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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsOrten Was The Case - A hand painted time-loop adventure.
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Author Topic: Orten Was The Case - A hand painted time-loop adventure.  (Read 5182 times)
Otres1
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« on: September 07, 2021, 01:59:01 PM »

Hello!
I'm Otres and I've been working on and off on this game I call "Orten Was The Case" for quite some time.

Steam page:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1785420/Orten_Was_The_Case/

Trailer:




Orten Was The Case is a single player, lore driven, detective/puzzle/adventure game set in the suburb (Orten) of a fictional swedish metropolis.

At it's core there will be a time-loop, with original inspiration drawn from Zelda: Majora's Mask. And in more recent days games like Outer Wilds.
In the loops you will gather knowledge that's either saved on a Timeline of events, or in a Logbook for facts and clues.

How it all began
Back in 2015 I painted this canvas with acrylic and posca pens:



I called it "Orten was the case that they gave us".
I did some more paintings in the same style but felt paintings wasn't enough to tell the stories I had in mind.
So one day I opened Unity engine and though; I don't know any coding but I'll give it a shot.
So I took a photo of the painting and started putting it into unity as picture-planes with alpha.

Here is a little GIF of that early test:



Pretty soon I realized that the physical painting didn't have the detail and fidelity needed, and working with planes would not fulfil what I wanted to achieve.
So I put this whole project on ice for a year and a half, until I bought a surface pro in the late part of 2017 and started painting digitally.

So here is a comparison of the same subway station in it's current state:



How I build my world:
My goal as I started out was that I wanted it to feel like you moved through a painting.
At the same time, although I love point & click games, I wanted more freedom in my movement.
I also realised that my style of painting didn't really work as straight 2D, I wanted to be able to move in depth as well.
So after couple of tests and prototypes I realized that if I use unlit shaders and orthographic camera, I can render a 3D model identically as a painting.

So there I found my method, my game is fully 3D but with an orthographic camera at a locked angle. I don't limit movement in any direction. I guess it's called 2.5d?

This is how the model of the subway station look in a non orthographic camera:



Here are some in-game screenshots:

Orten subway station


Woodhill willows


Bootlicker's ditch


MOVEMENT
So it's all a 3D model. And one of the reasons I opted for this technique is because I wanted free input-driven movement.
So you control the character with w,a,s,d on the keyboard and can move freely in any direction:



TRAVERSAL
You automatically grab onto mesh edges. At it's base, all edges are grabbable but I can't allow this on all mesh edges because that causes too much trouble and potential game-breaking climbs, so I'm placing grabbable ledges manually.
I raytrace forward from the character, if the ray hits a grabbable object I check for the closest position on the edge and just snap the character root in position and let the animation play with the root static in place.




OTHER FEATURES:
Interaction points


Other social media:
Instagram: ortenwasthecase
Twitter: OrtenWasTheCase
« Last Edit: November 06, 2021, 12:04:39 PM by Otres1 » Logged
oldblood
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2021, 04:03:02 PM »

Welcome to TIG. Definitely digging the visuals! Hope to see more.
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Otres1
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2021, 03:34:22 AM »

Welcome to TIG. Definitely digging the visuals! Hope to see more.

Thank you!  Toast Right More will come.
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Dubsk
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2021, 11:11:43 AM »

Very nice style and mood!
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Otres1
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2021, 03:29:28 AM »

Very nice style and mood!
Happy you like it, thanks! Smiley
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Alain
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2021, 10:52:33 PM »

What an interesting premise that you started out with a single painting on canvas. The original painting gives me the feeling of hidden object games, is this a mechanic you want to make use of?

Looking forward to hear more about the project!
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Otres1
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2021, 03:19:10 AM »

What an interesting premise that you started out with a single painting on canvas. The original painting gives me the feeling of hidden object games, is this a mechanic you want to make use of?

Looking forward to hear more about the project!

Thanks!  Smiley
It will for sure share elements with hidden object games in that regard that you will have to study your surroundings from time to time to find hidden passages, codes or clues that might be scribbled on a wall and such.
It is not point and click, but exploring the environment is crucial!
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Alain
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2021, 11:36:04 PM »

It will for sure share elements with hidden object games in that regard that you will have to study your surroundings from time to time to find hidden passages, codes or clues that might be scribbled on a wall and such.
It is not point and click, but exploring the environment is crucial!

I see that sounds good and I hope you'll share more details on the mechanics in the future.
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Otres1
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2021, 02:00:46 AM »

Hello again!
Before I talk more about the game mechanics I want to share a bit of how I'm building my world.
My goal as I started out was that I wanted it to feel like you moved through a painting.
At the same time, although I love point & click games, I wanted more freedom in my movement.
I also realised that my style of painting didn't really work as straight 2D, I wanted to be able to move in depth as well.
So after couple of tests and prototypes I realized that if I use unlit shaders and orthographic camera, I can render a 3D model identically as a painting.

So there I found my method, my game is fully 3D but with an orthographic camera at a locked angle. I don't limit movement in any direction. I guess it's called 2.5d?

This is how the model of the subway station look in a non orthographic camera:



And this is a ingame screenshot:

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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2021, 03:50:43 AM »

The art style is beatiful. The later pictures you posted don't look as busy as the first ones, good work!
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Otres1
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2021, 09:37:45 PM »

The art style is beatiful. The later pictures you posted don't look as busy as the first ones, good work!

Thank you friend!
Yeah especially the canvas painting is very busy, that was like me cramming all my ideas on the same painting. Smiley
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Otres1
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2021, 07:19:10 AM »

Added some more screenshots on the first post  Gentleman
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Otres1
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2021, 10:21:39 AM »

So earlier I talked about how I build the world, it's all a 3D model. And one of the reasons I opted for this technique is because I wanted free input-driven movement.
So you control the character with w,a,s,d on the keyboard and can move freely in any direction:



Recently I've also been working on some traversal where you can grab onto ledges. I don't allow this on all mesh edges because that causes too much trouble, so I'm placing grabbable ledges manually.
I raytrace forward from the character, if the ray hits a grabbable object I check for the closest position on the edge and just snap the character root in position and let the animation play with the root static in place.



That's all for now  Gentleman
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Otres1
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2021, 12:53:37 AM »

About my time loop mechanic and timeline.
The game will have a fixed length of somewhere between 10-20 minutes (Not yet decided, need to tweak it when quests and objectives are in place).

Things in the world will happen on specific times during this loop. Take the subway train as an example, this is a static event that will always happen at set timeframe in the loop, the player can not affect this it will just happen.
If the player is in the right environment and close enough distance to this event it will be saved to the "Timeline"; which is a UI menu the player can refer to, to see where in the loop he/she is, and in this case, see if the subway train has already passed.
Other events might have a condition to happen. An NPC might be missing an object, delivering this object will progress this NPCs questline and a dynamic event with a condition will be placed on the Timeline. This means that this event can happen anywhere on the Timeline as soon as it's condition is met.

Filling out your Timeline will be a the main goal to figure out the bigger puzzle, to figure out how you can affect the characters and events that unfolds during the loop.

Screenshot of the Timeline:



Example of event where you can hide from Bogdan, the store owner, when he climbs down his cellar



 Gentleman
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2021, 01:24:20 AM »

I just want to say that I really like the visual style! Best of luck, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more –
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Otres1
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2021, 08:31:59 AM »

I just want to say that I really like the visual style! Best of luck, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more –

Thank you very much, best of luck for you too! Smiley
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Otres1
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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2021, 10:25:11 AM »

The time loop restarts when you die.


And you will inevitably die when the explosion occurs after about 15 minutes.


Stopping the explosion is the main mission of the game!
To do this it's all about doing the right thing at the right time, and to do that you will need knowledge of the situation.

 Gentleman

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Otres1
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2021, 08:40:05 AM »

Hi everyone! I've been working hard on getting my Steam page up and running along with a fresh new trailer. So here it is finally:

Steam page:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1785420/Orten_Was_The_Case/

Trailer:




Check it out and tell me what you think. All feedback is most appreciated!  Beer!



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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2021, 05:21:19 PM »

I agree with Alain, starting from a painting is such an unusual premise for making a game and it has already lead to very different graphics to what I'm used to.

Looking forward to trying it out, looks like a fun puzzle game!
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Alain
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2021, 01:25:32 AM »

Congratulations on the Steam page and I like the trailer a lot!
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