Category: Groundwork

After Lotus Point #002 – dynamic soundtrack groundwork.

Here is a short clip that demonstrates some in stances of the dynamic soundtrack stuff we have used. The long and short of it is, the player’s position, run time and other events changes how the soundtrack playback is mixed, effected and filtered.
Our hope is to build on the sense of atmosphere and depth in the game, and also being in upbeat elements for when things get more intense.

Apparently youtube doesn’t take you seriously until you have 500 subscribers. Hooray for metrics!

 

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Pennies and Post-its.

Sometimes you simply need to go back to basics and find a simple, direct method of making sure your silly high-concept ideas actually work.
Recently we did that by making post-it-note cards that represented various structures in a puzzle (the first the player-character will likely encounter) and old-fashionedly made sure it all added up.

This means something. We promise.

Old-time game design.

This was a success in two ways- firstly the basic idea did indeed work (always handy) and secondly we managed to identify a few canards we could simply cut without developing further. A minute saved is a minute… earned?
Anyway it is quite possible to get pretty far into something and realise you haven’t established or tested certain key elements that 100% NEED to function properly. As more hours rack up on the project we thought it a good time to actually do some safety-checking.

Pseudofamiliarity

The interesting and frustrating thing about being the lead (by which I mean sole) artist on a project is the responsibility for creating lore-applicable imagery on the fly.
I’ve just been finishing up some artwork to be used for promotion, and it called for some kind of alien writing.
Yet it has to be recognisable *as* writing and not seem like a picture or something.

I like things that seem familiar yet aren’t- misleading in a playful way. So I sketched out some eldritch hieroglyphs until I liked what I was looking at. The following image was then used as a basis for a much larger element of the finished artwork.
shadow_prism_writing

Doesn’t look much I know, but it require thinking about the concepts from a different perspective.

Groundwork #3

The technology was used to visit strange worlds.... at forst

The technology was used to visit strange worlds…. at first

A big part of creating a game (for me) is fleshing out back story and making a rich world, even if that may not be directly seen in the final product. I like to develop these aspects and create a detailed space for the project to inhabit.

Luke

Documents: First pass

So a big part of the game is going to be sleuthing and deducing, to this end you will be required to sift through paper work from various places. So we need a document system that is a little more complex than just an image or some text, we need to be able to embed metadata in the documents have them be transformed and distorted by photocopiers and fax machines.

With this in mind here is my first pass at a document editor, on the left you have a poor mans XML markup and on the right the rendered page, I’m trying to invoke the look of declassified military documents of the period.

Simple document editor

Simple document editor

This was my reference, the very famous and maybe a little to obvious, declassified Project MKUltra documents. I may have gone back too far on reflection as these documents were probably typed on a typewriter and in our selected period dot matrix printers we common. However they are clearly photocopied. Notice the bulldog clip, copy distortion, the dialation on the characters and smudges. These are things to attempt to recreate in future iterations.

MKULTRA Sample

Phill

Groundwork #2

I love creating stuff, and worlds for that stuff to inhabit. One of the great things about this kind of project is I get to do exactly that.

Here is some more work at building up the visual backstory:

Powerstation Incident

Powerstation Incident

Creating dramatic scenes helps me to not only pique people’s interest, but also to test out scenarios that Phill and I have discussed as events that might happen in the course of the game, different storytelling perspectives and tones.

X ray incoming. Weapons hot.

X ray incoming. Weapons hot.

This kind of urban attack scene is a typical trope, but not all is as it seems with our plans. Part of the fun is playing with what people typically expect of a monster attack scenario.

Brainbase launches

Brainbase launches

Also these creatures have their own backstory, which will remain secret for now- you will probably have to play the game to get to the bottom of what s going on with them!

Rumours in the wilds

Rumours in the wilds

Anyway that is enough for now.

Luke

Groundwork #1

WE COME IN PEACE

Mass panic

So the long and short of it is we don’t want to give much away about our game… here is what we can tell you: your job will be to manage a force defending your nation from the attacks of enormous creatures.

Many of them.

I’ve been painting up concepts that develop what this world *might* look like. More to follow.

Luke