NSFW Gaming-is-Art-Age? The Void (aka Tension)

Jul 21, 2007
11,843
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
#1
OK, GAF. Why don't we already have a 10-page thread about this? I know it's a PC-game by a rather unknown russian dev, but still...



They're seasoned devs as far as creepy/atmospheric games are concerned, as fellow gaffer Clevinger points out:
Clevinger said:
Their previous game Pathologic, despite the crap translation and difficulty, is also very good.

Rock Paper Shotgun had a good writeup about it here:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/04/10/butchering-pathologic-part-1-the-body/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/04/11/butchering-pathologic-part-2-the-mind/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/04/12/butchering-pathologic-part-3-the-soul/

And there's a really great SomethingAwful Let's Play going on here:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3033830
Update: Eurogaffers can get the english version from play.com for 23.50€:
That's quite the offer.

Be careful with Anti-Aliasing when you succumb to the game. The engine really doesn't handle that feature gracefully, as some graphics cards will lead to serious bugs.
Clevinger said:
There are quests (and perhaps outside of quests) where you're looking for colour "mines" that are invisible with the 4000 (and perhaps 5000) series of ATI cards. Disable anti-alliasing to fix it.

Update 2: You can now download a torrent from their website, with the complete OST, interviews, artwork, and videos. Niiiiice.



The setting of The Void seems to be a world just beyond the border between life and death - unluckily for the player, on the side of death. His goal is to claw his way back to the world of the living... using color. Once the last drop of color has left his soul, he dies for real. If he manages to find and then fill several hearts with color and additionally finds his true love, he may be able to ascend to the world of the living... maybe.


The whole game concept revolves around colors, and this includes interacting with the eleven sisters trapped inside this dead world, as well as in combat against their brothers. The player is able to inject color into dead things and living beings alike, with a glyph/gesture mechanic to produce different effects. Keep in mind that color is the players' lifeblood, so every tree you resurrect takes away from your life - but its fruits and offspring may replenish some.

The art is unique. Monsters and settings are pretty fucked up, if you don't mind me saying so. There is full frontal nudity, both male and female (the soul seems to be male). The soundtrack appears to be very atmospheric. There are 13 endings. The german version seems to feature very competent voice actors, but they haven't included the russian original voiceovers, which makes this a bit painful Russian is a wonderful language. Furthermore, there have been extensive cuts and tweaks: The original Intro is 45 minutes long(!!!), for example. Only two player choices (one click each) made it "too boring", and so it got modified: They made it playable. :D


The game came out in Germany on the end of May. Only one or two gaming publications even tested it (it got good reviews, there are some bugs and the learning curve seems to be a bit harsh, but ignoring that the game seems to be quite fun). English-speaking players need to either wait for a localized release, or import the russian original and find the patch that adds english subtitles... although the subtitle timing seems to be all over the place (this goes for the german version too).



Btw: Look at the age restriction on the cover. Titties for twelve-year-olds. Awesome. :D With a cover like that I don't expect this to demolish the charts, though...





The following links lead you to NSFW material. There are naked ladies beyond this point. You have been warned.

Official Website:
http://tension-game.com/index_en.php
Now serving an awesome torrent with yummy extras (OST, artwork, etc)!

Videos:
German audio&german subs, gameplay snippets:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_nnl5JS0cI
Russian audio&english subs, intro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m402AQQ8Dfw
German Launch Trailer (some german texts, nothing serious):
http://www.demonews.de/videos/details.php?id=9448&related=1

Screens:
Screen/art gallery of PCGames.de. They gave the game a review score of 75%.

Demo:
(In German, of course. Disable AA in the config, or there is a high risk the game will not show some very important labels!)

Disclaimer:
This is not intended as an official thread, however please feel free to add infos and screens/videos as you see fit, and I'll do my best to keep the OP updated.


Microreview of the demo: I've played through some of the demo and promptly ran out of color, as was to be expected really; getting used to the gesture/glyph system took some time, to be honest. Wasted a huge amount of color in the beginning. Make sure you listen to the voice clues and adjust your glyph gesture accordingly. Nonetheless, I had tons of fun, and will make another attempt if time permits. I can only recommend this game.

The game is surprisingly solid. Sure, there are some issues like the odd orphaned russian voice acting sample... the german voice actors did a bang-up job though, and that's rare praise coming from me. I still would have liked an option to get the russian voiceacting, I'm a sucker for subtitled and undubbed stuff. Considering the amount of voice acting in the game that may very well be infeasible.

I also like that the demo is pretty huge; you'll be busy for quite some time. Definitely keep an eye out for this.
 
Jul 21, 2007
11,843
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
#6
Word is that it'll find its way to America within this year.

I wonder what will happen to the sisters though, they apparently spend a great deal of the game showing off body parts that would make the average Joe turn purple.
 
Sep 10, 2005
3,691
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0
#7
I remember reading about this game some time ago(I remember seeing that glowy tree). Nice to see that its out. Its got an interesting premise, hopefully it gets an English release without censoring.
 
Jul 21, 2007
11,843
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
#10
Here are some background pics from the installer:

1 2 3 4 5

2GB download, 3.5GB install. Installs PhysX, DirectX9.0c. I do not want to think about what kind of DRM Atari is including with this, but it looks just too intriguing...
 
Jul 21, 2007
11,843
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
#12
Anyone interested in the readme? I doubt it.

Skimming through it, it looks like the engine has problems with resolutions that aren't multiples of 4, e.g. 1680x1050. Can be fixed by adding some text to some config files, although it may cause artefacts.

Edit: The game has an official website! How weird, Google didn't tell me. :( Will add to op.
 
Jul 21, 2007
11,843
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
#14
OK, I've played a bit of the demo. It's weird, but intriguing. There are some bugs. For example, not all voice samples have been localized. D'Oh.

The music is mainly atmospheric, mixed background noises. You move via wasd, jump with space, and use the mouse to pick up color (symbolized as small seedlings), which is stored on the right side of the screen. Then you assign some colour to one of your hearts. I only have one at the moment, capable of storing 75 units. Oh yeah, every color stands for something. Every heart grants you a power. The first one lets you give colour to other beings/things, the second lets you surround yourself with a shield.

You can't use this color though. It needs to be converted into usable color. Once you leave an area, you get kicked to the void, where the time starts ticking. Every second eats into the color stored in your hearts, so dilly-dallying around will kill you. On the other hand, every second lets your heart convert the unusable color into usable color. You have to use your usable color to draw a path from where you are to where you want to be, then the glyph signifying your spirit moves to the target, and then you can click on it to enter that room/area.

Using color to infuse life into trees requires usable color and the donor glyph, the greek alpha symbol. This is apparently forbidden knowledge and will get you in trouble, but pumping colour into trees and then spending some time in the void nets you fruit, which will give you more color.

The atmosphere is very eerie, and walking around these barren and abandoned places feels suitably oppressive. The first princess/sister you encounter gives you your first heart -apparently she's a new princess, and she wants you to be her new guardian, since her guardian doesn't exist (anymore? yet?). However, if the guardians of the other princesses/sisters find you before you meet certain criteria, you will get curbstomped. I just acquired the second heart and the quest (there's a journal) to infuse more trees with life.

Saving can only be done in the void.

Here's a pic of the void. I'm the j glyph, "my" princess is the 8 glyph in the blueish orb. The "L Strg" means I need to press the left Ctrl button to open my colour palette - so that I can draw a path to her. On the bottom left is the clock, and the clock at the top shows when the next cycle will start (= when the fruit will have grown).


Pretty cool game so far.
 
Jul 21, 2007
11,843
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
#16

Ooooh. My first enemy ("Predator"). Defeating it meant throwing colour at it until it died. When you open your palette with usable colours, time slows down, meaning you can aim in relative peace. I can tell that future fights will be harsh though, the bastard nearly depleted one of my unusable colour reservoirs before I downed him with 20cc of Trust (gold). That shit doesn't grow on trees, dammit.
 
Mar 8, 2006
15,093
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0
#17
I've played the Russian version. It's very odd, obviously, but the atmosphere and art direction are both pretty incredible. So is the soundtrack. It really feels like a dream. It's also like Zeno Clash, where it's truly fantastic and not generic swords and sorcery.

Their previous game Pathologic, despite the crap translation and difficulty, is also very good.

Rock Paper Shotgun had a good writeup about it here:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/04/10/butchering-pathologic-part-1-the-body/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/04/11/butchering-pathologic-part-2-the-mind/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/04/12/butchering-pathologic-part-3-the-soul/

And there's a really great SomethingAwful Let's Play going on here:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3033830

If you have a chance and even a passing interest, you should read it (and, to be honest, it might be better to just read that Let's Play than actually play it). The game is about a town experiencing a plague epidemic from the perspectives of three people; a logical doctor, a Haruspex, and a young outcast girl called "The Devotress". The game spans 11 or 12 days of the epidemic in that town.

It's awesome, in a very rough-around-the-edges way.

Hey thread-starter, you might want to add some stuff about Pathologic in the OP.
 
Feb 20, 2007
11,779
0
0
Switzerland
#19
OK, finally been able to lay a finger on a commercial realease.

Jesus, it's in German, and not your kindergarten-like nazi degenerate standard video game german. It's almost poetry. Tough to get through it, even for a dude who survived years of teaching at school.

Careful though, it's a another real mindfuck like Another World or Ecco the Dolphin.

Will come back again later today with more impressions but the game is definitely sucking me in its universe. Beautiful.
 
Jan 5, 2008
4,772
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0
Virginia
#25
So apparently the game it out boxed in europe, but nowhere else yet :(

Anyone picked it up? Everything I've heard is "Pathologic, but fun", which is amazing in my book. Pathologic did some amazing things, but the actual gameplay wasn't something to be admired.
 
Mar 8, 2006
15,093
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0
#37
CTLance said:
Awwww, I was hoping for russian with english subtitles. :(

I can't help it, subtitles is how I roll.

Oh well. If I should put anything in the OP, just tell me.
The developer said something about putting the Russian audio up for download. If I ever hear more about it I'll let you know.
 
Aug 20, 2006
1,464
0
980
#38
Clevinger said:
Either Tension, Turgor, or Typrop. I'm not sure which.
Looks like it's Typrop. Thanks.

Clevinger said:
The developer said something about putting the Russian audio up for download. If I ever hear more about it I'll let you know.
If they'll ever do that it'd be prefect. It's easier for me to read English than Russian, but I would rather have an original dub.
 
Mar 8, 2006
15,093
0
0
#41
Josh7289 said:
What's NSFW about any of this? Honest question here; I don't understand the thread title.
There are lots of nude women in the game. Lots. Pretty much half the game is talking to naked girls. There's an odd sexual aspect to the game, but it's also a kind of interesting contrast to the men you meet in the game, who are all hideous nightmares.


CabbageRed said:
I'm surprised this hasn't hit GamersGate yet; they always seem to get the Eastern European games (where I grabbed Pathologic).
Yeah, it's odd. But a few of the publisher's games went up on GG last week, so hopefully this will go up there soon as well.
 
Jul 21, 2007
11,843
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
#42
Josh, play the demo or the game and you will see teh boobiez. Not that it's particularly bad, but I thought I'd better play it safe. Many use gaf while at work.
Clevinger said:
The developer said something about putting the Russian audio up for download. If I ever hear more about it I'll let you know.
Thank you.
 
Mar 8, 2006
15,093
0
0
#44
Hey CT, there's a known bug for the game you might put into the OP.

There are quests (and perhaps outside of quests) where you're looking for colour "mines" that are invisible with the 4000 (and perhaps 5000) series of ATI cards. Disable anti-alliasing to fix it.
 
Jul 21, 2007
11,843
0
0
Bavaria, Germany
#47
Clevinger said:
Hey CT, there's a known bug for the game you might put into the OP.

There are quests (and perhaps outside of quests) where you're looking for colour "mines" that are invisible with the 4000 (and perhaps 5000) series of ATI cards. Disable anti-alliasing to fix it.
They still haven't fixed that, huh. AA with this game is rather dangerous proposition in my experience. I've mentioned that near the demo download link, but I guess it merits its own place in the OP.
 
Sep 2, 2007
3,719
0
0
#48
This got just posted on their site:

When there isn't enough Color...

30/10/2009

...you can always replenish your palette with the Official The Void Bonus Torrent!

Inside you will find almost everything of interest that was created during development:

• The complete original soundtrack in four virtual disks contains all the tracks that made it into the game, all unreleased tracks that didn't make it into the game for some reason, poems and mantras and re-mastered tracks for the English edition of the game.

• 6 trailers including the earliest gameplay trailer, 2 videos from KRI (Russian GDC) and a Game Music Video from Pathologic by Halfgild Wynac.

• Almost all the artwork and concepts from the game, even in print quality! The Void poster anyone? ;o)

• Know Russian? Then you'll find the three lectures on game design by Nikolay Dybowskiy read at KRI most interesting! As well as a video interview for the LKI magazine.