The Widower

Discussion in 'Games In Development' started by Quigon, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    A shocking murder of a young woman tears the quiet town of Fleetswood apart overnight. Philip Dunpenny, a soon-to-retire detective, and his partner Tommy take on the case and hunt down the killer. Though as the case continues and the body count increases, it's apparent that there's something far more sinister brewing within Fleetswood than initially realised. Between balancing his own demons and the pressure of this case, Philip has to find the killer before it's too late -whilst battling relentlessly dense local police officers, hunting for runaway psychiatric patients, discovering a dark conspiracy, and remembering to call his wife every so often. Nothing is as it seems in Fleetswood, and as the case pushes Philip & Tommy to their limits, something far worse hides in the shadows. Sometimes, secrets should be kept secret.

    The Widower is a Lynchian-esque investigative horror game, inspired by the aforementioned director's works such as Twin Peaks and Eraserhead, though also taking inspiration from titles like Silent HillTrue Detective and The X-Files. Finding clues and coming to your own conclusions are key to the story, with gameplay focused on exploration, deduction, and at times - survival. The town progresses as you do, the characters' thoughts and actions progress as you do, and above all, the case can take various paths with each conclusion you make.

    Whilst this is no longer Oneirophrenia in a traditional sense, various themes and characters are still present. The former title (while there wasn't a demo, admittedly) allowed me to get my horror chops on and brainstorm some great ideas. This is the culmination of all of these - a far more refined experience.

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    [from left to right]

    Dorian Faulkner 

    A runaway patient of Gethsemane Institution for the Mentally Ill. Considered armed and dangerous, and the current number one suspect of 'The Widower' case. Dorian was already a troubled individual, but after a tragic boating trip left his mother dead and him and his sister alive, his depression and anger spiralled out of control. After being admitted to the institution, he remained severely disturbed and violent. Denying visits from his sister Dahlia over the course of five years, it's a wonder how he managed to escape from the reportedly Fort Knox-like security of the solitary confinement wing.

    Thomas Ritter

    Relatively new to law enforcement, the 'Widower' case is his first as a fully-fledged detective. Young, street-smart and playboyish, he graduated top of his class and was seen as an up and coming superstar in the police force. Yet, for all his accolades, there is some grief that drives his decisions and actions. Severed from his family at an early age, Tommy is looking to impress someone, and move on with his life in the process.

    Philip Dunpenny

    As an officer of the law for over ten years, the 'Widower' case is his last. Known for having troubles at home with his wife and child. Tommy is his new partner after an undercover operation gone wrong killed his previous one. To the point, grizzled, and addicted to various substances, Philip is ready to hang up his gun and retire. He knows there is something different about this case, something unseen and sinister, and is determined to get the job done by whatever means necessary.

    Laura James

    Laura has overseen and ran the Gethsemane Institution since buying it with a considerable inheritance left to her. With a will to turn away from the dangerous and inhumane treatments of the past, Laura is sure in her ways and is making a strong case in driving corruption away from the hospital. Yet, she's not without her controversy. Seen to some as 'too new-age and more dangerous than she realizes', Laura's modernized treatments leave much to speculation. Damage to the body is not the only inhumane way of treating the mentally ill, and it's a point people believe she occasionally forgets.

    Dahlia Faulkner

    Sister to Dorian and a writer for the local newspaper, Dahlia is under fire from her job and the public for intentionally skewing the truth in an effort to paint her brother in a better light. A long-time conspiracy theorist, she is often in and out of the police station for being places she shouldn't be. She strongly believes that there was more to the boating accident that killed her mother, and is often seen scouring the lake's surface and shores for clues. People don't know if she's searching for a monster of the deep, a sunken warhead, or a way to accept her loss - yet she takes the jesting and scorn and lets it fuel her passionate search for the truth.

    - There will be more characters in this, but as it stands, these guys are the most important. You'll have a whole town of eclectic people to interact with.

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    [please note that various screenshots may be subject to change as the art is still in progress. also they're rather large.]​
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    - A game very much centred around choice and consequence. I understand it's difficult to market that as a solid feature when so many games do the same, and often deliver the same black and white morality systems, but I want this to be different, natural and certainly not gimmicky. There's no form of 'alignment or karma' meter present, nothing is painted as 'good' or 'bad' - those decisions are up to you. Your actions, down to what you eat at the diner, will have some form of consequence, whether it's buying up all the cigarettes over town and hankering for one for the remainder of the game, or arresting an innocent man and leading his wife to kill herself from the shame. It's your game, your case. Things will have repercussions.

    - Though I'm not quite sure how I'm going to visually implement it just yet, there will be a way to make deductions, question, detain and arrest suspects. Something similar to the newest Sherlock Holmes game will be in play, where you can collect clues and come to conclusions based on what you have. 

    Exploration and interaction to a large scale. You have an entire town to explore, and nothing there will be useless. It's a small town where everyone knows each other, so secrets are abound. You'll be rewarded for exploring and permitted to do so at any time.

    - Stealth and combat will come into play for the action scenes, or whenever it's needed. It'll be something quite simple, but tense and challenging at the same time.

    - Not a 'feature' per-se, but The Widower will contain fully custom artwork and an original score;




    - And another 'feature but not really a feature', things will get really, really weird, and super spooky. Don't let the gritty 'grizzled detective takes on dark case' thing fool you into thinking it'll be a run of the mill cop drama. You'll be on your toes.

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    Judging by the time it's taking to formulate something clear and cohesive story-wise, get everything into RM & getting the artwork done, I can't give too much of an estimate just yet. It won't be too long though. I'm sorry you've all been waiting forever.

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    - Tilesets and sprites by the excellent Zoë Patrick, though earlier iterations of the sprites were crafted by the very talented Vexed.
    - Facial art you see on this thread was put together by the awesome Ronove.
    - I'm not using any scripts in the current build just yet other than the High Res DLL, but I'll update as I go.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2015
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  2. Dalph

    Dalph Nega Ralph™ Veteran

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    Stares at the thread...

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    MIND = BLOWN

    ~

    In all seriousness now.

    This looks simply amazing, I'm a fan of David Lynch and I like most of his work, it's awesome that you took inspiration from Twin Peaks and Eraserhead. I'll definitely follow this, good luck with it! I'm looking forward to play it soon!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2015
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  3. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    This looks one of the most interesting things I've seen in a while.  I'll be looking forward to this.
     
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  4. Nathan Frost

    Nathan Frost ... only the world's greatest Secret Agent. Veteran

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    I totally forgot I lent my voice to this. xD Hooray I'm part of something! 
     
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  5. C-C-C-Cashmere

    C-C-C-Cashmere Veteran Veteran

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    Oneirophrenia Deluxe!


    Just kidding, but in all seriousness, you know I've been rooting for you since the begin. Glad to see this is gaining traction in a real way. This is on some Lone Survivor side scrolling horror shiznit. I just hope it gets released within the next 10 years. But I know I will tell my grandchildren of this experience.


    Dalph's GIF relays all my feelings about this project. Marky Mark will rescue the Video Gam industry. <3
     
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  6. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    @Dalph - that is the most appropriate GIF you could use. Cool to hear you're a Lynch fan too. I hope I can get a similar atmos for ya :)

    @ksjp - Thank you for the support! 

    @Benny - I'm considering having a man named Benny be the killer in light of your tremendous amount of support.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2015
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  7. Kyuukon

    Kyuukon 主人公 Veteran

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    Looks very intriguing, indeed. Can't wait to play it >.<

    Will it be commercial? I wouldn't be surprised :p
     
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  8. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    @Kyuukon - Thank you! I've been going back and forth on the commercial thing for a long time, but I'll wait until the demo is released and judge it from the player's reaction. I'd want it to be worth it! It's very possible that it may go that route and have some crowdfunding platform up and running, as the out of pocket cost is quite difficult to manage with balancing it around dev time, so we'll see how it goes after the initial demo.

    Speaking of, I'm going to go for a possible March release, but again, it depends on costs, time and availability of the parties involved. Don't worry though - it's been resurrected from the dev hell that Oneirophrenia was sunk into, and things are definitely moving forward now rather than being at a standstill. It's going to happen, and I appreciate everyone's patience ;_;
     
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  9. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    Doing some lighting tests.

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  10. Candacis

    Candacis Pixel Pusher Restaff

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    I'm wondering, if you are still working on this, because I really like the artstyle and what you have planned so far.
     
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  11. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    I'm still chugging away! Budgetary issues have meant that a lot of the (read: all of it) art is on my shoulders now, and given that it's a pretty high learning curve for me, things will probably take longer. Definitely not giving up though!
     
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  12. Banquo

    Banquo scoundrel Veteran

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    How about a port to MV? Your game looks like it could benefit from the higher resolution for better immersion.

    In any way, this look amazing!
     
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  13. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    Possibly! I'll see. It'll more than likely take me that long to get all the assets together anyway, and the mobile exporting would be pretty great. Definitely something to think about!
     
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  14. LeeOccleshaw

    LeeOccleshaw Stone Dragon Workshop Veteran

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    This looks beautiful man.  BD
     
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  15. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    Thank you!

    Quick little screengrab of some actual gameplay!

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  16. Ronove

    Ronove ♫꒰・‿・๑꒱ Veteran

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    You're still working on this! I'm very excited. I LOVE the graphics that you're going with. I think it'll really bring the atmosphere home and I can't wait to play it.
     
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  17. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    @Ronove thank you! It's gonna take a lot longer doing them myself but it's definitely fun learning along the way. Glad you like them!
     
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  18. Candacis

    Candacis Pixel Pusher Restaff

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    I'm also loving the atmosphere. Do you only play as him? I never see another living soul around :D
     
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  19. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    @candacis he's literally the only matching sprite o have xD he isn't even animated yet.
     
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  20. Quigon

    Quigon electric boogaloo Veteran

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    Good news everyone! Three more maps (which I'll hopefully finish tonight and tomorrow, though that might be subject to change what with making each room from scratch taking the better part of a day each) and the demo will be ready to get properly evented and started! And it's definitely not going to take me too long after that! The only setback at this moment is, as it always is, sprites, sprites, spriiiiiites. I'm either going to commission the artist who started me off with the artwork and made Philip's stationary sprite again to do the rest, which may add some more time - or if there's anyone here who fancies dabbing in a little pixel art then let me know!

    For now, some gore.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2015
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