"Lunar Sparks"

Here I envision the sparks of the 2nd Nanite War in ~ 1000 words of flash fiction.

Only the sounds of Sergeant Kate Halloway’s breathing filled her enviro helmet. The squad had been on comm silence since cresting over the crater rim.

It was typical tactical positioning. Two people on point. Two in the middle. Herself, bringing up the rear.

Their large power suits plodded over the lunar soil in silence. 

There were only a couple Bubbles this far out. Mostly for solar farmers who eschewed the orbiting cities to oversee operations personally. They traded artificial gravity and amenities for eyes on operations and, what Kate suspected, was some misappropriated sense of independence.

Lunar law dictated that each settlement maintain frequent comms with the orbiting Spires just in case there was an emergency.

Gall’s Bubble hadn’t checked in for over a week. It made the Central Spire nervous. Mars had been aggressive in the New Belt, pushing Earthian miners out. Many felt that Luna’s neutrality in the whole affair would be short lived.

So, Kate and her team trundled over the Lunar soil in their heavy, nuclear powered combat suits to investigate why Fred Gall couldn’t be bothered to pick up the phone.

The geodesic dome appeared from behind the next outcropping. The ugly structure was covered in solar arrays, their black paneling causing the dome to dissolve into the black Lunar skyline. 

Earth’s figure lay to her right, it’s brownish hue dominating the rest of the skyline.

With the dome in sight, Kate activated her BOSy and began dialing the facility’s computer.

The computer interface chirped in her mind and began doing the proper handshake. Kate told the computer to flag someone to speak with and it chirped for some time before Kate gave up. 

As they strolled onward, she began soliciting the computer for statistics. The dome’s computer obliged happily, chirping and displaying the requested digits.

Eight heat signatures. Kate thought. This would be the eight workers last recorded as checking in for the week’s shift.

“Harrison?”

“Ma’am?”

“Turn on thermals once you’re in range.”

“Yes. Ma’am. Two minutes out.”

Kate usually enjoyed these types of patrols. They were often boring and usually ended with having to scold someone, usually by brandishing their military insignia and waving their arms threateningly. 

There had been times, however, when Kate had to bloody some asshole’s nose for the sake of Lunar stability. Those were more interesting, sure, but less enjoyable.

When she looked out at the approaching dome, her stomach tightened.

“Confirmed 8 heat signatures.”

Harrison made a weird exhalation.

“And?”

“And… they’re not moving, ma'am”

--

Breaching the Bubble was easy. Sergeant Kate Halloway simply walked up to the main airlock. Her BOSy connection with the Bubble’s computer was waiting for her and kindly opened the door for the five soldiers.

With the airlock closed behind them, the point man began broadcasting external to the suit. A simple audio cue for the Luna Military.

“Attention Please. Security Forces have arrived.”

The announcement was filtered through the suit’s speakers, the distorted voice ringing through Kate’s helmet.

Kate had never heard the announcement outside of a suit before. Growing up on the Central Spire, she had never been on that side of a security sweep.

There was less room to maneuver here in the large, hulking suits, and they had to go one at a time.

Harrison was still on point, and he shuffled around the corner, locked onto the the farmers’ heat signatures.

That’s when another sound emanated from her’s suits speakers. Static? White noise?

They came to a minor four way. Small huts sat diagonal from larger containers. Bodies lay in the middle.

Farmers. People. Kate reminded herself.

They had assumed all the figures were sleeping, considering their heat signatures and position on the BOSy filters.

But now, out in the middle of the small yard, the three figures were positioned awkwardly as though they had fallen in place. Their bodies still gave off heat signatures.

And the white noise here was louder too. A sonar weapon? To knock them out? Riot police had such weapons but why here?

Kate walked around the bodies inspecting one of the large shipping containers. The white noise grew louder as she approached the metal cylinder, it’s door pointed towards the four way for easy access.

Harrison and Jun began checking the bodies starting with the one closest to Kate.

“Christ”, said Harrison. 

Copy of Flash Fiction 3.jpg

Kate stopped inspecting the metal container and looked around at the body.

The man’s face was...dissolved? As though he had been dunked in acid-

Kate considered her weapons knowledge. She inhaled suddenly and turned towards the container.

The white noise grew louder and soon black tendrils came through the seams of the container’s door.

Kate’s BOSy alarmed.

“Fuck”, yelled Jun.

Nanites. It was goddamn nanites.

“Get out of here.” she ordered, swiping at her squad mates.

Maybe they hadn’t been too close to the container. Maybe-

She felt the damn things now. She imagined them crawling over her eyes, through her ears. Into her mind…

She tried to stay calm and focus but her mind raced.

Why were these here? Treaties were in place since the Nanite War. These shouldn’t be here.

But it didn’t matter, she realized finally with cool clarity.

These were a risk. They couldn’t be let out of the Bubble. They could travel, slowly sure, but they could travel and find another Bubble to decimate.

Her skin started to itch and then to burn. Everywhere.

She told her BOSy to release the safety mechanisms on her suit’s core.

She hoped that Harrison and the others would find cover.

Kate began the countdown procedure, the burning intensifying as her sight began to fade.

The irony, Kate realized, was that these damn things were originally intended to help humanity.

The countdown ended and the burning ceased.

------------------

Want to experience more from The Mind's Eclipse Universe? Come wishlist us on Steam: The Mind's Eclipse

Story by Donald Campbell

Illustration by Lauren Walsh
 

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

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.

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/

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.

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