It’s been a long time since our last post. We had to stop working on the game for a little while but now we’re back with an art preview for four of the zones in erebus (the first 3 exhibits + an outdoor area).
In total there are 10 visually distinct zones in the game (6 of which are exhibit areas). We wanted to make each area interesting and obviously different from the others and decided that making each exhibit themed to match what was on display was the best way to achieve that. Each zone had to be eerie in its own way.
There’s a lot of artwork involved in this game, I’d say the art assets easily take up most of the development time. In hindsight, developing a heavily-art-based game might not have been the greatest idea we (as a two-man team, with no artist) have had.
Anyway, this post is a little short on information, so here’s a couple of screenshots and a video showcasing the first three exhibits of the museum.
It’s time for our first ever dev-blog! I’m afraid it’s nothing too interesting, in future posts we’ll be going into more detail and probably talk about the development process. For today though, we’re just going to be showing the very beginnings of our currently-in-development horror game codenamed Project Erebus. The most important part of a horror game in our eyes is the ambience and “feel” of the game so we made it our first goal to set up the character controls and a simple test scene for prototyping to make sure the way the character and camera moved felt just right. We didn’t want the character to just float around the environment, which meant the camera had to move around to try and simulate (or exaggerate) a person walking. The majority of the development time so far has been tweaking values to get just the right amount of head-bob and camera sway and we think it turned out pretty well – it’s mostly been a case of trial-and-error. As for modes of travel: we wanted the default walk speed to be fairly slow as it helps to build tension. At the same time, we wanted the ability to run for short bursts in situations where the player feels safe to do so. And last but not least, the ability to crouch we think is vital to this game – there will be moments where you’ll need to duck into small (and not so inviting) areas to traverse the environment. So far, the character has the following capabilities:
Sprint short distances
Crouch into confined places
Peek around corners to survey the environment before progressing into a potentially dangerous room
Pick up physics objects and move them around (think Amnesia: The Dark Descent)
Pull out a flashlight to illuminate particularly dark rooms
Footstep sounds – combined with the near-silence in the environment really help to build tension and leave the player wondering if they just heard a noise or not
The flashlight is going to be key in building tension in the game. It lights up the environment just enough to see what’s directly in front of the player but doesn’t reveal too much and has a really creepy feel to it. Here’s a video showing the character in action:
And here’s a few screenshots showing the visual style we’re going for. We only have a few environment pieces right now but hopefully we’ll be able to pick up the pace a little now that the base functionality is in place.