I’m writing this as an update for the development status of The Hum:Abductions.Despite the ideas that people have about the developers of Abductions, the reality is that the game is being created by “the dev”. Yep, just me. Although, I’ve received help of different people along the road (and the experience was a fruitful), I am the only dedicated person working on the game.
The lack of updates in the last year have been due to personal problems (including health related issues) which prohibited me from doing many things for a while. I have also relocated to New Zealand (from Argentina) as I was offered a full time job there. The experience overall here has been very good, and due to the aforementioned problems, it made sense for me to accept the new job offer.
So… does this mean that the game is dead? I would say it’s in a moribund state, but never giving up, since I’m still working on it.
What I want to achieve
I spent a lot of time improving the idea and game design during the period where I couldn’t work on the game code or other technical aspects. I’m very happy with the improved game design and story after all the months I’ve spent thinking about that.
Many horror games focus on “jump scares”, “gore shit”, “spooky monsters/ghost/zombies”, and some use a combination of these. Although I’m not a fan of horror games per se, I do have strong personal feelings about the Alien Abductions theme. As a game developer and gamer, I have always wanted a game which approaches this topic in the “ufological” way.
Abductions started in my mind as something unrelated to The Hum Universe, which is a fictional universe I was creating as a hobby during different periods of my life (you can find more about the novels in my page arielarias.com, just in spanish by the moment..). However, at some point, I wanted to link Abductions to The Hum Universe in order to provide a lore behind it and also to create unity between the two products
When I was a kid, I needed to take care of my great grandmother. I spent my nights sleeping in her house and I stayed up late reading books, magazines, and playing games. Between the books and magazines, I found many related to ufology. A bizarre feeling of fear and curiosity arose as a result of the stories of the room visitors, road abductions, experiments on people that claimed to be abducted, the hypnosis used to remember experiences, the mind manipulation, etc.
On those nights, I started to think about how unprotected beings we could be against a race with superior technology and, mostly, with vast superior intellectual abilities. For me, thinking about being mind controlled and experimented, was even more scary than the death itself. What kind of inexplicable things can they do to us in those situations?
This also destroyed one of the most common human egocentric thoughts: “We are the most superior specie in the world/universe”. In some way, we feel secure and protected by that statement. But breaking it makes us feel totally exposed.
I don’t think I’m being capable of transmitting the feeling I have related to these aliens, but I’m sure that many people can understand it easily.
This is what I want to achieve with Abductions.
If you want some obvious references of the mood I’m after of… X-Files, McPherson Tape, Fire in The Sky, The Roswell Case, Orson Welles’ The WotW, El Eternauta, etc..
Using Real Stories I heard..?
Argentina, the country in which I lived almost all of my life, is full of alien stories. I’ve heard tons of them from people around, including family, friends and just random people I met. Some of these stories are very simple, still frightening, and some others are more “unrealistic” but still interesting.
I’ve decided to pay tribute to all these stories in the game, and include them in some way.
Virtual Reality or non Virtual Reality…
As many of you might know, I’m a huge fan of Virtual Reality. I even got some money in the past to do VR stuff related to The Hum Universe so I tried to stick with it.
But, now, it’s being obvious that the VR market is still not a thing for content creators. Futhermore, even if there are players that actually want to see this game just for VR, most of you ask for a no-vr classical version.
To be honest, trying to support both VR and not VR comes with lots of limitations and, of course, an increased development cost. By the moment, I’ve decided to start with a no-VR version and then add vr support in the future, if the game deserves it.
Another thing that discouraged me was the argentinean customs office. Both Epic Games and Valve gifted to me with HTC Vive for development (thanks!), and both of them got stuck in argentinean customs. Yep, it sucks, A LOT. I could use a borrowed one for a while (thanks D. Benmergui!), but at the end, it was not easy to do a proper development without my own ones. I could finally receive one from Epic after a while by doing shitty tricks like sending it to a friend in NZ first, then sending it back to a friend’s house that was travelling to Argentina and asking him to bring it with me. For that moment, I was already involved in personal issues and the project was definitely already slowed down.
However, This pause helped me to rethink the whole gameplay for better. I finished up deciding that focusing in no-vr will help me to do all what I wanted to do. And yes, I still believe in VR and love it.
So.. what can you expect from the gameplay?
Exploration, some cinematic parts and spooky things.
I was creating some secondary objectives, like “collecting” the real world stories I heard, or figuring out personal things of the Sanders family. I want to make from the game an experience to be lived and not a movie to be played, not something that is running on rails.
Thankfully I could spend lots of time in thinking the actual game design, and I trust that it will help to the final result when the game finally sees the light.
But.. how is the development going on…?
It’s moving slowly.. I’m prototyping most of stuff, and all the art parts are still not there (except the art that was already created time ago).
I’m creating the game design, code and 3D art of the game. That, as you can image, is a lot of work!
The game was being developed in Unreal Engine 4. Some people offered me to help in the project but they always said “oh, that’s sad, if it was made in Unity I could help a lot, but I don’t know too much about UE4″. Also, each time I could spend some money in a freelancer or contractor, I found it was way harder to find someone for UE4 than Unity.
This doesn’t mean that I will switch to Unity.. but.. maybe? It’s not decided yet. My love for UE4 is strong, but I also want to be realistic and finish the game someday.
When I can expect the game to be finished?
Honestly, I cannot answer this. I’ll be looking for funding for sure, but even without it, I’ll continue working on the game as a part time project.
Some people suggested a Kickstarter campaign, but I’m afraid that it’s not that easy nowadays to get it work. Furthermore , it comes with more complications (rewards, money asked not being enough, cost of the campaign… etc).
Maybe, at some point, I’ll go back to some publishers that, in the past, were interested in the project but didn’t like the idea of doing VR.
We’ll see with time!
Thanks to all the supporters
As final words, I cannot believe the amount of good vibes I was receiving even when I was not publishing updates.
From messages asking for the game, to comments like “this will be the best game ever” or “a master piece” (really??), to continuous appearances in “best incoming horror games” kinda lists. This is really amazing, and, often, it’s not easy to me to understand that there are people actually waiting for the game, it’s scary and exciting at the same time. Thank you very much, to all of you.
I also received some comments (behind my backs) from some random guys in the gaming industry like… “this is not a game, just trailers”, “he cannot do games, just good trailers”, etc. Thanks to you too guys, knowing that my trailers can generate something good in the audience, even if there is no game yet, it’s something that also encourages me. I hope I can bring the same feeling to the game.
That’s all, this was a long text, but I needed to make it clear like this.
If you read everything.. wow thank you!