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The Ill Communication

Echoes from the past
January 4, 2017 | 22:31 | Written by: snake911

Last night I was rummaging through some old backups and I unintentionally went and did a deep dive into it, killing a lot more time than I would have like to.  However, during that expedition I found some real treasures I thought were buried in the sands of time.  And when I mean “treasures,” I mean I found a lot of image editing projects.

This is the earliest one I can find.  It's dated October 2001 and that makes sense as that was the time I bought a used laptop for college, which I started a few months earlier in July.  A friend gave me a butt load of software to go with the laptop, including a copy of I believe ImageReady 3.0, which would be my introduction with photo editing software.  It's like a very lightweight version of Photoshop that included layers, basic filters, and nothing else.  A few months later he would give me a copy of Photoshop and Illustrator 6.0, which opened things up greatly.

Anyways, that image was created as a concept for a game I was thinking about creating once I graduated from college with a degree in computer programming.  Since it's been 15 years and I haven't created even one game, I guess it's okay to let my idea out and let everyone know what a fresh and ignorant 18 year old had in mind for a game.  But as you'll see, over the years, some of the ideas and story points in it would be seen in other games, so it's not really that original anymore.

The story for Outlaws begins in the future where a large corporation dealing with making major leaps in technology fields like medical and aerospace were creating a teleportation system able to travel large distances for space exploration, but accidently created a time portal that pulls in a scientist, along with a bunch of other equipment in the lab, to the old west.  Meanwhile, a pair of outlaws during the old west days, unfortunately being around the same physical location where the lab would be at in the future, witness the time portal open up, throwing the scientist into their time along with one of the outlaws being pulled into it, throwing him into the future.  In addition, the portal causes the surrounding areas to be infested with spiritual beings that came from the portals and possessing people and animals.  Ultimately, it would be a survival horror game.

The game has the player controlling the two who were thrown out of their times with the scientist running around an old west town, assisted by the other outlaw (who is the boss of the two) while the other being the outlaw running through a futuristic city, assisted by the other scientist's lab partner.  There's a special communication device both sides use so they can work together in resolving this incident (the communication device was created for use while subjects were traveling in the portal).  Both parties on the opposite sides of the timeline are needed due to a lot of the lab equipment got pulled into the portal.  Time travel gameplay mechanics like burying something so a character in the future can use it in their time would be used along with survivor horror clichés of running around fighting or running from monsters and item collecting so the player can progress to new locations.

Finding out what went wrong would be on the future side, running into suspicious characters and taking note of what they were doing.  Eventually the player would discover that the lead scientist was actually part of the occult and attempting to free their god who has been imprisoned in a lost dimension that occurred millennia ago.  The time portal was close to but missed the demon's prison, giving to the reasoning behind the evil spirits.  The final boss battle would be going into that demon's dimension and killing it.  I remember I wanted the ending to have a twist in it, similar to a horror movie where everything isn't as rosy as you'd like it to be at the end, but I never got around to actually creating the documentation that explains the game in details.  All as far as I ever got was creating some title images that you see in this post.

As a contrast, with my friend and his game idea, he went way further than I did to where he pretty much had his story written and finalized with a scene-by-scene explanation, script dialogs, and even character models.  But unlike a survival horror like mine was, his was a JRPG styled game.  Before he moved to another state, he gave me a copy of his story.  Man, need to see if I still have that somewhere.  I totally forgot what it was about except for the name of the company which the story centers around: Shadow Fox Industries; or something like that.  It'd be cool if I can find it again to see it with 15 years' worth of hiding in the darkest of backups has caused it to be as good as it was when he originally told me it, aging like a fine wine.

But with my story and game mechanics, you can point out a few games that had similar plot points or mechanics.  The biggest would have to be Doom 3 with all of the demons and portal crap.

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