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Amnesia Postmortem

Amnesia postmortem on the Frictional Games Website reflecting on the first week of availability of the survival horror game from the creators of the Penumbra series (thanks joao). The post outlines a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that, as is reflected by comments in the forums here, the game has been very well received, both by critics, and by gamers, as reviews from both have even exceeded their optimistic expectations. The bad news is that sales of the game are trailing a little below the level they need to remain in business, expressing concern that a day 0 pirate version of the game was available 24 hours before its retail release, as apparently some unscrupulous website leaked their review copy. Here's part of their assessment of this situation: "This is of course not all the income we will make from the game, but is still a bit discouraging when comparing to recent XBLA releases and similar. So why is [sic] not sales [sic] higher? Piracy? People waiting for future massive discounted sales? Game too scary / niched? Right now we have not got a clue, but hopefully it will become clearer further on." Here's their conclusion:

On almost all fronts, we area extremely pleased with this release. It has in many ways exceeded our expectations and it makes all the hard work, pay cuts, etc worth it in the end.

The most distressing thing is the sales though. Even though we are far from complaining, it feels like we do not have the financial security we would like to have, to truly be able to focus on making the best game possible. So what should we do? The things we have discussed include: Increase the cost of the game, doing a console port instead of Linux/Mac, do a less niche title and more. Now is too soon to make a decision though and we have to see how the coming weeks and months go.

Finally, I know I say this a lot but we truly mean it: Thanks to all who have supported us by buying the game, spreading the word, and what not. We hope you all will continue supporting us in the future as well! All of Frictional Games sends their finest regards and thanks for this support!

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104 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 1.
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104. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 21, 2010, 10:18 Beamer
 
The beginning?

Actually, I pretty much loved the whole game. That "final third" that sucked really felt only like about 2 hours. I suppose it was longer, but it didn't feel like a third. And it didn't suck as much as expected - the whole part on the ship was a blast for me. Prior to that? Less so. Low gravity? Oh god, that part was tedious. It reminded me of making it to the Citadel in HL2, but there you were superpowerful, making the change in level design intriguing because there was a change in your powers. Here? It just sucked. Sucked hard.

I just couldn't stand the suit capabilities being all available from the very start. I felt like I had just brought the console down and enabled noclip, invisibility, and god mode.

See, I had some really tense battles where I'd sneak in, do something stupid, and run for my life trying to cloak. Or one very intense part where I was sneaking around a base with guys everywhere, a helicopter over me, half the buildings blown apart by the copter (while I was in them no less), and no missles. My health was constantly low, I was constantly in a panic, and it was pretty much the definition of urgent.
Not all the game was like that, of course, and as a whole I felt the game kind of lacked meat. I don't feel like I went to too many places or fought in too many battles.

I think you need to turn your sensitivity up maybe or practice the motion

You're talking to a guy that usually goes into the console to raise his sensitivity because often the options menu peaks out lower than I like it.

Perceived difficulty and lack of intuitiveness can be chalked up to opinion but claiming that it's useless is just wrong as others have pointed out. Okay okay, you said it might be useless

I said they should have demonstrated it wasn't useless in the demo.

I'm in a similar boat with just too much digital entertainment. On my plate is Mafia 2, Amnesia, Civ 5, Battlestar Galactica (finally watching and loving this), Boardwalk Empire, Always Sunny, missed Futurama eps, Weeds, unfinished Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2, and of course the Daily Show. Plus like 6 weddings between now and spring. And I worked 12 hours today. Good thing I don't have to take care of a home or lawn.

Real life sucks. I miss being in school and having only to make time for video games, sleep and girls. I don't think I'll get to Boardwalk Empire until later this week.

Almost 6 pages of bitching and half a hundred posts from beamer to say he doesnt much enjoy this game, ok we got the point, move on

No one will let me! Haha.

You should probably leave it unopened and buy the vastly superior PC version instead.

When I bought it at launch I didn't have a PC that'd run it.
Now I do, so there's a decent chance I may.
Of course, the computer's in the office, which is kind of dark by the time I get home and the sun has moved to the other side of the apartment and, thanks to the PC, the room is kind of warm, yet the tv is in a perpetually bright and sunny room that's covered in windows. Hard to pry me from that. Except for games that need darkness. Like the half an hour I played of Amnesia!
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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103. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 21, 2010, 05:14 Cram
 
I want to give props to everyone that brought up and supported Thief in this thread (particularly Thief 3 and Shalebridge). Unfortunately, in the past on Bluesnews, Thief 3 has a horrible reputation for various reasons I've never agreed with. There really has been so much bitching about that game due to its ports, among other things, that I too have felt the need to defend it (the PC version) against the masses. Amazing game, hidden away within an amazing franchise.

I think that is what has happened here against Amnesia. The thing is, I just can not agree with or relate to the negative issues that have been brought up against it (Amnesia). From those that have tried to articulate their complaints, or to those that are blatant trolls that I hope Blue bans immediately.

When one asks (more or less) "why should I play this game when I have better games to play?", I have to ask this: Why are you even posting then? What is the point; it has been determined that your unfortunate experience/or lack of fitting into the niche of this title will not deter from those that had a positive experience or change your own mind about this game so why continually post about not having the time or desire to play this game? Resist the need to have to respond to a post that counters your opinion, because (especially on Bluesnews) no ones mind/opinion is going to change at the hand of a forum post. This goes for those that support Amnesia as well, consider the fact that those non-trolls that have articulated themselves well enough in this thread aren't against this game, the developer or the genre itself but just feel the game lacks (or contains) what they are looking for (or not looking for).


To get back on topic, I support Frictional but I really wonder what may or may not be going on in their heads over there. What were your sales projections...really? For a game with LITERALLY no pre-release marketing. On top of that, little re-playability and, as I mentioned in another thread, somewhat short play time and no level editor upon release. Several mainstream websites still have not covered your game, reviewed it or have even mentioned it. You reached #2 on Steam, that is a remarkable achievement for the lack of $$$ you put into getting info on this game out there. I only bought this game because of absolute random word of mouth (Jerykk few months back).

As others have stated, a bit more play-time and a more decent ending(s) would have made this a worthy $30 title.





This comment was edited on Sep 21, 2010, 05:30.
 
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102. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 21, 2010, 04:15 Zoom
 
Almost 6 pages of bitching and half a hundred posts from beamer to say he doesnt much enjoy this game, ok we got the point, move on.
as for amnesia developers. I want more, please. Or make something like Thief which has no planned successor really. Steampunk, Lovecraft, ancient dark gods, victorian era orphanages converted into asylums, you get the picture. Take note from Looking Glass games on how to give the player a feeling of total freedom. You have the game engine and talent, you're so close to have a genuine cult title, all it takes is some little tweaking, you could become the new Looking Glass with hopefully a better outcome than they had, take lesson from them and dont spread out your talent.
 
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101. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 21, 2010, 02:27 Jerykk
 
Borrowed this from NKD

Jerykk wrote on Apr 11, 2010, 04:07:
In multiplatform development, games are designed for one platform.

Ah yes, the wonders of quoting out of context. Here, I'll provide the context for you.

In multiplatform development, games are designed for one platform (the lead platform) and then ported to the others during development. Most games use 360 as the lead SKU, which means the bulk of development focuses on that platform. Playtesting is done on that platform. Demonstrations are done on that platform. The artists, designers, animators and scripters test their work on that platform. In fact, the only people who regularly work on the other platforms are programmers and QA. As a result, the platforms that aren't the lead suffer because the game isn't really designed for them. Such is the unfortunate reality of multiplatform development.

Consider yourself enlightened.
 
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100. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 21, 2010, 00:07 everyone
 
Wow, nerd wars and spin doctors!

Borrowed this from NKD

Jerykk wrote on Apr 11, 2010, 04:07:
In multiplatform development, games are designed for one platform.

 
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99. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 23:30 Jerykk
 
Argh. I knew it. No, not everything was scripted, Jerryk. It wasn't a movie. Not at all. But I know it makes no sense to argue with you.

Please specify the parts of the game that weren't scripted and linear. If you can do that, your argument will be more convincing. If you can't do that then you're right: there's no point in arguing with me.

I still have Dragon's Age unopened for the Xbox

You should probably leave it unopened and buy the vastly superior PC version instead.

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2010, 23:48.
 
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98. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 22:15 Eldaron Imotholin
 
MrBone wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 20:02:

Kettle, dude. Looks like your scripting needs a little debugging.

It's either that, or maybe not everybody's motherlanguage is English. Stunning realization, aye? Let me guess... American?

Just throwing it out there.

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2010, 22:22.
 
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Playing: Skyrim, World of Warcraft.
Future: Dead Space 3.
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97. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 21:09 Sepharo
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 20:36:
[Crysis] I'm at the part where the game gets bad.

The beginning? Rotfl

I just couldn't stand the suit capabilities being all available from the very start. I felt like I had just brought the console down and enabled noclip, invisibility, and god mode.

Regenerating health irks me, but invisibility and low gravity bore me.


Back on topic. I can respect that Amnesia isn't your genre, I wasn't able to convince most of my friends to buy it either (which is usually easy for me). But it just baffles me that you think opening the doors is difficult or unintuitive. I think you need to turn your sensitivity up maybe or practice the motion. I don't really even hold the mouse button down the whole time, it's more of a flick of the wrist and closing is just a right click to slam.

Perceived difficulty and lack of intuitiveness can be chalked up to opinion but claiming that it's useless is just wrong as others have pointed out. Okay okay, you said it might be useless

I'm in a similar boat with just too much digital entertainment. On my plate is Mafia 2, Amnesia, Civ 5, Battlestar Galactica (finally watching and loving this), Boardwalk Empire, Always Sunny, missed Futurama eps, Weeds, unfinished Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2, and of course the Daily Show. Plus like 6 weddings between now and spring. And I worked 12 hours today. Good thing I don't have to take care of a home or lawn.

ramblin ramblin
 
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96. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 20:36 Beamer
 
I think we all understand what you're saying, even with the multiple contradictions

Name'm.

One last thing to you: I'm kinda like StingingVelvet, in where I basically enjoy every solid, good game no matter what the genre.

It's not that I didn't enjoy it.
It's that I don't have time to play a game I moderately enjoy when there are so many out there I'll greatly enjoy.

Why should I play a good game when I have a huge stack of great games that I haven't touched yet? Hell, I just installed Crysis on Friday. I'm 3 years behind! Although, from what I understand, I'm at the part where the game gets bad. If true, well, I'm huge into Civ again, to the point that I don't even plan to buy Civ V for a few months because I'm having as much fun with Civ IV as I ever have.

Something needs to be incredible to pull me away from Civ IV at this point. "Good" isn't going to cut it. I still have Dragon's Age unopened for the Xbox, plus I want to play Halo Reach co-op with few buddies eventually. And man, I still have last week's episodes of Always Sunny and Venture Brothers to catch up on, as well as that new HBO show. Plus I've got 3 books I purchased last week sitting around. And I've got my first date since I moved to middle America. And I have time for none of this tonight because I brought a whole bunch of work home.

Where do I find time for games that are merely "good" to me?

 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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95. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 20:17 Overon
 
Amnesia the dark descent is by far that creepiest game I have ever played. It must current generation survival horror to shame. And it was made by a smaller team with less money. The environment is really second to no other game. Imagine how graphically beautiful they could have made it if they had more money to spend? This game epitomizes gameplay, plot, and environment over graphics.

This is real survivor horror. Game developers take note, this is how you do survival horror. Not with guns.

These guys have talent and they should be rewarded. I wish they could have made more money off of it...
 
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94. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 20:02 MrBone
 
Eldaron Imotholin wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 17:49:
El Pit wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 16:59:

Argh. I knew it. No, not everything was scripted, Jerryk. It wasn't a movie. Not at all.

Something being scripted doesn't always mean it's a cutscene. More often than not a scripted sequence takes place when we have full control of our character. Think Call of Duty, for example. That's one big script though people are so fucking stupid they think the AI is
If you ask me, you're the pot calling the cattle black here. I've played Call of Cthulu too and it was impossible to complete the game without firing your weapon. It is that simple fact that makes your statement untrue indeed.


Kettle, dude. Looks like your scripting needs a little debugging.
 
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93. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 19:48 StingingVelvet
 
I encountered a game-breaking bug in Amnesia, my gun reticule never appeared!  
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92. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 17:49 Eldaron Imotholin
 
El Pit wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 16:59:

Argh. I knew it. No, not everything was scripted, Jerryk. It wasn't a movie. Not at all.

Something being scripted doesn't always mean it's a cutscene. More often than not a scripted sequence takes place when we have full control of our character. Think Call of Duty, for example. That's one big script though people are so fucking stupid they think the AI is awesome or whatever.

If you ask me, you're the pot calling the kettle black here. I've played Call of Cthulu too and it was impossible to complete the game without firing your weapon. It is that simple fact that makes your statement untrue indeed.

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2010, 22:14.
 
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Playing: Skyrim, World of Warcraft.
Future: Dead Space 3.
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91. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 17:33 Kosumo
 
Please, for the sake of Beamer, can someone please dumb down this game with press button to open door patch (maybe the HOME key could just take you to the end credits)

Your not much of a gamer if you struggle to adapt to a slight change in you COD control system.
 
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90. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 16:59 El Pit
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 15:43:
And nowhere, absolutely nowhere did I write "DCotE always gave you a choice."

Here's what you said: And those developers let me play the way I wanted to, and did not push me to play it the way some developer wanted me to, like in "Amnesia" or "Penumbra" (RUN! RUN! RUN! Don't stomp on the head of the unconscious undead dog! DON'T! LET IT STAND UP AND HUNT YOU AGAIN!).

You clearly state that that the developers did not push you to play DCotE the way the developers wanted you to play it. However, the game was completely linear and scripted so your statement was incorrect. The developers force you to shoot enemies during sequences of the game. You have no choice in the matter. You may enjoy shooting more than hiding but that doesn't change the fact that DCotE had mandatory combat.

And just to clarify, I never said I didn't like Call of Cthulu. I said I would have liked it more without the forced combat.

Argh. I knew it. No, not everything was scripted, Jerryk. It wasn't a movie. Not at all. But I know it makes no sense to argue with you. You got only 2 rules:

1. I'm always right. Everybody else is wrong.
2. If I should be wrong (which happens very, VERY often), rule number 1 kicks in.

That's why I won't bother. Here's a banana as a peace offer:
http://www.gifsoup.com/view/1002798/bananaslap-o.gif

Goodnight.
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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89. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 16:15 Eldaron Imotholin
 
I hate to break it to you, El Pit, but Jerykk is right.

As for Beamer, to ME it looks like you yourself don't understand your own motive why you're still posting in this topic. I think we all understand what you're saying, even with the multiple contradictions. One last thing to you: I'm kinda like StingingVelvet, in where I basically enjoy every solid, good game no matter what the genre. From all the games I've played in my life, Amnesia is by far the most scariest and it gave to me an experience that was new to me (never in my life did I cought myself holding my breath, grabbing my hard in a paranoid state thinking it'd shut off, etc). It was amazing. As one gamer to another I really recommend you to give it one last try. Just start up that game at night and play for an hour or so. I can hardly believe you won't get hooked.

As for Blue's topic... the devs brought this baby home, whether it's people's type of game or not. It'd be a damn shame if remaining in business isn't guaranteed.

 
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Playing: Skyrim, World of Warcraft.
Future: Dead Space 3.
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88. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 15:43 Jerykk
 
And nowhere, absolutely nowhere did I write "DCotE always gave you a choice."

Here's what you said: And those developers let me play the way I wanted to, and did not push me to play it the way some developer wanted me to, like in "Amnesia" or "Penumbra" (RUN! RUN! RUN! Don't stomp on the head of the unconscious undead dog! DON'T! LET IT STAND UP AND HUNT YOU AGAIN!).

You clearly state that that the developers did not push you to play DCotE the way the developers wanted you to play it. However, the game was completely linear and scripted so your statement was incorrect. The developers force you to shoot enemies during sequences of the game. You have no choice in the matter. You may enjoy shooting more than hiding but that doesn't change the fact that DCotE had mandatory combat.

And just to clarify, I never said I didn't like Call of Cthulu. I said I would have liked it more without the forced combat.

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2010, 15:53.
 
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87. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 15:29 El Pit
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 20, 2010, 15:07:
Obviously we did play the same game, but FOR YOU it would have been a much better game without FOR YOU "forced" action sequences.

Um, it's not an opinion that the game forced you to shoot enemies during several parts of the game. It was completely scripted and confrontation was unavoidable. You said that DCotE always gave you a choice but that isn't true.

Jerykk, please, not again. Your opinion is obvious with sentences like "the game forced you to..." and so on. And nowhere, absolutely nowhere did I write "DCotE always gave you a choice." It's nowhere, I never wrote it. Just don't start your "But I am ALWAYS right" postings again. Just let it be. You got an opinion, other people got an opinion. You don't like "Cthulhu", I don't like "Amnesia". We're both "right." Just let it be, okay? It absolutely makes no sense going to war again with "No, but I gotta be right, and you gotta be wrong." You're doing this in every thread like a scratched record. Please don't.
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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86. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 15:07 Jerykk
 
Obviously we did play the same game, but FOR YOU it would have been a much better game without FOR YOU "forced" action sequences.

Um, it's not an opinion that the game forced you to shoot enemies during several parts of the game. It was completely scripted and confrontation was unavoidable. You said that DCotE always gave you a choice but that isn't true.

Making the controls as unintuitive as possible is a mechanic in these games and one I've never enjoyed.)

There's a big difference between tank controls and using a mouse to manipulate objects. Tank controls are not intuitive because in real life, you can walk sideways. The prerendered backgrounds and inconsistent camera angles also had the effect of flipping directions around, so pressing up wouldn't always move your character up the screen.

But I really don't see how you can call Amnesia's control scheme "unintuitive." You pull your mouse down to pull objects. You push your mouse up to push objects. That's the very definition of intuitive.

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2010, 15:16.
 
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85. Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 20, 2010, 15:01 Beamer
 
Bought it and loving it. Not sure why all the negativity.

I'm not even being negative. I didn't like one aspect of the game, and due to the genre of the game not particularly liking one common part is enough to push me away. I have Crysis to finally play. I have Civ IV still unmastered after hundreds of hours and Civ V coming out tomorrow. I have maybe, on average, 20 minutes a day to game.

I'm not going to put it into a game that seems kind of cool but kind of frustrating.


If I really wanted to be negative I'd say the inconsistent, poorly controlled leaping from box to box to avoid water without a good sense of where you're landing or how far you're jumping, combined with the fact that sometimes you're right in front of a box hitting jump and somehow not going onto the box turns the game into a really crappy platformer, like a poor man's Mario 64, but I assume that was one very small part of the game. I absolutely hated this part, and it was also enough to make me uninstall the demo, but I'm not judging the game on it. I'm still considering it one of the best survival horror games I've played. I just do not like survival horror. I'm not even doing what some are doing and trying to say it should have been an action game and not a survival horror game. We have plenty of action games, and it isn't like this is a near-miss that should have been mildly tweaked to be an action game and would have been better for it.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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