Remember the Double-feature Episode "Year of Hell" from Star Trek Voyager? Many of my fellow trekkie and trekker fans consider it to among the very best episodes of the whole franchise, however all of them (including myself) agree that the "Reset Button" was visible throughout the episode after the first casualities among the crew happened.
When a Star Trek Vessel looks like THAT, it`s either being sacrified by the brave crew in a feature movie, a Miranda class exploding randomly in the background to show the battle is heavy or it is subject to be "reseted to normal" via Time Travel.
And this is the EASY part of implementing Time Travel in SciFi. Most of the time it`s used to alter the reality in favor of either the evil or the good guys - sometimes even to capture whales from San Francisco while providing the future technology of transparent aluminium to a random manufacturer of Plexiglass. Needless to say, Scotties easy-going violation of any resonable rules of behaviour in the past would have changed the future they returned to to a point they wouldn`t have recognized it upon return. Ouch.
Even the glorious "Back to the Future" movies had their moments of failing the rules of action - reaction, of cause and effect. But we laughed anyways. Now, when it comes to games, it gets even worse. We at Homegrown Games learned that during the last weeks the hard way.
Into the Troubles
OK, we confess: This picture is not from "Into the Dark". But it`s Homegrown.
Allright, while finishing more and more levels and cutscenes from Into the Dark, we asked ourselves what to do next when the game is finnished. And we stumbled across a relly great High Level Concept we had in our backhand for quite some time, evolving around the scottish independence wars 1284 -- 1328. Melee Combat, medieval traps and riddles, Crossbow shooting, horseriding...
...YOU GOTTA LOVE THAT!
And then we had the GENIUS Idea:
"Lets make it the Sequel!"
So we made a concept for "Into the past", letting our hero from Into the Dark travel to Scotia in the late 13th century on behalf of a shady secret society that...
...oh yes, we LOVE crazy storylines. The concept would have made our hero being briefed in the present, going to the past and returning from the past each level to be debriefed. Yeah, Assassins Creed, but with REAL H.G. memorial Time Travel.
"Into the Past" was for sure among the most stupid ideas I ever had. Still I weep for it.
Soon I saw the essential problem. The players motivation and reward would heavily rely on seeing and experiencing the effects of his heroic deeds in the past. But in now freakign wa we would have had a chance to do that without making the next travel into the past totally ridiculous. So the feature of time travelling was a killer feature that killed our GDD. So we instead re-focused and re-wrote into a new Game. While finishing "Into the Dark", we already prepare for
The Game not announced yet. From where this screenshot is. And it`s also an "Into the Dark" Screenshot. Because we got a working
Crossover between the games - Time "Travel" the other way
We did some tests, our scripter swallowed 12 litres of red bull a week, and then we had it. The game we`ll announce soon will have a crossover with "Into the Dark". They will share one location - and here the past (as presented in our historical medieval sword epos) will be connected to the present as portrayed in "Into the Dark".
Sounds Crazy. How will that work?
If you have both games installed, and you play the medieaval yet unnamed game, you will see the same place that Sam visits 700 years later. And there you can change things that will effect the present in the other game. No kidding.
- If our medieval hero places places a shiny new claymore in one of the chests, Sam will find a rusty yet usable sword in the rotten remains of a chest.
- If you leave a crossbow well hidden in the past, Sam will be able to find its remains and with a tinker skill high enough, be able to put it back to use
- If you carve messages into the wall, they will be readable - but covered with moss and ivy - in the present.
But don`t forget! FIRST we will send you into the Dark, and THEN we will send you into the Past.