Introducing Dark Tides!

Hi! Thanks for checking out the Dark Tides dev log. In this, the very first post, I wanted to share a little about our crazy game journey so far.

About four months ago, Tom and I were just hanging out when I started imagining a dark, narrow hallway with peeling red wallpaper. A girl was tip toeing down the hall. Each step creaked and outside you could hear seagulls calling and the bustle of a tourist town. Without giving too much away, I started imagining a world influenced by unknown forces and dreaming of an underdog character who would crack the mystery and save the town. I pictured a girl called Theodora who has thoroughly discredited herself through her work as a phony boardwalk psychic. What if Theo suddenly gained the ability to actually read minds and this person, who no one trusted, became the unlikely heroine?

The hallway that started it all…

For weeks, Dark Tides and Theo were all I could think about (I imagine that anyone who’s made a narrative-driven game or really any immersive creative project knows this feeling), and the plot continued to develop with lots of influences drawn from some of my favorite books, including Senlin Ascends, Gideon the Ninth, David Copperfield and The Luminaries.

Tom and I have played point-and-clicks together for years, and, in fact, the name Hammered Crow Games comes from The Last Door, the game I was playing when Tom and I met. Tom is a developer and had always maintained that together we could make an awesome adventure game. But I always felt like what could I, a journalist and photographer, contribute to an indie game? Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about Theodora and the town of Cape Fortune and telling the Dark Tides story. So, Tom and I decided to give it a shot.

Tom taught me Blender, and we fell down a rabbit hole of researching Victorian mysticism, tarot, séances, 1880s architecture and fashion, the histories of Brighton, Blackpool and Coney Island, and, weirdly, taxidermy.

We use lots of historical reference art and try to stay as authentic as possible.

Now, four months later, we’re about to debut a mini trailer and get our Steam page up and running. It’s overwhelming to think about how much work is ahead of us, but we’re so excited to see where this journey takes us and to share our progress with you. We’ll be posting every Thursday (next up: Tom on creating a crystal ball shader).

– Lisa

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