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Greg Rice

Black Lake: Voting Discussion Thread

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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. ;)

Oh man, don't worry. I wouldn't take that destiny route. I like letting the player be who they want to be and not follow the footsteps put out in front of them. I'm big on visual story telling and having the environment become the main character. I'd push story into the corners of the forest that you may or may not find.

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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.

I'm a big fan of movies and games that don't over explain themselves. Lost was super cool because it made you stitch together the pieces of the story; You might fill in the blanks in a more creative way than the writers eventually do. That narative vibe is perfect for a folk tale filled with myth and symbolism. :) Good call.

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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?

Tracking I see kind of like AssCreeds eagle vision. The player also has smell and hearing though. By default all three will pick up tracking clues in your immediate area but you can extend one sense at a time in a direction further away from the character. That "Focused" sense heighten its ability but would dampen other senses. If you heighten your hearing the visuals dim and blur but you hear much more detail in the forest around you. You might walk straight into a tree when in this mode, that would be awesome though. :)

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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

Hey J, I added more info to the top of the forum. Thanks for your post man!

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Oh man, can't the first 5 games become prototypes? They are all amazing :(

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I love the art in this game, and the game mechanics seem intriguing (especially the "dream cleaning" part). I really hope this is one of the pitches chosen to become a prototype. :)

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This one is by far my favorite concept out of the group. Best of luck Levi!

Thanks MalicoreGalore!

Man, I like your Bill Murray fancy portrait. Good Choice.

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This is pretty much my dream game. I really hope it ends up getting made. You've got my vote for sure.

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Just wanted to pop in and say that this idea is super exciting to me. I'm a big fan of Lovecraft, and I think you've nailed that thematic influence in your concept work so far. I really hope Black Lake ends up in the top four!

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I hope this one gets more votes and if it doesn't I hope it sees the light of day anyway. Its a really creative, enchanting project.

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This game seems awesome ! :D

I can't believe it isn't in the top 4 yet. Go, Black Lake, go !

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There's a couple of other popular games out there I wanted to vote for but can't because I want THIS game in the top four! White Birch seems similar in tone to this but going up a tower for most of the gameplay? Sounds boring and too contained. I kinda rolled my eyes after I read about that concept. Black Lake on the other hand? A wide-open scope with endless possibilities/forms of gameplay. This game concept caught my attention the most.

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The Huldra (skogsrå) is definitely one of my favourites. The whole "human/animal/forest" aspect is something that connects many older beliefs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huldra

Man! This is great. Super eerie when things that aren't human shift into human forms. It happens in Japanese Folklore too. In BlackLake I want the player to affect dreams but also for dreams to physically change the player. Like this....

Ryken-1.jpg

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I like how this game is getting momentum; even if it won't make it I really hope it'll give a good challenge to the competitors in the final voting phase just for the show =P

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This is my favorite idea.

One reason is that this game attracts me, is the grim look of the art(i hope you can fit it in the game)

The other reason is that you get a great way to tell some original stories(dream worlds are always fun).

I really hope your idea will make it, because i'm curious in how it works out.

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I voted for so many of the games (so many great ideas!), but I honestly have to say, if I were to rank all of my votes like I were building a Steam wishlist, Black Lake would be in the number one slot, no contest. What is wrong with people that they wouldn't vote for this?! Come on, world! Do the right thing!

Anyone have a favorite dark folktale they really like? Maybe something Disney ended up turning into a brightly colored musical? Russia’s got some good stuff!

Just thinking about the kind of fantasy this game invokes, a series of beloved creatures that come to mind:

1) Probably one of the darkest/scariest forest-related folklore creatures of all time is the wendigo! Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendigo

2) In both the book and the movie,

is a really cool and memorable creature. As a matter of fact, that entire book is full of brilliant creatures, many of which never appeared in the film. One such creature is "Ygrammul the Many", who first appears as a gigantic hairy spider, but as you draw closer to her, it turns out that she is actually a writhing mass of hornet-like insects. She speaks in a voice that she makes from the sounds of her thousands of buzzing wings, and she can shapeshift into other venomous insect forms, like a giant scorpion. The coolest thing about Ygrammul, though, is that if she bites you, her poison kills in an hour, but her darkest secret is that people who have her poison in their bodies have the ability to wish themselves to any place in the world they want. (Most advisably to a doctor's office, I would say!)

3) The Wood of the Self-Murderers, from the Divine Comedy is one of the creepiest uses of trees probably ever.

4) "Smokey" from the show LOST.

5) The Rat Creatures from Jeff Smith's "Bone".

Actually, since the game is not only about creatures, but also about dreams, you might be interested in the concept of the "Lord of Locusts" from Bone as well, if you've never had the immense pleasure of reading the graphic novels. (One of the best reads of your entire life, I swear.)

Some information about the Lord of Locusts below, but it's hugely, hugely, HUGELY spoilerific for those who are reading/planning to read Bone, so *SPOILER ALERT*

*SPOILER ALERT*

*SPOILER ALERT*

The Lord of Locusts proves to be the ultimate villain of the Bone series of graphic novels, and he is really more of a "force" or spirit than a physical being. In the world of Bone, the dream state is an actual plane of existence distinct from the waking state, and people who are particularly strong, vivid dreamers can do things in the dream plane that affect the waking plane. These dream-wizards are called Veni Yan Cari. The Lord of Locusts is essentially an evil force that entered the mind of the creator of the world through the dream plane in an attempt to take it over. He almost succeeded, but the dragons turned their creator-queen into stone, thus forming a mountain range through the region with the Lord of Locusts trapped inside. But due to his strong power in the dream plane, he still gains and controls many agents to perform his dark works, and the presence of the Lord of Locusts or one of his agents is often indicated by the presence of... locusts! The more locusts, the more present the evil. Good series. Highly recommend.

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1) Probably one of the darkest/scariest forest-related folklore creatures of all time is the wendigo! Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendigo

I loved the Wendigo in BPRD's the long death. The whole trapped spirit thing would fit in great with the corrupted dreams.

I think I will have a look around in the Hellboy universe if i can find some other cool creatures

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I wish votes corresponded to your donation. I'd gladly put more money into black lake to see it get done.

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@AnAnemoneInAnonymity

That is one epicly great post! Good choices. Man! Bone sounds great. I never knew it had those themes going on in it. I'm for sure going to check it out now that I read that huge awesome spoiler. I'm working out mechanics right now that involve going into a sleep state and having your dream self pour out of your own ears or nose. This etherial dream version of you can interact with dream elements that your physical self can't. Something like mending (weaving or sewing) damaged sections of dreams back together. Thanks again for the great reference!

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I'm working out mechanics right now that involve going into a sleep state and having your dream self pour out of your own ears or nose. This etherial dream version of you interact with dream elements that your physical self can't.

Sounds like rather strange version of "Lucid dreaming" or "Astral projection" :D

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1) Probably one of the darkest/scariest forest-related folklore creatures of all time is the wendigo! Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendigo

I loved the Wendigo in BPRD's the long death. The whole trapped spirit thing would fit in great with the corrupted dreams.

I think I will have a look around in the Hellboy universe if i can find some other cool creatures

Yeah, Mike Mignola has done his folklore home work! Really good stuff. H.P. Lovecraft is huge in his overall world myth and vibe. Also He's from Berkeley, Ca. like me, so he must be cool. Check out this book if you haven't, super inspiring settings and vibes in it....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore,_or_The_Steadfast_Tin_Soldier_and_the_Vampire

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I wish votes corresponded to your donation. I'd gladly put more money into black lake to see it get done.

Ha Ha! Thanks. So, like presidential elections.

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I'm working out mechanics right now that involve going into a sleep state and having your dream self pour out of your own ears or nose. This etherial dream version of you interact with dream elements that your physical self can't.

Sounds like rather strange version of "Lucid dreaming" or "Astral projection" :D

Yeah! It skates a little close to Psychonauts but I think that might be ok. Watch me get fired when Tim see's this. :)

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Have you heard of the Baku ? I quote Wikipedia :

Baku (獏 or 貘?) are Japanese supernatural beings that devour dreams and nightmares. (...)

The traditional Japanese nightmare-devouring baku originates in Chinese folklore and was familiar in Japan as early as the Muromachi period (14th-15th century). (...) An early 17th century Japanese manuscript, the Sankai Ibutsu (山海異物), describes the baku as a shy, Chinese mythical chimera with an elephant’s trunk, rhinoceros eyes, an ox tail, and tiger paws, which protected against pestilence and evil, although eating nightmares was not included among its abilities. However, in a 1791 Japanese wood-block illustration, a specifically dream-destroying baku is depicted with an elephant’s head, tusks, and trunk, with horns and tiger’s claws.

(Source)

Seems like something you could use, don't you think ? :)

I even have found this awesome illustration of a Baku :

tumblr_mcz7nmFtBu1rr8fpko1_500.jpg

(Source)

Come on people, this game just HAS to see the light of day. :)

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