Montag, 30. April 2012

FPSC // Catathrenia Mai Update


I felt like doing a last reality grounded update on this. The leveldesign from this set on will be a lot more surreal

This is also the place where you receive the intro speech. I want to have an animated character here having a conversation with the protagonist..however, we all know what happens to naive ambitions a developer has at the start. I am very optimistic about this project though so you can expect a few extra goodies from me.

Thats pretty much it for this time.I won't blabber on about my project and bore everybody. He, who has a question shall feel free to ask whatever he wants.

The game has a budget of 85 € now. (I bought some videoeditting software and a few points for the GC store)

Future levels will be strongly inspired by one of my favorite painters: Salvador Dali!!


Review // Leviathan Crossfire : Revelation

Hey Internet!

Its time for another review. This time the Fpscreator title "Leviathan Crossfire - Revelation".

Revelation is actually a Alpha-Demo version of the game "Leviathan Crossfire" currently under development by DHK Games which you might now for the Indie title "Xarelok" which was in development for a long timespan but unfortunately got discontinued.

So lets look into this Alpha...promotional....techdemo...standalone. Whatever! Lets take a look at ...the Revelation.

Revelation is a preview tech demo for Leviathan Crossfire. It can be treated as a game on its own, though.

Thats what I will do. I won't be too hard on some minor issues as I have to say I am very impressed by this title, however, lets take a look at the description:

In a distant future: The Rakan Empire is secretly constructing the most powerful space ship ever below the surface of their home planet. However, a secret too oftenly cannot be kept for too long, and the insurgent inhabitants of the planet Nuvebia are already sending their special forces to enter and investigate the Rakan underground dockyard.

In LC Revelation players will experience the battle from the perspective of a Rakan soldier, equipped with a high-tech future assault rifle, who has to stop the Nuvebian invasion. For the Empire.

There isn't much revelation in revelation. The Nuvebian rebels will discover this leviathan spaceship (which we never see) in this underground complex...thats it. However, for a techdemo: Thats more than enough. So I can't go deeper into the "Rakan Empire" and its relation to "Nuvebia"...nor do I know what planet this adventure takes place on. All I know is that I'm corporal Trask and I got some performers of the bluemangroup to shoot in the face. Thats all I need to enjoy this alpha.

The synopsis above however has a part that just...pisses me off. "Hightech future assault rifle?"
That gun is a piece of crap that no serious military force would ever hand out to their soldiers.
The rate of fire is far too low and the recoil is a joke. I feel a lot like I handle a B.A.R. from 1917. Not a spacegun.

Even though I don't like the style. I can see that the gun is well modeled and animated. I'm not talking about that: I'm speaking of gameplay and handling.

Two Rakan Soldiers ready for combat.
The game opens up with a very impressive menu screen. You must know that I review this title from the perspective of an FPSC user. I will give you a statment for the average video game player below though. The text slides in the screen after a slightly amateur'ish designed image of a planet shows up. Color and layout remind of the menu screen of "Crysis" but I call coincidence on that one.

What follows is an awesome rendered intro sequence. The sequence shows a bunch of techno stuff and a rendered underground facility with some voice over. Music and dubbing is appropriate  but can be wonderfully campy at some points. Some of the voiceactors have a german (?) accent and are hearable younger people (I guess 16 to 20 years old). Their linedelivery however is better than in ...Twilight or your average B-Movie. I'm only bringing this up because some of the voiceacting shows some genuine talent and effort while some voices are just slightly out of place. This adds a lot to the "indie" charme of the game.

The introduction is also one of the better ones I've seen in an FPSC Game. I also enjoyed how it was visually coherent with the games visual style.

The visual style didn't connect with me. I see how it was crafted to work well in FPSC while still keeping a general good look... I just don't enjoy this bland grey/orange corridor scenery. It feels a lot like a set of star trek TNG. A bit soulless.

This however isn't my mainproblem with the visuals. My major issue with this is the spacesuit. The uniform thing... it looks utterly pathetic. Where other scifi games like Halo or Warhammer 40K also have some pretty unrealistic designs...their uniforms are usually full of scratchmarks and are colored different...the ones in Leviathan just look like action figurines from the 80's. I don't know...powerrangers or something. It also doesn't help that the Nurvebian's color theirs blue. (Wouldnt they color them orange if they would infiltrate a secret undergound did they get in there anyway?)
I have to add to this segment that I have been asked to design the spacesuits...and my designs where far less fitting for the setting! I'm stating a personal oppinion here...I do KNOW about the sheer amount of work to get these custom characters working like this.
If you like the design, you still have the major issue of proportions at your hands. Apparently, in the future everyone has short legs and large general: we are evolving to be midgets.

Well, maybe this will get me a role in the future remake of "the sinful dwarf".

  I think I've benn very negative on this little gem so lets dive into some of the good stuff.
Leviathan Crossfire flows very well. Following your commander through these hallways feels a lot more like in a studio-title than an indie game. It also takes you 2 playthroughs to notice minor flaws as everything is set-up very well and convincing.

I, however, am just glad to finally see an FPSC title where there is a real interaction between the protagonist and his officer in command. Your seargent follows you around and even supports you in firefights. Now there is a lot of "shooting the wall" involved..but screw it!! In fact: My AI companion even killed a hostile character (even though I have to add that he didnt react in the first conflict but this didn't annoy me at all.) It is noteworthy that the AI never seems to be in the way or stuck somewhere. It follows its path flawlessly...even though faster than its walking animation. ;)

3D Models of the environment are splendid. You can detect minor unwrapping flaws but hey! Who gives a fuck? :) While I have to point out that environment feels rather sterile and I don't really know the purpose of these huge empty hallways. It seems like a waste of space for an underground complex to have these large rooms without anything in them but thats just nitpicking. Pipes, lightobjects and boxes are well put into place and while it is very empty, it allows the creators to do large levels in fpsc. And THAT is quiet an undertaking. I really liked the computers and projectors in this game. They are my favorite part in this game. Especially the interactive computer is something I haven't seen in FPSC like this.

Now, since this is an Alpha version, I would concentrate on the actual firefights most as they feel too "FPSC'ish" Everything else is so well developed and crafted to be custommade...why having these jarring combats. The "shielded" enemies where already a good and interesting start so is the allies system. But you really have to work on the sound of the guns and enemies, impact of bullets and a so on. There is already a fairly natural response of characters to situations. Yelling "incoming" etc. makes everything feel a lot more intense.

In conclusion: Leviathan Crossfire is already winning in this techdemo. I will definately get it once its released and I recommend this to every single FPSC user out there.
Feel free to download this game if you are a lover of indie will have a few minutes of slightly campy but overall well executed fun. The average gamer will most likely not find a lot of joy in this game but since its it anyway!

Visit the developers website

Now if the developers aren't too pissed of my criticism...maybe I can get them to do a little interview with me



Mittwoch, 25. April 2012

FPSC // Catathrenia - April Update ²

Quote: "“Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you.”"

That quote doesn't quiet fit the storyline but its nice anyway.

Remember when I told you that I will explain the new storyline? Well...I still want to do that as I have 2 Catathrenia updates on the to-do list for this week. (yes! I have a to do list now). This also includes 3 conceptual drawings for this project.

Well, someone on this planet might have red my outcry review on my blog...and if you did, I stated that some clam should do a "moving" game in an old-footag-grainy movie style (instead of a boring slideshow). Why not being that clam? I think the style works very well with the game's ambitions. Make up your own opinion on some images:

(Remember that you can also play this game in prestine black and white)

User Posted Image

User Posted Image


Sonntag, 15. April 2012




Some of you might know that I take requests for FPSC Media and Models. A few weeks ago Bugsy requested a larger amount of Cyberpunk Models and some basic props for his huge cityscapes and rooftop levels. We talked about it and decided to work together on a big pack with tons of entities for a cyberpunk city.

If you are wondering what "Cyberpunk" is: Watch the movie Bladerunner.

I do all the models and graphics and Bugsy animates the weapons for this pack.

I can show you some early screenshots of the first couple of textured models. These aren't cyberpunk scenery yet and can be used in any kind of city level.

I'm sorry for the incredibly dull screenshots but as some of you might know: I don't have that much time lately

Simple ATM machines

Overpasses and simple streetlight

AC Systems for rooftops

This thread will be updated on regulary. I know it doesn't look like much for now, but I have some really funky props in the oven that will be shown soon.

Ideas, additional requests and feedback is warmly welcome and desired

Dienstag, 10. April 2012

FPSC// Catathrenia April Update 2

Constant development is the best development because it never stops.

I was jerking around with my entire shader collection to get a good ghost shader for hours...until I realised that the best ghost is done without any shader. Check out this image and see if you can see it creeping through the hallway.

Its not unlikely that this ends up being another hallway shooter. I really don't know.
We will all see once the full version is out there. I think this will be a 1.18 Release. So far I released something in every version since 1.14 (I think) so I don't see why skip 1.18.

You guys probably want to see some more screenshots, so here you go:

Sonntag, 8. April 2012

FPSC// Catathrenia April Update 1

I've had another full 2 hours this evening for Catathrenia. Well, its save to say that the final game won't blow anyones mind, but it will run solid and deliver some good mood and fun.

I also managed to get a good shader for my Weapons done. However, some firearms will get a different shader later on.

I made some images but I barely got myself around mapdesign. So yes! No big fat imageblocks like in the Shavra-Dead Frequency thread on the TGC Forums. I will get back on Shavra btw. big thanks to Bugsy! He has gotten some gears going in my head that should allow me to get the thing working now in 1.19

There are no more artifacts of the normalmapping or overshaded specular highlights on that book anymore. I spiced up the texture aswell because thats how I roll.

Freitag, 6. April 2012

Gallery // Vol 2 -{Vertical Leveldesign in FPSC}

If you know FPSC, you probably know why I think this is worth a blog entry, if not, then you are about to see a bunch of images you may or may not like.

Most FPSC Games are based on an absolutely flat level due to its limitations with the memory cap, the lag larger scenes generate on older computers and the Block based segment tool. Thats all stuff I had to concider designing this. Its not a tower more of an inverted tower as the structure was dug in the ground leading to windows only on the very top.

Its far from being a masterpiece but another rare thing you see in FPSC Games.

This is of course already very old work.

More recent (still old) work in this matter would be my "Shavra-Dead Frequency" which will be remastered in 1.19 sooner or later:

Yeah! I think I'll post some more on Shavra soon, guys ;)

Montag, 2. April 2012

Review: OUTCRY

I bought outcry blindly from a bargain bin being attracted by its cover artwork. So basically, like in my Dear Esther Review, I had no idea what the game was and what I was getting myself into. I noticed however that even though the game had a very dark coverartwork with some dude having steampunk-like metal stuff on his pale, emotionless face and very grim, dimly lit, yet very pretty screenshots on the back of the boxart it had a german USK rating of 6. This just means that you can buy this game if your 6 years old. Somehow I was a bit disappointed by that as it basically means that there won't be any horrorelements or creepy stuff in this game even though coverartwork and presentation makes you think there would be. Outcry or "Sublustrum" (original title) is the first game release of the russian developer team "Phantomery". Sublustrum is russian for "twilight"... if only I could put my finger on why they renamed it for the english and german release... :P

Also notice that I'm no native english speaking person so if this review lags good grammar you know what the fuck is going on.

So lets get into Outcry, shall we?
In Outcry, you play a writer who has come at your scientist brother's bidding to check out something he discovered. This is explained to you in a filmeffect heavy intro sequence. Notice how this sequence is not only very cheap but also very artsy and explains everything you need to know without yelling exposition at you or blowing stuff up as it happens in most big-budget titles. I really like this sequence and will probably make something in its style sometime around this year.

You can take a look at it here:

You will probably notice the slightly awkward english dubbing... I have to say, believe it or not, the german dubbed version was farbetter done and way more athmospheric. Get used to the scientists voice as'll hear it a lot... a whole fucking lot throughout this game.

The game starts in your brothers appartment and the first thing you'll notice (if you started as unprepared as I did) besides the"vignette filter" optics and bloomish-eeriee images is that it is not a realtime 3D game. This will be a real disappointment for the first couple of seconds as the visual style of the game is so damn awesome that if it would be a real 3D title, it would have been the best looking game ever. So yes! We are now playing a point and click adventure where you can move the camera around freely in a 360° ratio. 

The first thing I did was randomly wandering around the house clicking at things and seeing whats happening. Later in the game you will notice that thats the entire gameplay of this thing. Yes! There is no real sense of progress unless you finally found out what the hell to do. You might now probably think that I do simply suck at point and click adventures but that is not the problem. the problem is simply that there is no journal nor any on screen messages telling you what the current objective is. I like that in general...but in those story heavy adventure games where you get a complex story and a whole lot of information thrown at you (mindaltering drugs and soundcombinations, strange machinery in the living room, ancient cultures, foreshadowing, a missing brother, objects you dont really know what to do with) This might be a bit too much for the modern gamer where the usual mission is more or less to go to point A, Kill Person B and return Object C. In outcry, you don't get any main "questline" to focus on, no obvious hints or idiot proof explanations.
Another issue with this game is the lag of feedback wether you have just done something right or wrong. If you are tampering around with objects you sometimes dont even know if your action has done anything or not so you find yourself wandering around looking for changes that didnt even happen. The game does also waste a lot of your time as finding objects is more a matter of luck and clicking on everything on the screen than logic and perception. This becomes a bigger issue later on in the game where logic (which is a very important part of point and click adventures) gets completely abandoned and you are finding yourself in more surreal, dreamstate like levels. I for one found those visually fantastic and from time to time a bit frustrating to play through.

I find it a bit wierd that the great visual design of the first couple of levels get abandoned later on and a lot of the athmosphere is lost. That however is a matter of taste and you can decide for yourself.To sum it up, in the first part of the game you screw around with a lot of machinery to get your brothers personal-interdimensional portal thing rolling again and...well, go after him. I dont want to spoiler too much thats why I use this simplified form of sentences.

The journal entrys and latters and notes you picked up throughout the game so far pretty much prepared you to what happens now. You wander around in your missing brothers psyche and subconciousness (and not, that is not the same thing). This is well executed and gives you a rather unique dreamlike feeling... especially since such a concept has rarely been done without horror elements.

Adventure veterans will find themselves rather assaulted by the dreamworld puzzles as they are... completely abstract. I can tell you, I have a 140 IQ and didn't figure these things out (or what the fuck I was actually doing...and why??). I more or less went through this game by randomly clicking around until something happened. I had fun doing it though as I am a very illogical, spontaneous person. If you are more the logical, calculating type of guy you will find yourself loosing interest in this title very fast.

Be warned: the english translation seems done poorly but I found the german translation to be very well executed.

I haven't found the ending to the story to be completely statisfying...I somehow expected a bit more from it but well, it explained most things and was well done.

So what can I say about outcry? Its an alright adventure game with a lot of substance and innovative ideas but also a lot of flaws that drag it from being something great to being an okay game for fans of the genre. Everybody else will probably like the game's style but wont play on more than 2 or 3 hours as it can be frustrating.

Thanks for reading.

Sonntag, 1. April 2012


The basic idea of "Into the dark" has spawned in the austrian mind of Ivan Ertl around 1 year ago in a horror game contest. I made a game for that contest too you can find here.
It only made 2nd place due to incompetent judges. You can either agree with me or I may launch my foot up your rectum.

However! The flawed but fun one level game of Ivan quickly evolved in a full commercial title he develops with his guys from homegrown games. 
The folks that also made "Anderson and the legacy of cthulhu" (another FPSC title that had a larger release)


"You`re Peter "Pete" O`Brannon, a Private Eye. Sounds faszinating? It isn`t, trust me - unless you find it exciting to hunt down cheating husbands and lost dogs while living of cheap Chinese food in shabby motels. THAT would be what Petes job is all about - but luckily for him, he has a good customer paying his bills. It`s GlobalSecure Inc., one of the biggest insurance companies on the East Coast. More exactely, it`s Samantha "Sam" Miller who runs their investigation departement on insurance fraud. She`s tough, she`s intelligent, she`s better than Pete. By far better. But due to the companies Code of Conduct and some very nasty ethic rules, she`s prevented from taking, erm, "semi-legal" steps to gain essential information and proofs. That`s where Pete steps in - for 500 bucks per day + expenses + a nice 20% share of the money the company saves with whatever Pete finds out.

These 20% could be the winning ticket for a major lottery in the latest case Pete has been assigned to...." 

and later on there will be nazi zombies.

Don't we all want a 500 bucks a day job? If I would be a sociopath, I would be a mercenary or a pornstar or make popmusic for retarded teenagers... you know? Anything that pays well and you can only do if you dont have any moral-conciousness. But that is another story.


We got boobies. We got hookers. We got Zombies. We got Nazis. We got even Nazi-Zombies! We got puzzles, as this is an adventure. But this is also a shooter. And it is an RPG (at least in some special moments). This is really unique - and crazy like hell.
From the guys that have brought shame to the gaming world with "Anderson & the Legacy of Cthulhu", the next Game is closing in - and it`s an 1st Person Adventure with Shooter elements again. Now with 200% more madness and even more weird and wicked humor.

I know that this sounds a bit like they cram a lot of stuff in there without doing anything right. At least thats a bit what came out of most games that advertised their titles as mixed genres in the past. (just think of rise of the argonauts...wasn't that a piece of crap?) However, I do admire how they create all these concepts in FPSC. You need a shitload of creativity and dedication to even try this.
An insanity...

What? I can say that...they advertise this game like that " Now with 200% more madness and even more weird and wicked humor."

I always think whenever I had a good time watching a cheesy B-Movie: Why dont they make videogames with ideas like that... and I'm fucking glad people finally do it. So far: The result looks promising:

Adventure / RPG Shooter Hybrid Gameplay:

You can play the game as Adventure with RPG and Shooter elements or as Shooter with Adventure and RPG elements. Each level has at least two different ways to be solved, one focused on action, one on tinkering and puzzles. This is also reflected in the mission log.

This game even has magic this:

But you do probably know all that already... so you are probably here for the interview aren't you?

Well ... here you go:

1. Its been a while since the release of "Anderson and the legacy of cthulhu"... how did it feel to start working with FPSC again the first couple of days? How has it evolved?

I returned to a FPSC a few weeks before starting "Into the Dark", when I made a small promo game for the Colt 1911. The first feeling was similar to "coming home again", but after installing all the new updates and using some of the new effects it was more like "woha, what happened here ?!"

2. I heard that you are working with people who are very close to you on this game, how does that go (workflow, athmosphere, ...discipline :)) and is it a big discipline compared to working with regular team members.

I have some friends for freelancing tasks like video postproduction for cutscenes and sound production, right, the work with them is not that different from the one with the other freelancers. The biggest challenge is the work with my Girlfriend, who toke over the Art direction and 2D Art dept. after Peter Siedl left to Germany. On one hand its a great experience to work together on the game late at night and sharing ideas, the workflow is superb as we share office and flat, however, it gets hard when you have to urge faster work or have to criticize something.

3. You are working in gamedevelopment for a while now... how did that actually get started or better yet when was the point in your life where this really was something you would concider a job instead of a hobby.
I realized it when my father asked why the hell a german game magazine publisher had sent 500 D-Mark into his bank account. I was 11 then and had delivered a self-written C64 game to the Discmag of "64er" magazine.

4. I noticed that you may have another FPSC project up your sleeve, are you guys from Homegrown planning to release a couple of FPSC Based titles? (and...are there titles planned using other engines)
Yeah, I was asked if I want to make an Indie game based on the 2004 RTS "Highland Warriors". I told yes, as long as I can switch the genre and make a really educational Castle / Dungeon slasher evolving aroung the Scottish Independence Wars from 1284 - 1328. This will be a huge challenge as it WILL have huge outdoor battle scenes. You know that`s quite an announcement when it comes to FPSC.
On the other hand, I pay my bills more often by producing, polishing up and expanding games from other companies. So I`m familiar with many proprietary engines as well as Unity, Unreal 3 UDK e.t.c.

For own projects, I can`t tell what I`ll use in the future. As I have done many stuff with UDK, I realized it`s still more of a marketing tool to get you buying Unreal license full (to get the source access). Right now I`m looking curious at Unigine which looks interesting enough. I would leave FPSC temporary to do something cross-plattform.

5. Summing up the advantages of FPSC compared to other engines in 3 sentences?

Extremely fast prototyping possible.
Scalable and very good lightmap renderer.
Millions of tons of custom stuff and community code available.

6. Summing up the disadvantages of FPSC compared to other engines in 3 sentences. Cursing is allowed.

The Polygon limit is a bad, bad joke.
You hit the fucking Memory Cap on almost every level as son you try to make it sexy.
The kick-ass effects that are possible now drain performance like Bill the blood out of Sookie Stackhouse.

7. Will there be any characters in "into the dark" with austrian accents? I found that to be very entertaining in the alpha.

Erm - that`s an interesting question. I told "No Way" when I was asked, and the reaction was more dissapointed then relieved. So I tell that the MAIN chars won`t have austrian accents, but another char might have.
8.  Is "into the dark" a working title or do you plan to release the game under this name?

I have no Intention to change the title right now.

9. I noticed the massive script constructs you are planning to implement. (awesome things like necromancy). Is that running smooth or are you experiencing some lag/ troubles...or a classic FPSC: No response at all? (I admit, this is more personal interest)

To be honest, Necromancy was the easiest of them. Basically, you have an already died char laying as body on the floor. When you have the skill learnt, it will have a switch inside allowing you to perform the ritual. Upon doing so, I call activateused and destroy afterwards, the activated entity is the same char but alive and being an ally with a limited lifespan. Pretty obvious, isn`t it?
The scriptpipeline to LEARN necromancy is by far mroe complex, as the player will have to learn basic Latin ingame to understand the unholy books, which have to be obtained by...

...oh, wait, I`m spoilering!

However, on most levels, the memory allocated to script calls and their sound effects is ~ 200 MB

10. If you would have to sum up "into the dark" on the back of a dvd box... what would it be like?
"Into the Dark" is an innovative Trash-Comedy-Survivalhorror merging elements of shooters, adventure and RPG gameplay into something unique that is best played at night with lights out and sound turned on loudly. The deep storyline evolves in 12 different, challenging levels accompanied by several cutscenes and an always-present B-Movie charme in the tradition of "Evil Dead".


You can also play an alpha cut version which you can download here

so long, folks!