In late November, 2011, a strange and troubling event has happened to our studio. We have received an anonymous e-mail which suggested that we should produce some "unconventional" game based upon the materials attached to the letter. Such offers are a dime a dozen and most of the time they barely deserve any attention at all, however, this one seemed quite different.
The attachment contained a set of 19 files added to an archive titled "lestplay". The files (snippets of text, scraps of audio recording, video footage fragments) as well as the style and wording of the message itself appeared to be rather disturbing. The surface examination did not reveal anything straightforwardly terrifying, yet we could not escape the feeling that something truly sinister was lurking underneath.
The stranger was begging us to complete the project he has started, yet he also made us well aware of the risk we took as the proposed ludic situation would potentially explain what calamity befell whoever has compiled the ominous archive, thus urging ourselves to meet the same fate.
The unknown Author was a gentleman and a scholar - he stated that he would introduce no boundaries to our creative freedom, yet he insisted that along with the ludic situation itself the items forming the "lestplay" archive should be included into the game, "else everything would be futile".
Alongside a significant number of others, we tend to lend a certain amount of credibility to mysticism, yet this specific predicament seemed more like a shoddy mystification. We were fed up with a massive number of similar "cursed files" tricks and at times we felt inclined to erase the whole thing for good.
However, upon consideration, we still decided to take part in this experiment. At the very least we would find out what the result would be, and what awful fate would possibly await us, as we will obviously be the first people to play the game.
Please find the initial details of the story below.
There is a wooden house standing in the thick of the forest. A single man resides there.
As of late the house is visited by unusual Guests which knock on the window shutters inviting the hermit to take part in a game of hide-and-seek. The winning condition is simple, you have to remain alive and to retain your sanity till sunrise. This means that approaching the Visitors head-on might be a terrible idea.
As soon as the first Visitor emerges from the thicket - the countdown begins. Every passing hour brings the Guests closer to the house, its walls proving to be an obstacle they are well able to surmount. Something is already inside. Something is opening the window and banging on the cookware. Something has gained control of the cellar and the attic. The floorboards are creaking softly behind the wall.
Hiding alone would never suffice, the Visitors are well aware of your position. Thus, you would have to make your rounds of the house, searching for the breaches that let the creatures of the woods inside and doing your best to mend them.
You could prevent the walls from being breached even more if you keep a close eye on the telltale signs and manage to bring some light into the room which would soon become an area of paranormal activity. The poltergeist would fall back for a while, if only to reappear in some other part of the house.
You could come across some useful loot which might contribute to your survival. The assortment and the stats of the items is always random, and the inventory is limited to 5 slots, so you would have to choose your gear preferences every single night.
If you manage to survive till sunrise, another monster would dissolve and disappear in the first light of dawn. But if the Visitors manage to get you before the sun shines... A mere thought of this outcome is nowhere short of terrifying.
Hide! We have to emulate hide-and-seek with monstrous creatures of nightmares. It turned out to be a hybrid of Lode Runner, Home Alone and Nightmare Ned.
Don’t look now! Keep (your avatar) away from the night visitors. The objective of each new night is to hold out until dawn and stay sane. The Night (a level) lasts for 7-10 minutes each.
Turn on the light! Only illuminated rooms are a safe haven and allow freedom of movement. But the light does not last for long and needs permanent supervision.
Fix the house! The more breaches there are in the house, the more fear, darkness and creatures of the sick mind the hero has to withstand.
- Each night a number of useful tools appear in different rooms.
- The player builds his very own house: any combination of rooms, stairs and doors are allowed. Any new room would increase the total amount of health and safety of the hero and open up new opportunities.
- Every kind of Guest has a unique appearance, damage range, and personal characteristics. New seasons of the game will follow.
- Everything that happens in the house is a clue. Uncover clues, master levels, stay sane and you will eventually expose the underlying mystery.
The game-developing company, Ice-Pick Lodge, was established in 2002 in Russia. The headquarters are in Moscow.
Our portfolio consists of three finished projects: Pathologic, The Void, and Cargo! - The Quest for Gravity.
The first two games were awarded a prize for The Most Non-Standard Game at the Russian Conference of Game-Developers KRI in 2005 and 2007, respectively. The games also received high ratings in popular gaming magazines in both Europe and Russia.
We believe that video games are interactive and personal, a new form of art. Video games are a way to engage the player to self-evaluate and realize that his actions in the game also reflect the strengths and weaknesses of his own core being and his destiny (not just the hard drive).
The studio's approach to the gaming process is original and distinctive, because it allows a person to feel, experience, and comprehend the borders of the game, its form, the dialogue of the game and the gamer. If we are making a new kind of game, our addressee isn't the consumer. He is the co-author.
PC release date : october 2013
Ios release date : later this year.
Ios release date : later this year.
You can also ask questions on the official forum Studio: Forum
Or pre-order the game at the official site
Last edited by DClayne; 10-01-2013 at 01:32 PM.