What is Aporia?
Aporia is an explorative 1st person adventure game for PC, which lets the player uncover a mysterious story, by exploring strange architecture, interactive cave paintings, sinister puzzles and flashbacks.
The game challenges the traditional ways of telling stories in computer games as the entire story is told completely without text or dialogue, but as the player progresses he will uncover the story of an ancient people and their powerful leader - Oth'Makail, a story the player himself can influence and change throughout the game.
Aporia is built with the CryEngine, providing state of the art graphics, physics and sound. CryEngine is the perfect tool to create a project like Aporia: Beyond the Valley, since it simply absorbs the player immediately into the universe, and eases the workflow to create something beautiful.
We want to create an immersive mystery that challenges you to explore the beautiful, gloomy landscape and uncover the truth of what happened in The Valley, without letting the threat of a dark creature get in your way.
In the end, only by uncovering what happened can the player conquer Ez'Rat Qin and pass the final judgment on the dark shadow roaming the forest, deciding its fate and the future of The Valley.
Gameplay & story
Forged into the rocky walls of the mountain and crowned by a large, faded crystal. Forbidden territory, yes, but also the goal of your quest.
You begin your ascent, up, up, up, that gigantic crumbling marble staircase, almost suffocating in wild vines. You reach the gate; a tall, sinister masterpiece built by The Ancients, now weathered by the elements and age. The gate is closed, but among the rubble you find a hole in the wall, caused by the giant roots of the trees. You descend into the dark, which reeks of mould and metallic water, until you reach The Great Hall of X’hara - the God of Light.
In the pitch black darkness of the hall a strange glow attracts you. Moving towards it you discover a pedestal holding a luminent vial filled with a bright liquid. You reach out, touch the vial and a sharp light sparks from the pedestal, casting a holographic scenario into the open space of The Great Hall. Ghostly images of several men emerge, a momentary glimpse of past events as the men move through the temple, dragging a screaming man towards a chamber within the hall. Thrown into the dark catacomb the man fights to escape, but the capturers close the heavy stone doors, muting the frantic screams of the desperate man and seal the doors with a Pyramid-shaped key.
Then a bright flash terminates the ghostly vision. Once again, all is dark, except for the luminous vial. You grab it, and driven by curiosity you move through the lightless hall, find your way to the inner chamber that was once sealed by the pyramid-shaped key.
The stone doors are open. The key removed. Within, a low humming fills the omniscient dark. Then a red glow fills the chamber. A flaming eye looking straight at you, fills your head with the horrid sounds of a tortured soul, stings your brain with the pain of a thousand needles. Before you can move a violent shadow attacks you with full force, sling your body towards the opposite wall. Your mind crumbles, the dark screams of insanity penetrates your brain. You try to get up, but cannot.
The red eye hovers over you. Then everything turns black.
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Insight into development cycle of the assets created for Aporia: Beyond the Valley; “The Mapholder”
Every new addition to Aporia: Beyond the Valley can have its lineage traced back to an always too lengthy morning debate amongst the team and that hopefully in the end results in our concept artist, Nina Vinde Folkersen, sitting down and drawing up some concepts based in the lore of the game and use. Some examples can be seen below.
A few early sketches of possible outcomes of the mapholder.
Should we make it leather similiar to the paintings around the world or as a solid stone block anchored to the world was something that took a long time to decide upon.
To make sure that the mechanics of the mapholder fit the universe several blueprints was created to highlight the function of it.
Concept blueprint drawings was made to make sure that there was a consistency between the design of the different objects in the world, the mechanics and lore.
Finally, after many different drafts and blueprints a final version is decided fleshed out in all its detail.
Below is a small timelapse of the final concept design for the mapholder in the game that Nina recorded for us all see.
Timelapse of the final concept for the mapholder.
Next up one of our 3D artists takes the concept drawing and starts to transform it into a 3D model. In the specific case of the mapholder, Kasper Vendelbo was the key artist on the 3D side of things and the guy who carried out the modelling, texturing and implementation into the engine.
Below you see a flat render of the model before any texturing is applied. The primary modelling parts have been made in Autodesk Maya.
Flat render without textures.
Then the texture was added applying diffuse, normal, gloss and specular maps to the model. Kasper was nice enough to render out a few images of the final textured mapholder.
Final render of the mapholder.
After the asset has been recreated in the 3D software the mapholder is exported to Cryengine and have its materials finely tuned.
Below is a screenshot of the mapholder as it is implemented into CryEngine.
The last part is for our lead programmer Mikael Olsen to finally implement all of its features that the mapholder needs to do in terms of game mechanics. For a final taste you have to wait for the final game; releasing for PC July 19, 2017! Two days!
We cannot wait to show you more of the game!
We have created a new video showcasing some of the gameplay mechanics that you will encounter when you traverse the world in Aporia: Beyond the Valley.
We are slowly nearing the end of development of Aporia and we are now now officially named Aporia: Beyond the Valley.
Help Aporia get funding from the Crytek's Indie dev fund!
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