The Gray Man – General and Features Guide

Playing as a serial killer is a bit of a challenge, especially for the person who makes the game. I’m happy to introduce the general game philosophy, its main features and certain adventure game elements used, as well as explain how the orientation and progression through the game works. Also if you’re stuck somehow.

Guide to General and Features

Three Roles of Characters

  • The game features a trio of main characters who gain influence over the character of Anthony, a serial killer, at certain points. The Conscience, which the player plays as, is not as strong at the beginning of the game, due to the mysterious entity of the Whisperer, who manipulates the main character.
  • Of course, the player’s goal is to help the character and fight for control over his body, and this takes place over several chapters throughout the game, culminating in the fifth and final chapter. Of course, it is possible to try not to help him and to give in to the Whisperer in his decisions, but in doing so, Anthony is completely absorbed by this Inner Voice and gains control over it, which equals a bad ending to the game.
  • The player learns about the Whisperer’s motivations over time, as well as about the character of Anthony himself in various memories and inner worlds. Beware, however, of a situation where you reinforce his Conscience and guilt to the point where he gains control over himself… By that logic, though, what is a good ending to the play?

Between Two Worlds

  • I represent primarily two different environments, i.e. the external and the internal world. The outer takes place in a real place and time, most often in the house and its grounds, and the inner in subconscious sequences.
  • Why Subconscious? Because Anthony’s understanding of the world is distorted and, through the influence of the Whisperer, he has no idea what is and is not true. Neither do the various situations, things, characters or entire cities through which he interprets his own thoughts and ideas. However, the Whisperer also enters this plane and manipulates these environments in his own image.
  • The waking environment, on the other hand, is as real as Anthony can perceive it. It is thus rarely distorted, but appearances can be deceptive.
  • Thus within the story players will very often jump between these worlds, providing the player with plenty of necessary information as well. You’ll be walking through cities, searching for various items, solving small puzzles or exploring fragments of long lost memories.

Question of Death

  • Restoring the character’s conscience, however, comes with a radical solution. Anthony will have a strong urge to commit suicide. However, this bizarrely gains one of the game’s good endings, but ironically loses the rest of the game’s remaining content. In a way, however, you have successfully completed the game, with the death of the main character. But you’re slightly spurred on to continue, but in doing so you only cause more death, more torment…
  • Of course this is a strong narrative game, so there are few hidden ways to actually end the life of a character independent of the story. This applies to both weakening his mind and strengthening it in mysterious ways.

Narrative Style

  • If you noticed correctly, the game is surreal for a good reason. Not only will you be jumping between different worlds and states of Anthony’s sick mind, but his understanding, thinking and monologue are marked by it, providing valuable information to the player.
  • The subconscious scenes can be very chaotic, sometimes controversial, sometimes nonsensical. Everything is meant to express the state our character is in and what you will experience with him. If you understand his state, you might understand his reasons for acting the way he does.
  • The story is presented in many ways, and therefore certainly through the text in various dialogues and monologues that are often philosophical to the point of being existential. Of course, in this exploration there can be both truth and falsehood…

Point & click Adventure with Such a Theme?!

Well, yes.

  • Conveying a first-person experience in a 2D game can be a bit tricky in this case. Mostly I notice a minor frustration in navigating the outside world, in the house. I believe if you give this gameplay movement time and care, you will get used to this unconventional style of transitions. The player looks around, points the mouse and clicks where they want to go. This is presented to him both by pointing at part of the image itself, and by text (only in Awake, not in Subconscious) and by changing the game cursor.
  • This doesn’t mean there aren’t blind spots, of course, and it can be frustrating at times, but that’s why I’m working on this in parallel and want to make this issue as pleasant as possible for the player.
  • Occasionally you also work with the inventory, so you collect things and can manipulate with them further. There’s also Crafting, but it’s only used once in the game. You click and click, and sometimes you hold down the mouse button to move a specific item somewhere. Or you want to break a window with a rock, scoop water into a bowl, or right-click to swing an axe.

What If I Get Stuck Somewhere?

  • To be honest, the game has been out for a while and there are already many minor flaws. It is a slight failure on my part, although I have been preparing the game for a very long time and fixing it to make it as good as possible. So thank you very much for any feedbacks! So how do I solve this if I play and get stuck somehow?
  • There are the following options in the game: you can either pause the game and get back, or I’m now offering a “Last Checkpoint” button in Menu, which will put you back in the game a tiny bit earlier. Unfortunately, you lose a few minutes of game time with this, but I try to make sure the bugs don’t happen that often! Even if this fails and doesn’t solve the problem, you can double-click (A + B buttons on the gamepad) on the Continue button and it will reset the current chapter content to the beginning of the chapter. At worst, putting a New Game or clearing the game data in the settings are such absolutely radical solutions that I hope they don’t occur.
Jan Bonkoski
About Jan Bonkoski 962 Articles
Jan Bakowski aka Lazy Dice, was always interested in gaming and writing. His love of gaming began with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64) back in 1998. He’s been making game guides since 2012. Sharing his gaming experience with other players has become not only his hobby but also his job. In his free time, he plays on Steam Deck.

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