The Empty Inn and Untold Story – Similarities

Hello everyone!

As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, we’ve announced a new game, The Empty Inn!

The Empty Inn is a 2D, horror-adventure game with 8-bit, NES-style, pixel art. If you haven’t already, you can check out the trailer below:

You can also pre-order The Empty Inn below:

This means that when the game releases (within the next two weeks), you’ll get access to it straight away!

Anyway, pre-orders aside, I mainly wanted to talk about the similarities between The Empty Inn and Untold Story and how they share more than just an art-style. But before I go any further, I just want to highlight that Untold Story is still in development. The Empty Inn is a side story, something for players to get excited for Untold Story.

Let’s start with how The Empty Inn came about:

Whilst developing interior art assets for Untold Story, I had an idea based on the interior pixel art I was creating. The idea was to create a game set inside an empty inn with the player exploring it and discovering its treasures. The game would also have horror elements to it (what’s more spooky than an empty inn?), and would require the player to manage their light resource whilst solving puzzles and exploring the inn.

After producing a quick prototype, I came to the conclusion that the game would be fun and that if I used some art assets from Untold Story I could create it fairly quickly and release it. I thought it’d be am interesting game to release before Untold Story and would get players hyped for the game.

The development of The Empty Inn wasn’t just driven by creative curiosities though.

I wanted to release something small and polished before Untold Story so that I could generate a bit more revenue (using the money I made from The Empty Inn to support Untold Story and any other games I create), as well as help get the Candlelight Studios brand out and into the open. Any money generated from The Empty Inn will be a huge help and will contribute to increasing the quality of my future games (for example I could use the money to get a dedicated sound track for Untold Story!)

The Empty Inn doesn’t just share art assets with Untold Story, the game uses a lot of Untold Story’s code, as well as sharing a lot of the game’s design and story philosophies. In fact, developing The Empty Inn has taught me a lot of lessons which will be applied to Untold Story’s development. This will make Untold Story even more awesome!

I hope this clarifies some things. Sorry this is a bit short! I’ll be making more blog posts about The Empty Inn over the next couple of days, going more in-depth about the game, so stay tuned!

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The Empty Inn – New Game Announcement

Today we are proud to announce… The Empty Inn (the game which we teased last week)!

You can watch a trailer below:

The Empty Inn is a 2D, horror game with 8-bit, NES-style, pixel art and puzzle-exploration gameplay, similar to many of the adventure games of the era. Utilising an interesting light mechanic, the player is required to solve puzzles and explore the area, ensuring that they can keep their light on whilst doing so.

The Empty Inn is very similar in style to another one of Candlelight Studio’s games: Untold Story. This is because the game was made using the same engine and shares a lot of the code. You can read more about the similarities here!

The Empty Inn will be launching very soon (within the next two weeks!) for Windows! You can pre-order the game below:

I can’t wait for everyone to play it!

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Environments of Untold Story

Hello everyone!

Let me start off by saying, it’s been a very busy two weeks! Lots of interesting things have been happening and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t have an impact on Untold Story’s development. Thankfully for the past couple of days everything has normalised and now I can return back to the usual blogging and development schedule! Because of the short break away from development this dev-log will be a bit shorter than usual, but I’ve still got some cool things to show off!

This week’s development blog is about Untold Story’s environments, and how we’ve stayed relatively close to NES limitations yet utilised modern techniques to create a look which is familiar whilst incredibly refreshing!

First off, just to reiterate, Untold Story’s graphics are limited to NES-style in terms of tile size (8×8) and both colour palette (roughly 55 colours). In order to keep the game’s graphics as close as possible to NES RPGs, we’ve also got a slight limit on the amount of detail the environments can have. The problem with these limitations is that it can lead to quite flat-looking graphics, and make the world appear slightly dull. Naturally that’s to be expected, given our choice to use NES-style graphics, however there are two things we’ve done in order to make the graphics more pleasing.

  • Populate the world with more furniture/objects
More objects in the environment make the world feel inhabitated

More objects in the environment make the world feel inhabited

The NES had limitations on how many different types of tiles the console could show. Thankfully, in these modern days, we don’t have such a limit! So we’ve popularised the world with a variety of different tiles. This makes the world a bit more interesting and exciting, as it means there are there are plenty of things to look at and examine.

We haven’t gone too overboard though, as we still want to retain some of the openness, and emptiness, of the worlds of NES RPGs.

  • Lighting
Untold Story's world feels alive!

Untold Story’s world feels alive!

Whilst we haven’t gone too crazy and created a dedicated, specialist, lighting system for Untold Story, we have come up with some solutions to imitate lighting and add warmth to the world. One such solution is to create light points, areas of the world which have a light shining on them, by using a semi-transparent sprite to light up the world. We’ve found that once we’ve added the lighting, it becomes incredibly hard to take it away, as it makes the world feel alive.

We’ve also animated some of the lighting, as you can see below:

Dynamic lighting?!

Dynamic lighting??

This makes the world feel more alive and lived in!

We’re hoping that the environments of Untold Story will retain their retro, 8bit, feel whilst also feeling alive and modern!

Unfortunately I’ve got to leave it there for today! We’re hoping that we can be a bit more active next week, so stay tuned and remember to follow us on twitter @Candlight_S!

Thanks for reading!

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No Untold Story dev-log on the 26th February! Instead there will be one on 5th March!

Hey guys!

Just a quick note to say: yes, I know that I didn’t post a devlog about Untold Story on the 26th February! Things got very crazy around here last week and I wanted to make sure that our next devlog was completely perfect before showing it off!

So now the next devlog post will be on the 5th March! We’ll be showing off some cool stuff in this devlog, so stay tuned!

Thanks for your patience!

Josh

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