Game for LIT 230's Final Project at Clarkson University 2018 (Spring Semester)
Created by: Michael Farden, Robin Kuhns, Courtney Maki, and Matthew Strenk
The game is based on the real events that took place in Dyatlov pass and then modified through the artistic lense of a Monster Literature class. A group of ten skiers went on an expedition into the mountains of North Eastern Russia, and nine of them died under mysterious circumstances. The one person who survived left the group before the group began hiking the mountain, due to knee injuries that would have caused complications later on. The nine members who died all left their tents, in the middle of the night, not dressed for the weather, and suffered a number of bizarre injuries before dying from hypothermia. Using these events as a basis for our game, we developed a storyline to posit a possible reasoning for their deaths.
The game starts in the town of Kholat, Northern Russia in 1959. You walk around and notice a bulletin board with a paper on it asking for members to join a search party to find missing hikers. You make your way up the mountain and find an abandoned camp, looking through the sprawled belonging on the ground you find a loose paper torn from one of the hiker’s journals. It tells of voices in the wind that clearly only one of the hikers is hearing. This plot element was influenced by Robin’s personal experience on top of East Mountain in Vermont. While on a dangerous winter camping expedition he heard shrieking in the winds blowing through the abandoned radar towers around midnight, being woken up by the loud racket was terrifying and it reminded him of the game. You follow bloody footprints to the next screen where you are greeted by three corpses underneath a large cedar tree. Finding another note, you are lead by more bloody footprints to a ravine; a cave is said to be located at the back. You find another ominous note, and walk towards the ravine. A bloody snowman screams at you and the game is finished. The ending of the game is kept purposely ambiguous. It is unclear if you become the bloody snowman’s next victim or if you survive. This is reflective of the events the game is based off of and the ambiguity of the circumstances leading to the hikers’ deaths. It also leaves open to interpretation whether the monster, bloody snowman, is real or if your character is doing their best to explain what has happened and has lost their mind in the process. As we have learned thought this course, society often creates monsters in order to view themselves as normal or to explain away undesired events.
The game art was influenced by programmatic limitations as well as software availability. Due to our game engine choice, GameMaker Studio 1.4, the recommended drawing program was Inkscape, a vector image drawing program. Originally we were going to do a pixel art game, but that proved to be too challenging for the timeline we were given. We created all of the images and sprites used in the game either from scratch or using free game assets found online. This involved creating all of the scenery, backdrops, items, and sprites that are scene throughout the game. The sprite animation is comprised of 10 separate frames that, when stitched together, create a walk cycle. The cycle is then inverted to created the cycle in the opposite direction. The character art was influenced by the art seen in Nitrome’s game, Frostbite, where you play as a mountaineer trying to summit mountains while killing yetis.
Our group is composed of four members, each one working to develop different parts of the game. Matthew is the game’s technical developer. He designed the game mechanics, animations, and handled all of the respective coding. He also created backgrounds and items used throughout the game. Michael created backgrounds, items, and the snowman monster sprite. He also helped Matthew with the game design mechanics and significant plot development. Courtney was instrumental in creating plot elements as well as item art in the game, even through tough personal circumstances she was very communicative and helpful for bouncing ideas off of. Robin designed the main character and tied up the end of the plot where we were struggling to come up with a good way to end the game. Together the team was able to finish the project on time and produce a product available to the entire world.
Contains all of the images and sounds that were used for objects, characters, and backgrounds. Some of the images were found on the free game asset website: GameArt2D.
Contains the GameMaker Studio 1.4 files for the game.
Contains the files for hosting the game on the project page found here.
The favicon image for the webpage hosting of the game.
A text file containing the html code that is added to the index.html file of the game to add the creator's names and the GitHub link.
The html file for the webpage hosting of the game