Author Topic: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project  (Read 17379 times)

Offline x4000

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Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« on: August 01, 2012, 10:19:17 PM »
Original: http://christophermpark.blogspot.com/2012/08/shatted-haven-another-upcoming-project.html


I've mentioned a couple of places now that I'm working on "another project."  Shattered Haven is that project.

This project is already extremely far along, because savvy Arcen lore-fiends will recognize that this is a revival of my old Alden Ridge project under a new name and with a ton of revisions (including 100% new art from the ground up thanks to Heavy Cat studios).  It's been a project that has been on hold since 2008, before I even started working on AI War or thought about founding Arcen.  I'm extremely excited to be able to finally come back to it and to finish it with all that we at Arcen have learned since I was last working on it.

For now that's all I'll say about it, but now I can at least refer to it by name.  We should have many more details for you within about a month, and we're currently hoping to have it to the preorder/beta phase by mid September.

Now you know what I'm working on, at any rate!
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Offline Walter Sullivan

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 10:31:02 PM »
Awesome! Since I'm a "new member" here and haven't ever heard about of this old Alden Ridge project of yours, I've googled it and found the rock paper shotgun 2010 article about it.

"A top-down project that Arcen peg as “A game of survival”, it’ll see you completing objectives in areas filled with ravenous zombies that are immune to conventional weaponry, meaning it’s up to you to dispatch them using all the random bits and pieces in the environment."

I don't know if the idea of the game is still the same, but if it's anything along this lines, I'm sure I'm gonna love it  :D
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Offline Volatar

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 10:34:14 PM »
Are you planning to go more along the lines that DayZ has pioneered in the zombie survival genre which can best be described as more visceral, realistic, and emergent than previous games of the genre?

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 10:46:58 PM »
Very excited, although I kinda liked calling it "The Project That Shall Not Be Named"

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 10:49:48 PM »
Very excited, although I kinda liked calling it "The Project That Shall Not Be Named"

Well, we're a fan of acronyms around here, and SH is a lot faster to type than TPTSNBN, so we changed it. :)

Offline Martyn van Buren

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 10:56:38 PM »
I remember somewhere you said Alden Ridge was going to have a story rather than being mostly procedurally generated --- I guess you aren't talking yet but I'm eager to hear if that's true.

Offline rallythelegions

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 11:03:40 PM »
Personally, I'd love to see a procedurally generated zombie survival game. Build up your fortress, explore the surrounding area for supplies, defend yourself against waves of zombies... Like a less complicated dwarf fortress zombie apocalypse.

but stories are cool, too.

I'm hoping this will be available for Mac?

Offline x4000

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2012, 11:05:13 PM »
Hahahaha.

And yep, you got it right, Walter Sullivan -- I'd forgotten that RPS did that article.  Co-Optimus did one on the game, too.  Mechanically the game is pretty much the same as that one was, except streamlined in the controls in particular and with a bunch of other new content put in there.  There were also a number of concepts that I'd been trying to merge together that weren't doing well together, and in 2008 I didn't yet know how to resolve those conflicts.  I figured it out finally, last year, and just haven't been able to spare any time to get back to it.  Now I can!

Volatar, in terms of DayZ that's really the opposite of the direction I'm headed. ;)  There's nothing emergent or procedural about this game, although it does have some very excellent pathfinding.  The "zombies" in the lore of this game aren't traditional zombies, but are actually somewhat different.  They're called "Grays," and have a mythology all of their own.  For instance, they can't be killed by most conventional weapons, which is part of why you have to use other stuff in the environment to kill them.  Grenades still do work, though, since fire is one of the thing Grays are weak to.

Overall this is a game that would get an E10 rating, same as AVWW.  There are some dark themes in the writing, but not in the fashion that most zombie games do it.  There are so many zombie games out there that I always wanted this to have its own unique flavor.  It's originally based on a novel I was writing, so all the ideas on the mythology and how the Grays work come from there.

For instance, when someone dies they become a New Gray and temporarily have extra strength, speed, or similar.  And people don't turn into Grays by being eaten -- the Grays have no interest in your brains whatsoever.  They just want to smash your face in in general.  And the big problem is that everyone who dies -- in any way -- turns into a Gray.  So you don't have to have a breach of your walls by Grays in order to have a zombie running around in your town, for instance -- someone just has to commit suicide and then they're on top of you as a New Gray.  Yikes.

There are various other kinds of Grays that you'll run into that have various behaviors and traits.  And then there's also quite a number of other monsters of various sorts.  Some are nightmare monsters or spirits of various sorts, while others are animals or plants that have turned evil in a similar way to what happened with the Grays.  All of this sounds grim and serious, but remember that this is a pixelart game.  Visually, it's kind of a cross between Zelda 1, Lode Runner: The Legend Returns, and maybe something like FF6 in terms of color balance.

And now I've gone and said a whole lot about it. ;)

Anyway, yes, this will have a linear story with cutscenes and hidden levels and other secrets and so on.  Every part of this game is hand-designed, in the exact opposite manner of AVWW.  AVWW is our procedural game, whereas this is our hand-designed one.  It also has a level editor which lets you create your own entire adventures complete with levels, cutscenes, and so forth.  It's the exact tools we're using to create the main two adventures of the game.

Oh, and it's going to be local co-op only, since I'm apparently revealing details after all.  Up to two players on the same keyboard, or with two gamepads.  For anyone who scoffs at two people on one keyboard, they should remember their history -- I, for one, grew up playing games that way.  Anyway, gamepads are prevalent enough anyhow, and are fully supported.  Online co-op would really push this project out of scope for now, and I don't think it would control all that well, anyhow.  Our next game after this one, the new TPTSNBN, should have online co-op.  ;)

EDIT: Yep, will be available for OSX, like all our other games. :)
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Offline Volatar

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 11:14:04 PM »
Volatar, in terms of DayZ that's really the opposite of the direction I'm headed. ;)  There's nothing emergent or procedural about this game, although it does have some very excellent pathfinding.  The "zombies" in the lore of this game aren't traditional zombies, but are actually somewhat different.  They're called "Grays," and have a mythology all of their own.  For instance, they can't be killed by most conventional weapons, which is part of why you have to use other stuff in the environment to kill them.  Grenades still do work, though, since fire is one of the thing Grays are weak to.

Awesome! That makes me happy to hear. You aren't one to jump on bandwagons, and I like that. I realized after playing DayZ, that while it makes for great stories to read online, playing the actual game is far too boring.

Offline Coppermantis

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 11:19:09 PM »
Ooh. First the AI War expansion and now this. I'm excited.
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline x4000

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 11:22:34 PM »
Glad to hear the interest in this has remained high. :)  A lot of things have changed with zombies in games since 2008, but none of them have gone remotely near my concepts of them because mine aren't really zombies (in the way that the 28 Days Later zombies, or the I Am Legend zombipires aren't really zombies).  And yes, I have read the original I Am Legend and really loved it; actually, I think that was part of the inspiration for my taking on zombies-that-aren't-zombies in my own writing, and then later doing a game based around that writing.
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Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 11:26:09 PM »
So is this going to be a rougelike (ish) game?
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2012, 11:27:39 PM »
Just make sure the expansion is not called Inner Torment.  :D

Nothing to be excited about yet… I don't see any information!
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Offline Oralordos

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 11:29:20 PM »
So is this the reason why nothing has appeared on the change list for AI War today?

I think the simple fact that this game will be made by Arcen is good enough for me to get it. After all, I got Tidalis even though I don't like casual games like that just because it's Arcen. The music was worth the money.

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Shattered Haven -- Another Upcoming Project
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2012, 11:33:32 PM »
So is this going to be a rougelike (ish) game?

Nope. Not really. All the levels are going to be hand-crafted.