Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Halloween 3

This is my third post on the Halloween module that I'm making for the Bouncy Rock campaign. Yes, it's the third successive week that I haven't been working on Faithless, but it looks like I will be able to finish the Halloween module by the end of this week. After that, I'll be plugging away at Faithless once more.

Although I've made several rooms for this module, I'm showing only a couple of in-game shots in this post. I'd like to keep the rest of my areas under wraps if only to retain some element of surprise for players.

The picture on the right is a view of the kitchen, one of the most important rooms in this game. Anyone who hopes to complete this module must know their way around a kitchen. Those who can't tell a potholder from a panhandler need not worry. There will be recipes scattered around the house, all of which will be simple to follow.

The design of this module is similar to those of adventure games such as The Longest Journey and Syberia. There will be several objects in the game that may be combined with each other to overcome various hurdles. Players may right-click items in their inventory and select the "Activate Item (Touch)" option from the menu. The player may then click any other item or placeable to combine the two objects together. For example, if PCs have a pot in their inventory, they can activate the pot and use it on the stove to put the pot on the stove. This simple action is one of a series of steps for PCs to open the path from the ground floor to the second floor.

Another type of puzzle involves interacting with placeables through dialog. The picture on the left shows an example of this type of puzzle. The puzzle shown in this screenshot is a lot easier than it looks. In fact, all my dialog-based "puzzles" really don't require much thinking. They are mostly there for ambiance, nothing more.

This brings me to the topic of cutscenes. I have quite a few of them for such a short module. There are only two areas in this game, but I have four cutscenes so far. I also have a fifth cutscene in the works. Each cutscene is brief, but they are all painstaking to create. I have to get the visuals, sounds, and timing of execution right. Without cutscenes, my module won't look particularly horrific.

Although I want my cutscenes to look frightening, I can't tell if they have that effect. Rather than being scared, I laugh each time I play my cutscenes. I once read that the creators of System Shock 2 could not tell if their game was scary while playtesting it. Perhaps it's impossible to find fear in something that is intimately familiar to you. I hope that players will have their adrenalin pumping like mad when going through my module. If not, I'll be satisfied if my cutscenes are worth a good laugh at the very least.


E.C.Patterson said...

Sounds like you're putting together something very sophisticated. Sounds interesting. What you describe now makes your mod completely distinct from ours, I assure you. :)

Indira Lightfoot said...

I think it looks frightening enough! More importantly, the screen shots look very nice and cinematic, you are certainly ambitious regarding your Halloween contribution, Elysius! And all the players will love you for it, I'm sure! :)

vendalus said...

Cool description. I'm looking forward to the finished game!

John said...

Good going..! I am excited and can't wait for your final Halloween module.