these LPs into a living youtube playlist. I’m lazy I’ll do this later; Most of them read all of the dialogue out-loud, some better than others. Opossum is one to watch out for.
Like a disappointed father, I get a little sad at the things that seemed to get overlooked consistently by streamers and friends who’d play the game. Things like this cameraman appearing all over the place, not just in the birthday scene. It’s a good experience though, because I can use that to make something a little better next time. Maybe some things were too obscure to notice because my narrative wasn’t strong or driven enough to make you care about. It’s definitely something I’ll take more consideration into next time, a way to more organically guide the player into these oddities, rather than them being forced to be discovered through total luck.
The game’s current official resting place is here, on newgrounds, but I’m thinking eventually I’ll mirror it here or.. something.