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Cancelled, too much competition and Dark Craft Studios is not familiar enough with the engine.


If it looks "Just like Amnesia" to you right now its because we just made an engine switch from Cryengine 2 (Crysis) to HPL2 (Amnesia). For developers, this is a big thing, and completely erases previous content. The screenshots you see now are currently Alpha demonstration shots, and are not even slightly relevant to the final atmosphere or art direction as we will be using a lot of custom assets.

We promise you this will be a very unique, surreal Lovecraftian horror using HPL2 and custom and boxed assets alike. Track us, have a little faith, and you're bound to enjoy yourself when we release.


Project Synopsis

The First Stone is an interactive horror story written by C-zom, the author of Worry of Newport. The First Stone is a story first, game play second project that takes the players on an emotional and mental journey into Lovecraftian horror, without using any of the cheap gimmicks or scares known in the modern horror medium.

The player must solve a mystery that stands to doom humanity itself. A necromancer, Dorian Caulm, has unwittingly unleashed someone or something upon the world, and for the moment it is trapped in catacombs underneath his estate in Providence, New England. Albert Curwen, a vindicated and dangerous Necromancer and ally to Dorian, was written and beckoned to come and help undo the wrong and to kill whatever it was that got unleashed.

A tale of cosmic horror, of a gripping character study and a tale of betrayal and nihilism, and of human truth and misanthropy is tied together through five in depth levels or around thirty minutes of game play and reading. It plays like an interactive story, a unique take on gaming that is a blend between solid gameplay elements and engaging narrated book pages and artwork sprawls and loading screens.

Gameplay Synopsis



Exploration

The First Stone takes place in three tiers: The Manor, The Cellar, and The Catacombs. Each level is more quality than quantity, and ranges at about 30-40 minutes of content. The project goal is to present everything highly detailed and polished, with many rooms, offshoot tunnels, and studies and chambers for you to explore as well as tons of collectable notes and back story. Essentially, for the main exploration, the idea is to survive, and to kill whatever it is that Dorian unleashed.

Puzzles

Dotting the tunnels themselves will be various cavein's, security measures, and alternate paths that you must use your cunning to pass. As well as the addition of lever puzzles, physics puzzles, and more, you will always be engaged in the game play as much as the story.

Stealth sequences are also planned, as well as chase and hunt sequences against the thing Dorian has unleashed.

However, there will be no monsters like in Amnesia! I know, right? We're using the Amnesia engine, we're not trying to be Amnesia. We're native to Cryengine 2, so therefor, we've perfected story telling without the use of any danger to the player. If you've played Worry of Newport, you will understand this concept.

Story


The player, Albert Curwen, is invited to a manor in Providence owned by Dorian Caulm. The start is unceremonious and conventional, with an invitation to meet and go over past plans in his study. Upon arriving in his study, however, one realizes that something has gone horribly wrong.

Dorian Caulm tried to return the body and soul of something, but it bested him at his own game, escaped, and is loose in his catacombs and has stolen an ancient manuscript it intends to use to escape its spiritual boundaries. Dorian Caulm enlists Albert to help him but something happens that causes Dorian to run after the creature before Albert gets there, so he leaves notes about his progress, thoughts, and rationale for Albert to use as milestones.

Where is Dorian? What did he bring back? And who, of all three, cast the First Stone? 

We want to know more -- October Update

The First Stone is currently in pre-production with all the prior content being deleted. The story is re-written, development goals are refocused and level designs are smaller. It is unlikely this will ever turn into more than a small horror story.

The First Stone will be released Q2, 2012

The Team


C-zom: Lead Writer & Developer

Dorian Caulm: Vacant
Tanner Hatley: Albert Curwen (Voice Actor)
James Dean: Lead Musical Composer

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
Alpha Build - Dining Hall
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Not really alive, not really dead.

3 comments by C-zom on Sep 28th, 2011

Making mods can be a tricky business. Sometimes if you're lucky things can line up and the stars can announce the ushering of new, better Gods. Other times every little thing works against you. The First Stone falls into the latter.

From the getgo this project has been plagued by a 100mph start that looked to be completed in a matter of months. Now, TFS sits in development hell. It might never escape.

First and foremost voice acting has been the biggest issue. We have one dedicated VA who is leading a pack of two others who are, to say the least, beyond disinterested with the project leaning on the farthest back burner possible. Considering I am unemployed, I cannot offer anyone pay. This has been garnering even more issues, as coders don't even want to look in my direction as the thought of charity is as foreign to them as it can be.

Secondly the story itself has started out strong but has turned into a logistical nightmare, and I am currently in the process of re-writing the entire concept and dialog scenes in order to be more polished, concise, and cleanly illustrated. This part is the easiest to resolve, but it is time consuming as all hell. 

And finally, I bit off too much for this engine and I need a team. And I'm simply not finding one. I tried doing it alone but I need at least one co-level designer and one dedicated scripter. Ah well. 

So below is my worklog, what I need to do to bring TFS back to life.


  • I need to get in contact with a dedicated C++/Angelscript horror fan who would be willing to join on board. I am beyond terrible at this myself, and do not have time to learn.
  • I probably need two VA's who are interested in doing polished, relatively quickly recorded lines.
  • I need to personally re-write the story and level design sheet to make sense, and understand the limitations of HPL2.
  • I need to polish up on my level design skills on a linear plain, this is nothing at all as open and free as say, Cryengine or Unreal that I'm used to.
  • Finding someone to help polish up my level design, who is more familiar with HPL2, until I get the swing of things. 
Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 16)
C-zom
C-zom Sep 28 2011, 5:35pm says:

Things aren't looking so hot right now, if I can't find the help I need I think I might hang up the hat on this project and go back to my radio-drama project, Tales from Afar, and my Cryengine3 Sci-Fi project.

I'd hate to give this up though, damn. Just not finding help.

+1 vote     reply to comment
C-zom
C-zom Aug 31 2011, 9:02am says:

I can say that writing is going to take more time than making this game. I'm going all out on First Stone. There are, right now, 350 pages of readable material. I am working on trimming it down to 200, then polishing it and polishing it some more so the absolute best experience can be had for Lovecraftian horror fans.

It is ALL original work of mine, penned under the pretense that Dorian Caulm--one of the characters--is a prolific horror writer and left his writings all over his manor. Should make for some interesting reactions for players.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Tanshaydar
Tanshaydar Sep 7 2011, 5:10pm replied:

Ever thought of releasing a book instead of a game?

+1 vote     reply to comment
C-zom
C-zom Sep 7 2011, 5:22pm replied:

Too much work and the horror genre is very close to dead, no one likes Lovecraftian stuff anymore and my prose would get torn apart on a professional market. I'm happy releasing games, and besides, the day I charge money for my writing is the day I've sold my soul. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
boshman
boshman Aug 7 2011, 2:43pm says:

Really great to see a mod with a focus on atmospheric storytelling! Looking forward to seeing how this develops. I'm currently in the midst of creating a CS based in the Cthulhu mythos but trying to move away from the note collecting method of telling the actual story, found most players just pick them up and put them away again without reading... and I can't justify VO's as the character is alone, any suggestions?

Haven't played TWON yet so I'll give that a go, heard it's awesome :P

+3 votes     reply to comment
C-zom
C-zom Aug 7 2011, 4:50pm replied:

I find that using a past tense narrative helps to justify giving the character a voice, even if you're alone. As Lovecraft often does, make the story a recollection, not in real time.

"I crept forth through the noxious tomb, inching forward with my fingers ahead of me on the vaulted floors..."

A line like that could play from the voice actor as you creep forward some sludgy basement in the dark. Both telling the story, and letting the player experience it. Know what I mean? Making the entire story a remembrance of events can make an overarching narrative without spoiling the story or immersion.

For a direct example, read Statement of Randalph Carter or Charles Dexter Ward from H.P.

+1 vote     reply to comment
boshman
boshman Aug 7 2011, 6:33pm replied:

Ahh, that would certainly work to greater effect! I really wanted to tell the story with the VO.. Never occurred to me to progress as a retrospecitve account. I'll have to look back over his stories and get the technique dialed in. Thanks for taking the time to help my friend, much appreciated! Best of luck with First Stone :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
C-zom
C-zom Aug 7 2011, 10:05pm replied:

Cheers, sounds like a good plan. If you need any help at all with story telling or Lovecraft recs shoot me a PM. I love to help any horror writers in need.

+1 vote     reply to comment
slm11603
slm11603 Jul 31 2011, 5:09pm says:

and dont worry bout any negative comments i hear lots of good things bout Worry of Newport( cant seem to get it running on my Win 7 64bit comp yet :(
but im sure itll b awesome!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
C-zom
C-zom Jul 31 2011, 5:54pm replied:

PM Me, I can help you get it to work. :)

I'm not worried about the comments, its people judging something too early. Its Pre-Alpha now, people shouldn't judge something so quickly.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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