Thursday, June 28, 2012

Goodbye Sanity Falls - ramblings and spoilers from the creator

Dear Peas, 

A little note from the creator, as we're getting close to the end of Sanity Falls. *sigh* 
At this very moment we have 3070 players and it's just blowing me away. 
Sanity Falls is likely the last hunt of this scale and I truly hope that you have enjoyed it. In the future we're focusing on more bigger adventure games as well as smaller monthly hunts. 
From Sunday on the access to the island will be closed, so make sure to enjoy till it lasts. 

Just to make sure you've caught all parts of the storyline, keep reading.. if you haven't completed the game yet, stop now! 

Did you stop?


  (¸¸.•´ ¯¨•.¸¸`•** (WARNING, SPOILERS HERE)  **•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.¸¸)

Without further explanations some parts and tricky puzzles explained below: 

1. This game was inspired by one of my favourite movie of all times, The Game. A man buys a live-action game as a birthday present to his brother who thinks he's got it all and doesn't appreciate it one bit.

My goal was to truly immerse the player into the shoes of Alexander Blackwell, desperate to save his wife forgetting his other worries in life. As this game was done as a hunt, it loses some of the gameflow naturally, but all in all, I felt we managed to succeed to let the player experience a range of emotions and based on your feedback the timer surely freaked some people out. The timer as you know by now, is only there to measure your progress AND drive you crazy.. 

Any resemblance to Alan Wake - apart from the bridge is purely coincidental. Those who know me (and whine at me about it..) know that I'm not a big gamer myself.. I panic already playing Pacman.. Tetris and Mario Kart are plenty of excitement for me. :) My inspirations came from the Game and Twin Peaks - the most amazing tv show there ever was.
Saying this, it's a huge honour to be compared to Alan Wake, as we play in a very minor league compared to those big guys. So, let's go to the spoilers, shall we.. 

2. The biggest hint of all is Livea's name.. as you are starting this Livea = Alive. :)

3. If you check the guest book in the tavern, you will find out three things: 
 - EE Logo - you see this in many many many places in Sanity Falls. Sanity Falls is a ghost town that the EE company (EE = Extreme Experiences) took as their base for the live-action games and built part of it up again. 

During non-game time they live in the houses and there are traces of this left.. Ice cream in the Butcher's freezer.. a washing machine with EE sock left inside it.. EE coffee cup in a cottage etc.

- Rune Bellic rented cottage number 1 - if you search for his profile, you realize that he's the EE employee of the month and looking at this picture, he's the person who tortured/killed Livea. 
In the final video you see Livea and Rune having beers together in the tavern. ;) Rune was brought in, as he's excellent with torturing and acting.  

- Livea and Alex live in cottage 3. If you go and search Cottage 3, you will find Alex' journal and read about his life. How stressed out and paranoid he was before coming to Sanity Falls. Paranoia however.. he was on to something as the EE agents were following him for months, making sure he can handle his 'game'. 

4. Phone spell! WOOT! Did I tell you how I love ciphers.. well, phone spell is pretty awesome. 

So like spelling HELP, look at your keypad on your phone and the numbers above those letters.. it comes to 4357. 

Phone spelling was used a lot in this game. ALL the phonenumbers that you dialled from the posters actually.. guess what? Yes, they spell the store names! That explains why some of them were so short and some long. For example 662-847 = Noctis.

5. And now the things that have driven you completely insane: 

* The VAULT.. dun dun duuuun...  It wasn't necessary to do this, but so many of you tried and made it... woot! I truly admire determination and there were many funny moments.. my favourite was when our baddie voiceover guy was stuck inside the vault shouting at ppl in voice to help him or he will force them to 'Play a game' and other sentences not suitable for printing.. 

Ok, so entering the room where the vault is.. there are images of the bank managers on the wall. Look at their names and the dates. 

1. Harrison Greene 1925 -1936
2. Eleanor Browne 1936 - 1938
3. Violet Dresden 1938 -1948
4. Beau Bloodsaw 1948 -1956
5. Amber Young  1956 -1959
6. Earl Grey  1959 -1969

This translates to.. 
Colour code for keypad:
= 526140

* Keypad 1 at EE HQ
 storage room door whispers: You have entered the EE underground facilities. Please use keypad to OPEN the door.

You literally have to OPEN the door. Using the phonespelling.. 
O =6
P =7
E =3
N =6

enter :D

* Keypad2 at EE HQ
Door whispers: Welcome to Extreme Experiences, Alex. Did you realize what the population of this place spells? That's right, Alex, this was a setup just for you. Now enter that digit to go in and get answers.  

Yes this was easier.. the number is on our website and the signs all over the town. 
7767. That's what you have to key in.. but if you wanna look at phonespelling again 
7767 = PROP. 

6. Dreamscenes

The dreamscenes are meant to describe what's going on inside Alex' head.
One of the scenes actually sent me in the bathroom to throw up while we were making it = definite approval.. Harter was pleased. 

If you haven't played the game and want to see the surreal settings, try THIS and THIS

7. Inside EE HQ

Oh wait.. actually getting there. DO NOT JUMP OFF The bridge. Just click Alex' ghost and wait. Let it animate you and place you to the right location.. don't be impatient..

Notice the monitors? The images are of the various surveillance cameras around Sanity Falls.. you were being watched the whole time.. 

Find two pieces of paper.. one addressed to Rune Bellic.. the supervisor of EE from Alex' doctor who's evaluated him to be perfectly fit to the game and with a 85% probability will jump off the bridge if he loses Livea under certain circumstances.

Alex realizes this.. "They were testing me?! I guess they had to find out how to push my buttons and what I was capable off. What an amazing plan.. I'm now quite tempted to kill Livea myself for putting me through this.. "

This actually leads me to a blog that's been my favourite write up of Sanity Falls. Scroll all the way down.. 

Once you've clicked your first final prize, you'll get a little video message from Livea.

That's it! Or is it.. 

As a little extra I wanted to give you all some of our famous Finlandia vodka. ;)

Now, if I didn't have the amazing team I had... the following things would have happened: 
 - Open the EE manhole lid.. get blown up and die - tp home.
 - Jump off the bridge - die - tp home.
 - Bank puzzle, a couple of posters in the vault, and not possible to tp in without solving the puzzle.. 
- Try to leave the island with the boat - Game over, restart. :P

They managed to twist my arm to be nice.. but just wait for the next big game.. I'll convince them all with my super evilness.. muahahaha..  

Our special Eolene added some humorous touch all over the island too that cracked us up.. we have 'Twisted' game in one of the houses, a blow up doll in a window.. a totally hilarious poster of Lionel Richie 'Hello, is it me you're looking for'..  and  several little easter eggs around the sim. :) Oh, and please walk around those bushes that make noise.. it took hours and hours to plant them.. :D 

Oh, and one more thing.. I've been asked.. Kiana, who's Brett??? 
That's of course Brett Linden, our super amazing MadPea supporter and we so love him. :D

Seeing your story come to life is a feeling that just makes you so incredibly humbled, having over 3000 people playing it = priceless.

Sanity Falls was truly created with love, passion and all kinds of bodily fluids. 
My sincere thanks go to everyone involved in the creation process.. 
MadPea Crew Hunt Creators
Madcow Cosmos
Smiley Dyrssen
Harter Fall
Midgard Ibanez
Clicquot Oh
paramparamm Papp
Lorin Tone
Eolene Uralia

with special thanks to
Zachh Barkley (Co-writing, xplosive fx)
Colin Nilsson (Video & Alex voiceover)
Yelena Istmal (Furniture and interior design)
Jaimy Hancroft (Alex avatar = skin, shape, clothes, boots & accessories)
Electronic Mode (SF poster & 'blueprints')
Geoffrey Xenobuilder (scripting madness)
Sebastien Aries (Alex hair)
Cold Frog (styling assistance)
House (Baddie voiceover)
Waghorne Truss (creative assistance)
Rowanessque Whitewood (blogs)
Quan Lavender (blogs)
Nomica Juliesse (creative assistance)
Fuzz Difference (stand by scripting assistance)
Tichelle Teebrook (vendor wrangling assistance)
Fatty Kidd (laundromat build)
Bo Depretes (video music)
Arduenn Schwartzman (mirror fx)

and our ever amazing sponsor
Cha Klaar

as well as the 50 amazing stores and their fabulous owners and all of you green little things. 

Thank you! I promise the next adventure will be even better..

Kiana & the hundreds of ticking clocks in Sanity Falls.. (or maybe the ticking was just in your head...)

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait for the next adventure. It's the first time I had so much fun in a hunt. The prizes were awesome too.