Euthanasia – Developer Commentary

Foreword

I have released this game nearly a decade ago at the time I am writing this and I am aware that few people will read this.(disregard post date, this was written in 2019.)  However, this game is a bit special to me for several reasons. The first being, its a full release (no matter how clunky) where I was able enough for it to have a large amount of custom content, art, 3d and soundwork. The second being that, mostly due to luck and timing, it became quite popular. So popular in fact that I had to make a new E-mail account because my mail got drowned with page after page of questions and bug reports. I eventually removed the game from indieDB, where I posted it originally but at that point it was already hosted on many other Download websites.

Keep in mind that I released this at a time where free single player games like this where rarer than they are now, with so many engines being more approachable and a far larger indie scene and that it has also been released at the time where “Horror Lets Plays” on YT where popular and gathered a lot of views. Add the fact that the topic of actual euthanasia (Which the game does not touch on) was being discussed in many southern countries and you have the circumstances of why this little game gained all this attention.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn here and I felt very uncomfortable with this sudden gain in popularity of something I expected to end up having like 200 downloads, mostly by other FPSCreator users. Knowing that the game was rather crude and had a lot of bugs, most being due to it running on an earlier version of FPSC, long before the days of black ice mod  I was fully expecting it to be panned by lets players on youtube. However, despite a lot of people rightfully aknowledging its short comings, most feedback was positive. People also seemed genuinely spooked by the games atmosphere which gave me a warm fuzzy. 🙂 At the time I was also concerned that future employers might google my name and be put off if they find me connected with the development of this kind of gameplay. Now I chuckle at that, I couldn’t work for a petty cunt who would do something like this for more than a week anyway. 😉 This is also why the IndieDB profile hosts only the patch.

People where enjoying my game and throug the years I have met a few folks who played and enjoyed it on forums of unrelated game engines. That was the first time I had a larger audience for something I made and it had a negative effect on me. Of course my next project had to be bigger, better and maybe even commercial. I quickly found out that I just didn’t have the skills for that back then.

The funniest side effect of this game getting more attention than I anticipated can be seen here.

But thats enough of that. Here I want to drop a few honest words of how this game was made, a few noteworthy things so it can have its little web presence… Albeit 9 years later. (disregard post date, this was written in 2019.)

Conceptual

To be perfectly honest, I made this game out of spite. At the time, a lot of FPSC horror games where released that where, to be blunt, atrocious. Unaltered asset pack use, bad and nonsensical art direction or no art direction at all and a complete lack of lightmapping where the hallmark of some of these. Yet people would claim that they spooked them. I was alienated by that and decided to make a demo with a genuine eeriee atmosphere to it and blow these guys socks off. At least that was my mindset back then.

“I could not finish it. Waaay too freaky. Great work my friend!”

“The demo really scared my off a few times”

“You’re the master of creepieness. “

“I had to play music in the background while playing. It was way too freaky. So I guess you acheived that.”

(quotes from tgc forums)

High praise and the demo did what I wanted it to do. Most players had fun so I decided to make it a full game.

Design

Due it being rather short, the game relies on a single location for its entire runtime. A distorted, fever dream like hospital. I included a bunch of ideas from previous, failed projects and to be honest, I only gave it the slightly pretentious “afterlife” plot so I can throw realism out the window and just do what I want. 😀

As I started drawing and painting at the time I laced the game with a lot of my artwork. It was seldomly out of place and broke up the monotony of the rather omnipresent “wall mounted xrays and decay” aesthetic. It was important to me that everything in the game looked like it was forged from the same steel. HUD, Models, Textures, enemies…everything. I think I managed that using various rather primitive but effective retexturing methods.

Naturally, a lot of the games models where not made by me! Here I would like to mention the amazing work by Bond1, who made the original creatures, Errant AI, who designed the weapons and Doomster whos texture work is prominently featured in this game.

I wanted to have the game get increasingly odd and surreal as the player progresses and I think I succeeded in some places with this idea. The puzzles where a nice touch and offered good opportunities for scares but when you analyze them…. all of them are simple trigger/key/spawn or plattform scripts. There is a lot you can do in FPSC using stock scripts.

As I didn’t want to just have brainless enemies launch toward the player I did my best to add variety and tried to design encounters more challenging then frontal assault. Therefore you’ll get the gian beast chasing you down the corridor, the black phantom enemy assaulting you as you are solving the lever puzzle and the vertex fire creatures towards the end. All in all I was happy with the enemy variety in this.

Adding a sense of dread and looming danger was important to me as well. I could not just have enemies that would directly engage the player so throughout the levels the player would also encounter visions of ghosts (those where 2d sprites btw) to startle and enemies that would not immediately react hostile.

The voiceacting in the game was atrocious. Here is why: I had no experience speaking english out loud at the time and recorded it all with an old digital camera. If you disregard the bugs, this is the weakest aspect of the game. However, the breathing and some growls where also made that way and turned out quite well. I mixed and engineered or edited a lot of the sound in this game and it plays a large roll in the atmosphere it has.

My biggest pleasure in having made this title was watching y’all play it on YT and read your thoughts. So thanks for that. And I am so glad, that nearly 10 years later, I finally have this thing on my website. Peace out!

 

 

 

About serygala

Who really has time to think about a summary of himself on the internet? I like art, women, gamedesign and I love coffee. Everything else is too much information.
This entry was posted in Development, Miscellaneous, Released Titles, The Archive and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s