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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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
C-zom: Lead Writer & Developer
Dorian Caulm: Vacant
Tanner Hatley: Albert Curwen (Voice Actor)
James Dean: Lead Musical Composer
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.