Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Horror Tip: Slender

Slender is a short horror game really similar to Hide. You walk (or run) around in a monotone environment looking for notes, while there is a scary monster hunting you. Like Hide it is interesting to see how a simple setup can create a really spooky experience. The graphics are nothing special, the music is simple moody droning and the sound effects are of no great quality. Still, taking all together and put in an interactive space, it gets a lot more immersion than what you would expect. I think this is a great testament to the power of interaction to create a strong sense of presence in way that is much harder to accomplish in any other media.

The game only lasts for few minutes, which is good because there is so little to do that any longer would most certainly break the spell. This makes me wonder what would have to be needed to make an experience like that last for one to two hours. Adding too much would likely decrease the sense of dread, so one would have to be careful in lengthening it. Hope someone attempts to do this.

Some other stuff worth noting:

- The game hides the mechanics that govern how the monster hunts you down and what makes you eventually get killed. I think this was a good move as you are free to make up for yourself what happened. (Bound to only work on the first play-through though, but that does not have to be a bad thing).

- A lot of the creepiness is induced through sensory deprivation. You mostly only see the same vague shapes over and over and it is not long until you start to imagine things.

- It is interesting how effective the tunnel vision created by the flashlight is. There is just something about having these large chunks of your vision pitch black that make you unnerved.

Recommend you all to give it a go!

Downloads:
Mac  (alternative)
(there is no official website as far as I am aware)


41 comments:

  1. Damn, I must have updated this post a hundred times before it looked right.

    For some reason, blogger messes up the layout all the game, adding white background, wrong font, etc. Getting really tired of it. I am not sure if it is the new editor or just chrome acting up (which it ironically did for the old editor version).

    Oh well post up. Will probably write a draft in text only first next time...

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  2. Doesn't look that scary since the monster doesn't actually hunt you down, and you can't sprint forever, also it just stays directly behind you.....

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    1. You're wrong there buddy, the Slenderman drives you crazy at times.

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    2. Actually, once you collect note 6 or 7 Slendy can teleport anywhere he wants and appear in front of you. With each note you gain, Slender gets faster and faster until he is faster than your walking or sprinting speed. It can be really scary if you make it far enough into the game.

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    3. its a time based game. slenderman appears randomly after a set amount of time to keep players like me from standing there and not moving. eventually, you run out of light, and cant see where youre going. another danger is that once you get the first note, slender appears anyway without waiting, and he can appear anywhere, not just behind you or to the sides. he also appears randomly regaurdless of weather you move or not. once you run out of flashlight, you can only see if you look directly at the ground. running into his legs is inevitable at that point.

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    4. ok, i think i figured out the rules. 1 youre going insane slowly as the game goes on. 2 once youve spent enough time in game without any notes, your paranoia hits stage 1 and snenderman appears. 3 you have 8 stages of paranoia, each time activated. 4 as you collect notes, the paranoia increases automatically until finally, youve collected all 8 notes. then you hit max paranoia and you get a special surprise. ^w^ and rule 5, slender can appear anywhere at any time, difficulty increasing either with time or with note collection. finally, rule 6, you dont have infinite light or endurance. you eventually stop running, and eventually cant run at all. your flashlight fades and gives out too, thus forcing you to go on in the dark, making you far more susceptible to slenders face. you can get closer to him in the dark, but the closer you get, the faster he takes you. the worst part is running into his feet or turning a corner and seeing him just appear. the sad thing is the fear factor is sheerly created by the audio, suspense, and desire to complete the collection to find out what happens

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  3. If someone gets a hold of the zip file, I will gladly host it on my personal site.
    (E-mail to me at katana no kage at googlemail with no spaces.

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  4. the links are broken :S

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  5. Well, I personally love the Slender Man Mythos, and this game completely emulates the feeling of horror that Marble Hornets/EverymanHYBRID/Just Another Fool help to create.

    I only became aware of this game, as soon as a saw this post, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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  6. Linux would be great. Also all links are down. How about mediafire.com as another mirror?

    (ok, the primary one works again, 4 minutes for 56MB)

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  7. Hey look, links to my dropbox and gdrive accounts. Just so you know, the dropbox link was suspended this morning and won't be restored until the weekend, so it's no good. As far as I know there shouldn't be any issues with the google link.

    I don't see anything about the SCP games on your blog. Some are good, some are not so good... you should check them out if you haven't. This video has links to several of them in the description: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfhwK5qcypg

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  8. Seems effective so far. Thanks for the thread.

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  9. I am currently creating a small "trailer" to a SCP inspired game. Well It's been done before. But I don't think the games are that well made. ( I'm talking about SCP-087 ). I wish that I could some day make a better version of it myself.

    I might link it here later on today.

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  10. I met the Slender Man on internet. It's a fictional character, but I don't care, I love the concept, it's sooo creepy!
    Just a tall and thin figure, inmobile, watching you far in the shadows... why that simple thing gives a feeling so scary?
    Videogames should follow that example. In fact, sometimes I thought on Frictional Games + Slender Man as an impressive combination.

    When I saw your post about this free horror game based on the Slender Man, I downloaded it immediately. I played it yesterday at night. You are right, it's very short and simple, poor graphics, but... oh god, that was enough to wet my pants! You can't predict what will happen in every next second. You know that looking back is a very bad idea, but fear makes you turn back anyway! I was just walking and thinking "please don't appear again, don't, don't, don't...". I finally did a rage quit, I could not support it. I will try today. XD

    This proves that, about fear, there's still soo much to explore...
    Frictional guys, you know it, and I love you for that.

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  11. Looks interesting! The links didn't work for me neither so i found another: http://www.mediafire.com/?vql3a6fbjq0qbbv

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  12. Indeed, that was scary! Makes me want to play Amnesia or Penumbra again. :)

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  13. This game is some scary ass shit.

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  14. Yeah my friend showed me this the other day, apparently it's like based off of Slenderman? I'll try it today and review it when I'm done playing Dark Out. Such a good game.

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  15. Slender is outstanding.
    Its amazing to me that somthing as simple as this can be way scarier that any of what the big companies 'scary games' can do with a termendous budget.

    After the great Dark Descent I have tremendous expections for A machine for pigs and yet due to the success of the original amnesia I fear what will happen...
    Slender (and the things that made the original amnesia scary) is something Frictional games should remember while making A Machine for pigs.

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  16. Holy Crap, that was terrifying. I only played for a few minutes found 1 page. I was getting pretty bored then I walked around a truck and when I got all the way around suddenly he was right there, I quit right then, I don't know if I will have the guts to try again.

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  17. Thanks for the recommendation. I enjoyed the few mintues very much. I actually screamed out loud (sol'led?) and my partner came running to me "whats happening?!"
    So much emotions for such little graphics and "content".
    Horror or "fear" genre is a very narrow but succesfull game creation path.

    So mission accomplished Mr.Slender

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  18. This one scared me a lot. It is fascinating how simple and cheap game like this one can scare you. It makes me want to create my own horror game like this one.

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  19. Thomas, would you like to share your playing experience with us? I would like to know how did you went trough this adventure for the first time.

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  20. http://www.shacknews.com/file/32268/slender-beta-093-windows-free-game#

    Here is a link that my friends and I used and works still i believe.

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  21. Jump scares, in my opinion, are usually pretty cheap and an easy (read: lazy) way to get a scare out of players. Slender surprised me by actually using jump scares properly by adding a true sense of suspense to them, and actually making them work for the story and the character of Slender Man, instead of just tossing random scares in whenever the game was in danger of lagging.

    For me, the scariest thing about the game was the anticipation - hearing your footsteps and breathing as you walk/run around, knowing Slender Man is somewhere nearby but also knowing there's no possible way to see him coming... you just have to sneak about as best you can and pray you don't turn to find him staring you in the face (though in the end it's inevitable that you will). There's no blood, no action/violence, and the graphics and sound effects are simple - but oh, so effective. This game definitely has a lot in common with Hide, but I think it's done a bit better in terms of terror: while Hide had a good, novel foundation (and the low-res graphics choice was pretty interesting), in the end Slender was the one that truly made me panic. Good thing I don't have a heart condition.

    Thanks so much, Thomas, for yet another awesome tip! I must say, the Horror Tips are one of my favorite things about this blog. I've found so many interesting (not to mention creepy) new games I might never have stumbled across otherwise. :)

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  22. Who is the creator of this game? parsec productions it says in the intro, and they do have a website: http://www.parsecproductions.net/ but no contact information. I want to mess around with their unity project file.

    Maybe if you as well as the Slenderman gets slightly more able to (try to) escape the more notes you pick up the creepy scariness would move more and more into a panicked escape as the tempo is increased and that would result in an even more intense gaming experience?

    I would really like to mess around with it so if anyone knows anything about parsec productions, please let me know :).

    /Ernst

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    Replies
    1. Well, after some looking around on the website for their shop, I found this page: http://slender.spreadshirt.com/shop/imprint

      Looks like their email is parsec_productions@yahoo.com :)

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  23. Hated it. The core of Horror is emotion, abstraction and introspection which are entirely contextual and relative to the viewer. The problem with a game like this is exactly what you'd mentioned before in previous entries: it's a test. The design elements and storytelling are what carry a Horror game and in both regards Slender Man is non-existent. The basic "What? Where? When? Why? And How?" are never established so therefore the experience means nothing. In Amnesia we understand immediately from the design and the setting that the monsters have been victims of torture and will torture in return; they are eternally suffering. And suddenly the threat becomes extremely clear to your character's body and soul. Amnesia's ending is anticlimactic because you've simply gone way too deep into the void to know if you'll walk away unscathed. Evil is a profoundly sad, angry energy and when touched by it you're effected. Whether it's the survivor of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre giggling stark raving mad unable to believe she's escaped, the final scientists in The Thing unsure of eithers humanity and knowing full well they'll freeze to death, or the detectives of Seven having lost the existential battle with the serial killer no matter their actions. The evil and the terror of a Horror game is very clearly definable as a threat on numerous levels and the threat more often than not is despair. Horror has always been a very human revulsion/attraction with all the things they dare not speak about inside themselves; the fear that when everything crawling underneath rocks and hiding in the shadows comes to claim them that instead they'll be embraced in all their ugliness we so clearly see inside ourselves.

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    1. Dude. Just shut up.

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  24. It seems an enhanced version of Hide!

    Look at this:
    http://www.superfriendshipclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=117

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  25. Thomas
    How to complete the game
    there is no level to enter
    just running around and last thing slenderman(monster) attack you
    Not interesting about this game
    But looks funny either

    -Alem-

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  26. Is frictionalgames.com (site/forum/wiki) temporarily down or what?

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    Replies
    1. yeah, harddrive crash at host. It is being worked on. Not sure why it is taking so long.

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    2. OK, thanks.

      P.S. These people making captchas are getting crazier by the minute! Do they really expect us to be able to read that?! Can't read the thing half of the time...

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  27. I played the other slender game, the one with puzzle-like gameplay, and have to say it really is scarier than I previously thought. The way they made me fear going into the house, thanks to the weird sound playing every time, was very creepy.
    What I disliked this this other Slender game was the enemies. They wandered around randomly all the time and whenever you fought against one, the combat was just boring, plus they never scared me...
    To end the game you had to kill everything with this handgun. I really enjoyed killing Slenderman, and killing most of the enemies, but I just couldn't find everyone in the end... Very disheartening.

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  28. Guys release a gameplay video for machine for pigs please, if you can :)

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  29. Thomas, I'm sorry from bringing this up here, but, I tried the forums, I don't think people know: in the script functions wiki, it says that GivePlayerDamage() accepts "BloodSplat", "Claws" or "Slash" as the second argument - is it possible to create additional damage effects, or are these hard coded into Amnesia?

    Is there an XML definition file or something?
    Thanks in any case.

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  30. Hi,

    Have you played "Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors" on the DS?
    It's definitely one of the most immersive games I've ever played. IMO the best thing about it are the characters, you never really know who you can trust, and this creates an incredibly tense atmosphere.
    It was the first and only time I was genuinely afraid of going to sleep, because I feared I would have a nightmare about it. Not even Amnesia did that to me.

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  31. There is an official website:

    http://parsecproductions.com/slender/

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  32. Hey!

    There has recently been an update on the game, with more things added. Just wanted to know your opinion about the game as well. Did you think they made any good/bad game design decisions (Whether visual or programming wise) when remaking the "Slender" game?

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