Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first development blog post!
For the first post’s sake, I want you to know more about the emergence of Zoetrope Interactive, how it was founded and flourished over the course of many years. Yes I know it sounds a bit boring but like Lord Acton asserts “History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.” so for those who are interested in knowing our history please bear with me.
Zoetrope Interactive is a small independent game development team based in Istanbul, Turkey, consist of 3 people, Galip Kartoğlu, Oral Şamlı and Onur Şamlı. While Galip is mainly responsible for all programming and scripting tasks, my brother Onur and I -Oral Samli- are mainly responsible for 2D and 3D art as well as music and sound effects. Other than these, we are all responsible for the rest of the work load that is required for a game to be finished like storyline, fx, game-play designs, etc.
Even before Zoetrope Interactive was born, we all were working on game development. We met in 1999, an age that Facebook was unheard of. The first game three of us worked on was a personal project of Galip, “Slashers” which he still is working on -I encourage you to check that out, it is an awesome fighting game- Back then, brother and I, as avid adventure game players we were, had a simple yet aspiring game project in our minds and of course, by using a basic commercial game engine with primitive graphics, we built a simple prototype and it was buggy as hell. This only proved we need to learn game development more and more and more. Not to mention that was the first prototype of Darkness Within. We spoke to Galip -as the only able person with highly skilled in programming we know- about the project and he agreed to help us. This was the very beginning of Zoetrope Interactive and early primitive version of Zoetrope Interactive’s proprietary game engine game engine CPAGE which we used to build Darkness Within series.
In 2003, Zoetrope Interactive was officially found and quickly started working on our first title, Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder. Actually DW1 was started as a non-panoramic, static first person point and click adventure in the style of the first Myst game. But we wanted a more interactive experience. So Galip improved the engine and the first version of the CPAGE was born. Development of the DW 1 took nearly 3 years and was released in 2006.
Development, of DW 2 stated the same year. For DW 2, we had different plans in mind. This time we wanted a more interactive narrative and game play, so we decided to built it completely in 3D. This time, we had a lot of high-tech toys like NVIDIA PhysX, environmental audio, and a lot of graphical bells and whistles to play with. We really learned a lot during the development of this project and after a long and tiresome 2 years, it was done and was released in 2009.
After the release, there came a long hiatus for Zoetrope Interactive in which we all go in our sepereate ways in life. We only came together to built the director’s cut and the recently released Steam versions of the both games. Steam versions have some really big graphical improvements, new levels and puzzles (the latter is only applied to DW 2) And they both welcomed very well by the Steam users and our awesome Darkness Within community. We got beautiful and encouraging mails from fans all around the world -especially the Russian Darkness Within community- I want to thank you for all those who kindly get in touch with us and give us your opinions and everything, we much appreciate your interest! And I think this was what made us realize the aspiration deep within, a kind of hunger we feel for developing a new title together as Zoetrope Interactive yet again!
So time flies like an arrow leaving only the experience and memories behind. And now as of 2015, here we are again, announcing our third title “Mountains of Madness” again a game inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft whom we love and deeply respect. With all the experience we gathered throughout these years, we want to make Mountains of Madness a game that every horror adventure fan would interested in; a deep, immersing and terrifying experience, a game that is forged in Zoetrope Interactive’s development philosophy and fundamental design concepts. So please check back again, follow us through social media sites and keep your support alive like you did before.
Thanks for everything and see you in the next blog entry!