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Eight Hours by Troll Purse

Get It From Any Below

Read on For Latest Updates, This Original Post is out of Date.

Brief
So I have decided to make games under the guise of Troll Purse. Eight Hours is my first game I plan on finishing all the way through. I have a WIP MVP to see if people will want to play it. I have worked on average 2 hours a week for 2 years (very slow progress). I plan on doing a soft release Oct 31, 2017, 3:33 AM. Links can be found else where. After that release continued work will move forward if several (determined by myself) modest metrics are met. These minimum metrics are:

  • 7,000+ downloads
  • 14,000+ total hours played within 2 months of release

So, here goes:
AppLogo.png

Eight Hours
Eight Hours is the horrifying debut game from Troll Purse. It features you as Bob Norm, a paranormal investigator. At your request, the owner has locked you in the house for the duration of the investigation. Now, it is up to you to discover the secrets of the haunting. You have eight hours - good luck and God speed.

Gameplay
Taking on the role of Bob Norm, a paranormal investigator, you will have the ability to setup equipment within a client’s “supposedly” haunted home for detecting paranormal activity. Such equipment involves infrared cameras, video cameras, EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomen) capture devices, and EVP pod detectors. As you play through the game you will experience various haunting events that may or may not harm you. The goal is to find evidence of a haunting before the night is over - a total of eight hours (real time). If you fail to do so, or any misfortunes befall you, the game is lost and you must restart from the beginning. Following the mechanics of horror games such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent and (more recently) Outlast II, the player will have no physical method of combating the entities. Rather, the player will have opportunities to detect the entity(ies) within the home for a chance to avoid it/them. Finally, you will have the ability to stay protected within lighted rooms, similar to how you may combat the ghost in Alan Wake using a torch or flare. However, the entity(ies) have the ability to reach within the physical world and alter the state of the doors and the lights, reducing chances of escape and protection.

The entity(ies) can only harm you within darkened rooms. They will also only appear after a specific time of the night. Entity(ies) can only be ‘seen’ through a telltale shadow cast by lights from other rooms or the use of EVPs. Infrared cameras will also be excellent in providing visual hints as the the whereabouts of any or an Entity (if one exists). Detection of the entity(ies) will have improved difficulty throughout the game by reducing the detection resources (EVP pod detectors, Infrared cameras, etc.)

Visual Style
Eight Hours will use a realistic style of representing the world. Drafts of the current state are shown as an example. The majority of the game will take place within a dark environment with the ability to illuminate it.
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Audio Style
Eight Hours has a unique hook in regards to audio style. Apart from being devoid of music in game and only using environmental sounds, Eight Hours has another feature unseen in games. Troll Purse contacted a local Paranormal Investigation Group and secured real world EVPs for use within the game. NOTE: this may be an issue with those who are religious/superstitious/etc. as it is believed by some that the energy captured may invoke/excite energy within proximity of you. Due to the nature of the content, there is a warning issued at the startup of the game. Apart from that, various audio is in place to excite the player and entice a mood of dread. https://youtube.com/watch?v=jrYk6ZgQk5A

Potential Additional Features
The following are features are what I would like to add to the game immediately after release if the milestones are reached (in no particular order)

  • As you play through the game, you can also unlock the raw EVP audio files as a reward for playing the game.
  • Create a full game with multiple investigations - each with a unique storyline
  • Track progress by the hour as an optional feature for an ‘easy’ mode
  • Significantly updated graphical and audio assets.
  • Significantly updated lighting
  • Real World EVPs cleaned up for gameplay
  • Better Control Bindings
  • Less static object placement for dynamic gameplay and better player choice
  • Builds for PS4 and XBox One (low priority, more platforms = more testing)
  • Improved menus, 2D assets, and fonts

Any comments or additional thoughts would be much appreciated.

Get It From Any Below

A new update on the game. I have released a free demo on IndieDB that will get infrequent updates. You can purchase a demo on gamejoltor itch.io. The purchased version will get new releases up to and including the gold release and subsequent updates.

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I just got my indiedb game and files approved. There is now access to a free demowith time lapsed gameplay and reduced difficulty. This will allow you to play through a good portion of the game and see all the features. Try it out today and let me know what you think!

Well, it has been about a week since I have announced a early adoption demo release. Here are some quick stats in regards to that for Eight Hours.

Total Downloads (at the time of this writing) on IndieDB: 29
Highest popularity: mid 100s
Total Visits: 300+

I also have some exciting news in regards to the development of the game. From some feedback, I have started on coding the game logic for cameras and audio recorders to be placeable on any flat surface. This would be the same behavior as the EVP nodes for detecting the entity. I also added better AI for the entity within the game, after a few movement adjustments it will be ready for the next release. Finally, I unified the controls for placing EVP nodes to be the same input action as picking it up.

All of the afore mentioned changes will be in release 1.2 on IndieDB, gamejolt, and itch.io. The IndieDB demo version is available now, gamejolt and itch.io will be available on Oct. 31 at 3:33 AM.

If you have tried out the game, please leave some feedback, I would absolutely love to hear it!

Eight Hours Version 1.2 Demo
Today marks the upload of Version 1.2 of the Eight Hours Demo. It has all of the listed updates from the previous post. To make it easier, here are the updates that were included:

  • EVP nodes now have an updated sounds and better detection of entities
  • EVP nodes are place-able using the same action event as picking it up (Left Mouse Button by Default)
  • AI for the entity is fixed and will now pursue you

You can try it out here, on IndieDB: indiedb.com/games/eight-hours

Eight Hours v1.2 by Troll Purse (UPDATED)
If you haven’t tried it already, Eight Hours now has more reasons for you to enjoy it. It is Halloween time and have we got a Horror game for you! Take on the role of Bob Norm - Paranormal Investigator. Plus, with the version 1.2 update, we have more gameplay features and more excitement!

Version 1.2 contains a bug release and two new features that will knock your pants off! BUG FIXES
We have fixed a bug contained a glitch in the AI logic for Entities when they would hunt you down. This has been fixed, and now the game is more frightening that ever! FEATURE UPDATES
We also added the ability to actively capture the in game EVPs. Now you must walk to an area where you suspect there to be paranormal activity and turn on your EVP audio capture device (Hold [RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON] by default). This will enable a time span in which you will be able to capture paranormal voices speaking to you. Also, need we remind you that ALL the Electronic Voice Phenomenon captures within this game are sourced from REAL WORLD EVP CAPTURES from LOCALLY KNOWN PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS!? How energetic to say the least!

The final feature update is twofold. These updates include changing the controls for placing EVP Nodes (which will are renamed to REM pods) and the audio they play when an entity approaches. The REM pods may now be picked up and placed with the same command key ([LEFT MOUSE BUTTON] by default). The audio used for detecting approaching entities has been updated to an appropriate sound. We also kicked up the detection radius.

We are so excited to finally present Eight Hours to the public via these demo downloads. We are doing an Early Access (a word we dislike using – but gets the point across) release this year with plans to complete by October 2018. DOWNLOAD THE DEMO NOW
So, what are you waiting for? Why aren’t you playing? Scared already? We don’t blame you. BONUS FACTOIDS
The development of this game halted on several occasions due to the psychological impact it had upon members of the team. Want another fact? Members of the team experience a paranormal event during the development of this game. This happened within the very room the game is developed in. OUR DISCLAIMER IN THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME IS NO JOKE! You have been notified.

Originally posted on Troll Purse Dev Blog

Recently, Troll Purse made the decision to migrate from the cloud in Digital Ocean to Amazon Web Services for cloud and website services. There were several reasons behind this critical decision. These reasons are infrastructure, flexibility, and future plans.

https://www.gamedev.net/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/1000x474ximageproxy.php
Infrastructure

Digital Ocean has a nice setup. They have a slick looking User Interface, easy to find services, and awesome community driven documentation. Troll Purse quite liked Digital Ocean if not for a few issues regarding infrastructure in comparison to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Cost

Digital Ocean was not overly expensive. However, their base monthly rate ($5 / month + $1 / month for backups), was still higher than hosting a static website on AWS. This is because, to host a static website and blog, Digital Ocean achieves this via Droplets. This does not scale the wallet very well - especially if traffic started to boom. Digital Ocean only offers referral bonuses. So, if we were famous - we could potentially host everything for free. Big gamble at this moment.

AWS charges $0.50 / month forRoute 53 (DNS Name Servers) and a variable cost for S3 storage of our static website content. Based on traffic trends, the variable costs of AWS were a huge benefit. Finally, it helps that AWS offers a full year of various resources for free.

Continuous Delivery

Digital Ocean had a lot of APIs for Continous Delivery of our website, but it didn’t offer a full suite of solutions for proper Developer Operations. Digital Ocean would require a lot of extra Developer Operations overhead writing build and deployment scripts using their APIs. AWS integrates with Bitbucket and Github - two services we use for source control. AWS also offers managed build and deployment services that Troll Purse will be leveraging.

Architecture

Digital Ocean is limited to Droplets. This pales in comparison to AWS’s robust EC2, ECS, or serverless services. In AWS, Troll Purse can decouple services and code for various solutions. To do the same distributed computing in Digital Ocean as Troll Purse is enabled to do in AWS would require a significant investment in architecting infrastructure. In AWS, this is vastly done for Troll Purse - once an architecture is designed, only configuration of the services need to be done.

With Digital Ocean, Troll Purse had to setup an Nginx server for serving static website content. It did not scale well (without more invested time in building an architecture and more configurations) as all content was stored on that server. In AWS, Troll Purse can distribute web content using Cloud Front for CDN and server static content from S3. Totally serverless and decoupled from the blogging platform and the forum servers (the latter is yet to be deployed).

Flexibility

In Digital Ocean it was difficult to manage servers and logical groupings of services. AWS offers tagging of resources and services to help better monitor health, costs, and grouping of application services built and provided by Troll Purse.

Unfortunately, Digital Ocean does not offer the robust services and infrastructure needed for a company built with development speed in mind. A lot of services need to be hand crafted, as well as servers. This slows development efforts and makes iterative development a nightmare. Using small, simple services each with a specific purpose in mind, Troll Purse is better able to develop an experiment based on the offerings provided by AWS.

Digital Ocean only provides five real services, Compute, Object Storage, Block Storage, Networking, and Monitoring. Each of these are small in comparison to comparable AWS services such as Compute Services (ECS or EC2), Storage, Virtual Private Cloud (Networking), and Cloud Watch (Monitoring). In AWS each of those services / categories work with each other or are umbrellas to a myriad of other flexible offerings.

Finally, AWS has way more to offer - just take a look!

Future Plans

After much discussion, Troll Purse concluded our future development needs will be implemented faster and scale naturally in AWS over Digital Ocean. While we enjoyed our brief experience with Digital Ocean, we are excited to build using AWS as our cloud and hosting provider.

While we do not plan to build anything with Lumberyard now, we have some exciting projects that will easily leverage the power of AWS. Such projects are backend analytics of our games using Amazon API Gateway, Lambda, and data services. We also hope to build an integrated environment so that each game shares common interfaces into our development and publishing environment.

Conclusion

While this blog post is mostly given as an explanation of our tactical decision to migrate to AWS, Troll Purse hopes it will serve as guidance to future developers facing the same decisions. We found that AWS provides a lot for small and large companies when it comes to infrastructure, flexibility, and accommodating future plans.

Originally posted on Troll Purse Dev Blog

Yeah my favourite Epic models package

I agree. As stated in the original post. This is more of a technical preview than a representation of the final product in regards to assets. As it stands, we have been purchasing stock content from the wonderful creators in the marketplace to help remove specific Epic created content.

Other than that, have you had a chance to play the game? I plan on dropping version 1.3 release preview anytime now and if there are small changes that are needed, that would be awesome to hear about! Thanks!:slight_smile:

Made a trailer. Could use some work, but here it is so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIXRySKh5DA

Released version 1.3.2, best version yet - all of the game play is there for you to demo

Eight Hours on itch.io
Eight Hours on gamejolt

Release version 1.4. Fixed some bugs and some cosmetic updates.

Eight Hours on itch.io
Eight Hours on gamejolt

TLDR: watch the video at the bottom if you don’t like demos

WHOA! It has been a super long time. So, let us catch up. First - what have we as a group been doing:

  • Built up some boring infrastructure and operations
  • Rewrote an entire game
  • Revamped all of Eight Hours
  • Started a collaboration

Some more on Eight Hours:

After a lot of internal debate, we decided it was best to update the Eight Hours Demo due to some glaring issues. A lot of these issues were as listed:

  • it took to long to get to the core of the game in the demo
  • it was not obvious or learnable to navigate teh game controls
  • it was too dark - people couldn’t see in the game!

We also saw some opportunity to update a lot of game play controls and reoccurring issues due to our original code. So with that we also updated a bunch of developer workflows and game configurations, as well as these player facing features:

  • new custom dialogue added with subtitles (English only)
  • an actual entity model
  • totally rebuilt and better lit demo level
  • more natural progression of learning the controls
  • gamepad support for the PC
  • better audio
  • better player feedback for interactions within the game
  • actual win and losing conditions
  • JUMP SCARES!

As we were working on those elements we also identified a few more features that could make this into a full game! So we are actively working on fleshing out the game for a full release! What we hope to add is the ability to capture entities with a photograph and a video feed. We would also like to add achievements for all of the marketplaces we deploy to.

We have many great plans, but we can’t know if it is worth it without your feedback! Download the demo and give us your feedback. The newest demo is Available NOW

Wow, so many updates! Here is everything put together in a 10 minute video!

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Al0oSoxTFWQ

Eight Hours 3.2 Released!

Eight Hours has just been released version 3.2! This is an exciting time because it brings us one step closer to a full game! Eight Hours has been under development since 2016. If you want the full story, take a look at The Story of Eight Hours. Long story short, we have a lot of graphical updates, better AI, a whole ton of more gameplay, and enough challenges to push you towards the end of the game. Eight Hours really is starting to look like something special! Hey, just like you! Read on to see the details on the updates. Not patient, immediately below are links to the game.

https://trollpurse.com/images/eight_hours_banner.png

More In Game Lore

Eight Hours was lacking personality. So we gave it a chill pill and went ahead with adding some in game tutorials and hints about your equipment. If you pay close attention, you will notice that the game offers some hints as to what is going on. Can you make it through and decipher what we are trying to tell you about Eight Hours? We also tried to add some meaning to the Protagonist. We hope you can connect with a schlub like Bob Norm.

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/trollpurse/trollpurse-blog/master/images/eight_hours_light_switch_help.png

Spoopier Entity

A lot of feedback from YouTubers was that our entity was not scary. Yeah, it was lame. So we made it spookier by makier it sneakier and harder to detect. We also updated some of the animations, death sequences, and damage sequences. It turned out nice. We want to put more work into it, but we like what we have so far. Now, as far as a screen shot, that would ruin all the fun. So download the game now and find out for yourself!
More Equipment

We decided that to get into the groove of the game, you needed more to do. So rather than only capturing EVPs, you can now capture photos and video of the entity. This had been in work since February and we are pretty happy with the results. We will be putting some polish into the effects and overlay for our final iteration - however, it does give you a visual advantage within the game. Another note is that the equipment is only unlocked after progressing, so you have time to get used to each device.
Full Spectrum Camera

This camera will enable you to take photos of spectral incidents. It will also enable you to capture visitations of an entity. Use wisely, it takes a while for the hardware to process what it is “seeing”. Finally, keep in mind that using it interrupts spectral activity.

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/trollpurse/trollpurse-blog/master/images/eight_hours_fs_camera.png

Night Vision Camera

This is a standard night vision camera. Sometimes still photos are not enough to capture evidence of the supernatural. This is where the infrared of the night vision camera comes in handy. This will be used to capture entity activity in motion. Careful, it does not have the powers of the Full Spectrum Camera, so you are quite vulnerable while using it.

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/trollpurse/trollpurse-blog/master/images/eight_hours_nv_camera.png

Resource Management

If the entity, the spooks, and the mystery with the basement weren’t enough to stress you out - now we have resources. The two resources are medication and batteries. Of course, the resources are few, so use them wisely. They will not last you the night.
The Cursed Battery

Yes! We broke in and added f**king batteries. Sometimes it just makes sense and not doing it out of principle meant ruining gameplay so we went and added the forsaken batteries. The batteries are used to charge your EMF detectors as they now drain over time and when an entity is near. We aren’t happy about and will not hear any further of it.

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/trollpurse/trollpurse-blog/master/images/eight_hours_battery.png

Medication

Heal yourself of course! Mentally, not physically. Having overhauled how the entity interacts with you as a player, we also added medication to heal yourself after encounters. But, from what our doctor tells us… there is something off about these pills. Bob Norm doesn’t seem to notice.

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/trollpurse/trollpurse-blog/master/images/eight_hours_medication.png

What Are You Waiting For

Go on, play - get scared, it will be a blast!