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1  General / Check this out! / Re: To Burn in Memory - Interactive Fiction on: October 03, 2015, 05:44:18 pm
And, it's out!

You can find it here:
2  General / Check this out! / Re: To Burn in Memory - Interactive Fiction on: August 29, 2015, 06:56:14 am

Really happy the game is in a stage where I can post screenshots. Still need to put a little more work into the engine before I'm happy with it, but totally on schedule.
3  General / Check this out! / Re: To Burn in Memory - Interactive Fiction on: August 16, 2015, 02:26:06 pm
Just an update to say I've hit the half-way point in writing this! New post coming very soon, along with new music.
4  General / Check this out! / To Burn in Memory - Interactive Fiction (Released!) on: August 11, 2015, 01:38:40 pm
Just thought people here might be interested in my latest project: (Moving hosts, but this link should work fine).

5  General / Check this out! / Re: For Each Our Roads of Winter on: October 09, 2014, 09:16:07 am

I've tried to put the story out there the way people will experience it ingame, testing the waters to see what people will intuitively get, what they won't and what they'll do research into to figure out. So yea, it's all cryptic out there right now. But essentially, the backstory is centered around the cultural conflict of three nations in an alternate, industrialised, 6th century Europe, told from the perspective of the increasingly megolomanical monuments of the crumbling Roman Republic (Still, barely). Think what newly industrialised Europe was doing with their newfound construction ability, then give that the focus on posterity of Roman monumental architecture. If you look through the screenshots, hopefully you'll notice two distinct architectural styles. I'm still working on the third, but it'll be a little harder than the other two.

Oh, and not everything on my Powerless Inquisitor twitter is Winter related. I'll be tagging further tweets, but in the meantime:
6  General / Check this out! / Re: For Each Our Roads of Winter on: October 06, 2014, 09:39:33 am
Apologies for the presskit style first post, I have a central template that I can easily distribute around and update easily. Hopefully it gets the point across though!

Anyway, since this isn't the general public I'm more than happy to talk work in progress concepts. goes into a little more depth, though it's outdated. One thing I'd like to discuss here would be best ways to get the story across. I have a narrative world, characters and backstory almost ready to go; locations I'd like the game to follow over a 5 act structure, but as I'm not sold that architecture alone could tell the story. The more traditional ways of doing this: audio logs and character animations, I'm not sure entirely jive. Audio logs don't seem to gel well here, even though I love games that use them, and animated characters are extremely difficult and costly to do well, even though I'd have at max 15 mins of them in total, it just seems a mammoth task. Any thoughts?
7  General / Check this out! / For Each Our Roads of Winter on: October 06, 2014, 09:30:16 am

'For Each Our Roads of Winter' is an episodic exploration game in which you will uncover the secrets of a past that never was. Played from a first-person perspective and tuned for Oculus Rift VR Headsets.

From the developer of 'Hunting Anubis', 'Xaxi ' and the Ludum Dare winning 'Lumiere'; inspired by the disparate worlds of Cyan Worlds ('Myst', 'Riven'), Ice Pick Lodge ('Pathologic', 'The Void'), Piranesi, Étienne-Louis Boullée, Borges, and featuring a unique real-time photorealistic visual style powered by Unreal Engine 4, combining elements from both modern photography and the works of antiquity.

> To be available for PC, Mac and Linux.
> Price and Release Date to be announced when ready!
> Currently at a Pre-Alpha stage of development.

| First Teaser Trailer : |

Development Log: Here | Additional high-resolution images (Available for Press use): Here
A taste of the narrative: Here | My musical soundscape that I'll be putting to work for this project: Here

-> Orihaus :: Design, Code, Writing, Modeling, Graphics, Environments | Based in New Zealand
-> threeWiseMen - Johannes Poell :: Graphic Design | Based in Austria
-> Additional Thanks to: Tumult for UE4 support.
8  Creation / Technology / Re: 3D tribulations on: October 06, 2014, 09:08:43 am
I'm getting a lot out of using largely automated processes in modelling, it's slightly (And in some ways, significantly) less optimised, but doubling the modelling speed and freeing me up to make large changes at any point is very worth it. Plus, I never even have to think about UVs. Here's a breakdown if it's of any use:

- First the model is created parametrically with splines in Cinema 4D using largely standard processes. I personally prefer spline-based modelling as it allows extensive tweaking without worrying about having to redo large sections of the model.

- The model then has it's UVs and relevant texture maps baked out automatically inside Cinema 4D (Auto generated UVs are far, far less optimised then hand made UVs, however since I'm doing this project alone I can't factor in the time needed to make these) and is sent to Quixel Studio's excellent DDO, a procedural texture generator.

-The maps generated by DDO are then imported into Unreal Engine 4 and used as masks to blend between multiple world space aligned materials. More info on this process,

-The model is then placed in the world, and assembled along with other meshes built with the same process, into the structure seen here.
9  Creation / Notgames design / Re: A little bit of beauty.... on: July 22, 2012, 01:22:47 pm
I totally agree that this is something we rarely see in games, and there is a obvious reason as for why we don't. How often is it that 'beauty' is something that a developer actively sets out to make? A typical AAA studio's understanding of it is simply 'nicer foliage shaders' or '4096x4096 grass textures'. And your right, Sword and Sworcery really gets it: "Small pieces of beauty for you to discover through the exploration of the world." is exactly what Superbrothers set out to achieve, and they pull it off. A real sense of place is something that games are so uniquely capable of, and yet it is something developers so rarely achieve to the medium's potential. In AAA land, some parts of Half Life 2 come to mind though as achieving it. Half Life 2 Art Director, Viktor Antonov really knows his stuff, and I'm hoping to see him pull it off in Dishonoured.

Apart from Sword and Sworcery, there are a lot of indie games that set out to create the same type of immersiveness. Nifflas has been making them for almost a decade now, and I'm kind of surprised to not see his name pop up so much here. Knytt is a good place to start, and the only latest work of his that hasn't nailed it is FiNCK, which was the only one not designed with immersion explicitly in mind. Another not mentioned here much would be the Japanese oddity Yume Nikki. It flails around in the dark a lot, but occasionally hits its mark, look for the Docks and the Rooftop. Also very much of note, the bizarrely massive popularity of Yume Nikki with the 'chans has spawned a incredible amount of fan-games, almost a genre of its own, all of which could be considered Notgames. Maybe we should start a topic about this, it's pretty relevant no? Is a directory of the bigger ones. Note that the larger fangames like Yume 2kki have hundreds of areas, by dozens of contributors. Sadly, none of the fangames even come close to the original, and like I said, the original is far from perfect. But with an entire scene dedicated to making exploration notgames, its only a matter of time. I hope.

And finally: The Void. Oh, and how can I forget Outcry, a modern Myst 'clone' that really gets it:
10  General / Check this out! / Abattoir - First Person Exploration on: July 16, 2012, 07:56:59 am
Hi, I'm working on something that would probably go under the Notgames banner. Abattoir, is a short single player exploration game similar to Knytt and Fez, only First Person. So far it's pretty close to Kairo, and as I'm making it it's becoming less Knytt and more Myst. Single player, so I'll upload Alpha builds when ready! Does anyone have any ideas and suggestions as to new directions to try out in the exploration game genre? I'm liking how Bientôt l’été gets so much out of such a small place, hoping to do something similar!

I've uploaded a few concept renders and screenshots here:
Follow me on twitter for more updates:
TIGSource Devlog here:
11  Creation / Reference / Re: A history of not games on: July 08, 2012, 11:16:38 am
I'd definitely consider Myst as one of the pivotal games of this movement. Despite Myst having 'gameplay', it did class environmental storytelling and atmosphere over it, and indirectly created a swarm of likeminded clones. Most have been thankfully forgotten, but there are a few that really embody the whole idea of notgames. They were so weird, even William Gibson ended up using them in his 1996 novel Idoru:

"He didn't answer, watching as his view reversed. To be maneuvered down a central hallway, where a tall oval mirror showed no reflection as he passed. He thought of CD-ROMs he'd explored in the orphanage: haunted castles, monstrously infested spacecraft abandoned in orbit. . , . Click here. Click there. And somehow he'd always felt that he never found the central marvel, the thing that would have made the hunt worthwhile. Because it wasn't there, he'd finally decided; it never quite was, and so he'd lost interest in those games."

Peter Gabriel's EVE: Seems like Peter Gabriel used his pop culture status to band together a ton of disparate artists, to create a 'Interactive Multimedia' game. Sounds like a nineties term for a notgame!

Welcome to the Future: This one is so obscure that there isn't even a gameplay video on youtube, just the intro. I tried to at least make a recording so it wouldn't be totally forgotten, but video recording tools seem to fail to see through the layers of emulation I needed to run it. A few screenshots and info here: Mostly noted for having an option to make all the gameplay optional.

Eastern Mind: Probebly the weirdest of the lot, and rumoured to be in development pre Myst. By the same guy as LSD: Dream Emulator.
12  Creation / From the ridiculous to the sublime / Re: Citizen Kane of videogames on: July 08, 2012, 10:50:12 am
Think about the situation in which Citizen Kane was developed:

A production crew of expert craftsmen eager to try out innovative new techniques teams up with an accomplished auteur and his skilled theatre company, both completely new to the medium of film. This group is given $16 million (2012 dollars) and 100% creative control. They won't even show the film to the funders at all until it is completely finished.

If you can recreate that situation, there's a chance.

Sounds like exactly what happened to Warren Spector with Deus Ex: Heard Deus Ex called the Citizen Kane of video games quite a few times!
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