Jul 22, 2017 Last Updated 9:22 PM, Jul 21, 2017
Published in Dev Talks
Read 656 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.

Image Gallery

Related items

  • Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Review

    For an open-world, immersive experience replete with quests, fishing, farms, and more, look no further than Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. The design is apt to please any gamer interested in what Yonder has to offer, while nightfall and the gloominess of a heavy rain ensure that players who might otherwise avoid overly bright hues don’t feel left out -- a sure recipe on Yonder’s part for broad appeal. However, as an exploration-heavy title, especially one that does not offer combat, the allure is counteracted in part; ultimately, though, all -- save the hardcore -- can enjoy Yonder.

  • Baobabs Mausoleum Ep.1 Ovnifagos Don't Eat Flamingos Review

    Seemingly an anomaly on the Steam store, Baobabs Mausoleum Ep. 1 Ovnifagos Don’t Eat Flamingos is a weird but worthwhile play.  It presents a unique and twisted world and a story with a considerable extent of both human imagination and sanity.  Each puzzle and problem is different and engaging, providing an innovative experience.  As the first installment in the series, we have hopeful anticipation for a successor, to see how the developers will continue to polish what they have here.

  • No70: Eye of Basir Review

    No70: Eye of Basir is an ambitious title; while the visuals and audio are noteworthy, in the critical areas of story and gameplay, Basir is passable, not exceptional. The brief plot explores, then seems to abandon, what appeared to have been a key plot point, and, at times, it’s a bit unclear who your character even is. Issues with performance and geometry clipping, combined with some sloppy foliage and prop placement, occasionally break immersion: No70: Eye of Basir is a flawed gem with some good facets.

  • Perception Review

    Perception features  an unique narrative thread, though it isn’t ground-breaking. Claustrophobic at times, Perception is at once elegant and creepy, but the title’s own core mechanic defangs any deeper sense of dread or terror it might have achieved. Perception sits comfortably in a casual gray area in terms of puzzles and story, but it offers up some solid voice work and unique, ethereal visuals. Horror fans seeking something novel, though not panic inducing, may find it worth a look.

  • The Search Interview

    Embark on a journey of discovery and inspiration in The Search - a story-driven puzzle-adventure set in a mysterious world where art comes to life! In an unknown world, you'll search for clues about the nature of this place, as well as your own past. Guided only by the letters of a mysterious stranger, you'll find that this universe works differently from our own.

  • Subject A-119 Review

    Subject A-119 makes a strong showing with a variety of abilities, but the puzzles, through mechanical and logical limitations, quickly fatigue the player. Puzzle addicts might be tempted to explore this title but, overall, Subject A-119 mechanics are more confusing than the actual puzzles, ultimately leaving players underwhelmed.

More in this category: The Search Interview »

Latest Shows

PREY - AAA Anony…

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers Arkane's anticipated 2017 release: PREY.

Dawn of Andromed…

Dawn of Andromeda is a pausable, real-time 4X space strategy game providing an accessible, fun and immersive experience, introducing fresh ideas to the genre. Build your empire, co...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

The Inner World …

The flute nose dynasty has been watching over Asposia for centuries on end. In secret, they fill the...

Fortnite

Fortnite is described as a co-op sandbox survival game and is about exploration, scavenging items, c...

Pyre

A New World From the Creators of Bastion and Transistor, Pyre is a party-based RPG in which you lead...

Neverwinter: Tom…

Neverwinter’s Harpers seek to end the wickedness of a new death curse on the jungle peninsula of Chu...

Baobabs Mausoleu…

Seemingly an anomaly on the Steam store, Baobabs Mausoleum Ep. 1 Ovnifagos Don’t Eat Flamingos is a weird but worthwhile play.  It presents a unique and twisted world and a story w...

Yonder: The Clou…

For an open-world, immersive experience replete with quests, fishing, farms, and more, look no further than Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. The design is apt to please any ga...

The Walking Dead…

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – Episode 5 is a gripping, emotional ending to this chapter in the series, but it's also one that doesn't quite hit the mark as well as the prior s...

Late Shift Revie…

Late Shift is interactive storytelling at its finest, a Full-Motion Video (FMV) title where Choices Matter. This gripping "crime thriller" puts players in the hot seat, allowing th...