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AGS Games => AGS Games in Production => Topic started by: rongel on 21 Aug 2017, 14:53

Title: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 21 Aug 2017, 14:53
Whether the dreams brought on the fever or the fever brought on the dreams Walter Gilman did not know. - H.P. Lovecraft, The Dreams in the Witch House

Walter Gilman has just moved to Arkham and is starting his studies at the Miskatonic University. The Dombrowski's lodging house where he resides has a bad reputation, but Walter doesn't mind the old rumours.
Until the dreams start. Can Walter hang on for two months and suffer through the dreaded May-Eve when witches roam the earth and the slaves of Satan gather for nameless rites and deeds?

Description:

The Witch House is a urban survival adventure game, where the player has to survive for two months and suffer through the dreaded May-Eve. The game combines RPG elements to classic adventure game genre.
The player can choose to explore the old rumours, read the forbidden books at Miskatonic University, or concentrate on studies and keeping Walter in a good physical and mental state.

Based on the short story "Dreams in the Witch House" by H.P. Lovecraft.

Features:

- Advancing time: 1 minute in real life = 1 hour in game
- Day/evening/night - cycles
- Set in the early 1930's, game lasts from March 1st to May 1st
- Studies: Walter can study for his exams and his aunt will reward him with money if the grades are good enough
- Money: Walter can buy food, and other items at the general store. He gets a weekly allowance from his aunt
- Haunted house: Walter starts to experience nightly terrors and has to defend himself from them
- Several states for player character, including Health, Sanity, Hunger, Tiredness and Sickness
- Random events, including weather, city events and dreams
- Several endings depending on Walter's actions
- 320 x 200 pixel graphics
- Two click-interface

Screenshots:

(http://i.imgur.com/XDxM7eY.jpg)
Walter's room

(http://i.imgur.com/TKhPKlH.jpg)
The Witch House on a rainy evening

(http://i.imgur.com/QLuhG8J.jpg)
Hanging out at Joe Mazurewicz's place

(http://i.imgur.com/wvnXbmO.jpg)
Evening at the Arkham downtown

Progress:

The Witch House is my first game, and a passion project for me. I work on it part-time and unprofessionally, so the progress is slow. Currently I've been messing around with it a couple of years, learning the tricks of the AGS engine.
At this moment the game is about 50 % ready, so it will take a year or two to finish it. Game mechanics start to be in place, but the actual story and puzzles are about 1/3 done.
There is no deadline at the moment, I try to keep making the game as fun as possible!





Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Mandle on 21 Aug 2017, 15:02
OH HELL YES!!!

A Lovecraft inspired adventure/resource-survival game with those beautiful graphics?!

Colour me riveted!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Crimson Wizard on 21 Aug 2017, 15:05
Really a good looking project :).
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: AnasAbdin on 21 Aug 2017, 15:08
I'm stopping my life until this is done.
Waiting...
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: selmiak on 21 Aug 2017, 15:24
this is an awesome idea for a game. The mechanics sound really fun and the graphics look great already, yeah, best of luck with the project and post lots of updates please :)
That witch house looks great in that painting style but also almost too friendly. or maybe this is intentional to deceive the player :)
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 21 Aug 2017, 16:53
Thanks for the comments! I'll update the page now and then, there is quite a lot of things already done, but don't want to spoil the exciting stuff too much.

Selmiak, that's a interesting comment about the house looking too friendly. You are right that I don't want it to look too much like a "haunted house". Things will get grim, but at start it's just another old house. I think that Arkham is presented many times too ghastly, like it's almost a cemetary. But ofcourse the right balance is important, it can't be a fairytale house either.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Mandle on 21 Aug 2017, 17:48
I think that Arkham is presented many times too ghastly, like it's almost a cemetary. But ofcourse the right balance is important, it can't be a fairytale house either.

I think your balance of normality vs. disturbing is fine in relating to the Lovecraft genre.

His locations were rarely over-the-top gothic-horror edifaces in the way that Poe would have written them and he usually had his most terrifying characters living behind plain, if slightly affluent, doors.

I love this take on horror, which has carried over into Stephen King and Clive Barker, amongst others, in our modern time:

The feeling that the worst horror imaginable could be just behind the door of that house you pass by every day...

Much scarier than a huge gothic castle perched on a mountaintop...
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Nixxon on 21 Aug 2017, 20:18
Duuuude!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Click'd on 21 Aug 2017, 20:59
Looks really good. I don't know about this passing of time and survival stuff, though.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: SilverSpook on 21 Aug 2017, 21:04
Looks fantastic! Interesting concept as well. Added to the wishlist!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 23 Aug 2017, 09:46
This page needs some animation:

(http://i.imgur.com/yBWlnXb.gif) (http://i.imgur.com/xd1vsQd.gif)  (http://i.imgur.com/u06dDoC.gif)

Walter Gilman, Landlord Mrs. Dombrowski, and a generic Arkham Citizen marching away.



Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: NicolaGs on 23 Aug 2017, 11:35
This page needs some animation
Totally agree with that !
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: xBRANEx on 23 Aug 2017, 13:11
I'm in love with this project! I wish you luck!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: SarahLiz on 25 Aug 2017, 20:44
Oh hell yeah...this looks awesome!! 
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 29 Aug 2017, 06:45
Oh hell yeah...this looks awesome!! 
I'm in love with this project! I wish you luck!

Thanks, nice to hear that!

Another screenie:

(http://i.imgur.com/U7WZinC.jpg)

Walter is attending a lecture at Miskatonic University. At this moment there are four lectures and exams that you can attend (but you don't have to!). If you have studied enough, you'll get better grades. There is also a little query in exams that checks if you remember what you have read, so that affects the grades too.

Currently working with the university library, and building a system how to borrow borrow specific books for the right course. The occult books are kept under lock and key, and you need a special permission from the Chief Librarian Dr. Armitage to use those.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Surdy on 29 Aug 2017, 13:40
I love Lovecraft & this gorgeous pixel-art is simply amazing. Good luck with this project :D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 06 Sep 2017, 20:45
The lobby of the Dombrowski's lodging house:

(https://i.imgur.com/FDh34aR.jpg)

Walter is complaining about the scurrying of the rats.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: eri0o on 07 Sep 2017, 12:26
Hey rongel! I like this game premise a lot! Re read the Cthulu mythos in a pretty book recently last week and I really like your screenshots. Your art reminds me of  Edward Hopper's Nighthawks. You seem to be advancing fast, which is awesome! I really want to play your game! :-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Riaise on 07 Sep 2017, 15:18
I agree, the artwork and graphics are really amazing! ;-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Mandle on 07 Sep 2017, 16:02
I so need to play this game.

Lovecraft, gorgeous graphics, and what sound like deep gameplay mechanics.

Win, win, win!!!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 07 Sep 2017, 17:37
Thanks all! :-D

It's my first time working on pixel graphics, so the art style formed quite naturally, it sort of just became that way. My background is in animation, so that helps too!

These screen caps are quite old, and there is more stuff in the storage. Miskatonic University is keeping me occupied currently, as it's a big block in the game.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Click'd on 07 Sep 2017, 17:47
Is this going to be a commercial release?
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 07 Sep 2017, 20:55
Is this going to be a commercial release?

Short answer is that I don't know yet! This started as a hobby project, but is much more serious work now. And I still want to continue without any limits or deadlines. Publishing the game is something that I have no experience on. I have some plans/hopes but nothing concrete yet. So the answer is maybe!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: mkennedy on 07 Sep 2017, 22:47
There is also a little query in exams that checks if you remember what you have read, so that affects the grades too.

Hopefully Walter will have a photographic memory or at least have that option. Maybe some sort of mechanic where Walter can do all the remembering for you and then he'll know what the correct answers are on the test?
Spoiler: ShowHide
Having read the original story am I correct in assuming that it is possible to get killed? Will there be a way to defeat the witch without getting killed by her familiar at the end?
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 09 Sep 2017, 09:36

Hopefully Walter will have a photographic memory or at least have that option. Maybe some sort of mechanic where Walter can do all the remembering for you and then he'll know what the correct answers are on the test?
Spoiler: ShowHide
Having read the original story am I correct in assuming that it is possible to get killed? Will there be a way to defeat the witch without getting killed by her familiar at the end?


When you study for a test, Walter will read aloud the answers. Then when you take a test, it's a multiple choice query, and if you have studied enough, the right answer (which Walter had read aloud before) will be available. But this system is not ready yet, so there might be some changes too. Main thing is that it requires some interaction, and is a small puzzle in itself.

Spoiler: ShowHide
Walter can die during the game. Like in survival games, you must eat and you can get sick or injured. So these deaths are unscripted events. There will be several endings, and unlike in the short story, you can survive and defeat Brown Jenkin. But ofcourse you could suffer the same fate as in the story too...

Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 15 Oct 2017, 12:24
(https://i.imgur.com/OrYhMFq.jpg)

It's been a while since I posted last time, so here's an update! As you might have guessed, that is the main menu, the starting screen. I'll tweak it more later on, but it will do for now. Maybe the buttons need bit more polish/sparkle... Suggestions  and other comments are very welcome! I played around with the Smooth Scroll module, and was able to do a nice parallax tilt to the Witch House. You'll see it a bit later, when I have time to do my first video.

As the Halloween approaches, I'll be posting more stuff, and this time it's the scary, evil stuff. You might get a glimpse of Brown Jenkin, or even Keziah! 8-0
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Click'd on 15 Oct 2017, 13:22
The way "WITCH HOUSE" is written makes me think of old cartoons somehow. The rest is absolutely fine. Great background image.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 15 Oct 2017, 19:29
The way "WITCH HOUSE" is written makes me think of old cartoons somehow.

Yes, I was thinking that the "house" is almost like "mouse", so it might remind of old Mickey Mouse posters (laugh). But really I was trying to get old, pulpy horror movie poster feeling to it.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: shaun9991 on 15 Oct 2017, 19:50
I am seriously drooling over this. Looks amazing :D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Mandle on 16 Oct 2017, 00:03
I am seriously drooling over this. Looks amazing :D

+1
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Riaise on 16 Oct 2017, 13:31
I agree, the background is amazing! I like the Witch House font, maybe you can try toning down the red slightly, but other than that I think it looks great! ;-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 20 Oct 2017, 08:41
Thanks for the comments! Here's a new one:

(https://i.imgur.com/ZO9E4Sm.gif)

Something strange is happening in the Witch House. It must be a dream, right?
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Pilchard on 20 Oct 2017, 09:40
Ah, I'm sure that glowing pink portal in the wall is nothing to worry about, back to sleep...

Looks great, as have all your screenshots so far! I'm not familiar with Lovecraft but the game has intrigued me. The light RPG systems sound really novel.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Creamy on 20 Oct 2017, 17:05
Lovecraft inspires so many adventure games!

I dig your style. The animations look neat too.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: selmiak on 20 Oct 2017, 18:48
awesome.

though that portal would make books, table, chair, bed and lamp throw some shadows...
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 20 Oct 2017, 20:16
Looks great, as have all your screenshots so far! I'm not familiar with Lovecraft but the game has intrigued me. The light RPG systems sound really novel.

Thanks! I hope that the game will be totally enjoyable to people who don't know anything about Lovecraft. This story is quite different than the usual "Cthulhu Mythos" stories. It's more concentrated on the main character, and you don't have to know anything about the Old Ones etc. Still Lovecraft fans will get an extra kick out of it, I hope. 

The Lite RPG-system/open world mechanism was something I wanted to try and I feel it fits the story well. The problem is that it takes a lot of time to make it all work, and possibility of bugs goes way up. Also, I want that the game has a good replay value (Walter might die half-way through the game!), so the puzzles should have some variation each time. Good thing is that I have learned a lot scripting doing this. The code is a bit messy, but it's slowly getting better. Just learned about floating point numbers yesterday! (laugh)

Lovecraft inspires so many adventure games!

I dig your style. The animations look neat too.
awesome.

though that portal would make books, table, chair, bed and lamp throw some shadows...

Thank you! :-D

Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 26 Oct 2017, 10:49
Maybe the community could advice me a bit... I'm thinking about changing the resolution of the game. It's currently 320 x 200, so if people will play it fullscreen with 16:9 monitors, there will be black borders, or an ugly stretch effect. I kind of just noticed that when I upgraded AGS to 3.4.0.16 version, I could use 320 x 180 resolution which would fill the screen nicely and pixel perfect.

Of course making that kind of change seems a bit daunting. But I feel it's easier to design rooms and graphics for 16:9 aspect ratio. The inventory is hidden normally so I have the full screen height to use anyway. Gui's have to be re-designed, but that's not that big of a problem, because I haven't really worked on those. Bigger problem is if I crop my backgrounds, I'll lose my hotspots, walkbehinds etc. But is there something else I should consider, something that might cause bigger problems? Currently I feel that the extra work would be worth it.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Click'd on 26 Oct 2017, 10:58
20 pixels doesn't seem like much but at this low res it's quite a lot going missing.
I can't speak for others but I play AGS games in a window, mostly 2x or 3x scale.

Here you go, input.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 26 Oct 2017, 18:14
Here you go, input.

Thanks for the input! Yes, every pixel counts. Somehow I feel that playing the game on full screen feels more like playing "real" game. Those black borders might raise questions to casual gamer. I made some test with 320 x 180 px, the backgrounds didn't suffer that much, 10 pixels off from top and bottom. And those parts usually haven't got anything important going on. I enjoy that I can have full screen mode and there isn't any stretching going on. I still have to think about it, like you said, quite a lot pixels would be lost, and more work with the background tweaking.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Click'd on 26 Oct 2017, 18:55
The "casual gamer" won't go for low res games even if they come in the right aspect ratio. Wadjet Eye games have a small but dedicated player base who like the graphics as they are, and the Steam forums for said games get the occasional "this looks like crap" threads by people who wouldn't buy them anyway.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: selmiak on 27 Oct 2017, 05:46
go for 16:9, it is so much smoother when playing in fullscreen on a 16:9 monitor, and a 16:9 monitor is pretty much a standard household item nowadays. keep the graphics pixely and oldschool but adapt bto  modern screen resolution. :)
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Matti on 27 Oct 2017, 12:43
I too would say go for it!

After I drew a few backgrounds for a game I'm currently working on I decided to crop 20 pixels in heigth too. It's not that much of a difference, but really worth it I think. It's nice not to have black borders on the sides.

Your game looks really nice btw, keep it up!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: mkennedy on 28 Oct 2017, 07:02
Would it be possible to keep the back backgrounds as they are, but give the player the choice of whether they wish to see boxes on the borders or to crop the images? Though this would require having to figure some way to get the engine to crop the images for you you and I don't know how difficult that would be to code.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 28 Oct 2017, 15:36
Yes, I think that I'm going with the 16:9 aspect. It's more work, but looks more professional in my opinion too. I think it's also easier to desing rooms to 16:9, I've had problems with the room heights, all the action happens in the middle part of the screen, and the top and bottom is usually just dead space.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 30 Oct 2017, 15:21
Happy Halloween from Keziah Mason! Watch out or she'll get you! 8-0

(https://i.imgur.com/SBiVG0Q.gif)

Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: KyriakosCH on 04 Nov 2017, 00:41
This looks Excellent. Well done 8-)

Only issue will be if it is challenging for those of us who belong to the cult and thus have read the story (laugh)
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Mini_Doom on 04 Nov 2017, 06:36
The graphics look great :shocked: can't wait
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Fitz on 05 Nov 2017, 07:47
Man, the game looks incredible! The character design, animation, the backgrounds, it all just oozes style and atmosphere. And those flickering reflections in the last image! :shocked:
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Surdy on 06 Nov 2017, 15:57
Very good work. Keep up the good work, man :D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 06 Nov 2017, 18:27
This looks Excellent. Well done 8-)

Only issue will be if it is challenging for those of us who belong to the cult and thus have read the story (laugh)

Thanks! I hope so, it might give you a slight upper hand, but thats only fair. The RPG-elements and other events require also bit of strategizing.

The graphics look great :shocked: can't wait

Man, the game looks incredible! The character design, animation, the backgrounds, it all just oozes style and atmosphere. And those flickering reflections in the last image! :shocked:

Very good work. Keep up the good work, man :D

Thanks everyone!
Been working a lot with the game recently, but progress is slow with these things. Still I think I've made more progress this autumn, than in the whole last year...
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: mkennedy on 07 Nov 2017, 15:54
Wonder what would happen if you threw a bucket of water on Keziah Mason? It worked in the Wizard of Oz! :grin: Though I imagine in this game it would only annoy her and cause her to do something nasty to you.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 19 Dec 2017, 17:29
Sorry it's been a while since the last update! Good news is that I've been busy working with the game and made some progress.

I wanted to show you something bit different this time. This background is still a bit work-in-progress, but I wanted to share it with you before the Christmas holidays. It's one of the dream scenes, a very alien place with a strange geometry and physics.

(https://i.imgur.com/2VUQjlt.gif)

Actually it's a mini-game with several stages and parallax scrolling, and this is the first part of it. It's been a lot of work figuring this out, and because there is a lot of animation going on, it will probably be the most resource-heavy scene in the whole game (I hope that it runs smoothly with older computers...). Anyway, I hope you like it, and happy holidays! 
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Click'd on 19 Dec 2017, 18:13
Let me say
Spoiler: ShowHide
wow
Spoiler: ShowHide
 (laugh)
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Matti on 20 Dec 2017, 13:03
Very stylish. The colors and animations are great!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: selmiak on 20 Dec 2017, 23:34
this is getting better and better. Is this an old vinyl record in the top right? ;-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 22 Dec 2017, 08:10
Is this an old vinyl record in the top right? ;-D

You're not the first person saying that... But no, it's not, you will see it in the game when you scroll up to the next stage. I can say that it's more cosmic than a vinyl record. :-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 10 Jan 2018, 18:30
Another screenshot, this time we are inside the Miskatonic University. Still a bit under construction though!

(https://i.imgur.com/88n9Bki.jpg)

This is the reading room where you can study for your exams, or study maths and occult (the really powerful occult books are stored in the basement and you need a permission to examine them). You can also study in your own room, but there might be strange disturbances which can break your concentration... At the right edge is the card file, where you can check the location of the books in the library. After you know the book's location, you can go and find it, and borrow it from the librarian. And behind the door is professor Armitage's office. So this is a place you will be spending quite a lot of time.

And when it's a cold day, there's also a nice fire in the fireplace :-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Click'd on 10 Jan 2018, 18:52
Hey, it's Groucho Marx!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Bavolis on 11 Jan 2018, 02:18
I love everything about this project.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Mandle on 11 Jan 2018, 05:31
this is a place you will be spending quite a lot of time.

This can turn me on or off depending on the feel of the place.

In this case I look forward to spending time there so job well done!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: TheFrighter on 11 Jan 2018, 09:06
This is the reading room where you can study for your exams, or study maths and occult (the really powerful occult books are stored in the basement and you need a permission to examine them). You can also study in your own room, but there might be strange disturbances which can break your concentration... At the right edge is the card file, where you can check the location of the books in the library. After you know the book's location, you can go and find it, and borrow it from the librarian. And behind the door is professor Armitage's office. So this is a place you will be spending quite a lot of time.
What about a little side research off the main route?


_
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 11 Jan 2018, 10:23
Hey, it's Groucho Marx!
If you mean the librarian lady, I didn't see it first, but now that you said it... We'll fix it!

This can turn me on or off depending on the feel of the place.

In this case I look forward to spending time there so job well done!
Great to hear that! It was somehow quite difficult to design that room, because there needs to be a lot of functionality. I hope I have some time to add few extra decorations there.

I love everything about this project.
Thanks! I'm a fan of your work too!

What about a little side research off the main route?
Well, actually I forgot to tell that Walter is working on a theory, which combines magic with science. So you can also work on that (your occult and math skills add to your theory), and if you manage to write a proper thesis, you can publish it in the University newspaper, and get some pocket money!

Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: mkennedy on 11 Jan 2018, 11:54
Will this game be taking place during the prohibition? It might be an interesting play through if Walter were to blow off his classes and spend all his time in speakeasies and pool halls, though I imagine if he gets arrested or expelled that would probably bring the game to an early end. :grin:
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 11 Jan 2018, 14:38
Will this game be taking place during the prohibition? It might be an interesting play through if Walter were to blow off his classes and spend all his time in speakeasies and pool halls, though I imagine if he gets arrested or expelled that would probably bring the game to an early end. :grin:

Yes, it's set in unspecified year in late 1920s or very early 1930s. There is a puzzle dealing with getting alcohol through shady methods. Maybe alcohol also restores sanity/warmth for a while, but I've not yet that far in the game. Probably no pool halls though...
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Mandle on 11 Jan 2018, 15:00
Probably no pool halls though...

Awwww...But stereotyped purplely-written lowlife thugs is an awesome Lovecraft trope!!!

(While working on Chronicle Of Innsmouth I had so much fun writing the lines for the smugglers, making their slang piratey terms just ridiculous enough so that it might feel like something HPL himself had penned...He seriously had no idea how any real person below his own social level talked...)
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: KyriakosCH on 11 Jan 2018, 15:38
Sorry it's been a while since the last update! Good news is that I've been busy working with the game and made some progress.

I wanted to show you something bit different this time. This background is still a bit work-in-progress, but I wanted to share it with you before the Christmas holidays. It's one of the dream scenes, a very alien place with a strange geometry and physics.

(https://i.imgur.com/2VUQjlt.gif)

Actually it's a mini-game with several stages and parallax scrolling, and this is the first part of it. It's been a lot of work figuring this out, and because there is a lot of animation going on, it will probably be the most resource-heavy scene in the whole game (I hope that it runs smoothly with older computers...). Anyway, I hope you like it, and happy holidays!

This will certainly be a very stylish game. Looks awesome :)

Btw, Platonic solids=Cthulhu.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 11 Jan 2018, 22:03
Awwww...But stereotyped purplely-written lowlife thugs is an awesome Lovecraft trope!!!

Agreed! But don't worry, there will be at least one tough street kid hanging around in Orne's Gangway, and hopefully also a band of muggers. 

By the way, nice work on Chronicle of Innsmouth, I was naturally very interested to see how it turned out!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Surdy on 18 Jan 2018, 18:05
Can't wait Please, hurry up :D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 13 Feb 2018, 13:51
Hello again, just realized it's been over a month since last udpate...

Anyways, now it's time for some announcements:

First of all, the game has a sound designer! Antti is a very talented sound designer, who's been working mostly on television and movies. We have also worked together earlier, and he's a great guy, so I'm very happy that he's onboard. Now I can focus more on the other aspects of the game, and don't have to worry about the audio that much. 

Secondly, the game has a composer! Drum roll...

Troy Sterling Nies has agreed to compose the music for The Witch House!

I had the pleasure of meeting Troy at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival last year, and I'm thrilled that he was interested in The Witch House. Troy has worked on several H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's projects, including the feature films The Whisperer in Darkness and The Call of Cthulhu. You can listen Troy's music on his Bandcamp-page:  (https://troysterlingnies.bandcamp.com/)https://troysterlingnies.bandcamp.com/

I couldn't be happier about our little team! So no new screenshots this time, eventhough the game has progressed nicely lately. And also thanks for the people who have contacted me and offered their help in the audio department!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: KyriakosCH on 24 Feb 2018, 05:00
Any new eye-candy screens? ^^
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 27 Feb 2018, 08:13
Any new eye-candy screens? ^^

There are some new backgrounds, but most of them are missing final tweaks or characters, so I won't show them yet.

But okay, here's one, maybe not the most visual or exciting background, but it shows one section of the Miskatonic University's library:

(https://i.imgur.com/ZSECdmw.jpg)

Good luck finding your book! :-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: KyriakosCH on 27 Feb 2018, 13:40
Very nice! 8-)
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: TheFrighter on 27 Feb 2018, 13:42
Nice, even if a library of an university have to be some sort of classification (numbers of books, order by author, order by argument etc.)

_
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 27 Feb 2018, 17:30
Nice, even if a library of an university have to be some sort of classification (numbers of books, order by author, order by argument etc.)

Sure! The six(!) library rooms are separated by the genre (fiction, occult, biology, physics etc). Currently the system is that you can hover over the books with the mouse cursor, and it will automaticly give you the first letter of the author. So that way it's relatively easy to spot the book you want. But you need to know what you are seacrhing for the book to appear.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Mandle on 27 Feb 2018, 22:44
Troy has worked on several H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's projects, including the feature films The Whisperer in Darkness and The Call of Cthulhu.

That is indeed amazing news because both of those movies were incredible but especially the all-important music in Call Of Cthulhu. Being a silent film and all the music was a main star instead of an extra and I remember it being awesome.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Dragatar on 14 Mar 2018, 17:00
Release date?
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 15 Mar 2018, 07:18
Release date?

I wish I knew! Unfortunately I'm not able to work on the game full-time, so there will be gaps in the progress. For example right now I have some other projects to finish, but I think I can get back to the game in a couple of weeks.

Let's say that the release date is sometime in 2019!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 17 Apr 2018, 18:33
Another screenshot!

(https://i.imgur.com/8Dnoxrv.jpg)

This is the Miskatonic University's basement, where the Special Collection is temporarily stored. Reading these special tomes will give Walter knowledge of the occult at the cost of sanity.

So the game is now progressing again, slowly but surely...

Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Pinback on 18 Apr 2018, 04:43
I'm so late to this thread but I gotta say - the dream sequence animations look FANTASTIC!

Great atmosphere in general too!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: TheFrighter on 18 Apr 2018, 06:22
Good lights!

Maybe the Necronomicon book should look more mean...
_
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 18 Apr 2018, 07:43
I'm so late to this thread but I gotta say - the dream sequence animations look FANTASTIC!

Thanks, nice to hear that!

Maybe the Necronomicon book should look more mean...

Yes, I might tweak it a bit later. There are six special tomes that you can study, and they will have their own graphics. So when I do the other books, I might adjust the Necronomicon as well. But in this game it won't bound in human flesh and have a scary face, like in the Evil Dead-series. According to Lovecraft, the Miskatonic University's copy of the Necronomicon is the latin translation, printed in Spain in the 17th century. So it's appereance is much more like an regular, very old book. But I understand you point!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: FireFlower on 18 Apr 2018, 10:41
Looks like a nice game with some interesting features.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: mkennedy on 19 Apr 2018, 00:36
Armitage must trust Walter an awful lot to leave him alone with the necromicon. And He could unlock the window to sneak in later. Though I imagine that when Walter's done that Armitage will put the necromicon back behind the locked door at the left side of the screen with all the other forbidden books.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 25 Apr 2018, 20:01
Looks like a nice game with some interesting features.

Thanks!

Armitage must trust Walter an awful lot to leave him alone with the necromicon. And He could unlock the window to sneak in later. Though I imagine that when Walter's done that Armitage will put the necromicon back behind the locked door at the left side of the screen with all the other forbidden books.

That's pretty close! I don't want to spoil too much, but you need to reserve a time to study the Special Collection, and Armitage gives that only if he is convinced your studies require access to the books. There's other stuff also happening in that room, but I won't go there now! :-D

Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Surdy on 28 May 2018, 09:16
And what about the other minor characters of the short story like Desrochers, Choynski, Mazurewicz & Elwood? :)
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 29 May 2018, 19:00
And what about the other minor characters of the short story like Desrochers, Choynski, Mazurewicz & Elwood? :)

Good question! Joe Mazurewicz is in the game, and he has a quite big role in it, as he knows a lot of the lodging house's history. Also Elwood will be in the game, but I haven't yet added him. But Elwood will also have a big part in the later part of the game, sometimes you can stay at his room, if the disturbances get too rough. But no plans for Desrochers or Choynski... Maybe they will be added in DLC! :-D

By the way, sorry for the radio silence, but been busy with other (paid) work... But looks like I can make nice progress later in summer.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Ghostcat on 30 May 2018, 00:02
Good to hear, can't wait for this one.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: mkennedy on 30 May 2018, 07:50
How many other places will there be for Walter to sleep? Most places at Miskatonic university would likely be closed late at night.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 30 May 2018, 15:59
How many other places will there be for Walter to sleep? Most places at Miskatonic university would likely be closed late at night.

Walter can sleep at his home, and later in game when Elwood moves in, he can stay at his place (if Elwood is around himself). But those are the only places right now where Walter can sleep. I have thought about having the possibility to sleep out in the city bench at night, if Walter is tired enough (and ofcourse all kinds of nasty things can happen then), but let's see if it ends up in the game. Not a priority!

Shops, universities and other facilities are closed at night, some of them are also closed on weekends.

Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 01 Jul 2018, 09:53
Spanish adventure game site Indiefence has an article about The Witch House, check it out here:

http://indiefence.miguelrfervenza.com (http://indiefence.miguelrfervenza.com)

The article is in Spanish, but if you can’t understand it, you can look at the pretty pictures it has!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: KyriakosCH on 02 Jul 2018, 22:55
Looks utterly awesome...

When will it be complete? ;-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 03 Jul 2018, 16:22
Looks utterly awesome...

When will it be complete? ;-D

Thanks! Hopefully in 2019, but no promises yet... 
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 07 Sep 2018, 08:16
Hi again and sorry for the silence!

The summer was a busy time for me, and the game didn't progress that much, but now it's getting better. I've started to do the ending, but I won't spoil it with screenshots. Because the game isn't strictly linear, it takes a lot of time to make it work in every scenario, but it's starting to shape up. There are some parts missing from the middle of the game too, but now you can at least play it from start to end. Anyway, here is a older screenshot from Orne's Gangway. People who have read the short story know what's going on there.

(https://i.imgur.com/r8rUAom.jpg)

It's still bit work-in-progress, there will be some more residents hanging around. Currently Walter is trying to dig up some information from a tough street kid.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: TheFrighter on 07 Sep 2018, 11:37

Nice background Rongel, so old-provincial! ;)

_
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: VampireWombat on 07 Sep 2018, 12:55
Obviously I need to read the story eventually. The Masters of Horror episode and rock opera haven't provided me with any information to have a clue about the new background.
Looks very nice.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Mandle on 09 Sep 2018, 14:07
I hope you wrote the street kid's dialog in the clueless and stereotypical way that Lovecraft wrote how the kind of people he had never talked to talked!

I really strived for that tone while writing the English version of Chronicle Of Innsmouth, especially with the way the Innsmouth smugglers talked as if every day in Innsmouth was "Talk Like A Pirate Day". And the voice-actors totally understood how to pull off their lines without any direction from me at all. It was almost scary how much their performances matched the voices I heard in my head while writing the lines.

Gonna be even more interesting in the sequel now where I'm writing lines spoken as if... REDACTED
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: selmiak on 09 Sep 2018, 14:42
this background looks very cool, I'm very excited for the full game :)
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 09 Sep 2018, 15:48
Nice background Rongel, so old-provincial! ;)

Thanks! It depicts poorer part of the city where the Polish immigrants live. Online image search and research really comes in handy, when imagining late 1920's Arkham.

Obviously I need to read the story eventually. The Masters of Horror episode and rock opera haven't provided me with any information to have a clue about the new background.
Looks very nice.

It think the location was mentioned only couple of times in the short story, but in the game it's importance is boosted a bit.

I hope you wrote the street kid's dialog in the clueless and stereotypical way that Lovecraft wrote how the kind of people he had never talked to talked!

I really strived for that tone while writing the English version of Chronicle Of Innsmouth, especially with the way the Innsmouth smugglers talked as if every day in Innsmouth was "Talk Like A Pirate Day". And the voice-actors totally understood how to pull off their lines without any direction from me at all. It was almost scary how much their performances matched the voices I heard in my head while writing the lines.

Gonna be even more interesting in the sequel now where I'm writing lines spoken as if... REDACTED

Yes, the final, polished dialog is something I may need help with. Old accents and phrases are a bit difficult for a non-native English speaker. I haven't played the new version of Chronicle of Innsmouth with the voice actors, but it sounds interesting. And even more interesting is to hear about the sequel!

this background looks very cool, I'm very excited for the full game :)

Thanks selmiak! Me too :-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: KyriakosCH on 14 Sep 2018, 16:51
Looking forward to this!!!

Have you created the main sprites? :)

I recall the witch from a while back.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 15 Sep 2018, 09:26
Looking forward to this!!!

Have you created the main sprites? :)

I recall the witch from a while back.

Nice to hear that!

If you mean the main characters, then yes. I think Walter's friend Elwood is the only main character that is still missing. There should also be quite a lot of Arkham citizens and students, so that takes some time.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 23 Oct 2018, 17:13
Hi all!

I really like when people post making-of gifs from their upcoming games, so I wanted to make one too! Here you can see Miskatonic River waterfront, and the Unvisited Island with the mysterious standing stones. I probably still need to work on it a bit, but here's the background anyway:

(https://i.imgur.com/DvEa6b9.gif)

There will be some subtle background animations that you can see here in the almost finished version:

(https://i.imgur.com/6Vnsdaw.gif)

And like most of the locations, this too will have three different versions depending the time of the day, so a lot of work to be done... But last month has been very productive, and I've been able to concentrate fully on the game, which is a nice change!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Matti on 23 Oct 2018, 17:23
Beautiful background, I'd love to see the other versions! Must indeed be a lot of work to have different day time in your game.

It's always a pleasure to see updates of your game :)
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: TheFrighter on 23 Oct 2018, 17:56

Look, the chimneys are smoking!  8-0

_
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: mkennedy on 23 Oct 2018, 18:40
Do the day and night versions use different rooms, or is it just the graphics that are different? And how is the passage of time handled? If you go AFK and stay in the same room will time still progress? The screenshot looks awesome. Will Walter be able to get his hands on a fishing rod, (or a skiff) and if so, can he fish anywhere with a significant body of water or just at a few locations? Plus a fishing rod can always be useful for various puzzles. :grin:
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 24 Oct 2018, 07:53
Beautiful background, I'd love to see the other versions! Must indeed be a lot of work to have different day time in your game.

It's always a pleasure to see updates of your game :)

Thanks, very nice to hear that! Currently I have made a rough evening version of it, but the night version is still missing. I've finally realized that it's better to not try to finish them, if there's a chance that there will be still some changes coming. If  I edit the day version, I have to fix the other ones too. So I can't yet show all the different variations. I might do it later, the evening version will be quite atmospheric because the city lights and the water reflections!


Look, the chimneys are smoking!  8-0


They are! I would love to add also some background animations to the waterfront opposite side: trucks, people walking etc, but I there's tons of more critical stuff to do.

Do the day and night versions use different rooms, or is it just the graphics that are different? And how is the passage of time handled? If you go AFK and stay in the same room will time still progress? The screenshot looks awesome. Will Walter be able to get his hands on a fishing rod, (or a skiff) and if so, can he fish anywhere with a significant body of water or just at a few locations? Plus a fishing rod can always be useful for various puzzles. :grin:

Day and night versions use the same room. There is a clock ticking in the background all the time (1 real minute = 1 hour in game) and when it's time for change, the screen will fade in and out, and all the changes happen during the fade. So if you leave the keyboard, it's best to pause the game first. For the second question, no plans for fishing minigame yet! There will be a fisherman though, so you can watch him fish :-D. I had to look up what skiff meant, and yes, it's possible!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: TheFrighter on 24 Oct 2018, 09:46

Day and night versions use the same room. There is a clock ticking in the background all the time (1 real minute = 1 hour in game) and when it's time for change, the screen will fade in and out, and all the changes happen during the fade.


Oh, it's like the old Dark Seed!



_
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 25 Oct 2018, 16:03

Oh, it's like the old Dark Seed!


Hopefully not! I've never played Dark Seed, but it seems to have a quite infamous reputation because of the strict three day time limit. In The Witch House you have sixty days so there shouldn't be any rush.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: selmiak on 27 Oct 2018, 11:36
this is beautiful. Only the paved path in the foreground could also be a stone wall. Maybe add some papers or other trash to make the path flat. or widen and flatten the individual stones, I think they are not in perspective. Maybe add a tree on the right that casts a shadow over the path, that should make easier to read.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 28 Oct 2018, 08:59
this is beautiful. Only the paved path in the foreground could also be a stone wall. Maybe add some papers or other trash to make the path flat. or widen and flatten the individual stones, I think they are not in perspective. Maybe add a tree on the right that casts a shadow over the path, that should make easier to read.

That's a valid criticism and a good point. I noticed that something was wrong with the pavement when I was drawing it, but kind of let it go, and moved on. But it shouldn't be that hard to fix, I think I'll add it to the to-do list. Thanks for the observation!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Hobbes on 28 Oct 2018, 13:55
Really looking forward to this game! The inclusion of a day-night cycle adds a lot of manual labour but in a horror-game, it adds so much! I loved the "safe" moments in a game like Alan Wake where you explored the town during daylight. Then, when night fell, all bets were off.

Keep up the great work. Your pixel art looks amazing!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 01 Nov 2018, 14:03
Really looking forward to this game! The inclusion of a day-night cycle adds a lot of manual labour but in a horror-game, it adds so much! I loved the "safe" moments in a game like Alan Wake where you explored the town during daylight. Then, when night fell, all bets were off.

Keep up the great work. Your pixel art looks amazing!

Thanks, really appreciate that! Now, back to drawing!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: ManicMatt on 16 Nov 2018, 21:30
Yeah, that park is wonderful, it's really relaxing and detailed!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 23 Feb 2019, 10:24
Hi all & happy 2019!

It's been way too long since my last update, sorry about that! Good news is that the game has progressed further in the silence. I don't want to reveal the new backgrounds now, so here's couple of new characters and their walk cycles.

(https://i.imgur.com/zIhxDhU.gif) (https://i.imgur.com/EZeCiP0.gif)

(https://i.imgur.com/U4LZgoh.png) (https://i.imgur.com/sNzVi9X.png)

The first one is an Arkham beat cop, possibly of Irish descent. There is some functionality with him, he can help you with the plot and if you get robbed (well the robbing is a planned feature, not yet in the game) The woman is Anastasia Wolejko, a Polish laundry worker that Walter might meet at some point.

Some time ago, I made an impulse purchase, and I bought Asesprite pixel art/animation software. Been using that with the characters and I've been quite happy about it. Seems to be bit faster to use that than my previous Photoshop / After Effects routine.

I'll try to make my next update sooner next time!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: TheFrighter on 23 Feb 2019, 13:39

They looks fine, Rongel!  ;)

Usually HPL's tales are short of female characters...

_
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 05 Apr 2019, 15:47
Non-spoilery screenshot:

 (https://i.imgur.com/lBIIVQ2.jpg)

Walter can have a decent lunch or a refresing coffee at the local coffee house. Both options raise Sanity points, but as a poor student, Walter can't afford to go there all the time. The new location is probably more important if you choose the straight, non-occultistic (is that a word?) route.


They looks fine, Rongel!  ;)

Usually HPL's tales are short of female characters...


Thanks! Anastasia Wolejko was written very well in my opinion in The Dreams in the Witch House. Lovecraft mentions her only couple of times, but her fate feels very real. But you're right, luckily the game is an adaptation and not all things are exactly the same in it  :-D
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: Dualnames on 05 Apr 2019, 20:33
How have i not seen this!! Looks fantastic!!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: mkennedy on 06 Apr 2019, 15:03
Non-spoilery screenshot:

 (https://i.imgur.com/lBIIVQ2.jpg)

Walter can have a decent lunch or a refresing coffee at the local coffee house. Both options raise Sanity points, but as a poor student, Walter can't afford to go there all the time. The new location is probably more important if you choose the straight, non-occultistic (is that a word?) route.


They looks fine, Rongel!  ;)

Usually HPL's tales are short of female characters...


Thanks! Anastasia Wolejko was written very well in my opinion in The Dreams in the Witch House. Lovecraft mentions her only couple of times, but her fate feels very real. But you're right, luckily the game is an adaptation and not all things are exactly the same in it  :-D

Very much looking forward to this game when it comes out! The sign advertising tuna from Innsmouth is a nice touch. Anything nifty planned if Walter orders it?
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: sofiaaq on 06 Apr 2019, 21:21
Wow, this looks amazing. I wanted to do a day-night cycle, too, but right now, the sheer amount of work that would take made me shy away from it. Great work, here! I hope to see it soon.
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 07 Apr 2019, 09:14
How have i not seen this!! Looks fantastic!!

Thanks, nice to hear that!  :-D

Very much looking forward to this game when it comes out! The sign advertising tuna from Innsmouth is a nice touch. Anything nifty planned if Walter orders it?

Well spotted! Walter can only order breakfast, dinner lunch, or have a coffee. So it's up to the imagination of the player did Walter have the tuna. Also now that I think of it, before the authorities raided the place, Innsmouth tuna was probably quite excellent.

Wow, this looks amazing. I wanted to do a day-night cycle, too, but right now, the sheer amount of work that would take made me shy away from it. Great work, here! I hope to see it soon.

Thanks! Yes, it's a lot of "extra" work, but the game is progressing quite nicely now. Good luck to your project as well, looking good!
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: selmiak on 11 Apr 2019, 11:34
this looks very nice. Just wondering, do I have a dirty mind (I do) or does that sign really say Coffee anal? Must taste pretty shitty lol
Title: Re: The Witch House
Post by: rongel on 11 Apr 2019, 18:25
this looks very nice. Just wondering, do I have a dirty mind (I do) or does that sign really say Coffee anal? Must taste pretty shitty lol

 8-0 You sure have! Well, there might be others who see it that way too, so I might add a few extra pixels there. Then we can all have a nice coffee AND a donut!