This is brilliant! The atmosphere is so dark and fills you with a sense of guilty dread...like you did something horrible but you have no recollection of what it was that you did- love this!
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Thank you very much for the kind words! It is, in part, an exploration about some guilt, yes, so I am glad it communicated that part well. :)
Great scary game, definitely worth your money.
Just as a warning it does include some aggressively sexual imagery. In one of the "routes" it even got a little gross and uncomfortable. If this may bother you, don't play it.
I still loved this game and I played all three routes including the "secret" one.
PS as a suggestion can you add subtitles? Not for the tv programs but for the phone calls etc. I had a hard time hearing them.
I sat there for an hour watching all the programs through to completion, I hoped I would unlock some special ending.
On the bright side, it did unlock a special ending. On the dim side, it was absolutely horrifying! Thanks, Somewhat! Your games give me such haunting nightmares! Keep up the good work!
I aim to deliver!
I am still unsure about my choice for the late-night movie, it's a bit boring (even with the recut of it I did to shorten it). So I am glad you've powered through it to see it to the end.
I believe I've gotten all three endings- one with the lubricant, one with the knife, and the secret ending. Have I missed anything?
I completely understand if you don't want to give out answers, I just absolutely love your work and am trying to find everything I can! I noticed there was a part in both endings with a boarded up door along with the text "Need something to pull these off", though I never found out how to do that. Is it possible?
You've gotten all three endings, indeed. There is always a room in the second apartment section of the game that cannot be opened by the tool you chose after the first VHS is watched. So, technically, five playthroughs are required to see all of SPEK.TAKL's content, although let me reasssure you, you're not missing out on much.
I personally loved the game; it’s very different (and powerful) for a horror experience, and certainly welcome in a genre over saturated with, “flashlight-in-a-maze” games. Well done.
Thank you for taking the time to play. I am glad you enjoyed the game, even if it is quite obtuse, admittedly. I assure you it all makes sense to me, but I wanted others to be able to make the game their own and apply their own interpretation of it.
"I love this game, even if it did turn me more asexual." - My sister, 2020
That's.... er.... Thank you? I'm sorry?
I appreciate the reaction, though, it is entirely legitimate. Glad you enjoyed the experience.
We loved it, and were horrified. I've literally been looking for the kind of horror experience provided by the [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER] lubricant [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER] path, the kind of Clive Barker sexual occultism aesthetic.
Thank you for the kind words. Sounds to me like you understood the intentions behind the project well. None of my other projects go as deep into the psycho-sexual aspect of horror, but I definitely have some ideas with similar themes for future titles. Hopefully, you'll enjoy those as well.
Really enjoyed recording this! The VHS tapes kept the atmosphere unsettling, as did the overall setting, and the door... it definitely was a sight to behold lol. Your work is up there with my top small developers, similar Puppet Combo in your talent. I was happy to realize that I've actually recorded several other videos of yours now, and I'm just writing out my reviews and finishing edits for them! Keep up the awesome work
Really enjoyed this game! Recorded a video of me and my fiance playing it, and we both had a blast! It was super unnerving to play, and made us really freaked out just walking around the apartment. Definitely our type of horror!
I am glad you enjoyed playing through it, it is not an obvious or easily approachable experience. Yes, there are three different endings, depending on one important decision made in game (and whether or not you take that decision, in fact).
But don't worry too much about that. You got the gist of the experience already. Thank you for playing!
I really liked this game. How did you create such a schedule? That looks cool
Thanks for the kind words, I am glad you enjoyed your time with my game.
As for your question, you are referring to the TV programming? It's a mix of many public-domain educational films remixed/recut to give them a bizarre edge, interspersed with authentic adverts from the 90s taken off of Youtube.
No. I meant the graphics of the game itself. The game seems to be in 3D, but the graphics seem to be "pixel". How did you create such an effect?
There are a few ways of getting this effect.
First off, you must use some low-poly models when creating your environment. Working with primitives (simple block shapes, etc) helps in keeping that old-boxy look.
Then, on your in-game camera, you can add pixelating filters to control the final visual resolution, as well as limiting the color depth so the game appears to be unable to show all of the colors (perfect for replicating that old Playstation 1 type look). You can find such pixelation effects for free online, such as on itchio itself : https://leakyfingers.itch.io/retro-3d-shader-pack-for-unity
Other popular options are the dsoft20 PSX Shader : https://github.com/dsoft20/psx_retroshader
Or the Flashback 94 : https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/vfx/shaders/flashback-94-shader-pack-27685
All of those tools will allow you to change the resolution of your in-game camera, as well as apply shaders on the materials/textures of your game objects, so that they look shaky and low-definition.
Again, those are solutions for the Unity 3D game engine. I cannot recommend similar tools for Unreal since I am less familiar with it. Hopefully, this is enough to get you started. :-)
I watched the first minute or two on Alpha Beta Gamer (YouTube) before deciding that I had to play this myself and didn't want anything ruined. Happily paid/donated. It's just the balance of atmosphere and environmental interaction that I like, with creepy old-school graphics. Keep up the good work!
Thank you very much for playing, and for your tip! Encouraging indie games goes a long to help creators such as I to keep working on new stuff. I am glad you took a chance on my humble little project :)
sorry for bothering, this game too ist so good, it's scarry, i had to down the volume in some parts, the ONLY problem i found, the optimization, i like so mutch the pixel firts person, and you have talent.
(i don't want to press, but if you can put you'r games in Steam, im delighted gonna pay four they [Steam four thinks of the contry]) ¡Good Luck!
Thank you for the kind words. This game remains my 'biggest' achievement so far, so I am happy to know you got scared! :P
As for putting games on Steam, I am starting to consider it, but Steam is a much more cruel market and it makes me hesitant for a lot of reasons. I recently started day-dreaming about 'Steam Editions' of some of my games, though, so who knows?
Went in totally blind, came out very uncomfortable. I thought this was very effective and the design is pretty wonderful and disturbing.
All in all, I hope you are alright!
That one is a pretty personal title, so I did not make much compromises, in terms of contents.
Hey! I really like the game, especially the grapics are superb, hope to see more from you in the future. You can see me in "action" here ;-)
I played this as part of my Bloodcurdling Barrage in which I'll be posting videos every day of October. Just like with Please, I really enjoyed it. Another solid entry.
Excelent! Really incredible games man, keep at it. Totally crazy for your work.
What about the movie Lost Highway? Was that an influence too? This game looks great by the way!
Oh yeah, of course. I believe it is listed in the ReadMe text file bundled in with the game as an acknowledged influence. I certainly rewatched the movie while working on this title.
The game was creepy and little bit gross, also it reminded me of silent hill in some way, overall it was great and i recommend to play this game just to experience the weirdness it has to offer.
Thank you for taking the time to play. I'm sort of glad you found it gross :P I think it's the appropriate response to what the game has to offer.
Hey, somewhat! I just finished beating(heh) the game, and I really enjoyed it!
Everyone else has touched on themes and inspirations that I picked up as well, so I won't recap all of them. But, the whole thing was right on my wavelength overall.
First I wanted to say that Silent Hill 4 is actually my favorite Silent Hill game just for the apartment segments, so I absolutely loved being confined to the creepy apartment in this game. You did a great job making the apartment feel safe and unsafe all at the same time. I loved the little touch of frustration and confusion in the to-do list about where the key is. Why our protagonist didn't know/remember he stashed the key where he did is still up in the air for me. Was it drowsiness from sleeping pills, or maybe he taped it to the painting during the move and forgot? Maybe another ending explains that?
I also loved that you've given us room to interpret meaning and I've taken the game to be sort of a reflection on self-indulgence and how that relates to guilt. Masturbation, kinks, fetishes, drug use, all the good stuff, basically, haha!
I was just curious, though, because the ending I got was the same as all the others I've seen posted here, do you have a video of the other endings? Or some way you could say what they are or how to get them? I feel like there was so much linearity to what we were doing I don't see how it gives room for other endings. I did see your tip about watching TV, though, so could you at least reveal if that gives BOTH other endings?
All in all, this was a really awesome game and I hope you continue to make more stuff like it! You'll always have an audience if you're putting out great content like this!
Thank you for the kind words, and for being so involved in the little world I created in this game.
My favorite Silent Hill was 4 for a while, until I played Shattered Memories which does a few interesting things with the apartment/home motif as well (and in that respect, Homecoming has a phenomenal segment happening in the home itself, while the rest of the game is a bit of a mess). As I mentioned elsewhere, strangely, SH4 was not a direct inspiration when I was working on the game, although I can't deny it must have been an internalized influence.
There IS something wrong about the protagonist of \SPEK.TAKL\, although the more I hear people's interpretation of it, the less I care about my own 'canonical' meaning. In fact, I'd rather never talk about it, so that the game can find a life of its own in players' minds. It also makes for a fascinating exercise in which people indirectly psycho-analyzes me, so that turns the whole endeavor into useful introspection. The themes you are listing are definitely there, though.
Now, about the ending(s). There are three endings to the game. Watching TV is one of them, but it demands a certain time investment. The other two depend on how you decide to open the wound on the wall in the blue room. Hopefully that helps.
You're welcome! Thanks for making the game and taking time to respond!
Now I want to play through a few more times and see if I can pick up on exactly what is wrong with the protagonist, and your hints definitely told me all I need to know to get those endings.
Thanks a lot!
P.S. - I'm looking forward to that post-apocalyptic game you're making, too!
Works almost perfectly on Linux. Somehow the video's did not play on the TV, I did hear the audio but no visuals on the screen. Aside from that, still had a great time!
Ugh, I've had so much trouble with the video in that game. Never again! XD
But thank you for informing me.
The Silent Hill 4 influence is for sure there but I also am detecting some major VideoDrome vibes too. In fact the whole time I was playing I was like "man, this is like a VideoDrome game!" in my head.
I also think, whether this is just me projecting on to the game or not but I cant help but feel like there's an undertone of paranoia regarding your deepest most forbidden desires being forcibly exposed against your will, or something like that. I think I might have had a nightmare like that more than once. You know what I mean though right? Like the idea that your desires would be laid bare in front of everybody for them to gawk at and mock you for. And the violation of privacy that leads to that.
I really liked your game.
I do know what you mean, yes. And I appreciate you sharing your point of view on what the game could mean. I made it obtuse enough in the hopes that it could be a place for players to reflect on their own stuff as well. At that point, the original 'canonical' meaning has no importance whatsoever, and your opinion is absolutely valid, as it is relating to subjects the game touches on too.
I'm glad you liked it. I hope the rest of my output will be as fun for you to play.
Drugs- The anti-drug PSA and the bagged body struggling after I take his syringe, and injecting the "sick" door with an unknown substance, in reference to shooting up to "get well"
Voyeurism- both me looking into my neighbor's window and the all-seeing eye
Rape- knifing the vagina door
Pedophilia- our friend across the way with the small shadow in front of him
Sadism/masochism- our ability to stab the wrapped body for no gain, as well as the "no pleasure without pain" section of the gallery.
I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but there's also the journal entry referencing electroshock therapy, but I'm not sure if it's behavioral therapy or for fun. I was assuming it was corrective, and that the message telling me to indulge was in opposition to that, as if I was in treatment and fighting my desires to misbehave, and how I handle the door determines which of my behaviors I chose to indulge and how I feel about it.
On the other hand, that doesn't explain the anatomy references or the pesticide program, unless they represented a desire to murder.
Then again, I may have missed the mark entirely, because I couldn't identify the green organ (gland?) I'm stabbing in the non-stroke ending.
Edit: I just realized that the shadow could've been a camera on a tripod instead of a child, which would just make it another layer of voyeurism/watching.
Edit 2: I just realized it's a red room, not a triangular man in a red shirt in a window. I'm dumb.
Thank you for playing, and for being so involved into seeing the whole game. It's great to see a thing I made generate such enthusiasm.
As for the interpretation, there are many ways to look at it, and some of your reading of the symbolism is interesting. There is a 'canonical' meaning to it all, but the more I hear people talk about what they see, the less I find interesting to have a canon at all (it was useful during development, but after release, meh).
That said, I agree with most of what you are suggesting in your interpretation. Although no, it's not a huge triangular man in a red shirt in the window. :P
I was just hit with a pain-in-the-ass copyright claim by UMG that doesn't simply Monetize your video, it Blocks your video in ALL COUNTRIES (Not a single person is allowed to see MY 33 Minute video because a 17 second song that plays at said-link and time in my video. Remove the song or censor it before uploading it.
Oh dear, that is unfortunate. I am sorry if it caused any harm to your channel, that would be the worst scenario possible.
I don't have much time these days to put into it, but i'll look into removing the music that I believe is the culprit, at least for potential future players.
I just simply deleted the audio so it'd return the video back to not being blocked, nor demonetized, it didn't give me a Strike so there is no permanent damage. Just means anything I say or any audio from that moment is bleached out of existence, oh well.
The atmosphere in this was extremely effective. I was so nervous to progress with each change from the VHS that the first time I played it (at nearly 3am, like an idiot) I had to turn it off after the second VHS. At the time it felt like something was going to come out of the blue room toward me. I thought the door might have closed but I'm not sure? I haven't gotten it to repeat if so.
I've now played through twice but even with performing different actions (and receiving a different item) I still managed to get only one ending. I'm curious to explore further and try to get the second one, and I think I have an idea of how to get the secret ending. I'll be picking at this now and then to see what new things I can discover, for sure.
I know you were unhappy with this game and consider it a failure but I think it's a success. It may not be what you originally envisioned but it has its own unique style; it's captured a very distilled feeling of familiarity and dread that I both hate (because it's scary) and adore (because it's scary). It won't be an easy experience to forget, I'll say that much.
I'm very fond of all your work so far but I wanted to comment on SPEK.TAKL especially because you had such a hard time with it. I think you did an excellent job and, if nothing else, I hope you can see it as a step in the right direction even if it might have felt like more of a detour during its production. Seriously good job and I can't wait to see what you work on next!
Wow, thank you for the kind words. As I've (poorly) explained in my Post-Mortem, I am coming back to the game in a more positive light now. I can only see the flaws of a given title when it comes out, but over time my understanding of programming and game design gets better and informs me on how to make things better the next time around. So yeah, \SPEK.TAKL\ is alright, now. :P
Funny you should be scared of the blue room because I've experimented with having one of the VHS tapes ending with a live feed of a camera looking at the couch and tv from the blue room itself, to give this impression of someone actually being in the blue room watching you. Eventually it didn't work (the feedback loop from the camera-tv-camera-tv was too much to handle for poor old Unity3D) so the idea was scrapped, but it is the same logic that lead me to limit the rotation of the player character when sitting in the couch so that you can only barely see the blue room over your shoulder. I hated having my back turned to a hall when sitting on the couch in my parents' living room back in the day.
Since leaving this comment I played through a few more times and I just got the other two endings (and I jumped out of my skin with the secret one). Really loving it more and more with each pass. I'm glad you've since warmed up to it, as well!
Oh that is very spooky. It's unfortunate a lot of ideas like that had to end up on the cutting room floor but maybe certain feelings like that could be repurposed into later projects, who knows.
The feeling of having your back to something open and dark is really icky and I relate to that a lot. There's a room in my house that is the main TV/living area that has no door and is covered with windows. For a while there weren't any curtains either so when it was dark outside the windows were just pitch black and there's always this feeling of someone standing in the wide doorway when you're not looking at it. I also hate having my back toward the crawlspace door in my basement even though it's closed and latched, and I got that feeling initially before I found the key to open the blue room - probably why I spooked myself so bad the first go around.
Really cool game! I made a little playthrough!
Thank you for playing, it was very interesting hearing your thoughts about the events and elements of the game. Some of your ideas were pretty close to the actual meaning of the game, trust your gut feelings more!
This is a really good game and really captures those wordless feelings. I enjoyed it, and hope you make more, VHS asthetic or not. Good luck!
Thank you very much for the kind words. Yeah, I figured the game would better communicate what I wanted to say without spelling it out, and I am happy to see people reacting positively to it and engaging with the potential meanings of it.
I'm planning to stick with the low-fi aesthetic at the moment because it's easier to do as a single dev, so yeah, there's more to come in that style in the future.
I played it last week with some friends. At the time, I was a bit too weirded out to fully appreciate the game. However, after letting it soak in for a couple of days, I booted it up again and played through it once more. This time, it was a lot more enjoyable since I understood the themes better (also discovered there were multiple endings). The atmosphere is fantastic and worked really well. If you don't mind me asking, how many endings are there in total? I've only discovered 2 so far.
Thank you for playing through the game not once, but twice!
As for the endings, there are three of them, the third one being more of a secret ending demanding patience. Lots of patience. And a lot of TV watching. ;-)
Played this for a 3 free indie horrors and i REALLY enjoyed it. You did great. Can't wait for more! I give a full in-depth honest review at the end of my video.
Just finished watching. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you very much for the kind words, too.
Also, yeah, I'm personally coming to terms with the fact that I am making games that are not media-platforms-friendly (mature themes and images can make a content creator nervous on Youtube or Twitch, understandably so). Wish I could say I'm just being defiant, against the grain and all that but...i don't know, these are just the types of games I want to make.
Do I understand you're with the Scythe Dev Team? You guys are doing good work, keep it up, I wanna play more!
Glad you enjoyed my video! I always try to give as honest feedback as possible and as a dev, i never give bias opinions by comparing games to ours, that's not fair.
No, No. Don't get me wrong, i'm completely on board with the whole "Nudity in games" thing. I love that you did that and didn't worry about what people would say or think. This day in age, you mention anything about gender or sexual orientation and you get crucified, I really enjoyed your game because you didn't worry about that and made the game you wanted, and i can respect that. keep it up! I'm looking forward to your next game! All i really meant by that was, be sure to include nudity warnings for creators, just incase, so they can be aware that they may need to censor something in they're playthrough at some point.
Yes, I am a part of Scythe! Glad you enjoy our games as well! If you like what we've put out, you should see what's under wraps 😏
(P.S) Consider join my or the scythe discord via the link in my video descriptions. You can talk to anyone and everyone associated with me, my channel and our games! free reign to post and advertise your work and whatever you want to draw attention too and other devs such as yourself to talk dev work with!
I'm so glad I don't live alone...
I have no idea what that was all about, but it was sure weird and creepy.
Thank you for playing! I assure you, there is a sense to all of this, even if it is very personal. Hopefully, you can find your own meaning for everything you've observed in the game. It's part of the fun!
I just posted my play-through of SPEK TAKL, I had an amazing time doing it, some unexpected stuff that I should have read about before playing it for YouTube but yeah xD unfortunately for me, I didn't get the deeper meaning of a few things until I was editing the video, but nonetheless, amazing. Thank you for your work! :D
Hey! Thanks for sharing, it was a very interesting watch. Don't fret too much about the meaning of it all; although there is a 'canonical' and very personal meaning to the game, it's made vague enough so you can piece together some meaning of your own as well.
Appreciate the response! I see what you mean, I loved the game nonetheless, and I'm really looking forward to whatever you guys have coming down the pipe :D I'm a sucker for PS1/90's 3D/VHS style.
I absolutely recommend this game... it's really a Spektakl (in it's own kind) and it's not like most of the typical pixel horror games.
I don't know where to start. Mr.Somewhat 👍, great work you did! Really! (but you know that. I'm sure that you know that! 😆). It was exactly the kind of pixel horror game, i was searching for in this night. The music-loops you've created and selected -> Perfect!! The sounds and noise you've recorded -> Fantastic!! Good old Zoom H2 field recorder did it's job✅. I did the same for my game (running around with that damn H2, making noise, smashing things etc. but far not as good as you did i think). The pixel grafics and the blocky model style... oh boy i love it! The idea making the menu like a television setup screen? (idk what it's called in english) BUT -> really cool. The evolving in-game story / kind of storytelling -> Great! In my first round i got stuck in the organic room. But i'll try again.
Tbh: i don't write this because of your dev log (which i've read). I write this because i love ❤ what you've created. Really! As a software developer (straight out of business hell, burnouted and currently in recreation) i was always forced to be a very hard critic (including myself).
But your game was an absolute solid experience, no errors, no performance issues, no look or glitch through walls, no stupid colliders. Everything worked fine in my first play round. (maybe increase the pointlight shadowbias a bit, that they start where objects are on ground/walls etc.).
There nothing wrong with your game. For me it was perfect and made my 'night'. Take a break (maybe you already did), you deserve it. Never set a violent release date, it's not neccessary for us indie devs.. or is it?!? 🤔
I know how it feels running through own created worlds over and over again. If that becomes worse, take a break even if that will last over months. Do some work on another or new game. Just my advise, i think you know it better. Would be sad and a shame if you stop creating such stuff. Learn to code, become a master, so you can realize everything you have in mind for your game, from brain to machine. If you need help coding, i'm here for you (honestly). But i think you will master that on you own.
Thank you for that spek.takl - 5 Stars 😎
Thank you so very much for all of these comments! Polimerikum was also a great experience (I believe it was updated since I last checked it, might be time to go back to it) and it's great to share between fellow indie devs.
You are right about the shadow bias...there's this shelf in the study/office room especially that just looks...ugh. :P And don't worry too much about me being hard on myself; as I commented elsewhere, it's mostly a question of gaining some distance after release to reconcile with the game itself. I like it a little better now.
I hope my next titles will keep you as interested as you were in this one. :)
Of course i'll stay interested in your creations. 👍
Nice to read that you get connected to your game again. It's a part of you (that means much), don't hate it, because this would mean.... well, yeah .. you know 😬. I had some similar problems while creating Polymerikum. I took a big break over a few weeks at the end of last year, needed some distance. But after these nice feedbacks from players, i was really motivated to finish this project.
All i wanted was making players happy.
We devs need this feedback and support, otherwise we loose interest in creating free games. Over the last 4 month i reworked and added a lot of content. Took my time to make it more 'beautiful' and stable. Made it playable from the beginning to the final end. Running through it's levels and corridors again and again, sometimes frustratet when things still didn't work as expected... sometimes in rage when monsters didn't do the stuff i told them... 😆😆. But it was worth all the work.
These games we create need their time, especially when it comes to deeper stories and thoughts like we both have in our games. 😎
Have a nice day/night/morning ✌
The UI is buggy:
1 Press esc
2 go to system
3 go back in game
4 press esc again
5 You are stuck on that screen because the mouse moves the camera and not the pointer
Will try again once that's fixed.
Then, unfortunately, you will have to give up on this title. My apologies. I've looked at the issue, and it is not something I am planning to fix. Without getting into particulars, it has to do with assets used, and is out of my control.
At least, it's a free game, amirite?
Wow, ok. It seemed like a small thing to me but whatever.
You might be happy to hear that I finally fixed the Menu bug. It wasn't necessarily a 'small thing' (it rarely is, in game development, so don't be too hasty to judge such matters), but I figured it out.
I was merely questionning your choice of technology used if that implied complicated modifications, certainly not your competency or willingness. Glad you managed, I'll finally check it out. Thanks for the heads up.
Thanks for insisting on this point. I finished it (well the ending where we watch that thing getting stabbed by us indefinitely). Really intriguing. :)
"W, A, S and D to Move"
Absolutely loved it, will be sure to follow and play your other games, and look forward to other horror games you make in the future.
Thank you very much for your support. I was already a subscriber to your channel, so it came as a nice surprise to see you play my game.
And, to answer your questions, in part : there are multiple endings. ;-)
Oooh, you were subbed too? :O Honored. Multiple endings though?! Huh. My brain can't currently conceive what I could do differently ;o I'll have to think about it. Likely something to do with the kitchen knife, hm.
The game is awesome and atmosphere is so creepy i liked it so much keep it up , i hope you enjoy my gameplay https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn1HYPg73HU&feature=youtu.be
Thank you for taking the time to try it out. Watching your style of play, which is rather lightning fast, in my intentionally slow paced game was interesting.
i love it