Howdy guys. As you may or may not know, I'm a game design student. The game I'm working on just now has a distinctly /x/ish flavour to it, so I thought I'd let you guys in on it. You can find out more about it over at my site, http://www.hyparc.net.
In Apartmental, you play as a character trying to uncover and exorcise hidden supernatural entities that are infesting your apartment. To banish them, you have to enter the Disquiet Hallways, a series of dark, gloomy labyrinths; however, these entities are also stalking the hallways, and if they find you, they give chase, causing your sanity to take a hard hit every second they've got their eyes (or lack thereof) on you. If your sanity falls to zero, your character goes irrevocably insane, and the game ends.
I'm aiming to have a playable demo by September 2012, and I'll need playtesters around then as well, so let me know if you're interested either by leaving a message here, emailing me, or sending me a DM on Twitter. For the time being, I'd be happy to discuss more details about the game or answer any questions if you're interested. ;D
No. 20439 - ZebusVampire - July 19th, 2012 - 9:02 AM
I just graduated with a Bachelor's in Computer Animation, going into game design. Just as constructive criticism I'd try to make your IP a little more original. It sounds a lot like Silent Hill 4 + Eternal Darkness mechanics.
No. 20440 - GoetIncubus - July 19th, 2012 - 11:13 AM
Yeah, I'm consciously aware of the comparisons that can be drawn between Apartmental, Silent Hill 4 and Eternal Darkness - in fact, I spent a long time considering whether it was a good idea to create Apartmental considering these comparisons could be drawn so easily - however, I think they're all different enough - and Apartmental is fun in its own unique way - that Apartmental merits its own title. I'll be the first to admit it's not cutting-edge original entirely non-derivative IP, but then, it doesn't have to be. Ultima, Wizardry, Dragon Age, D&D Online, Skyrim, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft and Guild Wars can be directly traced back to Tolkienesque fantasy (for good or for ill), but they're all enjoyable in their own right.
Undoubtedly a lot of that comes from the moment I found out Silent Hill 4 was originally a different game entirely - I spent ages wondering what that original game might have been like, and on a subconscious level, that could well have affected how this game developed. Similarly, I loved ED's sanity effects, but they're an entirely different mechanic than that from Apartmental - since they model the same real-life system and they're named the same thing, it's easy to conflate the two, but they operate differently in both games. I appreciate the critique though dude, so thank you very much. ;]
Yeah, I didn't want to come off as slamming it. And I don't want to sound teachy to you either, because I don't know what level of progress you're at either for sure. I'm sure you know, as an artist...that typically artists are kind of pricks in general. EVERY artist is self-righteous a tad, even if we don't want to admit it. In general I'm pretty hard to impress.
I constantly had the problem of being in class with people who I saw just re-using tired ideas. In this day and age basically everything has been done, it's just doing things in a different way. As a concept piece, I have no qualms with this, but if you were actually wanting it to be an original ip that you intend on pitching as a fully fleshed out game, I think you'd run into some problems.
You just need to ask yourself some basic questions after you put yourself outside of your own project. Things like why would I want to play this? What is the end goal for my audience/what message am I trying to send? What makes my idea stand out? At this point it is *too* similar to other things that have been done already, and done better by professionals. Don't take that the wrong way, the exact same sentence came out of my instructors mouth and I was like 0_0 but at the same time it was something I needed.
The most interesting thing to me is the 'tools' you describe. I find that idea very interesting. I'm not sure what program you're using, I'd assume Maya or 3DS, personally I was trained on one that is out-dated, but it's just what I use (Lightwave 10). I've you're ok with it I'd actually like to see some more stills of your models and setups. I can't tell if you're using stock stuff or creating it yourself.
My senior project was created as something I have never seen a project like. I'm an environment artist by choice, and I have a Holmesian obsession with creating environments as detailed as possible. I created a mental projection of a labyrinthine style environment I dubbed 'Asylum' that was sort of a re-creation of my own psyche as an environment, and I developed my own visual style to present it in a diffrent way. For me it was very biopic, I explored a lot of pieces of myself ans almost created it as an art therapy piece. A website for it is coming, but as of now I'm actually still getting my portfolio together.
No. 20442 - sacredcow - July 20th, 2012 - 12:46 AM
No. 20443 - GoetIncubus - July 20th, 2012 - 4:06 AM
I appreciate the insight, cheers dude. :] And yeah, I've been through the process (and am continually going through the process) of asking "what makes this game fun?", "what are its USPs?" and everything - as I said, I'm a game design student, so my entire course is predicated on finding out what makes games fun. I'm still just a student, and I'll no doubt make mistakes with this project (and every project after it), but I'm not completely fresh to the field.
Again, I'm not worried about the similarity to other games. It's something I've factored in to the process - with such little information about the game, let alone a playable demo, it's unavoidable at this stage that complaints of unoriginality will be made and comparisons will be drawn - the final game isn't as similar to SH/ED as you might expect, so I'm willing to shoulder that for the time being. At this stage, I've no plans to pitch it to a publisher - it's primarily self-expressive rather than market-led - so that isn't a concern either.