Thursday 23rd November is GaMaYo and we are continuing our look at the fantastic games that are going to be on show as well as more talks with the talented people behind them!
Next up is…
This is being developed by Kuba Krysztofiakl, Damian Fee and Jas Samsudeen – we got in touch with them to tell us a bit more.
What would be your description of BLINK?
Kuba – “BLINK is a top-down retro-style horror game where you play as an overworked office worker who wakes up at his desk hours after his shift should have finished. You have to escape the office by facing strange monsters that chase after you, but looking at them drains you of your sanity. You can restore your sanity and your vision by blinking, but that in turn lets the monsters move faster. Escape the office, keep him sane, and blink when safe.”
How did development begin? Were there any key inspirations or ideas that drove you?
Kuba – “We started development on this project in February 2023. The project was our submission for our University coursework, more precisely a module called ‘Collaborative Game Project’. In this module, we had to form groups of 2-5, and make a game themed around the word “RESIST”. Jas, Damien and I have been friends since the beginning of our second undergraduate year, and we noticed that we had a similar work ethic and passion for making games even prior to working on a group project together, so we naturally decided to group up in the second trimester for the Collaborative Game Project. We had one trimester to make the game, and the idea that formed BLINK was one of the first we came up with – “Resist the urge to blink”. We were definitely inspired by FAITH: The Unholy Trinity by Airdorf, both visually and gameplay wise. Most notably, there is a segment in the game where power cuts out in the building you’re exploring and all you are equipped with is a camera. By taking a picture, the flash lights up the room and reveals nearby threats. However, taking a picture by them alerts them and kills the player. We really enjoyed the idea of having to resist doing something that helps you due to it coming with a risk. As a side note, we even considered exploring a limited colour palette akin to FAITH’s in early stages of development. It’s possible we may return to that idea down the line as we develop this project further.”
Tell us a bit about the team working on BLINK?
Kuba: “My name is Kuba Krysztofiak (legally Jakub Krysztofiak), I’m 20 years old and I’m from Poland. I’m currently studying an undergraduate Game Design course in Hull, but have a family home in Cambridge. I had no experience in Game Design or coding prior to University, having studied Fine & Visual Arts at GCSE and in Sixth Form, but after being introduced to the basics in the first trimester, I ended up enjoying it quite a lot. I found myself to enjoy all aspects of game design that I was taught here at the University of Hull – illustration, animation, Unity game development, 3D modelling, 3D animation.. I thoroughly enjoy working on designing games when they’re personal or smaller scale projects, but if I were to enter the games industry I wish to become a character concept artist. I became inspired and set that as my goal after seeing concept art online and purchasing a concept art book for Destiny (working on that game would be a dream come true). I would love nothing more than to bring a game world to life with a group of artists through our art. That’s not to say I’ll abandon making games in Unity – I would love to make more either with my friends or alone! I’ve already got one or two personal projects in the works 😉 I ‘m thinking of recreating the first game I ever made titled TimeSkipper (which is available on my itch.io) as a 3D parkour game!”
Damien: “Hello! My name is Damien (legal name Elisha Fee) I have lived in Hull my entire life and went to the Hull university to study games design since in college I found I had a real interest in learning and chose to do games design but sadly due to covid I never got to those modules only doing ecommerce. I am a very creative person and have been drawing since the age of 12 taking it more seriously around age 16 with making my own characters and drawing short comics and writing stories for them. I have been inspired by more experimental styles of art and storytelling with media such as Bloodborne, Hades and Homestuck. When I hopefully get into the Games industry I want to work on Level design and concept or modeling, it seems like a lot of options but I just find so many aspects so fun! With BLINK I did the level design and made the environmental assets along with doing the sound design. I want to make games that inspire others like they did me with fun and quirky visuals.”
Jas: “My name is Jas, but my full name is Khadijah Samsudeen. I’m 20 years old and I’m Asian-British, living in Hertfordshire. I’m currently studying undergraduate Games Design alongside Damien and Kuba in the University of Hull. Before entering university, I’ve had a strong passion for manga and video games – interests that have inspired me to become a 2D artist and writer throughout the years. For A Levels, My favourite subjects were both Media Studies and English literature because they introduced me to a creative world of storytelling in both a visual and literacy format. During my time at the University of Hull, I was not only able to strengthen my artistic and writing abilities in the games design field but I was able to learn a wide array of additional skills when it came to game development such as Coding, 3D Modelling, Animation as well as introducing me to the workflow of Unity and Unreal Engine development. From the start of this course, I’ve gotten a lot more optimistic in producing work in different fields because, before university, it was difficult for me to show my work to others or feel confident in my abilities as an artist or a writer.
But now, I thoroughly enjoy working on different projects both within the course and during my spare time with my speciality mainly involved in the manga and illustrator skillset. My work, in particular, is inspired by manga such as Higurashi and Chainsaw Man in terms of their visual style and story telling. In terms of games, the Yakuza Like A Dragon series, Resident Evil and Silent Hill have been my favourites to draw parallels in writing. And finally, The Spiderverse movie series (Into The Spiderverse and Across The Spiderverse) has fully inspired me to become an illustrator, character artist and concept artist with the Art Books helping me drastically with improving my art. I would love to create an animation, Webcomic Series or game based on the concept of broken multiverses as the writing and art possibilities are endless. I would love to create and share more projects, whether it be solo or collaborative works with my friends :3.”
As an individual or team, what experiences do you hope to bring to the players?
Kuba: “Honestly, whenever I make something I want it to have the same effect that my favourite media have had on me. This applies to BLINK as well. Several times have I seen art or a game that I find so incredibly cool that I find myself inspired and motivated to give a go at making something myself. I would love for someone to see my work and go “That’s really cool! I wanna try that!” and then see what they make.”
Damien: “I hope to bring a breath of fresh air into the gaming scene with games that have unique mechanics and highlight the work that indie groups make giving games without hyper realism graphics a chance.”
Jas: “With BLINK, I really want our players to experience that sense of dread of being alone overtime as a lot of people can relate to that feeling of isolation and fear when you’re left alone to work perhaps on a night shift or even working on an assignment in the library or computer lab with the only source of light being your computer monitor! Either way, a lot of people have been in that situation so the game is here to help simulate that fear once again! With a little dash of horrors beyond comprehension on the side :).”
In as few words as possible, highlight the appeal of Blink?
Kuba: “Decision-making and risk-management focused horror game-loop”
Damien: “Traverse through the office, avoid mind monsters, remember to BLINK”
Jas: “Engaging horror strategy game that utilises fear of the unexpected!”
What’s your favourite feature in BLINK?
Kuba: “Definitely the core blinking mechanic. Even aside from the extra layers and behind the scenes code that makes your sanity and sight deteriorate faster when looking at monsters, I thoroughly enjoy games where you are given one tool (or limited tools) to fend off from various threats. It evokes a great sense of weakness or being overwhelmed, limited and helpless. I believe that making every bit of gameplay revolve around this mechanic was good game design: You want to fend off the monsters? Stare at them and run. Your sanity is dropping because of looking at them and now you are moving slower while they are moving faster? Blink and risk being caught immediately, or try to make it somewhere safe before you can’t see anymore.”
Damien: “I like the blinking mechanic as I have not seen it done before in games and it allowed for us to have enemies with ways you can dodge them without just running away or using weapons that would make the game less impactful as you would be able to kill threats”
Jas: “Definitely the BLINK mechanic, some horror games typically have something to help defend yourself with such a flashlight, flares or even doors to keep the enemy out. But with BLINK, the only thing you have is your eyesight which can work with or against you especially during tighter sections of the levels. You have to create that balance and strategize your moves which I find incredibly engaging as a mechanic whilst still keeping that tense feeling of “What if there’s a monster just around the corner?””