Oct 17, 2017 Last Updated 12:43 PM, Oct 17, 2017
Published in Dev Talks
Read 1365 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

With Christian Diaconescu, Creative Director at Sand Sailor Studio

Check out our Review of Black the Fall here.

Black The Fall is a puzzle game set-up in a communist dystopian era. Playing as Black, an obedient factory worker, the player gets one chance to outsmart the oppressive system. But the road to freedom is paved with puzzles, pitfalls and manipulation. A door malfunctions, an opportunity arises. Once out, how does one survive?

Black The Fall started in 2014, as Cristian Diaconescu and Nicoleta Iordanescu's art project: a black & white stealth-platformer, set-up in an alienated world. The game concept came as a way to illustrate and express rebellion against the mechanisms of a heavily corrupted system, rooted in the decades of communism, Romania has edured.

In the months to follow they discovered there's so much to show about the communist mentality: distrust, dehumanizing work environment, uniformity. "We chose a puzzle game approach, as this would better illustrate what it means to cope with a restrictive regime. We lived in times where there was no freedom of speech, intellectuals were thrown in prisons and tortured, food was subject to rationing, there was no access to contraception. Access to western culture was minimal. It sounds Orwellian, but unfortunately it happened in real life in most of communist countries. And the worst part is that it's still happening in some parts of the world." said Cristian Diaconescu, Creative Director at Sand Sailor Studio. "Also, as we explored this path we realized that the oppressive mechanics apply to the western world today, where a lot of people feel trapped in conforming with a system they don't believe in. With Black the Fall, we are offering an alternate course of action, where anyone has the chance to outsmart the system and escape it."

ABOUT THE STUDIO

Sand Sailor Studio is an independent game development studio, driven by the mind-puzzling, rather than mind-numbing.

In January 2014 two artists, with basic programming skills, started working on a noir mobile game prototype. This naturally led to asking friends for: feedback, funding, help with programming, you name it.

In a few months the team doubled in size having two programmers join Cristi and Nico on this journey. Sand Sailor Studio started their odyssey by competing for the Square Enix Collective program with the prototype for Black the Fall, where they had a 70%+ YES. This feedback empowered the team to build a successful campaign on KickStarter. Then Sand Sailor Studio won a scholarship with their prototype and took part in Execution Labs' accelerator program. "With XL labs, we learned a lot about the industry mechanics and decided to reshape our game, in order to better reflect the concept of escaping an oppressive system; something we are very familiar with" says Cristian Diaconescu, Creative Director at Sand Sailor Studio. "Since then we've added more talent to the team, going full steam ahead with a team of nine people working on Black The Fall."

In 2016 the Sand Sailor studio signed a publishing contract with Square Enix for Black The Fall and was lucky to showcase the game and meet the players around the world at events such as E3, Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show, Comic Con, EGX, Unite Europe, IndieCade Europe and many more.

Related items

  • TAURONOS Review

    Tauronos promises an intriguing story, but since running out of lives forces you to start your journey again from the beginning, few players will have the patience to persevere and experience more than a fraction of it. Even so, the perfectly fitted aesthetic supports a minimalist but hardworking narrative, guaranteeing that players who grow frustrated enough to walk away still do so with regret.

  • BLACK DAY Early Access Review

    Black Day is an “Early Access” third person shooter with FPS elements.  Rather than focusing on a set story and setting, Black Day is a military sandbox where players change the parameters of their missions.  Featuring an experience-based progression system, Black Day rewards players for handicapping themselves via difficult obstacles with new equipment and maps.  Helios Productions self proclaims this title as “very ambitious,” promising that they only want to provide an excellent final product.  The promise of so many features, paired with the beauty of the Unreal Engine, begs the question; is it able to deliver on its ambition?

  • Battle Chasers: Nightwar Review

    Battle Chasers: Nightwar combines the classic turn-based RPG with action-RPG elements. This fun twist to the traditional RPG divisions enhances gameplay, strategy, and character customization. Despite a slow start, this title surely becomes more engaging and a quick favorite for RPG enthusiasts.

  • Inmates Review

    Inmates grabs you right off the bat and starts yelling in your face: you are screaming and afraid, but at the end of it all, you’ll probably tell your friends that they need to come over and get yelled at, too. Besides the game world being well designed, and the sounds making you check over your shoulder every few minutes, the creativity, the puzzles, and the story offer an experience that is to die for.

  • Darkestville Castle Review

    Even those who don’t normally play point-and-clicks can enjoy Darkestville Castle, but only the die-hard devotees of the genre will be able to persevere past the inevitable and frequent bouts of frustration from struggling through convoluted puzzles. An intriguing story and captivating art style round off this puzzling puzzler.

  • Taleworlds Explains New Feature Of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

    Every Thursday, TaleWorlds publish a new post tackling things such as why there is no release date for Bannerlod yet, how modding will be or introducing different members of the team and their work. TaleWorlds, developers of the Mount & Blade series, published today a new entry in its Steam dev blog explaining Influence, a new feature of the single-player campaign of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.

More in this category: The Search Interview »

Latest Indie Reviews

The Indie Scene, Under Review.

Latest on Twitch

Watch it live on twitch.tv/opnoobsonline.

Latest Shows

Mantis Burn Raci…

The OPN interview showcasing the release of VooFoo Studios' 'Battle cars' DLC for the fast-paced, competitive, top-down racer, 'Mantis Burn Racing.' A conversation with Creative Di...

Children of the …

The OPN interview with Jason Kim, Cardboard Utopia. Children of Zodiarcs is a story-driven, tactical RPG set in the fantasy realm of Lumus; a world divided by affluence and poverty...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Road Redemption …

The updated graphics and physics engine are sure to bring enjoyment and laughs. Road Redemption builds on a relatively simple concept that has worked in the past, repackages it, an...

TAURONOS Review

Tauronos promises an intriguing story, but since running out of lives forces you to start your journey again from the beginning, few players will have the patience to persevere and...

Asura Vengeance …

While there are some pitfalls, the Asura: Vengeance expansion packs enough content to satisfy returning players and entice new ones. New game mode adds an addictive alternative to ...

Mages of Mystral…

Mages of Mystralia is for gamers looking for more than hack-and-slash action RPGs. It has a unique magic crafting system, puzzles, and challenges that compel you to play more, unlo...