It Will Find You - Devlog 8: Monster Selection
Apologies for the lack of devlog last week, a bad case of sinusitis had me clutching my head most days, and so writing out a devlog was a bit of a struggle.
Here we are though, devlog 8, and it’s time to talk about the It in It Will Find You. Now before we begin I want to explain early on that I won’t be showing off the monster in gifs etc during these devlogs, as I feel it would lessen the impact of its appearance in game, but hopefully discussing how it came about will help give you a feel of what to expect.
It might surprise you to know that It Will Find You wasn’t always a Captive Audience sequel, but began life as a standalone horror title about two police officers investigating a missing persons report, and encountering something horrific. I love this idea, and fully intend to revisit it, but as a sole developer had to accept that the scope of that project was slightly out of my reach with my current experience.
The core concept was sound though, a horror game set in a remote home surrounded by woodlands, where a protagonist would be stalked by a single entity in a deadly game of cat and mouse, and so I began to explore what other ways I could create this. I’d already been considering what I would do in a Captive Audience sequel, and knew the next story had to be about Julia, so creating a prequel scenario seemed like the best way to combine both ideas while maintaining the best bits of both concepts.
But what would this entity be? In my original concept it was a large cloaked creature that slowly revealed more of itself as time went on, but this didn’t work well with the reactive narrative and largely freeform gameplay style. A big creature also created a huge amount of issues with the house, and how it would fit down narrow corridors. This was a problem I found in general with humanoid creatures, and making them human sized often made them feel awkward and ineffectual, while making them bigger made it difficult to navigate the house without clipping etc.
So having experimented with a few different monsters, I changed tactics, and decided to pursue a more bestial creature. I was already looking at home invasion films like “The Strangers” and “Hush” for inspiration, and turned to “The Monster” next as a more animalistic source of inspiration. Mirroring creatures like the Xenomorphs in Alien, the Gremlins, and other great movie monsters, what stood out was that the creature was a raw brutal animal, but also displayed predatory intelligence, an element that adds both unpredictability and additional levels of fear, after all a tiger is terrifying, but a tiger that can open doors or mimic voices is far far worse.
With this more bestial profile, it became a lot easier to navigate the narrative events, and the style of gameplay around the monsters behaviours, giving it a lot of scope to grow as the game developed, whilst performing a wide range of actions that felt natural to the creature. After a few more tests, the final monster was chosen as a creature that could naturally display both animalistic tendencies, and also portray these moments of intelligence more realistically.
So with that said, next up is how the AI came together. As that’ll likely be a long one, I’ll save that for the next devlog.
Until then, thanks for tuning in,
See you next time!
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