It’s time to shed some light behind the dusty curtains that cover the massive art department of Almost Human and take a look at some behind the scenes action. A lot of new shady creatures have been creeping around the studio walls and this time we’ll try to catch one of them. Be very, very quiet, we’re hunting Zarchtons. Zarchtons are one of the first monsters you’ll come across in the beaches of the Island. At first you’ll hear their croaking calls and before you know what hit, you realize you’ve been ambushed.

Zarchtons are amphibious creatures that are as home on dry land as in water, but they never leave too far from water, because they are dependent of water and need to dampen their skin from time to time. That’s why Zarchtons are usually seen around water, but that doesn’t limit to natural water sources. Overflown dungeons are also perfect environment for them too…

The origin of Zarchtons is highly debated topic in the Natural Science Department of the Nothampton’s University. Some say Zarchtons have evolved from fishes and some say they we’re originally land creatures that have moved to live partially in water. Sometimes Zarchtons are seen far in the open sea and they are often mistaken for mermaids. Being amphibious creatures, Zarchtons have both lungs and gills, so they can breath air and in water. Zarchtons have primitive culture system and they make use of resources from the sea to create clothing and accessories from shellfishes and other small creatures they hunt. Swimming in water and walking on land have developed Zarchtons’ leg muscles to enable them to take long leaps to help them hunt their prey and attack anyone coming to their territory…

What goes to actual development of the Zarchtons, the process was pretty standard stuff. We thought of some features and characteristics we needed in a monster and based on that data I started roughing it out. And this is what I ended up:

 
Then it was off to Zbrush to create the high resolution model using Zspheres as a base and just dynameshing the living crap out of it.

 
After the high resolution model was done, it was decimated a bit and exported to 3dCoat, we’re I retopoed and unwrapped it ending to around 6200 polygons. High resolution data was baked into normal map and rest of the textures were painted in Photoshop.

 
And finally, here’s a final posed model for Zarchton. I bet you’ll end up peeking under his skirt.

 

Monsters are an essential part of Grimrock’s dungeons and I thought I’d share some in-depth look at some of them. Legend of Grimrock features twenty unique monsters whose shape and size range from green jelly to… well, all you who have finished the game know to what. Here I have picked three of my favorite monsters that I enjoyed making the most and still feel happy about.

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Editor’s Note: For the next couple of weeks we are going to feature a set of articles that should shed some light on how Legend of Grimrock was made. The articles range from graphics and animation to sound design and programming. For gamers or hobbyists we hope to give you some idea what game development is about. If you’re a fellow game developer hopefully these articles will give you some ideas for your projects. Without further due, let’s give the floor to Juho! -Petri

Legend of Grimrock has a storyline running under its hood and to help it get it moving we needed an intro sequence in the beginning of the game. Naturally some fancy big money cinematic was out of the question, so we had to come up with some more down to earth type of solution. Pretty quickly we narrowed our options to still images with overlaid text. That was relatively easy and fast to do, but allowed more freedom for the player to watch the images and read the texts in his/her own pace. Intro sequences’ main purpose was to set the mood and setting for the game with the help of iconic tune by Stakula (which we talked earlier in here).

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One more week of work behind us, yay! That means that we’re one week closer to a finished game and to celebrate it, here’s a new desktop background image for you all! It’s a wider crop of a picture we teased you with a while ago.

This week’s update will be a refreshing mixture of a bulleted list straight from our version control’s changelogs and some of my freeform rambling! But I’ll keep the bullet point list rather brief this time by including only a single quote from the file commit comments:
“- Added bugs (LOL)”

Oh Juho, you’re so funny! :D
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A view of the towering Mount Grimrock on the Dearthfang Ridges in the outskirts of Theraen Empire.

Click the images to view full-sized.


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Countless years ago Uggardiands were summoned by powerful mages to guard the tombs of old kings. But as centuries turned to dust and once thriving civilization faded into oblivion still the Uggardians guarded the collapsed and rotten tombs of nameless kings that no one lived to remember. Uggardians were trapped and couldn’t return into their own plane of existence because the ancient summoning magic was still strong and chained them into their duty. The Summoners had died ages ago and they were the only ones with enough power so summon or release beings of Outer Realms. Still to this day Uggardians roam the endless tunnels and passages of Grimrock allowing no one to disturb the eternal sleep of their kings.

Concept art:

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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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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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Jun 302011
 

Hi and welcome to the Legend of Grimrock blog! This blog is about the development of a new awesome indie dungeon crawling game.

We’ll talk about the game in more detail in upcoming weeks while we’re working on it, but to whet your appetite down below is a teaser concept art by our very own talented Juho. This image is not just a gorgeous piece of art but I think it nails down what this game is all about: pure oldschool dungeon exploration, mindblowing puzzles and intense atmosphere in the spirit of classics like Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, Ultima Underworld and Arx Fatalis. These games were our favorites when we were kids and to me Dungeon Master is still one of the best games ever made. So our goal is to transfer the spirit of these old masterpieces and combine them with today’s technologies, gameplay innovations and graphics to bring them to this day.

But that’s enough for now. Stay tuned!

 

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