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Mindworld is a First Person Action Adventure Game developed with UDK. In January 2011, the project was started. The player gets into the role of Katherine Evans who suffers from depression and is looking for answers in her subconscious mind, which she enters via lucid dreaming. Throughout the adventure, the player has to collect clues, solve puzzles, fight enemies and overcome obstacles in a surreal dreamworld that slowly turns into a fearsome nightmare. Mindworld is divided into four chapters and offers multiple endings, which are influenced by the decisions the player makes during the gameplay.

RSS Mindworld: Special Article #5

Introducing the fifth article of this series, we are going to give you a look behind the scenes of Mindworld and talk about inspiration.

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Another month has gone by since we presented you the position of one of our composers of Mindworld. Recently, we have been working out a lot of things, but we still found some time to give you another look behind the scenes of Mindworld.

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A look behind the scenes

Today is the second Friday of the month, which would actually mean another interview for you guys to read through. Due to a misunderstanding there won't be one today. Is that a reason to be disappointed? Of course not, because that gives me the oppertunity to write about one of my favorite topics: inspiration.

Also, when it comes to giving out media to the audience, I am very strict with quality control and we are not giving out unfinished work. Since developing a 3D environment takes quite some time until everything is up to a certain standard, we haven't shown any ingame screenshots yet. It's definitely not easy to imagine how the game is going to be like, if you don't have the information like our team members have. However, given this oppertunity, I want to show you some of the main influences for Mindworld.


Half Life 2

Half Life 2 is definitely a big source for inspiration. In my point of view, it's a masterpiece of the game industry. Every second of the game is well planned and it stands out with intelligent level design, a great soundtrack, authentic sound design and breahtaking voice acting. But, what I love so much about the game are the things that you don't see at first sight. The combine behaviour, the whole idea about the social structures and great control over the player's emotion in each moment of the game make Half Life 2 shine so much for me.

It definitely always comes in handy when I am looking for a well made game to analyze. We are creating a game that lets you explore surreal dreamworlds with a great mood. The main goal of video games is to create an illusion. There's nothing worse than seeing a bad texture on the skybox, invisible walls or smudged areas in the distance that remind you of the virtuality of the game. We are avoiding those mistakes as much as it is possible for us. Setting a great mood with a nice soundtrack and amazing sound design can also be expected from us.


Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge isn't only about the cool fast paced action gameplay, but also about what else can be seen on the screen. The number one reason why I am fascinated with Mirror's Edge is the authentic animation of the protagonist's body. This game isn't only in a usual first person view, but it's in a very authentic first person view.

We are definitely going for authentic animation of the player's model, but I can't promise anything here yet. In my vision, Mindworld definitely has a good variety of animation of the arms, hands and legs. Getting a very skilled animator on board is definitely not going to be easy though.


Bioshock

Bioshock is another great example for animation, but there's something else I want to talk about here. Right from the get go Bioshock got my attention with it's beautiful visuals and love to detail in level design. But what not only caught my attention, but also kept my interest going was the great focus of creating a certain mood for the game. The way tension was build in the game was simply great.

We are definitely going to concentrate on creating the right mood for every part of the game.


Metro 2033

Although I haven't played the game yet, it's a great inspiration for many things. So far, I've been watching gameplay videos and trailer material. The possibility to have multiple endings or a choice to decide how the game is going to progress without the typical RPG system in dialogues is something we want to impliment, aswell.


Guild Wars

Guild Wars stands out with it's original design. The concept art is breathtaking and not only shows originality, but it does it while keeping it believable. It's simply showing what design is all about. What inspires me so much is how they keep on producing original art with a fresh feel to it and then translate it into a great game. In the development of Mindworld we are trying to come up with fresh and original content and we do that by thinking without limitations. Of course, most of our ideas are not realistic at first and they won't make it in the game. But, what I'm then focussing my team on is the core of what makes the idea so original and great.After that, we try to take what we've learned and create something with it that is doable for us.


Diablo

The voice acting in Diablo is just amazing. I listened to every dialogue in the game and read through the story. I think that good voice acting can make all the difference in a game. It can't take a bad game and turn it into an amazing game, but it can definitely take a pretty good game to an excellent game. Listening to a voice let's your mind dive into the game's story and it is definitely a big part of creating that great illusion we so want to be part of.


Inception

My main concern when I decided to publish artwork and music together with the idea of Mindworld on ModDB was that people thought of it as a bad try to get a great movie into a game. Some people immediately commented about that exact topic and said it was all looking like Inception.

Now, I am not afraid to list Inception as one of our sources for inspiration. It's nothing related to the ingame content though, as the movie doesn't show many things related to lucid dreaming. We do though and many of the information we use and impliment for the game are real. I have a lot of experience with many kind of dreams, but my favorites are still lucid dreams. Having experience with the topic, positive and negative, definitely influence the development of Mindworld. I think that this gives the game that little extra edge here and there.

Also Inception is a really good example for video editing, as in creating teasers and trailers. We are definitely going to create teasers for Mindworld and I can already promise that. Epic music and that pure enthusiasm you can feel after you've watched a great hollywood trailer is something we are going to impliment in our trailers. It's a field I'm very interested in and I've written analysis about quite some trailers already. You can expect high quality videos in that part.


Final words

That's about it for this look behind the scenes. Please keep in mind that those examples really concentrated on what I've written below them. Of course, it would be great, if we could take everything that we like about those games and just put it into Mindworld, but I'm afraid that's not possible. Every development team has to cut content on some level here and there, but we try to keep the final product well balanced.


More articles covering other positions in the team or background information about our development are going to be published monthly, every second Friday of the month.

- Kjell 'iQew' Bunjes
(Team Leader and Art Director)

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Comments
xxx.xxx.xxx
xxx.xxx.xxx

Thanks for the article, how about Korsakovia, did that Mod affect this project in any way or the work of any other Mods here on Moddb ???

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iqew Author
iqew

I can't speak for the whole team here, because I don't know how many mods each and every person has played. But, for me, all the inspirations come from AAA titles, movies and life. That doesn't mean that there aren't excellent mods and indies out there, though. I just didn't have the oppertunity to play them so much yet.

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SolidFake
SolidFake

Korsakovia, meh
While it does have superb voice acting and storytelling, the gameplay is pretty dull.
But it should be played by anyone who targets a storydriven, voice-acted videogame nethertheless.

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Captain-Arse
Captain-Arse

if you succeed at mashing all of these styles and focuses, you will have my applause all the way from Australia. :)

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Captain-Arse
Captain-Arse

P.S. What is an example of the art direction your going for?

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iqew Author
iqew

The game world is set in the theme of realism. So, everything you're going to see is going to look quite good, as we are used to with the UDK engine. The total game is going to have multiple themes, but I'm not going to talk about any further details about that, because we are focussing on the first part of the game for now. I think the best way to describe our art style is by looking at the ingame screenshots. That is going to take a little a while though, so please be patient.

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Captain-Arse
Captain-Arse

Patience is just about the only thing i don't lack. ;D

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TheUnabridgedGamer
TheUnabridgedGamer

...Err, when I think of something with a consistent flow, Guild Wars isn't what I think of. The first game's campaign went over the hill, through the woods, underneath the tree, back behind the house, around upfront.

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SPY-maps
SPY-maps

i really hope that i am wrong, but to me this is really such a game that simply wants TO much and therefore it never will be finished.
making a game is not about what you can all think of, but, what you can all ACTUALY make!! and for what you all have planned its clear you will need the best of the best developers, and that will cost loads of money.
i see it nearly each week here, for years now, great ideas, but they are so great that they can't be made by small indie developers.
therefore i really suggest that you now first start looking for all the right people before you go on with planning and writing, because you will see that what you have in mind is great, but can't be pulled of.

but, like i said in the beginning, i HOPE i am wrong,
(but the past has learned me that i am not).
still, please prove that i am !!!!!

leon

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SPY-maps
SPY-maps

sorry, but i do like to add something. i just checked the members of your team and its clear that you still don't have coders, scripters, modelers, texture artists, skinners, animators, etc etc etc.

what you do have is a lot of great concept art, and we all have seen it so many times before. great ideas, loads of great concepts arts but no one to actualy make it in to a game. where will you find all these great developers that will make this game for you??

but again, please prove me wrong because i do like the concept till now.
although i already know how this will end....

still,
succes!

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Mr.Walrus
Mr.Walrus

Many of their ideas dont sound entirely impossible to make, and even so, they state: "Of course, most of our ideas are not realistic at first and they won't make it in the game."

I would say that their ideas are going to require a lot of work, but I definitely don't think they're impossible to make. Not to mention that games of this level of quality seem to usually get more members as they go on, though they have plenty of excellent ones already...

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iqew Author
iqew

@Paradigmthefallen:
I didn't list Guild Wars for great game flow, but for innovative design ideas. A lot of their concept art is created with a technique that particulary aims at creating designs that haven't been build yet. And what I admire so much about their work is that they design new architecture with great design without losing any authenticity, because their designs are based on decades of experience in the design fields.

@SPY-maps:
Don't let your opinion blind you so much. Take a step back and read the article carefully. I said that all those games really concentrated on getting that one area of specialization right (f.e. Mirror's Edge with outstanding animation). At the end I said that you can expect many things from us, but we are not able to get every area we like to such a high quality. However, we are trying to get every area up to a certain standard so that the game is well balanced. What I mean by that is that we don't focus on insane detailed texture work and super great models and then add lousy voice acting with 5$ microphones.

Also, the team rooster on ModDB only contains half of the people who are actually working on this project. Logithx said that he does both 3D modelling (with texture work) and level design. Recruiting a full team rooster doesn't make any sense, because it would be very hard to motivate and keep people interested in the project, if they don't have something to work on. We recruit new talent as we go.

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x3nu
x3nu

Interesting article, it's nice to see what your studying to improve the design. Balance between all parts is key, and I think that's where your heading :)

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Fib
Fib

(About Inception) "It's nothing related to the ingame content though, as the movie doesn't show many things related to lucid dreaming."

The whole movie was about lucid dreaming. Not in its theme, or story, but every time the characters entered a dream they were participating in lucid dreaming. Which was about 75% of the movie.

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iqew Author
iqew

But what did they show about lucid dreaming? They just entered multiple level of dreams, which is also possible with casual dreams (false awakening). The movie was set in lucid dreams, but didn't show many things related to it. The only things I can think of right now are an item that let's you go through a reality check and the kick to wake someone up (which isn't really related to lucid dreaming either, as it works the same with casual dreams). All the rest were just ideas that look good in the cinema (people looking at you, because you manipulate the dream) and were only put in there for entertainment, they don't rely on authentic information, though.

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