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The Shore

Video game based on Lovecraftian mythos

About the project

Experience combat, puzzle-solving, and exploration in an immersive, realistic environment.

“Something was creeping and creeping and waiting to be seen and felt and heard.” These words from the writer H.P. Lovecraft describe the state of "The Shore", an indie 3D survival horror video game in development. It is one of the rare video games based on Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, and with your help, it can become the most authentic one. The story follows a fisherman who lost his daughter in a shipwreck. He encounters all sorts of mind-bending creatures while following her trails on an uncharted island. The key things that "The Shore" brings to a player are:

  • a realistic 3D environment
  • a mysterious and eerie atmosphere
  • meticulously crafted creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos

My name is Aris Dragonis and I am the author of "The Shore". The programmer Adonis Brosteanu and I made all aspects of the demo, but we need a team of professionals to execute the final product. With this crowdfunding campaign, you have an opportunity to help us push this game to be seen, felt, and heard.

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ON AN ISOLATED ISLAND SURROUNDED BY MONSTERS AND BEINGS FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION?

Find out by playing our game.

 

 

The two main locations in the game are:

  1. The island - an isolated and unmapped island full of shipwreck, skeletons, and terrifying creatures preying on the new castaways. However, its abandoned lighthouse and deserted campsites indicate a hidden history that can be uncovered through exploration, reading old notes, and scavenging for artifacts.
  2. The Void - a dark and entropic realm inhabited by mysterious deities and ruled by powerful forces. Humans are unwelcomed in this cosmic dimension, and once they're in they cannot escape without having their sanity tainted. In this level, the terror increases, and numerous creatures important to the story are encountered. 

 

 

 

For this game, I wrote an original story inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Its main themes are:

  • facing the powerful deities
  • sacrificing that what you love
  • exploring the limits of human sanity.

In this world, a man is merely a pawn, a small marginal entity caught up in the mysteries of the universe and life. Through the eyes of the main protagonist Andrew, players will experience what it means to be immersed in a cosmic horror of the unknown.

The story begins in the early 1900s. A 55-year-old fisherman named Andrew was taking care of his young daughter Ellie while coping with the recent death of his wife. When the fishing season came, he had no one with whom to leave his daughter, so he took her with him despite the others telling him that it's an omen of bad luck. One quiet day during their travels a great storm arose. It whirled up the sea and began to topple their ship. Something big seemed to be moving in the water. As the fishermen leaned over the side to see what it was, a huge dark figure hit their boat underneath and flung it into the air. Andrew was hit hard in the head and in the last moments of consciousness, he saw dark humanoid fish-like creatures taking his daughter. He woke up on an unknown island, surrounded by numerous stranded ships. Frantically he looked around for his daughter but she was nowhere in sight. Terrifying creatures were crawling around and it all felt like a dream. After some wandering along the shore he found his daughter's necklace. Searching further, Andrew was approached by a creepy man saying he can help Andrew get his daughter back. The man proposed a strange deal, and Andrew accepted it, unaware of the horrors that awaited him...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is merely the beginning of Andrew's story. His encounters with the various Lovecraftian entities will take him across different dimensions, where he will confront many terrifying creatures while trying to save his daughter. With your help, we can expand Andrew's story, making his journey longer and with more challenges, which would in turn make the experience even more epic.

 

The Shore is a mystery horror narrative-based adventure. It is presented in a first-person perspective and filled with combat and puzzle sequences. A player takes control of the main protagonist Andrew and follows the main story of the game in a semi-open world. With the level design, we tried to construct a disorienting environment of alternating narrow, claustrophobic corridors and vast, agoraphobic spaces. The player can traverse the game area by walking, running or diving underwater. The monsters in the game can be fought with discovered weapons or buildings-induced lasers. By finding artifacts scattered over the world and using them correctly, the hidden knowledge of unknown dimensions will be gradually revealed.


We plan to enrich and improve current gameplay with new mechanics. For example, we want to add various new weapons and expand the underwater level. More about this in the Stretch Goals section!

 

 

We aimed to stay as true as possible to the authentic Lovecraftian ambience by making the environment vibrating with a cosmic horror of the unknown. We wanted the player to stand in awe before glimpses of different realities unraveling under the veil of normalcy. As the reality is so distant to the human understanding, we tried to produce the analogous feeling in the player by putting his player character on an isolated island with no possibility of communicating with the outer world. The atmosphere of this world is consistently cold and unforgiving, so to capture that feeling we made the visuals predominantly in saturated blacks and blues. In the latter part of the game, the character will travel through a dimension much dimmer and darker than the open spaces of the island he was stranded on.

The background music also complements these tones with its stretched sounds of orchestra and choir, and the playful keyboards carried not by the rhythm of a clock, but by that of subjective, contemplative emotions. Everything in The Shore will envelop you in a mystery...

 

 

 

 

We believe that strange creatures are at the core of true horror, let alone a Lovecraftian experience. I sculpted and animated all of the present creatures, and I plan to make more of them. Below you can see the list of creatures made so far; this list will be updated throughout the campaign.

 

 

Deep Ones are intelligent ocean-dwelling creatures. They have both humanoid and fish-like traits – green-grey slippery skin, rigged backs, and gilled necks. They are highly aggressive and players can find them along the shore.

Shoggoths are massive amoeba-like beings. They are usually covered with multiple mouths and eyes and are surrounded by temporary arm-like protrusions. Surviving in the harshest environments has made them hostile and they will attack on sight if you are not a Deep One.

Dark Young Ones are horrifying monstrosities that smell like an open grave. They have short legs and branching bodies made out of tentacles, causing their silhouettes to resemble trees. As offsprings of the female deity Shub-Niggurath, they are aggressive to non-worshipers.

There are various types of Dark Young Ones. The one on the picture is distinguished by its reddish color and spidery legs. Although it may not seem so, they are extremely smart and have the power to influence your thoughts.

Star Spawns of Cthulhu are terrestrial beings physically similar to Cthulhu but much smaller. They came with him to Earth and remained as his underlings. The matter from which they are composed is entirely different from the matter native to our universe. They have fought wars for Cthulhu and are still standing in the way of his enemies.

Void Souls are human souls that got trapped in and consumed by The Void and now they traverse it mindlessly. They are in constant agony, their thoughts and memories obsessively revolving around the desire to become human again.

Shagtanagothas are original creations, our contributions toward expanding the Cthulhu mythos. Their backstory and the function within the Cthulhu universe will be slowly revealed in the game. For now, all we can say is that they are manifestations of Cthulhu's subconscious mind.

Cthulhu is one of the Great Old Ones – a group of powerful malevolent beings who were once rulers of the planet. He looks like a hybrid of a human, an octopus, and a dragon. He communicated with the first humans by shaping their dreams, thus establishing the Cthulhu Cult. Now, he is in a deep sleep, waiting for someone to wake him up.

The mysterious dark figure whose big role in our story will for now stay hidden.

Shub-Niggurath is an Outer Goddess in the Lovecraft's pantheon, sometimes called The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young. As the deity of fertility, she is continually giving birth. After birth, her children are either consumed by the miasmatic form of their mother or strayed away.

 

What are the funds for?

 

Currently, the game is made by myself and the programer Adonis Brostenau as a side, passion project, but it has the possibility to become the full-time occupation of both ourselves and the new staff. With these funds, we will be able to hire professionals like animators and programmers who would make this project bigger and better. This will ensure players a profound Lovecraftian experience.

 

 

Story Mode [$4,000] - Most of the money will go toward salaries for the programmer, voice actor, and composer, including compensation for the work they have already contributed to the project so far. It would also go toward the assets and programs needed to continue the development.

Underwater [$6,000] - We will add multiple underwater levels where you will face The Deep Ones and come across various environmental puzzles. We would also pay a soundtrack artist for their soundtracks.

Extra story [$8,000] - We will expand the game with the area of underwater ruins of Dagon. It would contain new models for the environment and highly detailed ones of Dagon and his minions. This would require the work of additional programmers, animators, and 3D environment artists.

Dagon [$10,000] - This goal will enable a new storyline of Dagon - a massive specimen of the Deep Ones. At this level, we will employ new scriptwriters and voice actors.

Extra story [$15,000] - We will build a Greek city, Andrew's birthplace, for which entirely new sceneries and gameplay would be developed. We would dive deep into Andrew's story and his entanglement with the ancient cosmic deities.

Shub-Niggurath [$18,000] - We will an area with new deities and creatures, Shub Niggurath being the supreme one. At this stage, we would also need these extra funds to prolong everybody's employment.

Gameplay as Cthulhu [$20,000] - A player will take the form of Cthulhu. For this purpose, the existent Cthulhu will be remodeled with much more detail and brought to life with an expert animator.

 

About the project owner

Aris Dragonis - Creative director, Writer, Level designer, 3D artist

https://www.artstation.com/eleszar1

Adonis Brostenau - Programmer .....................................

 

Thanos Zampoukas - Soundtrack composer .....................................

https://soundcloud.com/thanoszampoukas

Brandon Fague - Voice of the protagonist, Andrew

https://soundcloud.com/brandon-fague

 

I am Aris Dragonis and I would like to thank Adonis, Thanos, and Brandon, who all got involved in this project with all their hearts and helped me raise it to another level. Although I have worked on this game for a year and a half now, and my colleagues started helping me around six months ago, the story of the creation of this game goes far back in time.

It all started when I was a little kid, having a really big appreciation for video games. I think it's in my blood because my father used to work with arcade machines in his younger days and he brought the first ones to Greece and to my hometown. After arcades, I played a lot of PlayStation 1 games, after that PC games, and with every game, my dream of making my own was increasing.

At the age of 15, I started following game development tutorials on YouTube and was drawn by 3D character sculpting. Because I previously trained classical drawings, I saw it as painting in three dimensions. When I was 18, I enrolled in a 3D animation program and soon started accepting freelance jobs. One of the first games I worked on was the Lovecraftian game Arms of Redemption. I was left speechless and immediately fell in love with Lovecraft's world. I started researching it extensively, particularly on adaptations of Lovecraft's works.

A year and a half ago I decided to start working on my own game. I worked solo for eleven months and then hired a programmer. It started as a fun side project to test my skills but because of the immensely positive feedback of my family, friends, and the community which started to build around it, I decided to dedicate myself to it completely. Now, I'm doing everything in my power to make this project succeed.

 

 

This campaign was made and supported by Game Development students from Algebra University College in Zagreb, Croatia. We chose to work on The Shore among many other video games because we were stunned by its visuals, and later on by the amount of effort its creator Aris is investing in it. Nikola Gusić, Nirupam Kumar Mundra, Diego Tomljanović, and Matija Vigato are on this project since November 2019.

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