Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yet Another Consuming Shadow Update

One more version of the Consuming Shadow beta to fix the last few major issues. Not that I want to give the impression of being fussy or anything. I've uploaded it as a .zip this time because the installer was a bit crap (the uninstall had a tendency to delete everything in the same directory) Download it from the usual page, and here's the list of changes for

Bug fixes:

- Fixed an error that crashed the game if you tried to get equipment when all equipment has been acquired
- Fixed that darn 'spawning trapped inside a wall' bug
- Fixed flying insect monsters getting stuck outside the room
- Fixed loot items dropped by monsters ending up outside the room
- Fixed an error wherein the Ministry kept sending the same gameplay tip over and over
- Fixed the thing where arriving in a town with an injured passenger prevents quest events from occurring
- Fixed lockpicking icon not appearing on east/west doors when player has zero picks

Gameplay changes:

 - Tweaks to safe town jobs:
    - Job payment is now partially based on distance to town
    - Jobs screen now shows distance and vague direction to town
    - New job: Single monster fights (similar to combat encounters on the road)
    - You must now complete dungeon jobs before you can receive payment
- Texts and encounters that interrupt car journeys now resume journey automatically when resolved (except when a new quest begins or your position is changed)
- Lockpicking now shows percentage chance of success
- You no longer lose sanity for fleeing from hunter enemies (because you're supposed to)
- Rooms with unrecovered loot now show up yellow on the minimap
- Added couple more tutorial messages to clarify new controls
- Enemies now only start making noise when they're close enough

- When possessing multiple special injuries, hospitals will now treat severe bleeding FIRST
- 'Shoot yourself' trap now only appears when sanity falls below 75%
- Removed wall runes from endgame dungeon; they had a tendency to flat out give away the invading god's rune
- Raised pitch on sounds made by the smaller puker to differentiate it from the bigger, stronger puker
- A few tweaks to monster behaviour

Save files and score data from old versions won't carry over to this one, I'm afraid: had to change some file names and shit.

Also, a number of users who were playing it under Windows 8.1 reported a weird graphical problem where everything looked completely messed up with art assets where they shouldn't be all over the place. I took this up with the Game Maker people, and they assured me that this was a known error that has now been fixed in the latest version, and now I've compiled the game in a fully updated version of GM, it should be fixed.

I swear this will be the last beta release, 'cos I'm going to concentrate on the full version now, with more events, dungeon types, characters, alternate text, etc. Actually, you know what occurred to me after I released it, like the mother in Home Alone sitting bolt upright on the plane and screaming 'KEVIN'? Final boss fight. That was literally what I did, sat bolt upright and screamed 'FINAL BOSS FIGHT!'. Seems a shame you don't actually have to face off the Ancient after you cast the banishment ritual. So I'm gonna rustle something up in that sort of direction for starters.

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback and bug reports. I haven't been able to reply to your emails because there's just too many, but I read every single one and made use of the data, so rest assured you all made a difference to this lonely Englishman and his silly hobbies.


  1. I think the thing that's brought down so many Lovecraftian games' attempts at final boss fights (Dark Corners of the Earth, Arkham Horror) is that you really shouldn't be able to directly physically threaten a Great Old One at all. So best of luck with coming up with one, Yahtzee, I'm looking forward to trying the game when it's finished.

  2. Actually, I'd agree. Not sure this really NEEDS a "Final Boss" when it's often difficult enough to drag your half-dead, bloody, beaten and mentally buggered arse into the bottom of Stonehenge with two hours left to spare.

  3. Someone needs to set up a guide or wiki to this stuff. Also I want to see a mini game of "Don't Shoot Yourself" with unfitting music

  4. I'm hoping there'll be a Retsupurae of someone Let's Playing the finished version.

  5. I came here today with a list of bugs and suggestions that I wanted you to take a look at. But you have already addressed every single one, you bastard.

  6. Oo, maybe you cast the banishment ritual just as the God starts coming through, only he only manages to get, like, the tip of his finger through and then it gets portal-cut off. And the final boss is the tip of a God's finger. Cos really, if the whole God got through our old mate's pretty bolloxed, in honesty.

  7. Alright, I've played this and have a few suggestions.

    First off, get rid of the Click Fast To Not Die suicide quick time event thing. You complain about them constantly in videos and such and for good reason: they're awful. Instead, how about this: When your sanity starts getting low there's an increasing chance that, every time you take a sanity hit, that you'll feel compelled to commit suicide. This compulsion is the result of one of the 3 gods trying to invade your mind, and the only to way to stop it is to concentrate on resisting them. The game throws up a symbol, or a colour, or some kind of clue which represents one of the gods, and in order to fight them off and save yourself you just need to correctly choose which god it is so that you can resist them. Failure to resist will take off an enormous chunk of sanity and if it knocks you below zero, you kill yourself.

    Second, I like the system you've got right now of leveling up when you die, but I feel that there's a problem with it. There's a linear progression of power as you die and level up and what this means is that the character you play next will basically be the same as before but better because you had an extra point. Maybe that's alright, but I have a different idea you might want to consider: Rather than getting points to shove into a bunch of different categories, make leveling up unlock new traits, backgrounds, and skills that you can apply to characters in exchange for points.

    For example, you start the game for the first time, and you've got no traits or skills you can apply. The only background you can choose is something like, say,

    "Concerned Citizen: You have no formal training as an investigator and no prior knowledge of the occult. Many people in your hometown were taken in by a dark cult. You escaped moments before the town itself was claimed by darkness. You have only a vague idea of what is happening, but are determined to put a stop to it."

    So you play a game as an idiot bumbling into the machinations of elder gods and then probably die horribly early on, and get a level up, and instead of getting a point to stick into a bar that makes your car go faster or whatever, you unlock a new background that changes how your character starts out and plays. So you reach level 5 and unlock the Doctor background, allowing you to fix your own serious injuries but causing you to take sanity hits when you examine corpses because you know enough to figure exactly what happened to them, and the Addict trait, allowing you to buy drugs for less money and without spending an hour to search for them, but causing you to constantly lose sanity when you aren't taking them. So you head back in as a constantly high doctor and maybe get a little bit further or maybe run out of drug money and shoot yourself. You level up again, and unlock the Reckless Driver trait, which lets you drive much faster but also gives a small chance of slamming into a tree and hurting yourself if you get a text while driving.

    I'd divide them into traits and backgrounds, where you pick one background and 2 or 3 traits to go with it. Keep people coming back for more not just by randomizing what the ritual is and what god they have to fight, but giving options that allow for different styles of play.

    1. I like the suicide bushing mashing sequences. It genuinely feels like you're having to spontaneously fight against the slow deterioration of your own sanity, and that you have to exert yourself to do so.

  8. I enjoyed it, solid gameplay and good old survival horror aspects. I would add a couple more details when you arrive in each town just to make them feel slightly different, maybe a smidge of detail about the layouts or something depending on where they are. After all, there is nothing scarier than those Royston Vasey towns isolated from civilization up in the moores....

    just one question though, are the town names randomized? I could tell the world was in serious danger when my hometown of Oldham popped up in Summerset...

  9. To roll with Dauntasa's comment, how about starting with X amount of points to (re) spend each game. So there's what, 10 aspects with up to level 5 each, that'd be a max of 50 stats. However you start with 20 and get no more, forcing a more roleplay like choice beyond "grinding deaths till I can max everything". Instead maybe leveling up increases the number of perks available and you pick one. Like the first available being the concerned citizen and then unlocking the Doctor or Cop backgrounds at say levels 5 and 10 or something like dauntasa said, with the backgrounds/perks effecting specific event outcomes and things rather than the amount of HP etc.

    Secondly, it'd be nice if I could see what equipment I have once in the dungeon (just a reminder as I have forgotten before ><) as well as maybe being able to tell how many lockpicks I have without having to find a locked door.

    It'd be nice if I got maybe a lower chance for bullets if i'm at max rather than wasting them. I get it, i got lucky and found a chest aaaand hey I can't take 2 more bullets with me for no real reason. That's not scary. It's annoying if I literally just maxed my normal bullets out. Instead maybe if say my AP bullets are maxed it'd give more of the other bullet types instead?

    Also another vote against a last boss fight. It's not needed and as much as peoples ego would like to argue otherwise, humans aren't the great enemy of Mythos style creatures. Like has been said, throwing in an arbitrary last boss is generally a downfall of these kind of games. You're fighting a GOD. Why would you be some great painful threat to it? That's the fun of running these sorts of things as Roleplays for instance, the humans can stop the gods coming through and invading, but you're basically the equivalent of a fly landing on Hitlers breakfast and giving him a bug that day. You've slowed down Frances downfall, but it WILL go down.

  10. Well, that's what I get for fucking around with the townspeople in need, an amok running eastern island head and Lee J. Cobb from The Exorcist.

  11. Just want to say, I don't have a problem with the "Shoot Myself" mini-game that some people seem to. I'm sure it could be expanded or refined, but I wouldn't want you to axe it entirely.

    I mean, that slight pause after it before the main character starts typing again gives me the chills. You're doing something right with that.

  12. Been enjoying it so far (beat V2 while sane with 30+ hrs to spare), but I do have a question for other posters: has anyone ever killed the blob monster that spawns like 4+ giant wasps? I've emptied my arsenal into that thing trying to kill it, and it never seems to die.

  13. I prefer to use magic to kill that thing, but if I don't have any then I'll go up and melee it, saving my ammo for the wasps. Armour piercing comes in handy. Hardest boss though.

  14. uhhh... this is sort of unrelated, but I actually did finish reading Mogworld. You took it a different direction than I would have thought, I was fully expecting the Freakazoid premise, (or Tron premise, if you prefer) where the protagonist gets sucked into the game. Having the character become a nascent AI was a twist reminiscent of the 13th floor, where the simulations built a simulation of their own...

    So uh, kudos for doing something different.

    I'm not a huge fan of satire, to me it seems like comedy without the slapstick, it sort of lends itself to drudgery and cynicism, but I'm a huge cornball and like Mel Brooks movies for their production values...

    Elipses aside, your protagonist came across as rather predicable and self interested, he didn't seem to learn anything from his interpersonal experiances and was rather ambivalent about dying. That may lend itself to a more realistic perspective of the real world, but you know what they say about the difference between fiction and reality, is that fiction has to make sense.

    I did enjoy the ending though, it brought a sense of closure to watch Jim get that sense of something that lay beyond the horizon. Writing a novel is a hard thing to do, and finishing your first can leave you feeling a little ambivalent. Your glad its finished, but your sorry to see it go.

  15. If you really want to scare people, you gotta put some sick shit in there. Stuff that makes it feel like there is a row of greasy fingers stroking your brain, like that scene in Pie where he takes the powered screwdriver to his temple.

    Like have the main character claw out his eyes then search for them on the floor, then stick something in his socket this isn't quite human, but lets him see things... terrible things...

    like margarette thatcher in the shower.

    1. How about a scene where your character has to watch endless Pewdiepie videos until their sanity depletes and their brain leaks our of their ears?

    2. just looked up pewdiepie on youtube.

      It has exhausted my wit and left me with no response.
      I think I'll go chug a bottle of drain cleaner.

  16. I played the game and here's a boring video.

    Also I encountered a bug on a playthrough I didn't record... I bought a shedload of ammo but when I started the next mission it'd all disappeared. Not sure how or why though. I'll see if I can recreate it.

  17. After playing this game a bunch more, I have to say I really disagree with the decision to make enemies audible only after you are close enough to them.

    My very last play-through I lost sanity for exiting a room without even knowing there was an enemy in it. On three separate occasions. The only way to avoid this is to check the "Escape dungeon" button. If it is greyed out, there is an enemy in the room. This trick also completely defeats the purpose of not being able to hear enemies from across the room, as you still aren't surprised by them.

  18. ben... you need to seperate the punch from the shoot button. left click shoot. right click PUNCH!

  19. z0wb13
    It IS left click shoot, right click punch. Unless you left click in punching range or you're out of bullets.

  20. So, i started playing it again. Is there any way to get back sanity other than random encounters? I think there might have been a spell the I stumbled upon the first time playing through.

    I was thinking about the graphics, and was wondering, have you considered using a bitmap image sprite for the side scroll portion of the game? You could add considerably more detail to the siluettes by tracing an outline of some already existing artwork then converting them into a bitmap image. You might also try running an image search on google for some background panels to use that aren't so fugly, maybe give the illusion of a little bit of depth, like classic brickwork or wought iron gates and tombstones.

    I have no idea what platform you are running this on, I'm guessing maybe just the basic windows api and some flash animation. My computer education makes me borderline retarded when it comes to graphics, but this looks similiar to what can be accomplished using java 2d paint methods and tutorials.

  21. Every time I play the thing, I can't help thinking that the 'Don't look back' note has a neat Chekhov's gun potential. It might be a terrible, terrible design decision, but I'd be tempted to add an ultra-rare instakill screamer death sequence, especially during of those pickup-and-escort missions. Just to screw with some heads, you know.

    1. No.

      No, no, no, no, and no.

      Plenty of us are tired of games that use scary pictures (see, jeff the killer, scary maze, etc) Adding one here would be very very stupid.

  22. Really like the game and looking forward to seeing more content in the final version.

    One suggestion - some of the upgrades you choose before the game are significantly worse than others - I think the extra bullets upgrade should be combined into one which affects all other bullets (and I still wouldn't choose it over the other options). Also how about a upgrade that increases the strength of melee attacks by eg 20% per point (so it would take fewer hits to beat bosses but would still take 2 hits on other monsters until you put all 5 points into it)?.

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  24. I have a different idea you might want to consider: Rather than getting points to shove into a bunch of different categories, make leveling up unlock new traits, backgrounds, and skills that you can apply to characters in exchange for points. well! If i talk about my self then i have so many games in my Android Tablet PC. I would like to play games in my spare time.

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