I just played the Asylum teaser. Finally, another game that evokes the same slow-burning dread as the classic Scratches. This is fantastic - I can’t wait for the full version!
I have one minor piece of feedback, a feature request. Judging by what I’ve read about Dagonity, I suspect it would be easy to implement, and it would be an automatic, huge win in terms of inspiring a sense of presence, at least for me. Free look. Rather than move the mouse cursor around the screen and then slowly start to pan the camera when the cursor nears the edge, lock the cursor to the center of the screen and pan the camera in a fast, responsive way similar to any “true 3D” first-person game. I don’t believe this would have any effect on the puzzle mechanics; Asylum could even have option to switch between free look and the traditional adventure game control scheme the teaser uses.
Asylum’s beautiful panoramic views invoke different expectations than traditional adventure games with static images. I keep wanting to turn my head and look around the environment. However, whenever I try to look around, I run into a stumbling block that pulls me out the game world and forces me to focus on the controls. I have to deliberately reposition the cursor near the edge of the screen, close enough to start panning but not so close I pan too fast and overshoot my target, and then I have to quickly back off the cursor from the edge once I get close. This process feels delayed and clumsy, and it breaks my immersion every time. Free look feels much more natural for panning.
The difference is analogous to playing a 3D, first-person game with a console controller versus playing with a keyboard and mouse. Sure, I can get used to panning with a thumbstick, but the mouse is more responsive and more precise. This isn’t a console game, so why not let me use my mouse properly? By all appearances, this is a 3D game, and it feels hobbled without free look.