00:00
00:00
ForgottenDawn
Hi! I make stuff. Professional Noise/Doodle-maker

29, Male

Italy

Joined on 2/22/13

Level:
17
Exp Points:
3,170 / 3,210
Exp Rank:
14,868
Vote Power:
5.94 votes
Rank:
Civilian
Global Rank:
76,646
Blams:
1
Saves:
80
B/P Bonus:
0%
Whistle:
Bronze
Trophies:
4
Medals:
294
Supporter:
1y 4m 1d

ForgottenDawn's News

Posted by ForgottenDawn - July 11th, 2016


Hey folks, been a while.

Something curious happened today. I was listening to some painfully slow metal. Today has been hot, like really hot. I was sweating gallons with my blood pressure below my feet, so my brain didn't want anything complicated to process. Something to channel this whole groggy, like-somebody-had-beaten-me-with-a-rusty-iron-pole feeling.

I decided to type "atmospheric funeral doom metal" in the Youtube search bar to see what I'd find. You know, uplifting, cheery stuff. First video on the list: something I made 5 years ago on my old, now inactive account KK Slider. I look up the views count: nearly 40'000.

Granted I almost completely forgot about it, since I no longer go back to my old account, that was still pretty surprising. There was even a following of people I didn't know about. And the second video, the "sequel" to that one had over 18'000 views. Now, for comparison's sake, my current Youtube channel has a total amount of 16'000 views, more or less. So... how did I get all those folks in a 5 year time?

I thought it was because of the title. Youtube tags videos based on their title, so something with "Atmospheric Funeral Doom Metal" automatically becomes a search pool for similar searches. FDM is also a fairly uncommon niche genre with a pretty devoted, cult following. I guess the stars just aligned like that.

So now I am really torn. I have been against the use of genre names - unless I am really forced to because of a stupid rule that won't otherwise allow me to upload anything (I'm looking at you, Audiojungle), simply because they don't mean anything, it's just a categorization pretty much exploited by critics, labels and the industry to make more money and divide fanbases around the world. Hell, even the definition of "music" is entirely subjective. I have always wanted to compose music to encourage thinking and inspire people to come up with their own interpretations and worlds. For my video titles, so far I've been using a [artist name] - [song title] format. Direct, for sure, though in terms of views ineffective due to the fact that I'm no superstar and therefore not many people search for the words "Forgotten Dawn" as they would search, say, "really cute kitty". I'm not a really cute kitty.

Therefore, I am asking your thoughts about it. What do you think would be best to do in this scenario? Leaving things how they are and pray that people will come, or adding genre tags to my video titles?

Here's the poll: http://www.strawpoll.me/10723166

Feel free to leave a comment and stay tuned.

//FD


Oh, and here's the almost-40K views video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm-8DwO8XxE


Posted by ForgottenDawn - June 18th, 2016


It's here.

https://the-underground-collective.bandcamp.com/album/volume-i

It's a freebie that you can't overlook.

The grand effort between many different artists on Newgrounds coalesced into this massive collab album, featuring 26 tracks and a 65-page PDF containing interviews from the musicians themselves! You just can't miss it.

If you love Newgrounds, then you'll love this. It's by the community, for the community.

I will continue to support the initiative and move onto the next collab when the time will come.

For now, enjoy

//FD


Also 200 fans, yay


Posted by ForgottenDawn - February 23rd, 2016


http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1405471

It's something I've always had in my head.

The idea of creating a community of creative people, sharing ideas and building new worlds, new possibilities. I've stated it in the past that this is one of the goals of Forgotten Dawn, as a project not simply related to audio, but extended to other medias and make it a social experience for everyone to share and enjoy.

Well, I think this might be a start. Starting from the beginning, obviously, which is Newgrounds. Pretty much my creative birthplace, back in 2009. I thought wow, this looks like a cool place. I could share my music, feedback and critique, I could watch some cool movies, play some great games, what more can a teenager ask? I didn't know any other place where I could do such a thing. It's not my first community either, and it's relatively rare to feel "home" in a website.

Now I gotta be honest, and this is where this newspost starts looking like a midnight confession rather than being informative, I haven't been very active from a community standpoint. Sure, I would participate in some contests sometimes, write a few posts, keep you folks updated on what I do, I am busy in real life and I pay my taxes just like everyone else, but at its core most of the times I don't really feel like sharing anything.

I've always wanted to avoid the drama because real life is already full of it, I don't need to be reminded of the countless gallons of gratuitious hatred and shitposting that happens every now and then on the boards and even outside the boards. It's detrimental to one's creativity. What gives? Just ignore it, right? Just suck it up and live on like a man. Well... no. It's not that simple, it never is simple.

If there's one thing that this kind of attitude brought in me is cynicism and apathy. Apathy towards what's really out there — the fact that out of the circle, there's a whole world to explore and there are millions of good people wanting to progress and evolve as individuals. Apathy towards the good things that make a community worth of being shared in the first place.

Cynicism towards the world for its ugly side that is constantly thrown in our faces, like everything's a sensationalist freak show we have to accept by an unspoken, unseen rule silently agreed by everyone around me except myself. Cynicism towards the community for what it is, believing nothing will ever change because that's what some people want you to believe. I'm sick and tired of people that do not want to change for the better while not letting others do their own thing peacefully. This nihilistic attitude is what hinders a community from seeing what is really there and what is actually happening to them.

Yes, I've felt like this for a long time. That's insanity.

I still believe deep down inside that some things will never really change. It's this existential nihilism, realizing the fragility of human beings and our volatile nature, that sometimes hinders me from giving a flying fuck in the first place. It's my lawn, and this is yours. Don't step in unless I ask you.

Stepping out of the circle and realizing the masquerade ball you've just left is more painful than you'd think. It's like realizing they have suddenly ripped a bunch of vital organs from your body, watching them tearing your body apart into a gory mess and you let them just do that, because you know, it's part of the circle jerk. It's a costume, right? Who gets more organs wins and the losers clean up the mess.

But you know... you eventually grow tired of that as well. When I realize I still have dreams to pursue. When I realize that there are people who have been investing in my capabilities. When I realize there are people that have already left this world, some of them still have a few years left to live, and I've been lucky enough to have met those people in time, embracing their legacy. It's the moment I need to realize that it's no longer my fight.

My ambitions and dreams are no longer "mine". It's the kind of wake up call that I wish more people would experience. Being able to embrace possibilities and build them, together. I created that forum post because I see it as a start of a movement of creative people wanting to voice their own ideas. Not ideals. Ideas. Many good ideas start from the underground and Newgrounds is a good place for blurring the line between "professional" and "amateur". I still believe Newgrounds is a goldmine of unscouted talent, or talents you have never even heard of. I want to give them a voice. That's where the idea of a "collective" started rooting in my head.

It's not a society, it's definitely not a hive. It's a group of Creators celebrating their creativity for everyone to enjoy and share. I also didn't want to call it an Audio collective because even if it primarily involves musicians/composers, more people might get involved, including visual artists, writers, animators, game designers, programmers, who knows. Possibilities are endless.

So... there you go. This is my legacy for the place that started everything for me.


Posted by ForgottenDawn - February 22nd, 2016


Hey folks, it's a pretty special day today :)

Forgotten Dawn is now 3 years old! Still a toddler, but it's growing fine, isn't it?

Aah, yes, it seems like yesterday when blah blah yadda yadda.

To celebrate the anniversary, here's a brand new track I composed just for the occasion.

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/672575

Enjoy and stay tuned for more updates!

//FD


Posted by ForgottenDawn - February 6th, 2016


_fade has just entered the GJ Fest upon releasing a new playable version, the 0.05, which I have announced not too long ago.

Wish me luck! It'd be a blast if my game could end up being showcased at the event! :)


Posted by ForgottenDawn - January 28th, 2016


Hey folks,

In case you've missed it, not too long ago I've submitted my WIP game/experience _fade on rpgmaker.net (RMN) to expand the game's audience and let more people know about the project.

I've been working like a madman lately trying to optimize what I have and implementing as many features as I can compared to the current available version, the 0.04.

Without further ado, the game is actually closer to beta territory than it has ever been and a 0.05 release might not require a lot of time to prepare. Take this information with a grain of salt, however, as I'd rather invest my time on quality instead of rushing things to a virtually non-existent deadline.

The response from the community so far has been great and unexpected. It's flattering, to say the least, and very heartwarming. I wish you guys from Newgrounds would spend a bit of your time on my project, even if just for one second flat. In fact, I've already shared its sample soundtrack that you can listen and download here for free (Playground, Sky Garden, Pulse), and if you're gonna play the game in its current alpha state, I highly advise you to read its premise to get in the right mood and mindset for the experience.

You may also follow the project on Gamejolt at this link.

Stay tuned for more updates,

//FD


Posted by ForgottenDawn - January 19th, 2016


Hey people, you probably have noticed I have been posting some old stuff recently.

I am fairly busy IRL currently and I'm working on multiple projects, including _fade.

So until there's anything new to share, you can have a look at my past soundtracks that I haven't yet shared on Newgrounds. Such pieces have been composed between 2013 and 2015, and in my book it's a pretty wide timespan considering I have been learning a lot of things during that time.

Feel free to check their related media as well, such as the Bandcamp albums and of course the games, all linked in the tracks descriptions. You can also find the whole albums on Youtube.

Here are some of the tracks I've shared:

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/665257

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/665069

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/664639

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/663615

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/639208

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/666115

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/666147

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/666188

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/666271

Stay tuned, see ya

//FD


Posted by ForgottenDawn - December 31st, 2015


Jolly news this time!

Right at the birth of a new year here is for you version 0.04 of fade :D

Here’s a list of the changes and future features:

  • New areas available on the Playground zone, including some non-interactable events
  • Redesigned Sky Garden with new accessible areas
  • Expanded Ruins maps
  • Updated sprite sheets
  • Event optimization
  • New BGM and sounds!
  • Some placeholder parallaxes present in the Sky Garden and Ruins (will be replaced at a later time)

What will we likely see in the future:

  • Puzzles!! That’s right. My main interest has been to lay a framework of the game maps in order to play around with events and various elements included in the scenarios. I do have an idea of the kind of events that need to take place, so stay tuned for that ;)
  • Updated graphics for parallaxes and sprites here and there, including collectibles and more in-game objects
  • More custom music and sound effects
  • A possible ending scenario (not a priority right now)
  • Secrets…

I think that’s the bulk of it for now.
Stay tuned for more and Happy New Year!
//FD

PS: Special thanks to Zack the Great for his contribution to testing, programming and placeholder artwork! ;) You rock, dude <3

http://gamejolt.com/games/fade/36054

4507507_145157751852_anotheridea_v3.jpg

 


Posted by ForgottenDawn - November 25th, 2015


Hey folks, what's good!

In the previous episode we talked about a puzzle/exploration game released not too long ago called Kairo. I highly recommend you to read the previous entries in order to give yourself a better idea of what all the fuss is about, and why all of a sudden I'm so eager to talk about exploration games.

This part is dedicated to not just a single game but rather an entire series of experiences. Experiences that the Newgrounds community has also stumbled upon at least once in the past since these games have been originally hosted on this very website back in the good old days. This time we take a look at the element of exploration from another point of view. A perspective that is part alienating, part protagonist.

I'm sure at least a good handful of people here are familiar with the so called "point and click" adventure games. You don't often have an on-screen character to lead, the scenarios are still backgrounds that act as the main scene of the game, and every action can be performed by a single mouse click. Such strain of adventure games has quite a glorious history spanning several decades, spawning directly from '70s and '80s text-based adventure games as soon as the first graphics were introduced in the mainstream.

4507507_144849641031_Zork_I_box_art.jpg

I could digress and fill entire pages with their history, but that's another story for another time and place. The concept of a point and click game is in my opinion intriguing because it often provides a distinctive aura of mystery as soon as the first screens are introduced to the player. Recent developments of the genre have pushed the envelope even further by giving such concepts a more stripped down, straightforward formula. You would often stumble on short games that have no plot - if not just a very basic premise as an excuse plot, no dialogue, just you stuck in a room and the lock and key puzzles preventing you to breach the exit.

"Escape the room" games have been a trend in recent years and still hold a certain degree of popularity among aficionados, even having entire websites such as this one wholly devoted to this niche. Worth of note, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors for Nintendo DS, and from Newgrounds, gems such as the Alice is Dead trilogy by @HyptosisAn Escape Series by @Afro-Ninja, and the Cube Escape series by @RustyLake definitely deserve their own share of praise. These are just examples of course, Newgrounds itself is filled with similar experiences that I heartily suggest to try out yourself or mention in the comment section below.

The tediously long introduction actually served not as a crescendo to an ever-growing spiral of ramblings, but actually as a preparation to the surprisingly complex work of fiction that I am privileged to analyze with you all without giving away any potential spoiler. A complexity that lies within the disarming simplicity of its main premise. A hidden universe, or perhaps many -verses buried deep beneath the vastness of the largely unexplored network. Welcome to the Submachine.

4507507_144849641022_latest.png

The Submachine series, born from the twisted neurons of @Mateusz-Skutnik, is quite a peculiar case of a point and click game gone mad by the revelation. We could say it is experimental in nature, in that from its conception of nearly a decade ago, the series has matured into something far more sinister and desolating than the innocent, standard escape the room premise a random mook like myself would be fairly accustomed to after a couple of similar try-outs.

Indeed, back in 2005 when the first Submachine chapter came out, the formula was quite basic. Something we've already seen around. No recollection of the past or of your current whereabouts, you are thrown straight into the action inside what seems to be some really dated machine with conveniently placed puzzles protecting strange anachronistic artifacts. It surely makes sense in context, right? It was a pretty short experience overall. Nothing really that groundbreaking, but still enjoyable. Enter the second chapter however, and things start to get interesting...

4507507_144849640931_latest.png

Starting from the second chapter, the mastermind behind the series makes sure to add a little something that gradually deconstructs the unspoken rules of what constitutes an escape the room game. In each chapter we see how the series matures into a universe that really comes up with its own rules rather than strictly following an already established archetype. Every added element brings a whole new level of mystery in an already vague, we could say surreal setting. So in what way does exploration play an important role in this series, and why?

I think the heart of the series doesn't really rest on the vague plot whose bits and pieces found here and there never really seem to give anything explicitly, but it's the game atmosphere that creates this mystical, intriguing aura. Artsy hand drawn scenarios aside, the fact that all chapters seem to be so incredibly desolate, that this submerged network looks like an intricate, chaotic junkyard of machinery from different eras powered by an unknown source and surrounded by nothing but a pitch black void, makes this whole journey not just a puzzle-driven chore but more like a personal search for the greater truth behind the Submachine universe.

4507507_144849640811_latest.png

It is, in fact, a more psychological take on the usual escape the room type of experience. The sound department is as minimal as it can possibly be. Some creepy drone played every once in a while helps setting the dark, desolate atmosphere of the world outside the game scenarios — in other words, complete blackness. I'm sure some of you might regard the series as a horror series despite the fact that it really isn't. The series per se does a good job at inferring rather than showing. It's heavily implied that something has happened but we don't really know what nor by whom.

The main element that triggered the genie of curiosity in me was not even the atmosphere. It is rather the daunting presentation of a virtually infinite set of Submachine rooms, each with their own puzzles to solve and increasingly mind-bending geometries that take full advantage of the 2D interface. This concept is further expanded in one spinoff chapter called Submachine Universe, where the goal of the experience is to encourage players to explore the incredibly vast network of rooms and make up their own individual theories.

4507507_144849640862_latest.png

It is ultimately an experience for a community of explorers that share a common thirst for knowledge and a passion for virtual archeology. It is no longer about the individual player grabbing pen and paper to solve yet another lock and key puzzle. It is a wider effort, where you are an element of a greater ensemble. The community itself expands the original concept by bringing a lot of interesting ideas to the table, where everything is relative to our own individual perception, and nothing is entirely certain. A metaphor for our real life universe? Maybe. I call it smart design.

The series creator only needed a context to create a fictional set of rules for everyone else to explore and complement with their own experiences. It is, in a sense, a feedback experience. Exploration in this series is not just a gameplay element tidally locked to the traditional lock and key mechanics of the puzzles, but it is pivotal in trying to understand the background of such an open-ended setting. The more questions you answer, the more questions arise at an ever expanding rate, I'd even dare say exponentially.

4507507_144849640723_latest.png

This is, in a nutshell, what makes Submachine a fascinating piece of work. The series might formally end with the upcoming 10th chapter, but it is never really over. There's still a lot more to explore, to unveil, to analyze, to theorize. It truly ends only with your attention switching to something else.

Stay tuned, folks.

[Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3]


Posted by ForgottenDawn - November 19th, 2015


Hello there, good people!

I'm back with another article about exploration games, yay. I strongly recommend you to read the previous entry that generally introduces you to this peculiar breed of adventure games. Without further ado, let's jump straight into the heart of the hurricane with not just a brief recap of multiple titles, but a detailed spoiler-free analysis of a single title instead.

In fact, starting from this article, I will attempt to explore (no pun intended) the many facets of a video game sharing similar traits with other adventure games in a way that it hopefully encourages critical analysis and why not, stimulates one's curiosity. These articles are not to be considered reviews but rather reflections on various positive aspects of the title that in my humble opinion I deem interesting enough for a discussion.

Today's main star is a game that was released in 2013, featuring a neat minimal aesthetic and a mysterious atmosphere. Enter the lost world of Kairo.

4507507_144795026931_1816326828.jpg4507507_144795026733_1816329640.jpg

A game like Kairo fits those parameters I discussed in the previous article.

No dialogue? Check.

No explicit plot or narrative? Check.

Storytelling only through the means of graphics and sound? Check.

You are what could be best described as an entity of sorts. The game is witnessed in first person perspective. You can only walk and jump. In terms of first person controls, the game's minimalism also seems to restrain the number of commands to just two fundamental ones. For an experience like the one offered by Kairo, you don't really need more than two commands. Even running feels like something unnecessary that might ruin the solitary, dreamy pace of the experience.

It's as if the game itself does not want to distract the player from experiencing this game at its fullest. The description on Steam outlines the world of Kairo as "lost", implying something beyond our control already happened. A cataclysm perhaps. An event of unimaginable proportions that changed the world before we could even open our eyes in such profound ways that it now appears devoid of life and desolate. An already disarming and discouraging reality we are suddenly put in charge at the best of our abilities.

4507507_144795026693_Kairo-Screenshot-51.png

(oh this looks perfect for a picnic)

This is in many ways the only premise we have of the world we are privileged to explore in Kairo. This is the main mystery still shrouded in a veil we are not yet aware of.

To outsiders, the game might just seem as a bunch of colored cubes and pillars. And surprise surprise, it turns out it is. It's an undeniable truth. However, it soon becomes apparent that these megalithic structures represent some sort of ruins from an unknown epoch, that these ruins maybe, just maybe represent something greater than what they appear to us. Something beyond our grasp. Something that was made for a specific purpose.

Despite the sheer scale of such structures, the game remains somewhat linear and formulaic, outlining its dual nature as a puzzle game.

4507507_144795026322_Kairo-Screenshot-21.png4507507_144795026253_kairo-windows-screenshot-this-symbol-often-appears-thr.jpg

We often encounter strange glyphs during our journey to "fulfill a great destiny", as once again the Steam description recites. Symbols that we have no idea what they actually mean, if they mean anything to begin with. If we only consider the functional aspect of such communication devices, it's clear that it serves the purpose of simple pattern recognition. These symbols appear to guide you through some of the game puzzles, and they require observational skills in order to detect the slightest difference between each glyph iteration.

The problem of intrinsic meaning from a linguistic point of view is not really something that the game itself seems to be concerned about. It could be a hidden language, or a language within a language. It could as well not be the case. In a sense, it is something the player needs to answer for him/herself. The player may as well ignore the fact that such symbols exist within unexplained circumstances and simply focus on their presence during the puzzles. They are ubiquitous, yet their apparent lack of purpose and meaning feels alienating, contributing to the feeling of apparent solitude in a world that looks so clear-cut and clinical.

4507507_144795026241_kairo-windows-screenshot-plenty-of-clues-here-only-one.jpg4507507_144795026181_med_gallery_3_3_140938.jpg

We may in fact never really know the actual purpose of such symbols, nor why is the game world so obsessed with giving you puzzles in order to advance to the next stage - read as "giant megalithic ruin".

This kind of linearity makes you wonder if it was intended to be so limiting, which would almost sound as a contradiction compared to how open ended the actual narrative and setting are presented to the eyes of us explorers of the unknown. We are in fact free to explore the various scenarios within preset paths and boundaries, beyond which lies geometrical repetition and the monumental testimony of a civilization that never was.

This reasoning puts the world Kairo in a strange position when it comes to determining the role of exploration in the mysterious circumstances we are thrown in. From one side of the coin we are basically free of moving back and forth, left and right, in the three dimensions, and we know we have an apparent bigger mystery to solve. From the other side, however, we can only move within certain boundaries and the game itself is structured in a way that allows for little open-endedness, as the puzzle solving becomes mandatory in order to access the next areas.

4507507_144795025953_kayro1.jpg

(please, mind the gap)

So ultimately, why is this game featured here?

I think that the game atmosphere is what ultimately draws the audience to determine what the experience is really for, regardless of the outcome and regardless of the many questionable elements I actually addressed in a Steam review of a while back.

The game actually succeeds in setting a nice premise for embarking on a journey filled with mystery and unanswered questions. This is what ultimately draws you to try out the game for yourself, especially if you're into such kind of experiences. An atmosphere helped by the lingering presence of a distant sonic texture in the background, unobtrusive sounds that never seem to clash with one another. They're essential and the sole audible commentary available in this game.

This is why Kairo still grabs attention. It's as if the game developers once said around the round table something like "Hey, let's make a puzzle game with a bunch of cubes and a few sounds, then we put some symbols here and there, some weird shenanigans and ruins... Are you guys digging it?" And lo and behold, yes they did. It's still not something you can experience by watching someone else's playthrough. It has to be experienced in first person. Maybe you'll be the one who will manage to uncover the mystery behind the world of Kairo. Or perhaps you will just chill while walking in laser-cut limestone ruins and have a drink while things happen as you walk by.

Both things work. How about you have a try?

4507507_144795025833_kairo-screenshot-1.jpg

[Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3]