February 19, 2012

The Attack of the Hungry Dubstep Monster

I've been listening to a lot of Biosphere lately and drawing environmental concepts. Here are a few of my favorites:

Item altar and lighting test.

This item altar will be one of many within the game's world. The player will discover these regularly as they explore. These powerups act as shards of each ability the player can unlock. Once the player has collected a handful of shards, they unlock a new character ability for solving puzzles (covered in a previous blog entry). You wouldn't be wrong to call these our own version of the "Chozo Item Spheres" from Metroid. These little rewards will act as our "invisible guiding hand" to lead the player through the game's world/narrative.

As far as it's lighting is concerned, I'm still not decided on whether the dynamic lighting in this scene will help or hurt the overall feel of the game. It's hard to say with only this example, it will require further tests and maybe even a full production play test to see if it's worth implementing fully.

One of the game's enemies revealing itself.

This is still a work in progress for one of our boss characters. This nasty dude can split into smaller versions of himself and travel through the little inaccessible cracks in the game's world. If level development goes according to our internal tests, the in-game environments should look identical to our concept art.

Our hero being chased.

Once this nasty dude is out in the open and fully manifest, the chase is on. These will act as high anxiety moments to create a sense of pacing for the player. This way our long sprawling environments and puzzles become more palatable over extended gameplay

I find that without the proper music, art like this is impossible for me. I've never been able to draw without some sort of noise keeping me on track and motivated. It's especially effective when I find that perfect track that inspires the emotions that we intend to inspire in our players with gameplay, art, and sound. Pulse of the Labyrinth has been strongly inspired by unnerving ambient tracks and the occasional gritty dubstep/electronic track.

I suppose if I had to dispense any advice with this blog post, it would be that fully immersing yourself with things that make you feel similar to how you want your players to feel is a great way to produce work that is moving in parallel with what you intend it to look like. It's also great for driving those around you a little crazy.

February 8, 2012

We're Back, Here's a Thing!

Sorry about that, won't happen again. Here is a wallpaper with our new title and a demo of one of our game's abilities, Token:



W A S D controls movement
Space is the Action Button

left/right = walk
down = crouch
down + action = place Token
up + action = teleport to Token
down + left/right = roll/crawl

May 24, 2011

Part of the Movement

"We have come to a point where the game concept trumps such insignificant bullet points, and global social connectivity is a given. From a creative standpoint, this is fantastic. Ideas are king once again; the industry feels as vibrant to me as the golden nostalgia years I experienced as a kid growing up through the coin-op and early console eras, except we've finally ditched the nerd-in-basement stigma." - Ryan Seabury, founder of END Games Entertainment

I pulled this little bit from an article I saw on Kotaku today (which I was forwarded to from Joystiq). According to the article, Ryan Seabury recently left NetDevil, the studio behind LEGO Universe.

Why is this significant to THOTH Interactive? Well, it's really about what Ryan's new company is standing for. It's returning to the roots of fresh ideas, and designing game mechanics that connect to the player on a deeper level than just making a toy to sell. I, personally, respect this way of thinking very deeply, and would like to tip my hat to Mr. Seabury on his new venture.

As a new company working on our first official title, we are excited to see this sort of thing happen in the industry. It's a great time to be making games, and we are thrilled to be involved.

May 22, 2011


After doing a few small public playtests some time ago, we found a small list of things that needed to be changed with the game's core gameplay. One of our goals with developing this game is to make it as intuitive as possible to the average player, while also introducing some interesting mechanics that some players wouldn't normally see in a puzzle platformer. This presents a bit of a challenge in both the programming and art departments of developing the game.

Our development has been set back somewhat, and we did get a bit overconfident with our announcement of a public demo. Although our goals and devotion to progress remains the same. We just want this whole thing to meet the standard of quality that we've set for ourselves. Backing down on that isn't really in the cards for us. :)

For anyone following our blog, we want you to know that we appreciate your devotion, and we are looking forward to showing off more as we get it ready for public viewing. Here is a sample of some concept art for some of the collectible equipment we will be having in the game:

March 25, 2011

Something Impulsive This Way Comes

Hey everyone, I'm Greg. The man behind the curtain on the Thoth Interactive game, Impulse. I'll save further introductions for later.

Last night was our first public presentation for Impulse at our local IGDA monthly meeting. We plan to take that just a few steps further now with this. Some news that I think everyone will really enjoy to hear....

We'll be posting a public demo of the latest build for Impulse around April 15th.

It's time to reward the enthusiasm that people have had with the videos and art we've shown. It's time for you to get your hands dirty with a copy of the demo of Impulse.

Any questions can be directed to: info@thothinteractive.com
or feel free to leave a comment below.


I'll apologize now for this news in regards to the date of the demo. Long story short the past week I've been combating a bout of the flu, which has caused a delay in completion of some of the necessary features we want in for the demo. These extra few days we'll be taking to make sure that the demo is of a standard that we are comfortable with for public release. Again I apologize for the slight delay from this.

March 20, 2011

Warm Breeze

Our character, and his ability animations have been a lot of fun to build and animate. We feel that he has really come to life, in a sense, since we began this project. Although one thing we want to avoid is having an animated character and a really static environment. To avoid this, we've been working on ways to bring the environment to life as well. One of the ways is by having some small wildlife such as insects and birds moving about, but a more dynamic solution is that we're also going to fake a sort of "wind" behavior in some of the world's objects. Here is a screenshot of an early test environment to give some frame of reference:

The grass, leaves, and anything that is light enough within the environment will be affected by this "wind" effect that moves through the environment. It is essentially an invisible wall that passes across the player's immediate area, and has a push affect on the objects that are flagged to be affected by it. This will cause them to sway in a wave as though the wind is moving them.

While this system is very simple, it allows us some other fun options as well. We can have invisible physics effects come off the player as well, so that when you run through tall grass, your projected effects mix with the overall wind effect to make the grass not only come alive, but also to unify the player character with the environment through a sort of indirect interaction.

This wind system is still in it's early stages, so a video of the effect in action might be a little ways off. I'll end this blog post with another few screenshots:

Any questions can be directed to: info@thothinteractive.com
or feel free to leave a comment below.

March 18, 2011

Impulsive Abilities

While we get closer to having a playable release, I think I might detail some of the unlockable abilities in the game, mostly because I'm mentally exhausted and can't seem to sleep. Each of the following abilities is unlocked by collecting the 5 letters that make up each of their names, the letters are re-imagined in a sort of cryptic script that creates the shape of the powerup once all the letters have been found. Here are some of the primary ones required for navigating the game's world:


Vault allows the player to rebound off of walls and control the direction of their leap from said wall. It also has the ability to take the distance you've traveled through the air and inject that into a more powerful jump once you cling to something. It makes for some pretty fun launches once you get yourself going.

Performed by pressing action+(up, down, or neutral) once you have clung to a wall.


Token allows the player to mark their location anywhere they can get solid footing, so as long as you're sitting still and crouching, you are able to place a token. Once placed, you can then recall to that location under similar circumstances.

Peformed by pressing down+action while standing still to save or up+action to recall.


Spike is an ability that allows the player to spend all energy to quickly dash through the air. Once done so, they cannot perform any other abilities for a while. This is primarily used to destroy breakable environment pieces or get that last bit of oomph needed to land a jump. The ability can also be used while clinging to some movable walls to either push them in or pull them out.

Performed by double-tapping left or right while in mid air or clung to a wall.


Focus will allow the player to plant an anchor point anywhere in midair to swing around that point and shift direction. If used properly, it can also increase airtime substantially, although there is a cooldown on it.

Performed by pressing the action button while in mid-air.

Any questions can be directed to: info@thothinteractive.com