Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Two Narrative Panels by Sara Bardi

It's been a while since our last update, but I wanted to post some of the materials we never had a chance to reveal. To that end, take a look at a couple of key narrative panels Sara developed right before our extended hiatus. 

Art by Sara Bardi

Art by Sara Bardi

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Cemetery Narrative Panel, Voonith Concept Art and Animated Ghouls on the Attack

Sorry for the lack of updates on the game, but the team has collectively been rather busy with personal and professional challenges, and so we took a little bit more time than anticipated to pull together another update. Luckily, things seem to be back on track and work has continued at a steady pace for the past couple of weeks or so, including on the programming front. Here's a quick highlight of some of our latest work on the game. 

First up, we have a new narrative panel by Sara, which should be about the third one in the level/demo we're putting together centered around "The Statement of Randolph Carter". As you can see, Sara has done a fantastic job incorporating elements from Wojciech's pixel art, especially the run down church previously featured on this blog. We anticipate that there will likely be another three to four panels sprinkled throughout the first level depicting Carter's journey.

Cemetery image by Sara Bardi

Next, we have a concept image from Luis of a creature featured much later in Lovecraft's original tale, a Voonith. From the original text: "And all through the night a voonith howled distantly from the shore of some hidden pool, but Carter felt no fear of that amphibious terror, since he had been told with certainty that not one of them dares even approach the slopes of Ngranek". As you can see, Luis took the minimal description of the creature from this passage and really played up the amphibious nature of it, making an image that is rather original compared to other visual interpretations out there.

Voonith concept image by Luis Merlo

Finally, we have a couple of attack animations for the ghoul boss and bloodlust ghoul from Spyros. Most of these two characters' respective move sets have been rendered, and I have to say that Spyros did an outstanding job giving Luis' concepts a more three dimension aspect to them. They look both menacing and, when seen in context of the game, add to the creepy tone we're attempting to achieve. It's really going to be something when Kyle fully brings them into the game! 

Pixel animation by Spyros Kontis

That's all for now, but as I mentioned, we're hard at work trying to make up for lost time. We expect sometime late fall to hopefully have some playable builds for people to try out in order to get feedback on the game. Thank you on the part of the entire team for continuing to follow our progress and keep checking this space!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Stray Cat Images, Ghoul Pixel Art, Two New Themes, and Game Play Footage

We're very sorry for the extended hiatus in posting, however, personal and technical issues have delayed work on the game. Having said that, it looks like we're currently back on track and have a couple of new elements of the game to highlight, including new in-game character art, pixel art, two new Mateo compositions and a video of the latest build in action.

First up, we wanted to show off Sara's latest artistic contributions; a new party menu icon for the Stray Cat found in Big Cypress Cemetery, and corresponding dialogue images for use in conversations with Carter.  We all can't wait to see these awesome images brought into the game!

Stray Cat images by Sara Bardi

Next, Spyros redesigned the Bloodlust Ghoul and Ghoul Boss based upon a combination of Sara's previous pixel art (especially the color scheme) and Luis' concept art. As you can see, Spyros did a great job capturing the original spirit of Luis' work, while really making these creatures pop with Sara's excellent color combinations. 

Concept art by Luis Merlo & Pixel Art by Spyros Kontis

Finally, thanks to our programmer Kyle, we have a much improved set of battle mechanics in the side view portion of the game, and he's also created a preliminary party selection menu to allow the player to pick and choose which characters can be used in battle. If you watch the video below, be sure to note two new songs Mateo contributed; a theme for the pause menu and a victory theme that plays after a successful battle.

That's all for now but, from the entire team, thank you very much for being patient and continuing to be interested in our little project. Stay tuned to this page for further updates!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Footage From the Latest Build and Various Concept Art

Sorry for the delayed post, but rest assured that our team is continuing steady progress on the game. Over the last week Kyle has been working hard on revamping the side view battle system and expanding the possible amount of characters in the party from 2 to 5. Along with those changes, he's improved the battle mechanics to allow for much more strategic game play, especially as the player progresses beyond the initial level. This build isn't quite ready yet (we expect to feature it in our next update), but to tide you over, here's a footage of the game which features a much-improved introduction and new mechanics, including Carter's ability to open sarcophagi. 

Meanwhile, Luis produced a couple of new concept images for two creatures that will be featured in a later portion of the game, the Buopoth and Web-footed Wamp.  The Buopoth will be located in Kiran and the banks of Oukranos, while the Wamps will be found in various graveyards throughout the Dreamlands.  These characters have not been assigned behaviors or move sets yet, but we wanted you all to get a chance to check them out. 

Buopoth concept art by Luis Merlo

Web-footed Wamp by Luis Merlo

In further news, Sara has been working on a few narrative panels that will likely be incorporated into level 1-2.  As you can see below, this section of the game will trace the end of "The Statement of Randolph Carter", albeit with a few modifications to the narrative, such as the incorporation of a stray cat and the ghoul threat to give the game more of a sense of tension.  

Concept Art by Sara Bardi

I've emphasized this before on the site, but we're planning on having a good variety of cats featured in the game, many of which can be traced to Ulthar in the Dreamlands, as featured in Lovecraft's story, "The Cats of Ulthar".  To this end Sara has come up with a few select designs for the cats, one of which, the cat in the center on the very bottom of the image, is the stray cat Warren and Carter encounter at the very beginning of level 1-1.  This stray cat is recruitable and can be brought into the player's party under certain conditions. 

Cat concept art by Sara Bardi

That's it for this week but be sure to keep your eyes on this space for further updates, hopefully fairly soon.  Mateo recently recorded themes for the pause menu and victories in the side battle view that we hope to port into the game in the next build.  Thank you for your interest in our project!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Bunch of New Concept Images, Pixel Art and Footage from the Game

Happy holidays, dear readers! Thank you very much for following our crew's progress on Dream-Quest this past year. To help clear the decks, we've decided to post a bunch of work from our artists that has been accumulating this past month. 

First, we thought that it would be good to show you all what the game looks like at this point and below you'll find footage of the latest build, brought to you by Kyle.  As you can see, we've added a basic introduction, the ability to push open sarcophagi, and the observe and speak function into the battle system.  We hope soon to begin populating 1-1 with actual content and mold it into something playable. 

Next, you'll find Sara's concept image of the Hound of Tindalos that will likely make an appearance in the game. We're not entirely sure if the creature is going to be an enemy or potentially an ally that the player can summon in battle, but regardless, we think that you'll agree that it looks very hungry for its next victim. 
Hound of Tindalos concept image by Sara Bardi

Additionally, Benedetta has agreed to make an animation for the game over screen using Sara's previous concept sequence (seen in the last post). To this end, Sara has made a revised set of potential silver keys that will be featured in this animation but also other portions of the game. 
Silver Key concepts by Sara Bardi

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Sara's recent appearance on Legends of Tabletop artist roundup that you can view below.

Next we have some new pixel animations from Spyros, which includes the regular ghoul and stray cat that can be found in the first level.  The ghoul is one of the main races Carter will face off against during the first third (Big Cypress Cemetery, Boston, Cavern of Flame) of the portion of Dream-Quest we intend on adapting.  Since the ghouls are so closely related to humans, their intelligence and knowledge of human weaknesses will make them a very formidable challenge for the player.

 In Lovecraft's original Dream-Quest novella, there are so many distinctive characters, scenes and imagery that it's sometimes difficult to condense the rather baroque happenings of the narrative for a new comer.  To create something that fans can potentially focus on, we've decided to focus on the presence of ghouls and cats in the story and will include a black stray cat in the opening level of the game.  The black stray cat can be seen sitting on top of the wall by the front gate of the Big Cypress Cemetery (see Wojciech's spiffy new entrance can be seen below). Upon Warren and Carter's entering the gate, he will hop down and follow the pair inside and will be a constant presence. 

The black stray cat will follow Carter from a distance and occasionally get into fights with some of the creatures within the level.  If the player can cause some initial positive interactions with the feline, there's a good chance that the cat could be coaxed into fighting in battle alongside Warren and Carter. 

Stray Cat pixel animations by Spyros Kontis

Next we have a spruced up introduction scene, courtesy of Wojciech, that we hope to include in the actual game within the next couple of builds.  

Introduction screen pixel art by Wojciech Witowski

Wojciech has also been working on crafting individual pixel components of the game.  To increase Carter's knowledge of various items, persons and races, the player will need to learn more about them through observations in battle, reading books, and more visual sources such as the hieroglyphics below.
Hieroglyphic Walls by Wojciech Witowski

In the periphery of the first level will inhabit a small group of spiders, exiled from the Plateau of Leng. To this end, we're trying to develop a couple of different spider characters, one of which, illustrated by Luis, can be seen below.  Temporarily, Luis has named it "Tank Spider" as it will block Carter from moving past it, while shooting off the occasional spike or spikes off of its back.  Eventually, if the player is able to foster a pact with the Spiders of Leng, these creatures will be recruitable in battle. 

Tank Spider concept art by Luis Merlo

Finally, sometime in October I approached Ramiro R. to create an image that our project might use as an alternative image (kind of like the old NES and SNES box art) to use in conjunction with our advertising for the project.  Though we'll ultimately use our in-house artists' work, this might be used for promotional items such as prints and t-shirts for the Kickstarter.  I'm sure you'll agree that Ramiro's image conveys the otherworldliness of the Dreamlands. 

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath image by Ramiro R.

That's all for now, but please continue to frequent this site and our Facebook page for further updates.  We're hoping to have a game over animation, a victory and pause theme, further narration panels and, of course, more pixel art and animation to show you in the upcoming weeks. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Narrative Illustration by Sara Bardi and Battle Theme by Mateo

Hello all!  This won't be an overly long post this week but I wanted to show off a couple of major additions to the game from our team.  First, we have Sara's final version of the first narrative panel that will be featured in the introduction to level 1-1.  Each layer of the image can easily be divided from the rest of the composition, so there's a good possibility that we'll be able to somewhat move the individual elements around while the text is displayed at the very bottom of the screen.  Essentially these narrative panels will offer up an exclamation point in terms of major story points, and this image marks the end of a prelude to the level, which focuses on why Warren and Carter have ventured to the Big Cypress Cemetery this evening and what they hope to discover while they're here. 

Narrative Panel by Sara Bardi

Sara has also came up with a game over screen concept sequence (seen below) that might end up being animated, if circumstances permit.  Likely this animation will transition from the first screen, to the second, and then the perspective will focus in on the key breaking as represented in image four.  The concept is definitely not completely developed but I quite like where it's headed so far. 

Game Over Screen concept art by Sara Bardi

The other major addition to the game we wanted people to check out this week is a battle theme Mateo came up with that will be used during side view combat with minor enemies.  As you can hear, the tempo is a bit higher from the level's main theme in order to make the player feel more in peril.  This theme will be repeated until the battle has an outcome, either positive or negative, so you might keep playing the song over and over to get a good sense of what it will be like.  We hope to post a video soon of the latest build with this song included in the game.

That's it for now, but keep your eyes on this space for more images, sounds and footage in the coming weeks.   

Monday, November 16, 2015

Massive Update: New Footage, Pixel Art by Our New Crew Member, Spyros Kontis, Creeping Weed Concept Art by Luis and a Narration Panel by Sara Bardi

Our newest member of the team, Spyros Kontis, has been featured under the Crew section for a few weeks but I wanted to devote the initial portion of this post to his artwork and animation since you'll finally get a chance to see it in action in our latest video.  As you can see from the clip, our game has really developed quite a bit, especially in terms of the mechanics of it (thanks Kyle!).  At this point in the development of the game, Carter can jump, shovel into the ground, fight against enemies in battle, and various other actions. Check out the video to see just what we've accomplished so far.

Currently, our pixel animator Spyros is working on crafting more creatures to populate the 1-1 and 1-2 sublevels, including the ghoul, bat, spider (featured in the video), and cat, as you can see below. 

This week we also have another potential enemy concept image by Luis that will populate level 1-1 and 1-2; the Creeping Weeds.  This dangerous plant will inhabit the periphery of the cemetery, waiting for visitors like Warren and Carter to go off the main paths.  The Creeping Weeds can attack Carter and Warren in the over head screen using it's thorn-clad branches, potentially trapping them in its lethal grip.  I can't wait to see this turned into pixel art!

Creeping Weeds by Luis Merlo

In terms of further in-game art assets, Sara started work on a new concept image that will eventually be rendered as some of the previous in-game art she's posted here and placed into the introduction of the game.  Basically, these narration panels will tell some of the more visual portions of the game's story with large detailed images accompanied with text.   We anticipate that there will be about 2 of these narration panels for every sub-level.  This particular one shows Carter and Warren at the beginning of their journey through Big Cypress Cemetery. 

Introduction Draft Narration Panel by Sara Bardi

Finally, here's mock ups for the PACTS and Scholarship screen that I put together this past week.  Bear in mind that these are early versions of these menus and have not totally been incorporated into the game yet.  Having said that, they give you a good idea what these menus will look like and how they might function.  The panels featured here include pixel art by Spyros and Wojciech. 

Those Lovecraft fans who might have perused the author's numerous letters might recognize the shelf and cat at the top of the scholarship screen since it is based on one of his drawings (featured below).  As I've often emphasized, we'll try and incorporate as many influences from the author as we possibly can into the game and will do our best to draw your attention to them as they come up.  

That's all for this week, however, be sure to continue to check this space to see more developments concerning the game within the coming weeks!