Research for Games (and a small update)

Black Lives Matter

Hello everyone!

Let`s start off with some basic news.

While my 10th novel will launch on Tuesday (sorry folks, still German only), some work has been done on “Into the Ice”. While a half-track production is scheduled to start End of April, going into full production in September, we took some time to do silly and meaningful things alike. As we are still waiting to get our hands on GGMax, all tests are run in GameGuru for now. Therefore, a

Disclaimer:
All visuals here do not represent the target or final visual quality of the game and should be considered as proof of concept tests only.

I couldn`t resist and purchased the “BISMARCK II” Spaceship from the TGC store to put it into one of our test levels. It`s funny enough. Too low-fi for close-ups, probably will not make it into the final game as it is. But hey, just for lolz, take a look:

Bismarck II from the TGC store

More serious, we have been testing the application of our generic ice cubemap shader onto any imaginable asset. And, strangely enough it works surprisingly well. This cave was originally a stone structure:

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And we started to dig into our old documents from the Cold War and WWII to carve out some of the technology, personaes and, of course, ideology and viewpoints you will encounter in “Into the Ice – Nazis of Neuschwabenland”.
Research has always been an important part of our dev approach. We never had the fanciest visuals, or polished games and, oh, boy, rarely even stable games – but the amount of historic and scientific details checking out was second to none.

  • For “Robert D. Anderson & The Legacy of Cthulhu”, we worked with the Editors of the German edition of the official Cthulhu RPG to get the Lovecraft lore right, and with historians to get the Nazi part in Order. Actually, the lead advising historian, currently one of the managers of Austrians national arms museum, played one of the two crazy scientists in the cutscenes.

  • For “Painkiller Resurrection” we worked with an actual catholic priest and Vatican-appointed scholar to get the purgatory and the “Proto-Angels” right. You know, the voices that guide our anti-hero through the underworld. The priests library was incredible, and I had some blast with brushing up my rusty Latin!

  • For “Into the Dark” I digged out my documents from my own time as (undercover) journalist and politician, and some of the seemingly random documents you can find in the game are actual ones, a few of them still being classified. I tried to mask that under a lot of (bad) puns, but that didn`t save me from a very real visit of very real “poor mans Men in Black”. Ah, yes, and we got the full movie “Night of the Living Dead” to be watched ingame. Zombie-education!

So, why is research important?

In a nutshell, it makes your game credible. Even if the rest sucks or the game doesn`t become what you have envisioned (which happened to us, too, several times), you still have a redeeming factor there. And if your game is great, it becomes even better.

  • If you plan to develop a survival game, get your facts straight. Don`t rely on some Google research or a weird prepper blog, go and find a credible source. If you speak German (or don`t hesitate to use Google translate), check out this survival website. By the way, their piece on surviving a Zombie Apocalypse is both funny and useful.
  • If you are going into space, be it the next Indie take on Freelancer / Star Citizen or something entirely different, use the outcome produced by taxpayers money. Head over to the NASA website and dive into a whole world of information. If space travel and FTL technology is part of your game, don`t miss their skunkworks lab page.
  • If you center your game around historic events, get a historian specialized in your topic. Many will provide their advise for free or for a very reasonable fee. Most of the time they LOVE that a creative mind is actually asking them for advise. Be polite, be professional and LISTEN.

So long,

your friendly crazy Australian Austrian developers.

Ivan out 😉

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