Shake Bake tried The Town of Light, this is a video of the gameplay!
The Town of Light - Trailer Oculus (194 MB) | you will need an Oculus Rift to watch this properly
The Town of Light is a video game, a first-person psychological adventure set in a former Italian psychiatric hospital, that draws inspiration from real events and places.
The Town Of Light came about through a long process of research in the field of Italian mental health and aims to consolidate the memory of a past which is recent, painful and too often forgotten.
Thanks to the enthusiasm with which the project has been welcomed by the Greenlight community, The Town Of Light will be released on Steam.
The game will be released in fall 2014, initially for the PC with native support for Oculus Rift, then for LINUX and MAC OS, and later we also hope for a release on PS4 and Xbox One.
The speech will be in English and Italian.There will be subtitles in English, Spanish and German and we aim to be able to add other languages, this is one of our main priorities.
The idea for "The Town of Light" was born almost two years ago, when we learned that near our headquarters, in Volterra, there was one of the greatest psychiatric hospitals in Italy.
From the first glimpse of the asylum, with the “Charcot” pavilion and the park that surrounds it, the atmosphere appeared to be perfect as the setting for a game.After a long incubation period, we came up with the idea of creating a game that had value as a historical documentary, while still being clearly a game, something that should entertain by conveying feelings, emotions and even "fun."
The Town Of Light is growing thanks to the confidence that the team has put into this project and the commitment and passion that is being put into its development. We are self-funding the project with our time and our resources.
The objective of this IndieGoGo campaign is to raise the funds that would allow us to accelerate the process of game development while maintaining the high quality standards that we set up from the beginning.
Based on the results achieved, we will try to add more professionals to the title's development team and to add some features that we had to shelve because of their excessive cost, both in terms of finance and in human resources.Here are the features to be added, depending on the results achieved:
- 40.000€ Multiple languages: support for more subtitle languages than those already provided.
- 45.000€ Live music: the soundtrack will be played live by professional musicians.
- 55.000€ More characters: we shall add some more characters to interact with the game in new side-story. (1 more 3D artist)
- 75.000€ Alternative endings: add more endings to those provided. (1 more programmer)
- 150.000€ New pavilion: add a large (6000 m2) pavilion to the game. This is the beautiful "Ferri" pavilion, the former judicial department of the asylum of Volterra (2 more 3D artists & 1 more programmer)
- 250.000€ Other pavilions and another main storyline: (2 more 3D artists, 1 more programmer, 1 more 2D artist)
The Town Of Light tells the story of Renee, a young schizophrenic woman, it takes place between the late 30s and early 40s in Volterra, this choice essentially depended on two factors:
- The first is that those years were probably the most interesting and controversial in the history of Italian mental health. They were years in which drugs had not yet arrived, when the asylums were massively overcrowded and when the treatment of the patients was particularly complex, especially because of the chronic shortage of staff.
- The second element is the choice of location : Volterra.
The choice is not tied to the peculiar history of the asylum of Volterra, although it is extremely interesting and special. Our game could be set in any asylum. The choice of Volterra is due to the fact that from an architectural point of view, the hospital complex is particularly attractive and suitable to be chosen as the location for a video game, since it is divided into several halls of a relatively small size, surrounded by a large and fascinating park, which will be a protagonist in the story like the interior of the pavilions.
The aim of the game is not to attack psychiatry and its history, but simply to make clear, to those who do not know, the terrible reality of the asylum institutions in those years.
We will try to always see things from two points of view:
on one hand the patient who suffered the loss of their civil rights, was subjected to violent shock therapies that they could not escape and experienced the terrible suffering of mental illness.On the other hand those who worked in these hospitals in difficult conditions, under-staffed, often with inadequate preparation and frustrated by their impotence in front of the real monster: mental illness.
The game is a psychological experience in the first person that has as its protagonist a young schizophrenic woman who spent most of her life in an asylum.
The voice of Renee will take us into the game and through her eyes we relive her story and her personal drama.
We have to try to rebuild her personality, freely exploring the environment, by finding documents, reliving her hallucinations and trying to interpret what her voice gradually tries to communicate.
This is a summary of the main storyline of the game, the storyline that will see several possible endings and will be accompanied by parallel experiences, which can be approached freely, that will allow us to deepen our knowledge of the asylum and of our protagonist.
We will try to tell this story with due delicacy and respect. The story of Renee did not really happen, but it is "historically accurate", we have been inspired by real stories and documentaries, trying to keep a historical and psychological credibility, without ever transcending into the supernatural.
There will be no "open doors" with "keys to find" and puzzles to solve. There will be no zombies, Nazi conspiracies or monsters that appear suddenly.The "horror " component of the game is determined by the historical reality of the asylum and the discomfort of mental illness.
The game is set in the present day, this choice was made to show the state of degradation faced today by many of the buildings of the former psychiatric hospitals in Italy.
Visiting environments in today's conditions we shall relive the story of the protagonist (set in the years of World War II) through memories and flashbacks.We rebuilt the Charcot pavilion with obsessive attention to detail, abandoned and unsafe exactly as it is today. Inside, however, there is almost nothing and in the absence of a precise documentation of the time we decided that with regard to furniture, medical equipment and departments, we would not to be true to a specific period, but roam freely throughout the years of admission of our protagonist, starting in the late 30s until the closure of psychiatric hospitals occurred as a result of Law 180 of 1980.
During the first phase of development of The Town Of Light we discovered Oculus VR, immediately realized that it was a perfect device for our title and we immediately decided that, in addition to the traditional screen version, we would support a version for Oculus, not as a pure and simple hardware implementation, but with some changes and peculiarities in terms of game-play.Oculus revolutionizes the gaming experience that much, thanks to the incredible immersive experience, which has since led us to think of new ways to make the most of it. You can now discover the "The Oculus Trailer", the equivalent of a video, but displayed with Oculus, which is a guided tour through the setting of the game where you can look around to begin to savour the sensations that these places can transmit.
Being in an asylum in Italy, as in many other countries, resulted in the complete loss of rights, patients could no longer decide for themselves.
The asylum operated through force, the patient could not own anything, dangerous treatments were applied without their consent, patients often wrote letters to the families which were not delivered and vice versa. The patient was entirely dependent on the decisions of the doctor who was in charge of them:
the right to receive visits from their families, treatment, or the possible end of hospitalization, therapies, all were at the discretion of the psychiatrist.The mental hospitals, especially in the years when our story is set, were overcrowded and understaffed and this situation led to hygiene and sanitary conditions which were almost unimaginable; modern psychiatric drugs with their ability to "pacify" the most agitated did not exist, the departments were real incarnations of Dante's inferno and this often forced the staff to adopt extreme measures of restraint and therapy that today would be defined without a doubt as "torture": patients confined to bed for months, cold showers, lobotomies, choking.
Italy is one of the few countries to have finally closed the asylums in 1978 with Law 180, known as the "Basaglia law" by replacing them, with mixed fortunes, with a network of small holding facilities within public hospitals, only the Judicial Psychiatric Hospitals still exist and the living conditions inside them are dramatically similar to the worst examples of the old asylums, so much so that in 2012 a commission of inquiry of the Italian Senate raised a furore and decreed the closing of the latter, the practical implementation of this operation is encountering difficulty and still has not happened.This element of actuality gave us extra motivation in choosing to undertake the development of The Town Of Light.
Luca Dalcò: project director, programmer, 3D artist. Founder of LKA.it and creator of The Town of Light has strongly believed in this project, right up to forming the current working group which could well be expected to grow further.
For the last few years he has focused on 3D graphics and real time.
His main areas of professional interest are focused on architecture, documentaries and set design.
He has held numerous teaching positions at the University of Florence, Faculty of Architecture, Master of Science in Industrial Design and has taught at various colleges as well as private institutions and online.
The headquarters of LKA.it, the place of development of The Town Of Light, is located in Italy, in Tuscany, near Florence, in the Chianti hills.
Special thanks to:
Giacomo Saviozzi: photographer
Massimiliano Rossi (esplorazioniurbane.it)
Claudio Grandoli (Association ONLUS "Inclusione graffio e parola")University of Florence, Faculty of Architecture, Master of Science in Industrial Design.
1. When will you release a demo?
- We do not plan to release a playable demo for the moment, but there is a trailer to use with Oculus Rift in order to immerse you in the environments that host the game.
2. The first question I have when it comes to exploration how much in terms of in game content and the size of facility itself? And will there be some cases you have to explore outside?
- The main building is approximately 5000 m2 on three levels, plus there will be some areas of the other halls and many other areas "of the mind" to explore. The park will be explored and integrated into the game-play.
3. This formula has been done time and time again. What makes this game so special, different, and unique?
- The added value of "The Town of Light " is the actual setting and the approach of "historically plausible" argument. There will be no monsters to shoot, but a personality to rebuild. The only monsters are those born from our minds.
4. Will this game be available in full localization?
- We will try to support the game with as many languages as possible. Initially we plan audio in Italian/English and subtitles in several languages. Reaching the appropriate targets will add several subtitled languages.
5. How do you plan on capturing a patient's anguish? Where is the "rush" that often accompanies purported madness?
- We try to re-create anxieties and emotions through the story of what happened in asylums and through visual and auditory suggestions, hallucinations, sounds, music and distortions of reality. We chose the first-person and we support Oculus VR for maximum possible immersion.
6. Where is the horror?- The horror component is strong and comes from the mingling of the pure and harsh reality of the history of mental suffering and mental distress.