Monday, 8 October 2012

Humble beginnings of the HPL Engine

I recently stumbled upon some really old videos with gameplay tests in the HPL engine and decided they would be fun to show off. This was not our first foray into 3D first person horror (Unbirth was), but it was the first time the the HPL engine was used. All of these are gameplay videos are from a student project then know as "The Hatch" and later became the "Penumbra Tech Demo".



6th of December 2005 - First Gameplay Test
I had now been working on the engine from scratch since late July, so a little more than 5 months. It is fun to see that most of the important interaction features are in at this point. The sound system for the physics is actually pretty much the same we have used until Amnesia. Jens is the one who recorded this.




7th of February 2006 - Improved Gameplay Test
The engine is now a little bit more refined, mainly with interaction and speed I think. I think that the portal visibility system got added during this time (I actually remember that I came up with a solution in the parking lot when buying groceries for Christmas). Recorded by Jens as well.



23rd of March 2006 - AI Test
The first proper AI test. It now has all the basic systems in, pathfinding, hearing and so on. Most of these features actually survived until Amnesia as well (and still use some variants). It is great to see how the AI works with the physics and shoves the door open as you try to close it. Interestingly, this creature has the most complex pathfinding we have used so far since it had two separate ways of moving about. I recorded this myself and the resolution is so crappy because my computer was unable record and play the game at the same time otherwise.


4th of April 2006 - Kind of Proper Gameplay
Pretty much all features needed to power the gameplay in the tech demo is in now. I think I recorded it.

The final version of the tech demo can be found here.


Monday, 1 October 2012

Hiring: Level Designer Wanted

Frictional Games, the creators of Amnesia and Penumbra series, seeks a Level Designer for a new game project. Taking what we learned from our previous games we aim to take horror and interactive story-telling to the next level. We are looking for a talented individual to help us design and implement this vision.

Main Responsibilities:
  • To take creative decisions on how puzzles, events, layout are to be designed.
  • Through scripting implement gameplay in a level.
  • To place sounds, tweak lighting and similar things to create atmosphere.
  • Communicate with writers and artists on how to achieve the goals of a level.
  • Provide feedback on design suggestions and implemented gameplay.

Work conditions:
The job will be carried out on a distance so you need to be able to work from home. This means you must have a fast internet connection, strong work moral and live in a timezone near the Swedish one (which is GMT+1). If you are not living in Sweden, you must also be able to invoice (or at least be willing to set this up). The work environment at Frictional Games is quite open and you need to be able to schedule your own time and take initiative when required.

Required qualifications:
  • Having designed and implement gameplay for a commercial game or a released mod/indie project.
  • Progressive view on video games and a will to evolve the medium.
  • Excellent understanding of game design for adventure games and immersive simulations.
  • Good enough coding skills to implement your ideas.
  • Experience in working with 3D level editing software.
  • Good understanding of lighting and architecture in 3D scenes.
  • In-depth knowledge on how to create an interactive narrative.
  • Not be shy of learning new things and work in areas out of your comfort zone.

Further Qualifications:
  • Experience in writing fiction.
  • Skills in 3D modeling.
  • Experience in the horror-genre.
  • Interest in science and science-fiction.
  • Experience with Fmod and/or sound-editing.
Send your application to jobs@frictionalgames.com. Attach your CV to the mail, but provide links for other files or images.


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