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Press Release Dark Fall

Story

A hurried and desperate phone call from your brother, Pete Crowhurst, draws you to the Dorset Village of Dowerton. He is a popular and talented architect commissioned to redevelop the abandoned railway station and adjoining hotel, which has been sealed since it was closed in 1947. Why did the station close, is there any truth behind the rumours that the setting is haunted, or that it has a long history of disappearances. You think over these facts as you proceed to London's Paddington Station where the last late train awaits...

The journey to Dowerton is typical, slow and frustrating. So why do you suddenly awake in darkness, in the cold, damp railway tunnel just outside the ruined station. What or who brought you here?

Exploring the ticket hall, platforms and multiple rooms of the hotel, you realise that something is very wrong. Most rooms have decayed over time, but others are almost as fresh as they would have been in 1947. A phone rings out from a distant room, whispers echo down the empty halls and you become aware that you may not be as alone as you thought. Has the planned redevelopment disturbed something, a dark and powerful force that has been dormant for decades....

Where is your brother? Is there a connection between his disappearance and the stories you uncover throughout your exploration?

Armed with ghost hunting gadgets and your wits you set out to solve the Dowerton mystery.

Setting

Throughout the adventure you will discover layer upon layer of mystery and intriguing stories. The hotel was closed in 1947 following a mass disappearance at midnight on the 29th April. The owner at the time, Mr. George Crabtree, had a fondness for differing design and architecture, resulting in a rich a detailed environment. The cool minimalism of the 1920's contrasts with the dark woods and heavy mouldings of the Victorian age. The second world war had come and gone by the time of the closure, but it has left its mark on the domestic rooms and living areas. It is, essentially, a living museum. This does not aid your mood, and the oppressive interiors hide secrets and danger. Your trusty lantern is essential.

The actual station was built at the time of the Great Western Railway expansion, and reflects the grandness of the designs from that time. Even the smallest rural station has motifs of the grand interiors of London and you can imagine the steam trains rushing through.... in fact, are you sure that it is your imagination!

Beyond the station the Dorsetshire countryside is cloaked in darkness, venturing as far as the nearby wood, where further derelict buildings await you....

 

Gameplay

Dark Fall is a non-linear adventure, with few locked doors. You progress through the game at your own pace, piecing together the clues you find and gathering information. Journals, websites and scattered notes are all waiting for you to find them, unlock their clues and use the knowledge to your advantage. A multitude of puzzles and occurrences will unlock the secrets, enabling you to form a plan of action, which eventually leads you to a direct confrontation with your enemy, the actual Dark Fall. It has been waiting for you.

You will interact with many of the items and 'real world' machines that you find, everything from a modern theodolite to a Victorian Magic Lantern.... Experimentation and observation will be your guide. This is especially important once you have found the computer system set up by two local ghost hunters, who have also disappeared. CCTV, thermometers and microphones are placed around the setting, enabling you to view and listen to possible supernatural activity.

Along the way you will collect several items for your inventory : including an old train lantern, a rusted screwdriver (one of those adventure essentials!) and some odd pieces of technology. You will have to discover their use, and once accomplished, your ghost hunting will be all the more revealing!

 

XXv Productions and Dark Fall 

XXv Productions is a small new media production company based in London's East End. Founded in 1996, by Jonathan Boakes, the company has produced short films, websites, interactive CD-ROM based material and one previous adventure style game (not commercially released). The production of this game has taken 14 months, with all the modelling work and programming carried out by Jonathan himself. A labour of love. Dark Fall will be the first of many adventures produced over the coming years, with two further games already in pre-production. The company has recently expanded to include a devoted writer, researcher and promoter.

Jonathan says : "The inspiration for Dark Fall came about during the freezing months of winter 2000. I was having a Christmas break in the Dorsetshire countryside, and while out exploring, literally came across a deserted train station on an abandoned train line. It was amazing how much of the station still existed : the light fittings, buffet rooms, waiting room and cast iron footbridges still hinted at their former life and made my head spin with ideas. I started to wonder why the station had closed down, and what secrets and times it had seen. I was indulging in quite a lot of supernaturally flavoured material at that time (well, it was Christmas!) and gradually came up with the idea for Dark Fall. I am a big fan of the adventure game genre, and have hundreds in my collection (with Riven, Blackstone Chronicles and Zork : Nemesis among my favourites). I decided that if I was going to tell the Dowerton story it would have to be as an interactive graphic adventure. It would ! suit the pace, detail and tone of the story. Players can take their time to navigate the environment (using the traditional slide show navigational technique), and take in as much or as little as they choose. Exploring is easy, as the buildings are presented logically and to scale. A true feeling of exploration is promoted by the fact that every visible area can be accessed. No doors that never get unlocked!"

Release

Dark Fall will be available to buy on-line direct from the company from June 2002. To receive updates and other information visit the website and register via the feedback page or e-mail darkfallgame@aol.com

 

adventure-archiv 03-06-02

 

 

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