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Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design
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Daendyr19 Offline
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Post: #1
Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

For me, the most important thing in a game is atmosphere and story. And I got both of that, in Penumbra Black Plague.

Unlike most gamers, I don't run through the game, not observing anything. When I play an atmospheric game like Penumbra, Portal, Half Life etc. I try to explore everything around me. In Penumbra: BP, when I first started the game, I was immersed into it almost immediately because of the excellent music design, and even though the graphics weren't that great, Penumbra was a very detailed and believable world. You can really see that the developers put effort in their game(s), which is why I love Frictional so much.

When I read the first note ("Between light and shadow, exists an entire world. That world is necessarily our own. Get out. Now. O."), I was thinking about what it meant for a while. Who is "O"? How does he know I'm trapped? That kind of detail is what I loved about this game (Half Life too! HL is also very detailed and very atmospheric). I read all the notes, I tried to explore every corner of the game, so that I can fully understand this world.

The fact that you feel lonely and lost during the whole game shows how great the atmosphere is in Penumbra BP. You feel like you actually are in an underground facility. You don't see a person through the entire game, and it helps the overall mood and atmosphere of the game.

You combine all this with the sound design which helps this very dark and creepy atmosphere. The soundtrack really convinces you that you are underground in this frozen landscape.

Did anybody else feel like this when they first played Penumbra: Overture of BP? Tell me what you guys think.
(This post was last modified: 11-25-2012 08:59 PM by Daendyr19.)
11-25-2012 08:58 PM
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Felix Atagong Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

I agree completely, there were moments that I didn't want to start the game because I knew it would scare me, but of course I didn't want Philip to be stuck on level xyz for ever...

The whispering behind the walls were pretty scary and the dog growls when you were nearing them...

Some Penumbra 2006 TD Hints and a Dutch localisation file can be found at http://atagong.com/penumbra
12-06-2012 01:57 PM
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Macgyverthehero Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

Penumbra Overture and Black Plague are one of the best horror games I've played as well. I enjoyed exploring the maps and hiding from monsters that lurked in the dark, while trying to find out what happened to the place we have to explore.

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12-06-2012 09:49 PM
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Gunslingerjh Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

I never felt more isolated in a game than in Penumbra. The underground setting was great, story was interesting and non-lineair, and the best of all: I really felt connected to Philip, which I can't say I did for Daniel in Amnesia.

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12-09-2012 02:43 PM
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The chaser Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

(12-06-2012 09:49 PM)Macgyverthehero Wrote:  -and hiding from monsters that lurked in the dark...
Well, I've killed them all XD

THE OTHERWORLD (WIP)
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Aculy iz dolan.
12-09-2012 11:25 PM
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Daendyr19 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

Does anybody know what the first note means ("Between light and shadow, exists an entire world. That world is necessarily our own. Get out. Now. O.")?
12-11-2012 09:07 PM
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The chaser Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

(12-11-2012 09:07 PM)Daendyr19 Wrote:  Does anybody know what the first note means ("Between light and shadow, exists an entire world. That world is necessarily our own. Get out. Now. O.")?
I don't know much about the "O" thing, but I guess it talks about the mines. The world of the infected. The world of the Tuurngait. You are a stranger, they dislike you. I think it's that, facepalm me if I'm wrong.

THE OTHERWORLD (WIP)
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Aculy iz dolan.
12-11-2012 10:52 PM
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Daendyr19 Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

(12-11-2012 10:52 PM)The chaser Wrote:  I don't know much about the "O" thing, but I guess it talks about the mines. The world of the infected. The world of the Tuurngait. You are a stranger, they dislike you. I think it's that, facepalm me if I'm wrong.
Yeah, I thought it meant that too.
12-12-2012 09:30 AM
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includeownage Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

I could talk all day about the love for the Penumbra series and it wouldn't be enough. After play 100 or more of games in my life I was able to find something fresh and new like this...

I beat the game few times in a row which is something I do not do often.
Every since the internet I was into competetive games mostly and it was rare for me to play single player game more than once.

Penumbra had everything I could wish for of a single player game. Fresh game mechanics, atmosphere, story and great sound. Ambiet and music were really well fit.

My favourite of Penumbra soundtrack is Light inside darkness. I still remember when I entered the room when I frist talked with Dr. Swanson (?). A moment of relief for my poor heart Big Grin.
(This post was last modified: 01-22-2013 12:36 PM by includeownage.)
01-22-2013 12:35 PM
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maarten12100 Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Penumbra's atmosphere and sound design

I felt immersed as it continued right where overture ended being dragged down by heroism.
But it is rather weird that the tuurngait left you to live unless the higher power was giving it some help.
02-12-2013 01:22 AM
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