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Old 08-08-2011, 08:13 PM   #1
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A new indie adventure game went on sale today at Steam called Trauma. Has anyone heard of this game? It looks very interesting.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/98100/
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:35 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting this Interplay , It's the first time I've heard of it but it looks really original and interesting

I've been searching in YouTube and I've found a video with more gameplay... I don't know how good the game is but it looks quite interesting and different.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWQ8hBiYXLI
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:20 AM   #3
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you play a part of it on the guys website.

http://www.traumagame.com/trauma.html

my impressions were it was really stylish and atmospheric and i enjoyed it. UNTIL the voice actress started talking, and i was kicked out of the experience 100% and had to close the browser window.

if you cant get convincing voice acting, just put in some text, (edit, just to clarify, my opinion)

anyway i wont rant, but its a cool idea and maybe others wont find it so experience-breaking

Last edited by Idrisguitar; 08-12-2011 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:57 AM   #4
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Idrisguitar, you surprise me.

If there's one thing to be said about the voice-acting in Trauma is that it's a very convincing and atmospheric. I think it had to be some other quality about the main heroine's voice that displeased you so much.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:07 AM   #5
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Looks nice. What is the gameplay? I hope it's not entirely doing those gestures with the mouse.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:46 AM   #6
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It appears you can play the full game on the web-site, with compressed graphics and sound. It looks really cool so I bought it. You can get it for the same price as on Steam if you buy directly from the web-site, and you get it DRM-free that way. Seems like all you do is click around those pictures to find gestures to draw, though, so maybe it's not for the puzzle-buff.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:08 AM   #7
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I bought it because it did look intriguing.

On the positive side, the beautiful screens are atmospheric and the transitions cool. I liked exploring the 4 dreams and drawing symbols like a Mystian Bahro. You can end each dream in 4 different ways and there are 9 x 4 = 36 photos to be found. The 16 endings are incredibly easy because the photos tell you exactly where to use the symbols.

There's no substance, no story. This "game" is about a girl who can't find a way out of her depressing thoughts, that's all there is to it. The voiceacting is pretty bad. Yeah, I understand that she is supposed to talk like she's really depressed in her dreamworld. It's still pretty bad. We get to hear a collection of unconnected, pretentious observations about expectations, role models, parents, childhood, blabla. Her comments on a signpost: They think they are showing you a way, but all they do is set up another hoop to jump through.

Disappointing. I'm far too old for this adolescent symbolic stuff anyway.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fien View Post
We get to hear a collection of unconnected, pretentious observations about expectations, role models, parents, childhood, blabla. Her comments on a signpost: They think they are showing you a way, but all they do is set up another hoop to jump through.

Disappointing. I'm far too old for this adolescent symbolic stuff anyway.
Don't take the following question like I'm trying to be sarcastic or want to undermine your statement, because I'm just plain curious:

What would you give as an example of mature "symbolic stuff" and mature observations about life - to best underline the difference between those and the adolescent types?

Or did you mean it in the sense that the girl is obviously so young and inexperienced that it's painful for you to listen her making generalizations about life?
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascovel View Post
Idrisguitar, you surprise me.

If there's one thing to be said about the voice-acting in Trauma is that it's a very convincing and atmospheric. I think it had to be some other quality about the main heroine's voice that displeased you so much.
maybe, I honestly just found her voice extremely off putting and totally atmosphere killing.

glad to know it is just my observation though, because i respect the ambition the creator had with this and hope it is successful.

whether its taken as pretentious or not. its nice to know games like this can be release on pc and get recognition on big sites like RPS and indie games blog and sell pretty decently on a massive platform like steam.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascovel View Post
Don't take the following question like I'm trying to be sarcastic or want to undermine your statement, because I'm just plain curious:

What would you give as an example of mature "symbolic stuff" and mature observations about life - to best underline the difference between those and the adolescent types?
The Path. Although I found it somewhat pretentious too and it certainly takes some getting used to, the cliches are used in creative and complex way and in the end it was a rich emotional experience for me.

What did the developer of Trauma have in mind, what is the player supposed to experience? The whole thing is a disjointed account of what exactly? A depressed and depressing state of mind? There are no emotions or events to relate to. It's hard to care when you get only rational observations and symbolic actions. The girl has no personality we can empathize or identify with, no background. I read stuff like I wasn’t into music until my mom bought me my first album but it has no connection to anything else, it doesn’t add up to a human being of flesh and blood.

All we’re left with is a girl that apparently has some insights into her childhood (I capture the ghost but I realize the only thing holding this place together was my own ambition, so I let go) and still doesn’t know what to do with her life.

EDIT: Idrisguitar, if you think the game deserves to be succesful because it's such a cool idea why don't you play it? Simply turn off the voice and use subtitles instead.

Last edited by Fien; 08-12-2011 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:21 AM   #11
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I went back to the developer's site and noticed that Ascovel contributed to Trauma. Maybe he didn't want to be devious but I feel different now about his questions.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fien View Post
I went back to the developer's site and noticed that Ascovel contributed to Trauma. Maybe he didn't want to be devious but I feel different now about his questions.
To clarify I contributed to the Polish translation of the game, but I influenced nothing of Trauma's actual content.

I'm heavily involved in the indie adventure games scene and converse with many of the developers, interview them, invite them to write about their games for my website. Also, I beta-test their games sometimes. Take it for what you will.

Anyway, thank you for your answer. I think I agree with you that if someone's trying to be profound, they need to be really creative about it, or they'll quickly start feeling pretentious, formulaic and "artsy".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fien View Post
What did the developer of Trauma have in mind, what is the player supposed to experience? The whole thing is a disjointed account of what exactly? A depressed and depressing state of mind? There are no emotions or events to relate to. It's hard to care when you get only rational observations and symbolic actions.
I interviewed the author about 1,5 year ago, if you're interested. The situation presented in the game is partially auto-biographical.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:56 AM   #13
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So, what did YOU get out of the game? (I answered your questions...)

PS: Thanks for the link to the interview.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:45 AM   #14
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You mean was I paid something? No, I wasn't.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ascovel View Post
You mean was I paid something? No, I wasn't.
Of course that's NOT what I meant! What was your experience of the game, how did you like it?
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:28 AM   #16
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Sorry, I thought you were still suspicious of my earlier question. Here's the proper answer:

When I saw the first trailers I was very impressed by the way it combines static images into 3D spatial compositions. It's even better to experience this on your own inside the game - especially in the dream with the ghost the "spatial" effect was very interesting (and very well used with the "going in circles" theme). Combined with the drawing-with-light interface and the places which were chosen for the nighttime photos, it does have that dreamy feel of an urban place recreated from memory, but desolate and modified by imagination. That aspect reminds me somewhat of Inception.

I don't remember having been in a similar situation as the heroine, but the way she alternates between conversations with the doctor and dreams, and the half-dreamy logic of her conclusions within the dreams feels oddly familiar and believable (even if many of these conclusions are cliched generalizations like you say).

The way the character feels removed from her life before the accident and somewhat indifferent towards it, doesn't make me think of what is typically associated with depression (having problems functioning among other people), but rather the quite natural result of drastic change in daily life and slowing it down to the max. I liked that. I wouldn't enjoy the game's atmosphere near as much, if it was simple about a person's coming-of-age and the period of having doubts what to do with themselves. Instead the story felt to me more about the static nature of life in the hospital, under the influence of medication, and the way it changes perspective of looking at the past and the future.

The low points? Well, it's obviously a very short experience. The process of preparing the graphics was apparently incredibly tedious and slow, which means it probably will remain a one time experiment. The casual nature of the "puzzles" is also normally not my thing.

So these are my own impressions about the game.
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fien View Post
Disappointing. I'm far too old for this adolescent symbolic stuff anyway.
All we're doing here is indulge our adolescent play instincts.

Like any movie or game, it is what you make of it. I went almost completely through it on the developer's website - just how I'm supposed to look behind which shrubs eludes me (any suggestions?). I haven't found the picture with the hint, unfortunately - some of them are damn hard to find when you're playing in daylight.

This is something refreshingly different, I think I'm starting to like free games. Will likely make a donation later, instead of downloading the game. Also a European co-production by a Polish programmer, with British and Denglish (German-English) voice acting and a French ending (fin). Bring on more of this, say I!

Oh, and without any supernatural elements - I hardly thought it was possible given the current "pay" game scene.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascovel View Post
When I saw the first trailers I was very impressed by the way it combines static images into 3D spatial compositions. It's even better to experience this on your own inside the game - especially in the dream with the ghost the "spatial" effect was very interesting (and very well used with the "going in circles" theme). Combined with the drawing-with-light interface and the places which were chosen for the nighttime photos, it does have that dreamy feel of an urban place recreated from memory, but desolate and modified by imagination.
Yes, I fully agree with this part of your post. The visual part of the game is very good and the ghost concept in particular.
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