Ahoy. The name is Mikom. I do 3D modeling, rendering and just general design. I'm a person who over past few years has taken a great interest in formulating ideas in 3D space. Ideas are my trade in many ways yet I also lean towards the practical. I have worked on several mods and game projects though modeling for games is not my first area of expertise. Here on ModDB/IndieDB I keep an eye on the Humor Satire Parody group, I follow the modding community and watch game productions that have peaked my interest. Feel free to go through my blogs or image gallery if you want to get a glimpse of what I do. As always, have a nice day!

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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - Review

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter by The Astronauts

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter can only be described as an interactive, narrative driven vision of beauty telling a horrific tale that will grip you until the very moment the story ends.
From the moment crime detective Paul Prospero comes into this world, the Vanishing of Ethan Carter will strike you with its visual beauty and eerie atmosphere. Be it a stain of blood on the ground or a distant sound on the wind, you'll never feel completely safe in Red Creek Valley.

tvoec scrns

The first thing that came to my mind when I jumped into The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was that it did not look like an Unreal Engine game, especially not Unreal Engine 3. This is a technical achievement all on its own by the developers. The draw distance alone as well as lush environments show that The Astronauts succeeded where many AAA developers failed miserably. Naturally there are no loading screens.
Granted, the game requires a pretty powerful PC to run which is where I think the game has its biggest flaw. The game is decently optimized and I personally was getting solid frame-rates in outdoor areas with most of the settings set to High.

tvoec scrns

Is The Vanishing of Ethan Carter a game? No. Just as with many other "games" in this not-so-well-defined genre (like Dear Esther for example) The Vanishing of Ethan Carter only comes close to being a game during the crime scene investigation... let's call them puzzles.
It is a narrative driven experience which focuses on the story and immersing you in the world. It does so very well because it doesn't have guns or well defined gameplay mechanics such as skill trees and weapon upgrades. It will tell you it won't hold your hand and this is quite true.
This approach means you will have to figure out the mechanics for yourself and you have to do so in order to advance the story.
The crime scene investigation mechanic works in such a way that you have to find and restore objects to their original location and then linking a chain of events together by playing them back in the right order. This is where your supernatural powers come into play. My first experience with the crime scene investigation mechanic was for the most part looking around and clicking on objects it will draw your attention to. The way it does that is by hovering texts above the object in question. When you click on said text it shows you a thought process that in turn gives you clues as to what you are looking for.
It is a way of informing you what to do while not ruining the immersion with a HUD notification or by pausing the experience.
If only more game developers would take that approach.

tvoec scrns

Story-wise the game will show you various events that you access through investigating crime scenes. While you can solve each of the mysteries in whichever order you please, the main story doesn't start coming together until you have solved at least half of them. Finding stories left by Ethan in the world will give you an idea of what is really going on and while there is a big twist, I think most people will have realized it long before it actually happens. If they payed enough attention to the stories, newspaper cut-outs and other minor clues that are left around in the world for you to find.
I would love to give more of an example but the story is hard to write about without giving away major (or minor) spoilers. I will say though that the writing is very good, I never had any problems with the dialogue although the voice-acting didn't always fit.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a great addition to my Steam library and while I got it on sale it is in my opinion worth the 19 Euros that it currently costs on Steam.
I want to see more games like this and I want to see what The Astronauts come up with next.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day!
Admiral Skeybar

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Post comment Comments  (30 - 40 of 833)
Admiral_Nemo Creator
Admiral_Nemo

Oh lookie here. I'm the creator of this comment now. Amazing feature. =P

Reply Good karma+2 votes
SinKing
SinKing

It is often not clear, if you made the concept + model or just the render. Sometimes it is, but the Nato choppers, e.g. I thought you made. First thing to do is give credit to the creators, like you did with Bionicle.

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Admiral_Nemo Creator
Admiral_Nemo

Well the NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) is called just that in real life. Granted you can't be expected to know every helicopter designation there is but I think that's kind of beside the point.
Stating that it was a design made by engineers per request from NATO seems a bit redundant since that's clearly already in the name.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
SinKing
SinKing

So you did model it, after all? I never though about this problem, before seeing your stuff. I simply cannot determine which part of something is your own work. That's a difficulty with modding, I suppose. So, in the sense of the word, you are far more a modder than I am, because everything I create is my own.
However, especially in your case it would be nice to know where the core material you use comes from and what the part you did looks like (e.g. the texture you made - flat, the model you made - in editor, etc.). I suppose you are kidding in your reply, btw. That's obviously not what I meant...

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Admiral_Nemo Creator
Admiral_Nemo

Yes, I made the model (and the textures). If you see a 3D model on my profile then it's usually mine.
If it looks like a screenshot from a game, then it's a screenshot from a game I took but I most likely didn't make the models in the screenshot, obviously.

This isn't my official website, here I feel I can post whatever interesting stuff I find to share with friends and other members of the ModDB community.

If you are interested in seeing only my stuff without the confusion of where it may have come from then go to www.vitriol3d.com . That is my personal website and there I can guarantee everything is modeled by me. =)

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Kark-Jocke
Kark-Jocke

You and I are friends now on steam. So we have to find a game that we both have that we can play someday, if you want :P

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Admiral_Nemo Creator
Admiral_Nemo

Sure thing. I saw you had DayZ and Sniper Elite V2, I'm always up for playing those.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Kark-Jocke
Kark-Jocke

Do you have a zombie to Sniper elite 2?

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Admiral_Nemo Creator
Admiral_Nemo

Yeah, both NZA 1 and 2.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Kark-Jocke
Kark-Jocke

Cool, play that one day. Just call me on Steam.

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