Foreboding – An HP Lovecraft Experience

HP Lovecraft is one of the biggest literary influences in my life. The concept of cosmic horror has always left me feeling unsettled, and I have always wanted to do something Lovecraftian. This short game was my capstone project for the Udacity VR Developer nanodegree. The game itself is a journey through an abandoned mansion where the player must collect pages from the Necronomicon in order to finish a ritual to summon the Old Ones.

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Title screen.

The game design was focused on interactions in VR. There are rooms in the mansion where pages are found. In one room the player must dig through a fleshy, slimy, breathing eldritch horror.

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The fleshy, slimy thing is pictured in the center.

I had experimented with having a hallway which was filled with rotting strips of fabric, which as the player moves through the hall, the cloth will collide with the headset which gives an intrusive and claustrophobic feeling. This idea got scrapped because as other features were added to the game, the cloth section was not very performant.

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Cthulhu – 3D modeled in a VR program called Google Blocks.

Other features included a room which changes size based on the player position. As they walk across the room, the room slowly shrinks and at the other end of the room was a small cabinet which contained an exact copy of the room within the cabinet. Once the player enters the cabinet, they are the same relative size compared to the small room. If they walked in the other direction, the room would grow to normal size. This created an eerie feeling which isn’t obvious at first but makes the player feel like things are off. Originally I had the room expand and contract as the player walked through it, mimicking a breathing motion which made the room feel alive. This was dropped since I wanted to go with the continual shrinking idea instead.

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A familiar Lovecraft quote – the rest of it is in the shrunken room.

The player must obtain all 4 pages of the Necronomicon and place them on 4 pillars surrounding an underground chamber. Alternately, there are journal pages around the mansion which describe the previous explorers attempts to complete the ritual to summon the Elder Gods. If the player collects all journal pages and places the Necronomicon pages upon the alters, the central chamber will close and slowly fade out with heavy fog. Cthulhu will appear and move slowly toward the player. I made Cthulhu using Google Blocks to 3D model it, and textured it in Unity. If all journal pages are not found, Yog Sothoth will be summoned, which consists of a conglomeration of glowing spheres. This was done with a flocking script I wrote.

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One of the pages from the Necronomicon.