One thing that we both agreed very early on was that we wanted to involve the gaming community in the development of our first game. To us, that means being completely transparent and showing you all as much of the development process as possible. I've always felt the one mistake that a lot of new developers make is that they are too insular and don't listen to their audience.We are making this game for you, not ourselves. Your feedback will be essential in helping us deliver the awesome game that you deserve! Now on to the game....
Dark Deception(TM) is a new horror game being designed for multiple platforms. Initially, we are bringing it to Steam, Wii U, and tablets. We are also looking into making it compatible with Oculus Rift.
So why did we choose to go with a horror game? I will admit that I pushed for it. I am a huge horror fan and it seemed like a fun thing to do. Being scared is fun and I love games like Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Fatal Frame, Amnesia, Outlast, and Dead Space. However, we are just a 2 man team and we don't have the manpower to make a game of that scale. Mark and I sat down and asked ourselves, what can we realistically make? We don't have a ton of funding and we can't really spend 1-2 years working on one title. We also wanted to avoid having to make a mobile game that catered to popular trends right away. In this case, we looked for inspiration from the classics -the games we grew up with. We chatted about fun NES and Atari games that we might be able to revamp/modernize and could also be made quickly. One of the first games to be brought up was Pac-Man. I always loved Pac-Man growing up. It was probably the only video game that I could get my parents to acknowledge and play. Pac-Man has always seemed a bit like a horror game to begin with. You're a big head with a huge mouth running around a dark maze eating pellets and devouring helpless ghosts. After some back and forth, Mark found this image online and showed it to me.
Dark Deception(TM) began development in Unreal 3. After a couple weeks the build was looking decent, but neither one of us had enough experience with Unreal to solve some of the obstacles we were running into. Learning their scripting language and figuring out the engine at the same time was taking its toll.
Here's the first peek at one of our stages in Unity - the hotel. Every level in our game will different. This level is still being developed and several assets have not yet been added. At this point, the UI is almost non-existent and what is there is very rough. Enemies and items are also not populated throughout the level yet. When designing the levels, I looked at classic Pac-Man maze designs and analyzed what made them fun and which areas could be improved. Pac-Man levels are typically symmetrical and smaller in size. For me, the thrill of Pac-Man is the balance between all of the sharp corners/tight turns and the long, straight lanes. I wanted our environments to reflect that as well, only on a much larger scale. In Pac-Man, you have four ghosts chasing you. As you progress through our game, we up the ante on that a little bit ;).
We are also very fortunate to have obtained the audio services of Chris Pinkston through a friend. Chris has been involved in a ton of AAA games that I am sure you are all familiar with. Just check out his awesome credit list on IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1170962/). He has been cranking out some awesome tracks for the game so far.
Lastly, here is a glimpse at the enemy for the this stage - an evil little bellhop toy monkey. This is simply a viewport capture from Maya. He's quite friendly and, just like the ghosts from Pac-Man, he will pursue you - out of love ;). All joking aside, our AI is a bit better than the ghosts in Pac-Man. We are striving for intelligent reactions, movement, and unique attack patterns for enemies in each level. So far, so good...