Taylor Gorder
TAYLOR GORDER | Gameplay Designer

DEV BLOG

Madhouse hits Alpha!

“This is it, Lockwood Manor Mental Facility. No one’s been here in years.”

          I think I speak for the entirety of Goliath Game Studios when I say I want to tear my ears out every time I hear that line. Those are the words spoken by P.I. Darren Hall at the beginning of Madhouse, our suspense puzzle game. Just yesterday we presented our game to a classroom full of other game developers for critique. The presentation exceeded my expectations by a long shot. The developers behind Madhouse have performed miracles to get our game to where it is now.

 3D Render of medical assets by Art Lead Chris Jones.

3D Render of medical assets by Art Lead Chris Jones.

            Madhouse is my first experience managing a team of this size, and It’s going quite well so far. Visual fidelity is the most impressive aspect for me. GGS’s art team has excelled over the last few weeks outputting beautifully rendered assets to create a truly suspenseful experience. From daunting medical instruments, to a shockingly professional transition scene, the experience would not be the same without our artists.

            Mechanically Madhouse stands on its own. Our two programmers have created an experience that showcases our strongest points and creates a truly mind-bending gameplay experience. They’ve worked hard to implement mechanics that bring the game together. Mechanics like puzzles in a distorted, bloodied solitary confinement cell, to creatively placed collectibles that form the world around through a journal mechanic.

 Screenshot from the lobby of Lockwood Manor Mental Facility.

Screenshot from the lobby of Lockwood Manor Mental Facility.

            My contributions are, for obvious reasons, far more abstract than the valuable work the other developers are putting in. Project management isn’t nearly as exciting to the typical reader as creating a dark stormy limbo to terrify the player (which our Creative Director did), but you won’t find me underselling myself. Team management is always a struggle, and Madhouse is no exception. When hours don’t quite add up it’s my responsibility to find out why. When it comes to team management, it’s difficult to imagine Madhouse going much smoother. Realistically, there will always be snags, but through clear communication, and valuable contributions we have found ourselves with an alpha that stands up on its own.

When I’m not bringing my loadout of spreadsheets up to date, I get to work on audio. This is the most fun part of development for me. I’ve recently begun experimenting with Avid’s Pro Tools, but most of Madhouse’s audio was synthesized in Audacity (what can I say, it’s free!). I’ve had the privilege to work with talented voice actors, form demo reels, generate ambiance audio, and work in engine to help implement the sounds of Madhouse. Moving forward I hope to refactor much of our sound effects, and better implement the breathtaking soundtrack we have had developed for our game.

Now, I need your help dear reader, Over the next three weeks Goliath Game Studios will be seeking play-testers of all kinds. Whether you are experienced with games, or only play Candy Crush, your input is valued. If you are interested in playtesting our experience send me an email. I’ll get back to you with a copy of the alpha build of the game as well as a playtest survey. (By the way, there’s tons of Easter eggs to find!)

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Taylor Gorder