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!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Wojciech's Background Pixel Art for Level 1-1

This week we've got some great pixel art to show off by Wojciech that we'll be using in Level 1-1 of the game.  The first image, seen below, is a background that will be featured in the side view encounters the player has with Carter's enemies.  Originally we thought that we would just use the cemetery assets we already had, but it was determined that we should make these battles more visually punchy,  hence the necessity of a new pixel image to cover the background.  If there's enough resources, we may have those creepy red eyes blink and change locations, as well as represent clouds passing over the moon. 

Onto our next pixel asset... Sarcophagi, like the one featured below, will be found throughout the first level within each sub-level.  They will serve as a kind of treasure chest for the player to open in order to discover needed items, or, in some cases, peril. 
The massive gate seen below will be locked at the beginning of 1-1, hindering Carter's progress, and it's up to the player to explore the level and discover the way through.  This will likely involve a run in with a group of hostile spiders who are exiles from the Plateau of Leng in the Dreamlands. Note that the faces bear a similarity to the ghoul featured in the Night Gallery segment, Pickman's Model.
The last two images featured in this update are these crumbling walls lined with pictograms/hieroglyphics featured below.   Such writings will help Carter's research and his ability to communicate with the ghouls in levels 1-2 and 1-3. 
Finally, Wojciech wanted to get in on naming his favorite horror themed books, films and games for Halloween and you'll find his list below. 

Books: First half of "Duma Key" and "The Stand" by Stephen King.

Movies:Tremors (1990), They Live (1988) by John Carpenter, Dracula (1992) by Francis Ford Coppola, and Stalker (1979) by Andrei Tarkovsky. 
TV:  Twin Peaks first 7 episodes and some of the X files episodes were fantastic!

Games: Blood, Quake, Fallout 1

That's all for this week, however, our next update will feature that long promised footage of the game and a good deal of pixel animation from our newest member, Spyros.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sara's Character Icons, Luis' Hound and the Crew's Halloween Top 5

This week we have a few images to show you by Sara and Luis, and our crew here lists their top 5 horror texts, just in time for Halloween.   

First, Sara has made very two very impressive character icons for the pause menu for both Warren and Carter that you can see in the last post (just below this one).  These have already been placed into the game by Kyle and will show up in our next video of actual footage from it. 

Additionally, this week we have another creepy concept image from Luis of the Hound, a ghoul-like four-footed and winged creature who is summoned by a sorcerer ghoul at the end of stage 1-3.  We'll find out more about how this character fits into the level's design towards the end of our work on this level. 

The Hound concept image by Luis Merlo

Finally, we thought that it might be fun for the team to each list their favorite top 5 horror related texts (books, games, movies, etc) for Halloween.  Please feel free to chime in with your own or agree/disagree with ours in the comments section.

Sara’s Halloween top 5

1) The Secret World (Funcom) a story-driven horror MMO about legends and folklore set in present day. Each year, the developers host awesome Halloween events, introducing new dungeons, characters and skills. The game has a very strong Lovecraftian atmosphere and is filled with classic horror movies references.
2) Monster Squad (1987) - a light-hearted Halloween adventure about a group of kids hunting monsters.
3) Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999) Oh, c'mon. It's a classic! It was the very first gory movie I ever saw and is still one of my faves.
4) Tanz der Vampire (currently on tour, premiered in 1997) - now it's time for some European pride :D 'Tanz der Vampire' (Dance of the Vampires) is a German musical that portrays the infamous black-caped bloodsuckers as the cruel, manipulative monsters they're supposed to be. It's a spectacular show that mixes 'Phantom of the Opera' 's flamboyance with the supernatural. English subtitles available!
5) Poems Bewitched and Haunted - (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets) (various authors, including Homer, Shakespeare, Yeats, Torquato Tasso, Baudelaire and many others. A great selection, perfect to be read aloud in a dimly-lighted room.)

Luis’ Halloween top 5

1) Hellraiser (1987): Beautiful character design and SM contraptions give all cenobites an awesome and unique taste. Also, the more chains the better right?
2) Hellraiser 2 (1988): Though slightly inferior to it's predecessor, the new cenobite design and improved effects do add to the awesome feeling of extreme pain and pleasure!
3) Mama (2013): Incredible story and beautiful soundtrack, I like to think of it as a dark fantasy movie rather than a horror pic. The only bummer for me was Mama's actual design.
4) Alien Resurrection (1997): Gotta include some horror sci-fi right? I personally love this movie, and it sure was unbearable to watch when I was younger, specially the ending part. As always, xenomorph design is impecable
5) Nightbreed (1990): Clive Barker on 3/5 movies in my list? Well believe it because he is a truly awesome writer/designer. Though I really like the movie's thematic and monster design, I felt like post-production chopped it out to pieces and reassembled everything. I can't wait to see the infamous director's cut that was recently rescued and published!

Bonus - Videogames!
To me horror games have reinvented the horror market, and it is them that have shaped me as a horror artist rather than movies. So here they are, my top 5 Horror videogames of all time:

1) The Suffering: I cannot begin to describe this game, as it feels like it answered to my every call regarding enemy design and horrific scenarios. If you have a chance to play it, do it.
2) Resident Evil 3: Nemesis : Awesome and creepy game, really the best in the RE series. Sure gave me endless nights of terror when I was a kid.
3) Silent Hill 4: The Room: Brutal Japanese horror game that lets you soak in your own fear before bashing you with cool enemies. The only down side to me is combat, as I doubt many people would just beat a baby-faced horror in an unknown dimension with a pipe without losing some sanity!
4) Amnesia: Even on a low budget, modern games can be scary. Amnesia gives the kind of horror I really respect: True psychological terror that does not need cheap scares to keep your shorts wet.
5) Outlast: Though I'm not a fan of their character design, I think that forcing you to experience the game through a camera is freaky enough to grant a scare or two.

Benedetta's Halloween top 5

1) Poltergeist (1982)
2) Nothing But the Night (1973)
3) The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
4) The Facts in the Case of M.Valdemar (Poe)
5) The Body Snatcher (short story by Robert Louis Stevenson)

Mateo’s Halloween top 5

1) Videogame: The first resident evil game for PS ONE, to be honest, maybe it wasn't even that scary but for the time when it was released, it really could scare the hell out of you.
2) Horror film: [Rec] (2007) (the spanish one). sharing place with Grave encounters, (which, I don't happen to consider it horror perse, but, the argument and concept is quiet nice).
3) Videogame: Amnesia the dark descent, Awesome game.
4) Movie: The Exorcist (1973).  one hell of a classic
5) Story: There's one 'creepypasta' where it talks about selling ''lolita dolls' which are, girls who are given in adoption that no one adopts, they then are chopped off their limbs (arms up to elbow, and legs up to knees, and then placed some kind of screws so you can screw your doll whereever you want), taken of their teeths, and filled the mouth with silicone. they blind them and live them deaf, so, they then are sold as sex life toys.  reaaaaally a f*cked up story.

Kyle’s Halloween top 5

1) Silent Hill Series - If I didn't put this here most of my list would be Silent hill games.
2) The Cabin in the Woods (2012) - Movie was brilliant. If you have not seen it go watch it.
3) 28 Days Later (2002) - I loved this movie. My favorite part was the lack of horror honestly. Just some people chilling in an apocalyptic situation. It was something pretty surreal to me.
4) Shaun of the Dead (2004) - I watched this movie far too much. Felt it would be a lie to put something else here.
5) Dracula 3000 (2004) - My joke entry. Have you watched it? No? You have not missed anything.

Nate’s Top 5 Halloween List

1)  Hellraiser II:  Hellbound (1988) – I’ll never forget first watching this in high school in my bedroom with my two buddies and one of them was so grossed out by it that he almost got sick.  Beyond the purely visceral response you might have up first viewing it, Hellraiser II’s use of labyrinths and surrealistic juxtapositions between reality and horror collide to make a very captivating experience.  
2)  Castlevania III:  Dracula’s Curse – I admit that I have never beaten Castlevania III to this day, however, that I still enjoy firing it up and playing it is a testament to the pure fun the game evokes.  With the player’s ability to switch characters and use dramatically different skill sets, the replay value of the game is rather high.  Additionally, the music and visuals in the game are exceptional and are way beyond what you might find in other games released on the NES during this era.    
3)  Black Easter by James Blish – Though quite a few people know James Blish for writing Star Trek novels, Black Easter, his first novella of an intended trilogy of related books really shines for the horror it evokes.  The protagonist of the story, a bored and overly wealthy elite defense contractor, finds himself discontented with the chaos and violence he creates in his current position.  Seeking to go beyond, the contractor commissions a black magician to summon demons in the service of his aims.  Once he becomes aware of the possibilities of this new avenue of terror, the defense contractor demands that the black magician unleash an army of demons from hell, tempting the advent of Armageddon in the process. 
4)  Videodrome (1983) by David Cronenberg – I would consider Videodrome the most exceptional example of Cronenberg’s body horror genre of films (The Fly is a close second).  The way the film connects electronic media and the human body really challenges the viewer to ask the question:  Are we real or are we simply products of the media we consume?  The answer to this is perhaps the true horror of the film.
5)  Dark Souls – The much lauded difficulty of Dark Souls often overshadows the incredible scope of landscape and architecture of the game’s environment and the truly bizarre visual nature of the creatures that populate it.  A sense of dread is constantly evoked and maintained throughout the game, despite the rogue-like mechanics that underpin the gameplay.  If you haven’t played this yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

Honorable Mentions:  Clive Barker’s Everville, Eraserhead (1977), Tetsuo:  Iron Man (1989)

New Icons!

 Carter & Warren party icons!

Art by Sara Bardi

Friday, October 16, 2015

Nyarlathotep Concept Art & Dialogue Images! :D

Here's a quick video in which I try to determine the final design for this Avatar of Nyarlathotep (the first to appear in the game). The sprite on which is based was also created by me some time ago taking inspiration from my own previous designs and Benedetta's new concepts. In a way, this is aspect of the dreadful Crawling Chaos is 'our baby' :P


Final design & Art by Sara Bardi



Monday, October 12, 2015

The Boss of 1-1: The Spider Queen, the Dog-Like Mountains and Mateo's Theme for the First Level

Sorry for the delay in posting, but the team has been very busy getting things together in Game Maker and developing the combat system, something that is not always amenable to producing images for people to see. Having said that, this past week Luis has been producing more concept images for the game's monsters, and Mateo has composed an incredible theme song for the first level.

First up is the Spider Queen, a creature we hope to serve as a boss at the end of Level 1-1.  The Spider Queen will test the player's ability to negotiate multiple enemies as she spawns juvenile spiders which pursue the player and possesses strong attacks of her own. We envision that she will function as a landscape of various challenges to the player. 

Spider Queen concept art by Luis Merlo

The other beast featured this week is the Two-Headed Dog-Like Mountains, which can be seen below.  While it is unlikely that the initial portion of our project will feature this creature, it will definitely be significant in later levels. 

 Two-Headed Dog-Like Mountains concept art by Luis Merlo

Finally, Mateo has produced another fantastic song to add to the game's soundtrack, this time the main theme for the first level of the game, Big Cypress Cemetery.  Keep in mind that this song will constantly play in a loop as Carter transverses the creepy southern graveyard.   

For out next post we should have something rather substantial to show you regarding the game, as Kyle has been working very hard to put the combat system into place.  Until then, thank you very much for following our progress!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

New Game Footage & Sara's Dialogue Art for Harley Warren

As hinted at on my recent posts and Facebook comments, we have now secured a dedicated Game Maker programmer for our project, Kyle Bloom.  Just to let you all know a little bit more about Kyle, this is the bio he sent me to post under our Crew section of the website:

Kyle was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. He has years of experience working with unfamiliar languages, most of them self taught. An RPG fanatic he spends a majority of his time playing or working on projects that have heavy RPG themes. While he hasn't worked on a major project before he has the will and know how to get work done in a timely and effective manner.  

Already, Kyle has done more work on our game within the span of a week than I was able to accomplish by myself over the course of 5 months.  Among the improvements he's coded into the game include:

1) The ability to call Warren towards you or have him remain in one place.
2) The opportunity for the player to place the lantern on the ground, or to pick it up.  The player also can pin the lantern's beam to which way Carter is facing or have it be controlled manually.
3) The creation of a much better way to initiate dialogue.
4) Developed the foundations for a key feature of the game, which is to allow the player to press a button in the overworld in order to initiate a side view battle with any enemies Carter might be in a certain proximity with.  When the player presses select, a circle indicating the radius of the ability appears in order to visual how far Carter has to be in order to initiate these battles.  Kyle has basically established the initial mechanics for how this takes place. 
5) Fixed numerous bugs that were in my programming.  This alone took a great deal of time and Kyle skillfully found a way to correct or override many of my mistakes, making the game much better in the process. 

Below you'll find a video that demonstrates much of the key progress Kyle has made within the game. 

On a final note, I want to thank Sara for coming up with two Harley Warren dialogue images Kyle was able to place in the game, just in time for this video.  You can see both of these below.

Harley Warren Dialogue Images by Sara Bardi

For the first level, the game will have similar dialogue images, for conversation purposes, representing the characters of the Ghoul Boss, the Conjurer Ghoul at the Sabbath, and Nyarlathotep.  Sara did such a great job with Warren's image that I personally can't wait to see her take on these remaining characters. 

That's all for now, but be sure to look for a new post next week with Luis' latest work, and further additions to the side view battle system that Kyle has in store for us.  See you next week!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dhole/Bhole Concept Art

We don't have a whole lot to show off this week but Luis has come up with a fantastic concept image for the Dhole/Bhole creature found in the Vale of Pnath which can be seen below.  We expect that this creature will largely remain unseen to the player, with only the occasional reveal of its body in order to inflict damage to Carter.

Bhole/Dhole Concept Image by Luis Merlo

As many of you might have noticed, there hasn't been a lot of footage shown of the actual game recently, which is partially because I was so busy preparing for NecronomiCon, but also because I have recently attempted to secure a programmer.  Over the weekend I spoke with a few interested parties and should have a bit of news to reveal very soon that should help speed up our development process substantially.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath Theme by Mateo Romero

As mentioned in the last post, our project now has a composer/sound effects person, Mateo Romero, from Quito, Ecuador, thanks to the tireless efforts of Luis.  Mateo studied music for two and a half years at UDLA (Universidad de las Americas) and is currently studying multimedia and audiovisual production at the same institution.  His primary musical influences include Nightwish, Thomas Bergersen, Jo Blankenburg and Jeremy Soule.  Though he has not previously worked as a composer, rather as a guitarist, he is very much looking forward to performing such a role for this project.  Indeed, he principally considers himself a metalhead and enjoys listening to melodic death metal such as Arch Enemy, Insomnium, Dark Tranquility and Equilibrium. From the entire team, welcome aboard! 

A couple of weeks ago Mateo sent me an early draft of his Dream-Quest theme, a song that we envisioned would play during the opening title screen.  I really enjoyed that version of the song, but his newly expanded iteration of it is much improved and serves to give the player a greater sense of dread and scope. Be sure to click on the following link to hear the entire song: Dream-Quest Theme.

After creating such an inspired work, I think that you'll agree with the rest of the team that we all look forward to Mateo's next contributions to the project!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cat of Saturn Concept Art

This week we have Luis' Cat of Saturn concept image for your consideration.  Instead of having me introduce it, I thought that I would include a little blurb he wrote up regarding this strange beast.  Here's Luis' description of how this lunar feline might conduct itself in the game: 
During game play the Cat of Saturn would be able to jump through dimensions and use different body parts to attack Carter from multiple angles. This method of attack could be used by the creature in the top-down map as a way to stalk Carter from afar and to avoid damage; leaving its tail as bait or dummy. During side battles, the Cat of Saturn could blink out for a turn, leaving its tail as anchor, and blink-attack the next turn.  Through this method of attack, Carter and his cat allies can attack the tail on the first turn, delivering a small amount of damage, and would receive a highly effective attack the next turn. The down-side to these creatures would be their ridiculously low health or vulnerability to being bound to this dimension by an item, thus making it impossible to avoid a full blow. 

As you can see from the drawing and Luis' detailed explanation of its abilities, this enemy character offers quite a few distinctive challenges for Carter on the moon level of Dream-Quest

Finally, I wanted to let you in on some recent news regarding our attempt to secure a musician to score the game.  Luis reached out to his friend Mateo Galarza, a musician in Ecuador, to do just that and he has thankfully agreed to help create music and sounds for our initial demo.  From what I've heard so far, I think that his style of music will fit in perfectly with our vision of the game, and I hope to post something the minute Mateo has completed the initial Dream-Quest theme.  Until next time!

Monday, August 24, 2015

An Image for Through the Gates of the Silver Key, a potential sequel to Dream-Quest

This week we feature an image by Ramiro R. of E. Hoffmann Price and H.P. Lovecraft's short story "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" that, though very premature, hints at some of the discussions the team has had about a potential sequel to Dream-Quest down the line. The idea behind such a game is to connect "The Silver Key" with "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" and lead off the narrative with Lovecraft's short story, "The Unnameable" (yeah, kind of out of order).  The highlight of the game, at least for me, is the potential to control Zkauba the wizard insect of Yaddath as it travels to Shonhi, Mthura and Kath looking for the means to separate its body from Randolph Carter's consciousness.  Obviously, this is pretty far down the road, but I couldn't resist in my excitement for the recent NecronomiCon in Providence tapping into Ramiro to see what he could come up.   I think that you'll all agree that he did a rather fantastic job capturing all of the trippy psychedelic overtones of the story!

Ramiro R. - Through the Gates of the Silver Key

That's all for now but be on the look out for Louis' concept art for the Cat of Saturn to be posted soon. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Luis' concept image of the "Slant-Eyed Merchant" and be sure to see us at this weekend's NecronomiCon

In our last update before the NecronomiCon, we feature a concept image by Luis of the "Slant-Eyed Merchant" featured in the novella, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.  It's important to note that Lovecraft doesn't specify whether Carter encounters the same "Slant-Eyed" merchant throughout the novella, such as in Dylath-Leen (where he drugs him), Inquanok (he sees him in another tavern), quarry (where he forces him onto a shantak bird) and eventually the monastery of the High Priest Not to Be Described where Carter shoves him into a deep well.  Indeed, in the pivotal scene described as taking place in Dylath-Leen before Carter's abduction and journey to the moon, Lovecraft writes “one of the uncomfortable merchants spoke to” Carter and poisoned him, which may indicate a separate Lengian merchant. 

Similarly, while most of the visual/comic adaptations out there represent the merchant as one character, such as in Ben Avery and Leong Wan Kok's adaptation, there have been others like Ian Culbard’s recent version which incorporates a distinct shantak rider who carries Carter over the Planes of Leng.  For our purposes, we have decided to have one merchant who will serve as one of the primary antagonists to torment Carter throughout our game.   

Turning to other matters, as stated in the previous post, Sara Bardi and myself will be appearing at NecronomiCon Providence this weekend.  I'm scheduled to deliver a short talk on a panel at the Armitage Symposium on one of the chapters from my dissertation, “’The Inside’ of H.P. Lovecraft’s Supernatural Horror in the Visual Arts,” at the Narragansett Ballroom, Omni Hotel 1st Floor on Saturday from 4:00 to 5:15.  Sara is supposed to make an appearance as well and will hopefully chime in here or on our Facebook page to let you know more about the details.  We intend on having some of the work that we've done on the game with us as well as copies of the flyer pictured below.

Should you see either of us, be sure to stop and say hello and feel free to ask us any questions you might have about the project.  That's all for now.  We hope to see some of you in Providence!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Turn-based Battle Concept Art, an Enemy Fungus, and Architectural Elements from Level 1

We've got a slew of images to show you this week, so let's get right to it. 

First we have a concept image of the turn-based battle screen that we're working on including in the game.  This screen will be triggered by the player when an enemy is within a certain range of the player's character and a button is pressed on the gamepad (we're still trying to figure out which one!).  One of the things that you'll noticed about this image is that Carter is equipped with a shovel and Warren is equipped with the light.  During a side-view fight sequence, the player may swap out a shovel for a lantern at any time with both characters, however, there will be repercussions in terms of their stats depending on which character is holding which item.  For instance, if both characters are equipped with shovels, they'll do more damage to the enemy, while at the same time, they'll have a lesser chance of actually landing their attacks because of the lack of light.  On the other hand, if one character holds the lantern pointed at the enemy, this can essentially blind them and make it harder to land their attacks against your party.  Additionally, the character holding a lantern can do a limited attack of kick, that deals much less damage than a shovel attack.  The Equip command allows the player to change the equipment that the player is utilizing once it is their turn, depending on what items are in the player's inventory. 

Pixel Art by Nate Wallace, Sara Bardi, and Wojciech Witowski.  The Grave Spider is based on character art by Luis Merlo. 

Moving on, this week Luis contributed a concept image of the Grotesque Fungus, an enemy that resides in the Enchanted Forest, Level 4 of the game.  We hope to populate the area with plenty of strange plants and animals to help make the environment more bizarre and threatening. 

To finish off our post, we have some more incredible pixel art by Wojciech Witowski. 

Borrowing from Lovecraft's short story, "The Outsider", again, we're adding the "ancient stone church, whose ruined spire gleamed spectrally in the moonlight" to this first level, along with another gargoyle from Notre Dame to keep guard on its roof. 

Below you'll notice three types of different crypts that will be stationed throughout the cemetery level.  Once the ghouls begin to pursue Carter after leaving Warren to his fate underground, the player will need to seek out safe harbor by breaking into these buildings, entering them and barring the door on the inside.  The ghouls will attempt to break in, but because of the solid walls and sturdy doors, Carter will find temporary protection from their attacks.  Eventually, any surrounding ghouls around these crypts will lose interest in Carter and move on to another portion of the cemetery.  Carter will need to stealthily move from one crypt to another as he escapes from the cemetery to the front entrance. 

Finally we have a night sky, which will be featured in the side-view battle scenes in this level, as well as in the beginning when Warren and Carter break into the cemetery's entrance. 

That's all for now!  Stay tuned to this spot for continuing progress reports on the game and look for Sara Bardi and myself at the NecronomiCon in Providence, Friday August 21st through the 23rd.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Ghoul Sabbath in Big Cypress Cemetery

We have but one image to show you this week, but it's a pretty awesome one. Below you'll find Luis' concept art of a ghoul sabbath that Carter encounters after fleeing the ruined sepulchre he last observed Warren descend into within the story "The Statement of Randolph Carter".  As the player learns in the game, the ghouls Carter comes upon in Big Cypress Cemetery are exiles from the Dreamlands who wish to summon the crawling chaos, Nyarlathotep into the Wake World. 

Concept Art by Luis Merlo

The ritual these ghouls commit is ultimately successful, and Nyarlanthotep's mere presence in the Wake World lessens the divide between it and the Dreamlands, making it easier to cross over from one area to the next.  Once Carter returns to Boston after his questioning by the police, this lessening of the boundaries of reality isn't readily apparent.  However, upon dreaming about the sunset city, Carter realizes that these boundaries can be crossed and he resolves to do so in order to discover what happened to his friend Warren and experience this splendid city of the gods for himself.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dialogue Art, Disguised Creatures in the Wakeworld and Digging Animation

This will again be a brief post today, but we do have a few images that we would very much like to share with you.

There will be a dialogue system in the game, as demonstrated in some of the earlier game footage. Having said that, the exact detail regarding the dimensions of these images, whether we go with something more pixelated or in high definition, is still up in the air. One example of a dialogue system that we are leaning towards, Persona 3, has fairly clean dialogue image art while the actual in-game graphics are somewhat pixelated in aspect. The main issue that we're having now is bringing the two types of graphics together in a cohesive manner that doesn't appear too distracting. Regardless of what we ultimately decide to do, you can see Sara's dialogue art for Randolph Carter below. 

Dialogue Images by Sara Bardi

Though we are going to try and keep the Wake World fairly realistic in terms of enemies in the beginning, with the exception of the ghoul exiles, the Dreamlands will begin to bleed into reality at some point and creatures originating from there will increasingly invade humanity's reality.  To this end, Luis has designed a Maggot Creature that is disguised as a human. Ideally, humans and these creatures will walk side-by-side together down the alleys of Boston, posing some confusion to the player as to what heavily clothed figure to attack or flee and what figure to view with indifference. 

 Maggot Creature Concept Art by Luis Merlo

Finally, I made a side view animation of Randolph Carter using his shovel on the ground, a mechanic that will be incorporated into this level at some point.  By digging in certain areas of the Big Cypress Cemetery, Carter will find both challenging perils, in the form of formerly buried certain creatures, and invaluable assets that will help him complete the level. 
Digging Animation by Nate Wallace

That's all for now, have a great week!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pixel Art: Enemies and Statues

We've got some new pixel art to show you this week, so without delay, let's get right to it!

Sara has adapted some of Luis' concept sketches into pixel art, specifically the Bloodlust Ghoul and the standard warrior Ghoul.  

Pixel Art of the Bloodlust Ghoul, Ghoul, and Nyarlathotep by Sara Bardi 

Alligator Concept art by Luis Merlo and Pixel Art by Sara Bardi

What would the Big Cypress cemetery be without cypress trees?  Wojciech has created a few to populate the level.  We would like to eventually have spiders hanging off of them that lower themselves slowly on a strand of web to the ground.  

Pixel Art by Wojciech Witowski

Those who have frequented the cathedral of Notre Dame or are enmeshed in Art History or Architecture might recognize the gargoyles featured in this last selection of pixel art. Lovecraft mentioned them in the story, "Pickman's Model" in the following passage:

And before Goya you have to go back to the mediaeval chaps who did the gargoyles and chimaeras on Notre Dame and Mont Saint-Michel. They believed all sorts of things—and maybe they saw all sorts of things, too, for the Middle Ages had some curious phases.

Besides the gargoyles there are other real world references we've placed in the game.  For instance, the white angel on the very left is based on a sculpture located in the West State Street Cemetery in my adopted hometown of Athens, OH.  We're hoping to put little easter eggs like these into the game whenever possible, especially if they don't change the context of the narrative. 

Pixel Art by Wojciech Witowski 

That's it for this week, but just to put the word out, we're still behind on the programming side of the game. If you know of any Game Maker programmers who are into Lovecraft and who might be interested in assisting us, please send them our way at  There's no money involved in the project at this point but once we get our Kickstarter off the ground, hopefully in six months, we'll be able to pay everyone for their future work.