The shadows lengthen - horror game

(Thomas Murphy) #1

Hello Blender Peeps!
I recently mentioned my game project in a blender talk at Blender Conference 2018!
My Blender Conference Talk

Yes I have been developing a video game in the Blender Game Engine for the past 4 years!

In my talk I mention that I am somewhat new to the community, so I also wanted to post my project here at blender artists. With the 2.8 update and the removal of the Blender Game Engine all fans of the BGE are probably currently wondering what will happen in the future and how that effects their games.

I fully intend to continue using the Blender Game Engine for my project, for me nothing changes. I hope you will take a look at my game project and maybe give me your ideas and feedback on my progress so far?

I have a website here

My Twitter page serves as a devlog for the games progress:

…And of course the obligatory patreon page:

( #2

Great video, can’t wait to see what this game is all about :slight_smile:

Some technical questions:

  1. What is your workflow for working on game assets? Does it play nicely for collaboration?
  2. What tools are you using for your project? Git (GitLab or GitHub or …)? Perforce?
  3. How do you go about implementing the gameplay parts, logic bricks? Scripts? Do you have some kind of templates/patterns that you could recommend us? :slight_smile:
  4. What else can you tell us here about the game ?
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(Thomas Murphy) #3

Hey WKnight02!

Thanks for the positive feedback about the game logo-- this is the title screen of the game!

  1. The workflow for my game is optimized for collaboration. I currently hire freelance modellers, programmers and designers to help on various aspects of the game.

  2. I am using megashare with a desktop sync- currently it is a closed project that does not float around on the web. Also question for you : Do you think I should publish the game on Gumroad or Steam? Or Put it up on Github?

  3. The gameplay parts and logic are entirely in python. There is pretty much no used of logic nodes-- or specifically actuators. Only sensors and Python controllers are used for the most part.

       A) For all fans of the Blender Game Engine I would recommend a heavy usage of scripts.
       B) My game is currently using a publishing system that was internally developed. What it does is dynamically reuses the same game objects repeatedly. This is to address the limitation of BGE not being able to have too many game objects loaded into a scene.
       C) For Materials I am using a "simulation of PBR". This means I am generating material shaders that use baked "ENV maps" for lighting.
       D) From a personal standpoint. UBGE and Armory are both not mature enough to use to create a game-- there is a lot of gaps/limitations. Working with BGE 2.79b has been the most stable for me. I recommend people use the latest and greatest before Blender 2.8 is released.

The Shadows Lengthen is a procedurally generated open-world game that is limitless in all directions.
The premise of the game is simple: You spend a night in a cabin in the woods and you face down monsters from myth and legend, The only requirement is that you survive the night by any means necessary.

All monsters in the game are based off of real-world legends, cryptids and fiction. Their rules are based off of their historically accurate lore-- meaning all Vampires cannot go into sunlight, and NO their skin does not sparkle.

If you would like to see any wireframes and designs in the game, take a look at my twitter feed!

Also here are some assets for the game that I am particularly proud of-- this was made with the help of many other artists!

I hope you all will encourage my project and hopefully it helps put the Blender Game Engine on the map!

-Thomas Murphy

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(mataii) #4

Looking very good :slight_smile:

I saw some of your assets in your web page/twitter (following you as cgtrain) and I’m amaze and very encouraged to see people like you (and some others) that use the game engine and make great things!

Hope to see more soon :smile:

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( #5

I was talking about your conference video, but the logo looks nice too! :slight_smile:

Depends on what you want. GitHub is for open source projects, while on Steam you would only publish your binaries/build. You can also publish on Steam and still make the sources available on GitHub :slight_smile:

But don’t put it on GitHub unless you use the Git versioning in some way, because GitHub is made around that tool. Not that you cannot, but it would be weird unless you know exactly what you are doing and make it less weird lol.

You mention UPBGE as “not mature enough”, I would be curious to understand that statement. UPBGE is supposed to fix issues with the standard BGE. What kind of hard issues did you encounter and made you change your mind about it?

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(Thomas Murphy) #6

Ohhh you are cgtrain! I just followed you on the twitters!

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(Thomas Murphy) #7

Haha sorry thanks for the positive feedback about the talk! My mistake n___,n

I don’t have a fully formed opinion on what I want-- all I really want to do is make this game. Since It is all resting on me, I have basically been entirely focused on the creation of the game.

I don’t know if my project is open source truly-- because I have not shared the scripts or tools that I am using— yet? I also worry that the processes and techniques I am using are “non-standard” and therefor might be harmful to spread as a standard tool that I would recommend everyone use.

UPBGE is really cool and it has a lot of nice performance boosts.

What I mean by “not mature enough” I mean there are a few things that are keeping me away from it

  1. By it’s own admission it is currently at version 0.2.3 so not at version 1.0.
  2. The latest builds use updated API that is not backwards compatible with my BGE code
  3. I have tried some of the builds and they seem to crash more frequently than BGE. This has to do mostly with excessive use of LOD in my game.
  4. UPBGE includes a lot of cool new features, but at the expense of stability-- that being said I know that UBGE has improved stability of libload and other tools.
    My focus is creating a game experience with the tools provided in the BGE and not getting to fancy with new features or effects.

I think the UPBGE can be considered a more mature version of a game engine in terms of quality and features. But stability has been a major issue for me.

(Thomas Murphy) #8

I have begun posting the assets for the game on my page!

If you believe in the BGE throw me a bone! A $1.00 buck subscription is available so anyone can help!

This is the Link to My Patreon Page!

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(Fred/K.S) #9

Really really nice man, im impressed infact you inspire me more to do as good as you do in your work, i watched your Blender Conference video really awesome work you did back there buddy.
(You seem to be a professional Artist in my eyes, really great motivation coming from you buddy thanks so much for your inspiration and motivation i truly appreciate it)
I also like your Game Project i checked out your Site its really nice man, i can’t wait to give your game a try.
:slightly_smiling_face: :+1:


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(Fred/K.S) #10

A word of advise buddy if you’re making a horror game, id say think about creating the best possible player experience.
(what do i mean when i say that well make it memorable, over the years ive seen alot of small mini BGE horror games with a dark and grainy colour palette that merely makes the gameplay experience unmemorable sad dull and boring/ Repetitive.)
Now a Good Gameplay experience will keep the player invested in what you’ve created and this is what will keep them coming back for more since it puts them on the EDGE of their seats all the time then you would have successfully established a deep connection between the character and the player or in other words the player is the character.

Here’s a quick tip for building up the fear or ominous tone of every mission in the game or every objective:

  • Try and have some scary SFX i bet you already have this!
  • I know you’re going for survival play style, in your open world have locations that can cater to the player’s survival; so for example AI wont always find the player in High points on the map. (AI operates in Dark Zones or in different areas on the map)
  • Have Dark Zones where its extremely dangerous for the player to be in, but place all the players needs in these areas. (For example Survival Gear idk if yr going for an RPG style maybe you can idk its up to you.

lol i ran out of suggestions/ tips, but i already believe you’ve managed to even override my suggestion here maybe you’re doing it better than i think but yeah man you’re project is really great i’ll be on the lookout at how this project goes and i support you as you make your game.

" Don’t make it a dull game! Have both contrasts in the open world experience quick example being: - Maybe have high points on the map are bright and colorful and there’s light , dark areas are ominous and frightening the player should have goosebumps while playing lol, also have good sound and music as well."

Otherwise all the best buddy keep up the great amazing work.


(Thomas Murphy) #11

WOW thank you so much for the kind words. That makes me feel like this is all worth it!

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(Thomas Murphy) #12

Thank you for all the creative points! I really appreciate that you took time out to give me advice and I want to address each one of your points!

  1. Scary SFX – YES I make prodigious use of spooky sound effects.
  2. About the open world. Yes there are places in the open world that will be temporarily be off limits for the first monster in the game. Ultimately the monster can go anywhere, but there are places that players can hide, run, climb or drive to that help the player survive.
  3. About Dark Zones-- this is a really creative idea! I have not thought about that! There will be actions that a player can take in the game, that will make it easier for the monster to find you. (for example if I fire a pistol, that is very loud and it reveals a player’s position).
  4. About Dull-- My game will hopefully be fun and not dull in color palette. From the game’s logo you might notice that there is a bright hit of color-- there will be times of day in this game, where everything is brightly lit with rich colors- especially sunset (when the shadows lengthen)
  5. To give something away: the game will not be RPG style, the game is FPS. At least for now. The decision behind this, was to provide a “user’s” perspective of a horror situation.
    So basically with 3rd person perspective you can look around corners, which ruins the experience. In this game you can hide behind a corner… and you will have to listen for some heavy breathing or claws clicking on the hardwood floor of a cabin.

I hope to scare the shit out of you all!


and thank you again for the positive feedback! This really keeps me motivated and helps me understand the right choices to make with this game project!


(blenderaptor) #13

this will be the new SLender Man ?

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(Thomas Murphy) #14

I hope so … only that it doesn’t get re-hashed 10 times & turned into a terrible film spinoff.

(Thatimster) #15

I’m currently working as a developer on this project with Tom and was just wanting to chime in on the phenomenal depth the lore of this game goes. From the way the monster talks, moves, lures the player, taunts and looks is all fully based on myths / legends from where the creature originates.

(Thomas Murphy) #16

I am just piling on here to

  1. say thank you to @Thatimster. He is a legend and setting me straight on my youtube and programming game.

  2. The first monster featured in the game will be the ''Vampire"!!

Here is the in-game artwork.!!

The lore of one of the first Vampires featured in literature is “Carmilla the Vampire”, which is a novel from the 1800’s that featured one of the very first female Vampires:

(blenderaptor) #17

wow, i never though a fridge could be so cool :smiley:

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(Thomas Murphy) #18

+15 points for wordplay :slight_smile:

This fridge is made by me

There are no “asset flips” in this game.
Due to the unique licensing issues with the Blender Game Engine - I can only use artwork that I personally commission from artists or make myself.

This is because Blender is Open-Source, and technically I am redistributing game assets- so this technically violates the licensing agreements of most content websites like Turbosquid, sketchfab, BlenderMarket, etc…

I make the boring 3D assets (like refrigerators and toilets) and I hire other artists to do the more fun assets, because I feel this will be more helpful for their portfolios to make interesting items.

@Fred_K.S - I also wanted you to know that your advice on providing more color to the game is something I have taken to heart and I am endeavoring to do. I added this shot of the monster to my twitter feed, but I wanted you to know that the hit of color was thanks to your feedback.

Game footage of the Vampire! Carmilla’s hands


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(blenderaptor) #19

Game footage of the Vampire! Carmilla’s hands

omg omg … those long fingers, those sharp nails :scream:
can she scratch my head and back for free ?

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(Thomas Murphy) #20

LOL-- I mean if you make enough noise she’ll find you and scratch you up. But I don’t think her intentions are to tickle you… more like she want’s to savagely murder you in the dark.