That's your bedroom. Oh my god, it's awsome.
Hi everyone! This is Adam, otherwise known as PixelDough, the creator of Start Survey!
I wanted to share some fun facts about the game that I felt are worth mentioning. So here's 10 in no specific order!
- The room in the game is almost an exact replica of my actual bedroom where I work on my laptop. The walls and ceiling, the placement of the bed and the desk, the door in the hallway, and even the view outside the window are all based on my actual bedroom!
- When I first started working on the game, it was originally going to be a lot different! It was a lot like the survival sections in Five Night's at Freddy's: Pizzeria Simulator, but in VR! When I started planning out my game, I ended up coming up with the idea of taking a survey on a computer in your bedroom, but it was still quite different. There was going to be a monster coming at you from the hallway, and you had to defend yourself while you were taking the survey. From there, the game ended up going through a few more changes until it became what the game is today! Personally, I like this form the best.
- If you find yourself thinking about some of these questions, then I succeeded. One of my goals was to make a game, not to push any sort of belief, but to at least inspire people to ask deep questions, and rethink their assumptions. I noticed a lot of players on YouTube get hesitant at certain questions, and that's always a bit satisfying to see.
- The shadow creature behind the desk was a big hit, I've seen lots of comments talking about it! However, that encounter almost ended up completely different! Originally, once the door had been opened (while the room was dark), the creature would spawn in the side doorway adjacent to the open door. Upon seeing it, it would hide similar to how it does now, but when looking back at your computer, it would be behind it and hide again. Eventually, I decided that the suspense built up by the "person behind you" question needed a form of release, so I changed the encounter to have the creature show up after that question. BTW: These shadow creatures are one of the only remaining bits from my original idea for a sit-and-survive horror game.
- The black and white effect was deliberately chosen to make the game resemble the original The Twilight Zone TV series. However, I designed everything in the game with color in mind. I felt that it game the game more authenticity, but I ended up adding the ability to switch to color mode very late in development (the very day that I released the game).
- At one point, the player had the ability to throw items they had picked up. This was a lot of fun, but I ended up scrapping it for a couple reasons. For one, there was originally supposed to be a lot more physics props in the room, with a shelf behind the player and some stuff in a corner. However, due to the time constraints of the game jam, I had to cut all that detail out of the scope. I also had planned to have some questions ask the player to throw some things away, using the trashcan mechanic, and I didn't want a player to lose a key item underneath the desk or behind the bed, where they can't pick it back up.
- My proudest accomplishment from this game is actually... The Water Bottle! I know it's such a minor thing in the game, but it's my favorite thing I did for the project. Prior to this game, I've had very very poor experience with 3D modeling and texturing. Most of my game experience has been with 2D games, so 3D models are still new to me. That water bottle is the first real model I've hand-made for a game! I made the texture and marked the sharp edges to give the bottle a smooth look while giving the lid a sharp edge.
- My second proudest accomplishment from this game is probably the clock! It directly mirrors your computer's system time, which further emphasizes the story that you are the computer, sitting at the "desktop" with the clock, trashcan, files and games!
- The intractable objects were supposed to have a more intuitive "glow" effect when highlighted, rather than the text prompt. Sadly, the shaders were not being kind to me, and it made for a number of really frustrating graphical defects. It was hard for me to make the decision, but for what it was worth, I don't think the text prompts are entirely bad!
- Many people have noted this, but parts of this game are inspired by a horror short film called "He Dies at the End". It was midway through development when I was reminded of that short film, and decided to write some of my questions similar to the ones in it. However, some people have said my game is a ripoff of the short film, and that is simply not true. From the very beginning, my story was about you, the player, being the computer, and another person is asking the computer questions. The concept might be similar, but they are both very distinct and tell vastly different stories.