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Reflections on Obscurity
ElectricRed Offline
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Posts: 106
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#1
Reflections on Obscurity

Alright, I haven't posted in a while but it's time I do a little self reflection on Obscurity. Hopefully this is an okay location to post this.

First of all, thanks again to those that played and enjoyed it! 6 months later and Obscurity is still quite popular and being played all over the world, which is very exciting for me.

So to start off, I'd like to talk about the storyline. My main regret in designing Obscurity is not taking the time to flesh out the story more. I had all of these fantastic ideas that I was never able to implement. Problem is, Obscurity started out as an experiment and I never thought I would finish it. I only had a very basic backstory planned out for the village and had no idea where the main story would go and how it would end. I made the mistake of designing the environments before finalizing the story, so the story had to adapt to the environments. Initially I intended to flesh out Simon's character much, much more. I wanted the player to actually feel for him and see him have a progression throughout the story. Unfortunately I couldn't do that because of the environment's limitations and had to settle.

I originally had huge plans for Simon. I wanted flashbacks to his childhood and how he was abused by his father and became disturbed. I wanted an explanation of why he ended up becoming a lawyer and how he became addicted to sending people to their deaths. (Being in control of their lives gave Simon a sense of power that he depended on, as he was powerless as a child.) A side story of his wife dying was supposed to come into play, and it was supposed to parallel Elizabeth's death. (They were both people that served as his sanctuary, his escape from his troubles.) ALL of these factors were supposed to contribute to his downfall at the end. As you can see though, I was not able to implement any of this so Simon's craziness at the end seemed out of the blue. (Which is why the ending is so controversial.)

Which leads me to the ending itself. Yes I believe it could have been much better, but people are looking at it the wrong way. I keep getting the comment, "Simon could have gotten the police!" or "He could have destroyed the mines!" Etc. Etc. However, by the end of Obscurity Simon was not rational. He had finally discovered his past had just been trapped and chased around underground by the man that led Crescent Village's cult. He had seen awful things and went through a terrible trauma. The reason Simon resorted to killing is not because he wanted to save people, but because he went insane and developed a taste for blood. He then justified it to avoid the guilt. This would have made more sense if I had properly implemented the story ideas I mentioned earlier.

By no means am I a senior custom story builder, but if I could offer one piece of advice to new designers it would be this: Have the ENTIRE story planned out before starting the environments. I really screwed myself over with this, and I will never make the same mistake again.

After learning that Amnesia a Machine for Pigs won't allow custom stories, I'm going to start development on a new one this summer. It will incorporate all the skills I gained from developing Obscurity, and hopefully I can create a much more engaging narrative.

To those of you that read the whole thing, thanks! I'd appreciate any kind of comments, criticisms, or just thoughts in general. If you'd like to share any of your own building experiences or regrets, please do!

- ElectricRed

[Image: 9lkjf4.jpg]

06-19-2013, 01:32 AM
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Daemian Offline
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#2
RE: Reflections on Obscurity

I agree with the story first thing.
Cause it happened to me as well. But i noted the mistake very early.

Are you sure about the removal of custom stories on AMFP ?
Cause there must be a really good reason behind it.

It's not a smart decision at all considering the amount of cs it could get.
Players that got attracted by a cs may decide to actually buy the game to get to play the cs.
Am i wrong in this?

06-19-2013, 07:17 AM
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ElectricRed Offline
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Posts: 106
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#3
RE: Reflections on Obscurity

(06-19-2013, 07:17 AM)Amn Wrote: I agree with the story first thing.
Cause it happened to me as well. But i noted the mistake very early.

Are you sure about the removal of custom stories on AMFP ?
Cause there must be a really good reason behind it.

It's not a smart decision at all considering the amount of cs it could get.
Players that got attracted by a cs may decide to actually buy the game to get to play the cs.
Am i wrong in this?

Jens confirmed the lack of custom story support here:
http://www.frictionalgames.com/forum/thr...#pid236182

I agree, it's unfortunate but I'm sure the assets from amfp can be used in the original Amnesia.

[Image: 9lkjf4.jpg]

06-19-2013, 12:25 PM
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WALP Offline
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#4
RE: Reflections on Obscurity

"Have the ENTIRE story planned out before starting the environments"


Good quote, but also be careful of the opposite, that is designing the story first, but in an environment that is too hard to pull of ,or as in my own case with Slender: Curse of hope, having too many different areas( it matters that they are different if you are making custom assets for them ).
Not being aware of this can be even worse because it will mean you will have to either sqeeze a bunch of story/events/etc into an area that was specifically made for certain aspects, or even worse that might be so hard you are simply stuck with the beginning of your story.
06-20-2013, 07:53 PM
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