New trailer

By March 28, 2014 News 10 Comments

I just released the first trailer for the full version of Dreadhalls:

Still lots of work to do, but hopefully you’ll like the direction it’s taking.


  • Azure says:

    One thing I noticed was the original Dreadfalls demo seemed to be a little more saturated with painted colors for wall textures, giving it a /hint/ of a retro feel that I feel lends itself to a larger audience. Kind of like a very evil Ocarina of Time. I’d be concerned that having too much of a muddy dark and realistic environment might spoil the fun and make it look a tad generic.

    Overall I feel the original style for the player map and walls just seemed to visually *pop* more with the original demo from an observer’s perspective. Note that I’ve yet to actually try Dreadfalls with an Oculus (just been watching a bunch of the YouTubes) and so maybe I’m wrong on how it’ll look with DK2. Just sayin’ how I feel. ^^

    Love the concept for the game, can’t wait to try it out!

  • Azure says:

    … was supposed to be “Dread_h_alls”. >.>

  • serk says:

    I’ve never been too happy with the graphics quality in the original demo, it was that way mostly because of time limitations on my part than any conscious design choice, so it always was one of the things I wanted to improve on for the new version.

    In my experience, the new look helps ground the scene better, so the world seems to be more solid and real. Also, having more complex geometry makes it more interesting to look at, specially in the Rift, where you can actually perceive the depth variations, and specially when you add shadows into the mix.

    But in any case, thank you for your feedback! It’s good to hear different opinions on this, and see it from new perspectives.

  • Azure says:

    Well certainly the original demo was a little flat, but the colors were a little more “popping” (greens and yellows on the walls for example), and there seemed to be a little less details demanding your attention. Unlike a bunch of the other gritty realistic horror games that are appearing for the Oculus, the overall appearance for Dreadhalls was a little more *unassuming* and inviting (it looked like fun — at first! ;D ).

    I thought this was a smooth move, since the terror wasn’t in the immediate tricks. I.e. “Oooh, it’s a dungeon! Aren’t old dungeons scary!? Look! There’s blood! That’s scary, isn’t it!?”. Instead it was more the situation players found and immersed themselves in (loved the room-lighting oil lamps instead of the god awful flashlights). If the game looks like a gritty muddy-brown ‘realistic’ medieval horror dungeon, I think it can reduce the number of people finishing much of the game since they can /assume/ the rest and just skip it entirely once it gets remotely scary.

    A great strength in the first Dreadhalls’ demo was that it seemed to be *accessible* horror and felt different from the rest in that it knew restraint and pulled you in without using a bludgeon. It felt like, “Oh, yeah I can see havin’ my pops/girlfriend try this out.”, whereas the new grittier look is a tad more for the horror enthusiast and I feel will have them taking off the Oculus after they turn a couple corners.

    In addition, I’d like to note that from watching a great deal of Let’s Plays for Oculus that it seemed that traditional games with *too many* things to look at (Far Cry, Portal 2, Half-Life 2), caused the player to lose focus with the clutter (possibly due to the Stereo, and of course the low res of DK1). Games with less clutter and more direct visuals (especially for the environment) seemed to allow the player to more gracefully immerse themselves in the game and overall seemed less straining. Again, another benefit to the original demo with its more-or-less direct hallways and few objects in the scene to call your attention.

    The new Dreadhalls definitely doesn’t feel like it’s moving too much away from its base formula (which is good!), and if you wouldn’t feel comfortable in pushing it about 20% out of the gritty-muddy-brown look (i.e. take 20% of a Zelda dungeon and that’s probably about right) I don’t think it’ll hurt all that much. Just wanted to opine is all. ^^

  • Azure says:

    Also, is it my imagination or are the scenes much more brightly lit in the new Dreadhalls? Or was that just to demonstrate the new scene geometry?

  • serk says:

    Thank you for the feedback. Regarding brightness, I’m applying filters to most of the scenes I capture, either in screenshots or trailers, to make them brighter. The reason is that they tended to look too dark, and were hard to see (specially in less than ideal lighting conditions). The game itself is still quite dark, but I want people to be able to see the trailers / screenshots without having to be in a dark room, or even if their screen brightness is not properly adjusted.

  • Azure says:

    No problem, just curious. Can’t wait for the next development posting!

  • Patrick says:


    Nice work, but don’t overdo it. The ‘simpleness’ of the original did the job very well, don’t throw to much extra’s at it. For example, the ‘stretched face’ in the trailer is totally unneeded in my opinion. Bland texture work very well, the less distraction the better.
    Just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work!

  • NobleBrutus says:

    I love the new graphics, still nice and geometrical like the demo, but much nicer looking without being distracting.

    I wonder if a few ‘environmental horror’ moments could be added, like a long room with a seemingly bottomless pit and just a treacherous looking rope bridge to get to the other side, or some precariously balanced boulders or statues teetering on the edge of their resting places. You get what could happen next in each case.

    I’m also fairly impressed by your book mechanic, perhaps you could give them some game-play significance and use them to contain codes for locked doors or to instruct the player to look out for a certain glow or style of architecture in order find something like a key (the person here before you must have remembered dropping it and written it in his/her diary before they met their unfortunate end in front of the door etc.

    I hope the game’s designed so new rooms could be added continuously to the procedural algorithm in a monthly update say, would be fantastic.

    Keep up the good work, I look forward to release.

  • serk says:

    Thanks! One of the problems I had with the old version is that it was a bit too random, and creating interesting locations was a problem. For this new one, I’m working in a room editor that allows me to mix both procedural and directed content more effectively, which means I’ll have more control over rooms and locations where I need to, but still maintain the overall procedural nature of the game. I hope to exploit that in a number of ways =)

    And sure, being able to add new content easily is one of the great things about procedural games!