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[Slender: The Eight Pages] 0.9.7 released, now with glow sticks!

Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
edited September 2012 in Games and Technology
I haven't seen a thread on this yet, and I did a search, so in a manner consistent with my love for all games horrific I present Slender for your consideration.




Slender is a free horror/exploration game developed by Parsec Productions based off of the Slender Man myth of Something Awful fame. Rather than trying to write a synopsis that doesn't do it justice, I'll refer to the one they wrote for themselves:
Slender is a short, experimental horror game in which you must travel into a dark woods at night, with a simple goal: find 8 pages that are scattered across the woods. But as you are looking for them, you are being stalked by an entity that grows more persistent and relentless as each page is collected, an entity that you cannot even look at for long, let alone fight. Your only hope is to collect all 8 pages before it catches you...

I know some people think that this game is a cheap thrill, and that it just kinda relies on jump scares to get the better of you, but I haven't been this freaked out by a game in a long time. Considering the cost of admission, the simplicity of the concept, and elegance of its execution I can't help but recommend this game to pretty much anyone with the stomach for a good scare.

Slender was developed with the Unity engine, which means that it is available on Mac OS X and Windows. The game is available on the fansite slendergame.com and is currently at v0.9.6 for both platforms. The game itself can be a little choppy, which is frustrating considering that it is not a graphical powerhouse, but it runs well enough on my 2009 Macbook Pro as long as I keep the settings low.

This concludes the non-spoilered parts of the OP. Below are some tips and videos about Slender that will probably make it a little easier and less terrifying off the bat, which I would recommend against reading if you have never played the game. Honestly, looking for a map online is a good way to figure out how to collect all eight pictures, but experiencing the disorientation and horror of exploring a dark forest is pretty awesome.

One freebie, non-spoiler tip I will give you is this: there is no way to pause the game. If you hit esc looking for a moment of respite, you'll have to start all over again.

Map:
slender_guide.jpg

Tips:
1. There are 10 landmarks and 8 photos.

2. I usually explore the centre of the map first so that I can get the tanks and bathrooms out of the way. They're convoluted enough that you can spend a lot of time looking at them before finding a picture (if there is one in either location), so getting those ones before SM gets really aggressive is a good move.

3. Apparently, spamming the sprint button draws more attention to the player, so sprint when you need to sprint and walk when you don't. I haven't confirmed this for myself though, so feel free to disregard that comment if you believe otherwise.

4. If you see SM, look at the ground and run the fuck away.

5. If you're in a position where you can't run the opposite direction from SM but you're far enough away that it won't get you, look at the ground. The static will usually dissipate and you can continue.

6. Apparently, if you find a picture in the tunnel there wont be one on the gas truck. I can't confirm that is true though.

7. SM only shows up after you collect the first page or enough time has passed. You don't have an infinite supply of free time before SM shows up, but if you are so inclined you have some freedom to explore before the drum beats begin. If you're the sort to draw maps, I would suggest using this time wisely.

I still have not gotten all 8 pages, but I'm trying. Lately I have been playing it with a co-pilot that guides me with the map that we drew together. I'm starting to get good enough that I don't think I'll need it anymore, but it's good to still have someone around. Lemme know what you guys think!

Drunk_caterpillar on

Posts

  • MorblitzMorblitz Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I was talked into playing this game today by my friend because I suppose he thought it would reduce me to a gibbering scared mess like what happens to most of the people that have youtube videos of them playing the game. Maybe I got off lightly, because I wasn't exactly tormented by the Slenderman like most people seem to be. I never really had a jump scare from him. He almost got me a couple times, the sudden spike in music and fuzzy screen made me jump and swear, but that's about it. He did finally get me, but I was more surprised at how suddenly I died. My friend linked me to a video illustrating what he was hoping to get out of the experience, heh. Sorry to disappoint.

    I think my friend got a bigger jump from his sms tone.
    Not to say the game isn't scary. it is. I think I got lucky for my first playthrough and made it out relatively unscathed. I was nervous throughout the whole play, though.

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  • Jurgen_Jurgen_ FinlandRegistered User regular
    This reduced me to a sobbing mess. I recorded my first/last try.
    It isn't pretty.

    Definitely one of the scariest times I've had with vidya.

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  • Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    I don't know about anyone else, but I'm finding that I get caught almost immediately after I get the fifth page. I'll grab the page, try to head to the next location, but on my way there I get tagged from behind. Maybe I'm not running enough?

  • SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    I haven't played it yet, but the model for the slenderman is the most hilarious unscary looking thing. It looks like a playdough man in a suit.

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I haven't played it yet, but the model for the slenderman is the most hilarious unscary looking thing. It looks like a playdough man in a suit.

    Yeah, it looks like it's made out of garbage bags. Everything else about the game is really pretty freaky but that is... not.

    Magic Pink on
  • Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    In stills it looks pretty goofy, but when you're walking around with the music playing and you have to find your way through that building and your flashlight is getting dimmer, it starts to matter less.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I haven't played it yet, but the model for the slenderman is the most hilarious unscary looking thing. It looks like a playdough man in a suit.
    You can say the same thing about a lot of monsters that are scary because you don't see them. The Amnesia monster has a silly expression. Jaws is obviously made out of rubber. In-game, you need to actively look away from Slenderman. What his model looks like when viewed straight up is more or less irrelevant.

  • SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I haven't played it yet, but the model for the slenderman is the most hilarious unscary looking thing. It looks like a playdough man in a suit.
    You can say the same thing about a lot of monsters that are scary because you don't see them. The Amnesia monster has a silly expression. Jaws is obviously made out of rubber. In-game, you need to actively look away from Slenderman. What his model looks like when viewed straight up is more or less irrelevant.

    The amnesia monster is terrifying looking and Jaws is clearly a shark. The slenderman model in this looks like an early 90s CGI cartoon that wants to teach me spanish and math. It would be significantly scarier if the thing chasing me was actually scary. Regular Slenderman is genuinely terrifying. That thing is hilarious.

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  • Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    This may eventually solve that problem...

    Slender: Source

    Drunk_caterpillar on
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    yeah i love slenderman videos and this sounds like a cool game, but i'll be waiting for a version where he doesn't look like one of the crash test dummies

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Seriously, how hard is it to make a figure of a person with no facial features that doesn't move?

  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    the first time i saw a video of the game i actually thought it was a joke

    everything looks great until you actually see the damn thing, and then it all falls apart

    seeing slenderman in the marble hornets videos actually makes scared, this has the opposite effect

    Local H Jay on
  • Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    So I found this list of changes that are coming for v0.9.7. You guys will be glad to see point #7:
    Things that I need to fix/change in Slender as of v0.9.6:

    1. I've been considering making the jog get gradually faster as each page is collected. However, if you wait around and let the chase level go up automatically, your speed would not go up with it.

    2. I haven't heard of significant framerate issues caused by leaving the fog on, so I may make the fog mandatory in a later update. However, I think I will make the wind effect (rustling the leaves) optional in its place.

    3. Right now, the wind is affecting the limbs of the dead tree, will fix that.

    4. I'm going to make SM chase you less in the early stages of the game, but get it back to normal chase speed as of 5 pages collected.

    5. Will probably remove the 1-second cooldown after jogging/sprinting, as it didn't fix the underlying issue. Instead, I'm going to try making stamina immediately drop by a small amount when you start jogging, but then drain at a slower rate. This will make short, frequent jogs more taxing, but long jogs a lot easier.

    6. I am considering allowing the player to select a different light source at the start of the game. One is the usual flashlight, with the usual battery drain. Another would be a glowstick, which has a shorter range of view but will last indefinitely (i.e., longer than the game). Finally, at home I have this lantern that doesn't use batteries or anything, but you have to crank it to produce power; I'm thinking of making something like that: a good light that has a very short battery life but you can crank it for more power whenever you get the opportunity (at the cost of a little stamina). If I do put this in, I'd probably make each light source unlockable somehow.

    7. SLENDER MAN MODEL. Note to self: I need to stop putting this off.

  • MonkcoonMonkcoon Registered User new member
    I think would help for making SM scarier in this game is to model him differently then how the rest of the surroundings are. Like how the game looks more or less realistic, give Slendy more of the Uncanny Valley feel to him.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I haven't played it yet, but the model for the slenderman is the most hilarious unscary looking thing. It looks like a playdough man in a suit.
    You can say the same thing about a lot of monsters that are scary because you don't see them. The Amnesia monster has a silly expression. Jaws is obviously made out of rubber. In-game, you need to actively look away from Slenderman. What his model looks like when viewed straight up is more or less irrelevant.

    The amnesia monster is terrifying looking and Jaws is clearly a shark. The slenderman model in this looks like an early 90s CGI cartoon that wants to teach me spanish and math. It would be significantly scarier if the thing chasing me was actually scary. Regular Slenderman is genuinely terrifying. That thing is hilarious.

  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    i just tried this
    it was better than i thought, but not by much

    seeing slendy on the edge of your vision was creepy but i always managed to just look the other way and just walk in a straight line until the static effect stopped
    if you get any static or see him at all, just go the opposite direction

    i made it to 5/8 pages before he just randomly grabbed me and i died i guess? that was dumb

  • Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    There are a lot of tricks required to get all 8 pages. I still haven't done it, but it is possible. The thing I didn't realise is that you have to look at Slender once you get up to four pages, just so you know where he is. Like you said, he just grabs you randomly sometimes but as long as you run from tree to tree while looking back to know where he is you can make a lot of progress. I try to run full speed until I run out of breath, then find Slender and keep a tree between us until my stamina returns, and then I start running again. The route I usually try to go in is:

    Tanks>building>silo>big rocks>cross wall>burnt trees>tunnel>tanker truck>portable + truck>creepy tree

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    i just tried this
    it was better than i thought, but not by much

    seeing slendy on the edge of your vision was creepy but i always managed to just look the other way and just walk in a straight line until the static effect stopped
    if you get any static or see him at all, just go the opposite direction

    i made it to 5/8 pages before he just randomly grabbed me and i died i guess? that was dumb

    For better or worse, being randomly grabbed (after he teleports) and losing the game? I think that's the point of it all.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    You know, as a game, Slender is...pretty not good...but I mean it's a weekend project for the guy.

    Where I find Slender to be very interesting is in the field of game mechanics as emotional tools. I think this is a space games is just starting to tap in to seriously, and is going to be THE SPACE where games differentiates itself from other mediums (and really it always has, but we are becoming sophisticated enough with the concepts to actually implement them on purpose, and not as some serendipitous accident).

    If you haven't done so, I really recommend you watch the last two Extra Credits episodes about Spec Ops: The Line. It deals with this concept, and talks about how mechanics as an actual driver of emotion can really separate games from other mediums. There are some Spec Ops spoilers in the series though, so if you haven't beaten Spec Ops and plan to, I'd avoid it.

    Here's a link to part 1: http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/spec-ops-the-line-part-1

    At any rate, I think it's a very interesting broader discussion to be had. Games like Spec Ops, Day-Z and Slender are really driving the conversation. I hope this is the start of a new golden age in gaming, where we really start to realize the potential of the medium...but lets not get ahead of ourselves. Slender as an experiment is very cool, and I hope the author keeps up with it.

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  • Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    A new version of Slender got released not too long ago, along with a new name. I haven't been able to try it out yet, but one of the biggest changes is that the infamous $20 mode is gone. I still haven't beat it yet, but there are new modes for it now that. Give you different light sources if you do.

  • captainspinifexcaptainspinifex Registered User new member
    I played it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnqWrfwpEe0

    Turns out it scared the shit out of me! I played Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs just before but this was much worse!

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