Wolves and Stone Tables

Well first of all, I added a new “About Katabasis” page (link is under the banner image), which has information about the game.

Also, beyondmarathon, who has been giving me some good comments after somehow finding what I wrote about Dear Esther, wrote an excellent post last week about player power in horror games, which I would recommend reading. It’s very similar to what I’ve been wanting to write about on the subject.

In other news, after pretty much every person alive said that my designs for Katabasis remind them of Myst, I finally decided to play it. I’m not that far yet, but I’m absolutely loving it. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to write about my initial thoughts soon.

And onto the Katabasis updates:

I’ve been spending most of my time working on the wolf creature. Textures might need some cleaning up, but it’s all rigged and I started animating. I did an idle and walk cycle, which I’ll probably post videos off some time when I’m not too lazy to do it. Here are some stills instead. I kind of didn’t want to show the wolf before the game is playable to keep them mysterious, but oh well. It’s awesome to finally see it in motion, especially with the tentacles. And this is pretty close to what it’ll look like in-game.

This morning/afternoon, I made the stone table referred to in the title. It took me about 4 or 5 hours to go through the entire process, from modelling to texturing and putting it in-game. Definitely could’ve cut that down, but I’m happy with how quickly I got it done, though I might go back and tweak some stuff. Not sure what exactly to call it; I want to call it a dolmen, which comes from the Breton word for stone table, but in common use it refers to ancient “portal tombs” which are  built like stone tables. That was the inspiration for this, but the tomb part doesn’t apply, and it’s much smaller. I guess it’s more of a sacrificial altar? It’s a thing with symbols and blood and stuff. The function is a little gameplay thing and to start introducing the symbols, which do have pretty important meanings. Obviously I haven’t worked on the environment around at all yet, pretty soon I’ll get some bushes and rocks and such in there.

I’m hoping to have a playable “demo” of the campsite area in two weeks. I just need to fix up the rig for the son, animate him sleeping and put him in, do some event scripting, and work on the mouse click interface that I’ve been working on. Basically it’ll be a simple version of the Penumbra/Amnesia style interface, where you can directly click on things to pick them up. So I guess more like the Source Enginge style E button item pick up. But anyway, I should be able to directly upload said “demo” to a page on here, so look out for that! Though obviously I’ll write a post when that happens.

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4 Responses to Wolves and Stone Tables

  1. Looking awesome! The stone table is right up there with the cathedral in terms of creepy atmosphere, although their very different environments, you’ve definitely got a consistent feel nailed down. From a gameplay perspective, the symbols are stand out enough that my (admittedly, game-trained) mind immediately starts thinking about how they can be used, and what they mean. Would really like to see a shot with a character model in it, once you have one rendered.

    The tentacle wolves are cool too – are they coming in as direct ‘enemies’ for the player character, or are they more atmospheric? (don’t answer if its all still under wraps – if nothing else, its nice to get some context for your site logo 🙂

  2. tylersnell says:

    Thanks! Working on getting a character in there right now, actually.. unfortunately had to go back and re-do some rather tedious parts of the process for the character. My school has a student show coming up, so I’m hoping to get this campsite complete so I can record a play-through to enter. Which means I’ll have a playable demo of it, too. Deadline is in 10 days.

    I’m actually still kind of undecided about the wolves. On one hand I want them to be more atmospheric, but on the other hand I’m finishing up the animation set and I’m really happy with it, especially the death, so I kind of want to show that off in the game. But I might I have a pretty good (secret) idea to get the best of both worlds…

  3. Sweet! I’d be really interested to see that recorded walkthrough, if you’re going to share it here after the show.

  4. tylersnell says:

    I’m hoping to put it on a page on here using Unity’s web player, so you should be able to actually play it!
    And I just realized that if the web player doesn’t work I can just post a download link.

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