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.