Slender: The Eight Pages
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|Slender: The Eight Pages|
|Designer(s)||Mark J. Hadley|
|Composer(s)||Mark J. Hadley|
|Release date(s)||June 26, 2012|
Slender: The Eight Pages, originally known simply as Slender, is a free download indie-developed first-person survival horror video game released in June 2012 as a beta for Microsoft Windows and OS X, utilizing the Unity engine. The game is based on the fakeloric figure known as Slender Man, who is known for the abduction of children in mysterious, dark settings.
Slender: The Eight Pages is set in the middle of a forest during night and is played from a first person perspective. The player's objective is to collect eight pages located in various areas of the forest while avoiding the Slender Man, a faceless humanoid entity with tentacle like appendages sprouting from its back which appear when the player is on the brink of death. Slender Man will also teleport itself at will. The player is equipped with only a flashlight to see through the dark; it has limited battery life and will eventually shut down permanently if left on for an extended period of time. The player character also has limited stamina as running will tire out the character and decrease their maximum walking speed. Slender Man occasionally appears in the player's field of vision, and game over occurs when either the sanity drops below a certain point (measured inversely by the intensity of the static) or if the Slender Man comes into contact with the player, which will turn you around and end the game. The game over screen shows Slender Man's "face" up close and blinking static pulses. As the player collects pages, the fog in the forest grows thicker and Slender Man appears closer to the player character, though the sprinting speed slowly increases as well.
Slender Man will not stop chasing the player's character even if all the eight pages have been collected. Once all the pages are collected, one is allowed to walk around for a couple seconds in silence until it appears behind you and ends your game. However the end credits can be viewed afterwards if all 8 pages were successfully collected, and new game modes are then unlocked. There is also a “grace period” in the very beginning of the game, during which Slender Man remains inactive for a few minutes or until the player collects the first page. However, the level (difficulty) increases the longer one goes without collecting pages. The end of this grace period is indicated by a repetitive stomping sound echoing in the background (also activated by collecting the first page), which is arguably emitted by Slender Man's movement, or perhaps the player's heartbeat. This sound is heard throughout the rest of the game & gradually gets quicker as more pages are collected, as well as several other layering sounds. These sounds include a low droning sound (pages 3-4), a loud wind (pages 5-6), and then a mysterious and unnerving beeping sound (page 7). Only once all 8 pages are collected do the sounds stop. Slender: The Arrival is the sequel to this.
Development and release 
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A number of influences for the game have been acknowledged. In addition to the Slender Man character, the movement rules for Slender Man resemble those for the "unintentionally creepy" movement of the player 's companion Watson in Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis, where a similar algorithm was used to enable Watson (a friendly character) to appear to be following the player without needing to implement pathfinding or walking animation for him. The gameplay and some aspects of the artistic style of the game are also extremely similar to a prototype game named "Hide" that was posted on the Super Friendship Club gaming forum in 2011, although the movement of the enemies in Hide is different and the player can view them from a distance without harm. Many of the game's graphics and code snippets are obtained from Unity's own Asset Store, the defaults included with Unity, or from contributors on the Unity Forum thread for the game.
After the game's release, several other games were released that were based on Slender: The Eight Pages, usually based on exploration mechanics with similar AI for the enemy. The most popular games based on Slender: The Eight Pages are Slenderman's Shadow which was released in several maps and "Slender-Man" for iOS, which reached number two in worldwide app ratings, being outsold only by Bad Piggies. Despite this initial success, the iOS game has been significantly criticized for its lack of objective and quality. Several mods were also released. A more advanced version of the game implemented using the Source engine was originally announced named Slender: Source, but this attracted criticism as Hadley was not involved in the development of the game. In response to this, Slender: Source was renamed Faceless. The character Slender Man himself is based off the character created in the Something Awful Forums in a thread named "Create Paranormal Images".
In Version 0.9.4 there is an unlockable "Daytime Mod". To unlock this mode, the player must beat the game as normal, but now there is a new ending where the player awakes in the daytime after collecting all eight pages and is caught by Slender Man. After waking up, the player can walk around in the daytime for a few seconds before the credits roll. "Daytime Mode" is simply during the day and without a flashlight. If the player beats "Daytime Mode" the ending will be the same as before, only the player wakes up at night. After the credits roll, the player will have unlocked "$20 Mode". In this mode, gameplay is more or less the same as normal mode, except if the player sees Slender Man a song called "20 Dollars" by American rap artist Ron Browz starts playing. This is a reference to a fan originated meme about Slender Man, stating that if you give Slender Man 20 dollars, he'll leave you alone. This is the only version in which the player selects these modes in the "Options" portion of the menu screen, and this is also the only version in which two hidden modes can be played at once ("Daytime Mode" and "$20 Mode"). However, the "$20 Mode" was removed in version 0.9.7 due to a copyright issue.
From version 0.9.5 on successfully completing the game for the first time in an earlier version unlocks "MH Mode". This mode starts off and ends like an "Entry" from the web series Marble Hornets, which is based on the Slender Man mythos. This mode also suggests that the round of gameplay is actually a prerecorded video. There is static on the top and bottom of the screen, and the different types of music that play as the player collects more and more pages do not play. If the player beats the game for the first time in this version (without having beaten it in an earlier version first) they not only unlock "MH Mode", but unlock "Daytime Mode" as well. Beating both of these modes will then unlock "$20 Mode".
The game received positive reviews. Some publications noted the effectiveness of the game's minimalist horror approach, contrasting it with many action-based survival horror games of the time period, such as the latest Resident Evil and Silent Hill titles. Gaming website IGN called Slender "pure horror", claiming "few horror games thrust you directly into the heart of fear". "Slender is the kind of game that unearths that long-lost sensation inside of you whereby you’d play a game for the addictive novelty value it possessed and not the budget that was thrown at it."
A sequel to Slender: The Eight Pages, entitled Slender: The Arrival was released on March 26, 2013.
The game was released on March 26, 2013 at a price of $10.
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