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Nekros Arts

A member registered Nov 06, 2019 · View creator page →

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Grime & Gaslight - Explore a ghost town

Grime & Gaslight - Explore a 19th century city | Horror

This game is awesome, but unfortunely I can´t play it since the controls are unusual: WASD would suit more players. Don´t give up! You game looks awesome, just needs a little bit of tweeks and playtests

What a lovely little game! I was working once on a quite similar project, created a bunch of assets but it never came alive. Have you stopped development?

Grime & Gaslight - Victorian Era horror game

Grime & Gaslight

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Haunted houses, nightside forests and abandoned psychiatries: Many horror games feel like the same. It´s time for a new experience: Explore a whole Victorian Era-themed city and survive the darkest of all nights.

Welcome in the world of Grime & Gaslight! A satanic cult had taken over a city in Great Britain and released a demonic creature to patrol the streets. Can you bless all crosses to contain its malicious influence?

Gameplay: Grime & Gaslight is an exploring survival horror game. You can choose from three game modes. Playing the story mode and the random mode will challenge your orientation and memory. Find crosses and bless them with three phials of holy water. Are your phials empty, you have to remember where you saw stoups to refill them and get back to the crosses you discovered. While playing the survival mode, you will live any moment at the brink of death. Enemies are around you, but you can throw holy water phials to defeat them. However they won´t stay away for long..

Get the game here:

thank you, mate! Yeah, it´s intended that the game is not easy, but who likes way too easy games? 

alright, thanks for your answer. Do you mean the game builds by "archives"?

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Hi folks, my game does not show up when I search it. It´s called "Grime & Gaslight" Even when I search for my profil, it says "0 projects". When I visit it then the page shows up. I´ve already checked the page "Getting indexed on Search & Browse". Furthermore none of my 3 devlogs are shown as well.

Here´s what I checked:

-the project has files and the page has got a cover pic

-project is public and it´s neither unlisted from search nor new downloads are disabled

-there is one wallpaper-file, that was downloaded once (One user suggested projects needs to have at least one download to be indexed)

-I waited two days, to give Itchio some time to review it

-NSFW is untagged for my game. I hope this is the right one? (pic below)

If you got any idea what I could change, please comment. If the game is still is review quere, I´ll wait patiently, but would be glad to know if this is the case. Thanks in advance!


The day has come! I´m super excited to announce that Grime & Gaslight is officially published! WOOO-HOOO! Check out the game´s page and support this game with a purchase!

Devlog #5 ~ Environment Design & Level Design Video

Let´s talk about the way I created the level in the game engine Unity3D. 

Firstly, I had created a testscene where I have began to build a prototype. At  this point I already sketched a draft, how the level should look like. Keeping things short:
1. Carve the terrain;  2. Place the pavement;  3. Place houses. 

The first one is obvious. If you change the terrainheight after placing the pavement, there will occur problems. The second point is not so reasonable. Firstly I thought it would be a huge problem, placing the pavement (which means building the streets) and then try to fit in the houses there.  Like the space between two streets could be too small for, lets say, 4 houses but to large for 3 ones. The solution is simple: The player does NOT care. It actually doen´t matter to people if there is more of less space or gaps between houses. Take a look at the right house group in the picture below. I struggled to place the houses in a way to make it seem like there were plausible builded. And in the end, I did not. It´s perfectly ok that there is a big green area, free of houses or cabins. The player also does not care about the area he can´t enter (as long it´s not too big), because he does not notice. Just make your level plausible, but don´t exaggerate. 

I even daresay it makes the level richer in terms of recognizablity and creates interest. Even a real city is sometimes twisted with crooked architecture and different sized alleys and street patterns. If you want to build an urban level as well, I suggest you to take a look at old city maps. You will notice that the core of a city is often asymetric, with curved streets that change width and directions all the time, different sized houses. Sometimes houses with additions that are even triangular or trapezial shaped. The more the city grows the more planned and boring becomes the districts. The outer streets of London for example look like they were planned with triangle ruler.

Nevertheless it´s important to prevent empty areas from looking blank. You may acchieve this by placing objects or vegetation. Even something simple like grass and different textures can make a huge difference.

thanks for your reply! The assets could be more interesting, I agree. Though the colors are a bit desaturated due to the fog and darkness. Maybe a day-scene would look more appealing, however ith won´t fit the horror theme then. 

I havn´t played Max Payne. I´ll check it out ^^

Devlog #4 ~ Level Design meets Gameplay

Why H.P. Lovecraft might help us regarding level design.

How can level design help us creating a better horror game? Firstly, the players subconsiousness truly needs to believe, the world he just entered is real.  Let´s take the streets for instance. Originally the streets where models which were supposed to be something like a building set. You just pick a street-cross, consisting of pavement and actual cobblestone and place it right on the seam of another part of the street. Well, it turned out that this approach leaves no room for individuell flow. The streets had looked unbelievably and even computer-generated. Furthermore it won´t be possible to create height differences. That´s why I finally decided to use a terrain as ground and make models of pavement that I need to place quite fitting to the route of the terrain.

Even small height differences in the terrain made the city more plausible.

In order to meet the expectations of players regarding a horrorgame, I wanted to make sure, that I keep the view distance as low as possible. Why is that? H.P. Lovecraft is associated with the quote "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."  A horrorgame should not only scare the player with various jumpscares or compareable moments of high tention, but also sequences where the player is let unsure, whether something is happening or even, what will happen. Concealing parts of the level by cutting the line of sight is crucial for the effect I´m aiming for. That´s why the level need to be designed in a way, that the player can´t see far. Behind every corner could be a threat or a point of interest. The player is encouraged to explore, but with caution. I tried to achieve this by keep the route twisted and added trees to the large ones. Here the story comes handy, since the fights cultists vs police gave an excuse to place barricades and burning piles all over the map.
At first I wanted to create a map of cobblestone streets exclusively, but finally decided that there shall be a big poor district for the reason that it is actually hard to make the streets twisted enough to achieve the effect I named above. The houses are placed in a boring and ordered way. Good to see for far distances. In a muddy poor district the houses and cabins are randomly build with lean-tos. In this part of a level, it would make sense to build narrow, short alleys.

rRoute of the streets. Those who are not are not curved, have obsticals like trees, barricades or burning piles of wood to cut the view distance.

At last I want to name a couple more obvious points that increase the scaryness of the level. Fog for example helps cutting the view distance even further and is fitting to the theme.

Darkness is great to increase the fear of the unknown, but in my humble opinion lot´s of games exaggerate this effect completely, leaving the player in an unnatural dense darkness with a very limited lightsource. I always found those game quite demanding and exhausting to look at. Furthermore Grime & Gaslight is supposed to be a horror game with aspects of exploring. Too much darkness is impractical if I want to meet this goal.

Since I love creating game assets, I´m a fan of spreading objects over the level that are simply scary to look at or indicate something dreadful. That´s why I added the fact to the story that the members of the cult kept hanging and burrying every cleric straight where they found them. There you go - having an excuse to place countless gallows, graves and coffins all over the streets. In my humble opinion it´s crucial though, that there is an explaination for all those terrible objects, otherwise it will become silly. There is a brilliant quote from a german author, whose name I unfortunely can´t remember. He wrote a book about storytelling and what makes a novel readable.  He said, in reference to communicating an important piece of information about the story or character: "...der Leser spürt die Absicht [des Authors] und ist verstimmt." As best translates, as it´s possible to me: The reader is miffed about the pure fact that he was able to senses the intention of the author. It is important to give a well-fitting explanation why things or people are how they are.

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Devlog #3 ~ Level Design - Points of Orientation

Because of the story I needed to create a 19th century city. In order to reduce effort I decided that it should not be possible to enter houses, which makes sense because the people barricaded up their houses to be safe. Given that I wanted to create an exploring horror game, the world should be interesting and worth exploring. A simple forest is not very exciting when you face trees 90% of the whole time. Here I want to interpose two concepts which I call "point of interest" and "point of orientation". In my humble opinion every level design should have at least a couple of these. A point of interest is a part of a level which is interesting to the player for one or more of the following reasons: he can receive something which helps him, which makes other parts of a level accessible or where he receives more informations about the story etc. Examples may be levers to open doors, loot, questitems, bosses and so on. A point of orientation is something which simply is remarkable that the player can remember where he is and where he came from.

Obvious break with the rule that good level design is easy accessible. Players remember this place more easily.

Now I want to spill some of theses "points" all over the map. The points of interests are obviously my game goals - stoups to refill your phials and crosses. Then I will need many point of orientation. I wanted to make the city streets and alleys maze-like, twisted. The player is supposed to be confused sometimes but it should not be boring! That´s why I need many points of orientations. Based on the story we know there have been street fights and riots. Let´s barricade some streets up with wooden palisades and all kinds of stuff the cult members could find - crates, barrows, tons and so on. This will be definitely remarkable. There could also be some burning piles of wood here and there. Furthermore I have added a small river, different types of streets, and a couple places that differ from the normal level in the way I placed assets. The three gallows in the picture below are placed at the entrance of an alley (which is a hard break to other parts of the world, where everything is easy accessible) and according to my playtesters they recognized this part of the level since they where forced to pass them everytime the wanted to turn there.    
A river is a great point of orientation for a level which still is supposed to be "maze-like". Don´t make it too easy for the player.

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Devlog #2 ~ Gameplay

Three words:  holywater  demon  crosses

Alright, we´ve a story now and some background informations. Let´s think about the task and the gameplay. Since there are many, many games  whose task is, to collect things (for the most time pages or keys ;)  ), I´d wanted to do something at least slightly different. On the other hand it shouldn´t be too complex, due to my time and programming skills are limited.

After a couple ideas, which included searching for relatives in the  occupied city or exorcizing the demon, I came up with the goal to bless the crosses of the city with holy water.  In order to prevent it from becoming a basic collecting-mission I gave the player 3 phials of holy water, which can be refilled at stoups. Now the player need to search for the crosses and the stoups as well, which means it is quite much about orientation and remembering where you had been before. It can happen that you find a cross to bless, but only have empty phials. 

To make all this a little more complicated, I gave the player the opportunity to throw a full phial at the enemy. The phial breaks and is lost, but the demon retreats immediately. This gives the player a short advantage, but lowers his chance to complete his mission. (Don´t worry, the demon is going to come back soon and will be quite annoyed how he got treated by the priest.) The enemy himself got an endurance system. When he gets close enough to the player he´ll switch from walking to sprinting and emit a loud cry. While he´s sprinting he is slightly faster than the player, but the priest got more endurance in total. So the demon will be faster exhausted than the player, and continues walking again. The player´s walking speed is higher than the enemy`s one. During many gameplays I noticed that the demon is very consisted and the players have difficulties to shake him off. Therefor I implemented a 20% chance that he goes away to engage the player from a different direction next time. 

Not a fan of long texts? Me neither - watch it instead!

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Devlog #1 ~ Idea & Story

I wanted to create a horror game that is different to many classical horror settings like hauted houses, spooky forests or abandoned farms. Why don´t walk the streets of a Victorian Era city with some Jack-the-Ripper-feeling?The main problem was how to populate the city. Won´t it kill the players fear if he would meet persons from time to time? Not to mention the effort of modelling, texturing and animating characters. But what if there was a reason that you don´t meet any human being? Maybe nobody dares to step outside due to a danger which is also threatening the player? Maybe a murderer... Well, this would have been a Jack the Ripper copy. How about a monster or demonic entity? Cool so far, but why is it here and what does it want? That was the point where I started doing some research. 19th-century London had a huge problem with gangs, controlling even whole city districts sometimes. Could there be a mystical cult instead that decided to take control over a city and released a demonic creature? It´s just made-up fantasy but would fit well. The people were not as religious as you would expect. Poverty and lack of perspective made many turn away from the church these times.
Alright, the followers of the cult took over a city district. The police (maybe not even existing at this time) tried to stop them and there were riots and deads. To prevent the people from fleeing, the cult summons a creature to patrol the streets during nighttime.

Now, what is the player supposed to do? During a talk by a developer of Amnesia he said, that players tend to fight an enemy whenever they face one. By doing this, the scaryness of the game shrank dramatically. Furthermore I wanted the player so run away or hide, to keep a Jack-the-Ripper-feeling. Furthermore I need to explain, why the player is the only one who dares to walk around there by night when everyone else is staying inside? Finally I decided that the player could be a priest whose task is to bless the crosses of the city to contain the demonic influence. 

What do you think about this idea? Feel free to comment!

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After a malevolent cult enjoyed a continueing growth of popularity, it became a threat to all people who did not share their philosophy. In 1845, the cult had taken control by force over several city districts or even whole villages throughout Great Britain. Now, a priest is declared to sneak into one of those reprobated cities to finish a task, that multiple people had failed accomplishing before. That´s were our story begins...

  • Gameplay:   ~ horror ~ exploration ~ survival horror
  • Setting:   ~ streets of london ~ 19th century ~ cultists ~ Victorian era ~ demonic creature
  • Related Topics:   ~ Slenderman-like ~ Lovecraftian ~ Amnesia-like ~ Jack the Ripper

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