It Lurks! A horror-themed RPG (Chapter One available now)

Discussion in '2014 Indie Game Maker Contest' started by LoneWolfDon, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. LoneWolfDon

    LoneWolfDon Big Don Veteran

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    Sept.21.2014 * Update: I've improved Chapter One of It Lurks. v1.6 is available to download and play.

    Download page: http://itlurks.com/chapter1.html

    You can visit the game-entry page for it on the 2014 Indie Game Maker contest site at: http://contest.rpgmakerweb.com/game/view/id/477

    If you enjoy playing it, then please give a Like vote on that page. It's much appreciated. Feedback is also welcome. :)

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Greetings Adventurers. :)

    I've been working hard on developing a game, It Lurks!

    The first chapter of the this game will be submitted to the big 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest.
    After the contest is over, in due time It Lurks will be developed into a bigger game with more exciting chapters to experience.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​

    Game Title: It Lurks!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​
    Game Genre / Style: A horror-themed RPG with a bit of a 1940s-ish era "noir" setting, in which the main protagonist is a Private Detective.​
    This game will have classical RPG aesthetics, but with it's own story, characters, locations and battle-system to explore and experience.​
     ​
    Main Website (for more info): http://itlurks.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​
     ​
    Brief Intro / Synopsis:​
    [​IMG]
    Meet Nate Hendricks, a Private Detective who's a bit down on his luck.

    Business has been slow. Too slow. The bills are piling up, and he may have to soon close-up shop. He just needs a break. Perhaps one good well-paying case could help him turn things around.

    Then one evening, he gets a call from a Doctor Offenhauser who wants to hire him. The Doc doesn't give many details over the phone, but insists it's an urgent matter that can't wait, and that he'll pay very handsomely, even just for Nate to show up to his residence that night to discuss matters personally.

    "Sure, why not?", Nate thinks. Even if he decides not to take the case, he'll still get a bit of much-needed cash to help pay off a few of the bills.

    Nate goes to the Doctor's secluded estate that night. But things soon take a turn for the worse. In fact, something sinister lurks within. It lurks, and it waits!


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​
     ​
    Game Features / Things of Note:​

    * Some sounds (fire in the fireplace, clocks-ticking, etc...) will become louder or softer as the Player-character nears or walks away from the source.

    * Walls in the foreground will become solid as the Player-character moves away from them, and become translucent when nearing them to help you better explore an area.

    * An exciting and interactive battle-system. Quick reflexes and a strategic use of actions can help you to overcome dangerous foes. Weapons include a .38 Special gun which can be a Detective's best friend when in a tough jam. It shoots fast and deals a lot of damage, but ammo is limited so choose to use it wisely. There's also a trusty Combat-Knife used for melee attacks. Plus you'll have skills and items that can also help.

    * Fitting music and sound-effects used throughout the game.

    * A dark story and a creepy manor to explore.

    * A great looking menu-system.

    * Use of lighting and other cool effects.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Developer: Don McPherson (that's me ;) ). I'm a 1-man-team making this game.

    I have made some of the resources for this game myself. However, this game also makes good use of some resources made by others as well. All extra resources used, the ones which are not mine, are legit; either I bought and have the license to use them, or were available freely to use in any RPG Maker project (free or commercial). A full list of credits will be included with the game-manual that will be included with the game.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Game-Play Teaser-video:




    Screenshots: (click the "Spoiler" button below to reveal)

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    Thanks for your interest and support. Cheers! :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2014
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  2. Clord

    Clord Nya~ Veteran

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    Who wrote the story?


    I recently did write something similar so I'm quite interested about how you came up with this.


    Looking forward for more.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2014
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  3. ElementalLight

    ElementalLight Resident Anime Junkie Veteran

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    huu one of the more relistic looking rpgs i have seen (thumbs up)
     
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  4. LoneWolfDon

    LoneWolfDon Big Don Veteran

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    @Clord: Hi. Thanks for your interest. Well, I'm the sole-developer of this game. Story is done by myself. I bought & own all of the PVGames Resource Packs http://www.pioneervalleygames.com/ . For quite a while I've been wanting to make a horror-themed type of RPG (my other main project has been Blade of Rage: http://bladeofrage.com , which is in more of a medieval fantasy style).

    So, with this big contest going on it inspired me to make a new game, and having the Mythos Horror Resource Pack, looking over the various graphics and characters, it kind of got me thinking of what kind of story I could make from that. I liked the look of the Detective character as a main protagonist, and with the other graphics and characters in that pack it gave me the general idea for the story (and the synopsis as mentioned in my first post in this thread). For now I have Chapter 1 of the story pretty much in place, which is what I will have in the version of the game I'll be submitting to the contest. After the contest, in due time, I plan to continue development of this game and add several more chapters to it.

    @Blademan729: Thanks for your nice comment and support. I hope you'll enjoy playing through Chapter 1 of this game when it's released for the contest.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2014
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  5. Clord

    Clord Nya~ Veteran

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    So it is just co-incidence that our stories are so similar. Roger.


    I hope this gets released. :)
     
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  6. Cinnamon

    Cinnamon Veteran Veteran

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    Looks great! Small comment: your font's "H" doesn't look capitalized. At first I thought it was an error before realizing it's the font's fault. :)
     
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  7. LoneWolfDon

    LoneWolfDon Big Don Veteran

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    @Clord: Yep. Total coincidence. What game of yours are you referring too? Is it out already, or one you're making for the contest? I wish you good luck with your project.

    @Cinnamon: Thanks. :) Yeah, I suppose the capital "H" can seem a bit odd. Compared to VxAce's default fonts, I liked the look of it better, and it was free to use in any project, so I decided to go with it. In the first screenshot in my first post, you can notice the difference in the big and small H letters.

    *Update: I've edited / fixed the capital "H" letter in the font I used, so now people won't mistake it for a typo. The contest-version of the game will have the edited font with it.
     
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  8. Clord

    Clord Nya~ Veteran

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    Nah, it is related to something else I shouldn't much talk about as of yet.


    My contest entry uses another story.
     
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  9. Vallar

    Vallar Veteran Veteran

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    The game looks quite atmospheric looking at the screenshots and I really liked the part where you added doors to the walls inside the mansion/house map. It really looks cool.

    However, I read the part with "Quick reflexes and a strategic use of actions can help you to overcome dangerous foes." but the combat doesn't seam to be based on quick reflexes. Is it something other than the combat in the game that would require use of quick reflexes? 

    Seriously though, this looks quite interesting :) good luck, sir.
     
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  10. LoneWolfDon

    LoneWolfDon Big Don Veteran

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    @Vallar : Hi there. Thanks for your nice comments and interest in my game. I much appreciate it. :)

    Regarding your question about the "quick reflexes" part. In fact, the battle-system is a combination of turn-based and action-based. So yes indeed, quick-reflexes can come into play in my game. There's a feature which I'm calling the "Battle Action Response" (or BAR for short). It's enabled by default. However it's an optional feature in which the Player can choose to enable or disable.

    Players who more prefers to keep it turn-based only and not worry about having quick-reflexes can choose to disable the BAR feature to then let the computer "roll the dice" and decide the outcome accordingly.

    However, with the BAR enabled, during the actual attacking and defensive phases of a turn, the Player will get a visual prompt that appears in which they are to try and press the action key at the right moment, and when successful then it's either a guaranteed hit or guaranteed block accordingly. On the attack phase this would then give the Player a much better chance at inflicting Critical hits, plus dealing out a bit of increased damage on the enemy. On the defensive phase, when successful with it, the Player will have any damage received reduced (typically by half of the amount of damage that they would normally have taken otherwise). If the Player mistimes pressing the action-key/button, then the computer will still "roll the dice" and decide the outcome accordingly.

    I've been using the BAR feature in my Blade of Rage game with good success. Play-testers who have tried it seem to really enjoy it and feel that it makes the battles much more interactive, immersive and exciting. So I decided to also use that feature with my It Lurks game here as well.

    When you get a chance to play my It Lurks game I've submitting to the contest, I hope you'll enjoy it.

    In the meantime, if you wanted to try a recent alpha-demo of my Blade of Rage game so you can see it in action, send me a PM here on the forum and I can reply with the details.

    Ok, I'm still pretty much working around-the-clock on this game. It's all shaping up nicely, but I've still a lot of work left to do in the week remaining until the submission deadline. Cheers! :)   --Don
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2014
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  11. Vallar

    Vallar Veteran Veteran

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    Oh, now I get what you mean. That is actually an excellent idea and I see it definitely working out as a great implementation in games with battles in general. 

    I really love those types of games and enjoyed a similar feature in Indigo Prophecy or Fahrenheit (by Quantic Dreams). 

    Yes, I'd be very much interested in playing It Lurks of course ^_^. The story looks interesting (reminds me of Indigo Prophecy a little -- atmosphere wise).

    Good luck! \o/
     
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  12. LoneWolfDon

    LoneWolfDon Big Don Veteran

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    @Vallar: Thanks for your continued interest & support. Hang in there, you'll have a chance to play Chapter 1 of It Lurks soon. ;)

    In the meantime, here's a brief update along with a new screenie:

    I've still been working long hours every day / night on my It Lurks game.

    There's only about 1 week remaining (as I make this post) for the submission-deadline to the big Indie Game Maker contest. I've only 2 to 3 more maps to go to make (possibly 4, we'll see). I've still a lot of details to add, a lot of polishing, etc... If all goes well, I may have it ready enough for a bit of play-testing in a few days. I think it's all coming together nicely.

    Here's a new screenshot from a map (the Master Bedroom of the Doctor's Manor) I've been working on these last couple of days:

    Nate finds himself in some crazy house of horrors. What the heck has the Doc been up to?

    [​IMG]
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​


    As you can see, I'm putting a lot of details into each map.

    Ok, I'll keep working hard at it (I've only been grabbing little naps these last few weeks. Really, I've been working about 15+ hours a day, sometimes more, on this project since I've started. :p I'm giving it my best shot in the little time given. At the end of this month, I think I'm gonna take a short break I. Heheh). Cheers! :)
     
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  13. LoneWolfDon

    LoneWolfDon Big Don Veteran

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    Another quick update:

    I finished the Attic map today in my It Lurks game, added in a couple of little puzzles, polished up several things, did more eventing, etc... I've still got 2 or 3 maps more to make, and bunch more eventing to do, more polishing and testing. I'm hoping if all goes well, after 2 or 3 more days (as I make this post), it may be ready for some play-testing.

    If you'd like to be one of the play-testers, send me an email and let me know.
    Go to the site at: http://itlurks.com , and you can find a contact-email for me there, or you can send me a PM to my profile on the forum here.

    I didn't want to post too many more screenshots (that may possibly spoil the game too much). But here's a screen-shot of Nate's Bio:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks to all who have wished me good-luck for the big contest, and for your continued interest and support. It means a lot to me. Cheers!

    PS: I probably just put in the last 20 hours straight working on this game, but I seem to have gotten my 2nd, or 3rd wind now. ;) I've only been taking short naps since I've started making this game for the contest (it's been usually about 15+ hours a day I'd estimate that I work on developing this game). I'm tired, but I wanted to give my best effort in the little time given to make the game. Just 1 week now, approximately, to the submission-deadline (though I want to try to have it ready and submitted by the 29th).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2014
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  14. LoneWolfDon

    LoneWolfDon Big Don Veteran

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    Crunch time! Just a few days to go until the contest submission deadline. I estimate I'm like about 95% done before the game is ready for play-testing (I'm thinking late today or sometime tomorrow). I will get this project done before the contest submission deadline, barring any unforeseen disasters. It's soooo close now.

    I haven't been as active on the forums much lately, or anywhere for that matter, as I've been so focused and busy developing this game (and my Blade of Rage game too before the contest started). Putting in like 15 to 20 hours a day on making this game, and I estimate I'll probably have something like around 500 hours of my time put into making it in just this one crazy month. :p Whew!

    Okay, here's another new screenshot to whet yer whistle. Cheers! :)

    [​IMG]

    Nate enters the backyard area of the Offenhauser estate. What might he find out here?
     ​
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​
    Well, still lots more to do in a very short time, so I'm back to working on it. Cheers! :) --Don
     
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  15. Jesse - PVGames

    Jesse - PVGames Game and Graphics Developer Veteran

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    Looking good man! Let me know if you need a tester :)
     
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  16. LoneWolfDon

    LoneWolfDon Big Don Veteran

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    Greetings Adventurers. :)

    Whew! Well, it was a lot of time and work I put into making Chapter One of my It Lurks game. I put in my best effort, and I estimate I put in over 500 hours of time working on it. I hardly slept for the month. I was so tired at the end of June (I still am a bit sleep deprived), but also excited.

    It's now available to download and play.

    Visit the game-entry page for it on the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest site at the following link:

    http://contest.rpgmakerweb.com/game/view/id/477

    If you enjoy playing it, then give a Like vote on that page. It's much appreciated.

    Here's a short game-play teaser video I made for it too:​



    Thanks for your interest and support. I hope you'll enjoy playing it. Feedback is welcome.

    Cheers! ---Don
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2014
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  17. Matseb2611

    Matseb2611 Innovate, don't emulate Veteran

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    Looks good and I like the atmosphere. Going to try it and will provide some feedback at the end. I've noticed you used the same kind of battle action response as in your other game.

    Edit: All right, so I've played through it. Here's my feedback:

    Very nice game. Feels really professional. The atmosphere is well done with the visuals (nice mapping and very good use of lighting) and a suitable music. Though I didn't really find it scary, it gave a very nice sense of mystery and made me want to find out what was happening.

    The battles were pretty fun. I liked that there was a good number of skills to use and that some strategy was required to beating the enemies. The final battle was very satisfying and concluded this chapter well. I noticed that exploration was really well rewarded since searching in various drawers and other containers there'd often be useful items, so that's very nice too.

    Perhaps a couple of small hiccups in the flow (in my personal opinion). I'll put them in the spoiler:

    At first I didn't realise there was the second half of the attic, so I kept looking around the house for a bit as to where I could put the blue fuse in, since it didn't fit in with the red fuses anywhere. I think the fireplace is what mislead me to believe there was a wall there as opposed to a way to another part of the attic. Also the red fuse was hidden a bit too well. There weren't any clues as to where I could find it, so I simply had to interact with every object in the room. Some other objects' hiding spots were executed better, like for example the key to the shed and reading a note gives you a clue that it's located next to where the Doc likes to sit. I thought that was hinted at well, but for the red fuse, I didn't see any hints.
    I also thought the character movement was a bit stiff, mostly because of the whole turn before you walk mechanic. I personally don't see much need to have it in the game. Since you never have to run around and fight the enemies on the map, the idea of turning does not serve any purpose at all and I believe the game can be played fine with the default control.

    Some of the smaller details that I loved:

    - the creepy voice on the phone early on telling you to get out

    - autosave was nice to have in a game like this

    - the clock ticking sound in the bedrooms was really great and added to the tension really well

    - the intro was quite cool with the character narrating and speaking to Doc on the phone (for some reason I got a bit of Max Payne vibe from it)

    A few minor bugs/issues/suggestions:

    - victory pose after winning battles seems to loop (not sure if that was intended, but it looks a tad strange)

    - one of the earlier zombie encounters has them saying 'nom nom', and although I found it pretty funny, I am not sure if it was so suitable for the atmosphere the game is going for (I guess it's up to you; leaving it there kind of makes it funny, so it has some sort of charm I guess)

    - there was a typo in the word 'assistants' when reading Doc's letter near the end

    So yeah, great stuff overall. I've enjoyed playing through the game. I think it's a solid entry and have given it a vote.
     
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  18. Hailren

    Hailren Title Screen Master. Rpg Maker Artist. Veteran

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    This looks really cool :D
     
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  19. LoneWolfDon

    LoneWolfDon Big Don Veteran

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    @Hailren : Hope you'll enjoy it. And yes, I think it's a really cool game too ;)

    @Matseb2611: Hey there. I'm glad that overall you had fun playing through this game (despite some of the rough-spots).

    I appreciate your detailed feedback, it's helpful to me. Though of course I can't make any changes to the current contest-version (it is what it is, warts and all, and I'd be breaking the rules if I was to try and update the current contest-version, so I'll just have to leave it be until after the Judging is finished and the winners announced), I can still make some changes and improvements later / after the contest is over (based in part from some feedback people may give, though I may not be able to, or may decide not to, make all changes based on every feedback I may get) to my game when I continue with development of it (I was thinking to, in due time, to make it a bigger game and add several more chapters to it).

    As I'm the sole-Developer who made this game, putting in over 500 hours of my time to make it within just the 1 month time limit, and one can't be an expert at all things (though as a 1-Man-Team game-Developer, I need to try to do my best in all areas in making the game), and even though I was also fighting-off sleep-deprivation too, the main priority for me was to try to cram-in and get working well the main parts that I wanted to include. I realize that my game is a bit rough, or lacking, in some ways, and I wish I had a bit more time for more testing, check for issues, tweaking and polishing. That being said, overall I'm still pleased with how it turned out, and it's also been a great learning experience too.

    I'll reply to some of the points you mention:

    I've since noticed a few issues with my game too (mostly minor or cosmetic though).

    * About finding the red-fuse, I'll probably put in a little clue some where (such as I did for a couple of the keys), or I may even consider changing the hiding spot for it.

    * I did sort of have in mind to add in some patrolling enemies, but I simply ran out of time.

    * About some of the minor issues you mention, thanks. I think I can easy enough fix most of them. The 'Nom nom' bit from one of the zombies for one of the fights, I guess was my poor attempt to add in a little humor. I even had in more bits of "humor" before I some of the polishing stages, that I decided to take out. ;)

    * The looping "Victory Dance" was intentional, but if I get more people giving feedback saying they think it seems out of place, then I may consider to remove it with a future update.

    * Easy enough to fix the typos. I've noticed a couple more too. I think I have found most of them now. Struggling with dyslexia and sleep-deprivation can sometimes make the mind, and fingers, do odd things while developing a game. ;) Hehe.

    Thanks again for taking the time to play Chapter One of my It Lurks game. And of course for the great feedback too.

    Cheers! ---Don
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2014
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  20. Matseb2611

    Matseb2611 Innovate, don't emulate Veteran

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    Heya. Glad the feedback was helpful. Actually I didn't feel the game was rough or lacking or anything of that sort. It felt nicely polished for the most part and had a professional feel, so I actually did enjoy it as a whole.

    In some ways I think the fact you didn't include patrolling enemies is actually better. Every single encounter was a bit of a surprise and I think for a game like this works well. Being able to see the enemy before fighting it would kill the element of surprise and tension, I think.

    Hehe. I guess if the 'nom nom' bit was intentional to provide some humour, then it's fine, because it did make me laugh.
     
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