You're extremely tired. With enormous difficulty, you stand up on a wet floor only to notice bruises and wounds on your skin. It seems that you lost consciousness for some time after getting out of that tank. Or what the hell it was. When you look around, you see similar tanks. Some are empty, some are full and some are broken. In the silence you can hear rumbling and whispers going through metal walls. You spot an audio log nearby and decide to play it:
"To XO. Medical section is cut. Captain -ritical state. One of them is probably still alive. Cutting down power supply in blocks A, C and D2 is recommended."
Starting to think more clearly, you realize that you saw a text on one of the walls. You turn your head and read in terror big, white letters: "Block A".
Phantaruk is a FPP horror game, being made in Unreal Engine 3. It is focused on intriguing and unclear story where main character has to play an important role while solving puzzles, avoiding traps and making moral decisions.
About the Phantaruk:
Most of the content is pixel art implemented into 3D environment. It is designed to resemble old games like Doom or Quake. One of main inspirations was System Shock 2. Certainly, game can fear and surprise every player.
"We want to make a game with simple mechanics, without complicated controls, character leveling or equipment, where player can be satisfied with solving a puzzle. Our goal is to show that you don't need top level graphics to have fun."
Key features of Phantaruk:
• Significant moral choices that affects gameplay and ending,• Uncommon, original enemies, undefeatable by traditional means,
• Puzzles that check your skills, sometimes in extreme situations,
• Unusual plot, engaging in story of the spaceship, Phantaruk-02, and its crew.
First, I want to give you a look what ‘Phantaruk’ was. It was a survival horror made on Unreal Engine 3 and inspired by ‘System Shock 2’. The story takes place on abandoned spaceship which, for some reason, lost the crew. Or we think so when we wake up in one of the medical rooms.
The gameplay had to be focused mostly on a ship exploration, evading enemies and solving puzzles. From time to time the main antagonist, a player’s nemesis, spawned and forced us to run.
Production was going smoothly and you could see the progress. Being specific, we released one build per two weeks, each one with new features implemented. And it’s worth saying that testers of our early prototype were pleased and we got positive feedback from them. So if everything was ok, why we closed this project?
There were a few reason. The biggest was that the company I worked for didn’t allow to do anything connected to gamedev in my free time. Why? Because “there was a chance I might have done it in work”. Of course there were other twaddles about it but they are not worth mentioning.
Another, less important reason was trying to increase the size of the team. We wanted to expand our game, make better graphic, experiment with mechanics. Unfortunately, help of some people from the same company I worked for was not taken well by bosses.
At some point, we made a decision that we freeze ‘Phantaruk’ and we do something else. So we tried to develop ‘Surface Crystals’. You can find it’s prototype HERE. And we made ‘Waves Incoming!’ for Android.
But from time to time we get more questions like “When you are releasing ‘Phantaruk’?” or “What is going on with the project?”. It showed us that we had collected a group of people that were interested in game. This motivated us, we decided to carry on and we talked about features of ‘Phantaruk’.
So what is the current status? Re-Design. Generally, we simplify mechanics and a whole game to keep the mood and the kind of gameplay that we wanted to achieve.
The main changes about which I can say:1. Engine: earlier, ‘Phantaruk’ was being developed on Unreal Engine 3. Now we decided to move it to Unity3D. It will be better and more flexible, especially for this kind of design that we create.
2. Enemies: instead of many enemies there will be only one - our nemesis who will tread on our heels up to the end. It’ll make the feeling more intense.3. Exploration: moving around the ship ‘Phantaruk’ will be more important. We’ll give you whole spaceship to explore and go wherever you want to.
4. Less different mechanics: we focus on a few but more important.
What things will stay?
1. Pixel Art: we want to keep the style. Of course it will be upgraded (technically: we’ll increase number of pixels per texture) and more detailed.
2. The mood: we want player to feel being alone and hunted. From the beginning you will be abandoned - no one will help you and something unimaginably evil non stop will follow you.
3. The title and basis of the story.
And that’s all. In the end, I want to thank you, guys. Thanks for your warm words and motivation. If you have any questions about design or maybe any ideas, let us hear that. Feel free to comment or check our forum.