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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsInterference DevLog (Short Sci-Fi/Horror Experience)
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Author Topic: Interference DevLog (Short Sci-Fi/Horror Experience)  (Read 1522 times)
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Co-founder of The Scary Farm

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« on: February 13, 2019, 05:43:02 PM »


Engine: Unreal Engine 4

Platform: PC

Genre: Science Fiction / Horror-Lite

Development Started: April 2018

What is Interference?

Interference is a short interactive experience in which you play as a security guard monitoring the mysterious happenings of a top-secret laboratory from the safety of your isolated desert outpost. Just as the sun starts to set on another quiet night on the job, the facility is attacked by a fanatical cult hell-bent on releasing the lab’s most secretive and dangerous asset.

Through careful monitoring of multiple radio channels and effective use of the resources around your guard booth, it is up to you to guide your friend safely out of the facility and to thwart the escape of the infiltrators. But be careful – there are strange forces at play in the desert tonight, and not everything you see or hear is necessarily as it seems.

Who We Are

The Scary Farm is an independent development team focused on creating explorative and engaging single-player narrative experiences. We are co-founders Brad Leyden and Jared Bohlken.

Our Progress

We've been working on this game for almost a year, after 3 years of failing multiple times at getting a game off the ground. We've been hesitant to make this game public until we were sure that it was going to happen, but we recently feel like we've crossed that threshold. Before setting out on this project, we spent some time analyzing our past failures to come up with some development guidelines and rules to follow as we develop Interference; we plan on dedicating some posts to talk about those, but for now, the good stuff:

Gameplay involves balancing information given to you from a variety of sources to affect the narrative. The centerpiece of this system is a CB radio where various parts of the story play out in real time across different frequencies the player can tune in to individually. The player has full autonomy over the channels they listen to, how they respond to questions over the radio, or if they even want the radio on to begin with.

But the radio is not the only element demanding the player's attention. In order to effectively control the outcome of the narrative, players will need to use everything at their disposal to stay on top of what's happening in the laboratory, requiring tactical decision making along the way. Is it worth it to give up control of the radio for a few seconds while you check on the facility's power levels or refresh your memory of its floor plan? You won't know for sure until it's too late.

These time-sensitive decisions will make each playthrough unique. The story occurs regardless of how the player chooses to intervene, but it won't unfold exactly the same way twice. And one missed piece of information can alter the outcome of the entire narrative.

Now, of course, we need to give the player options of what they can do if they choose not to engage with the narrative, so we've filled the guard booth with all sorts of distractions. We consider this an "experiment" in how a player plays a game, the short duration lending itself to different play styles and, hopefully, a decent degree of replayability.

We very recently began working with a writer to help flesh out the story and dialogue, which is a challenge since we ultimately want the player to feel invested in what’s going on. We created a dialogue system that accounts for variability in responses based on a player’s previous decisions, and because we will ultimately be working with what will be hundreds and hundreds of lines of dialogue, we tailored it to be flexible so we can iterate quickly.

There’s not a lot to show right now without spoiling much of the experience. After all, the whole thing takes place in a single room. More updates soon!

Social Media

Website: thescaryfarm.com
Facebook: facebook.com/thescaryfarm
Twitter: twitter.com/thescaryfarm
Tumblr: thescaryfarm.tumblr.com

Thanks for stopping by!

Co-founder of The Scary Farm
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Co-Founder of The Scary Farm

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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 05:34:41 PM »

Hey guys, update time!

We've been working lately on some asset creation in Blender while we also get the ball rolling on writing some dialogue for the game's intro scene!

I've written up a blog post on our decision to use Blender which you can check out here! Some image highlights from the post:

And here's a gif of that traffic arm in action:

(featuring special guests, our radio placeholder meshes)

Next up is some work on that all important radio asset to pair with the dialogue system we are continuing to fine tune. We will hopefully have some screenshots of the radio and videos of that dialogue system soon so stay tuned!
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Co-Founder of The Scary Farm

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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2019, 09:34:08 PM »

After nearly 15 months of development, we are very excited to formally announce to the world our first game slated for public release: Interference.

Well, technically we “announced” Interference back in January. And we’ve been posting periodically about it on various channels since then. We’re not exactly releasing state secrets here, is what we’re saying. But we do have some cool new stuff to share with you all, and we think that’s more than enough reason to get excited!

A New Name

First things first, our team has a new name. We’ve transitioned from our longtime moniker of The Scary Farm to adopt Fear of Corn because we wanted a name that was unique and memorable. We loved “The Scary Farm” for its simplicity, but we feel like Fear of Corn speaks more to our approach to making games: it’s multilayered, has a sense of humor, and it’ll stick with you.

But the new name is just the tip of the iceberg.

A New Purpose

Our primary motivation for an official unveiling of Interference now, as opposed to back in January, is a renewed sense of purpose for why we are pouring countless hours into this game. What is driving us to get it over the finish line? Because investing this much time into a game with no concrete purpose would be crazy, right?

We are serious about seeing Interference through because we know that it’s going to be a narrative experience that’s not exactly like anything else that’s been made before it. We’ve been working with two brilliant storytellers to craft true-to-life dialogue and build it into a compelling interactive narrative framework. All the while we’ve continued to explore the idea that the player can participate in a game’s story without being the driving force behind it.

In Interference, the player is not the most important figure in the game’s world. They’re not even the most important figure in the particular story we’re telling. They’re only connected to the action via a two-way radio connection, which can be totally ignored if the player so desires. But the story is still gonna happen with or without them.

We feel that this approach to storytelling is refreshing because it’s more true to the consequences of real life decision-making, which in turn make the narrative stakes feel more real. Indecisiveness in real life doesn’t mean lingering on the dialogue options while you run to look up which narrative path will yield the best quest rewards. Indecisiveness in real life can end friendships and cost lives, and we want a game that captures that in some way.

We all love being the center of the universe in games from time to time, but what effect does this have on storytelling? Can true player freedom and a realistic sense of narrative consequence coexist in a game? We’re out to prove that they can.

A New Trailer

Finally, we’re very, VERY excited to announce our first official trailer for Interference! If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out right here:

That’s all for now, but we will have much more in the coming weeks, so we encourage you to follow us on Twitter and let us know what you think!

Until next time!

Brad and Jared

New Social Media:

Website: fearofcorn.com
Twitter: twitter.com/fearofcorn
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