The Old City: Leviathan is out!

fladdermasken

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http://postmodsoftworks.com/about.htm

A few old hivers have finally released the first portion of their game The Old City: Leviathan.

Really worth checking out. It's also 25% off on Steam right now!
http://store.steampowered.com/app/297350/

The Old City: Leviathan is an experiment in first person exploration that focuses entirely on story. All that exists is you and the world. Set in a decaying city from a civilization long past, The Old City: Leviathan puts the player in the shoes of a sewer dwelling isolationist.

A decaying city from a civilization long past. A sewer-dwelling isolationist and his hunt for knowledge. A forgotten childhood and the few memories that remain.
Set in the outskirts of a long-abandoned metropolis, The Old City: Leviathan drops you into a strange world accompanied by nothing but the protagonist's poetic musings and an atmospheric score. You'll need to explore and absorb the world around you if you ever hope to understand the history of the eponymous city, and how you came to be there.

This is a world that morphs and changes when you least expect it, teetering on the boundary between dreams and reality. Your only goal: to understand.

 
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sentrywiz

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sentrywiz

Not my kind of game but it looks gorgeous.

But I do feel kinda proud belonging to the group of people which were once part of this great wc3 community.

100x better than all the shit games that come out on steam.
 
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That's awesome. Purchased.

I'm interested to see what they mean when they say "philosophy."
 

deepstrasz

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I hope it's not just a movie were the watcher has to presshold the keyboard for it to run while listening to a monologue. I think doing something more in a game than just ghastly moving and hearing yourself is what a game is supposed to be.
What would make it interesting would be a maze structure of areas (that could change their aspect from time to time or because of various triggers), sometimes being in peril by some cause and most importantly actually doing something (solving puzzles, moving things in order to gain access, escape or reach an important trigger point).
I am very fond on the visuals more than on the music from what I've seen and heard until now. I also think this game could be great inspiration for other/later projects.
 
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They've actually specifically stated they do not want it to be a puzzle game. Plenty of those exist, and many really incredible ones with the advent of the indie game. They wanted to do something different, and there's been a few successful "walking simulators" lately that provide an audience for this sort of thing.
 
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Beautiful, sucks they went with the story driven exploration genre as that probably means I won't bother playing, I will probably watch it and back it anyway though ~
Also am I the only one whose browser hangs whenever I try to view their web for longer than 5 seconds ?
 
IMO the game should have some interaction and some challenge, because in this aspect you don't lose anything if just viewing the whole game on youtube or playing it yourself. I mean, I like exploring, but there must be a purpose, not just walking around and listening to the only participant's monologue. Environment is well done and can be quite creepy, but mostly the fact that is devoid of any intelligent life. Definitely this kind of game, like Dear Esther, is something new in the genre, but it's rather taking stuff from out than adding new or changing existing stuff. It's a good start nonetheless for future games.
 

fladdermasken

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IMO the game should have some interaction and some challenge
@everyone saying this:
Get over it. It's just not that type of game. They are abundantly clear that they don't want it to be anything else.

because in this aspect you don't lose anything if just viewing the whole game on youtube or playing it yourself.
You lose the feeling of being immersed by the environment.

I mean, I like exploring, but there must be a purpose, not just walking around and listening to the only participant's monologue.
The purpse is finding out about the story. 95% of the game content is optional [sic]. If you think of it as nothing but clearing the chapters, then this really isn't the game for you.
 
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I think that perhaps "game" isn't even the right term for this sort of work.

Video games have become more and more of an art form. While many games adopt this new identity and still create a "game" to go with the art (or vies versa), some are simply presenting themselves as art. Look at 'Mountain.'

While OCL is technically a video game, I'd assume (since I haven't actually played it yet) this is more art than game, and by the sounds of it, an exploration of one's self.
 
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I feel that the term "Video Game" is broadly applied to any digital medium that involves an individual controlling any sort of entity in a graphically rendered environment.

However, that's an extremely broad definition and certainly makes it harder to classify these kind of "games". However, as to what other term we could use instead, I have no clue. To me, this is more "interactive storytelling" than it is "video game".

Nothing wrong with that, just an interesting phenomenon that we're seeing where many forms of interactive medium of being billed as "Video Games" when that definition or category may not properly fit them.
 
Looks absolutely great. I realize that the decision to make it a walking simulator is mostly to limit the work to a realistic scope. Sad to say though that i am not a huge fan of the dialogue, mostly just a bunch of pretentious nonsense. But i am still intrigued by the concept and am interested to see where they take it, as far as storyline goes.

To be frank, anything negative i have to say about it could easily be of pure jealousy over them taking this huge step. I wish them the best of luck on this project.
 
The trailer is hard to watch, I couldn't get trough those 2 minutes of trailer. It was just too monotonic and bland. The slow slides between images in the trailer and the puzzle-talking narrator was driving me crazy.

- Life, they have the main character walk around in bland-lifeless areas completely alone. This is the main reason I will never buy another indie game with no walking alive characters. Once the drop-sales go down they will learn the damn lesson to put "Life" into games.
 
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Cool, I wonder; what was this written in (language)? As well as the production costs. What needs to be done to get a game on Steam anyways? I am heading a small game development myself and we're facing some of these questions currently. If you want to be extra nice; what libraries are being used here?

There are plenty of resources out there if you do some searching. If you're serious about it, you'll put the time in and do your own research. Sorry if that seems harsh, but it's the truth. There have been a few aspiring devs here on the Hive that have had a rude awakening when they realize just how much is needed to move from simple modding to full-blown game development.
 
I agree, the amount of work needed is just staggering. Things we take for granted, such as shading, animation, collision, raycasting, sound, heck- even menu buttons, have a ton of work behind them which would just be overwhelming for a single amateur to take on. You need to understand stuff like quaternions, SLERP, convex hulls, and the separating axis theorem, to name a few things. Some really solid knowledge on linear algebra is crucial.

If you want to make your own game, i'd suggest Unity Engine. C# may not be the fastest language, but it is super easy to understand and the engine has support for most features you could need. It is the only situation where it would be remotely realistic for a single person to make a game looking somewhat like this. If you are OK with sprite graphics, i can recommend XNA Framework (also C#). It does not have as many libraries made for it, but it is quite easy to deal with rendering etc. You can even make simple 3d games (Magicka for instance is made with XNA), and there is a version of the Bullet physics engine available in C#, translated by eanthusiasts. The benefits of XNA is that you own complete rights to whatever you are making and don't have to pay royalties to anyone. The con is that you are inherently limited to the Windows platform and have no hope of releasing a Max or Linux version.
 
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Cool, I wonder; what was this written in (language)? As well as the production costs. What needs to be done to get a game on Steam anyways? I am heading a small game development myself and we're facing some of these questions currently. If you want to be extra nice; what libraries are being used here?

It was made with UDK, most of the code is simply derived from the pre-made UnrealScript (a terrible language if I may).
Added stuff (mostly the menus really) is done with UnrealScript and Flash.
Can't say anything about the production costs, but generally you need to get your game green lit on Steam, and then you sign a contract with Valve. They take 25% of all profits, so that's great.

If you think of going the Unreal way, go with UE4, don't bother with UDK. UE4 uses C++, and is generally a quadrillion times better than UDK. However, something to note is that neither of them have too much information on google, which is surprising. If you want to implement special functionality, chances are you are alone.
 
C++ is the standard language for game programming. It is fast and flexible, and nearly all libraries are made for it. Keep in mind that using UE4 costs 19$ a month, in this case i would advise starting off at something more basic first in order not to waste your money. Overall i can totally, TOTALLY recommend Digitalerr0r's game development tutorials - for instance, he made a series about using HLSL (High Level Shading Language) which you can find here, very pedagogical articles on how to make your own shader from scratch. He also has a ton of other articles, including ones on XNA and Unity. All tutorials are available here.
 
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I definitely recommend that you start out with Unity if you have absolutely no programming or general game development background. They have a very extensive series of tutorials/how-tos, an active community, and as Fingolfin mentioned earlier, it uses C#, which will still get the job done. (Regarding the comment about no hope for C# or .NET on Linux or Mac, that's a null point. Microsoft announced back in November that they're porting .NET to Linux and Mac)

I've done some work with UDK and UE4, and while they have the larger, more comprehensive toolset, they are inherently harder to use/learn. They also have a growing resource/tutorial section for UE4 (though it's not nearly as large as that of Unity's)
 
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Didn't really like Dear Esther, can't imagine I'll like this. It's really cool to see some familiar modders making an indie game though.

That's a shame, I thought Dear Esther was a triumph, and Gone Home was even better. Inversion of traditional mechanics through different means of storytelling have always been interesting to me. The gorgeous Myst games have been doing it for years.

It's not something that will evolve to be truly encompassing or anything, but as storytelling in video games becomes more and more important (and indie developers seek increasingly ingenious ways to differentiate themselves from the horde), I can see this style of game becoming more and more popular.
 
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I disliked Gone Home too, but for different reasons. I actually quite enjoyed the puzzle solving and the atmosphere. I thought the presentation was top notch and is definitely representative of how an interactive story doesn't really need stuff like branching choices or a lose condition to take advantage of that interactivity.

The story was a huge let down. It constantly teases you and makes you think it'll be something more than it really is. Tweenage drama story I've seen done a thousand times in young adult fiction and cheesy Saturday morning kids movies. It would have been considered a mediocre story in ANY other medium, but it's a new trend and people are still impressed by the novelty. (also: "omg taboo subject must praise must praise", but this is a spoiler so I wont say more)

On the other hand, an example of a game that does this sort of thing very well is The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. It fully takes advantage of the fact that it's a game and melds the narrative in with the gameplay. This is where I want to see games take the genre. Right now, it's just indie devs abusing the fact that it's an easy excuse to exclude gameplay and stuff the seams with pseudo-philosophy.

There's nothing wrong with indie devs being resourceful to compensate for a lack of resources of course, but there are other ways of doing that too.


Anyway. Don't take that as a criticism towards this game in particular, I haven't actually played it. But I'm highly skeptical of the entire "omg so gud storiy amazing emersions" games that have been appearing every where all of a sudden.
 
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Yeah, a good chunk of the gaming community shares your view, Steel_Stallion, and I believe the developers went ahead with this project knowing full well that this is the case. I'm fairly certain that this is less about 'indie devs seeking the easy way out' and more like this is the game that they had in mind and really wanted to make.

Also, from what I've seen of the game this is hardly a mediocre\cliche story masked as "psuedo-psychology". I think it would be completely unfair to label it in such a way, although I must confess I haven't played it yet.
 
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