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ASYLUM: From the designer of Scratches's video poster
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A psychological horror adventure inspired by H. P. Lovecraft and set in a massive, decaying mental institute. Read more

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A psychological horror adventure inspired by H. P. Lovecraft and set in a massive, decaying mental institute.

The Toughest Part Of These Updates Is Coming Up With A Good Title

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Last time we spoke I was readying for Gamescom, allegedly the world's largest trade fair for games but secretly a haven for the adventure genre. It's hard to believe that already three weeks have passed since then. Too much is going on these days, so I'm to keep this update as focused as possible and talk about the events that transpired last month.

As usual, Gamescom was an amazing time. It's not only a terrific week for developers and gamers alike, but for me it's also about meeting with friends and the most awesome people working in the industry. To be honest, I thought it was going to be more relaxed than previous years since we didn't release any promotional materials and we aren't ready to share code with the press, so my intention was to keep things rather low key. Turns out this year was the craziest yet before I knew it, I had dozens of meetings lined up in my schedule thanks to Kimara Rouwit who is assisting us with PR and marketing (by the way, happy birthday girl!), and also because I stalked many journalists. It was a week of non-stop action, very few hours of sleep, constantly running around the fair from meeting to meeting, but extremely rewarding. It was especially an interesting experience to sit down with people who didn't hear about Asylum and see their reactions.

As horrible as it is to show a moody game that demands attention and the right mindset in a noisy, busy trade fair, it was very well received, even in its early form and in spite of the anti-moody situation. People were impressed with the visuals, the introspective gameplay, and overall attention to detail. They were also very curious about the story which I didn't (and won't!) discuss long after the game has been released. Besides showing the full intro, which you've already seen, I explained how the first moments of Asylum will unfold, what happens when you enter the Hanwell Mental Institute, the first major puzzle you must solve (involving our Unique Inmate!), how you will interact with characters, how the protagonist evolves and changes the mood as you make progress and uncover disquieting secrets… In all truth, I did mention a few aspects of the story, mostly how it operates on different levels, including an intriguing duality that should be familiar to fans of Scratches. I stressed that it's a complex plot that will greatly reward your curiosity and dedication: the more you prowl for answers, going deeper in your quests, the more it reveals. In fact, I talked way too much, and by the end of the week I barely had any voice left (though the copious amounts of beer probably didn't help either).

This lovely article by Astrid Beulink (aka PolloDiablo) on Adventure Gamers sums up the whole presentation very nicely: Gamescom 2013 round-up: Part 3

You've known most of these things for some time now but I disclosed a couple of new details which are mentioned on that article. In any case, and to keep this update short, I'll get back to more in-depth revelations soon. The team has been producing terrific new content, including characters of remarkable quality, and I've been heavily working on the Dagon engine. A new release is just around the corner, one that the Linux users among you in particular will cherish (you will be able to test all the latest improvements with the readily available Interactive Teaser). Asylum is looking and feeling far better than we ever expected, and as soon as we wrap-up a couple of milestones, we will do a new gameplay video to show you where we're standing.

Backer MeetUp™

Guess what? We finally had a proper Backer MeetUp™! It was amazing to meet so many of you, some again, some for the first time, and discuss Asylum in situ (hope you were able to listen to what I had to whisper). This took place during the famed Adventure-Treff party, that magical moment for fans of adventure games that happens once a year, so we had the best possible environment.

Click here for a high resolution photo

To celebrate the occasion, I brought with me Official Asylum™ Posters®! They were a bit too dark (OK, they were very dark), but not too shabby for a first attempt. All the backers who attended took one back home, though I seem to have distributed fifteen (a bit more than the ten backers that I remember), so other unworthy non-backers might have taken advantage of my generosity. The idea is to produce several different posters and allow every backer who pledged on a tier including physical goods to pick any of them as an extra gift. Surpriiiiiise!

In the meantime, all of you may download a super high-definition digital poster in case you want to print it yourselves. Right now. Right over here.

That will be all for today. There's much more to share, so stay tuned as usual. Have a great weekend!

-Agustín

P.S.: You know that Jan Kavan and I are good friends and I still appreciate how many of you rallied to assist him in his J.U.L.I.A. campaign. I can't finish this update without mentioning one of the very best moments of my week in Cologne, which was becoming the first person to play a brand new game in a worldwide exclusive. It's… it's… I can't put this into words:

Produced by CBE Software (essentially Jan Kavan and Lukas Medek), this title challenges the very definition of "video game". It invites you to ponder about life, technology, and boredom. It also features the absolute best finger tapping animation ever seen in a video game. Download here for free.

P.P.S.: Another shout-out to Laney Berry who I also met that week. She's the creator of The St. Christopher's School Lockdown, which I believe several of you also backed. This is hands down one of my most anticipated games with a highly original concept and huge potential.

P.P.P.S.: Because there aren't enough screens on this update, here's a brief exchange that I had with a dweller of the Internet. It illustrates the dangers of playing too much Call of Duty.

P.P.P.P.S.: Hope that was focused enough.

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Comments

    1. Creator ☜☆RSF☆☞ on September 18, 2013

      So I've finally had a chance to read this update. Have to say it was very good and I'm glad I got around to it. Very amusing little conversation too & likewise I suspect CoD CoD failed to see the connection but we should give some leeway since I'm sure they've got the brain of a Cod(fish). :D
      Greetings to all the awesome people below (yes, that includes Riggo... although I don't know if that warrants an actual update title). ;-)

    2. Creator Fate on September 16, 2013

      Thanks Warden Cordes, loved the update.

    3. Creator Agustín Cordes on September 15, 2013

      @Michael, I would add another line:

      Starring Senscape

      @Ingo, true, but in our case the intro is a slight nod to Scratches ;)

      @David, it's also worth noting that Asylum has been under production since 2009. I seriously doubt it will be called a ripoff. Then again, it's the Internet.

    4. Creator Palindrome Bob-XSF-I'm in AGL589-BG5.22 on September 15, 2013

      So, who knows which one I am on that photo of the Backer Meetup? :-) Oh, and yes, I noticed some of my colleague backers attending the AT-party carrying two posters.
      ### Member of the Pinkerton Road Cavalry ###
      ### Dreamfall Traveller ###

    5. Creator David Melanson on September 14, 2013

      @Ingo: Well, they could take a cab I suppose...that's beside the point. What people will note as coincidence is that the remote building in question is a decrepit, decaying, and pretty darn creepy mental institution that you, as the player, are going into to do some investigation...

      Now, again, Asylum certainly SHOULDN'T be accused of being a ripoff because it's a totally different genre and totally different idea. I'm just saying don't be too surprised if you take a little unfair flak because I have no doubt some netwits (like that term?) will claim that it is.

      They will probably be the types who will NOT load the game and play five minutes - they won't load it at all. They'll just see part of the intro somewhere and immediately label it a ripoff. It's just the nature of the 'net these days...these are the same sort of people who see an amazing picture of some amazing phenomenon or event and instantly scream "FAKE! PHOTOSHOPPED!"

    6. Creator Ingo Günther on September 14, 2013

      About Outlast and Asylum:
      I would say that it is absolutely no coincidence that they have such a similar intro. I mean how would anybody most likely travel to a remote building somewhere in a forest, of course with a car on forest tracks. There is simply no realistic alternative for a average person.

    7. Creator Dirk Schlobinski on September 14, 2013

      That twitter thread...

    8. Creator Michael Hartmann on September 14, 2013

      Maybe the next poster should be all text in honour of CoD CoD.

      Agustín Cordes presents
      an Agustín Cordes adventure
      Agustín Cordes' Asylum
      written and directed by Agustín Cordes

    9. Creator Agustín Cordes on September 14, 2013

      I haven't played Outlast yet, Machine for Pigs would be next on my list when I have the chance to play it. I'm hearing Outlast has too many jump scares, though, which is a disappointment.

      Still, I don't think Asylum will be accused of a ripoff -- at least not if you load the game and play five minutes.

      @David: COD did reply to Senscape with an "OK, thanks". You're right, I don't think he/she even realized about the exact same response.

    10. Creator David Melanson on September 14, 2013

      @Christoph: Agreed completely, I started playing Outlast (with my lights out because apparently I hate having clean underwear) and my immediate reaction during the intro segment was "wait a minute, the gameplay style is very VERY different, but this setup seems strangely familiar..."

      Definitely two different types of game, but I have a horrible feeling that when Asylum gets out there, some people (not anybody here, I'm talking about people like CallOfDuty CallofDuty) will accuse it of being a "ripoff."

      @Agustin: Speaking of COD CoD, that conversation is priceless. I wouldn't be surprised if he/she/it didn't even notice the answers were exactly the same...

    11. Creator Christoph Zürcher on September 14, 2013

      Nice update. Did any of you play Outlast? Especially the intro reminded me a lot of Asylum.

    12. Creator Sirius on September 14, 2013

      Nice update, I want a poster too :P and we can Confirm: Call of duty damage your brain! lol

    13. Creator Riggo - Avatars of Underworld Ascendant on September 14, 2013

      Update titles:
      Riggo is awesome #1
      Riggo is awesome #2
      Riggo is awesome #3


      Now really! How hard was that? ;-)

    14. Creator Asrai on September 13, 2013

      These updates always make me so happy.

    15. Creator Leonard Challis - OotG on September 13, 2013

      As always, superb!

    16. Creator ThomasN on September 13, 2013

      Pay no attention to me, I'm just here to observe

    17. Creator advmal on September 13, 2013

      I don't believe a word of this update - that Agustín guy is so full of s**t!

      ;)

    18. Creator Matthew Lee Venner on September 13, 2013

      Loved the update! Good work :)

    19. Creator Laura MacDonald on September 13, 2013

      Surreal and yet so real. Cordes - the knife wielding, finger tapping, Senscape phantom.