Maintenance!

WEBSITE CURRENTLY UNDER MAINTENANCE

new content is being added. We will be back around late summer

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

– Acythian – 2017 – Cyberpunk Fantasy FPS- Back in development

 

Note: This thread might include adult content. Viewer discretion is advised. 

This post has been replaced in February 2017. Note that content subsequently following is outdated. 

Developer 

Wolf
with lots of support from Bugsy and the community 

Genre

First Person Shooter // Tactical Shooter // Cyberpunk, Gothic, SciFi

Version

4.x69x 

 

Plot

What drives you, stranger?
And don’t give me some trite answer I might find on a calendar or on the label of some ayurvedic teabag. A little respect would be in order, you are talking to a moribund man.
Do you ever take a moment during your pointless daily races to wonder why you even bother?
I did!
Countless times.
Whenever I stood, dressed in full combat gear, under the shower trying to wash off the blood, never feeling quite clean.
Whenever everyone I was getting to know died around me just to ward off yet another wave in an endless sequence of enemy waves or to hold a few pointless compounds in an utterly pointless war.
You may find my words to be …trivial. The musings of yet another drunk …or perhaps you can relate. This world is so far gone that there is a good chance that you are not so different from me.
I pulled through and what drove me after the war was simple. To give back. To save a couple of lives for a change,… rather than extinguishing them.
It might surprise you which was far harder to achieve.
I’ve founded the Lazareth in this part of town and as soon as the Neurophage took Acythia we where swamped with patients. We did our best to prevent the unavoidable. At least we managed to prolong the lives of a couple dozen souls. The successes tasted stale in the face of the mass extinction the phage caused.
And for all the bravado and the medals I received for killing in the war, the pharmaceutical companies scolded and ridiculed me for my attempts to treat subculture scum. They didn’t use these exact words but it was the sentiment.
They insisted that people rather supported their charities than our unsanitary lazareth, spreaded lies about my organisation, ordered hits on 2 of my nurses….I can’t link anything substantial back to them, of course, but come on! We are all adults here.
I grew pretty cynical. More so than I was before if you can believe that.

But then…they brought in this girl. Must’ve been 16 when they carried her in. Prostitute overdosed on pink dust, no blight spores in her as far as we could tell. I fell in love. Don’t give me that look…not in a sexual way, …you degenerate.
You see, in the eugenics war I led a special forces group. We where highly augmented. They took us and turned us into weapons. I must have been in my mid 20’s then.
There it is, that look again.
You don’t believe a single word I’m saying, do you? The reconstructive nanites in my bloodstream prevented my remaining tissue from aging. I’m 85 years old, son.
I’m more machine than I am human. They didn’t take my humanity, the war took care of that, they took my ability to …reproduce and seeing this fragile body on the gurney reminded me of something. Something ancient, older than all this cybernetic heresy around us. I felt the need to protect her. I wanted to be her …father.

If that doesn’t sound too crazy for you. Tracking down her pimp and human trafficking network was easier than I expected. I had to call in a few favours but…nonetheless…took me only a couple of weeks. You see, I once swore to never kill a human being again but these people…they’ve chosen not to be human. Killed ’em all. Not even felt anything but relief. Kept an eye on law enforcement communication. They noted where they found the bodies but didn’t even bother with an investigation. What kind of cop would cuff me for taking out a pedophile ring? None rotten enough, not even in these troubled time.

We almost lost her, I paid for a new liver myself as well as a pair of cybernetic legs. Necrosis took them, too much dust can do this to you, you know.

You are still here? Admirable! So few people seem to have the …attention span to take all of this in nowadays. At least so it seems. May I buy you a drink?

Anyway, the years it took me to educate and raise her where the best times I’ve had. Of course I’ve also taught her how to protect herself. We almost managed to forget about all the decay around us at times. But she became a young woman and although the scars of her past have healed, at least so it felt, she became increasingly altruistic. And I don’t mean in a healthy way. She felt like my work in the lazareth, was a waste of time. Only a droplet on a hot stone as she’d say and that the cancerous systems that took hold after the war had to go. She eventually joined this resistance movement. You’ve heard of it, even though you’ll probably won’t admit it.

One of their fences got wind that this new holier-than-thou religious cult, the Kyanic Order, has an experimental cure for the Neurophage stashed away. Apparently they wanted to wait for the city to be on the brink of extinction. And when there was nothing left but desperation they’d swoop in like big divine saviours, assuring the legitimation of their cult and thus ultimately gain sovereign power over the city. My little girl was the prodigy of the rebel network and they’ve sent her in to steal the antidote. It went about as well as you could expect.

She got caught and they sentenced her to death. I was present during that hearing. The order voted against the courts ruling, claiming they’d want to spare her soul and wanted to cleanse her on their sacred grounds.The citadel is what they called it, an enormous compound on an island a couple kilometers south of Acythia. Since she stole from the cult and would be out of the city this way the court agreed to them taking her to their property. They claim it to be a retreat for their higher ranking members, their little “Vatican” so to speak but… the myths and legends surrounding that facility are probably more numerous than those surrounding that cult itself. I don’t know what they plan to do to her there but I do know that she’s likely not intended to survive the process. What choice do I have? I know there is nothing but a fools hope, but as long as there is any hope to get her out of there alive, I’ll have to try.
Tomorrow I’ll call in my last favours, dust off my old gear and get myself killed. Ha!
The sea leading to their damned island are littered with cliffs and rock formations. Remnants of the heavy artillery fire that shaped this coast back during the war. If I keep my most of my non-essential augs in standby and take a small boat…or raft… keep the sun in my back and approach through these formations they’d only pick up my signal if they’d actively look for me. Here’s to hoping that they won’t!
Its a chance… however slim. And there you have it….that is what drives me. My daughter. The last remaining flower for me in this vineyard of rust and corrosion.
I’ll get her out of there…, any means necessary … and if I die trying at least I make sure I’ve given their false prophets. with their grandiose messianic delusions something to mourn and preach about. …by the break of dawn!
TL;DR

A retired special forces agent infiltrates the headquarters of a religious cult to rescue his prodigal foster daughter. Hereby being unwillingly dragged into a widespread conspiracy.

Confused?

If you where following this project for a while you might be confused by this shift in plot and style, this code snippet explains the numerous concepts and versions this game went through.

+ Code Snippet

Due to the everchanging nation of earlier iterations of this game you might see content that will be very different or not in the final game at all. This is a work in progress thread after all. Style might also be subject to change but I’m quite happy with late results.
Screenshots 

Features

* Greater Attention to detail and style
* An emotionally compelling storyline
* A deep lore
* Complex environments and architecture that is interconnected and makes sense
* Interactive and animated environments
* Destroyable items
* Using all of GG’s FPS mechanics to my best knowledge
* atmospheric soundtrack
* Branching level three for varying gameplay experiences (parts of the game will branch out into 2 different levels and later link back together)
* Voiceacting

Posted in 3D Art, Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[ R E D A C T E D ] – Hired Gun – Full Release – 2016

[ r e d a c т e d ] – нιred gυn 

*****

Developer: Wolf

Description: Redacted – Hired Gun was originally conceived as a test game. I have lost a lot of games. I have spent quite some time developing, to the inadequacies of the FPSC Game engine back in the day. With horror news about completely broken built games from Nuncio and more and more people getting a variety of errors or having to circumvent missing features with odd walkthroughs I didn’t feel like throwing any more creativity and time at projects that might just go the way of the Do-Do…or the Tyrannosaurus Rex for that matter.
Another reason was the fact that I haven’t released anything playable in years. Let alone made in Game Guru…and I just had to get something out in 2016.
Well, I made it cupcake!!

I can only invite you to help me test this game by giving me your opinion and also letting me know what framerate you where getting.

Gameplay: Hired Gun is a pretty straightforward shooter. You are a lone mercenary on a mission and you’ll be going all Schwarzenegger on folks!
While I first wanted to make this a hot-n-filthy B-movie bulletfest I later added some mild seriousness to the otherwise tongue-in-cheek presentation and a lot of more tactical gameplay and increased difficulty to the game.
This game plays like a slightly less tactical and more futuristic Project I.G.I if you need a reference.
In case you are interested. I have made a very similar game with similar goals about 6 years ago with FPSC-Fenix Mod. Its still a quite enjoyable shooter.
Link to DEPRIVATION – Direct Action.

Ha! 2 free shooter games in one thread!

Plot: You are a cybernetically enhanced agent hired by a federal agency to investigate illegal transhuman experiments on a remote tropical island.

How to play/ tips and hints:

+ Code Snippet

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
* This isn't Serious Sam! Approach hostile encounters with care and attempt to remain in cover. If you remain in cover, a lot of enemies will attempt to move towards you.
* Its always recommended to fall back once you encounter a new group of enemies. Keep in mind that they've likely changed position when you reapproach them
* Due to the nanoplasmides in most of your body, you'll find that your health regenerates. However, this process as a delay.
* Try to have your guns loaded before an encounter and check the room you just cleared for ammo.
* Certain terminals can be linked to command. You can hack doors this way.
* Some enemies will hunt you down. And they know how to navigate their environment, don't count on them behaving like FPSC enemies.
I was pleasantly surprised seeing them maneuver a large indoor complex. Kudos to Lee! His AI ain't as bad as many people paint it to be.

Features:

* The longest loading screen ever!

* Semi-competent enemies.

* 2 High-Octane Levels filled with hostile encounters!

* Beauties from EAI’s awesome classic arsenal. Modified and slightly modernized!

* Neat Graphics and Visuals

* Its free!

* Did I mention that its free?

Notes on Graphics and performance:

– The game is designed in a way that its still looking good if you lower your settings. Please do so if you get a low frame rate on your system.

– I packed a preset reshade with the game copy these files into your root folder (where amelia.exe is) to add modern postprocessing including SMAA and Bloom

– If you run a good system and see the animated vent in the first level as black, your game is running at low or medium settings. You can set it to high in the menue but the music will likely stop playing :/

– I have deactivated native posprocessing and bloom to increase framerate! If you need Anti Aliasing, copy the files located in the reshade folder into your root folder (with the amelia.exe)

Known Bugs!

+ Code Snippet

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
* There are several obvious lightmapping related visual glitches in level 1
* There is a floating rock in level 2 :/
*The G22 is misplaced! However, the first version of it was floating above the players hand in an awkward way so this was the better alternative that I just didn't manage to fix.
* Vweaps /enemy guns have the wrong texture assigned (@cybernescence: I should have let you fix it! My attempts at doing so did not work in the end)
* Loading screens and interface images are oddly placed in some resolutions.
* Enemy AI is dumbing down when you experience low frame rates.

Screenshots!

Download!

DOWNLOAD MIRROR 1 MEDIAFIRE

DOWNLOAD MIRROR 2 INDIEDB

Full introduction (better served as a loading screen! Only read if you dont intend to play the game! or if you are from the future and the game is loading too fast for you):

+ Code Snippet

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
How did I get here?
A question that keeps popping in my head like a 10 mm bullet fired at point-blank range.
The answer seems so deceptively simple. I had to. I had to save my country. Or at least so I thought.
We where losing the eugenics war so I was chosen based on my medical records and bravery in combat.
I must have been 23 at the time when they replaced most of my body with nanoplasmically operated,
self repairing machinery. They gave me infinite stamina, super fast reflexes, superhuman strenght
and made me nearly indestructible. A super soldier for an increasingly dire war. I was one among many.
Now there are so few of us left. They gave me so much but it came at the price of my humanity.
I tried to drink away what was left of it. Haven't had much success with my damn cyborg liver.
For the people around me I was nothing but a reminder of a war they tried to forget. Haven't had
much luck with the ladies either, not with half of my damn face missing.
People like me no longer function in society. Thats how I got here. I'm still at war.
I get by doing mercenary work. Try to work for the good guys. Whatever that even means anymore.
The longer you do this, the more you'll see the lines blur and disappear completely.
Except for this job. They didn't give me much detail, they never do and its usually for the best
but apparently there is this international cult. (One of the many whack space religions that established
themselves after the war.) Intel suggests that they are financing a private army and a dozen highly
guarded military outposts and secret laboratories. The agency I'm currently working for has an informant
that has given them proof of human experiments (they most likely recruit people from their own cult) and
something much worse. They are working on a weapon. A psi-ops prototype that went missing during the late
periods of the war. To get it up and running, an insane amount of data would need to be compiled. Non-binary
algorithms. That was impossible back in the war but now... They located a facility where they suspect that
this is happening. Thats where I come in. My employers can't be connected to this op so they have to rely
on a merc like me. I'm to infiltrate a compound on a remote pacific island undetected. (they can shut off
their bunker from any outside hostility, but they don't have any way to seel themselves off once I'm inside.)
Here I am to locate the data they may have already compiled, most likely on a data rod and return it undamaged.

Credits!

* This game would not have been possible without this community and especially the following gentlemen:

* Bugsy: Beta testing, numerous models, constant support and keeping me from murdering the framerate with pedantically elaborate leveldesign.

* Cybernescence: For saving this game from being cancelled due to Enemy AI issues with the hostiles not being able to fire their weapons! You’re a hero!

* The Cosmic Prophet: Tons of models used in this game

* Errant AI: Providing us with slick weapons for a decade now. Lots of our games would be even lamer without you!

* Wizard of Id: Interior Architecture!!

* Lee: Game Guru and everything that comes with it.

Arteria 3D’s Steve: Pack uses your office pack which is part of the mega packs and the scifi items pack.

-Wolf

Posted in 3D Art, Development, Released Titles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Redacted : Hired Gun – free game beta screenshots

Hey gang!

I must admit that I’m a little excited about this. Simply because A) it looks very statisfying to me and B ) the terrible horrors that have been reported to me have not occured.
The first beta is now out as a built game and Bugsy already had time to play it. There are, of course, plenty of things in it that don’t work at all but all of those are things that I can repair. The game itself has saved as standalone without any errors! No black textures, missing sounds, runtime errors. Nothing. This is such a good sign to me!
With gameplay that i have set up wrong and the AI being unresponsive, I still have quite some fixing to do before I can finally post that download button.
But at least I should be able to share a video soon.

The framerates are quite good and the game is very scaleable without losing much definition. Not to be compared to something like UE4 but I think that it is now very possible to craft a good looking game in GG and have it run on lower specs. Not that I think Lee souldn’t look into that more or anything, I am merely stating: Its not as bad as it was before.

While it still has glaring faults, there is a lot more right with this than I expected from the first standalone built.

I have also added external anti aliasing and post processing! Take a look:

Cheers to Marty Mc Fly and reshade!

Posted in 3D Art, Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[ R E D A C T E D] – Hired Gun ( a free game currently in beta)

This article will have a long string of images. If you are on mobile or have a weaker internet connection, give ’em a sec to load before you scroll down 🙂

This is also a collection of articles I have previously written on this subject.

Redacted: Hired Gun is a free to play test game currently in beta. More information below!

A link to the indie DB profile is here.

This game has been conceived for 2 reasons:

1 I have not released a game for years and figured that I wanted to get something fun out in 2016, however small the project may be

2. There has been a lot of talk about stability and functionality issues when releasing a game made with the game guru engine. This game is mostly testing how fast I can make an acceptable looking game in guru, how stable it will run and, most importantly, how much fun the process is. These where originally test maps that will now receive enough polish to be considered a fully playable First Person Shooter. As you can most likely tell by looking at it, its leaning more towards early 2000’s shooters rather than anything that is new and hot right now. If you are down with all that, I invite you to play this game. For free.

Gameplay:

This is a straightforward shooter with a few interactive elements otherwise. These will be explained by in game narration. You can expect 2 high octane levels with plenty of enemies (I am testing performance and AI behaviour here) strung together by voiced narrative. It kinda goes down like a way less tactical project IGI if you want some kinda reference.

Visuals:

Yes, there will be AA (anti aliasing) in the final product my dear! Don’t worry 😉 Other than that, the visuals are pretty much what is on display here. While its far from easy to get this kind of look up and running in GG I find the results to be rather rewarding considering how little time has been spent on this project. I’m aware how dated all of this looks but I find many “dated” game to be quite glorious. 😀

All assets are modified, retextured or otherwise adjusted to fit my style. Only the foliage is mostly included in the GG packaged (a hint to all model collectors and people using other engines…buy game guru! The assets alone are worth the few bucks). I have also plenty of my own assets on display which can be purchased as part of the “Protogenetic Subculture” Asset pack available via private message or on CGTrader. Weapons are modded versions of old work by EAImedia (check him out! His work is amazing)

I was experimenting a lot with postprocessing to get a hazy “cyberpunkish” look with lots of complementing yet somewhat glaring colours.

I am, however, very open for criticism and suggestions.

Sound:

Music is me messing about with a synthesizer….and it sounds like it. Maybe you like it! Come and find out. Sound design and how well it plays is also being tested in this project.

Remember that this is not a full project and has a few rough edges.

But why no unity?:

Because the Unreal Engine 4 is way danker. All joking aside: I like GG, its fast, its fun and I’m used to its mechanic having released so many games on the previous engine: FPSC (few of which are on here, my best known ones being euthanasia and thanatophobia).

While the UE4 is always my engine of choice for contracted asset work or whenever I feel like having access to something madly powerful and polished but I have always been drawn to the underdogs! And it would be such a boring world if everyone would just use the same 2 or 3 game engines. I am aware that unity is just as accessible and easy to use by now as GG claims to be. I can also understand that many of you will not get my commitment and reason behind my choice. Let me just state that I am aware that there are better engines out there.

Setting:

You are a cybernetically enhanced agent hired by a federal agency to investigate illegal transhuman experiments on a remote tropical island.

GAME WILL BE RELEASED THIS DECEMBER

What follows are copies from the GG developer Forum in chronological order!

I have not posted in quite some time because I originally wanted to surprise you all with this.
I have taken a few gameplay and design elements from the larger “Acythian” whole and am pretty far into making a small 2 level game akin to the original far cry.
My motivation is that I really want to release a game this year! Seeing how fast I am making progress I’d say that I can ship this either late november or early december.
You’ll slip in the shoes of a cybernetic agent infiltrating a secret compound on a remote tropical island! I don’t have a title yet.

What I find particularly enjoable about this game is that it looks and feels almost identical on the lowest settings as it does on highest. Meaning that all of you should be able to play this at an acceptable frame rate

Onwards to some screenshots:



Sorry about posting so many screenshots at once but this is already pretty far in development and these turned out better than I expected which made me happy.

Please let me know what you think about it and I’ll also be happy to answer any questions!

************

Hey gang!

Most design work and the basic gameplay of this project are now finished. This means that I am currently held up with the advanced gameplay, soundscaping, bug fixing and of course: Good ol’ details. I’m also lacking plenty of scripts from my fpsc collection that I took for granted.

Icons for guns, glitches, fixes….things just keep piling up and none of it is fun.

However, I compiled some screens of random places from the (almost) finished maps of this game. The title will be: [ R E D A C T E D] – Hired Gun –
Been hitting up community members for thoughts and criticism and will apply those in a second do over. Then: RELEASE! zOMG!

Keep in mind that this is a test game first and foremost. I dont want to do anything brave, involved or particulary original. This game is what will decide wether or not I keep making games in GG.
News about terrible bugs after building a game come in from all around the boards after all.
Despite all of GG’s flaws…I WAS making this game in significantly short time and it was relatively easy to do.

Thank you for your patience…I know these are many screenshots that had to be loaded 🙂

Please drop me your comments and criticisms…these are always appreciated.

Posted in 3D Art, Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Fathers Island” Review

Fathers Island can be purchased on Steam!

I have always reviewed the big titles back in FPSC days so I’ve recently picked up doing so too for Game Guru titles.

Fathers Island will be a tough one to review because I both like and dislike this game. I do however believe that a really great and unique game is buried under what appears to be a mixed bag of odd design choices, genuine talent and compromises. So lets get this part started:

First off, let me say that I find it hilarious that a game released in this day and age that openly mocks american ultra conservatives and nostalgic patriotism is entirely held in shades of orange. Get it? Orange??

When booting up Fathers Island you are immediately greeted with the distinct and stylized artwork of our resident Disturbing 13. I find this to be a very well made first impression. The current ReShade overlay is active in the menues as well…which is surprisingly more appealing than distracting.
I’m not sure if this is intentional but fathers island is starting off with the perfect introduction. You see, Homegrown won’t play a cutscene and throw you right on to the island. You’ll first have to get there.
The player will have to fill up the empty tank of a motorboat. Doing so will introduce you to the core gameplay of F.I. which is exploration, narrative, keyhunt and occasionally you’ll have to find an item (which is also a glorified abstraction of finding a key.) The entire concept is presented to us before we venture to the island and are greeted with a genuinely well made, though delightfully sappy, narrated intro.

Fathers island never tries to hide its GG origins. You’ll be introduced to an incoherent mix of styles in the assets used, effects blinking in and out of existence, objects clipping through other objects or floating pretty much right away. I can safely say that if the tutorial island, let me call it that, of fathers island does not spike your interest, you can shut the game of right there. While it will have its high moments n’ climaxes of oddness later on, most of the game will be what you just witnessed before you fill up the boat.

On the island we will be introduced to life action flashbacks with your father (In this case no other than the great Johann Ivanovitsch Ertlovski himself, alive and raving) who is obviously borderline or all out insane. These cutscenes are really entertaining and Ertlov is upping the anty with his acting the further you proceed throughout the game.
Exploring the island is calming and surreal. You’ll often trigger a narration which is usually well voice acted, however over the top it can get. Our protagonist used to be a teacher who was released from prison. I just hope he didn’t get his voice and attitude from chain smoking in a cell but rather sounded the same when he was still teaching class. His voice is delightfully rugged and would fit well in an early 2000’s action flick.

Visually, Fathers Island is, despite the now improved post processing, nothing to write home about. Its never bad and certainly notches above plenty of GG releases that currently plague Steam Greenlight like an infectious disease but its also not quite good.
Everything seems out of place and I was hoping for a bit better models from someone as experienced as Ertlov. Everything looks improvised and unpolished. You’ll find that many different models don’t complement each other at all and especially shacks or buildings end up looking like a thrown together mess. There is a lot of “chaos” on the screen. You also have to add that the game is constantly tinned in this extreme, surreal orange. Somewhere in between sunset and the surface of mars. Ertlov and team did try to add a certain logic to the game world though and from a gameplay perspective most of it made kinda sense. You can follow powerlines to find buildings so you are never truely lost and despite feeling quite open world, the game managed to lead me from place to place and I always had the necessary key! (despite one time towards the end)
I find this to be very important because right now, the game was not compelling enough to me for me to put up with excessive back tracking.
What I found appealing was that both in tone and in style the game reminded me a ton of HomeGrowns previous (visually superior) installment: Into the Dark.
I think the general layout of the game would have worked well if it went for different assets and maybe less dark red and orange light. Nothing ever looks quite right and from a visual perspective it always feels completely unpolished. Strangely enough, this kinda adds to its charm.

If you find yourself disagreeing with me while playing the game, visit the school. It perfectly well encapsules what I am talking about.
Fathers Island has competent map design. It really does! However, I do feel like the assets they do use in said decent map design never quite fit. I feel allowed to say this because a large fraction of what they used has been designed by myself. If you walk through the school building specifically you will find that the layout is eerieely reminiscent of old “dark-engine” titles like “The Hunted”. You’ll also find a weird visual hotchpotch of models and media that clearly stems from different designers. (There is also a room with an odd door that just stands around in the middle of it. With frame and everything. I think finding something like this in an abandoned building IRL would be downright creepy
Now, the reason why I won’t shut up about this is because I feel like shutter island would be a whole different ball game if it simply had different models. If the school would look like a derelict hermit school (Wicker man comes to mind), if the island’d be overgrown and showing signs of decay (not mixed in with brand new furniture). I bet that his would be a hauntingly hilarious game if the visuals where not such an incoherent mess…unified by its extreme orange tint.

I won’t spoil the story of the game (altough I highly doubt many of you’ll be reading this far) as it is something you should experience by yourself. Especially the 4 different endings. Let me repeat that: Fathers Island has 4 different ending sequences all of which are very well done. (I feel like the hilariously extreme ones kinda come out of nowhere, but hey! Its a homegrown game.)
I do however have to mention that after completing a weird fantasy quest (sadly nerved due to engine limitations I heard from Ertlov) involving robbing a grave you will find yourself in an underground laboratory. Complete with 1980’s science fiction machinery that even has flat touchscreens. …I’m pretty sure that I am the only one who is bothered by this after all that has transpired on the island so far. Bestiality jokes included. Looking at most of the machinery in the lab, I’m pretty sure that whoever designed it was a complete dingbat. And yes, there are also nazis in this game. Don’t worry! Well..not as characters but as references.

Another thing with this game is that, apart from some wildlive…and sheep, it has no characters. Hence:

Quote: “the new game from Austrian indie veterans Homegrown Games simply doesn’t fit into an exact genre definition.”

Is incorrect. This game is a pure-bred walking simulator.

You’ll be wandering the surreal landscape waiting for the either tragically comical or comically tragic narration to set in or for another ludachris acting performance by Ivan.
Into the dark was far more condensed and had shooting elements to keep the player busy…here I find myself walking long stretches of somewhat empty nothingness waiting for the game to humour me with narration. I doubt that many people outside the indie scene would put up with these huge stretches of “dead air”. I must however thank you…and I suppose its as good a time as any to start with the personal note:

Personal Note!

Playing the game triggered a childhood memory of mine. I now remember a vacation in the woods, a hut, feeding birds in the morning…serenity…stealing an old ski-stick they used to mark some terrain to build another vacation hut and playing knight. That was a magical vacation I had as a kid somewhere. Maybe I should book some lodge for an extended weekend with my lass next year. It would be affordable and romantic! Thanks for the idea.

Besides that: I have noticed you using plenty of my models and I’m sorry that they fit your setting so little. Especially the mystic library fantasy pack mostly shows up in games that are not medieval fantasy at all and they never fit. I think a “1930’s mystery adventure pack” would be a good idea for a project sometime next year
Despite me taking the piss out of it, I’m thankful for using so much of my stuff… now plenty of folks see it.

End Personal Note!

While the game managed to always lead me to the right places, even when I was exploiting the terrain for short cuts, I didn’t have the necessary key for (what I assume to be) the last door of the game. Blin!
No matter… while wandering through the area I did come across the suicide ending…and accidentally triggered it. By the way, was it intentional or a lucky coincidence that after the ending video you can see the player character drowning??

Fathers Island would be a dozen times better if it where not such a drown out to walk this huge island. If Homegrown decided to go with smaller, better designed levels rather than this huge walk-a-ton I bet the game would be something odd for the ages and way more entertaining. As it is, it is only held up by the novelty of its weirdness, the charismatic narration and the weird humour.
Some gameplay, bet it simple shooter mechanics, be it deeper exploration and gathering mechanics would have added a lot to what is otherwise rather uneventful.
I might sound harsh but I do have a softspot in my heart for this game. I would not have finished (kinda finished) it otherwise if I felt like it was a waste of time.
F.I has the typical homegrown underdog charm and I really value what it has done for GG early on where almost all other games where complete and utter dung.

What would I have done / attempted to have done differently:

F.I. is a game that has very little gameplay at all and lives off its visuals and narrative. Sadly the visuals aren’t all that great. It also suffers from long, uneventful walks through nothingness.

If I had designed this game I’d have put stark focus on grapics and aesthetics as well as having it divided in several levels. Events and key places would be closer together and while I’d not completely remove wandering the woods, I’d keep that to a minimum. The music was good and gave everything this sense of calmness and serenity, I’d keept that. Foliage and environmental props would be way more coherent and I’d try to add more exploration to it (being able to browse through lockers and having the character comment on items and so forth.)

While I don’t think that F.I. would be all too interesting to the general publich I do believe that indie developers, game guru users and fans of previous homegrown games should get a copy.
To Ivan I can only say: Keep it up!

Sheepish regards

-Wolf

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Law of Gamedesign!

A comprehensive list of universal laws that apply to the art and science of video game design.  Observe:

Law of Completion: Once you have built the final exe and test it, you will find out that you have overlooked one crucial element and have to fix and build it again.

Law of Inevitability: At least one feature you where really proud of will have to be cut from the final product.

Focus Rule: The more time you invest in a certain feature or level, the less your audience will notice it or care

Law of the LetsPlayer: After release, you will notice at least one LetsPlayer on youtube do something or try something in your game that you never, in a million years, would have even thought about or considered. This can have positive or negative side effects.

Schrödingers Loadingbar: An immobile loadingbar during build/test/play or installation actually means that the software is both: crashed and still running.The only way to find out is to use control/alt/delete which may or may not cause a crash that may or may not have been present before.

Law of Gathering: Whenever you think you have all the assets to tackle your new level/idea. You will find out that you miss that one crucial item/character/script.

Law of Futility: Attempts to rival AAA studios are not only futile, but also often attempted by people who know that they are futile.

Reviewer Theorem: No matter how easy your game is, some reviewer will complain about it being too difficult.

Law of the Playstation: No matter how good you think your art direction is, someone will compare your game to “playstation 2 graphics”.

Scripters Law: The moment you have a script up and running, you’ll find a better version either on the store or the forum.

Bambers Law: Lee will add a feature at the precise moment you have planned your game around its absence.

Law of Presentation: The probability of your project crashing increases with the amount of people in the room you wish to present it to.

Law of the Industry Standard: The more expensive a tool is, the less convenient is its interface.

Rule of Visual Fidelity: The closer your graphics are to contemporary standards, the more people will scrutinize them as they no longer identify them as “indie”.
The Game Guru feature manifesto: The more important a feature is, the less people vote for its implementation

Law of similarity: No matter how unique or exotic your idea is…someone will say that it looks just like [insert well known title here]

Rule of Competence: the more able you are, the less epic and original are your ideas.

Law of Duration: Everything takes about three times longer than you think it does.

Twin Theorem: Even if you have 2 identical PC’s with identical specs, drivers and OS, your software will still inexplicably crash on one of them.

Wolfs Law: Even if you finish your project to your best knowledge, you still have a 40% chance of not being able to get the full experience to run. If this occurs, you’ll only be able to run half of your game or in worst cases only the first level.

Posted in Development, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment