Old Skies - time travel adventure by Wadjet Eye! (DEMO AVAILABLE!)

Started by Dave Gilbert, Fri 01/04/2022 23:14:51

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Dave Gilbert

Been working on this for a year so figured an In Production thread was due!

Wadjet Eye is super proud to present: Old Skies!



Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqhuyKIy9-U

Story
Time travel is real and history is up for grabs! Playing as Fia Quinn, a time agent for the ChronoZen agency, your job is to keep close watch on seven travelers who have the desire (and the bank accounts) to sightsee in the past. Some are simply curious. Others have unfinished business to resolve. And they've all put down a lot of money for the trip, so it's vital that you keep them happy while ensuring they follow the rules. But what could go wrong? It's only time travel, after all.

Written & Programmed by: Dave Gilbert
Backgrounds and sprites: Ben Chandler
Music: Thomas Regin

Features
•    Seven time periods to explore, from the speakeasies of the Prohibition era to the vicious gangs of the Gilded Age to the World Trade Center on September 10, 2001.
•    High resolution 1920x1080 graphics. (That's three times higher than Unavowed!)
•    Puzzles that require temporal thinking to solve.
•    Death! You CAN die in this adventure game, but time travel means you can try again. And again. And again.
•    Musical score by Thomas Regin, the composer for Unavowed and the Blackwell series.
•    Professional voice acting with Wadjet Eye's largest cast yet.

More news as it comes!










heltenjon

This is looking extremely good, and sounds like it will be very fun to play!

Cassiebsg

There are those who believe that life here began out there...

AndreasBlack

Looks promising. The art improved a lot from previous games(!) nice with a highres Wadjet Eye game feels like a natural transition to be honest!
I'm always up for some time travelling 8-)

Dave Gilbert

Quick little sizzle reel of some of the game's animations:


newwaveburritos

Very exciting!  Big time travel fan so this is a natural.  Good luck with production!!

eri0o

The graphics look SO GOOD!!! Also, so many different ways to die! I appreciate the incredible variety!  :-D

Snarky

Looking gorgeous. It's clear that Ben has really upped his game on character art/animation. And I really like that you are exploring different (story) genres in the same universe. I have hopes for the temporal puzzles!

cat

Babysitting rich people doesn't sound too exciting, but temporal puzzles sound awesome! Ben has really improved his animation skills  8-0

Rik_Vargard

This looks so beautiful and I love time travel stuff!  (nod)

SarahLiz

WOO-HOO!!!!

...and I'll leave it at that.  :)

Michael2968

Looks like this is going to be a great game. I am really looking forward to playing it when it is released.

Hobbes

Wow - this is looking absolutely phenomenal!! Getting very strong Broken Sword-esque vibes from the art and animation style. Would be curious how long a single background takes in this resolution compared to the lower-res stuff. Unavowed was already a significant step up, this is... impressive! Working on Nighthawks art must've helped?

selmiak

now that is very interesting! Great art and a compelling story, lessgo! ;-D

stu

This looks great.

Love that 'death' animation, revealing the car headlights behind her when she collapses. Very nice!


Dave Gilbert

Quote from: stu on Thu 14/04/2022 11:58:34
This looks great.

Love that 'death' animation, revealing the car headlights behind her when she collapses. Very nice!

Total accident! The headlines are coded to flicker at random intervals. It's just a coincidence that they flickered at just that moment!

ThreeOhFour

Thanks all! Definitely been pushing myself to try and bring my work into HD res and not feel so stiff & awkward. A ways to go, but overall pretty happy with my progress.

Quote from: Hobbes on Sat 09/04/2022 05:30:54
Would be curious how long a single background takes in this resolution compared to the lower-res stuff. Unavowed was already a significant step up, this is... impressive! Working on Nighthawks art must've helped?

It usually takes 2-3 days per scene. Much longer than low res, where I can usually do a scene per day, but a lot of that isn't so much the actual time spent drawing as it is time spent laying everything out. To get this background style to work I have to have everything broken up into lines & flats layers, and then everything broken up into layers beyond that. In low res I'd just paint everything straight onto a single layer. So a huge amount of the time is spent on layer management, which is quite awkward and obstructive to my natural approach. Necessary, though, while I was able to make some decent scenes in this res and style with a single layer, it wasn't able to be consistently replicated, which is definitely a problem in a game with dozens of scenes!

And yep, Nighthawks did help, to some extent! It normalized the use of 3D as foundational layouts for my scenes, which I do in every scene in Old Skies. And working at 4k resolution kind of cured me of my fear of working at 1080p res! :D

newwaveburritos

Thanks for taking the time to write a bit about your process as I'm always curious about such things.

Nowhere Girl

Looks ay-may-zing.  :shocked:
But... 1920x1080 is my screen's resolution. Does it mean that I will be unable to efficiently play the game in windowed mode? :( Or will a slightly shrunk redolution be available as well? Remember that 1920x1080 is a lot, not everyone has such big screen...

And no travel beyond the Prohibition era? That's not very far away...
Will the 1960s, the hippie era, be available as well? If I was to travel in time, than probably there...

Dave Gilbert

Quote from: Nowhere Girl on Sun 01/05/2022 17:11:36
Looks ay-may-zing.  :shocked:
But... 1920x1080 is my screen's resolution. Does it mean that I will be unable to efficiently play the game in windowed mode? :( Or will a slightly shrunk redolution be available as well? Remember that 1920x1080 is a lot, not everyone has such big screen...

I've tested it in windowed mode and it looks fine when set to "linear interpolation". Nearest Neighbor looks terrible. :)

QuoteAnd no travel beyond the Prohibition era? That's not very far away...

Earliest era planned is the Gilden Age, which is the 1870s.

QuoteWill the 1960s, the hippie era, be available as well? If I was to travel in time, than probably there...

Sadly not in this one!

Crimson Wizard

Quote from: Nowhere Girl on Sun 01/05/2022 17:11:36
But... 1920x1080 is my screen's resolution. Does it mean that I will be unable to efficiently play the game in windowed mode?

Not sure if relevant in this case, but 3.6.0 supports "borderless fullscreen window" mode, that makes switching in and out simplier and more stable than in regular fullscreen.

Nowhere Girl

Quote from: Dave Gilbert on Mon 02/05/2022 16:20:21
it looks fine when set to "linear interpolation". Nearest Neighbor looks terrible. :)
Ugh... and what is linear interpolation and nearest neighbour? :confused:
Quote from: Crimson Wizard on Mon 02/05/2022 16:37:55
Not sure if relevant in this case, but 3.6.0 supports "borderless fullscreen window" mode, that makes switching in and out simplier and more stable than in regular fullscreen.
Ugh... and what is borderless fullscreen? :confused: Seriously, I've seen the term many times, but I don't know how it looks like...

Dave Gilbert

CW can explain the fullscreen thing better than me, but I am referring to this:



Nearest neighbor keeps the sharp pixel look when expanding the resolution, but if you LOWER the resolution it can produce some very unpredictable results. So for a high res game like this, linear interpolation is better. It softens out the edges and looks better when shrunk down.



In these screenshots, I've shrunk the window to about half the usual size. Left side is nearest neighbor, right is linear interpolation.

Snarky

Borderless fullscreen just means that the game covers the whole screen without any window borders and with nothing else visible (such as the start menu or other UI elements from the desktop).

The difference between that and "regular fullscreen" is that in borderless fullscreen it's just a window on the desktop that covers up the whole screen, while in "regular fullscreen" the operating system goes into a special mode where it changes the screen resolution to the game resolution and more or less "forgets" about the rest of the desktop, with the game running separately from it. This means that any time you switch between the game and the desktop, the system has to switch in and out of this mode, and this can cause problems (because it can't quite recreate all the graphics correctly, or because it freezes up as you switch back and forth). That also makes it difficult to switch the game between fullscreen mode and windowed mode.

"Regular fullscreen" is the older way to do it, but borderless fullscreen is probably a better way to do fullscreen for most players nowadays. Really the only reason not to would be if the graphics look fuzzy or wrong in borderless fullscreen because of how the scaling is done, or possibly for performance.

Dave Gilbert


eri0o

So many pixels! Yey! I love the animated details in the backgrounds! :)

Dave Gilbert

OLD SKIES HAS A DEMO!

We have released a small demo of our time travel game, Old Skies!

It's only available to play during the Steam Next Fest event, which ends on June 20th. So play while you can!

Some details:

- Has ~40-60 minutes of gameplay
- Full voice acting
- Available on PC, Mac, and Linux
- Has commentary and bloopers (yes I went a bit overboard)
- It's about TIME TRAVEL

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1346360/Old_Skies/

heltenjon

I played the demo twice, with the commentary enabled the second time. Very cool to get a look behind the scenes like that, although I didn't get the reference about why Rhona Foster had to have been named before the pandemic. Or is it that it may sound like Co-Rhona? I would never have thought of that, but maybe it's a short form pronounciation in the English-speaking countries?

Anyway, lovely scenery, outfits, animation, story...fun to play! I'd say you've made the right decisions about gameplay when you decided to let Fiona use the computer interface, but not have to type all the search parameters. Honestly, I prefer when games/the characters remember stuff for me and I don't have to scribble it down on a paper. When you've figured out what to do, the puzzle is solved, and I don't want to be bothered with spelling the name correctly or using caps or not.

I also want to point out that this is a great example of how to write female characters. The majority of the characters in this demo are women, and I never thought about it until afterwards. It's not forced or "pc", they're simply natural choices in how the story plays out. And in the long term, I think it's a better choice not making a big point of it, but rather have these great characters who simply happen to be women. This was probably never even a point when writing the story. But it's well done, nevertheless. (And perhaps I'm making a bad call even mentioning it.)

Joe Anderson, and I'll move into spoiler territory:
Spoiler
Great job doing what Stephen King and Peter Straub reportedly did when collaborating: "Let's write this character that everybody likes, and then KILL HIM!"
[close]
Worked out well.

So, all that and no gripes? Well, I think I spotted a missing question mark ("Where did he get the key."), but I'm not ever sure I'm correct about that. This feels like a great vehicle for a hybrid of science fiction and investigation stories, and if the demo is anything to go by, I'll enjoy the full game immensely. Thanks for the experience so far.

Dave Gilbert

Been awhile since I visited this thread. Hi all! The game is still underway. Here's a new little sizzle reel:


SarahLiz

I just finished the demo not too long ago...I gotta say, I really loved it.  At first glance I thought, "hmm, this may not be quite the graphical style for me (cartoon-esque)" but after playing through it, I had a MUCH better appreciation for the art style and just the gameplay in general.  I love how the characters' mouths move in synch with the dialog—-that's a really nice touch as well.

So, I think this will be extremely intriguing (for lack of a better word) with lots of interesting storylines, just like a Wadjet Eye game always is.  And I'm anticipating some kind of tragic component that tugs at the heart strings as well.  Highly awaited game from you guys ever since 2018's Unavowed...can't wait to dig into this one!


Sarah

ThreeOhFour

It's been really interesting to see the response to the graphics. I expected it to be divisive - change always is - but also hoped people would give it a chance anyway. Great to see that plenty of folks are into it.  :smiley:

SarahLiz

Yes, and I hope my comment didn't come across as ugly...that definitely wasn't my intention!  It was meant as more of a dig at me, because I'm a stubborn old coot & change is hard.  I go through that any time I play something that evolves (like King's Quest or Monkey Island).  Even if it's not the style that I had previously known and loved for years, I can stop and appreciate each individual background & character, and in the end I really did love it.  It's a great-looking game, and I hope everyone else loves it too. 

ThreeOhFour

Oh no, I didn't take it that way at all.  :smiley: There's been a few people who've come around after trying it, and there'll be a few others for whom the style never works, but I took your response as having come around!  :cheesy:

Dave Gilbert


Babar

The ultimate Professional Amateur

Now, with his very own game: Alien Time Zone

Rik_Vargard


Dave Gilbert

Hi all! Been awhile. We're still working on this. Here's another mini sizzle reel showing off some Action Scenes™.


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