After a full four month’s hiatus that saw them retreat into the shadows with no public exposition or update to the progress of Insane Decay of Mind: The Sound of Silence, the young Italian team of GoManga Interactive resurfaced earlier this month with news that their first-person indie horror escapade had ventured into Virtual Reality by means of a spin-off.
Called simply Insane Decay of Mind, this VR outing hurls players into a labyrinth of twisted, psychologically trying happenings that occur within protagonist Katherine Watson’s mind in between the events of Acts I and II of the main game’s saga.
As minds turned warped over three progressively difficult, procedurally generated stages, one must make use of interactive items, solve puzzles and avoid the Shadows — manifestations of the leading lady’s darkest nightmares — all in search of an escape route.
What’s more, besides having to be powered by the Oculus Rift DK2, Oculus Rift CV1, HTC Vive Pre or the HTC Vive alone, the spin-off is also playable as a standard Windows powered game making it an interesting means for followers to get their first full-fledged taste of the original tale in development.
Conceived late into 2014, Insane Decay of Mind: The Sound of Silence’s primary lore narrates the challengingly disturbing events that unfold after one Katherine Watson finds herself trapped within an old World War II era manor; A manor she soon begins to perceive as her School before a deranged assortment of forces haunt her through its nightmare ridden corridors.
Divided into three Acts, the game’s playable portion began to take form over the course of 2015 wherein it witnessed its First develop through a series of refinements and playable teasers. Post bringing this work-in-progress adventure to Higher Eclectic Ground in the month of October the same year, GoManga interactive had then proceeded to announce plans of a crowd-funding campaign that was to follow the Act’s completion.
In keeping with the same, the game received its first full-fledged trailer with the onset of the New Year. Soon after though, all updates ceased as the team stated behind-the-scenes that they’d come in contact with Italian independent game production company IV Productions and its founder Ivan Ventauri.
Over the following weeks Ventauri pushed to have Merge Games Ltd. take notice of The Sound of Silence’s quirks, which eventually resulted in the British indie game publisher proposing to help release a VR based spin-off of the game.
‘We immediately accepted for the very reason that’s obvious for an independent team such as ours: it would be the best way of getting Insane Decay of Mind noticed,’ explains Lead Programmer Francesco Pio Squillante. ‘Furthermore, the way the game’s been programmed is just perfect for VR; it’s dark and creepy atmosphere, unpredictable events and deafening sounds, all combined with virtual reality would only help players better identify with Katherine’s plight much before the full game’s release.
Naturally, the work on Act II that was to ensue over the first quarter of this year was put on hold to focus on the VR game. Building upon what the team had already constructed over the past year, development proceeded behind closed doors to only make an alpha appearance during the course of the Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco, before the venture was finally made public by IV Productions on the 21st of April, 2016.
As it stands now, the Insane Decay of Mind VR game omits all aspects of a narrative. Its game play seems to fully base itself on the mechanics we tried and tested in our play-through of The Sound of Silence’s Act I back in December last year, and the most noticeable change lies in its upgraded visuals. There is however plenty more than simply finding one’s way through this visually upgraded, non-verbal construct of insanity as Squillante reveals —
‘Besides the Shadows, players will encounter several character from Katherine’s past who will in turn influence game play; side objectives of sorts. There are then over 50 hidden achievements, each of which uncover a variety of her secrets that are in effect spread out over the three Acts of the main game. And so while Insane Decay of Mind contains no particular narrative, one can unravel the entire saga’s story anywhere from a few to 30 hours with a little bit of patience and persistence.’
Acting on the complaints and mixed response that stemmed out from the multitude of bugs that supplemented the game on release day, the team released an update to counteract the same on the 18th of May last week. As for the main story’s future, Squillante suggests that while Merge’s involvement in the full game is as of now uncertain, development of the same will proceed regardless.
‘We will of course go back and redefine the First Act of The Sound of Silence’, he reveals. ‘before we finally move to designing the Second. The vision is to release each of the three Acts separately over a span of several months, but that’s a topic for the future.’
Insane Decay of Mind is now available on Steam for 3 USD. While one might catch some of the Network’s own Writers and Video Artists dabble in the spin-off over the forthcoming weeks, be sure to visit Insane Decay of Mind: The Sounds of Silence’s Higher Eclectic Space wherein its progress continues to be recorded for a better perspective of its bizarre nuances.
With the month of January well past us, Community music partners Isle of Bass send in yet another artist to bask under February’s spotlight. And just as last month — where they spruced things up by sending the Community its first vocalist in the form of the beautiful, Kathryn MacLean — things are to turn rather eclectic with the arrival of a rather uncommon genre.
Meet Steve-Phillips Durandal, better known by his stage name, Durandal. An American music producer since 2011, while Durandal harbours both affinity & talent within the Bass & Hip-Hop genres, his biggest draw lies in Dubstep, which he infuses with a sound so specific that it transforms itself into a sub-genre not too known amidst causal EDM circles — Deep or Dark Dubstep. And yet still, that hasn’t stopped his work from picking up within a label that is known primarily for its feet-tapping EDM, Drum, Bass & traditional electronic mixes.
‘Deep Dubstep is not a genre we feature often and so naturally, I am surprised by the positive response his music has received’, explains label co-founder & executive Craig MacLeod Evans. ‘He emailed me a few years back asking to promote a remix of Six Underground’s Sneaker Pimps & our relationship grew from there. Not only did he end up bringing a few more of his friends onto the label but also caused our audience to ask for more of his style. That remix ultimately became one of his most popular tracks within the label as well.’
With Durandal’s presence on the Community of course, comes the opportunity to collaborate with him. Every Sunday until the end of February, the Isle of Bass will be bringing you one of his top original compositions to either use for your own projects or enable you to grab an understanding of his capabilities — beginning with an ode to one of classic Horror’s renowned tales, Stephen King’s Carrie.
Titled Deception, Durandal’s first exhibit on the community was part of his 2014 released, 5-track Night Terror EP — wherein every track sampled bits and pieces from the producer’s favourite horror flicks. ‘I wanted to make it deep and dark, while telling the story of Carrie’s friends deceiving her’, explains Durandal in reference to Deception. ‘I felt like that was the best way to portray the story in her eyes.’
Intrigued? Should you wish to use this track or commission him for any Dubstep, Bass or Hip-Hop compositions for your forthcoming projects — Durandal has for himself his own Higher Eclectic Space that brings you the latest from not only his Soundcloud, but also contains all the information one would require to get in touch with him in addition to the original compositions we feature. Be sure to tune back in next week for even more Dark.
Isle of Bass is an independent music label covering genres spanning DnB, dubstep and electro, with an ideology similar to that of ours – to showcase independent talent in need of appreciation. Every month, the label brings the Community one of its most trending artists — providing our independent gaming members with access to unique electronic talent. To learn more & even learn of prior artists features, drop by the label’s Partners’ page.