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Thread: Horror T2 FM "Buried Deed" Dev Thread

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR

    Horror T2 FM "Buried Deed" Dev Thread

    I decided earlier this week to start working on a horror mission (will hope to get it done by halloween). The working title is Buried Deed. I'm making this thread to keep fire under my butt via embarrassment if I never make it, and inspiration if people comment.

    I normally am not really into horror, and used to judge it as a lazy way to get players to be afraid of the AI again. However, there are several reasons why I decided to:
    • I've been having dreams of sneaking around a scary mansion, finding secrets, and tricking evil spirits. I've actually gone back to sleep to try to finish the mission on several occasions.
    • I've become obsessed with the abandoned Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers. I find it to be a inspiring place for horror and it seems small enough to make it a easy build.
    • I need the break from my main project.




    While I've not been able to find any floor plans, I've downloaded and categorize 167 photos for reference for a easy approximation.


    I have a story and goals done, and the architecture should go up quick, but I may need some serious help with texturing. I lack the skill to make the texturing have a certain cohesiveness. I will most likely use EnYB0La's Developer Textures Kit to show proof of concept before asking for help.

    Briefing concept:
    Garrett is contacted by a woman, through his fence, who informes Garrett of her notoriety in the underground; she controls a great deal of illegal gambling rings in the city. She wants a meeting, which Garrett responds expressing that he is reluctant to receive her at his hideout - wondering if it’s about a unknown debt. She assures him it’s not, and they agree to meet.

    When she arrives, she introduces herself as Dolores, but gets right to business in manner and tone. She says she is looking to hire someone to search for a ring she lost as a child, in her childhood home - a now abandoned castle manor outside the city. She says by the time her estranged father finally confessed to its location, the building had already begun to collapse into ruins and overgrowth. She admits being emotionally drawn back to the place repeatedly, but she could never bring herself to risk getting hurt climbing around inside. She tells Garrett her best way to have a piece of the memory she longs for is to recover the ring.

    Dolores changes back to a stern tone, naming her price. Garrett look interested, but asks Dolores why him, and not some bored chatelaine. She says that the thieves guilds have marked the place into their index of forbidden grounds, supported by scattered accounts of haunting apparitions and dark happenings. She herself expresses not believing the rumors, but in case they are true, she needs someone familiar with working alongside those dangers, in addition to exceptional climbing skills. Garrett asks why she doesn’t believe the rumors. She says that she’s never seen anything herself, and thinks they were likely scared off by the theatre props her distraught father placed around, to ward off looters.

    Garrett agrees to take the job, but asks for any information she could give him about her former residence. She says that she honestly can’t remember too much - that they were forced to leave in a hurry when she was quite young due to a political move by The Baron, whereby several lords were divested of their Lordships and assets. She hands over a map she mentions having acquired from her sources in the city record offices. She explains that she has marked X’s in the rooms she most suspects she could have lost the ring, although she only remembered it missing after the move.

    A taste of the first moments in-game:
    Player walks across stone moat bridge, headed to the front doors, of which one is ajar. There is a thickness to the air and the moon is powering through the cloudy night sky. The castle manor appears to be all dark, at least from this angle. Checking the map, the player sees that the manor had been transformed greatly by time.

    The player approaches the doors, opening them to reveal a hollowed out, rotted, broken down interior - open to the elements and most of the roof collapsed to the floor. The terrain is made up of debris piles, thickly covered with assorted vegetation and faint glowing mushrooms.

    There, not far from the entrance, is a out of place looking statue, sitting on a mouldering wood rolling dolly, facing the front door. As well, a wooden board hanging from a rope, painted to look like a bat. The immediate foyer only has one option to proceed through to the center, as the two side doors are boarded up.

    The player steps in two feet and is powerfully forced back out the door - the door slams shut. A tri-tonal whispery voice tells the player to leave. The player has to find another way in.

    Key ideas or features:
    • A rich storyline. I’ll strive to make it interesting enough to hunt for readables. It will be parts horror, love, and mind melting weirdness.
    • A massive amount of objects. I’ll be piling decals, flenders, vegetation (inspired by Gecko), and other objects into a small space. LOD should work well, as you cannot see the object that aren’t immediately surrounding you at any given time.
    • A well executed soundstage; ambients that immerse the player in suspense, designed to transverse well going from room to room. Sounds that are made for the current room, that emulate a distant sound from another room.
    • Very well planned “gate” objectives for satisfying progression despite backtracking a small area.
    • New creatures types with new detection-avoidance game play.
    • A large effort to make any jump scares not cheap, and sometimes avoidable by smart players. There will be more WTF than cheap gore or monsters.
    • Heavy emphasis on verticality. Mantel and rope arrow heaven. Going for a sense of being safe above the horror - to only delay the need to go back down into it, but strategically.
    • Tight areas for suspenseful sneaking.
    • Murky water - “what just touched my foot” moments.
    Last edited by gamophyte; 12th Aug 2018 at 20:59. Reason: Spelling and other corrections.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Although I have it well formed in my head, I am open to ideas here, or via PM (although I may be getting close to a full inbox). If there is something you want to suggest, feel free. If there is something you would like to see, perhaps one of your ideas, let me know. I am often more motivated when others are involved.

    I will post screen in this thread, once I get to a good place to take some.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2010
    Location: Beyond boundaries of Magia
    Sounds astonishing! Good luck on this one. I really hope it won't be just another "screamer, omg-dead-men-walking" FM, but apparently from what i've read, it sounds intriguing
    To be honest, i'm preparing a horror FM-set myself too, mostly with minimum to no gore, but with non-standard elements for sure. Just have to finish the final concept to determine on what to cut and what to realize, but the maps are in w.i.p. process.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    Perhaps the crowd-funding folk might share architectural drawings with you in exchange for a 3D DromEd model that they could walk about in and refine their ideas for the restoration with.

  5. #5
    From a player-mapper POV who values gameplay most, I'd suggest focusing on gameplay first and adding "rich storyline" later. Briefing idea feels like good enough excuse to lock G. in a castle like this, although whispery voice, shutting doors, and ghosts feel a bit too cliche overall, at least to me. (And frankly, "readable hunt" seems like terrible idea as well.)

    If I were to approach this, I'd focus on nicely-built environment and fun of moving through it (running/sneaking, mantling, crouching, careful use of rope arrows, etc.) first, adding things like stories to a strong foundation.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Zoro View Post
    Sounds astonishing! Good luck on this one. I really hope it won't be just another "screamer, omg-dead-men-walking" FM, but apparently from what i've read, it sounds intriguing
    To be honest, i'm preparing a horror FM-set myself too, mostly with minimum to no gore, but with non-standard elements for sure. Just have to finish the final concept to determine on what to cut and what to realize, but the maps are in w.i.p. process.
    Oooo I can't wait for yours then! And thank you. Yeah I should have said, another inspiration was Random Taffer and gang's "Godbreaker". I didn't know things could be so green and swampy, with interesting AI.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarryG View Post
    Perhaps the crowd-funding folk might share architectural drawings with you in exchange for a 3D DromEd model that they could walk about in and refine their ideas for the restoration with.
    Good idea. I was aware of them, but never thought to ask. They have to be getting something assessed if they restore it, so I will try to get the right parties. However, an approximation of the place is quite okay too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    From a player-mapper POV who values gameplay most, I'd suggest focusing on gameplay first and adding "rich storyline" later. Briefing idea feels like good enough excuse to lock G. in a castle like this, although whispery voice, shutting doors, and ghosts feel a bit too cliche overall, at least to me. (And frankly, "readable hunt" seems like terrible idea as well.)

    If I were to approach this, I'd focus on nicely-built environment and fun of moving through it (running/sneaking, mantling, crouching, careful use of rope arrows, etc.) first, adding things like stories to a strong foundation.
    Garrett and the player are compelled to move forward despite the setback of being pushed back out of the front door (no locked in). This is just a taste of the power of a certain element to the rest of the story, neither the whisper and force-push is used as a hacky effect. There will even be a understanding later but I totally understand what you mean. At least in the first impressing, I want the 'cliche whisper' to by tri-tonal and different sounding.

    Now we've talked about slogging through readables before, in the FM annoyances thread - or I can't remember what it was called. I stand by what I said there, if it is interesting enough, people will read it. The player will already see there's more to the mission as soon as they get in. Now, I can't prove something that doesn't exist yet, but the hope would be that, the player is so invested in the story (and weirded out by what they see as well) that they deeply welcome that piece of muddy parchment in the pile of rubble or wet leaves. It can be a break for the terror too (well the reading ambient will be kind of scary). I don't know if I said hunt above, but that was a poor choice if I did. It's not a hunt, you will see them, and they aren't 100 percent needed to be read to progress. I would have meet hunt in the exploring sense.

    I will heed your words on the environment being actually fun to move in. I have a high standard myself and I hope it shows in the final product.

    --------------

    Update. Last night I laid out the top view super high rez image CNN made, into a photoshop grid for Dromed's background image insertion. As clean as it was I am scrapping it, as I'm thinking now it's too big. I purposely exaggerated to make sure there is enough room for Garrett, but seems I overshot by too much, it shows when I overlay a guard in a screenshot, over the exact POV of a photo. Going to work on it more...

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Lexington, KY
    I would love to collaborate, Gamo. I have seen that castle before too and love the idea.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom View Post
    I would love to collaborate, Gamo. I have seen that castle before too and love the idea.
    Oh wow yeah, that would be awesome. Especially with your VO and hi poly models

    I will PM you my actual email so we can correspond.

  9. #9
    Garrett and the player are compelled to move forward despite the setback of being pushed back out of the front door (no locked in). This is just a taste of the power of a certain element to the rest of the story, neither the whisper and force-push is used as a hacky effect. There will even be a understanding later but I totally understand what you mean. At least in the first impressing, I want the 'cliche whisper' to by tri-tonal and different sounding.

    Now we've talked about slogging through readables before, in the FM annoyances thread - or I can't remember what it was called. I stand by what I said there, if it is interesting enough, people will read it. The player will already see there's more to the mission as soon as they get in. Now, I can't prove something that doesn't exist yet, but the hope would be that, the player is so invested in the story (and weirded out by what they see as well) that they deeply welcome that piece of muddy parchment in the pile of rubble or wet leaves. It can be a break for the terror too (well the reading ambient will be kind of scary). I don't know if I said hunt above, but that was a poor choice if I did. It's not a hunt, you will see them, and they aren't 100 percent needed to be read to progress. I would have meet hunt in the exploring sense.
    That sounds much better, I hope you'll be able to do all that That thing about movement, it's something I had at the back of my head for a long time, but it wasn't until recently when I had someone spell it out for me correctly, in a form of pretty decent lecture on level design principles. I found it extremely useful in thinking about level design, I hope you'll find it useful as well:


  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    That sounds much better, I hope you'll be able to do all that That thing about movement, it's something I had at the back of my head for a long time, but it wasn't until recently when I had someone spell it out for me correctly, in a form of pretty decent lecture on level design principles. I found it extremely useful in thinking about level design, I hope you'll find it useful as well:
    Yes exactly. Think how awful a paintball arena would be if it was just open space, nothing to duck and dive into. No sense of making new grounds. I have a lot to learn though. There will be a lot of planning, as this empty shell of a place is not ready for a good game. I have to restore several rooms so there's actually things to do lol. There will be a lot of thinking about how to give the player what they need and have it make sense. But in the same light, I don't want to claim that I won't want to "play the hits" in some regard. It won't be a 100 percent new experience.

    I saw a cut up version of that video some time ago, thank you for the full lecture!

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Progress report to those who have subbed to this thread.

    This past two weekends I have been working out logistics without really laying down any brushes. I couldn't just start without confidently knowing that I understood enough about the place's layout. Now that I have hundreds of photos from heavy research and video screen grabs, I feel better to start laying down brushes.

    My brain feels like that one microsoft program that make a scene out of pattern recognizing corners of the photos. I've used this mental method to "walk" into deeper areas you can't see from above.
    Sadly there will be some places I just can't get to, included photos that I cannot piece where they are. I do have some raw drone footage from a kind soul coming my way soon. Also now that they are working on the place more and more photos are coming in, and I have them all on alert.

    While this is out of pure interest of the place, I will not forget gameplay. If I were to go 100% "as you see it", it will be cool but not a fun mission. Also, hopefully, by July I can get a new PC, which then I can finally get my audio making started up again.

    WIP so far:

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    I cannot love evaporate water via solid to water any more than I do now.
    Last edited by gamophyte; 25th Mar 2018 at 03:24. Reason: image fix

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Hello, just a warning if you're still sub'd to this thread. I will be posting smaller crumbs of developing for this FM. That would mean more often and smaller updates, than say, what one might post to "What are you working on RIGHT NOW - T1/2 Dromed Edition" thread.

    For me, it helps my dev to share. I'm not expecting comments or feedback or anything, you may as you please, but it oddly keeps me more steady when I plan to share more often. For bigger updates with more complete scenes, I will post to "What are you working on RIGHT NOW - T1/2 Dromed Edition". And obviously feel free to unsub now if you're not a fan of this project and don't wanna get spammed


    Working on front stone bridge still. I had harsh bad poly errors with ever knowing why. I just trial and errored it until it went through 3DStoBIN finally. Even so there then was render order issues. I think I'm good now and, luckily it's just the front area, then the rest of the objects will be more cleanly made. I think a big part of the issues is how many arch-like openings there was in each section. Speaking of which, I made a top and bottom with narrow bboxes to make a gap. The player won't be able to tell as it will block them crouched or not, and mantling will pull you to the top object. I did this to allow the player to shoot though arches.


    These are the small things I think about, which adds tons more time to dev, but I want players to try weird things and be surprised that it worked. I won't be sharing any more of these details as to not spoil them.

    Lighting not final:

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: Argentina
    Impressive!

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkMax View Post
    Impressive!
    Hey thanks!

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2009
    Location: Pawtucket,Rhode Island
    A horror\exploration mission set in a castle that will be based off of a real world abandoned castle,that sounds awesome.Plus those models and textures look incredible.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxrebo6 View Post
    A horror\exploration mission set in a castle that will be based off of a real world abandoned castle,that sounds awesome.Plus those models and textures look incredible.
    Thanks Maxrebo! It is encouraging.

    Todays update: Did lots of things all over the place to shake it up and not get burned out. But mainly testing the method of using worldrep export into sketchup, then making arch details to bring back as an object. This is just a test right now, going to add more detail - but not bad just having stone made to color-match via photoshop. Doing the clocks this way as well as other detailed railing under windows. I am making a complete front area to show how it will be. then move onto the inside again.


    Ignore the grassy decal right now, it needs a "end cap" as it just cuts off right there as of now. I had one but it refused to get lit up, it was a black line there. I moved it up and angled it, nothing. I will work on it later. Or, just break up the line with actual tall grass. I hope bentraxx will share

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2009
    Location: Pawtucket,Rhode Island
    Is it weird for me to say that I actually like the grassy decal on the stone bridge because it further immerses me in the idea that this castle is abandoned for a while.

    It's falling into disrepair and nature is starting to take it back,and moss and lichen are starting to grow on the stonework,though I am intrigued to see what you have planned to stick in the space since the grass decal is a placeholder.

    I don't think I will ever cease to be amazed at what people working for free have been able to pull off in this engine even before a lot of obstacles were removed with Newdark.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxrebo6 View Post
    .....though I am intrigued to see what you have planned to stick in the space since the grass decal is a placeholder.
    Oh I may have said it wrong, I mean that is staying, and in fact it will look less repeating, and, will have tufts of grass poking up here and there - that are vertical objects. What I was saying is that, it's not final as in, there tufts are missing and the "end cap" is not made yet - the part that will continue under the front doors, so it doesn't just suddenly cut off.

    I don't think I will ever cease to be amazed at what people working for free have been able to pull off in this engine even before a lot of obstacles were removed with Newdark.
    You're telling me, I cannot believe the talent here. It is very inspiring, and I get excited seeing what people here have been able to pull off. I have some ideas that should work that will be new as well.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Nothing crazy this week to report, I wanted to do more but I need to get to some IRL stuff and R&R. I'm pushing to be more motivated to work on this after work, even if a little bit. It would make for better updates too.

    I had a lot of my to-be stone railing objects, as solid brushes, previously acting as stand-ins until I make them objects, sized up from the wr_export.obj. Just got done working on the balcony stone railings in the windows above the main door. Here is a over bright screenshot from outside looking in, and inside looking out. Ignore the floor texture it's just temporary.


    I changed the main chateau texture, sorry Nicked but I started to fall out of love with one I made from yours, though, I appreciate it. I may still use it for another place. The new texture was based on a previous in which I liked the brick size and arrangement, but was too craigy, like carved stone. I actually selected each brick and content-aware healed it in photoshop with a smooth sample bricks. Then placed in a grainy texture over it with a multiply blend to dispel all the blurs that healing can make.

    I think next I will jump to something fun and instantly gratifying like working on the sky deck, to avoid brush burnout. Cheers.
    Last edited by gamophyte; 27th Aug 2018 at 01:07. Reason: Grammer fixes

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Slow and coming; Been having fun making a newsky for the mission. I wanted something to set the mood as I build, but it's starting to be a distraction actually because I can't stop playing and tweaking it.
    I keep fighting between dark and stormy with haze or somewhat more parse and stars in the sky. I also may not make the moon glow png so pronounced. Might break it up more with a blur and maybe something like a moonbow that is visible behind the clouds. By the way, the moonbow/glow is another celestial body that is a but closer than the moon to the ground, so it acts like a corona of sorts. It's too bad animation isn't allowed for celestial body images, I really wanted a cumulus with lighting flashing in the background.

    Near the end of the mission build, when I have a feel how much it's slowing my rig - I think I am going to place a grid of "random but coherent" lights in the sky (top of the main air brush) over the whole chateau to emulate variable light as if the clouds have shadows, and the moonlight is wavering.


  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    MOONBOW!



    Edit: Yeesh, hold on lets see my frap settings and see if I can't get better quality.
    Edit2: Meh still banding look but I think it's my version.
    Edit3: Looks cool with roof textures. I have to dirty up the tiles in regions still.

    This shot is blown up in brightness per usual, but wanted the moonbow and roof more visible than it will really be. Distant art will be a dense forest, the town is just a placeholder.
    Last edited by gamophyte; 10th Sep 2018 at 01:53.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Working on tedious objects and the spire or vane tower (or whatever you would call it). Aside from this I did some important brush work, that is, now with certain brushes placed I feel better about the bigger scale choice and can foresee how other brushing is going to come together.

    Now remembering the vane rod was broken, I will go back to the model and break it, but here is source image vs ingame.







    Now seeing the color correction with less blue, I think I like the more whiter clouds. Will have to change my sky before releasing. But maybe not so bright, but it's nice for showing my moonbow effect.

    Edit: further away https://i.imgur.com/M4ntWFl.png
    Last edited by gamophyte; 16th Sep 2018 at 10:21.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2011
    Gorgeous!

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Portland, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by vfig View Post
    Gorgeous!
    Hey thanks! I was tweaking it today, adding the bell and the parts of wood that is falling off as separate objects. Plus now the rod vane is bent like it is in the source. Oh and little texture glitches. When objects behave it's awesome.

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