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A Change In Direction

June 14, 2013

I’ve got some news…good or bad, it really depends on your perspective I suppose. To be completely upfront about it, Infernal Dead will not continue in its current form. What do I mean by this? There are several factors involved.

I’m just out of juice. I’m out of motivation. I’m frustrated and I no longer believe in the lasting potential of the game in its current form. It’s been no secret that I’ve been fighting with this engine (UDK) for a long, LONG time and it has taken its toll. Several problems arose when I set out building Infernal Dead (then Daemonicon) in the way that I had envisioned it. As the days go by, I’m still fighting with this thing and new problems are uncovered the more I progress with this engine.

I had envisioned Infernal Dead to be somewhat non-linear and vast with room for exploration and several mechanics that would enhance the immersion. This includes having a day to night cycle with dynamic lighting which UDK is capable of…but just barely.

It gets technical so I’ll avoid ranting too much about what the UDK can and can’t do well but you really have to spend a lot of time working with these features, with your hands in its guts to really understand what I mean when I say that the UDK was simply not built to handle large, open playable environments. It is very, very difficult to have large environments with really good-looking dynamic lighting and shadows within an acceptable framerate. I don’t give a damn what anyone says, it was built with one type of game in mind and we all know what that is.

What I have so far is acceptable but only because of a ton of visual hackery and tricks. I’ve struggled for a long time, have little to show for it and I still can’t get the ‘look‘ that I want out of it. There is just no shaking that ‘Unreal‘ look. Fellow developers and gamers with a keen eye will know exactly what I’m talking about.

My next concern is time. How little of it we have but how much of it passes. Other responsibilities cut into development time but during development time, I spend most of it fighting with the engine! FUN! Since it seems that most of the effort is going into building UE4, the updates and improvements to the UE3/UDK engine have become sparse at best. I don’t think these issues will be resolved anytime soon.

I break down what I need to do and how much of it is left and I still have a long way to go. At this rate, it will be several years before I finish and that to me, is not acceptable this time around. I am not interested in recruiting a team with promises of royalties because I just don’t like how that system works. People need to eat, people need to pay bills and if they are to devote a large chunk of time to working on a project like this, they need to be compensated. The project is too wide in scope, too ambitious and without proper funding, it can’t be done in a timely manner.

Altering the way this game is played and presented will shave a ridiculous amount of time and work off. Maybe, just maybe, instead of waiting 3 or 4 years for this game, it might come down to much less.

This came as a result of many different events in my life and this decision was not made lightly. I spent a great deal of time soul-searching, prioritizing my goals in regards to this project and in regards to life and I think this is my only choice.

Infernal Dead is not abandoned, but will undergo a transformation. It will continue on but in another form as another type of game with the same art direction, the same assets and the same storyline. It will be a more entertaining game, will stick around longer and offer more replayabilty than its current form. Most important to me at this point, it is something which I can believe in.

From → Out Of Hell

  1. trunkwo permalink


    If its one thing I have come to know about you over the years, and especially silently watching this site from time to time, is that you truly never abandon your work, you simply restyle. You will find the way through your determination!


  2. Long Nguyen :
    Thank you again for your post, it came during a great time of need.

    No problem man, i love the work you do it looks great and i’m more then glad to hear that your still going on it, i am most definitely looking forward to seeing the finished product. I still have Out of Hell on my computer and was playing it until my life became more… busy lol. That is after i’ve already played through it once but i just love being in the game, soaking in the atmosphere. For me when i see something great it motivates me and simply makes me want to break back into my old modding habits (mapping mostly, but playing and seeing your work has really made me want to expand my skills by doing my own little hobby total conversion mod). I really can not express how well i think you are doing and that i want to see more from you, which is probably why I’m nearly typing out an essay. I do a little bit of modeling, and i would love to help (if only i had more time as seeing your work again has made me want to do some of my own little projects on top of my busy life lol)

    Keep us posted with more teasers and screenshots. I love seeing the new enemies and human characters, it was the one thing i felt was lacking in Out of Hell (no offence to you at all), and i can see where you have improved quite a lot since then.

  3. Long Nguyen permalink

    Thank you for such kind and motivating words man. 🙂 I think the everyday struggle is what burned me out but I’ve still been at it since the post. The game originally was going to be more along the lines of S.T.A.L.K.E.R in gameplay. Unfortunately, this engine isn’t optimised for such a format; at least, not without some major additions or alterations to the code.

    Though I have seen some projects attempt to do this type of game, the visuals (especially the lighting) must suffer because of the performance cost. As far as I’m aware, no one has figured out the same method I employ for dynamically lighting such large areas while still maintaining some degree of performance. This is because my method is somewhat of a visual hack. 😉

    Atmosphere and immersion is still very high on the list of priorities. If it weren’t, I would have skipped the entire Day/Night cycle and dynamic lighting instead of investing so much time in it. The game will retain most of the core elements that I had originally planned but it simply won’t be an ‘open-world’ game anymore. It will be more focused and a little bit smaller to shave off time but I’m positive the full impact of what I want to present will still remain.

    Thank you again for your post, it came during a great time of need. 🙂

  4. Don’t get yourself so down, your doing great and have accomplished a lot in my eyes. You’ve done and are in the process of doing what i always wanted to do but never had the motivation, time, or imagination. I discovered Out Of Hell quite a few years ago and I am still following your work in my spare time. So when i come to see what your progress is, this is the last thing i expected to find. I am very impressed with your improvements in 3D modeling, very. You’ve come a long way since you first tried getting into the gaming industry scene. I love seeing games like this where i can just immerse myself FEEL that apocalyptic chaos of a world you’ve created. If i was looking for motivation to justify my time spent on creating something so large, i would take a step back and look at what i am striving for, the end product. Visualize it and realize, this isn’t just for fan’s or to make money, it will greatly expand your portfolio (out of hell was great, but this if geared more at next gen type development which would be a great plus for you), your knowledge, and its something you love doing. I sometimes find myself seeing things as a chore rather then something i want to do, and i have to remind myself that its something i love doing and even if its not going as i planned, there is always something to salvage or change that can make it something great.

    Don’t give up man, even if you need to break it down into a linear style game it could still be something spectacular, and you will probably have a lot more to show for your time spent. (and i see less hiccups during development going with the linear style.)

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