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. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pixel Art: Marble Columns and A Certain Half-obliterated Sepulchre

Happy Monday, everyone!  Today we'll show you a couple of new pixel works by Wojciech, including a set of columns and, most importantly, the "certain half-obliterated sepulchre" where the climax of "The Statement of Randolph Carter" takes place.

One of our intentions in putting this game together is to bring sometimes disparate elements of Lovecraft's fictional metaverse together, and in keeping with that, we have chosen to incorporate the columns and church into this level that are mentioned in "The Outsider" in the following passage "ancient stone church, whose ruined spire gleamed spectrally in the moonlight". Our view is that the vertical passage referenced in "The Outsider" and in "The Statement of Randolph Carter" are very similar, and that indeed there are many such passages in existence that connect the Wake World to the Dreamlands.  This won't necessarily be the exact passage referenced in "The Outsider" (we're saving that one for later) but it will have certain similarities, such as the presence of these columns and a ruined church (to be created later).

The second major image we'd like to share is that of the sepulchre where the titular scene from "The Statement of Randolph Carter" takes place.  Upon discovering it, Carter and Warren will lay down their lanterns and pry the three marble slabs off the entrance using their shovels.  At that point, just as in the story, Warren will descend this treacherous passage holding an electric portable telephone. 

Sepulchre & Environment Art by Wojciech Witowski & Character Art by Sara Bardi

After the events of "The Statement..." occur, Carter will be left alone by the sepulchre, and will look around the cemetery to discover the ascension (see Luis' previous drawings of this sequence) of ghouls from the underworld, seeking to prevent his entrance into this subterranean passage. 

Finally, here's some animation I made of Carter placing his lantern on the ground.  This will be an action that the player will be permitted to do in this level and the advantages to doing so include the ability to have a light shining while Carter wields his shovel.  It's still a mechanic that we're working on but at least the animation for it has been created. 

That's all for now.  Stay tuned to this page and our Facebook page for further developments.