Art

Greetings to you! Greetings to you all children of the ancients, bearers of the pristine blood, dreamers of our beautiful end!

Let’s begin this update with the production plans of the year.

We know that some of you can’t wait for the full game and believe us, neither can we but we now much better know how much time and effort we need to realize the true potential of Stygian.

We began this project with estimations. None of us have developed a game with such scale until Stygian and at this point in the development, we can easily say that all of the team became much more proficient in their specific areas of development so we can make much more precise calculations on how much time and effort is needed to create the experience we have in mind for you.

That’s why you see the year 2019 as the release date on our Steam page. We don’t want any more postpone declarations during the production because we know how some of you feel about them. We know the feeling as gamers ourselves but we also know the feeling of playing a game which could not live up to the expectations. Stygian won’t be that game. That’s why we released a demo so you can see how much time we spend on details and the creation of a living, changing (although in a horrid way) real world.

                        You can download the latest version of the demo from Steam

 

Enough blood and tears! As mentioned above, our Steam page is now online and you can download the latest version of the demo directly from there. It is more polished and has some visual updates when compared to the KS build. Any comments are welcome!

Now, let’s travel back through the alternative history and have a look at the current state of our madness inducing children’s book “Merry Folk from the Stars” from 1920’s. Some of you may remember it as a backer reward from our campaign. Here are a couple of the illustrations that will glorify its unholy pages.

                        Ada Tuncer is the talented artist behind Merry Folk

                       Star Pharaoh will take his children to the land beyond the stars

You’ll be able to find this madness induced little book inside the game as well. It was distributed to the book stores across the States and became a best seller among children and their parents alike.

Of course… that was only until the dreams began…

Excuse me? Do you also see them?

Team Cultic

Read more

Greetings Followers of the Black Pharaoh!

We hope this blackened electric letter is not interrupting any of your daily rituals. If that is the case, please finish the ceremony first and make sure you don’t leave the altar in a mess. Cultic Games is not going anywhere.

In this update, we’d like to focus on some improvements we made on Stygian’s environments since the backer demo, such as; Extended lighting for building exteriors and transparency radius.

Extended Lighting for Buildings

Gas light is a crucial element for the world of Stygian. It symbolizes the final and unfortunately ever declining stand of human civilization against the all-embracing cosmic darkness.

We wanted to see the flickering light of lanterns like dying glow-worms behind the windows of our populated buildings. In order to achieve that, we created a new shader that can produce different emissive color values with various parameters to get exactly the look that we’d like to portray in the game.

This process also required the utilization of some interior objects such as tables, chandeliers, bottles and sorts in order to keep the continuity and populate the now lit spaces.

Shall we have a look at the results?

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

With this application, in addition to the achievement of a deeper visual atmosphere, we’ve also managed to turn our functional buildings into natural indicators.

Player-centric Transparency Radius

Have you ever wondered what lies behind our buildings? With our new shader you’ll be able to explore the spaces behind the large environment objects and find more loot or probably more trouble in those once shrouded areas.

Border effect and radius is subject to change

You’ll be able to see the updated lighting yourself in the public demo but the transparency radius requires some more testing and probably won’t make it to the public demo build.

And yes, there is going to be a public demo. RPG players around the world should witness the glory of our beautiful doom, don’t you think?

Just before that happens, we’d like to make as many people aware of Stygian as we can by reaching out to streamers and Youtubers. So if you’d like to make a stream or a video about Stygian feel free to drop a mail to “culticgames@gmail.com” with the subject “Stream/Video Request” so we can sort things out.

Or maybe you’d like to see Stygian in the videos of a content producer that you follow or know? It is the perfect time brothers and sisters! Even writing a simple comment beneath a video will surely help. You know, there are Lovecraftian games lists out there without Stygian in them. As we all know, this is a BLASPHEMY.

Last but not least, we are proud to present you the logo animation of Cultic Games:

Cultic Games Logo Animation

Here comes the logo animation of Cultic Games. Obey the machine!

Stygian: Reign of The Old Ones paylaştı: 21 Aralık 2017 Perşembe

Until our paths cross again in the unlighted chambers beyond time.

Read more

Greetings Listeners of the Forbidden Melody!

In this update we’d like to share some of the musical compositions you’ll be hearing throughout Stygian and share our composer Asli Kobaner’s thoughts on the process. We’ll also be unveiling more on the production plans of Stygian.

Please note that all the tracks are still work in progress. This means we’re still measuring the sanity levels of the captured subjects while exposing them to Stygian’s music constantly. We will update you on the results.

In the meantime, here are some samples:

Desolate Arkham

This track will be accompanying you through some of the hubs in south Arkham.

The Bank of Lunatics

There is something wrong with the Bank of Arkham.

Combat Theme (Bank)

The conflict is imminent.

Let’s hear what Asli has to say on her work:

“Since the beginning of Stygian, I’ve been closely entangled with researches on game music architecture. I endeavored to develop a general approach by identifying the structural model and its sonic needs through collective brainstorming and individual work. 

In this context, quest flows supply a narrative ground to distinguish different sound types and musical content. Lists and maps specifically serve to track and categorize these materials: a general map for tension and release patterns throughout quests, an inventory of virtual instrument plugins, effects, sound banks and recorded performances, lists regarding the amount of diegetic and non-diegetic material. All these processes aim to bring out the sonic world of Stygian. 

I think the boundaries between what is “music” and what is “sound”- yes, this old issue- is relative, or at best, obscure. Similarly it can also be hard to separate the “musical” composition from the sound design when it comes to Stygian. Even though most of the audio materials are functionally categorized (such as foley sounds, ambiences or leitmotivs), they feed each other blending in various combinations throughout the gameplay. With an assemblage of these echoing, imitating, contrasting, looping, music is adapted to the variability of the gameplay duration. 

 As for the musical grammar, certain stylistic languages are employed:Indian ritual references, period music such as early jazz and late romanticism, and a wider array of musical expressions influenced by the works of Jonathan Harvey, George Crumb, György Ligeti, Alvin Curran, Stravinsky, Gerard Grisey and Fausto Romitelli among others.”

And here we present you the illustration you’ll be seeing at the combat loading screens. With this approach, we aimed to create a more general feeling of terror and ever-shifting, constant sense of danger instead of focusing on individual Mythos entities.

Do we need to say that the figure in the middle of the party represents your character?

Last but not least, we finally have a release date for our special backer demo. You’ll be wandering the uncanny streets of our doomed town in August, this year. We were expecting to land it in June but have decided to share a more complete experience. Expect more than a thirty minute long starter snack…

Welcome to Schmidt’s Antiques. No lighting applied.

As for the release date, we’ve been seeing the possibility of Stygian becoming a more defined and involving game each day as we complete the tools and systems which enables us to create more content efficiently. We believe we can turn Stygian into a longer and more polished experience from a humble indie title with a modest budget.

Let’s see what our extended demo has to offer, then we can talk more about our wicked plans. If we are not satisfied altogether, there is no need to hope for more.

We’re also working on the Dreamlands quest as we promised, along with the new archetype Explorer and her prologue chapter.

We have to go downstairs now. You know, unfinished business in the torture chambers and all…

Read more

Greetings Fellow Dreamers of our Glorious Fall!

As you know, true art can only come from suffering (lot’s of hard work is a plus though). We’ve decided to make this update all about the new art assets of Stygian that we developed after the success of our campaign. For better or worse, you’re responsible for them! Take credit dear cultist.

Archetypal PC models with various stages of detail.

Textures and shadows are absent except the Investigator

As you can see we’re altering our characters to fit better with our vision of a more classically stylized game world.

And here you can see our new approach to character animations. We’ve changed our animation software, we’re now working full time with more animation artists and we’re extremely excited about what’s to come!

On the downside, we often find ourselves doing crazy looking body movements and gestures to express our characters to animators. We warn you, don’t make your best deep one moves in a glass office partition. People look

No texturing, test coloring.

Speaking of the deep ones, let’s check the evolution of our interpretation of the iconic creature. As you can see, the gills took most of the time!

Basic lighting tests in Riverside

Without darkness, there can be no light. On second thought,  forget about the light. It’s boring and almost non-existent in Stygian.

We’re working on a light engine for dark areas such as catacombs and crypts. Get ready to enter some combat scenarios holding your pistol on one hand and your good old lantern on the other!

Honest Bill’s Pawn Shop

There can not be an art update without a glimpse of our backgrounds, right? Just don’t ask about the fate of Honest Bill, we prefer not to talk about it…

And we’d like to conclude our update with a character portrait. Since we’re working on his dialogues these days, let us introduce you the owner of Schmidt’s Antiques, Isidore Schmidt. He has a thing for keys…

Read more

Greetings fellow heretics!

It seems we have reached our funding goal! We’ll see what the last week will bring but you should know one thing: We’ve achieved this together! Your support and enthusiasm always motivates us to do the best. Thank you!

Now, does this mean the updates will stop? Of course not! Let’s continue with our portrait and concept artist Ege Bilgen and what he’d like to share about his work on Stygian:

A previous work of Ege Bilgen

“Greetings worshippers and fanatics!

Perhaps some of you have noticed that a magnificent twilight is upon us.

Yes, it is indeed the sign of our encroaching doom; a beautiful storm of sweet, all-encompassing sorrow. As the maddening end draws ever nearer, let me express dear fans and supporters, what an honour and pleasure it’s been for me, your humble portrait artist Ege Bilgen, to have taken part in this dark journey thus far.

   All of our portraits are hand drawn by pencil before being scanned for the digital coloring process.

That’s right, I have been… innocently requested, shall we say, to create character portraits for Stygian (There wasn’t any form of dark ritual involved of course, let me assure you). Now you might inquire, how does one exactly proceed with such a task? What kind of process goes into capturing the tragedy of a burdened and afflicted soul?

Final version

Well, it all starts with an idea, a conceptual insight for a character. “An honorable yet beaten man, at the end of his ropes.” the dark voices whisper. “A woman, proud and wise, yet she underestimates.” Now the voices cackle gleefully. “This one’s a naughty one. He’s a natural. ” The voices hang heavy in my mind.

I receive many such depictions. After a slight moment of feeling sorry for what the Old Ones might have in store for them, I immediately begin to imagine. I imagine these souls first at their best. I see a heroic nod of assuring stoicism, or a euphoric smile of untainted joy perhaps. Then…well, then I take it all away.

The innocence fades, their dreams vanish, and dwindling hopes of absolution become ash in agonizing cries. Now in my mind’s eye I look at these characters again. I carefully look to see what’s left of them, and what precisely made them to go on. Sometimes the answer is quite reassuring, and sometimes… not so much. With a heavy heart then I try to make you witness as well, as far as my humble talents allow me to do so.

 A strange and hopeless twilight of madness is upon the world of Stygian, and as the characters there somehow keep fighting on, I tried to imagine them staring right into it. Some of them endured many grave losses which cannot be easily compensated. Some of them found new strengths of frightening darkness and intensity. As the portrait artist of Stygian, I hope I was able to capture and reflect all of this adequately, and you will enjoy what I have created for you, dear supporters.”

It’s a privilege to have talented Mr. Bilgen on board.

Read more

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!

Read more

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!”

Read more

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.

Read more

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 🙂

Read more