In The Pit
April 20, 2006 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Happen to have an XBox 360 wired controller? In The Pit is a PC-based audio-only stealth action game, in which you play a nasty creature living at the bottom of a pit, hunting down people who fall in. Strangely compelling. via The Experimental Gameplay Project
posted by signalnine (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not "you have been eaten by a grue" it's you just ate an adventurer, you silly grue!"
posted by Pollomacho at 10:25 AM on April 20, 2006

Why is there a link for me to buy stuff off amazon with your referal ID? I'm confused.
posted by Brockstar at 10:33 AM on April 20, 2006

That's Metafilter's referrer ID.
posted by box at 10:37 AM on April 20, 2006

Yeah, Metafilter inserts their referrer ID into all Amazon links these days.
posted by signalnine at 10:39 AM on April 20, 2006

This almost-- almost-- makes me want to run out and buy a 360 controller and a pair of headphones right now. Does anyone have one they can lend me?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:43 AM on April 20, 2006

Force feedback on the controller.
posted by linux at 10:50 AM on April 20, 2006

crashes for me. Makes me sad :(
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:07 AM on April 20, 2006

The wireless 360 controller has rubmle. The wired controller is necessary because it connects to the PC. I don't know if the wireless version can or not.
posted by Mikey-San at 11:11 AM on April 20, 2006

Rumble. Dammit.
posted by Mikey-San at 11:11 AM on April 20, 2006

You can just unzip the package and listen to the OGG files without playing. They're cute.
posted by brownpau at 11:12 AM on April 20, 2006

I'm willing to pay $30 for the controller. But I don't have any Windows XP machines. Too bad, because it sounds great:
as guests arrived we "threw them into the Pit" by dragging them into his computer room, putting the headphones on them and the controller in their hands with no prior information about what was going on, starting up the game and leaving the room.

Unanimously, once one of the guests had finished the game (s)he'd stagger, glassy-eyed and grinning, out to the patio and demand more levels. ...

The other day someone emailed me about "In The Pit" and said "well, this certainly settles the whole 'gameplay versus graphics' argument". I'd never thought about that when I was working on it, but yeah, I guess it does.
posted by Aknaton at 11:12 AM on April 20, 2006

I SOOOOOO want to play this game. I might just go buy a controller this weekend.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 11:34 AM on April 20, 2006

Sure hope someone at MS notices this and does the cool think of putting on Live! for download. I'd pay a few bucks to play this. Sounds cool!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:50 AM on April 20, 2006

I would like to play this in the dark.
posted by Jairus at 12:09 PM on April 20, 2006

Wtf, why couldn't they make it work using the standard USB game controller API?

posted by delmoi at 12:16 PM on April 20, 2006

I...... do not believe that it really REQUIRES an xbox controller. I can't see how that would work. I have a rumbling controller with just as many buttons ... let's see if I can make it work. Otherwise it sure sounds cool.

reminds me of Transcend kinda.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:22 PM on April 20, 2006

So none of you are reading this, then:

4-19-06: I've been getting a lot of requests to make this game accept more than just one specific type of joystick. I sat down tonight committed to making that happen, and after a lot or research I unfortunately have to say "no". There is not enough force feedback standardization, and what there is is very klunky, and would require much more of my time and effort than I'm willing to put into it. Sorry. It's 360 wired or nothing.
I've also gotten emails from a few people (less than 1% of the people who have downloaded the game) that on their computers the game crashes immediately after saying "Studio Hunty presents...". It looks like this is being caused by a very obscure bug in the audio library the game uses, and there is no way for me to fix it. This is why it's taken me so long to make a PC game; I love knowing that anything I program for a console will work exactly the same on everyone's console, and I hate knowing that no matter how careful I am programming something for the PC, there are going to be a few people who will have some sort of obscure compatibility issue and won't be able to get it to run.

posted by linux at 12:37 PM on April 20, 2006

Wtf, why couldn't they make it work using the standard USB game controller API?

Uh, because the DirectX Force Feedback API sucks, and there is no agreed upon standards for force feedback on most gaming controllers.

Read the damn link.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:42 PM on April 20, 2006

this is fucking incredible. these guys are geniuses and I want to give them money (once I have some to give.) Once I have this money to give, I will also go buy an xbox360 controller and play the game.

rad. just fucking rad.
posted by shmegegge at 1:20 PM on April 20, 2006

Mommy I want this thing.
posted by eddydamascene at 1:25 PM on April 20, 2006

So has anyone here tried it or are we all getting boners over the concept?
posted by geoff. at 1:36 PM on April 20, 2006

*looks down*

No boner yet, geoff. 'Course, it is a bit too dark to see...
posted by NationalKato at 1:42 PM on April 20, 2006

I tried it. It gave me a massive erection.
posted by signalnine at 2:40 PM on April 20, 2006

Hey, where are the screenshots?
posted by 5MeoCMP at 5:02 PM on April 20, 2006

Hey, where are the screenshots?

At the very top of the page linked, ffs.
posted by Aknaton at 5:40 PM on April 20, 2006

I just finished playing. Sadly, I couldn't beat the second level.

The concept is very cool. You move around with the analog stick, and you follow the audio cues of people breathing, and the controller rumbles when you're close enough to hear their heartbeat. When you think you're close enough to eat them, you press a button. If you miss, they run away. If you move too fast, your footsteps alert them and they run away.

Some (hopefully) constructive criticism:

You're playing "blind," which increases the tension, but you're the aggressor, which lessens it. If you were the one being chased, I imagine it would be freaky as hell.

Running into a wall offers the exact same feedback as running into a person, which is confusing. That's more a limitation of the controller, though.

It could have just been me, but I swear the left and right channels were reversed sometimes. I was using headphones, and I'd hear breathing coming from the right, but it got louder as I moved left. It's also hard to tell if the sound is coming from in front of you or from behind, but again, probably limited by the headphones.

Playing the first level with visual cues would have helped immensely. At first I didn't know how hard I had to move the analog in order to move. I also didn't know how big the room was (though I suppose I could have "felt" along the wall), how fast the people moved, or how close I really was. If I could see for just the very beginning, it would be much easier to get a feel for my stride, etc. though I suppose that may defeat the purpose.

In all, though, it's a really awesome idea done pretty well.
posted by Sibrax at 4:11 PM on April 20, 2006

How accurate a simulation is it? Do you get doppler shift if you run and such? Can you sense the direction of the sound from phase, or just relative amplitude?
posted by phrontist at 6:53 PM on April 20, 2006

The wireless 360 controller has rubmle. The wired controller is necessary because it connects to the PC. I don't know if the wireless version can or not.

No, the wireless 360 controller will not work. The USB play-and-charge cable only charges the wireless controller - it does not, and can not, actually send controller data across the wire. Even when connected with the cable, it's still communicating wirelessly with the console.

Meaning I can't play it at home since I've only bought wireless ones. Have to try it out at work (tons of wired ones available there) - and I do have to try.
posted by evilangela at 9:52 PM on April 20, 2006

I will have to buy a controller this weekend, I think. This sounds amazing - I like the idea of playing it blindfolded, and as Sibrax says if there was a sequel where you were being chased it would be the icing on the cake.
posted by greycap at 11:21 PM on April 20, 2006

graycap says that Sibrax says: "if there was a sequel where you were being chased it would be the icing on the cake."

I think the fourth level that the game designer talks about where the target is a gladiator who fights back will be a great addition.
posted by adnanbwp at 12:24 AM on April 21, 2006

This seems like it would be really cool, but also kind of limited. The sensory input that helps to break up the monotony of other games where you do the same thing over and over again just wouldn't be there in this game for obvious reasons.
posted by OmieWise at 6:57 AM on April 21, 2006

Even more impressive is the fact that, as dictated by the rules of the competition at, the game was developed from concept to submission in less than 14 days (9 days, according to his 'postnatal').
posted by TheCowGod at 6:48 AM on April 22, 2006

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