Fumbling in the dark and stuck in the Shadows? Let the wonderfully unique interactive title, Linger in Shadows, light your path.
Linger in Shadows is an interactive piece of digital art that is possibly unlike anything you've ever experienced before, taking you on a dream-like journey across numerous landscapes where time is of the essence. It's your job to work out exactly what you must do to progress through a total of five scenes, each one containing a sigil which you must unlock to advance.
Part of the fun is interacting with Linger in Shadows and discovering for yourself what these methods are, and eu.playstation.com is on hand to accompany and help you on this fantastic voyage, along with Michal Staniszewski, Lead designer, Programmer and Director of Plastic, the developer behind Linger in Shadows.
Don't be afraid of the dark
"Basically the main purpose of Linger in Shadows is to bring a new form of interactive entertainment to PlayStation 3," explains Staniszewski. "We tried to experiment with new ideas to show some of the paths that will open a way to a form of interactive film which will surely appear in the future."
The concept of Linger in Shadows is that each scene plays out as a narrative. At any time you can pause the unfolding events by pressing the X button; this brings up a menu with icons that show what can be manipulated by you on-screen. If you let it play out without doing anything, the scene will eventually come to an end, rewind and start again, giving you another chance to determine what is needed to open up the next scene.
The sparks of a shadow
Linger in Shadows originated from Staniszewski's desire to create a demo - it ended up being about a dog being trapped in a glue-like substance, which triggered an emotional response. "The first sketches came into my head in the beginning of 2006," he says. "Of course what I had in mind looked totally different from what came in the end, but the idea was to trigger a lot of different emotions inside a viewer in a very short time.
"Back then [the term] Linger in Shadows meant: to remain with your visual style unchanged. We didn't want to affect our work by an outside force, telling us what to do. While being a demoscener [a person who specialises in producing non interactive demos] I got used to the feeling of complete freedom in things I create."
Do you have to let it Linger?
While it may seem there's no discernable story to Linger in Shadows, that ambiguity is part of what Staniszewski wants to express while you play it. "Even if there are some important points which build the main path through Linger in Shadows, still you can have your own interpretation of the story. That's the aspect which brings the most fun to the story - confusion."
However, he divulges there is a very specific theme that ties together the events you see. "It's a little surrealistic but still makes sense when you know that the whole story is about evil," says Staniszewski. "Evil in different forms."
In realising the numerous influences on Linger in Shadows' creation, it becomes easier to understand its aims and presentation. "Basically it will be something totally different from regular games," says Staniszewski. "I was always a big fan of David Lynch films, so if you liked Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive or Lost Highway then you will surely like Linger in Shadows. After all it's also happening in a world where time is dangerously out of control.
"I'm sure that everyone who plays games to experience storyline or cutscenes or the ones who often watch animated movies will like it - since primary school I was influenced by anime classics like Akira and Ghost in the Shell."
While Linger in Shadows offers something gaming currently has little of, Staniszewski would be happy to see others that follow in a similar vein - and if developers take Plastic's lead, all the better. "It's somehow very nice to see direct influences from your work," says Staniszewski.
"To be honest, what we did is a very small step but I think it was done in right direction."
Linger in Shadows is available to download on PlayStation Network. If you already have the title and are still stuck here are some general pointers followed by specific hints for how to claim each sigil. Be warned - you shouldn't read them if you want to fully experience Linger in Shadows for yourself...
There are several general, but important things to remember when playing:
- Don't panic! As mesmerising, enjoyable or disturbing the scene may be, there are an unlimited number of times in which it will restart and play again. Linger in Shadows gives you control over its own play-time, so relax and let everything wash over you.
TIP: There are Greets (acknowledgments to other demoscene groups and peers) that can be found by manipulating the camera or objects in the demo. Once you have found a Greet, keep the camera centred on it and you will hear a distinct sound indicating you are unlocking it.
- Experiment with the DUALSHOCK 3 Wireless Controller and see if anything reacts. If it does, keep trying it. This may well be your key to unlocking that scene's sigil.
- Pay special attention to any icon that flashes or if the screen glitches. A flashing icon is your clue to try something specific relating to that symbol, while glitches often signify you're on the right track.
TIP: The faster an icon flashes on the pause menu, the closer you are to unlocking a sigil.
- Motion control is just as vital to explore as pressing the buttons, so don't forget to shake, twist and turn the controller if nothing else seems to be working, and keep an eye on the screen for any reactions.
TIP: The more severe the glitch effect you experience, the closer you are to unlocking the sigil.
- Enjoy it! Linger in Shadows is designed to combine art, subtle gameplay and music to create a unique experience to captivate and challenge you. Take your time and experience something refreshingly different in the videogames medium.
TIP: Some sigils have multiple steps and simultaneously flashing icons indicate several options to unlock - although only one button is required to be pressed at a time.
HINT FOR SIGIL 1:
Movement is the key to success here. Give a little shake to the DUALSHOCK 3 Wireless Controller. Did anything happen?
HINT FOR SIGIL 2:
It would be in your best interest to let the scene play through on its first go. Once that has happened, try to manipulate the time flow of the scene.
HINT FOR SIGIL 3:
Ever wanted to be a photographer of flora? No? Well give it a try just this once and let your camera explore the delights of any flowers that may wander into your path during this scene.
HINT FOR SIGIL 4:
Keep your eye on the fair feline that emerges during the scene. She'll certainly be keeping an eye on you - which is your cue to really see what you have to do next...
HINT FOR SIGIL 5:
There are a few steps to claiming this final sigil, but it's all about timing so don't be afraid to pause the scene when you feel it's necessary. There are also a number of items you can influence... only one will offer a guiding light to your solution. Once your path is illuminated, it's up to you to shake free the final obstacle to unlock all of Linger in Shadows.
Check out PlayStation 4 at the PlayStation E3 press conference on 10 June 2013.
Abandoned cities reclaimed by nature. A population decimated by a modern plague.