Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Greg Rice

Black Lake: Voting Discussion Thread

Recommended Posts

I'm late to the party, but your pitch/presentation was great! I'm really excited to see the way that music factors into the folklore with the dream-weaving accordion mechanic. Even if you can't spend a lot of time on accordion gameplay during the prototype, it seems like it would be an awesome reward in itself for having tracked the animal successfully, to watch its dream-materials getting stitched back together in sync with the music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FolkTale Inspiration

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!

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

I really like the Highwayman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Highwayman_(poem)

It's deep and dark yet still maintains that childrens poem feel to it.

Seth B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love how i was right about the fact the first 4 games didn't need all the employees and that black lake still was going to be made.

Too a fine two weeks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm late to the party, but your pitch/presentation was great! I'm really excited to see the way that music factors into the folklore with the dream-weaving accordion mechanic. Even if you can't spend a lot of time on accordion gameplay during the prototype, it seems like it would be an awesome reward in itself for having tracked the animal successfully, to watch its dream-materials getting stitched back together in sync with the music.

timmyj!

Hey man, Yeah, I know. Two weeks really will fly by but imagine torn dream fragments being mended together like quilt pieces! Stopping music halfway would cause them to start unraveling too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FolkTale Inspiration

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!

Jiri Trnka's Emperor's Nightingale is fantastic (sadly looks like it's only found on this dvd).

http://www.amazon.com/The-Puppet-Films-Jiri-Trnka/dp/6305761183

and

This Hedgehog film is Fan-Tastic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry dont hate me for criticizing constantly. im a loser who dreams of being treated 1/100th as seriously as you.

i got lost at the beginning with the praying mantis looking thing is actually a fox, and then you get to this dream and you repair the dream using an accordion to stitch back the dream while also fending off enemies (good opportunity to explain game mechanics, how does any of this happen actually). near the end of the powerpoint the scenario where there is a branching path and a fox and you follow the fox...lets be honest thats maybe a little too vague.

After watching the streamed pitches a 2nd time Im thinking about how many times people would reference another game to get people to imagine the pitch, but every single time I'm waiting for a long description of that reference taken back into their game. How does that reference to another mechanic or something done in the game directly relate to your game, and how does your game change that and make it better. It mostly seemed like wanting to do something similar to another game (like talking about docking ships being like the mystery of caves in minecraft, which is a subjective mystery anyways), and then nothing as to how that guys game will make that idea better. Regarding that, when you started talking about unshooting bullets, and some stuff I kinda don't want to say because maybe its spoilerish, all of a sudden I am totally behind this game

All it took was some more explanation. I'm thinking maybe totally spoiling the idea of the game's story and what the end surprise is, anything, it might be all for the better, because I feel a lot better about this project after re watching that little part a few times. In a way I am more confused but at the same time the little extra explaining helped so much. Also very interesting to hear this is a project you've been thinking about for a long time. Having an idea for the endgame isn't something I think every game pitch needs obviously, because I think they should all be focused strictly on game mechanics, then later go looking for a story to wrap around it. Looking forward to how the next 2 weeks develop. Hope its a ton of fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super happy this got the green light! It sounds really good with all the newly revealed information. From the opening sequence telling the story so far, to more of the atmosphere of the game, I'm looking forward to the next two weeks.

On a random side note, I think it'd be awesome were White Birch and Black Lake tied together in one platform, and choosing one or the other directs you toward the tree or deep into the forest, making them the same universe(as has been mentioned by others before). Not that it'd make the game one iota less great were it not implemented, but I would still love to see it :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a random side note, I think it'd be awesome were White Birch and Black Lake tied together in one platform, and choosing one or the other directs you toward the tree or deep into the forest, making them the same universe(as has been mentioned by others before). Not that it'd make the game one iota less great were it not implemented, but I would still love to see it :D

I hope both games have a nod or two towards each other

not even blatant cameos, just a little secret or something

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what a nice surprise! :o)

Thanks, Mr. Schafer!

One point i forgot to mention about Black Lake before is, that it had the best title. I think the title of a game is very important because it can be the first contact to a game. Whilst The Doors sounds great Black Lake is better without the article. Looking forward to whatever shows up.

@tech/2pp

Would it be possible that the live streamed content also can be viewed in a less live way? 2:00PST means 11:00PM here.

/me is trying to hit the right button.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m happy that nothing went wrong and Black Lake is going to be prototyped, as it was meant to :D Congratulations. Great presentation and QA. I wasn’t too happy about one eyed father though. Creates not the vibe I personally would like this game to have. I of course could be wrong, but first impression is sort of discouraging. Otherwise mine and Your idea are intertwining. But You are the boss, of course, just using opportunity to have opinion, if that’s allowed. :) Stitching dreams just by lullabies seems too random.

@tech/2pp

Would it be possible that the live streamed content also can be viewed in a less live way? 2:00PST means 11:00PM here.

All live streams are available any time afterward. Just use the actual site http://twitch.tv/doublefine, which is simply, for unknown reason, embedded in Humble Bundle, additionally You can write questions/chat there, which You can’t on Humble Bundle. Hope it helps. 12:00PM here :D

making them the same universe(as has been mentioned by others before)

Referencing each other in distant way could be interesting, but they are too different from each other (in setting ) that sticking them together as one universe could be rather hard and not the best thing to do overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black Lake was my number one pick in the Amnesia Fortnight showdown. I'm glad they changed it from 4 games to 5 to allow this potential gem through. Good stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went back and watched the pitches yesterday to hear the new thoughts on everyone's games. All sounds very interesting!

In regard to Black Lake in particular, it was interesting to hear about some of the more mechanical ideas and think about how those will uphold the thesis of the world and narrative.

The sense that I'm getting from your game as far as how it will actually play moment-to-moment is that it will primarily be a game about searching for things. Combing through environments looking for clues that will lead you to your objective: a particular creature.

However, while searching for clues can be fun, especially if there are lots of cool little ways to take advantage of sound and smell and details in the environment, it might start to feel like tedious busywork if all you're doing is searching for things with no real feeling of risk or danger or failure. (We've all had RPGs give us the runaround in a danger-less town of NPCs, and it's always a real chore.)

It sounds to me like the plan for these risks/dangers so far is that there will be OTHER creatures in this forest that you're NOT trying to track down. These creatures are totally lost to the dream-eating force. So essentially, you're trying to save some creatures from the dark side while they can still be saved, but you're avoiding those creatures that are beyond saving.

But this raises the question as to how, specifically, these "lost creatures" will present danger in mechanical terms and how it will be circumvented in mechanical terms. You said that you do not wish for the game to be about combat, and yet there probably should be enemies that present a fail state, and there should be fun ways of avoiding the fail state. Avoiding the lost creatures could turn out to be just as fun as tracking down the saveable ones.

Since you mentioned the idea of playing an instrument (instrument currently undecided), what do you think of the idea of being able to play the instrument to charm small forest creatures or possibly certain plants? This gives the instrument more use, contributes to the magical vibe of the world and its protagonist, and from a design perspective, gives you more to work with as far as designing game-y elements.

So if you tracked your target creature through a certain patch of woods that turned out to be the stomping ground of some giant scary thing that you can't just stroll past, you may have to play your instrument to charm some little creatures to help you out or create some environmental obstacle for the monster that keeps it at bay for just long enough.

There's also the possibility that you could add the ability to hide inside certain plant types. Or maybe some plants could be picked and used to a specific purpose? Magic berries that temporarily turn you invisible? Maybe some plant that you can snap to create light (like a glowstick that you can pick)? Maybe some plants can be used as lures to distract monsters, lead them away from areas you need to cross, or make them fight with each other. I like the idea that our leading lady is this clever girl with non-violent wood elf magic that she can use to solve problems without needing to kill anything, and the idea that she lives in this magical wood and has this knowledge of how to use certain things to special purposes.

I like the idea of tracking down target creatures while always having this feeling that danger is creeping just over your shoulder (but how to sustain that feeling?) and also the idea that avoiding unsaveable monsters might be a problem that needs figuring out.

Congratulations again, Levi! I can't wait to see some sweet prototype action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Crystal Indigo

Thanks, i watched a bit via the HIB-site yesterday where there wasn't such an option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm getting inspired rewatching the presentation and I caught this line:

"What you find in the forest ... [are] ... creatures that have had their dreams eaten out from under them..."

You start the pitch referring to universal/comparative mythology... Joseph Campbell has discussed that when a culture no longer has myths and folktales to guide it it becomes aimless, desperate, impatient and indulgent, without any sense of who they are anymore, and so they act out impulses that have no justification in tradition.

If we can trace myths back to primitive dream imagery, then the loss of dreams would have a similar effect, and the animals who lose their dreams would also lose their minds. I could see the world of Black Lake as being an interweaving of both the physical and imaginary/spiritual worlds, to the point where the turbulence of internal dreams have obvious physical effects.

Following the fox in the beginning of the demo could give you a glimpse of what a healthy dream looks like, the fox being perfectly aware that he is a fox, where he came from, and what his role is in nature. But upon facing the tortured creature running amok, you could see that his dreams have removed his sense of self. He no longer knows who he is or where he belongs, and so he no longer takes a cohesive physical shape.

Until his dreams can be mended, he will be a force of chaos and disorder. But when his internal myths have been repaired and his sense of self restored, he takes the shape of a deer or a boar once more, and returns to performing his duty to nature, rooting around the trunks of trees.

He may even knock over a tree and reveal a sacred object that the player would otherwise never have found.torturedDream.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FolkTale Inspiration

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!

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

I'm not sure if this one counts or not, but I really enjoy Little Red Riding Hood. This past year I did some work on a adaption of this tale at hitrecord.org and I had a lot of fun with it. Out of the collaboration we ended up making a book. Below is a link to a video that pretty much promotes it and gives you a idea of what the book is all about.

Congrats Levi on sneaking into the top 5. I'll be trying to catch up on the stream and see how everything is progressing. I can't imagine what the prototype will end up looking like.

http://www.hitrecord.org/records/784232

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In honor of Black Lake's victory over the odds, we should post our favorite forest adventure themes and/or dream-like themes to get into the Black Lake spirit! =D

Forest:

Forest:

Forest:

Dreamy:

Forest:

The secret of kells could actually be a good source of inspiration with Aisling's character! I think I actually heard Andy mention it in the livestreamed pitches. =]

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7m1E0l-SZg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to have quickly met the team. I hope you guys will have fun working on this.

I also hope some of you will join the discussion on the forum, because i really like how Levi is interactacting with the community here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just for some out there stuff, I think the work of Asger Jorn captures childhood/fantasy/mythical/animal in an interesting way :

As for the nightmare/dream I really enjoy :

[dante's inferno claymation]

Theres something nightmarish yet sexual about the throbbing of the clay and drums.

Black Lake aside, as a degreed literature-ish type person, I completely endorse this weird and oddly hypnotic interpretation of Inferno! =D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...