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Greetings fellow admirers of the macabre!

In this update we’d like to give you more information on the creation process of our environment art along with sharing some images from different stages of production. Our environment artist Elwira Pawlikowska is responsible for breathing life into the eerie landscapes you’ll visit in Stygian. Her painstaking, authentic pencil drawing style and background in architecture made her the perfect choice for Stygian’s backgrounds.

Our environment artist Elwira Pawlikowska

Our creative director Can decided Elwira was the right choice after seeing such illustrations of the artist.

Let’s hear Elwira’s thoughts on the process:

“Hi there lone fighters against the forces of darkness! I’m Elwira – the environment artist responsible for giving the right shape to the Stygian’s settings.  

What was needed was a hand drawn 2D world reflecting the mood of Lovecraft’s universe, saturated with decay, hopelessness and madness.  

The first step was “research” ie becoming familiar with book and newspaper illustrations “from the era” (1920s), analyzing approach to contours, shading and texturing. It also meant browsing through plenty of images related with US industrial districts from the prohibition time and … photos of extremely weird mushrooms. 

The next step was making precise pencil drawings of my own designs (buildings, vehicles, plants, environment in general). After scanning them it was time for “digital inking” with a graphic tablet, which enabled the graphic crew to work freely with all the files, but also helped to maintain a retro feel.

Many visual aspects were already carefully thought out by the game designers  from the beginning, however there were still space for my imagination! The best moment was elaborating all the tiny little details of the ruined city, indicating, that something dreadful has happened there. As an architect of education I’m much more accustomed to creating than devastating. Thus creation of devastation for Stygian awoke dormant areas of my consciousness…”

It’s great to havc Elwira on board!

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Greetings fellow practitioners of the dark arts!

Don’t we all love skills in RPGs?

Skills reflect your choices, aspirations and experiences in Stygian. Different combinations will open different paths to reach your goals. With twelve skills and numerous perks, players will have many opportunities to shape their own fate and face the challenges of Stygian.

Let’s have a look at our Skills along with some of their related Perks.

Investigation: The skill of observing one’s surroundings; finding clues, hidden items and subtle connections.

Related Perks: Photography, Tracking, Questioning

Occult: The skill of comprehending the unknown; knowledge of the mythos and the other realities. Occult skill is obligatory for casting spells and performing rituals.

Related Perks: Spell-weaving, Ritual Mastery, Sacrifice

Psychology: The skill of sensing the motives of others, knowing the mechanics of the mind and stabilizing one’s and others’ mental health.

Related Perks: Psychoanalysis, Mental Barrier, Therapy

Speechcraft: The skill of influencing others with words, creating sympathy or fear in them and performing the art of lying.

Related Perks: Manipulation, Intimidation, Seduction

Melee: The skill of hand to hand fighting and close quarters combat with melee weapons.

Related Perks: Martial Artist, Fencing, Exotic Weapons

Firearms: The skill of operating all kinds of firearms from pistols to machine guns.

Related Perks: Gunslinger, Rifle Expert, Special Weaponry

A player character using his Investigation skill to learn more about the cause of death of the strange fossilized creature.

Science: The skill of understanding the rational world, making inventions, grasping the principles of scientific facts and researching mythos beings to find weaknesses in their metabolisms.

Related Perks:  Advanced Autopsy, Great Inventor, Metabolism Expert

Stealth: The skill of not being seen and heard, moving without being detected and eavesdropping.

Related Perks: Vanishing, Silent Running, Assassination

Survival: The skill of withstanding pain and extreme conditions.

Related Perks: Snake Eater, Camping, Sentry

Medicine: The skill of understanding the human body, curing diseases and stabilizing one’s and others’ physical health.

Related Perks: Xeno-Botany, Drug Expert, Purifier

Athletics: The skill of moving gracefully, dodging attacks and performing athletic manoeuvres.

Related Perks: Escape Artist, Exceptional Reflexes, Daredevil

Subterfuge: The skill of dirty tricks, lock-picking and stealing.

Related Perks: Cheat, Master Thief, Dirty Fighting 

An academic character using his Science skill on a wrecked fire engine to salvage some machine parts.

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Greetings dear listeners of Radio New England,

In this update we’d like to give you more information about the composing process of Stygian along with sharing some of our haunted melodies with you. Our composer and long time collaborator Aslı Kobaner is working tirelessly on making the auditory world of Stygian blend with the other elements of the game, such as visuals and emotional themes.

Stygian’s composer Aslı Kobaner

Let’s hear her thoughts on the music of Stygian:

“Hi Friends! I’m Aslı, a servant of the Sunken Lord just like you.

The music that shall accompany you in your journey in Stygian will hopefully materialize through my humble agency. I’d like to underline the word “humble” since I can define myself as a humble gamer, though an old and avid Lovecraft fan.

In the beginning, when we started brainstorming about the musical essence of Stygian, we extracted some key words: mystery, haunting, occult, desolation, tragedy… Bringing our lonely, forsaken world to life has been and still is a challenging task to fulfill. Those key emotions that will probably help you being immersed by the strange worlds of Lovecraft also led me to explore their musical substitutes: from dense textures to simple melodies, repeating rhythms to droning ambiances, all kinds of functional material. Especially through juxtaposition of these, multiple layers of distinct material, I aim to emphasize the contrast between the different planes of Stygian, different phases of the Stygian experience, thus depict its colorful diversity. 

In this journey, I hope to take strength from the legacy of contemporary composers, as well as some cult examples of vintage game music. And of course, from the dark lore of metal that take its strength from our lord Cthulhu!”

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Greetings fellow Arkham residents!

In this update we’d like to give you additional details about some of our gifts and their connection to the game’s lore.

Merry Folk from the Stars

Written by the mysterious Edmund Whateley and published by the equally enigmatic publishing house Cultic Press, “Merry Folk from the Stars” caused a wave of hysteria among children across the country. Some see the unholy success that came by the publication of this cursed book as the final nail in the coffin of our society.

Nothing is known about the book’s mysterious author Whateley.

Parents all over the country reported hallucinations, aggressive behavior, catatonic trances and even worse symptoms displayed by their children who read the book. Further complicating this dismal situation, Merry Folk could only be the beginning of what is yet to come…

Some say the book has a “hypnotic” quality.

There is a unique quest in the game concerning the shadowy author of Merry Folk and the clues you’ll learn from the actual book will help you complete it.

Merry Folk Figurines

We’re proud of these little rascals and wanted to shed more light on their design process. You can check their detailed 3D models in 360 degrees from the link below:

https://www.behance.net/gallery/38282269/merry-folk-from-the-stars

3D designs of our collector figurines.

Special Edition Game Tome

Some photos of the game tome no.001

Behold! The re-animator of dead skin is at work.

All the special edition game tomes will be manufactured by the veteran leather worker, Master Sebo. Your tome will be unique to you due to the variations in the leather stocks and the organic nature of the manufacturing process.

And at last; our cultist robe speaks for itself. You may have realized that we’re wearing the same robes in our Kickstarter video.

With this robe, you’ll get all the attention in esoteric rituals.

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Greetings Acolytes!

We’ve always loved written descriptions in CRPGs. Think of the gore descriptions of Fallout or Planescape: Torment’s surreal written depictions of its landscape.

There is always something interesting in that text box that adds another layer of immersion to the game. You can learn how the air smells, notice subtle changes in character’s faces, feel tingling sensations under your skin… Right text creates the imaginary stimulant that can’t be shown with fancy graphics and merge player better with the game’s world.

We view this as an extension of the oral practice of Dungeon Master telling the players what’s going on around them in tabletop role playing. We love tabletop roleplaying as any decent RPG developer around and we’re writing our descriptive texts honoring Lovecraft as the Game Master of Stygian. His style and lexicon will be present in all of our game text to create the feeling of weird fiction’s master is actually your game master in Stygian. We shared some examples below:

Vein roots are now infesting Arkham.

“This strange leafless red ivy grows out from the ground and strangulates all buildings and edifices, seemingly spurting out of every crevice. It’s contorted and serpentine form constitutes a threatening appearance.”

The Old Eel House

“This local restaurant, once a bright and cheerful gathering place, is now a haven for hoodlums and fools, a de facto clubhouse for the hard boiled denizens of this doomed town. The uneven chatter within speaks of conspiracy, and the dim light reveals just enough to discourage your approach.”

The Grandfather Altar

“This towering depiction of one of the Elder Gods perches atop the naked base of a shattered statue. Fashioned from scraps of wood and metal, awkwardly fastened together with nautical rope, it displays the twisted aesthetics of it’s makers, men clearly cursed with some disease of the brain.”

Mi-go

“From the creature’s back sprouts a pair of membranous wings, bat-like and striated with thick veins. The ellipsoid skull is covered in weird organ like antennae, from which emanate a wide spectrum of colored rays, the effect of which you do not care to imagine.”

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Greetings readers of the Arkham Gazette!

In this update we wanted to share some of our creature animations with you. We use a 2.5D (pseudo 3D) approach to breathe them life.

When a creature’s design is complete, we dissect it to its separate, movable parts and add a rig for building the skeletal system which is compatible with the creature’s anatomy and momentum of movement.

Then if the creature’s design is suitable for a touch of 3D  (like in Mi-Go, which literally has a sphere for a head :)) we add the necessary depth by making the forms more convex in a 3D software to have that illusion of three dimensionality.

Pickman Ghouls

Idle

Movement

Mi-go

Flight

Attack

Suppression of the Will (Mind Control Ability)

 

And lastly…

The sanity loss animation of the Outsider. Just because we love him 🙂

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Greetings fellow Arkham Residents!

We’re proud to introduce a game system unique to our game and it is called ANGST.

In Stygian, choosing the moral or the mutually beneficial path is sometimes the toughest. You may want to rescue a friend from the clutches of the Cult but trying that may mean suicide or in another case you’ll lose the poor kid who follows you blindly into the oblivion. Stygian rarely offers safe passages or happy endings. From the beginning, one of our goals was exploring the concepts of loss and sacrifice. On your journey you’ll be losing things one by one, your comrades, your sanity and your moral values.

 

This reflects to the mechanics as “ANGST” system in Stygian. Your pain and despair collects like a sort of black experience throughout the game and with ANGST you gain access to unique perks like Masochism which allows you to gain small amounts of Sanity whenever you receive a certain amount of damage or Ill-tempered which allows you to gain Sanity whenever you mistreat a friendly character in a dialogue.

You’ll also be collecting small amounts of ANGST whenever you take a critical hit, develop a mental condition or bleed for a certain period of time etc. ANGST opens new doors to some very interesting choices for the player to consider.

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