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Incline Between Horizons - sci-fi detective adventure from the creator of Lacuna

HoboForEternity

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https://af.gog.com/en/game/between_horizons?as=1649904300
INCOMING TRANSMISSION
### CALL SIGN: ZEPHYR
### SENT: APPROX. 10 MONTHS AGO

## VOICE LOG (TRANSCRIPT)
# Hello, Earth. I hope this message reaches you. It is my duty to tell you about the events that transpired on the ship, and why our mission did not go as planned. I am sorry.

### ATTACHED FILES
## MISSION-STATUS.LOG
# Things have changed dramatically since our previous report. Unbeknownst to the Crew, certain elements... [READ MORE]
## SECURITY-REPORT.LOG
# The current situation both in the Population and Crew is very tense. There have been open hostilities... [READ MORE]

sv-gameplay-2.gif

About the game
Between Horizons is set aboard the Zephyr, humanity's first generation ship en route to another star. You assume the role of Stella, who was born on the ship 24 years ago and recently inherited her father's post as Chief of Security. Dive into the conspiracy behind the incident that threatens to disrupt the Zephyr's social order and foil its mission.

Between Horizons is a modern 2.5D pixel art adventure that brings a branching narrative into a semi-open world. The team at DigiTales has applied numerous lessons from their first game Lacuna and proven solutions to detective game design problems to maximize player agency in the investigation process – all the while maintaining the tight pacing of a meaningful story that will ask you to reevaluate your moral compass and make increasingly tough decisions as the situation aboard the ship spirals out of control.

sv-gameplay-4.gif

Features
  • Between Horizons brings you investigation gameplay and an enthralling, branching sci-fi story in an ever-expanding Metroidvania-style space ship.
  • Failure is very much an option. If you submit wrong solutions, the story will go on and you'll have to live with the consequences. A new and improved auto-save system will make sure there is no going back. The story branches and ends based on your decisions and performance.
  • The semi-open world of the Zephyr offers a large amount of player agency in conducting investigations. Explore the ship's unique areas, get to know its inhabitants, find clues and establish connections until the full picture reveals itself – or not.
  • The flexible evidence system lets you assign clues to cases, confront people about them, and submit any case with any evidence you have found, requiring you to think hard about how everything you find on the ship is connected.
  • A modular dialog system allows for dynamic, non-repeating conversations that require you to pick your answers carefully.
  • Underneath the game's exciting and believable sci-fi plot lies a number of thought-provoking problems inviting you to, among others, weigh intergenerational responsibility against personal freedom.
  • Between Horizons is not a point and click adventure. Its controls are modern and direct, supporting both keyboard (WASD) and controller input.
  • Timeless pixel art mixed with 3D environments and state-of-the-art visual effects come together in creating a unique, beautiful art style.
  • The audio team behind Lacuna's dense soundscapes will create the ship's sonic atmosphere and a gripping electronic soundtrack.
  • Between Horizons will be available in a number of languages that have yet to be confirmed. Add it to your wish list and check back in a while!

sv-gameplay-5.gif

Lacuna was pretty great. looking forward to this.
 
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Kev Inkline

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A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
I just found out about this game. Gonna have go at it and Colony Ship at the same time, when both have their production finished.

TY2v.gif
 

Zombra

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Demo has the awful JRPG "text crawl", with an extra twist: sometimes after a sentence appears, it waits a few seconds and then continues with more text in the same dialogue box ... so if you read quickly and press the key to advance to the next box, you might see another line start to appear and then get cut off, forever lost. I posted an aggravated thread on the Steam forums. Let's hope they can get that fixed because this shit is unplayable for me.
 

Zombra

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Demo has the awful JRPG "text crawl", with an extra twist: sometimes after a sentence appears, it waits a few seconds and then continues with more text in the same dialogue box ... so if you read quickly and press the key to advance to the next box, you might see another line start to appear and then get cut off, forever lost. I posted an aggravated thread on the Steam forums. Let's hope they can get that fixed because this shit is unplayable for me.
Update, the developers promised that every feature that Lacuna had will also be available here, and Lacuna did have the option to turn off the text crawl.
 

Modron

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Text crawl is one of the greatest sins a developer can commit (and often an indicator of terminal weeabism), the only remotely acceptable form of crawl are the more scroll like forms of line by line or sentence by sentence as those don't impede your reading of individual words.
 

toro

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The demo was updated but honestly I cannot play it. The game world design and the world navigation is simply atrocious. The same thing with the UI and the PDA.

It's insane how retarded new developers can be. I no longer care about navigating empty game worlds which don't bring anything worthy to the overall experience.

Make it simple. Make it efficient. Add a game world map and let me travel to whatever place I want. Fallout 1 did it 25 years ago. Insomnia the Ark did it a couple of years back. Why is so hard to implement something so simple and efficient??

1189746-fallout-screenshot.jpg


53235101020_97861e9edc_o.png
 

mediocrepoet

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Text crawl is one of the greatest sins a developer can commit (and often an indicator of terminal weeabism), the only remotely acceptable form of crawl are the more scroll like forms of line by line or sentence by sentence as those don't impede your reading of individual words.
The only remotely acceptable form of text crawl is if it's at the beginning of a Star Wars movie or game.
 

luj1

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Make it simple. Make it efficient. Add a game world map and let me travel to whatever place I want. Fallout 1 did it 25 years ago. Insomnia the Ark did it a couple of years back. Why is so hard to implement something so simple and efficient??

Because everyone is overthinking it
 

Zombra

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Text crawl has been fixed in the demo. I agree navigation is slow paced but I am okay with that in this style of game. Teleporting would feel cheap.
 

Modron

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Coming March 25th: https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1921980/view/4195736292001541310
Launch Date Revealed
Aboard the Zephyr on March 25th!

Fellow detectives, we are thrilled to announce that our sci-fi detective adventure Between Horizons will launch on March 25th, 2024! Time for you to hop on board of the generation ship Zephyr, and take on the role of Stella - the newly assigned Chief of Security. Dive into the conspiracy behind the incident that threatens to disrupt the Zephyr’s social order and foil its mission.

While we're counting the days until release, we're adding the final touches to the game to provide you a fantastic gaming experience.

You can watch the new release date reveal trailer right here:

We can't wait for you to enter the Zephyr and utilize your detective skills to unravel the mysteries happening on this ship. Don't forget, failure is very much an option.
 

agris

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i wonder why people make games mixing different levels of pixelation like that.

the UI is crystal clear with anti-aliasing , the character sprites looks straight out of a 320x200 game, the maps are something like 640x480, and all the lit elements are crisply anti-aliased.
 

HoboForEternity

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Played this for 2 hours or so. So far it's good.

The gameplay revolve around collecting evidences and talking to people. There are "deduction" where you can insert from great array of evidences and profile you have collected, and you can present evidences to people to make them talk more. It is pretty freeform and you can definitely make the wrong choices.


So far what i think a missed opportunity is how lacking the dialogue presenting is. Like the only unique response is when you present relevant evidence to the right people otherwise they just day " i have nothing to tell about that". In games like ace attorney or even most adventure games, if you show people random objects they usually have something to say about them that give insight to character or a chance to tell some jokes. In between horizons for example presenting someone with a profile of their son doesnt illicit any unique respond because it's not relevant to the case so the whole character and conversation system feel stiff.
 

Ivan

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So far what i think a missed opportunity is how lacking the dialogue presenting is. Like the only unique response is when you present relevant evidence to the right people otherwise they just day " i have nothing to tell about that". In games like ace attorney or even most adventure games, if you show people random objects they usually have something to say about them that give insight to character or a chance to tell some jokes. In between horizons for example presenting someone with a profile of their son doesnt illicit any unique respond because it's not relevant to the case so the whole character and conversation system feel stiff.
That kind of reactivity really bothers me. It plants this small seed in my brain to want to try every noun for every character, not b/c I'm genuinely interested, but b/c it taps into some kind of OCD. Same kind of thing in JRPGs when they give NPCs unique dialogue for each world state. I'd much prefer if NPCs could be questioned about things that are only relevant to them. But of course I haven't played this title yet so I don't know if I'd feel "hey, this NPC should really have SOME opinion about NOUN. NOUN was their neighbor/friend after all."

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Hobo. I'm curious about the music. How are you finding it?
 

HoboForEternity

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So far what i think a missed opportunity is how lacking the dialogue presenting is. Like the only unique response is when you present relevant evidence to the right people otherwise they just day " i have nothing to tell about that". In games like ace attorney or even most adventure games, if you show people random objects they usually have something to say about them that give insight to character or a chance to tell some jokes. In between horizons for example presenting someone with a profile of their son doesnt illicit any unique respond because it's not relevant to the case so the whole character and conversation system feel stiff.
That kind of reactivity really bothers me. It plants this small seed in my brain to want to try every noun for every character, not b/c I'm genuinely interested, but b/c it taps into some kind of OCD. Same kind of thing in JRPGs when they give NPCs unique dialogue for each world state. I'd much prefer if NPCs could be questioned about things that are only relevant to them. But of course I haven't played this title yet so I don't know if I'd feel "hey, this NPC should really have SOME opinion about NOUN. NOUN was their neighbor/friend after all."

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Hobo. I'm curious about the music. How are you finding it?
Weaker than lacuna so far imo. It's mostly really ambient some synth some piano. Not bad, and work for the setting, but some lacuna soundtrack i play occasionally even after all these years like this:

 

Zombra

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So far what i think a missed opportunity is how lacking the dialogue presenting is. Like the only unique response is when you present relevant evidence to the right people otherwise they just day " i have nothing to tell about that".
To be fair, while I LOVE it when there is unique dialogue for every combo, this can be a colossal amount of writing work for a small team. I just finished a solodev detective game that is only 90 minutes long, and the guy said it took him a full year to write unique responses for every clue for every question.

I do agree that it would be nice to have some obvious but wrong combinations covered here of course.
 

HoboForEternity

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finished it. some impression:

1. pretty good story and detective mechanics. very free-form. the end stat i got 7/10 deduction right. i got the key and the final one right, i realized i might be wrong on 1 deduction, but i dont know which other 2 i got wrong, the game didnt tell you immediately.
2. on top of that, based on the achievements, i missed some deeper layer to the conspiracy. this is basically your sidequests, i found a few but but didnt untangle everything.
3. there are C&C outside of the correct deduction, so the story can develop on different level, the first if you get your facts right, then your own story choice like
based on that you can take over the mutiny and take power for yourself which i didnt get nor didnt even realize that you can do without looking at the cheevo list
4. there is a relatively intensive ending slides explaining the result of your choices and the fate of the ship with major characters you interact with have their own endings.

some criticism:

1. i really would like more flavor texts and characterization, but at the same time like ivan said, this made every line relevant to the investigations and uncovering the secrets. all your conversations are recorded in a log sorted by time. you have to consult those logs over and over to cross-examine statement and evidences. i could see why they didnt put more flavor text because it would make those logs overwhelming and overcrowded. the current system they have in the game made every line important.

2. the ability to sort evidence based on if it's an object, a profile or location. by the end i have like 100+ evidences and scrolling through that is a bit PITA.

3. no ability to rebind keys or at least toggle always run. gosh my fingers hurt trying to sprint everywhere.

but that's it, if you like lacuna this game is (from what i remember) even more open ended than that and certainly has very good detective system that almost doesnt hold your hand
 

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