Hey Xbox fans! We’re Upstream Arcade, the team behind the new roguelike brawler; Hellboy Web of Wyrd. We’re a small independent team of 16 developers based in the UK who […]
Hey Xbox fans! We’re Upstream Arcade, the team behind the new roguelike brawler; Hellboy Web of Wyrd. We’re a small independent team of 16 developers based in the UK who originally leveled up together at Lionhead Studios, working on the Fable Franchise and Black & White 2. Now, some years later, we’ve regrouped to make distinctive action games together!
Hellboy Web of Wyrd is a monstrous toe to toe brawler featuring our eponymous hero in a realm that is ever shifting and changing. It was important to us to make the most ‘Hellboy’ game possible and there were lots of elements that seemed important to the feel of the character; supernatural detective work, getting into trouble and then punching your way out of it.
To try and deliver an authentic Hellboy game we asked ourselves what it would be like to make a game that allows you to step through the panels of a Mike Mignola comic book. We are all big fans of Mike’s work but we made sure each team member had the time to read through Hellboy’s stories and familiarize themselves with the work so that we could consistently ask ourselves when approaching the game and art design: “But is it Hellboy?”
There were a number of tricky challenges translating the 2D art style into 3D – for example we have to fully rotate around a 3D Hellboy and make sure his proportions remain accurate, our animators have to convey his sense of weight and heft as he moves and swings a punch, and our players have to be able to step into those signature areas of black shadow and still know where they are. From the code side of things we had to re-write some of the rendering code entirely to achieve the ‘hand drawn’ Mike Mignola look
We developed a chunky outline rendering system that conveys a hand drawn look both on the silhouettes of characters and their internal detail – the scratches and scuffs of surface detail. The lighting behaves differently in our game to maintain a flat color look and allows us to make sure the creatures look good and authentically Mignola from any angle in any environment. These were fun things to tackle throughout development and we hope the love and reverence we have for the source material shines throughout the game.
From a code perspective, we had to re-write some of the rendering code entirely. Lights had to behave differently in other engines to keep that flat look, we had to develop a chunky outline rendering system and figure out ways (involving cheeky view dependent lights) that made sure that hellboy and the creatures looked good from any angle, in any environment.
We self-imposed a few helpful constraints to the story; we wanted it to set up players who were new to Hellboy to want to read on with the earliest comics. We also wanted to capture the pulpy, high action and mysterious feel. With these in mind, we settled for a year – 1982 (a bad year for hairstyles, but a great year for a new Hellboy story) – and a setting; the Wyrd – a mysterious realm which celebrates stories. Our hope is that this story feels very Hellboy as it touches on some familiar themes to the character. Of course, there is one other twist in the game that Hellboy fans might be able to guess, but that’s a surprise!
We hope you all enjoy Hellboy Web of Wyrd as much as we enjoyed making it. Just remember, you’re gonna be sore in the morning!
Hellboy Web of Wyrd
Good Shepherd Entertainment
Play the Comics
Developed by Upstream Arcade, Hellboy Web of Wyrd utilizes an art style faithful to Mike Mignola’s original masterpieces. Like in the comics, the game sends Hellboy on a series of vastly different and wholly-unique adventures; and while each story stands on its own, they are all tied to the mysterious legacy of The Butterfly House.
Welcome to the Wyrd
Built in 1962 by occultist Pasquale Deneveaux, The Butterfly House is more than a mere residence; it’s a gateway. Built upon occult ley-energies, its strange angles and non-Euclidean geometries were designed with a singular foul purpose in mind: to open doorways into a terrible and fascinating dimension called The Wyrd.
Roguelike Action Brawler
Go toe-to-toe (or hoof-to-hoof) with a menagerie of nightmarish creatures and homunculi as you explore the realms within the Wyrd. Combat has been engineered to create challenging encounters that encourage you to learn patterns, dodge, parry, and – of course – punch your enemies into oblivion.
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Source: MajorNelson Xbox News