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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Colour me impressed by this M’sian studio’s game debut that’s dark and complex

During the pandemic, we’ve been seeing an increase in Malaysian-made video games to assist hold issues attention-grabbing for us at dwelling, and it’s solely the start. 

But one game that appears to have fallen below the radar of bigger titles is Twelve Floors. It was launched in July 2021 by a bunch of native builders from the studio Station R Games. The developer who kickstarted it’s Ray Low, a mechatronics engineering pupil who hails from Rawang.

Ray’s ardour for creating video games all started after he participated in an area hackathon. He noticed groups engaged on options that concerned gamification, which him in making a world of his personal. 

Later, he began experimenting with Unity, a cross-platform game engine used to develop video video games for internet plugins, desktop platforms, consoles, and cell gadgets. 

His first few creations had been cell video games, however he felt they weren’t as much as his requirements. So he tried one thing completely different and wrote a brief story to create a game out of. Several months later, his brainchild, Twelve Floors, was born. 

Exploring a chunk of Ray’s thoughts

For Ray, Twelve Floors is a game with private which means to him, as he shared that he lacked confidence and character for a few years, and at one level felt that his identification was slipping away too.

He added, “Connecting and communicating with people has always been my weakness, but I hope this will turn into one of my strengths along this journey.” In a method then, this game displays a part of Ray’s personal journey, although he didn’t explicitly state in what method.

Upon studying his story and trying extra into the game, I used to be intrigued by the horror-esque theme of Twelve Floors and its design. I instantly made a purchase order, which value me US$3 or round RM12.70, which I discovered very cheap to assist a brand new game developer.

My first impression of the game was so much like an anime I watched, Angels of Death, the place the primary character wakes up in an unfamiliar place with little or no reminiscence of how she acquired there and has to battle her method out. It was primarily based on an indie game of the identical title.

Waking up in an unknown place with mysterious tapes

To be truthful, this premise is kind of widespread in most horror video games. One factor that did catch me off-guard, nonetheless, was after I started the game, entered a door subsequent to the elevator, and was instantly dropped at the game credit.

I believed it was a glitch however it seems that different players went by way of the identical factor too, so it was seemingly a “gotcha!” gimmick from the builders, which added some character to the game.

Disturbingly cute

The complete theme of the game is kind of dark, and some examples of disturbing scenes you’d come throughout embody severed human heads hanging from ropes. If you’re squeamish about such scenes and choose set off warnings earlier than making a purchase order, you might in all probability attain out to the group first.

Due to the artwork fashion, nonetheless, they weren’t too graphic, and I oddly discovered them cute. Perhaps I’ve a morbid facet to me.

That acquired dark fairly quick…

For a game this simple-looking, it was a deal with to listen to that there was voice-acting, carried out by Malaysians, no much less. The character designs don’t fairly stand out, however the hand-drawn environments had been fairly fantastically rendered.

Feeling misplaced and in search of solutions

Despite being a game with an emphasis on story, I needed to say that I felt fairly misplaced more often than not. To determine my very own story, I needed to work together with different kids whose relationships with me had been unclear. One factor all of them had in widespread was useless mother and father, together with my very own playable character, Curtis, a minimum of in line with the opposite characters.

Everyone retains talking about this “incident” which the primary character has no clue of

After Curtis first wakes up, he’ll discover 4 tapes that he can’t watch but till he defeats the bosses within the game. You can slash vials with sparkly liquid in them that grant you additional lives. 

The major a part of the video games are these massive fights you’ll uncover on completely different flooring, like combating a helicopter that drops bombs, combating a bulldog, combating even one in all your folks, and what looks like a claw machine game the place you need to save frogs. Once you’ve accomplished these 4 major challenges, you’ll be capable of play the thriller tapes. 

In all honesty, these felt like a fever dream and I’ll admit that it was exhausting for me to see the connection between these fights and the general massive image of the story, a minimum of throughout them. That being mentioned, they had been nonetheless thrilling to have interaction in as a result of I personally take pleasure in battles like these. 

The massive reveal

I had an inkling that these tapes had been associated to the “dead parents” that the characters stored referring to within the game, and in fact, I used to be dying (no pun meant) to know what had occurred to my dad, and what function I performed in it.

It was solely after I watched these tapes that I realised how every thing was tied collectively within the game, particularly concerning the primary battles that earlier felt like a fever dream. Without spoiling an excessive amount of, they represented key parts of the battle every character had with their mother and father. Later on, a serious plot twist involving Curtis’ personal expertise was additionally revealed.

The level at which issues lastly start making sense

Overall, I do suppose that it was a well-developed game by way of its graphics, storyline, interactivity, and so forth. for the studio’s first game. The in-game world was additionally complex sufficient with all of the completely different flooring that made it a thought-provoking problem.

The solely hiccup I’d say I skilled all through was that typically, Curtis turns into motionless and I can solely transfer him utilizing the slash button, and I’d should stop and re-enter the game each time this hiccup happens. 

While the game left me at a degree of suspense concerning Curtis and his father’s destiny, I nonetheless felt some type of closure for many of the questions I had whereas enjoying the game, which I used to be joyful about.

This quick and easy game is simply the beginning for Station R Games, and I definitely see potential within the group’s future creations. While complicated at first, every thing unfolded in a satisfying method, and the group may leverage their story-telling expertise for different video games too.

At the second, Station R Games is already engaged on a brand new game known as Night on the Clownville which appears like one other horror game, although it’s taking a special flip from Twelve Floor’s design and mechanics. It is a first-person shooter (FPS) survival game, so it’ll be attention-grabbing to see what it brings to the desk by way of story.

  • You can be taught extra about Twelve Floors right here
  • You can examine extra native video games we’ve coated right here.

#Note-Author Name – Faye Lee

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