Play the Game!
The Lake is a text game exploring sound based on a nightmare that I frequently witnessed.
The Lake is a twine based puzzle game that was developed over a 2 week period for the class CMPM 80K: Foundations of Game Design at University of California, Santa Cruz.
The narrative of the game tells of a personal experience, a nightmare I frequently witnessed as a child. Now, no longer seeing this dream, I created this game to capture the confusion and despair I felt myself. To induce this, the text and font are intentionally nearly illegible, buttons and other things are completely white to not detract from the game play.
The player lands in an area of the game completely unknown. The first landmark they see is a tree, and initially this was the only tree. On the tree, if the player chooses to inspect it, are glyphs. Text engraved onto the tree. The text is supposed to be cryptic, but those who are trained to see IPA will quickly recognize it to read exit. Inspecting the text causes the letter to glow, indicating one part of the puzzle to be completed. The player must then navigate through the level and activate the rest of the letters, however this is not easy. The player must first deduce how the level plays by reading a memorizing contextual clues.
If the player chooses to move up, he will always move up along the plane, if down is chosen, they will move down along the plane, left will move them backwards, and right will move them forwards. Originally it was intended for the player to keep a constant direction such that it would be easier for the player to figure out orientation and what not, however due to time constraints this could not be implemented.
Once the player has successfully completed all trials in order, a gate will appear denoted by sound cues. The sound cues still exist far before the trials are completed mainly to allow the player to navigate better without getting lost. This was something that play testers requested to make play more accessible.