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Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure - Now ripe for unholy wishlistin’

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Hey everyone, and welcome to a shameless self-plugging thread about this game we’re making called Gibbous.

Gibbous is a classic 2d point and click adventure, and yes it’s a Lucas Arts-like game. It also is, as the subtitle so unsubtle-y gives it away, a loving spoof of everything Lovecraftian, and then some.

The Story

You get to play as two characters (well, technically three):

Don R. Ketype

Grizzled, jaded badass private detective Ketype is hired by mysterious patrons to seek out the dreaded Necronomicon, and that’s how the game starts out. How bad could things go, really? After all, it aint nothin’ but a book of some sorts… Don will cater to your noir needs, including describing how the rain pattered down on the concrete like a neurotic jazz band percussionist, sometimes without anyone around to appreciate his poetic similes.

Buzz Kerwan

Buzz is no more than a mild mannered cust… erm, librarian putting in hours at the Miskatonic University Library to pay for his belated tuition (he’s in his 30s, but that’s cool, man, y’know?). He accidentally stumbles upon the Necronomicon, and also accidentally turns his cat, Kitteh, into a…

Kitteh

...well, a grouch, really. Kitteh is REALLY pissed off at Buzz inadvertently yanking her from her serene, illuminated state - everyone knows cats are buddhists. She doesn’t want to worry about stuff like death cults seeking out the very object that personified her; all she wants is to go back to a worry-free life of sleep and kitty treats.  Thus, Buzz and Kitteh set out to find someone, anyone who can help reverse Kitteh’s transformation.

Ok, ok, what about Cthulhu?

This story doesn’t take place, as you’d probably expect, in Lovecraft’s 1920s. It’s a tale of an alternative present where death cults are popping out everywhere, all in competition to find the Necronomicon and awaken Cthulhu, a lot of them just to prove that THEY’re the real cultists, and the rest are just a bunch of posers.

About the game…

As I mentioned before, we’re going for that old school point and clicky goodness. All characters are fully animated, mostly frame by frame, but also combined with some cutout animation; all backgrounds are handpainted (which takes up a lot of time, but that’s the way to go as far as we’re concerned).

The game will feature all known traits of the genre, and one I’m particularly determined to enforce: almost every possible combination of two items, whether in inventory or in the game world, will result in anywhere from one to five unique responses, so no more doing different actions just to have the same grating line thrown back at you. Of course, that takes a hell of a lot of writing, and makes voice acting a harder goal to reach, but, again, it’s something we really don’t want to compromise on.

We’re developing the game in Unity.

The influences!

Gibbous is a love letter to HP Lovecraft, Tim Schafer, Alfred Hitchcock, Steve Purcell,Ron Gilbert, Karl Pilkington and some other folks. Not that we’re big on sending love letters to dead people. 

The team!

The team consists of three people: myself as a writer, character & background artist, secondary animator, game designer and music composer; a main animator who also does sfx and additional music, and a programmer. We’re based in Tirgu Mures, Transylvania, Romania.

Coming soon!

Gibbous is expected to have a fully functional vertical slice demo some time this coming spring, and we definitely want to Kickstart the project, since you can probably tell it will take some finances to get a game like this going smoothly.

So that’s that, looking forward to your feedback and I’ll be happy to answer any and all of your questions, as long as they’re not about programming stuff or winning lottery numbers.

     
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This looks great. I dig your design philosophy and art-style as well as the setting. The writing also seems promising enough. Might even consider backing this on KS which is something I haven’t done in a good while.

Best of luck with it, guys.

     

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Aha, so that’s why your avatar has nothing to do with Frodo Baggins Mr. Underhill! Tongue


Game looks good! Definitely keep us posted on it! Thumbs Up

     

Rekindling flames…

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Thanks for the feedback, guys Smile

@maladroid: Thanks for potentially backing this, it’s really an encouragement since I realize we’re kinda late to the Kickstarter party and I’m a little worried about how well point and clicks fare over there right now (as of right now there are 5 p&cs; on it, one doing awesomely - y’all know which one that is, the rest not so much). I’m glad you’re digging the art and where we’re going with the game, it really is that old cliche of a labor of luuurve.

@TimovieMan You got me! Heheh. Yes, I plan to post new stuff as we churn it out, and ask for feedback from you guys, too.

Speaking of which, I’m curious: how do folks feel about the game title? It is at the moment a working title, ‘cause it is kind of silly, but it did start to grow on me lately. Just curious what everybody thought about it.

     
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Hey you aren’t you the same guy who was supporting Brokenage in the other thread?

Well sorry to disappoint you, your game actually looks better than BAGE Wink

Nice artstyle and animations.


Share more ingame gifs.

Good luck on the project!

     

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Looks great! I look forward to seeing more. Smile

What engine are you building this with?

kinda looks like the AGS font but I may be mistaken. The animation doesn’t look AGS (simple sprite animations) at all.

     
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Humorous and Lovecraftian??
Seems great!!
I’ll definitely back this if it comes on Kickstarter.

Continue the good work and keep us posted!!

     
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Glad you guys are interested in this little game of ours! Well, little for now at least, muhaha.

@nomadsoul: Much obliged for the compliment and BA comparison, we’re not worthy Wink Yeah, we’ll be sharing more gif as we go along, I’m really happy with how the animations are coming along.

@theo: We’re using Unity and the Adventure Creator plugin, which our programmer tells me is a great tool for point and clicks. That font is one of the nods to the beloved Lucas games, I’m really adamant about using it, I like how it contrasts with the HD backgrounds. The font’s called The Secret Font Of Monkey Island (how sweet!) and you can find it here. We’re mainly using frame by frame animation combined with a little cutout and deform for the main walk cycles (that deform really comes in handy in Kitteh’s movements), and will have special-event animations that are completely frame by frame-d.

@Sefir: Yeah, I Lovecraft (sorry, couldn’t help it). It seems like a medium that’s great for both revering and parodying, glad you feel the same!

 

     
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I really dig the background art and animation. Great stuff! However, to me the character art (except for Kitteh) could use some work - it’s not quite as good as the otherwise high quality artwork that’s on display here.

As for the name I would also change it, mainly because at first I thought it was related to/was a spoof of The Last of Us, because of the clicker part.

     
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This looks great!

I’m a guaranteed backer if you’re going to Kickstarter.

Mr Underhill - 17 December 2014 05:32 AM

The game will feature all known traits of the genre, and one I’m particularly determined to enforce: almost every possible combination of two items, whether in inventory or in the game world, will result in anywhere from one to five unique responses, so no more doing different actions just to have the same grating line thrown back at you. Of course, that takes a hell of a lot of writing, and makes voice acting a harder goal to reach, but, again, it’s something we really don’t want to compromise on.

I absolutely love what you’re saying here, but I sure hope you’ll be able to include some voice acting anyway. Maybe something like Pendulo Studios did with Yesterday can be a more realistic stretch goal? That is, voices for dialogues, but not for descriptions.

Kasper F. Nielsen - 17 December 2014 01:11 PM

As for the name I would also change it, mainly because at first I thought it was related to/was a spoof of The Last of Us, because of the clicker part.

That’s what I thought at first too.

Anyway, good luck with the development! Looking forward to hearing more about this.

     

Duckman: Can you believe it? Five hundred bucks for a parking ticket?
Cornfed Pig: You parked in a handicapped zone.
Duckman: Who cares? Nobody parks there anyway, except for the people who are supposed to park there and, hell, I can outrun them anytime.

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@Kasper - We’d love to pour the amount of work and details that goes into background art into the characters as well, but unfortunately we’re a three member team, and we do have to go for a more flat look for the characters, if only on account of all the unique animations throughout the game. It’s always hard to compromise, but on the other hand we will be asking for funding from a community who I’m certain wouldn’t want to have to wait for three years to get this game Smile.  Initially we thought we’d go for cutout animation, but we all LOVE frame by frame stuff, so we kind of had to find a midway. As for the name, that’s on me for not playing what everyone says is an awesome game (one more reason to buy a PS4, I guess). TCID will probably stay on as a working title while I stare into the abyss nightly looking for that perfect game name. For non-Lovecraft fans: “The Clicker In Darkness” is a play upon Lovecraft’s excellent “The Whisperer In Darkness”.

@Dag - That, my friend, is an AWESOME suggestion! And that’s probably the way we’ll go with voiceovers. The main difference between TCID and Yesterday is that their descriptions were given by a narrator, whereas in TCID I want them to be the main character’s thoughts on what he sees. Hopefully, not voicing them and having them appear above him will correctly read as interior monologue. Again, much obliged for that suggestion, it goes to show how constructive joining an adventure gaming community can be Grin

Aaaand here’s a bonus gif of Buzz doing random stuff.

     
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Thanks for NO cutout animation.

     
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Thanks for the explanation, Underhill! It makes sense to compromise - I feared it was a lack of skill when it comes to characters, rather than that, so this is comforting knowledge. Looking at Buzz animated certainly also helps bringing him alive. The animation is great Smile

When it comes to voice acting, what are your goals on that front? It can indeed be expensive if you’re going for established voice actors, but have you thought of seeking out talent on sites such as Newgrounds instead? Over the years the site has accumulated quite a few good-to-great voice actors lending their voices to the various cartoons and games done on the site, and I imagine that if your present people with a game in quite a polished state some would be more than happy to jump aboard. You should think about contacting the site owner, Tom (who’s very friendly and helpful), about this once the game is further along about a site post for this, to get as much attention as possible.

     
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Mr Underhill - 18 December 2014 05:27 AM

The main difference between TCID and Yesterday is that their descriptions were given by a narrator, whereas in TCID I want them to be the main character’s thoughts on what he sees. Hopefully, not voicing them and having them appear above him will correctly read as interior monologue.

Maybe you could have the description texts appear within a thought bubble linked to the character?

Mr Underhill - 18 December 2014 05:27 AM

Again, much obliged for that suggestion

No problem at all, my pleasure Smile

I also wanna commend you for doing proper animations. Frame by frame is indeed the way to go. Your background art is spot on too Smile

 

     

Duckman: Can you believe it? Five hundred bucks for a parking ticket?
Cornfed Pig: You parked in a handicapped zone.
Duckman: Who cares? Nobody parks there anyway, except for the people who are supposed to park there and, hell, I can outrun them anytime.

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@Kasper: We’ll be (at least initially) not aiming too high budget-wise when it comes to voicing, so thanks for the tip about Newgrounds - but do I email the guy, is there a contact form or something? I’ll look it up. The thing is, we’re breaking voice down into a 2-parter, and what we’ll need for now (some time early 2015) is a bunch of dialogue for the demo (to be precise, for 6 characters). Then, if the Kickstarter succeeds, we’ll look into a full voiced deal. But since our budget is really low (read tending towards zero) for the demo, we are very interested in (read limited to) as inexpensive voice talent as possible, as bad as that sounds. We’d love to get enough money to comfortably pay voice talent their deserved fee and still have enough left for development and the occasional pizza.

@Dag: Yeah, the thought bubble solution occured to me as well, I can’t wait to be further enough into development to test it out! Grin

Speaking of frame by frame, I don’t want to come across as overconfident, but we do have experience in animating as well and fast as possible. If any of you guys are Pixies fans, I’ve directed and animated their video for Another Toe In The Ocean. The kicker is, we only had less than a month to come up with a concept and bring it to fruition, which is very little time for a fully animated 2d/3d video, but we pulled it off. The band loved it, maybe ‘cause it’s as cuckoo as the lyrics are, and it made the 2014 official selection of the International Music Video Festival in Paris. As for the TCID visual team (that is, me and my girlfriend Smile), we made this animated video for a local hip hop artist by ourselves in a little over two months. Of course, these were made in exceptionally time-constrained situations, we had to cut a lot of corners (ze dreaded cutout! Naughty)  and they don’t reflect on the level of quality of the game’s animations, but I just want to put people’s minds to rest that, even though there will be a lot of frame by frame goodness, it won’t be your grandkids getting that “Game’s done!” Kickstarter message   Crazy

     
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The good thing about Newgrounds is that it’s a lot of enthusiasts, not necessarily professionals - or people who started as enthusiasts and then later became professionals. I’m not too knowledgeable about the site’s voice talents, but when it comes to game developers people like the creators of Super Meat Boy started out on Newgrounds, to name but one.

The easiest way to get in contact with Tom is simply to create an account on the site and then sling a PM his way. He’ll usually get back within a few days.

What I’d do if I were you is prepare enough stuff to showcase that you mean business and what you’re aiming for is a high quality product, then contact Tom with that, lay out your plans, and then shoot for getting a post up on the front page looking for voice talent. That you actually want to pay people for their services is a great thing to mention - commit for the Kickstarter-demo and get hired if it succeeds!

     
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