Friday, June 20, 2014

Black Sun

While in school I worked as a concept artist on a game team with several classmates, I'd almost entirely forgotten about these images and only recently came across them again. Our team was Crow's Eye and our game was to be a survival horror, tentatively titled "Black Sun". Inspired by real world ghost towns like Salton City, the player would wake up in an abandoned 50's era desert town and have to figure out how he came to be there, and how to escape before being killed off by it's monstrous inhabitants.

The game ran into several snags concerning plot and gameplay, but we came fairly far into production, with three rigged and animated monsters, a decent portion of the town modeled and textured, functioning day and night cycles and a first playable demo. 

Our three main monsters were nicknamed Bob, Backscratcher and Babyface, and they leveled up in size and aggression in that order. There might be multiple Bobs, a few Backscratchers but only one Babyface, and he was the most influential to the storyline. Lots of ideas were thrown around concerning him; the most prominent being he was obsessed with human imagery and would lead the other monsters to collect photos, dummies, and dolls to pile them into an effigy in the town center. Other times the monsters were all going to be representative of human sins, and an eclipse may or may not have been involved at one point during development. 

Good ol' Bob.

Backscratcher. He would attack the player from the ceiling, reaching out with long limbs to grab you when you weren't paying attention.

Babyface is essentially a giant multi-limbed slug, and gets his name from his bad habit of holding a doll's head in his mouth to be spooky. Below is a somewhat incomplete "look and feel" painting I did of him watching over a pile of his treasured belongings.

Some unused concepts below. At one point there was an idea for a mask game mechanic, in which putting it on would either control the day/night cycle, or allow you to pass by the monsters unmolested for a short period of time. I had a lot of interesting reference images for these, and by interesting I mean desensitizing.

Unused monsters.

Here's a reel showing each finished monster and their idle animations. The models and texturing are by Marian Huber, and the animations were done by Anne Feeny.

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