Category Archives: THE ROAD UP TO HELL

Somewhere in Norway, there is a valley, with a dark secret. Four people arrive in the valley at the same time, you are one of them.
I have been thinking and writing a lot about “fragment storytelling” recently, a genre of my own concoction, this the first game I am attempting using these ideas.
Pieces of four stories are cut up, chewed up, fucked up and distributed unevenly around an environment. who discovers what first, will change the experience. If you fill a game with enough Easter eggs, more for example than there is actual story or game-play, so that the easter eggs swallow/swamp/throttle the story, then allow the original game-play to become an Easter egg, what will happen?

Operating Theatre Update.

OperatingTheatreI have been working on the Operating theater. Adding physics to all the furniture in the room. The Operating table stays still when you bump into it. The ECG machine moves but slowly, and the little silver trays roll about on well oiled wheels. Adding sounds to the collisions next. I also added cube map reflections to the trays, so they look all lovely and shiny… Just wait till there is an autopsy in progress however… Wont be so clean then I can assure you!

Epistolary writing

I have just discovered a new term that heavily relates to my work with “Fragment Storytelling” and indeed much storytelling in games.
An Epistolary Novel is a Story that using letters of documents to tell the story.
Maybe the most famous of the genre is Dracula but I am also a fan of 84 Charing Cross Road. I also have an amazing “Whodunnit” book, called Murder off Miami weirdly by Dennis Wheatley, where the letters and documents are fully reproduced on different papers and types. Including photographs from the Crime Scene and an envelope at the end that contains the solution. HE produces 5 of these and I must try to collect them all!
Murder off Miami
In games letters or books are often used to tell the story. A good example being the Elder Scroll series, Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim being the most recent. Some young gamers probably dont bother with all this reading material, but I love it, and devour all!

In “Somewhere on the road to Hell” I will also be using this technique extensively, especially as I want to keep dialogue to a minimum (both for technical and atmosphere reasons). The game starts (usually) with a letter of introduction to the valley in Norway, from your employer. during the game there will be many subtle hints that can be read or discarded. INdeed, if there is a goal at all to the game, its to find out as much as you can. The actual game mechanics (which can´t really be revealed) will mean that it is in fact impossible to play the game once and learn everything, how ever much you try, and you will have to play again a number of times to kind of see the events from other angles… One play may even contradict another play, so coming out with a defining “this is what happened” will be impossible. More that “This is what happen this time”.

“This is the construct”

This is the construct… with Bob-1

Here is Bob, as I design my character and camera controller. I Spent all day on zooming the mouse wheel, but when I come to think about it maybe my game is best as 1st person? The thing is that I dont really like the feel of 1st person controllers, I much prefer a 3rd person, but zoomed in, if you can understand the difference… not so…er swimmy…
Still I have to have a model for the view that your competitors/colleagues will have of you, as its a multiplayer game, But then I can just do a “Photon View Get Is Mine” and turn off the the mesh… no need to zoom ever… Oh well.
Anyway, heres Bob in “The construct”.. my simple programming level before he gets moved over to the game, oh god.. frightening…

Ive built the controllers o far as five different FSMs in PlayMaker. ONe for Walking and running animations.. with the shift key causing the run. I have a small bug. When you press shift to run, he runs, when you release you finger from W (forward) he stops… fine… but if your DONT release your shift key too, and then just press W again, he walks, not run…but this FSM is not actually causing forward movement, only animations.
I have on FSM for Movement. which, lone just causing the character to slide forwards.
I have one for rotating. Now here I have gone for A and D causing a rotate, Im still not sure about this. Its less “gamer-y”. A “Proper game” would have A and D as Strafe, walking sideways while still facing forward. (needed for shooting games) and using the mouse to handle turning… but.. in a game with no shooting, it is really right? But maybe there IS shooting… anyway havent decided yet…
Then a Jump FSM… a tricky one this, cos it should look different depandant on whether the character is running or standing still. SO hI have a swithc that detects whether thecharacter is moving forwards, if so, when you press jump (space of course) it dos a kind of running jump, if hes standing still he jumps on the spot. This one has a bug where it gets stuck on the last frame of the jump before going back to running or walking, and just slides along. Im sure this must be a simple fix.

Thats it really. Its working well with physics… slide down 45 degrees he will jump onto a moving platform (slide bug here when a platform slides into him… legs… soft..)prob need a physics collider somewhere..

Now I just want to add some shuffling animation for when hes standing still but you want to turn.
THAN I have to get him into my Photon project, getting him working multiplayer, changing the msehh for 3 other characters, and THEN adding it to the main game…

Lots of fun stuff to do…
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Somewhere on the road to Hell

Tentatively entitled “Somewhere on the road to Hell”, here are some screenshots from my latest computer game.
Its a psychological thriller, based in a small valley in Norway. There is a place in Norway called Hell, so it might be referring to that place, but that’s in Tronderlag, and doesn’t look so much like this… so maybe its not referring to that place at all..?