Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tenebrous - Open For Testing

The time has come! As I mentioned previously, I need people to play the game I created for my dissertation, Tenebrous, in order to gather data for said dissertation. If you'd like to help out, please read the following instructions carefully, and you have my sincerest thanks!

NOTE: Unfortunately, the game is currently only available on Windows.

UPDATE: People have been asking about the deadline. I have a demo Thursday 19th of December, so I would like to receive some responses before then so I can show off some results, but anytime before 31st December would be grand.

How To Help

  1. Download the game from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7n0P-XMWZ_Yd1Y5Z0ZDdUdSM2c (~50 MB). Unzip the folder. Keep track of where you put this folder, you will launch the game from here and this is where you will find the logs you need to send me.
  2. Read the How To Play section below before playing - there is no in-game tutorial or even a list of controls. Rough prototypes for the win!
  3. Play through the game as much as you like.
  4. Create a zip file of all your logs, located in the logs folder (in the folder you downloaded above). Send this zip file with your logs to sarah.ann.herzog@gmail.com.
  5. Go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1QEBzITmxkK-TjlmRfrK5cCYGDZ8D5v6EZdsrCQYYxAo/viewform to take a very short survey about your experience with the game. Remember to input your name when requested if you would like to be included in the Tenebrous credits when it is released.
  6. Feel proud that you contributed to research for the good of games!

IMPORTANT: I need TWO THINGS from you:

  1. Email me your logs from the logs folder inside the game folder after you play
  2. Complete the online survey (results are sent automatically). 

Please don't forget either of those!

How To Play

Goal of the Game: You are lost and alone in a hostile, darkness-covered forest. You must reach the safety of a nearby holy house (follow the purple arrow!) before your magical light runs out. Be careful, as the creatures of the darkness are attracted to light and will drain yours if they touch you! Luckily, you are a holy warrior and have a few tricks up your sleeve, but don't be foolhardy: These monsters cannot be defeated by the likes of you, only delayed and avoided.

  • Movement - WASD / Arrow Keys.
  • Sneak - H. Use this to dim your light, preventing enemies from noticing you.
  • Boost - J. Use some of your light to continuously boost your speed. Great for escaping enemies.
  • Distract - K. Drop a gem filled with some of your light behind you. Enemies will target it instead of you, allowing you to escape. You can also pick it back up if you need to, but it will lose light over time so you won't get 100% of your light back.
  • Flare - L. Hold in this button to charge up and release a bright flare, stunning nearby enemies but using a large chunk of your light.

 There are four types of terrain:

  • Clear land. This is denoted by a neutral gray colour and has no effect on movement or light.
  • Forest. This is black, and cannot be moved through.
  • Swamp. This is light blue, and slows the player.
  • Miasma. This is purple, and drains your light.


Pulsar - A simple enemy which stays in once place and sends out a pulse of darkness, pulling in creatures of light and damaging them.

Bomb - This enemy is slow moving, but can be deadly if it should catch you. It will explode when in bright light, leaving a patch of miasma that will damage anything inside it.

Hopper - A dangerous foe who moves in quick hops, but must take time to change direction and can be outmanoeuvred.


Light Gem - A helpful gem filled with holy power, boosting your magical light. Will attract monsters.

Thank You For Participating!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at sarah.ann.herzog@gmail.com. I really appreciate your help, I wouldn't be able to complete my dissertation without you!

Update: What Am I Logging?

I realized I should let you all know what information I am logging:
  • Game time
  • Game inputs (movement and abilities)
  • Picking up light gems
  • Being injured by enemies
  • Player's light value over time
  • Player's position relative to the start and to the objective over time
  • Active enemies and enemies targeting the player
  • Active light gems

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