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Penumbra: Overture - Demo Released

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The Swedish independent game company,Frictional Games, proudly announces that Penumbra: Overture - Episode One has gone gold today and has been sent off to manufacturing. A Demo for the game has also been released and the English version can be downloaded from: http://www.penumbra-overture.com/demo.htm Penumbra: Overture is an innovative first person survival horror game using advanced physics interaction. Instead of relying on combat as the main gameplay element Penumbra focuses on puzzles, exploration and enemies have to be dealt with by using wits rather than brute strength. This creates a unique experience in an atmospheric and scary game world. Penumbra tells the story of Philip, who in search of his presumed dead father uncovers more than he could ever had imagined. Trapped in an underground complex below the icy wastelands of Greenland, Philip needs to not only fight for his survival, but for his sanity as well. Penumbra: Overture is to be released in 3 episodes during 2007-2008, the first being released the 30th this month. More information can be found at: http://www.penumbra-overture.com/

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Yup it ends with the dog.

And we made it short because we wanted to tease :) Even so, most of the game mechanics are in the demo so it gives a good view of how the full game is.

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Sorry for necroposting (or resurrecting an old post), but I finally got around to playing the demo. Very Impressive! I was quite impressed! I like how you handled moving objects in 3D - such as opening the desk drawer, or turning the latch door.

Don't mind me saying so, but how long have you guys been working on this?

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The project started out about 1.5 years ago and the engine has been in work for so long.

Graphics, maps, etc for the commerical version (it was first just a tech demo) took 9 months to complete.

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Just out of curiosity, how did you come up with the idea to use the mouse to do things, like pulling on a desk drawer, or rotating to open the hatch door? I quite like how this works. Was it something that you stumbled across, or was it a designed feature from the beginning. I must say, it works quite well.

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Very good game btw. Hardocp had a link to a newer? demo that stated was 12mb bigger than the older demo, but no ideas as to what may have been added?


Is there a newer demo as of today?

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Moe:
At first we simply wanted to have drawers that you could open, but animating would take too much time. So I thought about using physics to do it and then that led to the whole physical interaction thingy.

CaptCanada:
The "new" demo out today is the same demo as before. I do not want to get into why, but it is basically the crazy game business to blame :P

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Damned. Just downloaded the demo. Its outstanding !!! Moe is
totally right. Your system how you interact with your mouse
with the environment is very clever and smooth!

The game itself creates a fantastic atmosphere. The gfx and
sound are really good, too as well. The voices sounds very pro-
fessional. Do you have special vocal coaches or vocal actors
for this ?

You can be very proud of it. Wish you and your team a lot
of success with it !!!

Just out of curiousity - how did you find a publisher ? Was it
hard ? If you have the time - it would be interesting to hear
what your steps were - after you finished the game until if is
now available on the market !!!

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Oh dear God, I LOVE SWEDES. Seriously. First, Machinae supremacy. Next, Inja. Now this.

This game is amazing--I've been playing games since 1992, and very rare were the ones that swallowed me like this. The direction is superb, resulting in a very believable and disturbing atmosphere--the voice acting, the ambience, the graphical effects, everything. It was as if I were really lost in Greenland, freezing in the cold. It was me who almost shat his pants when the dog attacked. I was holding a barrel to defend myself, but I threw it in the wrong direction out of panic! Not to mention I was anticipating its God damned attack all the time (Thanks to the post by dpadam450), which made the game even more scary. The interaction system is very entertaining, too, although the objects you hold (like rocks) are typically too far away. They should be placed closer, like the flashlight for example.

Now off to the complaints: The demo is very unstable on Vista 32-bit. It froze on me 2 times: One time when I pressed Esc to get out to the menu, and once I ended the demo, on the "Want to know what happens Next?" screen.

Also, when I attempt to launch the game with my google desktop sidebar visible, I only hear the audio, the google sidebar gets displaced from the right side to the left side of the screen, and explorer goes nuts switching between my open windows over and over, until Windows itself reported that explorer was no longer responding. I had to Ctrl+Alt+Del->Task Manager (since this is Vista), and kill the game.

Finally, and this is probably because of the awful ATi Vista drivers, I got a lot of z-fighting. The map on the desk in the ship kept appearing and disappearing. Also, the glow effect on the round window in the ship room didn't work correctly--the whole wall in which the window exists was blinding white. Only when I touch the wall (i.e. get too close) does it become a normal wooden wall with a round window.

Now, I'm buying this. But before I do that, I want to know one thing: Does part one end in a ball-busting cliffhanger? Cause honestly, I don't think I can take that. I'm already pissed at the demo for piquing my curiosity [grin]. No way for that to happen again! (especially with a long waiting period--you guys intend to finish this in 2008? HEATHENS)

I experienced something unique today. Thanks for the excellent game.

EDIT: Forgot to ask: When will this be available on Amazon? I'd rather own a boxed version than a digital one.

EDIT2: I'd post some screenshots and info to Image of the Day if I were you.

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Glad you like it! Nice comments always make me feel fuzzy inside :)

Mr E:
When we started on the game we sent out mails (snail and email) to like 30 publishers and we got one reply which led nowhere. At this point we had a fully playable demo aswell.
We continued working on the project and made an announcement with some pics (Imageoftheday here on gamedev too) and after the publishers contacted us. Lots of the folks that we had mailed had no idea who we was (meaning they never recieved our mails) but where interested in the game. And at this point we chose a publisher.

Muhammad Haggag:
Yeah, I know, we are having tons of problems with Vista. I wish we could have relased the game a year ago :P I am gonna install vista next week and hopefully clear up some bugs. As for gfx glitches it is probably driver issues.

The game is kinda wrapped up at the end of the episode, but there is still a lil cliffhanger, play and you will see :) Most seem to like how the episode ended.

The game should be available at Amazon.com soon, North American box release is 1st of May.

Might send it in, we already sent some pics and info in half a year ago. So I guess submitting again might not be that bad spamming :)

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I just downloaded it and played.

Very nice; solid atmosphere, good technical foundation and interesting to play. The physics and grabbing/releasing is pretty intuitive, although I wish I could always see where my hand is (abstractly knowing its in the center of the screen isn't ideal for me).

But overall, really solid game. I'll keep playing and see what comes next =)

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@Hardguy:

Thanks for the reply. Interesting to hear that images on the net and in the
Image-Of-The-Day section does get more recognized by publishers than a
direct email. Nice to know ... thanks a lot!

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This game is phenomenal..To tell the truth, I was thinking, "here we go another game someone is trying to sell" with errors, bugs, etc. Not the case here. This game had me interested from the story at the beginning, until the dog tore me up. I am purchasing this game tomarrow, you have my 20$, and I can tell by the demo, this will be well worth it. I only played the demo, but heck what could there possibly be to complain about. The controls, the flow of the game, the story, everything work perfectly. I usually dont comment on peoples games. But I couldnt believe my eyes on this one. I could see companies, using your style of mouse play. Which surprisingly was absolute excellence. Thank you for keeping me glued to my PC for another few weeks. Bye bye World Of Warcraft, Hello Penumbra: Overture.

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