(Wall of Text, I know I'm deeply sorry, but when I start writing I barely can stop... ^^' )
Thank you very much for clearing some things up. But I got much more where that came from!
PS: Expect even more years of puzzlement and mulling after Asylum :P
This teasing! I'm dying to play Asylum. :nod:
But I also really appreciate, that you take all the time you need to perfect the game. It's really a shame of how many games (which appear good and promising at first) turn out to be a complete waste of money, and makes you wonder, what the developers have done with the million budgets. That's why I love Indie developers, since they don't have the financial means to literally plug their games full of unnecessary content but instead have to focus on good and innovative gameplay (Penumbra/Amnesia or Dear Esther are good examples in my opinion).
The fun, challenge and 120 hours I've spend by now in "The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth" for 10€ are in no way comparable to most games I played for +50€. (as an instance)
- About those blueprints, now that's a new one! I never heard about it -- where did you read this? While there were some differences between demo and final game, we never hid any development sketches or notes in any version of the game. Sorry to kill this apparent urban legend :(
Yeah, this is really strange. I read this in a forum once, where they talked about the Easter Eggs in Scratches. They mentioned some way to open a clock and something in a dark corner in one of the teasers, which I also haven't found yet...
[...] However, I still have early takes from certain rooms and sections of the game. I hope some day to make these public, along with intriguing details and trivia about the development of Scratches :)
That would be great!
I'm also looking forward to the documentory about Asylum! I love such interesting bonus content, since I try to get into game development too. You can really see the amount of work and precision you took into the game yet. For instance: Since I'm also interesting in urban exploring (I love to read reports with photos about the buildings/places and their stories), I really got the feeling of being in a real asylum I saw pictures of.
(I just hope there won't be any "someone-is-standing-right-behind-me" jumpscares, due to the mental problems of the main character... ^^')
====But back to Scratches============================================
I read in an interview about the "original" ending you had in mind for Scratches (in which there was a chance for Michael to die) and agree why you've changed it.
However, come to think about the story and events of the game, I came up with an own scary and confusing ending:
When you perform the ritual on the mask, walking heroicly down the manor, knowing you might have defeated the curse (assuming there really was one) there is nothing happening in the main hall (no scratching sounds, but you can discover the secret way down the fireplace). At this point of the game, the only way finding Robin was to hear the Scratching and check the fireplace again. Since Michael has otherwise neither clue, where to find the mysterious shadow of the basement, nor the time to do so, he has to leave the mansion. But now it comes:
When getting outside, you discover a hole next to you, where you can see Robin has escaped and traces leaving into the forest. Utterly fearless, as we know Michael by now, he can enter the hole and discover the lair (or alternatively use the fireplace).
I think, just seeing the hole (which would be scary as hell) and then investigate the lair would've also worked in a wonderful way to end the game, because the teddy already indicates the existence of the son down there. An ending in that way came basically instantly to my mind back then, when I saw the hole Robin dug. Of course it would've been much larger than it is in "The Last Visit", with maybe horrifying blood traces, hand imprints, etc.
One last thing:
When you know what is happening, the game becomes even scarier. I mean Michael mentions distant occasional noises, when you're down in the basement. Knowing that this cell is basically just a wall away from you... creeeeepy.
I also read in the forum archive about the meat truck, you originally wanted to make an appearance in the game... Imagine: In the 3 days, Michael spends at this Manor, someone sneaks onto the Manor and throws the meat down the grating, while you we're inside the house (or even worse exploring the exterior of the manor). Imagine you would've seen a shadow sneaking through the grates when coming from the chapel or something...
Anyway, I would like to hear if anyone else has similar ideas than me. I already heard about the conspiracy theory that Jerry lured Michael into the manor as feed. Really nice one too!
As always: Thanks for reading, and have a nice day!