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How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!
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TimothyTanks Offline
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Post: #1
How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

I bought this game because I typically like games that give me a little scare. I did not expect it to give me a heart attack. Every second during gameplay my heart is racing and i'm scared out of my pants. When a significant event happens like a loud noise or an enemy intimidates me I get chills down my entire body my heart races and i start sweating and shaking all over. Its EXTREMELY unpleasant. I'm so scared by this game I think it honestly might make me break out in a panicked sobbing fit. After playing for an hour (or less) I have to turn the game off. After I keep twitching and cringing and i'm in a very frightened mood.

I get very into games. I feel like I'm actually there as the character and I fear for my life. What I want to know is how you people find it so fun? How do I play the game to actually enjoy it. Right now i'm playing at night with the lights completely out and with very good headphones and the volume up. I figured this would give me the best experience. Should I change anything so that I enjoy the game more?

Right now i'm in the beginning of Overture and I've encountered a dog. I hid behind some crates for 10 minutes and when nothing happened I slowly peaked my head around the corner. The glowing eyes and creepy growly told me he was still there and walking towards me. At one point he killed me. I think he's just pacing back and forth where I need to go and i'm not sure how to avoid him. I'd rather kill myself. Hell is better place than an arctic mining shaft full of infected creatures. I hate this game but at the same time I want it to be fun and I really admire the developers for doing such a good job. I'm sure they intended to scare your socks off. How about scaring your skin off?

Again, what can i do to make this a more pleasant gaming experience. Do you react the same way I do? Should I go about sneaking around less and just running past enemy's or swinging my hammer? Should i play with teh lights on or without headphones? How can I make this more pleasant?
06-06-2009 09:19 AM
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ZIGS Offline
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Post: #2
RE: How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

lol, yeah, the game is very scary but that's part of what makes it so good. If it's really making you feel bad, then try playing without headphones and with the lights on
06-06-2009 09:55 AM
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IIPEE Offline
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Post: #3
RE: How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

You should make you're gaming more unpleasant! That way you enjoy when you stop playing it. Tongue:

• It took me 7 years to get THIS far...
06-06-2009 11:09 AM
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Thomas Online
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Post: #4
RE: How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

Hearing things like this makes me very happy :twisted:

Our goal has been to make a really frightening experience and it is always very niceto hear when we have been successful. It also raises the questions if all games need to be fun and this is what I like so much about horror games. Most other games focus on just creating a good time, but horror games focus instead on evoking emotion, something that is very rare in other game genres (gameplay wise that is, many games try to evoke emotion during cutscenes, but I think that is not the same thing).

Thanks for sharing btw!
06-06-2009 01:13 PM
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Passerby Offline
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Post: #5
RE: How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

Hello there! I just got this game from steam myself, and in bygone days I had the same problem as you do. Such games used to reach a level of intensity whereby I could not play, therefore I didn't experience the art. It was just a startling intro that I never returned to, an internet screech prank that I never opened up again. Of course this game is much more, and I can tell from where you stopped, the first encounter, it's just a matter of shock value that's holding you back.

I tell you this, as a horror fan, that emotional reaction what I bought the ticket of admission for, as it were. Sadly, if you're going to play horror games, and it's anything like what I experience, desensitization is your only route. I suggest you load your game, and go get killed by the dog, then load it again, get killed by him again. I had to do this for system shock some time ago. Some people may tell you turn the lights on, lower the volume, play with friends about.

If you're anything like me, you already have the gamma low enough that you can't see anything without some form of light or this game's dark vision feature, and even then you can just barely guess at what you're seeing, your volume is up very high and you mostly (if not exclusively) play at the dead of night or in the darkest room of your house. If I'm right, with all due respect to the advice before me, I say don't change that. It enhances that feeling of being alone, allowing you to empathize with the situation more and get lost in the moment all the better. It's what you came for and you don't need to diminish your enjoyment to experience what you came for.

Instead, after you've died a few times, start trying to avoid the critters. Don't stay still too long, if you kept your character still for ten full minutes, it's not the game psyching you out at all, it's yourself. Smile You can actually confront the dogs, and it's rather easy to kill them when you get used to it, so I would suggest trying to avoid fighting under all circumstances. Once you start to feel as if the enemies are just encounters that you've figured out the pattern for, the tension is broken and it's just impossible to have fun with the game. Don't worry, the sequel has handled this issue quite neatly, as they really commit to it and make you essentially unable to defend yourself. I assure you, it's as great as it sounds!

If you're still having trouble, I would suggest you watch a play-through of the game, youtube is usually quite good for that. Watch a section or two, maybe five to ten minutes of gameplay to see how things go, then stop and play for yourself.

P.S.-In case you suffer severe spasticity, and the sudden noises cause you physical pain, you should play with the volume off a few goes, turning it up a bit and restarting at some place where you'll hear a loud noise, getting it loud enough so that you're frightened by the setting and not just becoming averse to pain, but quiet enough that you can play for more than a few good jumps without needing to pause it and spend the next 10 minutes recovering.

P.P.S.-This isn't a 'doom 3', where the lights in the game turn off and after a few repetitions you just sigh, turn around, and fire, and sure enough you found the enemy. So don't worry about desensitizing yourself too much, the game does its job well and you'll be enjoying it the whole way through once you get your legs under you well enough to take the journey.
06-07-2009 08:56 AM
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jssi03 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

TimothyTanks...

To get past the dog/dogs in the corridor's is to either distract them with some noise in the opposite direction or if you find beef jerky (very helpful indeed) just place it down some where close to its route (these dogs have routes and will follow them back and forth). One VERY scary moment is near the beggining of the mine shaft HAHAHA scared the crap out of me but I LOVE IT! YES! I LOVE IT HAHAHA! What was it? When you enter one of the rooms in the mine area the dog FOLLOWS YOU! and when you leave the room he still follows you well actually he just goes from one route to the next. I played on easy and let me tell all easy does is make you live longer by a little. The suspence and horrer and story combined make it the BEST horrer game I have ever played. Well actually I should say games cause I got the whole collection of Penumbra and love them all. Still have to beat Black Plague, having some technical issues it may be Steam's fault I don't know but for those interested in knowing what it is I posted in the technical forums here.

I really LOVE the regenerating health I do not know if this is true for other difficulties but it is great.

P.S. The really FUN and horrifying part is trying to trap them! It is hard but rewarding. After the mine shaft you will clearly see you have the ability to do so. So get back on and have a go at it.
06-07-2009 09:02 AM
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TimothyTanks Offline
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Post: #7
RE: How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

Wow all your input is a great spirit lifter to me! Especially you Passerby. You described my symptoms perfectly. Desensitizing myself is a great idea. Right now just thinking about the game gives me chills. I hate the game but love it at the same time (i'm sure you know what i mean). I'm considering recording my gameplay and putting it on youtube so people see my reactions. It might motivate me to keep going. I really want to know who red is and if he discovers anything about his fathers past. Thanks for the idea to distract the dogs jssi.

I have work the next couple of days, After that i'll play Smile
06-07-2009 10:11 AM
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angelbane Offline
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Post: #8
RE: How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

I bought these off steam last night myself ... I think i started on the wrong one (black plague) because the order was not clear to me ... steam has the date for overture after black plague.. (what is the actual order anyway)

Back to the point ... I literally HAD to stop playing at night cause the game jumped my blood pressure ... so i tried today in the daylight and I can play but it still gives me pucker-factor 10.

awesome game so.
06-07-2009 08:35 PM
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IIPEE Offline
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Post: #9
RE: How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

In case you started with Black Plague, STOP playing it RIGHT NOW! You're spoiling everything to yourself when you start with wrong game!

The order for the games:

Penumbra Tech Demo (FREE - in case you are interested: Here's a link...)
Penumbra: Overture
Penumbra: Black Plague
Penumbra: Requiem (Expansion for Black Plague)

• It took me 7 years to get THIS far...
(This post was last modified: 06-07-2009 09:51 PM by Ano.)
06-07-2009 08:39 PM
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TimothyTanks Offline
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Post: #10
RE: How can you possibly enjoy Penumbra?!

Damn, I already played until I found an enemy in black plague before I realized I had the wrong game. I know what he looks like now. :C
06-07-2009 09:23 PM
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