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You play as Jim Turner, a freelance journalist with a past he can't forget. When Jim was 13 his dad left on a business trip.
"I'll be back in a few days, Jim, don't you worry."
That was 15 years ago, and his dad hasn't come back yet. Ever since that day Jim has been looking for his father. Nothing too drastic, he managed to hold down a job - even have a wife and kids, but the memory of his dad has always been there. He had almost given up his search, when he found something of interest. It was one of his fathers journals, and it detailed where his father was going on his "business trip". With this new clue Jim sets out to discover what has become of his father.
"I'll be back in a few days, Richard, don't you worry." he tells his son...
"A Terrible Secret" takes place in the present day, but in a town that has not been inhabited since the 15th century. Medieval houses tower over cobblestone alleys. The town seems too quiet, where is everyone? Why does this place look so old?
It happened so fast, and before you knew it you were stranded. But where? Everything looks so... old...
After scanning the area of your wreck, you begin to wander around the streets. Apart from some minor degradations, the town seems to be intact. So where is everyone? You make your way along a dark alley - scanning every corner for possible danger. Before long you hear a moaning sound from around the corner. Within seconds you have rounded the corner, and you see a man standing there, in the darkness - a blank look on his face.
"What the f*ck?"
He lunges for you throat, but before tasting your flesh he has 3 bullets through his skull. The mans body falls to the floor - lifeless. Closer inspection of the mans body shows that he had been dead for much longer than the few seconds you left his body twitching on the ground. His flesh is rotting off the bone, and he emits a putrid smell.
Before long you hear moaning coming from down the alley. Red eyes begin to take shape in the gloom... there has to be at least 8 of them! You rush to the nearest door and break through. You scan the room for any signs of life and quickly throw a table infront of the door to barricade it. The moaning continues from outside, and it is getting closer. You rush up stairs, and glance out the window. It takes a few seconds to sink in, but afterwards your heart sinks in to your chest.
The town is on fire in many places and there are corpses littered all over the streets. Worst of all is that the corpses seem to be getting up... they are coming for you. There must be hundreds of them! You begin to panic, and then you hear it - that noise you had been listening so intently for. The door slams open... they are inside.
As the first shadow appears in the door way you start firing, and you don't stop. The sound of empty shells falling to the ground rings louder in your ears than the booming and thudding of bullets firing off and hitting their mark. You're running low on ammo. What will you do when you run out? As you load your last clip your mind races, trying to think of a way to get the hell out of this mess... the shadows never stop forming in the doorway. Zombies start to fill the room, and you hear a distinct noise that seems to be coming from far away, it is a little girl... and she is giggling...
A change of engine is not something I take very lightly. The decision was made over many weeks of toying with both Doom 3 and with Half Life 2, and testing the limitations of each engine. In the end, though, my decision was to move to Half Life 2, and for a few very important reasons.
Doom 3, while it lent itself extremely well to the dark and scary atmosphere we needed, did not work well for us in any other way. Not only was the lighting restrictive in outdoor environments, but the textures and assets available to us with the engine were next to none. Making custom textures, custom models, custom scripts, custom... everything was not what I had intented for the mod. I wanted to take the gameplay of Doom 3, and put it into a different setting, with different weapons, and an actual story. That proved more frustrating than I had first imagined it would be, and the further we progressed with our conceptual work the more we realized how restricted we were when using the Doom 3 engine.
Then HL2 was released and it's amazing use of physics really won me over. The graphics are not better than Doom 3, but with a proper artistic team and some nice level geomotry it will be possible to make, in my opinion, outdoor levels that look much better than Doom 3 would. So, that is the main reason we switched to Source... now let me fill you in with some new features that will be possible using the Source engine.
LOTS of enemies. Toying with the spawning commands in the console allows you to spawn as many enemies as you want, having 20 - 30 enemies on screen doesn't slow my computer down very much, and it will be entirely possible with some new models and animations, to get a whole horde of zombies attacking you.
Barricades. Yes, we had them in the Doom 3 engine, but they were static and couldn't be moved. Here is a scenario you will be presented with in A Terrible Secret. You enter a house with some chairs and a table. A horde of zombies appraoches. You can either throw all the junk in the room against the door and block the zombies for a few minutes, or you can pick up the chairs and beat them over the head of the zombies. Of course, after using chairs to hit 2 or 3 zombies over the head it will shatter, and you lose the option to then throw it in front of the door. The use of physics in Source is one of the, if not the, main reason that we changed engines, and I think this scenario gives you a good idea as to why.
The ability to carry only two weapons at a time (ala Halo 2). We feel this will add a bit more suspense to the game, and make the player think twice before pumping that zombie full of lead. Ammo will be limited and you will have to use things in your environment to defeat the zombies. I mean come on, if we gave you a machine gun with 100 bullets, the zombies would have no chance! ;)
Finally, with the amazing voice acting and model animations from the HL2 single-player campaign we got inspired to do some of that ourselves. To tell you the exact details would spoil some of the plot, so I will just tell you that you will have encounters with other humans, and it should be interesting.
It is with a lot of excitment (and a little bit of sadness) that I announce our decision to move our modification from the Doom 3 engine to the Source...
I would like to welcome Rroff to the "A Terrible Secret" team. Rroff is a prop modeller, who has already shown us some impressive work in the...
Recently I did an interview with FPSCentral.com, and it has gone up on their site today. Check it out!!
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