Publisher : LORICIELS, 1986
Genre : Adventure game

“Le Pacte” is first and foremost a game of atmosphere. It was inspired by the horror movie “Amityville”, particularly the design of the house which at the time fascinated me. I wished to create a truly oppressive climate. It was the first game where I sought to make the player feel something, to communicate an emotion to the player. Creatively, this was an important stage for me. The game did not have commercial success, however it does have innumerable qualities, of which certain are rather original concepts. Unfortunately it was weighed down by a dialogue-based interface that rapidly became frustrating to the player. Indeed, I had decided to circumvent the traditional adventure game mechanic by limiting the player to a choice of a verb and a noun selected from two lists. The idea was not bad, but there were too many words to choose from. The list was not adjusted contextually. The player was then forced to navigate a word list in one minute; combining words and making his choice before realising that this had no effect on the present situation !

Here is a list of the most interesting concepts :

The animation of the burning page in the intro is generated by cellular automata,
derived from the "Game of Life" algorithms of J.H. Conway.

Player help is integrated into the game in the form of spiritual seances, and premonitory dreams.

The day/night cycle is generated by the game.

One can photograph the invisible ! The player is equipped with a polaroid camera, sensitive to occult forces. If the player photographs a paranormal manifestation, the film captures the image and causes its materialisation within part of it. The photograph burns instantly. If the manifestation is a demon, the player can control it with a crucifix, to move it step by step into a place where it can be fatally destroyed.

With each time the player is confronted by forces exceeding his power, he loses PSY points, representing his mental health and symbolised by a red line on the screen. If this line sinks to zero, the player succumbs to madness and is lost.