The Shadow Chronicles (Windows / Horror / Under Development)

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The Shadow Chronicles (Windows / Horror / Under Development)

Postby McWISE » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:07 pm

Hi all,

I am currently working on my first ever project " The Shadow Chronicles".
I have managed to plan out some of the finer details as dialouge and floor plans and story line progression. This is very much still in its conceptual / development stage and I will keep you updated as I manage to complete sections of the game.

As I am graphically challanged I am yet to find a way of creating the images for the game and will post some as soon as I find the appropiate tool.

This game will have some very strong horror content, sound waves and storyline has already given me the creeps late at night. So a warning of will be place with this game.

Story Line.

You have been hired by a private dectective Max Shalore to help explain the mysterious circustance surrounding his mothers suspicious suicide.
As a paranormal investigator you are not sure how your expertise fits into the mother's death, Until Max reveals that she has a deepl dark past in the paranormal and a legendary book known only as the " Book of Dead Names "

Game Mechanics

I have tried to add a few different things to this game in order make something truly orginal.

"Vision Amplification Headset"
This item has built in vision mode (Energy Detection View) that will allow your protagonist to view energy patterns of other wordly beings, It also comes complete with an "Electrical Light Burst" defence system to disperse any nearby evil spirit, This however comes at the cost of the headsets power consumption as too the "EDV" mode. The built in microphone is set at to random mutating algorithym too scan frequencies for "Electronic Voice Projections". Also this adds the problem of "Power" consumption to the game, luckily the head set has an adaptable battery compartment, as being left in the darkness will leave you open to being attacked.

"Exorcism"
Without giving too much away, The protagonist will have the ability to exorcuse the spirits nearby, This process however will require more than a simple click of button. In order to exorcise spirits, You will need to know the name of the spirit and its translation into its "Dead Name".

Structure

I decided right from the beginning that this would be an ongoing series as the protagonist and cast travel from location to location over a period of time. Each "Chapter" will see you visit one main location and try to solve the mysteries behind a haunting, and the living that are caught inbetween the struggle. Such location already planned out are, Abandoned Hospital, High School, Factory and Ruined Cathederal.

Encounters

Encounters with spirits will have an effect on the protagonist, a heart rate timed function will be implemented so if you encounter a spirit and dont make a descision to something within a certain amount of time, you will be attacked and die.


To Be Continued ....

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( Update 01/04/08 )

I have finally decided to create the graphics in a comic book format and style, This will unfortunately tone down the dark elements of the game, But it will make it easier for me to design (hopefully). The in game text will appear in speech bubbles and I am currently just designing templates in order to not have to redraw every frame as a new one.

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( Update 03/04/08 )

Recently I have discovered a Musician by the name of Kevin Macleod,
His music fits the needs of the project perfectly. I have emailed Kevin and informed of my intention to use his Royalty Free Music in my project and await to hear back from him, With luck this should see the music component of the project organised.

If you would liek to check out the music yourself here is the web adress of the exact page I downloaded the music from. (PS. I copied and pasted the addy)

http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free ... rch=Search

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( Update 04/04/08 )

I have finished designs on the spirit graphics, I stll have to animate them though. I will aiming for a static distortion and quick flashes (think Samara in " The Ring ").
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Last edited by McWISE on Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:49 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Postby Lyberodoggy » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:51 pm

Nice! It's going to be very original...



this one:
You will need to know the name of the spirit and its translation into its "Dead Name"

reminds me of a movie I 've seen, where you needed to know the magical name of someone to hurt him :D
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Postby McWISE » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:45 am

Lyberodoggy wrote:Nice! It's going to be very original...



this one:
You will need to know the name of the spirit and its translation into its "Dead Name"

reminds me of a movie I 've seen, where you needed to know the magical name of someone to hurt him :D


Thanks Lyber,

I have tried to draw from several sources and I think the movie you are talking about is called " EarthSea " and yes that is were I got the idea.
Some of the other strong influences came from - " 13 Ghosts, Alone in the Dark, Supernatural The TV Series, Millenium, House on Haunted Hil and Constatine "
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Postby Lyberodoggy » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:51 am

Yes that's the film I was talking about...
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Comic style

Postby Harvester » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:21 pm

Don't say comic style takes down from the dark atmosphere, look at the Max Payne series, they have comicstyle parts and are still dark and sombre and exciting. Good luck with your project, I hope we can see some screens soon.
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Postby Candle » Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:47 am

Just playing, I like the name of this game for some reason :)
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Postby McWISE » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:43 pm

Wow Candle .. Thanks.

Oh love the Image by the way, I would love to use something similar to that for the title screen, Only set on a stormy cloud background :P
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Postby Candle » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:36 am

I'll see if I have a stormy cloud background.
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Postby Lyberodoggy » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:11 am

It's nice... Was it created with Anim8or? Because it reminds me of some pics I' ve made with it...
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Postby McWISE » Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:07 pm

Hehe Thanks Lyber.

No, The Image was created with GIMP, Using the smudge tool. I am still trying to find a appropriate animator program.

Still, I like the idea that ghosts should be distorted and without features, makes them more eerie and easy to draw ...

Stll I will look at Anim8or and see if it will work for the effect I am trying to create.
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Postby MRM2811 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:02 am

Apologies to all as I have had to change Name due to loss of computer and most of my account details that I stored on it.

Don't worry I still have all the data and work I had done previously and will continue working on the project again as soon as possible.
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Postby Lyberodoggy » Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:43 pm

Nice to know...
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Postby MRM2811 » Thu Jan 01, 2009 2:25 pm

Well I think I settled on a Title screen finally.

(EDIT)
To view any Images follow link in my signiture.
Last edited by MRM2811 on Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just PM me three things, a location, a time period and a item.

I will send you back a story line.
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Postby Vairon » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:42 pm

The story is intriguing and choose the comic style is a success, it will look darker.
Good luck.
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Postby MRM2811 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:50 am

Update 02/01/2009

Here is a layout for chapters that I will be workiing on.
As soon as one is finished I will be posting the info and where to get it.

Shadow Chronicles Chapter Synopsis.

Prologue:
Possible demo for explanation into character background story.

Chapter 1:
Beginnings
Basic introduction to character and story line.

Chapter 2:
Home Run
Max and Ian investigate unexplained deaths and suicide at a well known college.

Chapter 3:
Zeitgeist
A fifty year old political conspiracy is brought to light when Max and Ian follow a trail of dead bodies leading back to the mayor?s office.

Chapter 4:
Patient
An old hospital being renovated in halted when a mass grave is discovered. Max becomes concerned about Ian?s state of mind while they search the ruins and abandoned rooms of the century old hospital.

Chapter 5:
Hearts Aflame
Max makes a shocking discovery when he is forced to investigate one of names the listed in Ian's grandmothers ?Book of Names? alone and realises things are just beginning.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update 02/01/09

Well I have started on room construction for the Demo chapter.
This will basically be a test for my idea to see if enough people are interested for me to complete the rest of the chapters.

I have uploaded the images to my web site. Feel free to take a look and let me know what you think.
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Update 03/01/09

Did some research as I have decide to give the main character Max as sight disability.

Achromatopsia (ACHM), is a medical syndrome that exhibits symptoms relating to at least five separate individual diseases. Although the term may refer to acquired disorders such as color agnosia and cerebral achromatopsia, it typically refers to an autosomal recessive congenital color vision disorder, the inability to perceive color AND to achieve satisfactory visual acuity at high light levels (typically exterior daylight). The syndrome is also present in an incomplete form which is more properly defined as dyschromatopsia. The only estimate of its relative occurrence of 1:30,000 in the general population dates from the 1960s or earlier.

(sourced from wikipedia)

The advantage to a character with this disability is it allows me to do the graphics in black and white. Plus it adds to the over feel of the game.
There still will be elements of colour...but on during memories or when the game is view through the eyes of another character.

Looking back on the title its kinda funny as the main character see's everything in almost a shadow sense of grey tome from stark white to infinite black.... Shadow Chronicles...

And to think I didnt plan it that way ...
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Update 07/01/09

Currently shelving the project for now as I am having difficulties with the graphics.
May need to post "Help Needed" In working together section of forum, as I have the feeling I have bitten off more than I can chew.

Dont worry, I havent abandoned this project as I love it way too much.
Just need to work on something smaller for the time being and build my way up in graphic design.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update 21/07/09

I apologise for the lack of updates.
Unfortunately this project will sit on the shelf for a very long time.
Learning to draw is taking quite some time and unfortunately I am a bit of a perfectionist when its comes to trying to transfer a image from my mind in to a picture on a piece of paper.

I will be asking AM staff to place this in vaporware as it may be several years (no joke) before I ever complete the first chapter.

I do however thankyou all for your support, encouragement and input whilst I struggled with this project.

Peace :)
Just PM me three things, a location, a time period and a item.

I will send you back a story line.
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Postby MRM2811 » Mon May 24, 2010 1:13 pm

It appears even though I requested this be placed into vaporware, I may have been premature in that regard.

Upon revisiting the idea I may get back to work on this with some albeit strange inspirations..

None the less I have to ask all of you some questions for input... you can PM the answers if you like but it will go along to helping me.

What do you find more scary on a ratining of 1 to 10 for each of these:

A : Visual - The shadow that moves in the corner of your vision.
B : Visual - The sudden appearance of something unsetteling than vanishes.
C : Visual - Something that slowly creeps out of the darkness.
D : Audio - Whispers coming from no direction at all.
E : Audio - Creaking and scratching coming from the floors or walls around you.
F : Audio - Footsteps and movement from a well lit area.

If a few people could give me some response to these it would be greatly appreciated.
Just PM me three things, a location, a time period and a item.

I will send you back a story line.
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Postby Lyberodoggy » Mon May 24, 2010 1:41 pm

MRM2811 wrote:A : Visual - The shadow that moves in the corner of your vision.
B : Visual - The sudden appearance of something unsetteling than vanishes.
C : Visual - Something that slowly creeps out of the darkness.
D : Audio - Whispers coming from no direction at all.
E : Audio - Creaking and scratching coming from the floors or walls around you.
F : Audio - Footsteps and movement from a well lit area.


I 'd say:
A) 8/10 could be even more when a good sound is used too in the event.
B) 6/10
C) 7/10 could also use a great sound.
D) 7/10 I'd say creepy, not scary
E) 9/10 all time classic, like A
F) 5/10 not scary, but makes the viewer/player anxious
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Postby mercedes » Mon May 24, 2010 2:46 pm

What do you find more scary on a rating of 1 to 10 for each of these:

A : Visual - The shadow that moves in the corner of your vision. 9/10
B : Visual - The sudden appearance of something unsettling than vanishes. 8/10
C : Visual - Something that slowly creeps out of the darkness. 9/10
D : Audio - Whispers coming from no direction at all. 10/10
E : Audio - Creaking and scratching coming from the floors or walls around you. 8/10
F : Audio - Footsteps and movement from a well lit area. 8/10

Audio usually does it for me...even in a movie..but it can't be too scary..or i just won't play it without someone being here.....lol..
I"m a complete chicken..I don't mind audio sounds and music..its creepy voices..

Although those scary black floating apparitions u see down the hall..that move quickly..into a room or something..are enough to pretend i didn't see it...:D
Even talking about it right now..i'm scared.. :lol:
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rating

Postby Harvester » Mon May 24, 2010 3:34 pm

A : Visual - The shadow that moves in the corner of your vision. 8/10
B : Visual - The sudden appearance of something unsetteling than vanishes. 10/10
C : Visual - Something that slowly creeps out of the darkness. 3/10
D : Audio - Whispers coming from no direction at all. 7/10
E : Audio - Creaking and scratching coming from the floors or walls around you. 10/10
F : Audio - Footsteps and movement from a well lit area. 6/10

B and E won for me, but E depends on presentation intensity (that is, it can be awesome if perfoemed well; however, it is still the least ridiculous if performed poorly, so it has a quite great chance to have a great effect I think). D could gain more, but it needs very clever placing and presentation to have effect. B is the typical horror movie method I think, combined with sound of course; it works.
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Postby General Failure » Mon May 24, 2010 6:39 pm

It's very hard to say, it depends on how you combine the elements and play with the player.

If you raise the creepy feeling with cracking doors, footsteps, the players heartbeat and blurred pictures, then let the suspense decline, wait for the right time, so that the player comes down (about 4 or 5 seconds) and then come up with a unexpected very close appearance combined with a scream, you will scare the player very much more than using just a single element.

So the question, what element is the best, is not really important. Much more important is, how you use the elements in combination.
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Postby MRM2811 » Tue May 25, 2010 7:26 am

Thankyou all,
Yes General I do believe that using all these elements in combination is best, But preferably I would like to devise a way for which the player can choose what scares them most through a questionare at the start of the game...

For example..
Harvester feels B & E work best for him.. While Mercedes would be more scared with D & C or D & A, Lyberodoggy would be a E & A player..
So basically what if it was possible to create the best scare for the player by using the options they choose...

A slow creeping ghost that whispers as it draws closer..
Or a the sound of foot steps followed by the sudden appearance of a spirit right in front of you...
Just PM me three things, a location, a time period and a item.

I will send you back a story line.
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Postby Lyberodoggy » Tue May 25, 2010 7:48 am

Could be a great engine.
But there should be another solution for the detection of the best scare rather than a questionare
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Postby MRM2811 » Tue May 25, 2010 11:32 am

Don't you dare say psychological profile (the failed experiment that was to make SH: Shattered Mermories a better game)...

Ideally I would have to create several sets of animations and sounds for each of the spirits in the game ( A+D, A+E, A+F, B+D, ect ect). Then as the player makes a choice from multiple options, the game play would be altered to reflect this.

I think what would be easiest is to use the same ghost graphic but add a different animation style or layer to the graphic, the hardest part would be timing of each graphic and sound would be different to create the right effect...

Gah, I hate having good ideas sometimes..lol.

(Edit)
I wonder if Shadowhunters Keygaurd would be good for this ?
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Postby Lyberodoggy » Tue May 25, 2010 1:35 pm

I think you could modify the Animation Maker plugin to play alternative sequences or change some of the images of the sequence depending on some variables
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Postby MRM2811 » Wed May 26, 2010 6:33 am

Thanks for the tip Lyberdoggy,

Also considering using photo's and then converting them to "cartoon - comic" to help help resolve my lack of graphical knowledge. Fortunately living in a city full of rich haunting and ghost tours should help provide a sutible building to which i can easily photograph...
This also unfortunately brings me back to a topic I had else where regarding the possibilty of using a background at a resolution higher that the maxium allowed for AM, and some how incorperating a feature I have seen elsewhere that allows play to pan left or right using mouse over at the edge of the viewing area.. sorry hard to explain.
On another note though, can anyone tell me how many layers can be used on the background image for a AM project. Thinking of implememnting a slight blur effect at the edge of the left and right sections of the screen to mimic range of focus.. hence heightening any graphical effect of something moving in the corner of your eye..so to speak.
Just PM me three things, a location, a time period and a item.

I will send you back a story line.
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Postby Lyberodoggy » Thu May 27, 2010 10:53 am

MRM2811 wrote:some how incorperating a feature I have seen elsewhere that allows play to pan left or right using mouse over at the edge of the viewing area.. sorry hard to explain.


You can either use Shadowhunter's panorama effect with keyguard (If I remember correctly it can be found in his site along with other sample projects using KG) or a hotspot large enough to contain a huge image and then by tracing the mouse near the edge of the screen again with kg, you would move the hotspot accordingly to "pan" the viewpoint.


On another note though, can anyone tell me how many layers can be used on the background image for a AM project. Thinking of implememnting a slight blur effect at the edge of the left and right sections of the screen to mimic range of focus.. hence heightening any graphical effect of something moving in the corner of your eye..so to speak.


You can't use layers for the bg image itself, but you can use layered hotspots as the background
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Postby MRM2811 » Thu May 27, 2010 1:01 pm

Yep and yep, checked it all out will probably go with those two options as they fit the concept wonderfully, now to fix up some plot problems, take photo's of a the interior setting of a older style house, and then probably choose something different extirior and garden areas of the game, plus garden shed.. well.. opps.

Considering also the option of making the main house setting a orphanage or boarding house since most or all of the shades are children.. Thinking I might have to take photos of multiple locations and then stitch them together to make the house I want .. .. .. so much to do.

(Update 28/5/10)

I have decide to remove some of the original elements such as the Amplification goggles, also change certain aspects of storyline to make it more darker, my aim is not to follow alot of what I am seeing in some horror game that use blood and gore, but create a surreal and uneasey tension of fear and nervousnous. Given the fact the main char suffer from a sight disorder, colour and goggles arent really needed. Playing with sense of the main char being somewhat between realities..half in the shadow world and half in our world, this being somewhat of the background as to why he has his sight condition.

Here some of the new notes I have been working on the give more of an idea of what i am talking about as well as the area I am looking for when trying to get photographs of game areas..

What we believe to be ghosts are actually shades. They live within the darkness of every corner of every room where ever there is light there is darkness and shadow. Often shades will stay close to a domain to which they held dear in life, whether it be a house, a place they visited frequently or even where they worked. Most will be stuck where they died, unable to accept death, they will grow in furiousity and strength often lashing out in our realm with what we know to be violent hauntings. In most cases shades don't always manifest from death, usually it takes a certain type of circumstance like a violent act or a unforseen tragedy that could not be comprehended or viewed as normal, there is also the possibilty that people that lead a troubled or violent life sometimes turned into shades upon death.
Shades though can be harvested in a sense, although this is a improper use of power and abuse to the shade causing more damage than good. A item that was their's in life is required, something they imprinted heavily with ownership, for a partner a wedding ring, a favourite book for a teacher or for children it can be a toy. Shades are used for energy in rites of power, harnassing these shades requires time and effort as each shade has had to suffer a certain type of death. Children possess the strongest potency of these energies as shades. If someone was to collect these shades "so to speak" they could use them to perform certain rites.
Such rites draw upon many mytho and ancient beliefs, lost to most long ago during the witch hunts. Still there are those that could preform such rituals and they were used for certain tasks such as seers and the such like sometime these people are required to something a little more darker such as curses.
There is also the problem of the shades themselves, they are not easily controlled and often death falls upon the the person the tried to control or summon them. This act also creates a shade of the person of whos life was taken, usually bound to the stronger shade the lesser will then be used as a battery of energy for the stronger one increasing its own power to become more damaging and violent.
There is no real definition for these people that use shades in such a way, they use principles from many styles, necromancy, seer, summoners and occult studies. Like all things, these practices are never good or evil, it is the way it is used that often represented by those extremes.
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Areas of the Main House.
Entrance Hall, Sitting room, Teaching Room, Main Office, Infirmary, Dinning Hall, Music Room, Art and Crafts Room, Kitchen, Pantry, Cellar, Laundry, Boys Dorm, Girls Dorm, Recreation Room, Bathrooms ( West and East Wing ), Main Bedroom (inc Ensuite).
Extra ares to be considered,
West wing hallways, W Stairs, East wing hallways, E Stairs, Central corridors, Central Stairs, Attics for Cent East and West areas. Watch station for East and West wings.

(Update 30/5/10)

I may require the services of some one with some grammar skills just to proof read some of the dialouge and suchlike, please PM me.

Thanks
Just PM me three things, a location, a time period and a item.

I will send you back a story line.
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