Asylum is the story of an old, long abandoned building that we will be able to explore every corner of. Whats interesting here is that, given the fact that the game itself has been in development for many long years now (at least 5 or 6 years at this point maybe?) means that probably many of the rooms we walk through will almost be as old as the fictional setting itself. The game will almost serve as a time capsule in the same way the asylum itself will.
Granted, I realize that the developers are working hard to update a lot of things, but it still makes for a fascinating analogy I think.
It’s five years already. And yes, quite an interesting observation you did there! Of course, rooms have been updated to ensure a consistent look, but it’s true that somehow the long development is giving the game a sense of ancient history
That’s an interesting observation. I think it also shows how difficult it is to create a good game.
Agustin, if you don’t mind me asking, what is taking most of your time? If I generalize the question, what would you say is the hardest part of developing an adventure game like Asylum (and Scratches) ? Is it technical aspect (engine, scripts), 3d development (3d modeling, rendering), designing the story/puzzles, or something else?
I’m really interested in what you’d say about this, because your experiences can be really helpful for new developers like me.
Generally, I would say graphics take the most time, especially for a first person adventure. You have to ensure that the locations are consistently good looking from many perspectives, and that can be quite a burden. Early in the production of Scratches we made the decision to switch from slideshow to panoramic technology, and I remember that we had to rework many rooms as the new perspective showed glaring errors that weren’t visible before.
In the case of Asylum, though, while the graphics also demanded the most work, it occurs that we’re very thorough with the details and complexity of the story, as we want to ensure that not only the rooms look lifelike and polished, but that players can also explore them at great length. This requires the painstaking work of incorporating things such as books, photos, newspapers, personal writings, recordings, pictures, and just many more interactive items to avoid repetition. Depending on the design of the game, this particular aspect of the gameplay could demand even more time than modelling the rooms themselves.
All in all, the visual aspect certainly takes the cake. In comparison, writing and designing takes much, much less time (though it’s just as critical to the outcome of a good game!).