Post news RSS Announcing The Shadow of the Ramlord

A look at the next Dark Craft Studios project, The Shadow of the Ramlord.

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It's startling to realize that it's happening; I'm in amazement at the very revelation. Perhaps premature, perhaps right on time? Regardless of that fact, I can say I'm happy to be here in the position that I love to be in -- at the helm of a new horror project. With Triptych behind us in March of 2017, all eyes were set on the completion and articulation of an indie project to be released on Steam. However, life and hubris got in the way and our ambitions died in the cradle. So I sat back and drank. And thought. And drank some more. And then it came to me in a blinding realization, that to become sufficient game developer(s) I need to do more than release two mods for /Crysis/ in a decade. My eyes turned to Amnesia's engine, and I fell in love.

Story Synopsis

The Shadow of the Ramlord will be written with the same care and attentive detail that laced our prior projects. While Worry of Newport contemplated the lengths one will go to recover their humanity, and Triptych mused on many favorite philosophical discussions of mine in a somber tone, our Amnesia project will cast shadows in a unique direction. Utilizing (due to our technical limitations) purely stock assets, we instead hope to entice our audience with a story-first focus polished up to an even higher standard. Ramlord will be a frightening, unsettling, unnerving and downright insidious foray into the nature of sin and evil itself -- something I have toed the border on in all my prior works, but never truly immersed the player in. What do the dead have to tell? What would a reversed abortion accomplish through Necromancy? A few spoilers for the horror to come.

In The Shadow of the Ramlord, a witchfinder, Albert Gray, is sent to Caecea Manor, the seat of a powerful house in the Holy Roman Empire, in order to investigate claims of occult behavior. Rumor among the villages nearby is that the Count of the castle is a Necromancer raising the dead to torture lost secrets and black mail out of the long dead in order to gain political power in the region. As well, he forces a marriage between himself and a baroness to secure more political clout, which raises concern from the church. It's through her diary entries and journals that the horrific actions and horrible rituals of the villain are told to the player investigating. The emotional depths and tragic fate of the woman is one of the unique, unsettling things to discover in our fully voiced custom story.

The villain will be kept in suspense and in the wings until the very final act, where his own voice and experimentation journals are discovered. Since I can introduce puzzled, monsters chasing you, jump scare sequences and a really in depth amount of ancient castle, manor, dungeon and industrial assets I'm going to have a phenomenal time really doing my homework. How are the best chase sequences created? What are the most fun HPL Engine Puzzles? How can I avoid the key-to-grunt, or turn off all the lights tropes? How can I effectively unnerve a player with assets they've seen in a million streams and lets plays? I'm going to have a fun time really engaging the player mentally in all ways and tell a much more visceral and emotionally present story that isn't as contemplative or sad as my priors.

Development Cycle

Realistically this project will be completed within the year, or less. All roles have been cast, a composer has been chosen, a co-programmer/designer has been brought onboard for the first time in a new studio hire, and I've been immersing myself in studying the engine inside out for the last month, five hours a day. You should start seeing a more fleshed out profile within a week, pre-alpha screenshots within a month, a trailer by Summer, and a release in the Fall.

How can I support this vision?

First off, no money. No need. This is a mod for fun, and it's hosted on Moddb for a reason! But if you could spread the word, tell your friends, talk about us -- new or old projects -- we would be eternally grateful. Once we get more media we'll launch our own campaign, but I would like active discussions on what you guys would like to see -- or not see -- in order to perfect our vision for a proper, Lovecraftian Custom Story.

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