Meet The Team – Patryk Polewiak

Meet The Team – Patryk Polewiak

Say hello to Patrick, the co-founder of Polyslash! He loves potent gameplay in video games and grim stories in any form. He has always wanted to create games. Almost as much as he has always wanted a real polar bear! The bear is still out of reach but he’s making games, how cool is that? Patrick masters the virtual worlds and wants to trigger powerful emotions in all of us.

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He wakes up every morning to create horrors, theoretically and practically speaking – not only by inducing terror among his fellow co-workers when he pretends to ride imaginary polar bear at the office, but also by creating horror experiences for players. Before Phantaruk he worked on Scopophobia and Haunted: Memories. Patrick collaborated with Nicolas Games, One More Level and Madman Theory Games. He also led a team of people while working as a lead designer at Bloober Team.

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Polar Bears are awesome!

Here at Polyslash, together with his associate, Patrick is responsible for production and game design. And he does it well. You will soon learn that when Phantaruk comes out! So you better play it or Patrick will unleash practical horror on you…

No just kidding.

Or not. Who knows.

Phantaruk comes out from the shadows

Phantaruk comes out from the shadows

It’s been quite a while since last information about the game Phantaruk which is right now being developed by Cracow Polyslash studio. Time to reveal next secrets related to this project.

„We’ve been working on ‘Phantaruk’ for more than 2 years now. A lot has changed since, we started with the Unreal engine, now we’re on Unity” – said Patryk Polewiak, Polyslash Lead Designer. „Our goal is to create a complete adventure, which will be remembered by the players as mysterious and dark exploration of an abandoned spaceship . The aura of fear and anxiety is what’s the main advantage of Phantaruk.

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The closed beta-tests conducted by Polyslash revealed that the team had managed to achieve set objectives. Game was sent to a group of selected players, and the project met with general praise especially for the well-created atmosphere of horror and great audio track, perfectly suited to the horror climate. Notes given also turned out quite high – the average for quality reached 7/10, for audio – 8/10 and the fear index has been evaluated by the testers for 8/10. The players complained however about poor optimization and certain technical issues.

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„We’re only just beginning our work on Phantaruk’s optimization. It’s just a last step before release.”– said Dawid Cislak, Producer. – „Our beta is just a small piece of the whole game, so we are quite optimistic about the current condition of our project. There’s still a lot of work to do to bring Phantaruk to the point of release, but we can clearly see that the players like the idea and that we’re moving in the right direction.”

Concurrently let us announce that the first public presentation of Phantaruk is coming. You will see the game on our stand during the Digital Dragons in Cracow (May 16-17th, 2016). It will be possible to meet its creators live and exchange opinions. You may also expect some other surprises! We’re waiting for you!

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Phantaruk is an FPP horror game. Action  of  the  game  takes  place  in  the  distant  future.  Humanity  effectively  introduces  the achievements  of  the  idea  of  transhumanism,  a  thought  that  aims  to  create  a  post­human,  a being devoid of our biological weaknesses. Technology and homo sapiens become co­existing terms in one organism. The player lands on board the spaceship Purity­02, which is the cradle of research carried out in this field by H+ Corporation.  The idyll ends when we realize that Purity­02 is an almost completely deserted, deadly trap. A mythical  beast  of  the  mysterious  name Phantaruk roams  the  ship’s  corridor. The  monster  has only one purpose – to kill everything in sight. Every wrong move may end in our death and we never  know  whether  the  mythical  evil  is  lurking  just  around  the  corner.  The  situation  is  not helped by the fact that our hero is infected with a parasite, which causes increasing havoc in our body with every minute. Getting to know the mysteries of Purity­02 will allow the player to carry out his two primary tasks – to survive and escape from the ship.

[PL] Szukamy zespołów!

[PL] Szukamy zespołów!

Polyslash Sp. z o.o. szuka zespołów oraz twórców gier wideo, potrzebujących wsparcia finansowego dla swojej produkcji. Chętnie zainwestujemy w ciekawy i nietuzinkowy projekt z intrygującym pomysłem na gameplay.

#Szukamy zgranych zespołów:
– z własnym projektem na różnym etapie rozwoju,
– bez własnego projektu, które chciałyby podjąć się wykonania zleconej produkcji.

#Otrzymasz:
– inwestycję środków w Twój projekt,
– wsparcie merytoryczne (design i produkcja).
– wydanie gry na różnych platformach.

#Projekty, które nas interesują:
– mają wyróżniające je na rynku elementy,
– skupiają się wokół ciekawego pomysłu i/lub mechaniki,
– są realne do skończenia.

Podsumowując: góra złotych monet dla tych, którzy zachwycą nas unikalnością swojej koncepcji – sfinansujemy ją, pomożemy w produkcji, wydamy!

Zainteresowanych prosimy o kontakt poprzez adres e-mail: Contact@Polyslash.com

#KrakJam without sleep

#KrakJam without sleep

We’ve made it! After 48 hours (almost) without sleep we’ve finished our game for #krakjam, which was a part of #GlobalGameJam 2016. The theme this year was “Ritual”, which gave us some very cool thoughts to work on.

We started a planning around 17:30 P.M. and for next two hours we were thinking about what to do. Suddenly we’ve come up with a vague idea – “Player can posses any item in the house”. And yeah, that was that. But wait! I don’t want to talk about the game in this post, there will be a moment for that. Now I want to describe what was great and where we failed.

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### THINGS THAT WERE GREAT ###

  1. Finished almost everything

We have done almost everything we’ve planned to do. It’s really awesome because normally things go very bad (in most of the projects) in this. We modeled and set up a whole nine room house, complete with environment; scripted a small quest line and most of game mechanics. Also one of us did the voice-overs.
It’s surprising how much we managed to accomplish. I personally think that we’ve made it because we were not wasting time. We’ve swiftly developed the unclear idea for the game into a design we could work on. Of course there were some technical shortcuts we’ve used. For example, our models did not have textures – only baked shadows and ambient occlusion. This also gave us a distinct, simplistic yet pleasing look.

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  1. Communcation and task management

Our speed of work was incredible because of good communcation within the team. Everyone knowed what to do and which task was most important at the time. That was essential for the project.
Of course we didn’t use any special software to manage the team: simply discussing ideas and exchanging notes was enough.

  1. Atmosphere

Despite our depleting energy we tried to stay calm and funny. Of course we had some arguments (especially before making the final build…) but after all we had fun. I think it was related to good communication within the team, because we understood each other. Anyway… if your team is lazy and/or on a verge of breaking, just youtube a silly song 😛

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### BAD STUFF ###

  1. All beer has gone :(

That’s all, guys. Next time I will tell you something about the game itself.

See ya,
Patrick.

 

Day 1: The New Beginning

Day 1: The New Beginning

It happened!

Polyslash is officially starting in the new office in “Małopolski Park Technologii Informacyjnej”, or shortly: MPTI. Although we moved in a few days ago, the whole crew met for the first time just today. Anyway, this is the end of teleworking and working after hours. Everything is in one place. Now we are on our own and we are making our own project full time. Polyslash is growing stronger so we consider this day as Day 1: the beginning of big changes and better standards.

The office is a bit small (23^m) and has 5-6 workplaces: big, comfortable desks connected to each other and awesome, very comfy chairs. And the view? The view is amazing – large meadows and forests with hills in the distance. Admiring the nature is easier thanks to large windows. It’s really inspiring and relaxing when, after work, you can turn your head and watch the horizon through the wall of glass. Here are some photos so you don’t have to read to long descriptions (who would ever want to read it?)

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As you can see, the office is modern and pretty cosy. What’s more, we are slowly giving it a gamedev look with posters, figurines and some random gadgets. After all, we are going to sit there for some time. How much time? I can’t say yet, because I might say too much (and you would have to die) but, I promise, I will on some day in the future.

It’s the time to speak about what we are doing here. Basically, we are making a survival horror game: ‘Phantaruk’ which was being created before as a small, indie project after hours by a few people. The situation now is different: the concept of the game won’t change but we want to upgrade ‘Phantaruk’ to create a horrifying experience for everyone.

There are going to be about 9 persons working on the project but it will be covered in the next entry. For now I’ll write that we gathered a really positive crew with great skills. We are motivated, ready for hard work and we will do everything to make ‘Phantaruk’ a great, scary game.

Cheers,
Patrick Polewiak.

Phantaruk is Greenlit!

Phantaruk is Greenlit!

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We are happy to announce that ‘Phantaruk’ made it to Steam via Greenlight. In other words – we got Valve’s attention and Gabe’s employees opened the door to release our horror game in their store.

I’ll admit – it wasn’t easy. First days gave us a kick which had to be (and was, in the end) enough to the end of the campaign. However, it turned out that after a momentary boost, which had resulted in 40% of required votes without any advertising, there was a stagnation. In the next 30 days we had to fight for each, single vote. The problem was not that the game wasn’t appreciated enough – almost 60% of people upvoted our project on Greenlight. The truth was simple – people didn’t know about us. ‘Phantaruk’ doesn’t have any catch-phrases or catch-images, the mechanics, which is not very original, won’t appeal to the masses. The basic issue was then the game design which from the beginning hadn’t been set up to sell the product. Luckily, there were (many!) people who liked the atmosphere and the way of building tension in the game (that was its main element).

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What’s more, game media wrote about ‘Phantaruk’, what brought us ca. 10 percentage points more on Greenlight. Each appearance on couple of game websites gave a good result (we recieved great feedback and positive reviews, one below) but also a small disappointment – only 200 votes?

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I don’t want it to look like a “post mortem” text so I’ll just summarize it with some final statistics: we had over 1000 votes, what was 57% needed to get to Top 100. It seems Valve doesn’t always pick games from Top 100 but also doesn’t forget about the rest.

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We hope we’ll deliver you a nice game which will scare you more than once. That’s why I’d like to thank all of you who believed in us and upvoted and therefore helped ‘Phantaruk’ get on Steam.

Thanks from Polyslash team! :)

HUD-making autopsy and tips

HUD-making autopsy and tips

Today I’d like to tell you something about designing HUD for ‘Phantaruk’. Creating a working, immersive system is not an easy task, that’s why I hope our experience will help others to avoid unnecessary problems. “To learn from the mistakes of others”, as it is said.

Our first approach to HUD mechanics was very simple – it had to be as much useful system as it can be, showing all available information so the player wouldn’t forget what is what. It soon turned out it didn’t worked exactly as we planned. On one hand, there was too much on the screen – icons covered much space and sometimes hid elements of levels. On the other, player’s couldn’t remember what the icons mean – even bringing an introduction screen with instruction didn’t work out because players just didn’t read it.

This whole situation made us realize how important element GUD is. Up to that point we had treated it negligibly, almost ignoring it and player’s feedback changed our view of good game interface and its significance. In the end, it is something the player has contact with through the entire game.

Second approach wasn’t fruitful, either. To be honest, we just focused on the look, not usability, and changed the layout. Of course, it improved readability (“Rem” was changed by an infection bar and “Heartbeat” – by an animated image) but still it covered too much screen and still didn’t show all necessary information. What’s more, there was much more focus on the HUD due to the animated elements.

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Therefore, we decided to change the approach and try making something more compact, somehow similar to what can be seen in ‘Dead Space’ and ‘Amnesia’ series. Having these ideas in mind, we implemented a medpad – a small computer on main character’s hand. It works in two modes: quick-view and inventory. The first one allows to check the heartbeat and intoxication; when right mouse button is pressed, main character raises his hand to show the display with the pulse and the infection level. Second mode is switched by using Tab/I key and turns a hologram on. There, the player has access to items, logs and list of objectives.

At the moment, the medpad works great. Not only it merges brilliantly with the game but is also functional and useful. Although its screen is mocked up, it is not hard to understand how it works.

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Is there something left on the screen? Yes, there are two elements that can be seen in the game. The first one is stamina bar which appears when the player sprints (it disappears shortly after). The second is a crosshair – it changes if there is a possibility of interaction with an object (like pickupable object or usable mechanism).

So this is an evolution of our HUD. I hope this post helped some of you look on this subject from the other point of view. Have you ever had similar problems? What’s your opinion on GUI, especially in horror games?

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Phantaruk is on Greenlight!

It’s happening! ‘Phantaruk’, our small game made after hours landed on Steam Greenlight and is waiting for your help and “YES” votes.

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Let’s recall what ‘Phantaruk’ is:
It is a small horror game which action is located on an abandonded spaceship. Main goal of the player is to survive and escape from the vessel. By using available resources and sneaking, we solve puzzles and fight for every minute of our life.

At the moment, the game is in beta – every main systems like AI, inventory, items are implemented. Our task now is to create a top “layer” of this product, cleaning and debugging in the meantime. Only one “bigger” thing is left to do: advanced HUD. But we want to make it fast. Ah, I almost forgot: we want to include new type of enemy, too.

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Soon, in a few days we are going to publish beta demo version of the game which everyone will be able to download, play and judge ‘Phantaruk’ by themselves. If anyone wants to be updated, I recommend subscribing to our website.

So, wish us good luck and press “YES” if you liked it. Share it if you can, it will be very helpfull. :)

Link to Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=403584625

Sneak peek gameplay + Changelog

Hey guys!
We are excited to show you gameplay video of the Phantaruk for the first time! In the video you can see the first moments of the game (without cutscenes). We made it look like a speed-run but it will take you longer to finish the first objective. There are many things that we have to improve but we are slowly getting to the end of the development process.

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