Freespawn-3

By June 30, 2017Pressure

I found something strange on itch.io. On the game page, Sydney-based indie dev Tony Lahood, aka Unknown Developer, provides you with two downloads, DPTG.exe and solution.png. Both led me to confusion.

Let me to take you along, in retrospect. Beware of spoilers, though, for the first part of the game.

[L]isten to a cryptic voice message (and watch a sequence letters) is the solitary option, besides [Q]uitting the game. There’a a clock, too, skipping time, now and then. I replay the recording again and again. To no avail. I couldn’t seem to make sense of these alienated(/ing) words. So I quit to desktop and opened the picture in Photoshop.

Resize to 500% (with Image Size > Resampling > Nearest Neighbour, otherwise it gets too blurry). Notice the small green marks on two opposing edges? Vage features of a demonic face are visible, overlayed by words written upside-down. A 180° flip lets me read “…understand me?” and “Should”. Amidst other lettergroups, that remotely resemble words.

“Do you understand me?”. I heard this before. The voice recording.

DPTG.exe, again, [L], again that sequence of capital letters, green, console-like, but always different with replaying the unsettling recording.

No, I still don’t understand what this is all about. But I feel hooked. Stuck, also. [Q], again.

That was yesterday evening. After trying to mess with Windows’ system time and other pointless approaches, I finally gave up. On waking up this morning, I thought about the strange yet engaging experience of playing DPTG. It reminded me of Pattern Recognition by my favourite author William Gibson. The novel’s plot involves a misterious series of videoclips appearing on the web, and a dedicated online-community, that is inclined to find out the purpose of these clips. And who uploaded them, in the first place.

Since there seems to be little information about the Unknown Developer, I was curious (and wanted to get unstucked) and visited the forum to peek for a hint. And like in Gibson’s book, found a similar community, albeit smaller, trying to wrap their heads around the game to make sense of  it. While I tried not too spoil myself too much, I came across a clue, that had me load solution.png with a hex editor. Click.

 

Because of the different levels of access DPTG requires you to take in order to gain information, the game invoked in me kind of a meta-atmosphere, which is hard to discribe. But it definitely has something to it, and experiencing it yourself is strongly recommended. This text hopefully has given you some help for the first steps. Now I will leave you here, and press [L] again. And I should check out another game of Tony’s: Hypno-46776

Patrick Tejada

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