Being Afraid with Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs - Part 2 and Outlast - Part 3

My last installment was not very popular, I'll admit. That won't discourage me however. If I'm going to do something I should just push forward and see it through.

So with that said, welcome back to my totally original video/blog series Being Afraid in which I play some scary video games and talk about my experience with them for everyone to see.

Last time I introduced Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs to my series in addition to Outlast and here we'll be continuing where we left off with both. In Outlast I managed to make my way to the asylum sewer system while in Amnesia I escaped a claustrophobic underground maze of metal and gears. What will we see this week? Well let's take a look

Outlast - Part 3

Immediately I'm not happy with my situation. Sewers are never a happy place to be regardless of the situation. To make matters worse this big fucker has decided to... drop in. Unlucky for me I get grabbed in the first minute and decide to just forgo this run and try again.

A respawn and some intelligent thinking results in me successfully avoiding creeper. My objective here is is to flush the water in the lower levels so I can continue on my journey deep into the pits of hell. Along the ceiling I can see the pipes that are responsible for the water flow. I'm finding it interesting how the game so blatantly repeats it's mechanics. Essentially I have to go to two places and press a button and then go to a third and press a button. I have to do all of this while a creature stalks me through the level. I've done this once before and I'm willing to guess I'll end up doing it again.

No matter. Let's get to these pipes. Left or right, left or right. From the looks of map and layout, right is closer and easier to get to. A quick jump over a board and a right turn reveals a door and a magical button that will solve all my problems. I assume this magical button will also summon Mr. Big Guy. Now I may make jokes but let's be real here, mechanics aside I'm legit nervous. I would rather not have to run from this because my confidence in navigating through this area is pretty low. Instead of being brave and just running for it I wait patiently. My patients is rewarded by being grabbed by the neck and thrown to the ground. And off I run! Quickly scurrying into a nook near the ground. Clear Big Guy can't fit.

Pipe 2 is next. This one is a bit trickier since Big Guy's primary route is over here. Some clever navigation is all it takes and I manage to make my way to the second pipe. Here's where I get cocky. I decide to make a run for it. Suddenly the music triggers and I know I'm had. I make a quick detour towards the nook in the ground. CROUCH. DAMMIT VIDEO GAME CROUCH WALK. Then I nearly soil myself. I no longer am making forward movement. Now I'm being pulled up and HELLO BIG GUY. OFF I RUN AGAIN! Round 2 is more successful and I manage to make my way to level 2.

Aaaaand level 2 is pitch black. Worse yet? I'm running out of batteries. I slowly stalk my way through the darkened sewer path until I see a ladder. Up the ladder a figure peaks his head over. No matter, it's not like I'm going to go back. A bit forward someone shines a flashlight at my face and that's my cue to get the fuck outta here. Through a door I find a psycho who seems to be friendly. Thanks buddy but I'll stick to myself here.

Continuing on, I find myself in a section of the sewer that's completely flooded. This is probably the most terrifying part so far. My nightvision will only illuminate a few feet in front of me. The only indication of my surroundings is the gentle lapping of the water away or toward me. In an open section I hear metal clinking and heavy breathing. This big fucker is in here with me. And I can't see him. The only indication of his existence is the sound and I'm doing everything I can to avoid. So far so good. As I hug outer wall I catch a glimpse of a lite area in the middle and then I catch a glint of eyes in the distance. I probe the edges of this middle lite section and find a ledge. It's at this point I'm found yet again. My muscles tense and my view narrows. I leap for my life at a broken ladder and kiss Big Guy goodbye.

Next up is the games first really major action set piece. I should have seen this coming. Suddenly Outlast introduces a series of heavy objects in front doors I need to push. I continue through doors and past psychos behind hospital curtains. I navigate up through a vent where I find someone tied up and then all of hell comes down upon my head. The world has cracked open and all the psychos now want my blood. My first go at an escape is an utter failure but on my second go I get a better understanding.

When a game is having you run from someone and you go through door, never assume it's over. Keep. Going. And going I do. I run. And I run. I jump. I run. I open doors. I jump over doors. Finally after an exhausting trip a friendly voice calls out. Through a small elevator shoot I climb and up I go.

Right into the hands of a demented nude doctor with gigantic scissors.

You know what? I'll just go right a head and stop here and let you watch what comes next. I'll simply say this is the worst part of the game so far. For 16 minutes I fail to maneuver around this guy and end up dying over and over. Just watch.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs - Part 2

My second excursion into a Lovecraftian styled mad-house begins with a gentle tour of an office space. Complete with an interesting phone conversation, and a desk drawer filled with teeth and glasses.

Into the shipping and receiving bay we can clearly see this companies fondness for slaughtered pigs. There's a flatbed covered in grim and filth, in front of that is some sort of refilling station. Refilling what exactly? Down a hallway and through a window I make my way through an alleyway that spits me out in front of a picturesque European cobblestone street. There's a church in the distance, some sort of truck blocking my way and a full moon in the sky.

Unfortunately I encounter some technical difficulties around ~8:20-8:50 so mind that. Then immediately after I encounter some brain difficulties afterwards. The game provides me some sort of rectangular box. My brain assumes I need to put this in the truck and so I spend roughly 2 minutes trying to pick up and fit this box into the hole. I feel like I'm an infant playing one of those shape toys. Finally after enough excruciating time I decide to be logical and take the box back where I came to refill it at the... you know, refilling station. There's a sudden sense of accomplishment as the box immediately fits right into the space and I begin to let the fuel flow. This sense is dashed like I was never there as the facility shudders. A horrifying squeal ruptures forth from the upper levels. I manage to catch a glimpse of a a figure moving above me on all fours. I'm shaken. The scene resembles something out of a 80's teen slasher movie. I desperately try to fill the box quicker. Once it's topped off I stumble and fumble with the controls. Several times I drop the box to the ground. Why can't I carry all these boxes?

Sound in this game is absolutely top notch. Little things are always happening around you. Creaks, groans, cries in the distance, metal clinking, shuffles above and below. It all creates a claustrophobic atmosphere. Outlast is similar but the feeling is a bit different. Outlast feels unsafe, you always feel a threat looming. Amnesia doesn't really give off that feeling. Instead you're just always creeped out. Amnesia digs it's tendrils deep down into your skin and you're always darting your eyes around expecting to see a door open or close or expecting to hear something shuffle away to your right. Amnesia makes you paranoid and unsure about yourself. The different approaches to horror is fascinating to me. Outlast is in your face. Amnesia is patient.

Continuing on past the truck and into a clearly safe church.

Up through double doors we find ourselves in a cathedral hall with music echoing throughout the chamber. I decide to make a small detour around to make sure I don't miss anything. Really I'm actually just delaying the need to walk through the middle of the hall. As I approach the front of the church a desecrated crucifix becomes clear to me. Slaughtered swine adorn the mantle. Beyond I find a mechanism that requires two identical candle fixtures to activate. After a bit of backtracking I find the fixture the game wishes me to find. A quick placement and turn and I turn the machine on. A secret stairwell appears in front of me.

Very much like Outlast requires me to initiate, Amnesia is forcing me to essential jump off a cliff into what I can assume is nothing short of hell. My character echoes my thoughts very will in journal entry.

And thus, Amnesia has turned me into a stiff and rigid shell of a man. I can barely move for more than 2 or three steps before I pause. These cages surrounding me can mean nothing but terrible deeds have taken place in this corrupted place. "SILENCE! Do not startle or upset the acquisitions!" Acquisitions? Jesus.

Amnesia pulls off a fantastic prelude scare and I applaud it quite a bit. I assume I'm in he safe area where nothing is going to happen. I assume a lot because video games have taught me well. As I casually walk by cages some revealed some hidden by a tarp, suddenly a sound of desperation erupts to my left. I never would have thought there would be people in these cages.

Down the stairs and I finally come face to face with what this games primary monster. I'm not disappointed. I'm no longer a man sitting in this chair in the pitch black. I'm suddenly a child and I don't want to go down there. Every fiber in my muscles is tense. I grip my mouse tighter and descend. My brain takes over and I begin to explore. My instincts tell me it would be best to know the layout of this place. My instincts do me good. Further on my lantern begins to flicker and I hear the horrid squeal. I retreat. From down a long corridor. I see a silhouette. It raises to two legs and my brain melts. Fight or flight kicks in and I make a run for it. I know there's a path to my right which I take. A squeal fills my left ear and I disregard it. I simply run. Through the darkness I run until i see a door and escape reaches my grasp.

I contemplated ending it there. For some reason a courage surged through me and I plunged forth.

Through dark streets to the Mandus Processing Company. That definitely doesn't sound ominous. There's only a few moments of reprieve. I take solace in the ability to close all the windows around me. One deep gulp and I descend once again into the bitter darkness.

"Pistol Rooms" is where I am. Pistons indeed. It's clear to me I'm deep in it by now. As I walk forward a humungous piston springs alive and further forward yet I see a figure move beyond the metal gears.

Now I want to reiterate something. Amnesia is a game that gives off a creepy paranoid feeling. It's simple to just say the player is feeling unsafe because it's more complicated than that. Nothing is quite right and there's a layer of mystery surrounding the whats and whys. When finally Amnesia puts you in a scenario where your well being is threatened, it's like lifting a two ton sledgehammer down on the back of your neck. The muscles become rigid and you try your best to stay calm. This is essentially what the next 15 minutes of Amnesia was like for me. I'm down here in another machine hell but this time I'm not alone. They play it gently at first, allowing me to see figures scurrying to and fro. Maybe if I just act quick enough I'll be able to deal with this puzzle before anything bad happens? Deep down you know that thought is folly.

So I'm presented a fairly simple puzzle yet in my compromised state of mind I simply can't function properly. Instead of acting logically and thinking about my surroundings I spend a few minutes opening and closes doors, flipping switches I know to be non-functioning and all around acting a fool. Finally I stumble on the solution which was fairly blatant in retrospect. Fuel. It's always been the fuel. I manage to light the fires and successfully turn this horrible machine on.

And lo, hell comes down upon me. Imagine solving a puzzle in video game and being rewarded with a punch to the stomach. That's what we have here, folks. I solved the puzzle! Now every machine in the facility is on and every terrible swine has gone mad. In my worst moment I retreat behind a set of double doors as if that will stop whatever wants me dead.

The next few minutes are a mad dash. I disregard any logic to hide and sneak. Taking cues from Outlast I simply run. Swine give out their squeals to the left and right but I pay no mind. I push forward through the darkness until the sound is a distant distraction. I believe I'm through the worst of it. Around a corner I turn with my lantern bravely shining the way.

Then. A nose peaks it's way from behind a machine. Sniffing and probing the darkness. I don't even think, I react and retreat once again. With my lantern off I sit and silently as possible. In real life my breath is held. I can't see but for the barely viewable silhouette. I dare note turn my lantern on. I wait. After enough time I can see the shape of a creature moving off in the distance and I make a break for it. Frantically I search for some exit and I finally find it. I don't even care where this leads as long as it's away.

Away it does lead. And with that I end Part 2.

Again, thanks for anyone who decides to read any of this. Obviously the text is not required and you can just watch the video. I do both for my own benefit. I'm completely open to any feedback of all kinds.

I'll be back later next week with more.

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Being Afraid with Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs - Part 1 and Outlast - Part 2

Welcome back to another installment of BEING AFRAID with Fistfulofmetal. Or "My Goddamned Video Game Experience".

In my last entry, I played through the first 45 minutes of Outlast and forced myself to jump off a cliff into a pit of horror. Today I would like to show you where I go from there in the terrible insane asylum. Also I will be introducing the first installment in the parallel series for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. So lets get started shall we?

OUTLAST

Last we left our intrepid journalist stuck on an Insane Asylum he successfully navigated a flooded basement with the goal of turning power back in for the facility. Unfortunately for our man with the cam a crazy priest had been waiting for him the entire time. Now we wake in padded cell surrounded by crazies.

Within the first several seconds I decided to cower underneath my bed like an abused child. They're out there! And they want me to go out there as well? Well... alright. Building up enough courage I take my first step into the blackness. Below me psychotics roam around shouting unintelligible speech. It's become clear to me at this point something is most definitely not normal here. As I make my way down the hallway an inmate shoots his arm through the glass square window of his cell door. He wants out, probably wants a piece of me as well. I offer a chance to open the door because hey, maybe he's just misunderstood? No go, the door is locked.

Turning the first corner I'm greeted by a pair of incorrigible gentlemen in impeccable attire. Clearly they're here to class up the joint. I find their tone of speech vs. the content of their speech interesting. They definitely want a piece of me. At least my tongue, liver, and maybe even more. Luckily there's a steel grated door between them and I.

Moving things right along, I navigate through the decrepit halls making my way to the other side of the steel door. It appears the gentlemen have moved on. Through a security checkpoint and up a set of stairs I find the only path available to me is a hole in the ground. Here we find a psycho who has clearly had a disagreement with an asylum guard. He wishes for me to be quiet so I'll just go right ahead and comply. Down a hall another psycho is toying with the security systems. He isn't as agreeable and I'm forced to run. Lucky for me I know exactly where to hide. Psychos typically have no concept of "under the bed".

Triggering the security system opens the checkpoint but to my horror it also makes a lot of noise. Our quiet friend isn't pleased with me and I'm forced to flee for my life again.

Through the security checkpoints we meet our gentlemen friends again. I stand and listen to them lust after my tongue and liver. After their speech routine finishes I observe as they creepily shiver and convulse in place. To my completely lack of surprise, I have to make my through the metal gate again and like before the gentlemen decide to move on before I can reach them.

Oh Jesus. Not the big fucker again. Ripping the head off a guard to prove a point? I'll just go ahead and turn on this security checkpoint and FUCK NOPE NOPE. Maybe this glass will hold him back? NOPE NOPE. I RUN. FOR MY LIFE. THROUGH A DUCT SYSTEM... A LOCKED DOOR BETWEEN HIM AND I STANDS NO CHANCE. RUNNING STILL UNTIL AND EXPLOSION SENDS ME FLYING DOWN, DEEP DOWN ON TO A PILE OF BODIES.

The next ~10 minutes become the most tense moments in this game so far. In complete darkness I need to avoid this big fucker and make my way back up.

I just want to take a moment and discuss the amazing night vision effects in this game. Night vision is the only option when you're in pitch black but also turns the visible spectrum into a nightmare. Limited color depth and field of view creates an extreme tunnel vision effect that turns a standard stealth section on it's head.

Suffice to say I managed to maneuver around my adversary and into a cell-block. There's a dead guard in the center. The scenario resembles a coliseum for gladiator combat. Inmates surround me on multiple levels as a light shines down on the center of the room. It's a raucous, unnerving setting made even worse by the straight-jacket laden man who simply wants to walk near me.

Scaling the cell block I encounter inmates in cells, inmates prowling corridors, and inmates trolling me as I shimmy across ledges. All culminating with a trip through a hole in the showers into the sewers.

And that's where we end it. The last 45 minutes have been nerve racking. Outlast is definitely hitting the right notes for Horror. It builds tension, forces you in terrifying flights for your life, and nails the jump scare pretty darn well. Next time we'll be dealing with a sewer and I am not looking forward to it.

AMNESIA: A MACHINE FOR PIGS

Ahh... Amnesia. We all remember A Dark Descent, don't we? It was a game that rejuvenated the Horror experience in video games community. A Machine for Pigs is the highly anticipated follow up to one of the scariest games of all time. We'll see how it holds up.

The first minute already creates a supremely oppressive tone. Something sitting on a stage, electricity going crazy, everything is shaking... oh god what is happening. The screen is turning to an uncomfortable shade of red and I'm creeped out.

Someone is calling for their daddy and I assume I'm the father. Thescreen has a strange blue tint... I'm following calls from a duo of children.

This house seems gigantic and seriously oppressive. Reading these notes, something odd is going on. It sounds like the character I'm playing did something bad in his past and to be honest I think the kids are probably dead.

There's a clever puzzle here with the rifle on the wall. A note by the main character talks about grabbing his rifle and the note emphasizes the rifle several times. Then directly to your left is a series of rifles hanging on the wall. It's a simple puzzle but I like that it was something you needed to pay attention. Clever. I also liked the way they revealed the spaced behind the walls and how the kids think it's ghosts behind the walls.

So far the game doesn't seem to be going for the kind of scares as the first Amnesia. This game seems going for a more subtle approach over blatantly horror. I guess that the oppressiveness would be far more affective if I hadn't just played Outlast which is basically IN YOUR FACE with the scares.

I'm not particularly sure what's going on here so far. There are machines down below? The kids are done there (yeah right)?

The next 10 minutes or so I spent wandering around until I find a secret passage in the bathroom. From there I can see a roof with a cage in the middle. That's pretty ominous. I think this is basically the point where the experience truly starts. In front of me inside a roof filled with machines is a valve. Turning this valve is basically allowing the horror to begin. It's an interesting idea to force the player to do this, I'm making the bad things happen here. Everything that happens from here out is my fault.

And sure enough, something, scurries away down the hall. That was a pretty good moment.

Unfortunately I spend the next 10 minutes wandering again until I realize... THE BEAR! The bear leads me to the second valve which leads me to the machines.

Tremors have been a common occurrence so far in this game. There's a real sense that everything is falling a part around me. It's unknown to me if this a metaphor for my state of mind or if the flooding down below is literally causing tremors. I guess that will remain to be seen. Also, I finally figure out how to use the damn lantern! Light! Finally!

Moving through this machine hell is a pretty different experience than the house. Everything is dark, cold, and foreign. I'm going around finding fuses to flip these switches. Every time I do, hell breaks loose a bit more. Eventually I the final switch and FUCK WHAT WAS THE TO MY RIGHT? Something just darted away. I don't get a clear look but that was biggest scare so far in this game.

I can say I'm enjoying the fact that this game trades in serious tension over blatant scares. The problem I can see however is if they are simply always building tension and not releasing it, the player can become numb to it. Hopefully this machine hell is the beginning of some serious shit. I've barely scratched the surface here. It's caught my attention and I'm interested in seeing what will happen next.

Alright. That was a lot of text. Amnesia isn't delivering the scares like the first but I'm interested in the approach they are taking. Honestly, playing Outlast and Amnesia and seeing their different takes on horror is pretty cool. I have a lot ahead of me.

Thanks for watching the videos and if you had enough patience for my rambling, the text. I'm open to feedback on both obviously so please tell me what I suck at!

I do know the Amnesia video's quality isn't the best. I'm still tweaking the settings for OBS and hopefully it'll get better over time.

2 Comments

Being Afraid with Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs - Part 1 and Outlast - Part 2

Welcome back to another installment of BEING AFRAID with Fistfulofmetal. Or "My Goddamned Video Game Experience".

In my last entry, I played through the first 45 minutes of Outlast and forced myself to jump off a cliff into a pit of horror. Today I would like to show you where I go from there in the terrible insane asylum. Also I will be introducing the first installment in the parallel series for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. So lets get started shall we?

OUTLAST

Last we left our intrepid journalist stuck on an Insane Asylum he successfully navigated a flooded basement with the goal of turning power back in for the facility. Unfortunately for our man with the cam a crazy priest had been waiting for him the entire time. Now we wake in padded cell surrounded by crazies.

Within the first several seconds I decided to cower underneath my bed like an abused child. They're out there! And they want me to go out there as well? Well... alright. Building up enough courage I take my first step into the blackness. Below me psychotics roam around shouting unintelligible speech. It's become clear to me at this point something is most definitely not normal here. As I make my way down the hallway an inmate shoots his arm through the glass square window of his cell door. He wants out, probably wants a piece of me as well. I offer a chance to open the door because hey, maybe he's just misunderstood? No go, the door is locked.

Turning the first corner I'm greeted by a pair of incorrigible gentlemen in impeccable attire. Clearly they're here to class up the joint. I find their tone of speech vs. the content of their speech interesting. They definitely want a piece of me. At least my tongue, liver, and maybe even more. Luckily there's a steel grated door between them and I.

Moving things right along, I navigate through the decrepit halls making my way to the other side of the steel door. It appears the gentlemen have moved on. Through a security checkpoint and up a set of stairs I find the only path available to me is a hole in the ground. Here we find a psycho who has clearly had a disagreement with an asylum guard. He wishes for me to be quiet so I'll just go right ahead and comply. Down a hall another psycho is toying with the security systems. He isn't as agreeable and I'm forced to run. Lucky for me I know exactly where to hide. Psychos typically have no concept of "under the bed".

Triggering the security system opens the checkpoint but to my horror it also makes a lot of noise. Our quiet friend isn't pleased with me and I'm forced to flee for my life again.

Through the security checkpoints we meet our gentlemen friends again. I stand and listen to them lust after my tongue and liver. After their speech routine finishes I observe as they creepily shiver and convulse in place. To my completely lack of surprise, I have to make my through the metal gate again and like before the gentlemen decide to move on before I can reach them.

Oh Jesus. Not the big fucker again. Ripping the head off a guard to prove a point? I'll just go ahead and turn on this security checkpoint and FUCK NOPE NOPE. Maybe this glass will hold him back? NOPE NOPE. I RUN. FOR MY LIFE. THROUGH A DUCT SYSTEM... A LOCKED DOOR BETWEEN HIM AND I STANDS NO CHANCE. RUNNING STILL UNTIL AND EXPLOSION SENDS ME FLYING DOWN, DEEP DOWN ON TO A PILE OF BODIES.

The next ~10 minutes become the most tense moments in this game so far. In complete darkness I need to avoid this big fucker and make my way back up.

I just want to take a moment and discuss the amazing night vision effects in this game. Night vision is the only option when you're in pitch black but also turns the visible spectrum into a nightmare. Limited color depth and field of view creates an extreme tunnel vision effect that turns a standard stealth section on it's head.

Suffice to say I managed to maneuver around my adversary and into a cell-block. There's a dead guard in the center. The scenario resembles a coliseum for gladiator combat. Inmates surround me on multiple levels as a light shines down on the center of the room. It's a raucous, unnerving setting made even worse by the straight-jacket laden man who simply wants to walk near me.

Scaling the cell block I encounter inmates in cells, inmates prowling corridors, and inmates trolling me as I shimmy across ledges. All culminating with a trip through a hole in the showers into the sewers.

And that's where we end it. The last 45 minutes have been nerve racking. Outlast is definitely hitting the right notes for Horror. It builds tension, forces you in terrifying flights for your life, and nails the jump scare pretty darn well. Next time we'll be dealing with a sewer and I am not looking forward to it.

AMNESIA: A MACHINE FOR PIGS

Ahh... Amnesia. We all remember A Dark Descent, don't we? It was a game that rejuvenated the Horror experience in video games community. A Machine for Pigs is the highly anticipated follow up to one of the scariest games of all time. We'll see how it holds up.

The first minute already creates a supremely oppressive tone. Something sitting on a stage, electricity going crazy, everything is shaking... oh god what is happening. The screen is turning to an uncomfortable shade of red and I'm creeped out.

Someone is calling for their daddy and I assume I'm the father. Thescreen has a strange blue tint... I'm following calls from a duo of children.

This house seems gigantic and seriously oppressive. Reading these notes, something odd is going on. It sounds like the character I'm playing did something bad in his past and to be honest I think the kids are probably dead.

There's a clever puzzle here with the rifle on the wall. A note by the main character talks about grabbing his rifle and the note emphasizes the rifle several times. Then directly to your left is a series of rifles hanging on the wall. It's a simple puzzle but I like that it was something you needed to pay attention. Clever. I also liked the way they revealed the spaced behind the walls and how the kids think it's ghosts behind the walls.

So far the game doesn't seem to be going for the kind of scares as the first Amnesia. This game seems going for a more subtle approach over blatantly horror. I guess that the oppressiveness would be far more affective if I hadn't just played Outlast which is basically IN YOUR FACE with the scares.

I'm not particularly sure what's going on here so far. There are machines down below? The kids are done there (yeah right)?

The next 10 minutes or so I spent wandering around until I find a secret passage in the bathroom. From there I can see a roof with a cage in the middle. That's pretty ominous. I think this is basically the point where the experience truly starts. In front of me inside a roof filled with machines is a valve. Turning this valve is basically allowing the horror to begin. It's an interesting idea to force the player to do this, I'm making the bad things happen here. Everything that happens from here out is my fault.

And sure enough, something, scurries away down the hall. That was a pretty good moment.

Unfortunately I spend the next 10 minutes wandering again until I realize... THE BEAR! The bear leads me to the second valve which leads me to the machines.

Tremors have been a common occurrence so far in this game. There's a real sense that everything is falling a part around me. It's unknown to me if this a metaphor for my state of mind or if the flooding down below is literally causing tremors. I guess that will remain to be seen. Also, I finally figure out how to use the damn lantern! Light! Finally!

Moving through this machine hell is a pretty different experience than the house. Everything is dark, cold, and foreign. I'm going around finding fuses to flip these switches. Every time I do, hell breaks loose a bit more. Eventually I the final switch and FUCK WHAT WAS THE TO MY RIGHT? Something just darted away. I don't get a clear look but that was biggest scare so far in this game.

I can say I'm enjoying the fact that this game trades in serious tension over blatant scares. The problem I can see however is if they are simply always building tension and not releasing it, the player can become numb to it. Hopefully this machine hell is the beginning of some serious shit. I've barely scratched the surface here. It's caught my attention and I'm interested in seeing what will happen next.

Alright. That was a lot of text. Amnesia isn't delivering the scares like the first but I'm interested in the approach they are taking. Honestly, playing Outlast and Amnesia and seeing their different takes on horror is pretty cool. I have a lot ahead of me.

Thanks for watching the videos and if you had enough patience for my rambling, the text. I'm open to feedback on both obviously so please tell me what I suck at!

I do know the Amnesia video's quality isn't the best. I'm still tweaking the settings for OBS and hopefully it'll get better over time.

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My Goddamned Video Game Experience. Being Afraid with Outlast

I don't typically play horror games.

When I do, I record it live on the internet for people to see.

I'm not like PewDiePie or something. I don't care for running commentary. I appreciate raw game footage with all the bullshit. Sure, it lacks "personality" but that kind of stuff just isn't for me. I've always been a bigger fan of the written word. So I want to try to post raw gameplay with a blog post. I want to put my gameplay out there for the public. I want to put my writing out there for the public.

So with that said, here's day 1 of my goddamned video game experience. Being Afraid with Outlast

The first three parts are technically a single gameplay session cut into segments. The beginning is pretty basic as we get to know the mechanics. Outlast sets the mood incredibly well with excellent sound design. Every single step made creates a creak or a groan on the hardwood floor. Even this early on you never feel quite safe, how can you when your footsteps give off such a cacophony?

The "jump scare" is a much argued technique in horror. It's usage can be seen as both a strength or a weakness, depending on how it's implented. The way I see it, jump scares are meant to be used to pull the cork on tension. When the desired effect is an immediate release of every terrifyingly tense muscle, using a jump scare works pretty well. However the jump scare is only earned when it's built up properly.

From what I've seen so far Outlast knows how to implement a proper jump scare. The first being within the first 15 minutes. A door slightly ajar. Darkness clearly visible beyond the edge. You know you need to go through. You also know that up to this point you've seen nothing, you've experienced nothing. This door becomes the edge of a cliff. Once you open this door the real Outlast experience begins. There's no turning back now.

The door opens and sure enough you're greeted with a corpse hanging in front of your face. I'll admit I didn't expect it. I retracted, my mouse hand trembled slightly. You got me game, congratulations.

And sure enough, we've now jumped off the cliff. Outlast has begun and there's no turning back. Shortly there after a giant menace grabs you during your most vulnerable and sends you flying.

What's my next goal? Well how about a little exploring? I see dead guards, I see crazy inmates, I see lots of blood. Down a hall there's a person in a wheelchair. Down another hall a figure darts into a door. I'm basically in a no-win scenario here. I saunter past the wheelchair bound inmate and see several figures sitting around a television set. Game? Are they bugged? Will they attack? Well I've already exhausted my other options.

So what's going on here? Clearly not everyone is a psycho killer. Not everyone wants to see my blood spilled. Yet again, my expectations are dashed when that scrawny wheelchair bound dude decides he wants a piece. Luckily my ability to shake the mouse back and forth is pretty good.

Then on to the basement. Someone decided it best to turn out all the lights. Thankfully I have this handy device that lets me see in the dark.

Unthankfully for me I now have to deal with something called gameplay

Well Outlast you've shown me your first real blemish. Down here in the basement with a maniac. Making sound triggers his AI. I either run or die. Once I've identified the mechanic it's no longer scary. It's simply a video game mechanic. Unfortunate. After a few tried I manage to figure out the correct routines and make my way out of the basement.

And thus we have our first twist. A crazy man! He wants me alive? Now I'm in a padded cell... oh dear.

So there it is. My first day with Outlast. I'll admit I kind of fizzled out near the end. I'll need to work on a better structure going forward. Thoughts? Criticism? Thanks for reading if you did.

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My PAX 2013

Here's my account. I don't have that many pictures... the camera I used is dead and it uses SD cards that I don't have anything to pull the pictures off of. I didn't really take any pictures of cosplayers because tbh that doesn't really interest me. Most of the images are just stuff from the floor; the booths, big banners, big groups of people, etc etc. Also all the stuff I got.

PAX

I took the trip to Boston from Buffalo via Rochester with 4 other dudes. One I know from work, the other three I didn't know. We drove there in a massive Chrysler Town and Country minivan. The ride itself was pretty good because the minivan had a dvd player in it so we watched movies all the way through. We left around 9:30am and arrived in Boston around 6ish. We immediately checked in to our hotel and crashed and hung out for the night in the hotel.

Day 1

We arrived at the convention center around 9am and hung around in a queue room for an hour. When the event officially opened the mass of people poured into the Expo Hall. The first day was spent mostly walking around and just looking. This being my first convention of any sort, I wasn't sure how to approach the situation. So I just allowed myself to take it all in. For the most part I spent the time following the group as I didn't really have anything I was personally invested in seeing at the time. Our group split up early on and two of the friends left to do their own thing. My work friend, his friend and I spent the rest of the day casually visiting booths and looking at games. On the first day I only played a few things:

-

Dead Island: Riptide

-- It's Dead Island

Shovel Knight

-- a really awesome 8bit style action game where you play as a Knight who uses his shovel as a weapon. I was really impressed by this game. Here's the Kickstarter to take a look at the game:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yachtclubgames/shovel-knight

There's a lot of really cool booths that we saw. The League of Legends booth is HUMUNGOUS and was filled with people the entire time. Every 10 minutes or so they you would hear the crowd freaking out over some match taking place. It was ridiculous. Pretty close by there was a Shootmania booth which was surprisingly big as well. Also to my surprise, the only booth with Starcraft playing was pretty small and not many people around it. Other notable booths I saw: SONY with a THE LAST OF US demo (did not play, line was always too long). Blizzard was showing Diablo 3 on PS3 and Hearthstone which is a Magic The Gathering rip-off. The Pop-Cap booth was a carnival complete was various carnival games and was giving away tons of free stuff. There was a booth right in the middle of the floor with various wooden items. Table-tops, weapons, etc, it was all really cool.

I went to the Penny Arcade Q&A panel around 11:30 I believe. I'm not really a follower of Penny Arcade or anything so a lot of the references went over my head, but the panel was really good. The two guys are witty and good at funny/real responses. The guy who's bald (?) was dressed as a robot which I think came from a Kickstarter or something. That lead to some really funny moments. One guy asked a question about how to get over anxiety and stuff and the robot guy spent a good amount of time thoughtfully giving a legit response, after he realized what he was wearing and commented. There's was also a guy from Penn. who gave the guys three giant bags of Woopie Pies. Finally this one nervous dude went up and did this skit regarding picking one of the two as their holy leader. It was a little awkward. Finally this girl asked them to teach her a new word. They weren't able to because whenever they tried she knew was the word meant. She then was able to stump them by saying "Petrichor" which is the smell after the rain. Overall it was a really fun panel.

Eventually the day started winding down and we were getting tired. The Expo Hall closes at 6pm however I was not done because I planned on going to the Giantbomb panel at 9pm. So we stuck around the center. In the back wing of the convention center is a hall that is filled with these amazing beanbag chairs. There's probably well over 150 of them all along the floor and the entire area is dedicated to hand-held playing. So we plopped down on 3 bags and vegged out until around 7:30. During this time the two others slept while I played Persona 4 Golden on my Vita. While EVERYONE around me playing their DS's. Made me a bit jelly.

At 7:30 I made my way alone to the Phoenix theater and got in line for the Giantbomb panel. Within minutes the line was packed and after a lengthy wait we finally got in. I got pretty good seats but couldn't get a good picture of the guys until the very end. The panel was fantastic. So many notable things occurred that I won't spoil it for anyone wanting to watch an archive later on. It was hilarious and it was great to see the guys of Giantbomb in person. I wasn't able to stay behind to meet them as I had to leave but seeing them live really made that day worth it.

We left the convention center at midnight and ended the day around 1am, crashing in the hotel.

Day 2

Day 2 was a much more eventful day. Since i knew where everything was going to be I was able to spend more time thoughtfully moving around the event.

We got to the convention center much later than we did the first day, around noon, so less time was spent mindlessly walking around. Day 2 was buy-day for us. We spent a good chunk of time around the merchandise booths gawking at all the cool stuff. I myself spent around 10 minutes trying to talk myself out of buying an original non-Greatest Hits copy of Metal Gear Solid. I ended up successfully talking myself out of it but I sort of regret it. This one booth was selling a lot of cool stylized Game of Thrones posters and also some really awesome Master Sword replicas. They had foam and wooden, the former being only $20. I ended up getting the $20 foam Master Sword. Even though I'm not much of a Zelda fan, the allure of a really cool looking replica overcame me. Even though it's foam it's actually really solid and I personally think it's better looking over the wooden sword.

Later on in the day I spent some time looking at the NVIDIA Shield. I didn't get a chance to actually play it but the device it self looked OK. It weirdly concaves inward towards the analog sticks which looks odd but the games I saw playing looked pretty snappy. It's an interesting device. I also had a booth "babe" spend a good amount of time explaining to me what an NVIDIA GTX was while I politely nodded. They game me a SHIELD t-shirt with a sick neon green logo on the front.

Some games/stuff I saw/played on Day 2:

- That Penny Arcade RPG game or whatever. It's a 16bit or something RPG with clever dialoge... /shrug

-

DIVEKICK

-- A fighting game with two buttons. DIVE and KICK. Kicks do One Million damage and the characters only have One Thousand health. It's really funny. I spoke with the presenter for a minute and referenced some stuff said on the Giantbomb panel. I got a pretty cool pin for that.

-

STINKY foot game controller.

- This thing is weird. It's a game controller you control with your foot. It's essentially just used for WASD and I really didn't care for it at all. I demo'd it with Battlefield 3 and found it to be really awkward. Maybe something decent for a different kind of game.

-

Legend of Dungeon

-- Really cool dungeon crawling game. Characters have the pixel art look but the levels are 3-d with a sort of diorama feel. I had fun with it. Website:

http://www.robotloveskitty.com/LoD/

- This Tetris/Smash Bros style game which I didn't get the name of. Only watched it. Looked kinda fun.

- Another 2 button game but forgot the name. It's a game where you sled along a lane and use momentum to go over jumps and hills. One button lowers you to get speed on the dips and then you release on the hills. The other button is a reverse time mechanic. I told the guy the concept reminded me of Tribes and he said I was the second person to say that but he'd never seen Tribes. They were showing it with a custom controller and I told the guy they should make an all-in-one style controller that just plugs into someones TV and the game plays. That really took the guy back... no one had mentioned that to him yet. I said that was a really good idea.

- I did a roulette game to win a free game called... something, whatever it doesn't matter. I chatted with the guy there and he said he went to pitch a game at the "Pitch a Game" panel and his idea was "An old school racer style game except the engine noise is replaced with..." and we ended up finishing the sentence together "...dubstep". They said they shot him down pretty quick. I said it was because dubstep is too obvious now. He told me that one of the ideas that got the best reaction was a game where "You have this shirt that's really wrinkly and you can't get it un-wrinkled no matter what you do." I had to tell him I thought the idea was really good.

Near the end of the day we went to the official PAX merch booth and I was GOING to buy some shirts but the line was fucking MASSIVE so we decided not to. While we were about to leave my friend, who's a huge PA fan, said that Mike (Gabe) was standing right in front of us. We ended up meeting him, getting our pictures taken, and also our badges signed. My friend was fucking ecstatic about this. I thought it was pretty cool since literally a minute after we did this the crowd around him got damned big. We literally just stumbled on to him when he arrived which was pretty lucky.

Before we left we stopped at the big wood-centric booth and I dropped $100 on a war-hammer with Mjölnir engraved on the side. I spent around awhile trying to talk myself out of it... but I failed. It's really cool. I'll post pictures in a separate post.

We left around 6:30 on Day 2 and went back to the hotel. We flirted with going out which I wasn't against but everyone was beat. So we hung around the hotel and then went to bed early.

Day 3

Day 3 was presentation day.

We got to the convention center around 11am and immediately made a bee-line to the

Saints Row 4

theater. The line wasn't too bad and we spent around 20 minutes waiting.

The presentation itself wasn't very long but it was great. It showed a ton of cool weapons including a gun that shoots DUBSTEP. They also showed the various superpowers you have. It looks A LOT like Prototype but polished and not super janky. Your character also has a freeze power and a super run. It was great to be able to watch that. I am sold on SR4

Next we wondered over to the

Splinter Cell: Something

presentation. This theater was not closed like the SR4 one so we didn't get in line, instead we just hung around the sides. The showing was clearly to convince "hardcore" fans of the series that it's still about stealth. Everything was geared towards being stealthy and using the various tools you would expect. It was cool.

After that we waited... and waited... and waited... and waited in the

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

line. We literally waited for like 45 minutes to watch the presentation. It was fairly lengthy and did do a lot to instill good-will. From exploration, to sea-battles, to stealth focused stuff, to the character and setting. It was a good showing. They also gave us blow-up pirate swords.

These three filled a good part of the beginning of our day. After this we headed over to the indie booths. Here we chatted with a number of devs and saw a few games. Some stuff I remembered:

--

Lords of New York

- an adventure game set in 1930's NY. You play as a low-tier mobster as he tries to rise the ranks. You also play as a cop trying to take the mob down. Apparently there's some poker elements. It had a really nice art style.

-- Played with this controller that I wasn't sure what the point of was. Apparently it has adjustable everything from triggers, two sticks, to buttons, also some additional buttons in the back. I didn't even realize it was a 3rd party controller at first since it felt just like a 360 controller. I did get to snap a pic of a Dante cosplayer playing Metal Gear Rising which was pretty good (he was terrible at the game).

--

TOWER OF GUNS

- this is a really cool rogue-like FPS game. It has randomly generated levels and played like an old-school shooter. The dev said it's like The Binding of Isaac combined with Quake. I played it for about 10 minutes and was impressed. It's made by one guy and looks and played pretty well. It's a little rough around the edged but shows a lot of potential. It's on Steam Greenlight and he says he wants to get it up on the Early Access section of STEAM. I told him I would buy it if he got it there. Here's the site:

http://www.towerofguns.com/

I watched a friend play Hearthstone, the Blizzard "Magic the Gathering" rip off. It was ok. They gave me a WOW Hearthstone keychaine which was cool. Then later on I played the REAL Magic the Gathering at the Magic booth and they gave me a really cool pin.

I waited in line for awhile to play iRacing which is something I've wanted to try for a while. I got into a 6 man NASCAR style race and ended up killing it and wining the whole thing. I was able to employ some pro skills and avoided all the crashed/poor racing. The race itself was in awesome full cockpits with racing chairs, racing wheels and pedals. That made my day because I completely did NOT expect to win. I got a cool shirt out of it too.

One of the last things we did was spend around an hour in the PC Free Play area and my friend talked me into playing League of Legend with him. I didn't really like the game but it was fun playing against other people. During us playing one of the LoL devs asked me if this was my first time playing. I said it was and he gave me a LoL key that boosts some in-game items for beginners and also a LoL lanyard. Was pretty cool.

The last thing I did was buy a Gold Minecraft pick-axe replica and also a sick Game of Thrones poster.

Day 3 ended pretty quietly after checking out some mechanical keyboards (which I want to get now). We headed back to our hotel. I spent the night collecting all our stuff, checking in on my family, and then going to sleep. We left Boston this morning around 8:30 and I got home about 2 hours ago.

I had a great time at PAX. I saw a lot of stuff. Played some cool games. Bought a lot of dumb stuff. I definitely want to go next year with some friends I know more.

In the next post I'll be showing off the pictures of stuff I got and some other images from my phone. All the other images will go up later when I get them off my camera.

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