"One, Please"

“One, Please”

The smell of eggs, hollandaise sauce, and ham momentarily transported Rebekah to a Parisian café, away from the staid, chrome cell she called home.  Away from the dreary, underground life she led as a tech researcher on Luna.  But only for a moment, and she fell back down to reality.  

After a short exhale, she took the food to the table, where her husband Jeremiah sat still as death.

Jeremiah did not move, the steam wafting from the eggs and slowly reducing.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

Still silence.  Jeremiah sat quietly at the breakfast table, his eyes glazed over as he read the news through his BOSy implant—the translucent words projected over his vision.

“Jeremy,” she said again.

“What?” he groused.

Rebekah was taken aback.  She crossed her arms, saying, “Food is getting cold.”

“Right, right,” he said.  “Thanks.”

He still did not move to take a bite.

“What is going on?  What are you doing over there?”

No response.

“Jeremy!”

“The CORE,” he said at last.  “Have you heard what’s going on over there?”

“No,” she said, taking a bite of food.  “I have not.”

“It’s insane.  It’s insane!”

“Sure.”

He had been still so long that when he finally moved to pick up his fork Rebekah started slightly, as though a statue had suddenly sprang into motion.

“Can you believe it?”

“Believe what?  I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Jeremiah finally emerged from his mystical engagement with news and started to wolf down his cold breakfast.

“Care to elaborate?” she asked.

“They call it ‘the Eclipse’,” he said at last.  “It was just announced.”

“What is it?”

“It’s…like nothing I’ve ever heard.  It sounds impossible.”

“But what is it?”

Jeremiah had already sunk back in the BOSy world, his eyes wandering into a sort of foggy transfixion on the article he had called up to read.

“Fine!” said Rebekah, standing up.  She stormed towards their cell exit.  She lingered for a moment at the doorframe, giving Jeremiah just a moment to snap out of his reverie and apologize, but he had apparently hardened into concrete.  He continued to stare absently at the wall as his eyes twitched and scanned whatever he was reading.  With a sigh, Rebekah opened the door and stepped outside.

The labyrinthine network of tunnels beneath the Foaming Sea stretched out before her.  She took to wandering through one without purpose, her head down in thought, until she eventually emerged near the lift.  A few youths were lingering at the doors, but they paid her no mind and she paid them none either.  The lift started with a squeal and launched them all towards the surface like they were pulled up by a bungee cord.

The lift sucked into the station and the doors opened before the scenic vista of the Foaming Sea—a desolately beautiful and glaucous meadow, spread out over the moon’s surface like a tablecloth.  Above the blue sphere of earth hung like a clock atop a medieval tower.  All around was the meager spaceport, slotted with sleek passenger ships in serried rows and gargantuan, solar-powered transport rigs.

Rebekah looked up at the earth.  She could just barely make out the hemisphere.  Emerging from behind some clouds was western Europe and, noticeably, France.

Around the spaceport were myriad screens, each affixed to a corner of the dockyard. They were all flickering with the same image: a middle-aged man with a graying beard, sitting at a table in front of a crowd, a wry smile on his face, his eyes gleaming with a sort of childlike excitement.

Rebekah caught only the last few seconds of audio, where the man concluded his speech with, “…I want to tell you about the Eclipse!”

A ticker ran across the bottom of the screen, announcing boldly that “FAMED DOCTOR ANNOUNCES NEW ‘ECLIPSE’ PROJECT.”

The smattering of travelers in the dockyard were all watching.  One of them drooped his head, sighed, and came back towards the lift, passing next to Rebekah.

Desiring answers, she stopped.  “What is this?” she asked.   “What is everyone talking about?”

He just shook his head, not even meeting her eyes.  “It’s just a dream,” he said. “No way anyone can afford that!”

She kept quiet.

“It doesn’t really matter.  I’ll bet the CORE is just after money, or attention.  Or something.”

He went through the lift and left her alone.

Rebekah waited a few minutes, observing the crowd, unsure if she should stay or go.  At length, the lift came back up.  She stepped back in and took it to her cell level.  Through the networked halls, she went back home and found Jeremiah still at the table.

When she came in, he leapt up with excitement.  “Bekah! You’re back!  Great.  We have a lot to do.”

She put out her hands and tried to calm him, asking slowly, “What about?”

“We have to figure out a way to get to the CORE.  We’ll need to empty our savings account, maybe contact someone who might know of a job opportunity there.  Does you sister know anyone who lives there?  Could you ask?”

Rebekah put her hand to her forehead, said, “I don’t know.”

“Well,” said Jeremiah, “find out.  This is big.  We’ve wasted our lives on Luna long enough.  This—this is different.  We have to get to the CORE.”

Rebekah was silent.

“Did you hear me?” said Jeremiah.

Rebekah’s mind slipped out of the conversation and into fantasy—she thought of country roads, warm coffee, and the smell of buttered bread; of oceans, mountains, and grass.  Green grass.  For reasons she could not quite understand, her mind settled on an image of Mont Saint-Michel.

“Hey—are you listening?” said Jeremiah.

“Yes,” she said, snapping back into consciousness

“Withdraw everything you have.  We’re going to the CORE.”

“Okay,” she said.

Rebekah exited the cell, took a deep breath and rubbed her eyes.  She embarked back down the hallway, up the lift, and to the dockyards.  She opened up her BOSy and withdrew all of her savings, and then approached the ticketing office.

“Destination?” asked the old Isaak robot that stood motionless behind the glass.

“Earth,” she said, “Europe.”

“Number of tickets?”

“One, please.”


Thanks so much for reading. The Mind's Eclipse releases January 25th. You can find out more on our Steam and Itch.io pages. Story by Christopher Howell. Illustration by Lauren Walsh.

The Bargain - New Flash Fiction!

We recently challenged each other to write some flash fiction taking place in The Mind's Eclipse universe. This first story is written by Langdon Herrick. Illustration by Lauren Walsh.

The Bargain

“Will it hurt?”

The black market butcher ignores your question as he presses the screwdriver against the side of your head. Your gasp of pain is drowned out by the whine of the tool next to your ear, and you feel a panel of false skin come unhinged. The tech pinches the panel with tweezers and sets it on the metal table beside the operating chair. He runs a cable from a bulky black computer humming on the floor and you realize that he might be putting more in your head than you bargained for.

The data cable clicks in place as it penetrates your interior BOSy port and you feel your lips and toes go numb as illicit data streams into your brain.

“Once the program is finished latching onto your BOSy’s internal matrix you’ll be able to spread the ads to everyone around you on a peer-to-peer axis. You’ll be reading their firewalls, sending the mirror to our decryptors, who will send spoofs back to you. The closer you are, the faster they’ll break down, and the more exclusive and exciting deals they see the more you get paid. Make sense?”

--

Your head aches as you enter the arboretum on the CORE and you scratch nervously at the spot on your head where the tech replaced the panel. You take a deep breath and walk towards the spiraling, luminescent trees from the Canthus collection. You spot a couple admiring the shining branches and try to remember to breathe as you try to put them within your radius.

Fifteen meters. Five meters. One meter.

You pretend to look at the delicate curves and scythe-like branches of the nano-sculpted biomatter, but out of the side of your eye you watch the couple. How will you know when it’s working? You wait, and despite the immaculate air-conditioning of the CORE, you sweat.

“Woah. What the hell?”

“What’s wrong? Oh…”

“Are you seeing it too?”

“Yeah…that’s weird. My BOSy is set to filter all ads—“

“I’m seeing another one. And another. Oh my god what is going on—“

The couple swats at the air reflexively, as if the invisible advertisements flooding their vision were biting flies. They leave, gripping onto each other’s arms, and you exhale. A smile spreads across your face as you remember the tech’s words: the more deals they see the more you get paid.

You spot an old woman sitting on a bench and staring at an exhibit of ghostly flowers. You start towards her, then hesitate. She looks so peaceful. She looks like the grandmother you left behind on Luna when you came to the CORE. Back before you started taking odd jobs like these. Back before you realized that the dream of the Eclipse was an expensive one.

You shake your head and remember what you’re here for. You remember that your credit account is in the double digits and that rent is due next week. You remember that your best friend had to run back to his parents on Mars because he ran out of money.

You walk up behind the old woman on the bench and pretend to watch the pale flowers, motionless in the recycled air of the CORE.

“These were my daughter’s favorite flowers,” says the old woman.

You realize she’s talking to you.

“She came with me to the CORE, but she fell in with a bad crowd. Started doing reckless things for fun or money…I don’t know which. Maybe both. I think she got impatient, waiting for the Eclipse.”

The old woman turns and looks you in the eye. You see tears brimming in her blue eyes and you feel like you’ve seen this woman before, somewhere.

“Perhaps you’ve seen her?” asks the old woman. “Mind if I show you her picture? It’s a little old, but I wonder if you’d recognize her.”

The old woman reaches for her purse but stops. Your heart stops as she gasps in surprise and taps the side of her head. She’s trying to clear her BOSy display. She groans again and you wonder what colorful, screaming ads are appearing in her vision, addressing her all at once by name now that they know her identity, now that they live in her head.

“Oh my…help me! Please Samantha, help—“

The old woman falls down while trying to rise from the bench. You rush to her without thinking and she’s clawing at her BOSy implant but her fingernails can’t catch the panel and now she covers her eyes futilely but the ads increase their volume and she has to cover her ears.

“Why have you done this? Why, Samantha?”

You claw at your own head and easily remove the panel. The tech left it looser than he should have. You reach into your BOSy implant and press the cold shutdown button. You have to make it stop. You have to—

A neon cowboy appears in your eyes.

“Well shoot, pardner! I thought you wanted to make a quick buck! I’m afraid you ain’t spread the joy around enough yet. Better keep at it!”

The neon cowboy winks, tips his hat, and the message begins to play again. He is joined by a shirtless man telling you about his exercise regimen, a robot describing pills that will “make you a machine in the bedroom” and a dozen others. They fill your vision, yammering like madmen in hyper-real rainbow detail.

The old woman’s hands clutch your shirt and together you fall to the ground. From her hand falls a well-worn snapshot of the old woman and a girl with dark hair. You look at the photo between the radiant chaos overtaking your vision and recognize that girl. You know that face.  You know—

--

The girl’s body went limp as her BOSy shut down and rebooted. She stood, her head cleared of all interference, and walked out of the arboretum. She left the old woman crying and clutching the bench like a drowning woman. CORE security found and treated her fifteen minutes later, though a full purge of her BOSy took several hours and she suffered abrasions to both knees and a sprained wrist.

The girl returned to the Lower Well and reentered the black market workshop. The tech looked up from his work and saw her standing in the doorway, blank-faced and awaiting reboot.

“Already? Dammit, Samantha. What are we going to do with you?”

The Eclipse Arrives...

The Eclipse Arrives January 25th, 2018!

I am excited to announce that we finally have a release date! After more than two years, The Mind's Eclipse will be coming to Steam and Itch.io on January 25th, 2018!

The CORE, a private research station, 2352. Celebrity scientist Jonathan Campbell awakens to this fallen utopia and must search for his loved ones - with the help of L, a mysterious companion.

The Mind's Eclipse is a science-fiction visual novel featuring hand-drawn scenes in black and white, and emotional narrative-driven gameplay. Players will uncover the mystery of the Eclipse and its side-narratives by exploring, searching through logs and journals, and piecing together what happened to the CORE whilst searching for Jonathan's family.

The Game

  • An interactive fiction in stark black and white, with morally gray characters
  • With the help of a mysterious companion, explore a fallen utopia in search for your loved ones and uncover the mystery of the Eclipse
  • Piece together what led to the CORE's fall from journals and chat logs
  • No dating? No Problem. Every environment is interactive, pulling the player into a science fiction world worth exploring
  • Beware COSy
     

Our Steam Store: The Mind's Eclipse

Announcement Coming Soon!

We are looking to make an announcement regarding The Mind's Eclipse in the next few weeks. Until then, please check out our most recent trailers:

More Music Talent Joins the Team

The Mind's Eclipse Team is excited to welcome our newest team member! Below is a sample of work Brandi "Tella" Parker has already done for the game! Be sure to check it out!

Brandi Parker

Website @ www.tellamusic.com

SoundCloud @ www.soundcloud.com/tellabrandi

Brandi Parker is a musician, performer and composer originally from Arkansas. Musically known as “Tella,” she is now based in NYC.

In a career writing music spanning 20 years, she moved to NYC in the early 2000’s, at which point she spent some time playing in various genres of bands and music projects. After many projects dissolved, she decided to focus less on performance and built a small studio to focus more on recording. Since that point, she’s diversified her music experience into composing for film, television and video games. 

Whether by live instruments, virtual, or a combination of both, she brings the music to life. Her primary instrument is guitar, though often she writes on piano.

She is thrilled to be a member of the Mind’s Eclipse team, working on an innovative title in the fast-growing video game genre of Visual Novels.

SciFi Item Illustrations and More!

February was a crazy month for the team! We polished so much within the game as we begin our race to release this summer.

First things first:

Don't forget to sign up for our e-mail list! We will e-mail you as soon as The Mind's Eclipse releases on Steam!

New Item Illustrations:

We are very excited about our new item illustrations and how they will fit into gameplay. Below is an example interaction once the player has found two required items to open the airlock door.

Also, we've been rethinking the item descriptions and realize that they offer an opportunity to do some world building. Below is an example item from the demo. We made new illustrations for all of the items as well as added new descriptions that will help with world building. We are very excited for players to find all of the hidden items!

New In-Game Posters:

We are also excited to show off some new posters and propaganda that can be found around the game. These will really help to immerse people within the world we've created!

New Visual Artists!

We are very excited to welcome two new visual artists to the team! They will be helping us finish and polish the game this Winter and Spring in order to make a June delivery date!

Below is some of the fabulous work they've already done on the game:

Olivia Mercurio

Website @ http://www.oliviadraws.com/

Olivia is a sequential artist and character designer from Ithaca, New York. She studied sequential art and storyboarding at Savannah College of Art and Design. You can see her work on her website. Interests include: arguing, science fiction, and bees. She is also a fan of reptiles (including alligators!) 


Lauren Walsh

Website @ http://www.laurenwalshart.com/

Instagram @LaurenWalshArt

Lauren Walsh is a freelance illustrator based in Philadelphia, PA. She earned her BA in English and Art at the Pennsylvania State University. Lauren specializes in digital media and pen and ink. In her personal work, she explores what it means to be a strong female in comic books and video games. When Lauren isn't healing a Tank who pulls too many mobs or rezing the DPS who stood in the fire (...again), she fosters an appreciation for fantasy and science fiction in her nephew.

End of the Year Review!

Progress and New Release Window!

By the end of the year, Donald will have finished preliminary programming of the entire game! Since September 2015, the game has changed and grown in scope to include 6 distinct areas of gameplay!

Having these distinct regions allows us to tell an immersive story that we've always wanted. We've brought on a number of new artists to help us polish and finish the game. With that in mind, we expect the game to be finished no later than June 2017. We believe this release window will allow us sufficient time to finish and polish the game, as well as attend to other duties such as attending multiple conferences in the Spring.

Gameacon

We had the amazing Emily H show up to our booth dressed as L! Click the picture to see her Instagram portfolio!

We had the amazing Emily H show up to our booth dressed as L! Click the picture to see her Instagram portfolio!

At the end of October, the team traveled to Gameacon in Atlantic City. We showed off The Mind's Eclipse for two days straight! The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. Players were genuinely excited to discover more about the CORE and the Eclipse. And they posed the question: "Who is COSy?"

 

 

 

Other Changes

We are currently rethinking our drag and drop item use system. We find it to be clunky and doesn't make much sense later in the game. We are experimenting replacing it with a menu system. We think this change would make the game stronger since it was never meant to be a true point and click adventure. The items are simply there to guide the player and require them to explore the environments, so that they discover more messages and dialogue topics between the main characters.

New Menu System in Action!

Playable Demo!

If you haven't already, come check out our playable demo, available on Windows, Mac, and Linux!

New Interview - We are on a podcast!

Donald meets with the 2nd Rounds On Us podcast to discuss The Mind's Eclipse, video games, science fiction, and yes, even alligator wrestling!

You can find more from the 2nd Round Crew over on their site:
http://secondroundsonus.podbean.com/

As always, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more frequent updates!

https://twitter.com/themindseclipse

https://www.facebook.com/themindseclipse/

Marketplace Teaser and Off to Gameacon!

Newest Trailer!

We are excited to share our newest teaser trailer for The Mind's Eclipse featuring 2 minutes of brand-new gameplay!

Off to Gameacon in Atlantic City

As a reminder, we are heading off this weekend to partake in Gameacon, a video game conference focusing on independent video game developers! We will have a table set up where we will be showcasing our playable demo and never before seen gameplay footage. We will also have a limited number of physical demos available for people to take home.
There's also been rumors that we might see some Mind's Eclipse cosplay in the wild!

1 Year Old!

It's been 1 year since I sat down and made the first start screen for The Mind's Eclipse. I only had an idea of the story and had not programmed a single line of code for the game yet.

Since then, this project has morphed into a work of art that has exceeded my wildest dreams.

A special thank you to Dianne Yingst, Langdon Herrick, Chris Howell, and Ryan Baxter for riding this crazy train with me.

And a big thanks to all of our loved ones who let us stretch the definition of "Hobby".

-Donald Campbell

Cyberpunk Marketplace and More! - August 2016 update

Progress update

It's been a crazy couple of months for the team. We've been working hard towards finishing the area dubbed as "The Marketplace." This region of the game is actually larger than the first two combined! There's more dialogue, more messages, and even more cutscenes to be enjoyed!


New Let's Plays and Interviews!

In the last couple of months, we've seen a variety of articles, dev interviews, and Let's Plays pop up regarding the game. The team really appreciates all of the support you guys have shown us, and it is great to see other people excited about The Mind's Eclipse.

In case you missed it, Donald did a developer interview with Wes Platt at Prologue Games which is now hosted on Gamasutra. He also did an earlier interview with Kyree Leary at Kill Screen. If you want to learn about the inspiration behind The Mind's Eclipse and what tools we are using to make the game, go check these out!

If you enjoy Let's Plays, we recently had one of YouTube's top influencers, Markiplier, check out our demo. At the time of this writing, the video has over 900k views! Thank you to Mark for uploading this video and a big thanks to everyone who has left supportive comments and feedback regarding the game. You can watch the full video here:


Demo

If you haven't already, go check out our playable demo. We've received over 1000 downloads at this point! It can be found here:


Follow us!

Sample poster design that will be on display at Gameacon this October.


Gameacon

The team will be attending Gameacon, an indie centric video game conference, in Atlantic City New Jersey in October. We will have a table at the conference with a playable demo of The Mind's Eclipse as well as a limited number of physical copies to take home.

Newest Teaser Trailer - The Corridor

We are proud to show off the progress being made on The Mind's Eclipse by sharing with you our newest game trailer:

The Corridor was meant to be a simple transition zone within the game. However, as we sat down to really hammer out the details, we found that this area offered a rich opportunity to explore more of the CORE's backstory as well as intensify the mystery of the game world.

This area has tripled in size since its original inception and we couldn't be happier with it.

As a reminder, we were Greenlit on Steam in the Spring and if you haven't already, please come check out our playable demo ( ~20min ):

https://themindseclipse.itch.io/the-minds-eclipse

Finally, we are slower in updating this website and dev blog, but we update Twitter nearly everyday and Facebook about once a week. Please follow us there for more frequent updates!

https://twitter.com/themindseclipse
https://www.facebook.com/themindseclipse/

Steam Greenlight Success!

I am humbled to formally announce that The Mind's Eclipse was Greenlit by Valve after only 9 days!

The responses we have received have been loud and clear: people love the approach we are taking for this game, and they are excited to get their hands on it.

The team and myself are thrilled to continue working to bring this game to life. We just had a team meeting yesterday, and we've solidified our plans to get the finished game out to people in a timely manner.

In the meantime, if you haven't already, do check out our playable demo:
https://themindseclipse.itch.io/the-minds-eclipse

And be sure to check out some awesome previews written about The Mind's Eclipse:

Kill Screen - A GRUNGY MACHINE-AGE VIDEOGAME PRIORITIZES STORYTELLING OVER DIFFICULTY

Gamers FTW Article - A SPOTLIGHT ON THE MIND’S ECLIPSE: A STYLISH DYSTOPIAN VISION

The Daily Fandom - ‘The Mind’s Eclipse’ Sci-Fi Visual Novel Game (Preview)

Kotaku 

Finally, if you are a huge fan of Let's Plays, come check out these great YouTube videos of our demo in action:

The Mind's Eclipse - Demo Let's Play


- Donald Campbell

Steam Greenlight: The first week

Hi Fans!

With your help, we have continued our strong climb to the Top 100 on Steam Greenlight!

We've been spreading the word about The Mind's Eclipse as much as possible with the hope that we will be Greenlit soon, and you will be able to enjoy this beautiful game currently in production.

We visited the East Coast Gaming Conference, where we received a lot of awesome feedback and support from players and fellow game developers:

We've also been featured on some Twitch Streams and Let's Plays:

Shattered Controllers

Foehamner

Also in the Press:

Kotaku

GamersFTW

Please remember to tell your friends about The Mind's Eclipse. Every vote and comment helps push us closer to Greenlight!

If you are interested in doing a Let's Play or Twitch stream of the demo, please contact us here, on twitter or via email (themindseclipse at gmail dot com).

The Eclipse draws near.