Into the Dark : Preview and interview (from 1 Apr. 2012)

The basic idea of “Into the dark” has spawned in the austrian mind of Ivan Ertl around 1 year ago in a horror game contest. I made a game for that contest too you can find here.
It only made 2nd place due to incompetent judges. You can either agree with me or I may launch my foot up your rectum.

However! The flawed but fun one level game of Ivan quickly evolved in a full commercial title he develops with his guys from homegrown games. 
The folks that also made “Anderson and the legacy of cthulhu” (another FPSC title that had a larger release)

THE STORY:

“You`re Peter “Pete” O`Brannon, a Private Eye. Sounds faszinating? It isn`t, trust me – unless you find it exciting to hunt down cheating husbands and lost dogs while living of cheap Chinese food in shabby motels. THAT would be what Petes job is all about – but luckily for him, he has a good customer paying his bills. It`s GlobalSecure Inc., one of the biggest insurance companies on the East Coast. More exactely, it`s Samantha “Sam” Miller who runs their investigation departement on insurance fraud. She`s tough, she`s intelligent, she`s better than Pete. By far better. But due to the companies Code of Conduct and some very nasty ethic rules, she`s prevented from taking, erm, “semi-legal” steps to gain essential information and proofs. That`s where Pete steps in – for 500 bucks per day + expenses + a nice 20% share of the money the company saves with whatever Pete finds out.

These 20% could be the winning ticket for a major lottery in the latest case Pete has been assigned to….” 
and later on there will be nazi zombies.

Don’t we all want a 500 bucks a day job? If I would be a sociopath, I would be a mercenary or a pornstar or make popmusic for retarded teenagers… you know? Anything that pays well and you can only do if you dont have any moral-conciousness. But that is another story.

Description:

We got boobies. We got hookers. We got Zombies. We got Nazis. We got even Nazi-Zombies! We got puzzles, as this is an adventure. But this is also a shooter. And it is an RPG (at least in some special moments). This is really unique – and crazy like hell.
From the guys that have brought shame to the gaming world with “Anderson & the Legacy of Cthulhu”, the next Game is closing in – and it`s an 1st Person Adventure with Shooter elements again. Now with 200% more madness and even more weird and wicked humor.

I know that this sounds a bit like they cram a lot of stuff in there without doing anything right. At least thats a bit what came out of most games that advertised their titles as mixed genres in the past. (just think of rise of the argonauts…wasn’t that a piece of crap?) However, I do admire how they create all these concepts in FPSC. You need a shitload of creativity and dedication to even try this.
An insanity…

What? I can say that…they advertise this game like that ” Now with 200% more madness and even more weird and wicked humor.”

I always think whenever I had a good time watching a cheesy B-Movie: Why dont they make videogames with ideas like that… and I’m fucking glad people finally do it. So far: The result looks promising:

Adventure / RPG Shooter Hybrid Gameplay:

You can play the game as Adventure with RPG and Shooter elements or as Shooter with Adventure and RPG elements. Each level has at least two different ways to be solved, one focused on action, one on tinkering and puzzles. This is also reflected in the mission log.

This game even has magic perks…like this:

But you do probably know all that already… so you are probably here for the interview aren’t you?

Well … here you go:

1. Its been a while since the release of “Anderson and the legacy of cthulhu”… how did it feel to start working with FPSC again the first couple of days? How has it evolved?

I returned to a FPSC a few weeks before starting “Into the Dark”, when I made a small promo game for the Colt 1911. The first feeling was similar to “coming home again”, but after installing all the new updates and using some of the new effects it was more like “woha, what happened here ?!”

2. I heard that you are working with people who are very close to you on this game, how does that go (workflow, athmosphere, …discipline :)) and is it a big discipline compared to working with regular team members.

I have some friends for freelancing tasks like video postproduction for cutscenes and sound production, right, the work with them is not that different from the one with the other freelancers. The biggest challenge is the work with my Girlfriend, who toke over the Art direction and 2D Art dept. after Peter Siedl left to Germany. On one hand its a great experience to work together on the game late at night and sharing ideas, the workflow is superb as we share office and flat, however, it gets hard when you have to urge faster work or have to criticize something.

3. You are working in gamedevelopment for a while now… how did that actually get started or better yet when was the point in your life where this really was something you would concider a job instead of a hobby.
I realized it when my father asked why the hell a german game magazine publisher had sent 500 D-Mark into his bank account. I was 11 then and had delivered a self-written C64 game to the Discmag of “64er” magazine.

4. I noticed that you may have another FPSC project up your sleeve, are you guys from Homegrown planning to release a couple of FPSC Based titles? (and…are there titles planned using other engines)
Yeah, I was asked if I want to make an Indie game based on the 2004 RTS “Highland Warriors”. I told yes, as long as I can switch the genre and make a really educational Castle / Dungeon slasher evolving aroung the Scottish Independence Wars from 1284 – 1328. This will be a huge challenge as it WILL have huge outdoor battle scenes. You know that`s quite an announcement when it comes to FPSC.
On the other hand, I pay my bills more often by producing, polishing up and expanding games from other companies. So I`m familiar with many proprietary engines as well as Unity, Unreal 3 UDK e.t.c.

For own projects, I can`t tell what I`ll use in the future. As I have done many stuff with UDK, I realized it`s still more of a marketing tool to get you buying Unreal license full (to get the source access). Right now I`m looking curious at Unigine which looks interesting enough. I would leave FPSC temporary to do something cross-plattform.

5. Summing up the advantages of FPSC compared to other engines in 3 sentences?

Extremely fast prototyping possible.
Scalable and very good lightmap renderer.
Millions of tons of custom stuff and community code available.

6. Summing up the disadvantages of FPSC compared to other engines in 3 sentences. Cursing is allowed.

The Polygon limit is a bad, bad joke.
You hit the fucking Memory Cap on almost every level as son you try to make it sexy.
The kick-ass effects that are possible now drain performance like Bill the blood out of Sookie Stackhouse.

7. Will there be any characters in “into the dark” with austrian accents? I found that to be very entertaining in the alpha.

Erm – that`s an interesting question. I told “No Way” when I was asked, and the reaction was more dissapointed then relieved. So I tell that the MAIN chars won`t have austrian accents, but another char might have.
8.  Is “into the dark” a working title or do you plan to release the game under this name?

I have no Intention to change the title right now.

9. I noticed the massive script constructs you are planning to implement. (awesome things like necromancy). Is that running smooth or are you experiencing some lag/ troubles…or a classic FPSC: No response at all? (I admit, this is more personal interest)

To be honest, Necromancy was the easiest of them. Basically, you have an already died char laying as body on the floor. When you have the skill learnt, it will have a switch inside allowing you to perform the ritual. Upon doing so, I call activateused and destroy afterwards, the activated entity is the same char but alive and being an ally with a limited lifespan. Pretty obvious, isn`t it?
The scriptpipeline to LEARN necromancy is by far mroe complex, as the player will have to learn basic Latin ingame to understand the unholy books, which have to be obtained by…

…oh, wait, I`m spoilering!

However, on most levels, the memory allocated to script calls and their sound effects is ~ 200 MB

10. If you would have to sum up “into the dark” on the back of a dvd box… what would it be like?
“Into the Dark” is an innovative Trash-Comedy-Survivalhorror merging elements of shooters, adventure and RPG gameplay into something unique that is best played at night with lights out and sound turned on loudly. The deep storyline evolves in 12 different, challenging levels accompanied by several cutscenes and an always-present B-Movie charme in the tradition of “Evil Dead”.

Groovy!

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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.
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