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All My Base Are Be Built!

The player’s base of operations and the surrounding area is done and now I can move onto the next map! There’s a filthy couch to sleep on, a wooden chest to store things in (initially, I was going to make it so that you could drop your items anywhere in this place and it would be saved but having a chest is just a cleaner method) and a few other things.

I was able to solve a few different issues/bugs with the conversation tree and journal system which is a huge relief. I also made several improvements based upon some good feedback in the Discord chat as well!

It’s kind of a crazy feeling for me right now when I look back at all the concept art I made (Sullivan, for example) and now, like 7 years LATER I’ve got him in-game with cutscenes and everything. It’s really hard to describe but it’s a combination of relief, anxiety and sadness all rolled into one. Relanxness?

The rest of the maps that need cleaning and optimizing aren’t as sparse (in terms of completion) as this one was so it should go a little quicker (like the sewers, forest etc.) Just gotta keep focused and pushing, I am so damn close now!

Let Me Give You A Tour!

There was a bookstore in the original mod that you came across that sold occult books and metaphysical supplies. It had some important information but outside of that it was just another stop on your way out of town. Here’s some refresher screens:

For some reason I don’t remember it being this sparse! Anyway, this store now serves as a base of operations (remember I mentioned in the development journal that the original mod was supposed to have a hub area?) You can eat, rest, research without fear of being mobbed by the demonic undead! You will return here after each mission and there’s an NPC that will answer questions and help you decide what to do and where to go next.

The above pic is what it looked like for about 2 years (I think that’s the last time I touched it, I can’t even remember) since I was just plowing through and only creating the layout of the maps and blocking everything out. I didn’t add too much detail to many areas (as I always said I would return and polish them up in the final detailing phase, which is where we are at now) so you can see what the game would look like at its basic.

It was a bit of a pain coming up with all the different little nuances of these types of places but having been to many of these stores in real life (I’m totally into this shit! XD) I felt an obligation to get the look and feel as accurate as I could. There are also living quarters upstairs but I decided last minute to not show any since I don’t want to further spoil it.

The cleanup of these maps is taking a little longer than I anticipated but they are also looking far better than I could have imagined. It’s coming guys, just a little bit more!

And for anyone that missed this video, you can get a small preview of me groaning and drooling all over the place! XD

Putting the “Hell” in Out Of Hell!

Something that I wanted to explore but couldn’t in the original mod (because of lack of skill, really) was the “Hell” realm that was only touched upon in the game lore. You could see the style I was going for in the title screen of the unpatched version and the “Meatplant” levels. The mod was supposed to be different in so many ways but due to limitations I had to settle on what was finally released.

It was unfortunate that I was unable to elborate on that but this remake/reboot/redo/reimagining/whatever is very close to my original idea, the original intent. You’ll now have to make your way through the many different hellish realms and deal with the things that reside there as well as the creatures that plague the city!

It’s a very different thought process when working on these kinds of nightmarish visuals. I’m really not confined by the same logic as when I’m working on the more grounded “normal” reality-based levels because nightmares are not bound by rules, just the feeling of horror.

You won’t see this level of unapologetic gore in many games these days, I guarantee!

Massive Pic Dump!

Happy Spring everyone! I’m sorry I didn’t realize how long it had been since I posted actual pictures! I had gotten so used to just uploading videos that I overlooked the importance of actual image updates. So to make up for it, here you go!

Though I’m currently cleaning up a different map, I thought I’d post some pictures from a fairly recent one I completed (this was part of the latest demo I sent to the testers) I spent quite some time trying to nail the “after rain” autumn look and I’m happy to report the testers love the atmosphere of it.

I intentionally made it so that the player spends a bit of time soaking up the ambience while I slowly ratchet up the tension. It’s a slow-burn dread and I tried my best to craft certain scenarios that would achieve this. I’ve been carrying these ideas and scenarios around in my head since 2013 and to now finally be able to see it all in action is a huge joy and relief for me.

I will definitely need to extend the time until release (originally supposed to be in 7 months! Where does the time go!?) but I am still working and pressuring myself as if release is still this Halloween. We’ll see how much extra time I’ll need when we get there.

It’s coming together nicely and I think it’s going to turn into something really unique and really special. Hang in there friends, it’s almost the home stretch!

The Last Rain

I’m back with the first video reveal of the music in the Out Of Hell remake! It is being composed by Sergey Yukon (https://audiojungle.net/user/sergeyyukon) and what I’ve gotten so far is absolutely beautiful. He brings with him a fresh take which I’m absolutely positive you will all love. You can check out one of the songs here:

When I first started this project I had a very specific direction I wanted to go with the music and Sergey understands and has been able to capture what I was looking for. I haven’t had to request any fixes or alterations to any of the songs because there’s just no need to and trust me when I say that’s a rare thing indeed!

Progress continues at a steady good pace now. When I got sick it set me back about a month because even after I recovered, it was difficult to get into the headspace to do the work. I never try to force inspiration anymore because it just never works out well. Thankfully, the weather around here has been really miserable lately (by most people’s standards) but I love it and that just gets my creative juices flowing again!

I’m a strange one, yeah.

Caught The Rona!

Hello guys! I didn’t realize it’s been so long since I made an update but this will only be a small one because I recently got Covid and have been laying in a pool of my own crapulence for nearly two weeks! It’s been a brutal one this time since I’m usually able to just bruteforce these things with rest and just upping my Bigmac intake! This one started out mild, simmered down for about 2 days and then came back full force which knocked me down.

A lot of back pain, sweating, chills, those nightmarish blurry dreams with impossible shapes…*shudder* but I started taking some good medications for it a few days ago and it’s bringing me back. For obvious reasons I wasn’t able to do much with OoH during this time but I tried working on it for a little while today and managed to solve another frustrating bug that I myself created because of my hamfisted approach to coding…and it was a mind-numbingly simple solution too. It’s kind of funny but all it really took was a small break so I could step back and look at it through fresh eyes.

With my energy levels returning and my artistic motivations coming back, I’ll post a more thorough update in the coming weeks. See you soon friends!

Testing, Testing!

Just a small informational update regarding a couple of interesting news items. I can’t remember if I mentioned this on a previous post but there would come a time where if certain conditions were met like me searching for a composer, doing testing or releasing a trailer, then things would start moving at a very fast pace and then you-know-what would come shortly after!

Well, the first is that I have found a composer named Sergey Yukon who does really great work! It took me some time to find someone who could really capture the style and tone that I’m after (I’ve talked with several talented musicians before but nothing came to fruition) I was juuusst about to purchase some of his work too (it was in the shopping cart) but I thought of sending him an email to see if he would be interested in doing some custom work. It was just a shot in the dark and what was the harm in asking?

We spoke for a bit over email, hashed out the details and it was all good to go! He has actually been working on it for over a month and already has created some beautiful tracks. I would love to showcase it soon; perhaps in a future video!

The next is, I have begun testing outside of my local group and put together a small demo to gauge some reactions and opinions and I am happy (relieved more like it) that they have been great! It definately wasn’t perfect right out of the gate but I have gotten really solid critiques that should help me get closer to that goal. I plan to keep testing closed for the time being until I think it’s proper to release a public demo but if I find you lurking in the chatroom, who knows, I might just send you a PM about doing some testing! 😉

I am so glad that I did this NOW because just the mere process of packaging it and playing the game from an executable revealed dozens of small problems and issues that I overlooked (Speedtrees not animating like they do during PIE, missing asset redirects etc) These sorts of things would have been an absolute nightmare to deal with if I’d have to spend hours cooking/packaging the entire game first! Getting all those things out of the way at this point in time while the game is small means I won’t have to spend potentially weeks bug hunting months from now.

The feedback I got was golden, ALL OF IT. One of the testers even recorded a video of himself playing and discussing things as he went along and I have to say it’s a fantastic way to test! I didn’t think it neccessary at first but boy, my eyes have been opened. Not only were the insights useful but I was able to watch how he reacted to things onscreen, where he was and wasn’t looking, the paths he decided to take etc.

I managed to fix quite a few issues due to things I was noticing on his screen (which, hopefully he didn’t!) Things like intersecting meshes, clues that should have been obvious but weren’t, missing assets (Hey, there is supposed to be a bush there. Why isn’t it in the demo?!) They even pointed out some issues that would have never occured to me because of my monitor (HUD graphics not displaying properly on really wide-screens)

So overall I am damn happy I got this out of the way now and the general consensus is very positive. It runs well, the dynamic lighting is nice, atmosphere is on point and there are some genuinely scary/creepy parts to it! I plan to keep this testing going periodically as there are some parts later in the game that I’ll need more opinions on.

Though it still needed some tweaks here and there (which I’ve now addressed) it is well on its way to being the Out Of Hell game it was always intended to be. I managed to get a ton of things done in this month alone (tying up loose ends essentially) and even gave Donovan a sick fade, bro!!!

I am getting closer and closer to a full gameplay reveal trailer and when that happens, you’ll know that shit is about to get real!