Let’s talk a bit about designing and concepting our tunnels. Before we had fully planned our little project I started thinking what it would look like. At that point I only knew that we were going to do some darkish fantasy dungeon crawling game. All the options were still hanging in the air. Was it going to be some kind of open world game or tunnel runner? Is it in 3rd person or 1st person? What about the movement? Does player play single character or a group?

I tried not to think too much of the open questions or restrictions and just decided to let loose. It’s kind of hard because in back of my head I know that whatever I draw or paint I have to translate into 3d in some point. So every time I’m painting awesome giant statues pouring magma over some ice sculptures of little kittens in dense forest, the 3d artist inside me is crying big sad tears. Anyways, I started to concentrate on the mood, feeling, colors and scale of the dungeons, not trying to think too much what kind of gameplay the concepts would depict. Obviously the images doesn’t resemble the current game that much, but they helped a lot of finding out what would work and what was cool and what was total shite. With these images our team got a grasp of the feeling and style of the dungeons and we started to “talk the same visual language” which is really important in every game project.

Enough with this typing. I think I’ll go back to Zbrush sculpting our new cool monster. Maybe I’ll do another post of it someday ;) nudge nudge wink wink. Go on and check out bigger images by clicking the pics.

Bam! Behold. Images.
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Every CRPG needs champions and Legend of Grimrock is definitely not an exception: instead of just one player character, you control a party of four prisoners trying to escape the vast labyrinth of tunnels built into Mt. Grimrock, a ruthless, desolate and impossibly high spire of a mountain where criminals are committed to exile until they either perish or prove by escaping to be innocent of their crimes. Needless to say, no-one has ever survived and escaped from Grimrock.

We’re planning to create a bunch of interesting characters for you to choose from, each with their own specialities and quirks. For experienced players the selection of a good mix of characters is itself part of the gameplay. We’re going to extend the character roster gradually while developing the game and we thought it was time to introduce a few of them, so say hi to our first four prisoners!

Contar Stoneskull, a legendary fighter from the North Reaches and a child of the nature, his skill with the sword is only surpassed with his compassion towards the poor and unfortunate. He got his name after a mud golem smashed his war helmet into shards with an earth shattering blow. Maybe the gods were with him that day, or he was just exceptionally lucky (Contar is not a particularly religious man) but he survived that day. He is traveling the lands with his wife who is also an adventurer. Contar has high strength and dexterity ratings but he’s not that suitable for spell-casting classes.

Yennica Whitefeather, Contar’s wife, is also a skilled fighter, but instead of relying on pure strength like Contar she favors bows and lighter blades. Yennica’s family is wealthy and well respected and she’s actually a member of noble house Valindor which she tries to desperately conceal. Her family despises her after she ran away and got secretly married with the love of her life, Contar whom her dad sees as a filthy barbarian. Because of this Yennica is ashamed of her family and would like to leave that part of her life behind her. Though Yennica never admits it she’s more intelligent than Contar (and therefore more eligible at magic if she ever chooses to learn the Art) and more dexterious which is advantageous with rogue skills.

Mork is an eight feet tall Minotaur from far away Namaer, land of endless plains to the south. Mork hardly ever speaks because he, like other minotaurs, think its better to make his actions speak for himself. Mork is not really his real name, actually Minotaurs do not refer to each other by names, but his human companions call him Mork and he doesn’t mind. His friends sometimes joke in hushed tones but in good spirit about the name resembling ‘Dork’ but they never dare say it to his face because Minotaurs are known for their temper and sudden blasts of rage. Mork has an incredibly high strength rating so he does more damage with his fists than a normal man with a sword, but magic is completely out of his comprehension.

Sancsaron the Wry is a dropout from mage academy of Des because of violent behavior and a devastating incident that caused the death of two young apprentices. He is a dark spirit who cares more for his tomes and scrolls than his so called friends. He dreams of a day when he’s powerful enough to rely on his craft alone. Until that day he has got to act civilized and pretend to be nice so he can use his friends as meat shields. His true purpose in traveling the lands is to find the fabled Orb of Zhandul which is rumored to hold almost limitless god-like magical powers.

 

Ogre Animation RigHey, here’s a behind the scenes video showing how a lifeless lump of polygons is transformed into a moving creature! And in this case, a creature that likes to bash some skulls in! All you need is just a little animation witchcraft.

 


 

 

And in the dark corner of deep dungeon, towering almost ten feet tall and weighting just under 10k triangles. He puts D as in danger into the dungeon. He’s big and he’s mean. When he starts bashing you with his stone hammer it’s definitively hammer time. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Tunnel Ogre!

Concept art:

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The first video for our game Legend of Grimrock.

 

If you’re just dying to know who are the geniuses behind a masterpiece of such grandeur as Legend of Grimrock, this post is for you! Almost Human Ltd. is a Finnish indie game studio founded in the beginning of the year 2011 by four foolhardy game developers with loads of games industry experience but close to zero knowledge of entrepreneurship. Our office is in Matinkylä, Espoo, in the bottom floor of an apartment building. It’s a nice and quiet (and super cheap!) location and the previous tenant of this office apparently was involved in some sort of indoor agricultural project and if you want to commute to work via horseback it can be arranged since we are situated right next to a horse stable.

In the beginning, we kicked things off by doing work-for-hire style jobs for other Finnish game companies but now we think we are ready to tread the waters by ourselves. Or actually that’s been going on for the last few weeks already and, despite getting our feet seriously wet, the deeper waters seem mighty inviting still! That is not to say that we won’t do some odd jobs on the side occasionally but our primary focus is definitely on our own games from now on. But we’ll have to wait and see if this thing takes off. If you want to help us out on our quest, just tell your friends of the game or post on a forum that you go to or bake a cake with the name of the game on the frosting or something. Anyways, now we need to venture onwards to discover the secrets of the individual developers behind Legend of Grimrock! Continue reading »

 

Check out the first screen shots of our game Legend of Grimrock! What do you think? Feel free to comment.

 

If you’ve found your way into this blog, you should be interested in what the game is all about. Legend of Grimrock is a fantasy game loaded with underground adventuring, tricky puzzles, combat and role-playing elements. In other words, it’s a dungeon crawl game.

It’s a genre that a lot of people consider old fashioned since nowadays there are huge open world RPGs filled to the brim with stuff like customizable horses, several-hundred-page scripts for subplots alone and, uh, talking dragons or spaceships I think. But we feel that some of the simple charms of dungeon crawl games have been forgotten and for no good reason too. To many, it might feel silly to make a 3D game in this day and age that constrains itself to grid based movement and environments but it actually works rather nicely when you think of combat as a game of tactics and timing. It works very well when designing puzzles too, which is an element we feel is very lacking, and in some cases completely absent, in modern RPGs. And, possibly most importantly, it also makes it possible for a small team of four developers to make a rather sizeable game!

Obviously it won’t have the same mainstream appeal as many big budget RPGs, but when you don’t have too much money you can afford to make niche games. And I’m not even joking! It’s pretty darn expensive to compete with the industry giants in their own game (ha!), so why not play the game by your own rules? That being said, we do hope that we can attract some players new to the genre too. After all it is a nice genre. It’s just that its fans have not been treated very well in the past, uhh, ten years or so… But we are doing our best to ease their plight!

So. Legend of Grimrock is a dungeon crawl game. It will be influenced by oldschool games of the genre but it won’t be a game that would have been possible to make fifteen years ago. It will look great, have loads of atmosphere, sound good and play well. We won’t be making many promises during the development since things will often change down the line, but those aforementioned parameters I can pretty much guarantee. And lastly, we’re hoping on bringing this game for iOS, PC and Mac and possibly some other platforms as well.

 

Hi! This post isn’t actually game project related, but we thought it would be fun to share some behind the scenes footage. Enjoy!


 

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