It’s been a long time since the previous ConnorORT Studios devblog so let’s dive right in!
Our plan since the release of Towards The Pantheon has been to work on one light hearted adventure game and a darker survival horror style game. As a result we began development on Bam’s Countryside Adventure, a farming sim with magic, adventure, and fantasy elements starring Bam the cat from Towards The Pantheon, and a survival horror title Purity Of Intent. We realized that the scope of Purity of Intent would be better tackled when treating it as the only game our studio has in development. It became clear to us that we wanted to work on a darker Bam game alongside Bam’s Countryside Adventure and the result has become Bam and the Castle of Horror!
Bam and the Castle of Horror also stars Bam the cat, but this is no countryside adventure! Bam receives a mysterious letter from his long lost brother Biggles which claims that he has been trapped in an abandoned castle. Bam can’t be sure whether this is true or not, but he can’t live without at least trying to save his brother and quickly rides his sled down to the castle to investigate. Upon entering the door locks behind him and he discovers that he is in for a much darker and more frightening journey then he could have ever imagined.
The game is heavily inspired by classic survival horror games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill while also not being afraid of exploring new mechanics and creating its own space in the genre. Mixing the cutesy elements of a cat sipping green tea to recover health in a safe room with the terror of him soon after being dragged by a monstrous mad man into a barrel of acid was at first odd, but Leandro and I have enjoyed merging these two seeming conflicting worlds and styles together into something new and unique.
We’ve been crunching hard to get a feature complete internal demo of Bam and the Castle of Horror ready for testing. This demo will consist of an arena where Bam fights against gauntlets of enemies, similar to the Mercenaries mini games in recent Resident Evil games. Although the main campaign of Bam and the Castle of Horror is story and exploration driven we feel it’s very important to focus on the core gameplay mechanics and perfect them first before moving on with level creation and world building. With this ‘arena mode’ demo we will be able to tweak the gameplay elements, enemy AI, and overall feel and atmosphere of the game until it’s just right. Once all the gameplay elements are solidifed, we’ll also know how to best design the levels and campaign around those mechanics. This is something we’ve learned from our work on Towards The Pantheon where we worked on all of the game’s elements simultaneously as opposed to focusing on the core mechanics first.
Progress on Bam’s Countryside Adventure has taken a temporary backseat in favor of getting Bam and the Castle of Horror up to speed, although Leandro has been working on various art assets such as crops, shipping bins, character houses, dialog portraits, UI, and much more. We’ve also spent time thinking of ideas to experiment with when it comes to game design, such as the magical abilities and systems Bam will be able to use and how those elements will change his adventure. Since there are plenty of farming sims in the market it is important to brainstorm how to make your own game stand out. We’ve been looking at games such as Golden Sun and Black & White for inspiration and we look forward to exploring some of the gameplay mechanics we have in mind, taking what works and leaving what doesn’t until it is solidified. I’ve also started putting together lore and backstory that fits the mechanics well which will create lots of cohesion.
Leandro has been recording footage showing the creation of the pixel art for both games which he will begin editing into speed art videos, similar to the ones he made for Towards The Pantheon. I plan on recording some behind the scenes videos where I document the creation of both games as well as explain their development – such as how the soundtracks are made, how the code is architected, how we manage our tasks and keep in sync with one another, and more.
On the music side of things, I’ve been singing and playing live with the Vancouver metal band Edith as well as slowly working on new bits of music. Game development takes priority over my solo music these days (especially since game development includes creating new soundtracks!) but sometime in the future it’ll be very exciting to share some recordings from my new solo project.
It was my 28th birthday yesterday and I’m currently on a two week vacation… but I brought my computer and gear with me to work on both of the Bam games every day. We can’t wait to eventually get these games in your hands but we are also committed to working as much as needed and doing whatever it takes to deliver the best games we can.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to let us know what you think of our development blogs and share the blog with your friends, we’d really appreciate it! You can follow myself, Leandro and ConnorORT Studios on social media for more frequent updates:
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