The first and definitely more important point to keep in mind when downloading and playing our mod Pactum Tenebris, Volume 1: Praeludium is the following:
This is our first mod, in every way.
It's more of an experiment for us to develop and for users to (hopefully) enjoy.
This means that we couldn't put extreme effort in it because we didn't know what to expect from your feedback, and overdoing it held the high possibility of just wasting a lot of time. So we decided to do an OK work; this implies that:
- this first volume IS short;
- we used models and textures from Amnesia;
- we didn't put too many map details and particles.
On top of that the map, script developer and eventually 3d modeler is just one: me. The other two members of the team are the story editor/riddle master and the soundtrack creator. As said, this is the first time I develop a mod in general, so HPL2 has been my first try ever at making a game (a mod, in this case). Apart from that, obviously every work even the most simple should be bug-free, and we had several rounds of testing (also thanks to a few of you who helped us out some time ago) but apparently that wasn't enough. I also have a fulltime job, so it came pretty difficult putting it all together. All of this implies that:
- the mod is not completely bug-free;
- there are no new models (since I'd also be the 3d modeler, if I had time to do that);
- the game optimization for performances is not... well... optimal.
The second key point is:
If Praeludium gets enough feedback, we WILL make the rest.
As previously said, Praeludium is an experiment and that means that if it gets enough feedback (positive or negative, every criticism counts) we will use it as an acknowledgement to do a better and, this time, more dedicate and precise job on the second volume, and the same thing goes for the third and so on. The complete mod of Pactum Tenebris will have nine volumes.
So basically that's why we made it a Full Conversion instead of a simple custom story: extensibility. Right now we have a few custom models and entities and they're all based upon already existing Amnesia props and objects (some static_objects were converted into entities, some entities were made animated and so on). The new monster itself uses an existing model, just re-skinned and with added particles. We actually modified some game variables, mostly about the player object, and that level of configuration is available on FCs only, but if and as we proceed and make new chapters for new releases of the game, we WILL take advantage of that and create new props and entities, and maybe some particles too, so that's it.
For the same reason we can explain why the story seemed lacking: it is lacking (the rest). Praeludium means introduction (in music). Within the rest of the volumes the story will be developed more and more. Right now you can already have a little clue about it by reading the diaries that Duncan writes from time to time and, of course, after seeing the prologue.
The last and still very important thing to point out is:
Pactum Tenebris is meant to be challenging.
This is just the first Volume, so we didn't put tons of riddle and puzzles, but we thought of the whole game (when completed) to increase its difficulty volume after volume. There is one riddle in every level, peppered with little gameplay puzzles (like the candlesticks in the first level, the corridor lights in the second one and the padlocks in the third one) which are less difficult and more dynamic, but when you see the billboard note saying Riddle on it, you know you'll have to think on it. Those are meant to be hard! You have to stop there for a minute, examine the environment, read consciously the riddle and think of the solution. If you try and die in the process, you have a checkpoint right before so you don't have to repeat the whole level to get there (except one troublesome bug that some of you found at the checkpoint of the last level, we'll take care of that). And that's the point of all that. It's not some sort of platform-puzzle game: you'll have to rack your brains on this.
Hoping I'm not forgetting anything (in that case I'll just add it here), thanks again for reading all this, playing, commenting and reviewing, as well as helping out the other users. We found ModDb to be a very sane, balanced and positive community, so again: thanks!