Very interesting project! I am fond of sci-horror, as well as doing exploration, so the theme was gripping. The technical execution felt flawed, though, the gameplay itself rather glitchy, nonetheless, the mixture of investigation, puzzle and narrative, complimented with an atmospheric soundtrack, made it worth a time for me. On the second playthrough, once having figured out the clockwork of how does the puzzle work out, made the task seem much more mathematic, but I guess it is inadequate to expect high replayability value from this type of experimental adventure.
This game may not work properly on Retina Mac devices! I'm working on a fix.
Through the blizzard ahead of you, you make out the silhouette of station RX-83. It's been eight days since anyone heard from the researchers there. No-one expects this story to have a happy ending, but regardless, someone has to write it.
You've arrived on the outskirts of a remote research station that was excavating an unusual find, deep into the arctic wastes of this planet. Explore the station, discover what happened, and document the fate of the crew that lived there.
About The Game
Condition Unknown is a short vignette game, in a series of prototype projects I began in 2018 with Nothing Beside Remains. It explores the use of procedural generation in information games, and is inspired by games like Return of the Obra Dinn, the PROCJAM 2014 entry The Inquisitor, and lots of generative simulation games. It only takes a few minutes to explore the basics of, but may take a long time to properly finish - it may also be impossible to finish, depending on how the simulation shakes out.
To get the most out of this game, I recommend:
- Reading all of this text.
- Playing the game once (quit if you get bored, or you can end by pressing Tab, filling in your report, and hitting submit)
- Read the Developer Notes about the game
- (Optional) Don't play the game again
- (Optional) Read the Spoiler Notes about the game
How To Play
Once the game begins, you control the Auditor in the center of the screen. Clicking somewhere will make you move closer to that spot (you can also use the arrow keys).
Clicking on a research terminal will show the message on its screen. Exclamation marks are on unread terminals, but you can re-read a terminal at any time.
Pressing Tab will display the Crew Roster. This is useful for understanding certain roles on-site. It also lets you write in the cause of death for each crew member. You can submit your final report here too - pressing the submit button ends the game, forever.
Hovering over things displays information in the bottom-left, which can be very useful. Your current location is displayed in the bottom-right, also useful.
Tip: The research terminals record events that happened in the station, mostly during the final hours. Each message is timestamped, which can help you construct a timeline. Each message also has a sender, and can reveal information like locations of people or events.
Thanks to Andrew Dunn for naming the game, as well as other Sekrit folk for testing and providing feedback (incl Charlie, Chris, John, Peter, Kor, Sam, CK, Fed, Stuart and Nat). Thanks to luminadii and Yoyodaman234 for sound effects, and to Kenney and Oryx for art.