You are currently viewing Labyrinthine – Dev Blog #2

Labyrinthine – Dev Blog #2

Welcome to the second entry of our dev blogs. In this week’s blog, we will be taking a look at some of the assets and also discussing our approach to the game. We ask that you please make sure to join the Official Discord if you haven’t done so already.

All I ever see is maze, show us some assets!

A lot of our images seem to be hedge-heavy. We have realised this and want to tease some of our assets outside of their scenes. We will be going through a handful of assets we have created for Labyrinthine but please note, these are just a small selection of non-spoiler assets to give you a general idea of the quality we are aiming for.

Cryptex Device

Everything above is taken from within the Unity engine.

This week, we have been working on breaking up the blue/green undertone to the maze by introducing candles. Candles have been a great way to introduce a new colour to the maze and also test subsurface scatter (also known as Subsurface Light Transport). Combined together with a light flicker system, it has created a beautiful and realistic looking wax effect. We have further enhanced the candle by creating a custom vertex shader to manipulate the flame so that it flickers in the wind.

You can see the effect Subsurface Scatter has on the wax.

The first track from the official soundtrack.

Julian, our composer, has been hard at work making various sounds and songs for the maze. Our first production-ready one, What Lurks In The Dark, has been released on youtube. Please also support us by subscribing to our youtube channel.

The delay and ascending and descending of the pitch helped to create dissonance between the notes giving an unstable feeling as the brain feels a need for the music be be resoved in a more harmonious way. This helps give the track a feeling of rising tension and a sense that something isn’t quiet right.

A little on our approach

We will go into this in more detail in a future devblog, however, we feel it is worth quickly talking about how we are approaching this game in terms of gameplay, horror elements and cooperative interaction.

Let’s start with the first, gameplay. We currently feel that the gameplay should be a good mix of puzzle solving and fear. A game that just constantly throws puzzles at you would, in our eyes, become tiresome pretty quick. We have studied gameloops as well as horror game theory and we quickly realised that a lot of indie developers get it wrong. Too much horror is a bad thing, it needs to be managed by periods of “downtime” where little is happening. Those downtimes are the perfect areas to place puzzles to keep the players engaged. We are aiming to keep to the gameloop throughout.

Something in the distance..?

Next up, horror elements. It is completely worth mentioning that we are actually manipulating a mixture of horror and terror. Although a lot of people don’t realise it, these are two separate emotions that are felt.

Horror is the emotion of disgust or shock felt after witnessing something scary or unexpected. It often leaves a memorable experience which can then work as terror on future events.

Terror on the other hand is the feeling that something is about to happen, that kind of anxious feeling you get when you watch a horror film expecting something to happen.

We are hoping to keep a constant terror feeling placed upon the players and then when the scares do happen, make sure we provide them with unique, shock-inducing experiences that are memorable.

Lastly, let’s talk about cooperative play. It’s difficult to pull off right and we are constantly brain storming new ways to improve cooperative play. We want people to play the game as a group and interact together to work out problems, but on the other side, we don’t want to isolate those who prefer singleplayer. To this extent, we are working on ways to make team-play preferable but not mandatory. It could be something as simple as finding various scattered letters or puzzles such as riddles that benefit from group thinking. Both of these can be done in a singleplayer game but are easier to handle in cooperation with other players.

And finally, it's christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

From everyone here at Valko Studios! We hope you get chance to spend time with your family and friends while enjoying the festive season.

If you haven’t yet, please join our discord, we love seeing new faces and we are excited to hear people’s feedback, suggestions, questions, theories and everything in between!

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