This week we return to our beloved books and take a look back at one of the most intriguing entries in the fantasy genre. It’s actually very hard to pinpoint the genre of To Walk The Night, but the book has been often featured in Top 100 lists of best fantasy fiction, so that’s a start. Whatever it is, it’s a damn good mystery that no one should miss.
In addition, I’d like to bring your attention to a contest that I will be holding next week. If you consider yourself an adventure game connoisseur, then this should be right up your alley. Basically, I post a small part of a screenshot and you have to guess the adventure. Simple, yes, but also extremely addictive and devious! Plus, you also get a chance to win one of 10 (ten) Steam codes for Scratches Director’s Cut. The contest is particular in that it will be hosted through Facebook and Twitter, giving me the chance to market this as SOCIAL trivia. At some point I intend to create a buzz word out of that… Say, “trivisocial” or “socialtrivism”. I envision a future in which everybody will be happily playing trivisocial games on the many social networks. So if this little experiment turns out well, expect greater things to come.
When I go out on the streets, people stop me and ask what the hell is going on with my blog. Then I quickly run and hide among the crowd, away from their accusing fingers as they cry “Update! Update!”. For a while I managed to evade them like this, but they became more intelligent and anticipate my every move. In the bus, in the subway, supermarket, bank, beauty shop, there’s always one of them waiting for me. They’re driving me out of my mind.
It’s been now weeks since I left home. There is a settlement in the front of my house. I even fear opening the door as their reactions might be violent. They barely move while they camp all night, standing still and staring at my window. Last night I dared look outside at midnight: the crackling bonfire casted devilish gleams in their eyes, their faces like marble. Not a gesture, not even a blink. I think some of them had… fangs.
I hope you are happy. I’m posting words, yes, even meaningful words. Not just these words but many more as I discuss one of the most amazing games released this year… that very few know about. I’m typing more words about Asylum and its development, and yes, I’ve also decided which movie and book I will discuss next. But please, please leave my house and stop chewing on whatever you have there, or else I’ll have to take some drastic measures… such as screaming.
Yes, I’m still here. Yes, I do care about you. No, I’m not dying but thank you for asking. It has been a while indeed… past November to be exact since the blog is in hiatus. From the next paragraph and below I’ll be explaining the reason why behind this silence, and what to look forward within the upcoming weeks, but if you couldn’t care less and only want the good stuff (e.g., scantily clad women and tentacled creatures) let me assure you that we’ll be right back at those in just a few days.
So, I know that many of you are craving for more Asylum news; if my mailbox is any indication, hundreds of you (OK, maybe tens). The reason why the blog has been quiet is simply because we have been working non-stop on the project since before the Holidays. And I mean that: even Santa helped us to test an upcoming demo. It certainly paid off as we’ve progressed a huge deal these past few months. We’re already testing a build of the game (with actual people, that is) and most of them have been honestly floored by the detail and lifelike atmosphere. It’s so downright unnerving to walk around the Hanwell Institute. Granted, we have the occasional naysayer who goes “meh” but we promptly spanked him. Needless to say, he won’t say “meh” anymore… He probably won’t say a thing ever again.
Anyway, we have made progress on all fronts really, not just Asylum. So much in fact that we will be disclosing news about our current three projects very soon. Except this time “soon” doesn’t mean “within the next eight months” but really soon enough. I promise. You are bound to love at least one of our upcoming announcements; unless you only care for scantily clad women, in which case I redirect you to the first paragraph of this post.
Back to the blog: I’ll be catching up with all sorts of belated material starting the next week. A look back at the highlights of 2010 game-wise and movie-wise, a review of the incredibly good FMV adventure Darkstar, your usual affair of extremely rare movies and games, and of course the Asylum Developer’s Diary: Unrated!, in which I will be disclosing all kinds of groovy secrets about our upcoming flagship game at Senscape. Here’s the proof; the first in-game screenshot ever released:
Yes, that’s 1920×1080 pixels. And wait till you see it in motion!
Stay tuned for more, and thank you for the patience!
We have a very special update today with even more significant changes. This month (November, right?), exactly one year ago, Slightly Deranged was unleashed to the masses. Which according to my calculations means the site is ONE YEAR OLD! Yay! That’s right, Happy Birthday, Deranged Ones!
It’s been an amazing ride so far and we got staunch supporters of the site (thank you two!). During its first year, Slightly Deranged has covered 17 retro games, 31 cult movies and 1 book (hey, it’s a new feature), along with a bunch of lengthy articles. Not too shabby and, even though the update rate has decreased considerably since our beginnings, I’m planning to make it to 100 cult things covered by the end of 2011. How I’m going to achieve that, I’ve no idea…
Anyway, you’ll notice there’s quite a few noticeable changes, namely a massive overhaul in the organization of content. I’ve unified everything related to games into its own distinct section, as well as movies. Those articles long enough to quality as reviews have been renamed to “Feature” so that you can distinguish them on the list. It’s looks rather nice; here, have a look. The book/game/movie of the month have been unified into these sections as well, but they’re all going to be featured with a thumbnail on the main page as usual. There’s been even more internal clean-ups which you probably won’t notice but I can assure you they make my life much easier. Of course, there’s still more to be done, but for the time being I believe this is a much cleaner layout.
What to expect next? Stay tuned for my revisit of this first deranged past year, highlighting the most popular articles and movie clips!
PS: I have no idea who did that cake, I simply googled for “really disgusting birthday cake”. You can’t imagine what I found.
Bloody hell, I should know by now not to commit to any dates. As you may have realized by todays announcement (Scratches Director’s Cut being re-released by Meridian4), I’ve been awfully busy these past few weeks and, as usual, Slightly Deranged took the hit. But I’m working on the write-ups right now, and they are all going to be much larger than usual. I’m hoping to upload all the new content tomorrow… yes, TOMORROW!
Things have been rather quiet here at Slightly Deranged this month. Of course, I have loads of excuses this time but I’m not going to bore you with them; suffice to say, I’ve been programming – a lot – and when I program I find myself in “the Zone”, which means I live in a different reality than yours, not to mention another space-time continuum. It’s scary. You know what’s really surprising though? During September the blog had the most visits ever without a single update; I know, it’s insane! This is probably because, in less than one year, there are tons of content that shows up in search engines: over 30 movies remembered and almost 20 games reviewed, amongst other things. It’s a very generous offering when you consider it’s only me behind the keyboard. Which brings me to my next point…
It’s gotten seriously difficult for me to deliver the weekly movie/game combo. It’s not so much the writing itself but the logistic behind the posts: seeking screenshots, a movie clip, update the listings, etc. I’ve tried to find a workaround, maybe reduce the write-ups, include less screenshots, but I realized that it wouldn’t be fair to backtrace in that regard now that we achieved a nice level of quality. The solution is simple: instead of weekly picks, I post monthly picks. Alright alright, now put down the forks and torches! This is really for the best and it doesn’t rule out the possibility that I comment on more games and movies during each month, it’s just that I will be relieved from the “Movie/Game Of The Week” format. That said, I’m going to make up for this change by including a new feature.
I’ve been thinking, so this site is about cult movies and games, an eclectic mix that has been working so far, and then it struck me: what else could qualify as “cult”? Something that is related and falls into this strange category that appeals to a very limited audience… But of course! Books! Literature! Heck, nobody reads anymore, therefore: cult. After all, most of the stuff we tend to discuss in the blog has in common with books. In all seriousness, I’ve been reading a lot lately and I feel compelled to comment on my findings and recommend you the works I’m sure you will enjoy (hint: as expected, it’s mostly science fiction and horror). If you couldn’t care less about this, don’t fret: all the posts will be carefully filtered with tags. But really, I promise I will highlight the good stuff only.
So, to recap: no more weekly movie/game but monthly movie/game/book. There, I feel more liberated already. As always, feel free to comment or send me your suggestions. The new format debuts next week and the picks are really special this time! Until then my Dear Deranged Ones.
The week is coming to an end, so let me remind you of these noteworthy updates. First we had a very important movie covered in the blog, the seminal El Topo. It truly is the definition of “cult” (I wonder how many times I said that) and a landmark achievement of underground cinema, so you already know what to watch this weekend. Next, I had a fond look back at Isle Of The Dead, a creative Wolfenstein 3D clone from the early 90′s. However, I realized that the only fond thing about this game were just my memories…
Finally, there’s a lengthy ongoing interview at Adventure-Treff, the great German site about adventures games, that covers past, present and future of Senscape, including revealing new details of Asylum. I did warn those guys that I can get very chatty, but they didn’t listen so the result is a whooping 15-pages article that will be delivered in three parts. You can read the first one right here, and don’t worry because that link is in English. Be sure to read them all!
That’s it for now, hope you have a great weekend and may you watch many horror movies. Take care now, bye bye then!
Curses! I had forgotten about the GDC and Gamescom in Europe this month. Those bloody expos have foiled my plans to deliver more regular updates during August… In case you haven’t heard the news, a man called Daniel Pharos has managed to infiltrate with a powerful computer loaded with a vast selection of Top Secret materials from Asylum, and he’s right now showing these to a legion of publishers craving for a hot new product to license, including major players in the industry. I understand there already talks about movie rights even.
If you apply the reality check to the paragraph before, I’m basically saying that Daniel was very kind to carry a netbook with a bunch of videos from Asylum and he’s introducing the game to maybe a dozen publishers. But the outlook is quite positive and we hope to share more news very soon!
Anyway, back to Slightly Deranged: this one of those major updates that I’ve been meaning to deliver for the past few weeks. Most importantly, we have a feature article about Boxer, the very best front-end I’ve ever got the pleasure to use. It really adds a whole new dimension to DOS emulation. I’m also throwing into the mix the mandatory game and movie. First, The Secret Island Of Dr. Quandary, a very particular educational adventure from the early 90′s, and second, The Toxic Avenger which I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only seen it for the first time very recently. It’s really awesome though and a worthy, suitably deranged entry for this blog!
That’s it for today, and please stop sending me emails every single day asking about the next update, I’m always working on stuff for the blog (that line needs some reality check as well). See you folks soon!
I’m not going to start another post by saying that we’re returning from a brief hiatus, but things are coming back to normal in Slightly Deranged, seriously. The last few weeks have been truly insane (in many senses) so the blog had to be put on hold until now. If you somehow missed the news, my company Senscape revealed last week the name and nature of our upcoming horror game – Asylum – and all Hell broke lose. This was announced along with a trailer that has been making the rounds pretty much around the entire web and thus Asylum instantly became an anticipated title.
Not much is known about the game and, of course, we will be keeping the mystery on for a while, at least until things cool down a bit and we return with another striking blow. I will keep you readers updated about Asylum from time to time and, yes, I am intending to partly use Slightly Deranged as a developer’s diary of sorts (don’t worry, you will be able to filter these updates if you couldn’t care less about Asylum and want to stick to the cult movies and retro games).
Now, as I said, this announcement was huge and carefully planned, and we honestly couldn’t have made it without the invaluable help of many, many people. You might have heard about the viral marketing campaign involving a fake institution named the Hanwell Mental Institute accusing a fake character called Leonard Huntings of fabricating videos with yet another fake character by the name of Bertrand Laroche. This sort of meta-narration, as have been put by some, kept many folks on the edge of their seats wondering about the outcome. This all went for exactly one month and culminated with the Asylum trailer, allowing everybody to catch a glimpse of the Hanwell institute for the first time. The impact was huge: nearly 10.000 views on YouTube in less than one week, 25.000 views at GameTrailers and hot discussions everywhere. Therefore, I’m going to mention and thank all the people who helped us in this long path towards the announcement, each one of them in their own way.
First of all, of course, the incredible team at Senscape who have been working non-stop on Asylum for countless months: Pablo Forsolloza, Juan Caratino and Pablo Palomeque, each taking care of the sinister and detailed environments of the Hanwell institute, the striking characters and the concept artwork that has held all of this together from the early stages.
Next is Daniel Pharos, our newcomer to the team that delivered an impressive soundtrack in record time and became the crowning jewel of this trailer. We can expect much more scary sounds from Daniel and in the meantime be sure to check out the incredible work at his homepage.
The omnipresent entity known as Vlad K. who has always been with us (you may remember him as Cellar Of Rats, who did the soundtrack for Scratches). Vlad assisted me in creating all these websites (the new www.Senscape.net, the fake www.Hanwell.org and the promotional www.FaceTheHorror.com) and I can’t thank him enough for that. There’s a reason why he got into web development with his new company, Haron Media.
And of course, all the people that helped to distribute the Subject E14 aka Bertrand viral videos and promote the game:
And last, but not at all least, our dedicated group of beta testers, and they know that Senscape wouldn’t be the same without them:
Alkis Polyrakis, Andis Anastasis, Astrid Beulink, Eric Arevalo, Eva Forsom, Eric McConnell, Jeko-Bogoslov Bogoslovov, Michal Necasek, Panayotis Pantazis, Scott Clark, Susan Eder, Santiago De Matos Lima, Terje Kjensli, Tommy Joulin and Valerie Davis
I’m sorry I forgot anyone, but please do let me know if you believe your name should be here!
This is it for todays long post and remember that we will come back to normal next week with more movies, games and just plain deranged stuff as usual!
UPDATE: As it turns out, Asylum is enjoying over 35.000 views in YouTube thanks to an upload by IGN. Groovy!
We’re finally back today from a brief hiatus. I’m sorry that I took so long to deliver a new update but I’ve been working on stuff – very secretive and mysterious stuff – so you’ll have to bear with me until everything is back to normal. This should happen sometime in July when we announce the Unnamable Project at Senscape, that is, reveal its actual name and nature, and unleash unspeakable horrors into the highway of bits. It’s going to be so horrific that your monitor will tremble. And you’re possibly going to cry, so don’t say you haven’t been warned. Besides, we’re still coping with the notion of naming the unnamable… I still can’t get that concept into my head.
Interesting stuff happened recently which I couldn’t share with you before. A couple of weeks ago I was invited (read: I shamelessly invited myself) to the official presentation of Blizzard in Buenos Aires. You know, the makers of Blackthorne. Well, apparently they’re looking to market their new titles locally so they’re setting up an office and doing PR like most evil corporations do (note: the paragraph above this one does not qualify as PR). Obviously, the focus of the presentation was the upcoming Starcraft game which has been under development for… I don’t know, maybe centuries. Now, attending this event was a real challenge for me since it forced me to socialize, which means acting like a normal human being and talking to other people. There were lots of people in fact, and the place was big and there were shiny lights and, oh yeah, food. The whole joint felt like a night club, actually. This all made me feel very nervous but I switched to my cool blogger self and attempted to look friendly and un-nerd-like. So there was this odd-looking guy with curly hair nearby ravaging the bar and I thought like he was the perfect specimen to socialize. As a result, I spent most of the night at the side of the bar eating more than I care to remember while this guy spoke me in tongues. In the meantime, I believe I drank two glasses of wine, one double whisky, champagne and two screwdrivers. And I somehow lived to tell the rest…
Next thing I remember I was talking to a PR chick very cheerfully who fortunately didn’t notice my breath (at least I don’t think she did because she was smiling all the time) while an American dude from Blizzard was bumbling some Spanish on stage. They eventually said something about a game called Starcraft 2 and showed some videos and screens. The videos were very loud and showed big things moving on screen. Then they showed us gameplay which consisted in small things constantly moving on screen (“Zergs”, I believe) and some more stuff. Finally, they gave us a Press Kit and I was annoyed to find out that it didn’t include a playable beta. My mind may be playing tricks on me now but I believe that I punched someone next and they had to drag me outside as I was screaming like all Hell broke lose.
All in all, Starcraft 2 looks a bit boring and I still prefer Blackthorne which was like Prince Of Persia with guns. Now THAT is what I call a great concept!
To round up todays rather acid update, did you know that Slightly Deranged is becoming wildly popular in Croatia? Last time I checked it was one of the top 5000 sites in the country which, in world wide web terms, is really, really high. Either you people have very low standards or you’re obsessed with me and the blog — I still can’t figure out which one I prefer. Right, and don’t forget to check out my picks for this week: the grossly underappreciated and misunderstood 90’s movie Motorama, and a really cool and masochistic Amiga game called Risky Woods, just the way we like ‘em.