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Black Lake: Voting Discussion Thread

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Project Lead: Levi Ryken

Black Lake is an action adventure game set in a forest filled with the dreams of it’s animals. It follows a hunter’s daughter on a journey to track animals and cleanse their dreams of a darkness that has been feeding on them. The evil has erupted from Black Lake at the center of the forest and is crawling in all directions as a thick dark bramble. With every dream cleansed brambles die away and let you closer to Black Lake.

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WooHoo!

BlackLake_Title-1.jpg

Story

Black Lake is a Folk tale as written by H.P. Lovecraft and Winsor McKay set in a forest filled with the dreams of it’s animals. It follows a hunter’s daughter on a journey to track animals and cleanse their dreams of a darkness that has been feeding on them. The evil has erupted from black lake at the center of the forest and is crawling in all directions as a thick dark bramble. With every dream cleansed brambles die away and let you closer to black lake.

Gameplay

Black Lake may include the following awesome mechanics:

Animal Tracking

You track animals one at a time, interchangeably focusing your sense of sight, smell and hearing to find the signs of an animal’s direction. (ie: Broken branches-SEE, Paw/Hoof Prints-SEE, Blood-SEE/Smell, Animal smells-SMELL, Howls and Hoofsteps-HEAR, Lil’ poops-SEE/SMELL) Successfully following a string of signs reveals an animal with it’s own dream scene spilled around it into the forest.

Dream Cleaning

Resolving a dream scene would vary in gameplay. One may involve helping a family of foxes find the safety of lily pads in a dream filled to the tree tops with water. One Dream might see the player clearing nightmarish invasive brambles with an accordion, spilling lullabies across them. Animals may be having nightmares in which their dead family members, killed by your father, need to be put to rest by firing bullets out of them back into his gun.

Inspiration

Ico/Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, Journey, Red Dead Redemption

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This game I'm most excited about. I'm hoping to see something in the vain of Okami; open world, amazing art. etc. Do your proto type in the Brutal Legend engine and you'll be halfway there!

Edit: no RTS battles though :-P

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The art is gorgeous. Just voted, and I think we still have a shot at catching up!

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This is definitely one of my favourites as well and I really hope this one gets made. I haven't voted yet though, how many votes do each "backer" have?

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This is definitely one of my favourites as well and I really hope this one gets made. I haven't voted yet though, how many votes do each "backer" have?

Looks like one for each game. Vote on your favourites and don't vote on others basically

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This idea really sounds great, especially since I don't think I would've ever thought of it, and I'd like to play it!

Smiles

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Would really like to see more of this; the premise and art direction seem quite creative.

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This might be my favorite so far, it's the kind of game I'd love to play. The concept art already catches the eye, of course. :)

I just might have one reservation: this kind of spiritual, mystical story can easily become dull, lifeless and filled with platitudes in the wrong hands. But since DoubleFine is pretty much renowned for its great storytelling capabilities...I probably shouldn't need to worry, right? Just...please no empty droning on about destiny, no endless repeats of phrases like "This is my destiny, I have to follow it!", okay? Thanks!

I'm not even sure if the story might be heading in such a direction, but intuitively it seems like it. I'm just precautious. ;)

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A stunningly beautiful concept. I'm very much a fan of narrative-based games that fill the world with story. These types of games are the most "artistic" (in my opinion, at least). Clearly you know what your world is about, and I look forward to experiencing it.

My only note (as a proud AF backer and voter towards this project): I would love to see the Daughter's motivation left unspoken. This lets us as players fill that mental space with our own answers.

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Your beautiful art earned my vote, but I'm having a little trouble visualizing what the gameplay would be like.

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The art is not only stunning, there are dreams and a female hero. Totally got my vote.

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I imagine a lot of detective vision/eagle vision-based gameplay. Is that reflective of the tracking you describe in your doc? And do you think players may become overly reliant on such a mechanic to navigate the world?

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It may be to the detriment of this pitch that in terms of tone it seems to be rather closely related to The White Birch.

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This got my vote over the white birch because of the idea of having a story to tell and not an open art game. I'd rather play a well crafted story than being asked to infer my own story on a game.

Also the idea of using music as a weapon intrigues me

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I kind of imagine this game with the atmosphere of Limbo or Lucas arts' Lucidity, if you remember it.

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I'm undecided between this one and The white birch.

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i have no idea how this will become a game. it explains art and story nothing about gameplay or anything that makes a game a game. this could be a comic book/ cartoon/ story/ movie pitch and be the exact same. The story is obviously compelling to some people because its getting so many votes.

i would just love to actually understand how this is a game pitch

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Well, some game ideas start out with the setting, characters or a story. That's how it was for Double Fine Adventure too, or how it generally is with Tim's games. The question is then how to tell the story through the gameplay. But this isn't even too hard to infer so far.

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Well, some game ideas start out with the setting, characters or a story. That's how it was for Double Fine Adventure too, or how it generally is with Tim's games. The question is then how to tell the story through the gameplay. But this isn't even too hard to infer so far.

games are inherently about gameplay. can't argue with someone who always starts out with story and setting and comes out with loved games. But everyone can agree that DOTT, FT, Psychonauts, and even Brutal Legend had their share of gameplay problems. MGS will use long cutscenes as a way to frame the gameplay within the story by to establish a rhythm. Many games with heavy story can be designed with gameplay at the very beginning and having a core relation to the story. Lots of people don't like that style, but you can't say it wasn't the intention of the designer to make it that way, so in that regards it can be highly respected.

All I'm saying is if a game pitch says nothing about its core gameplay, even if its story heavy the gameplay should have some relation to the story, then what is making it a game pitch? I'm not hating on this just trying to give honest criticism

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