With ‘The Terrible Old Man’ being such a short game I wanted it to have a high impact ending. Other than Lovecraft’s description of yellow eyes and white beard I felt the character was pretty much open to interpretation. To me it seemed that he still held some small connection to the community - we are informed that he scolds the boy who threw stones at his window but no harm comes to him. I therefore felt that the old man should not be overtly portrayed as a monster all the time and instead had the ability to transform to some degree when roused or under threat. I felt this worked quite well in the end and made his appearance all the more unsettling. He almost looks like he could be friendly but something isn’t quite right. There’s a deperate madness there - something tormenting has a grip over him and years of sea voyages have eaten away at his soul. I quickly roughed up a couple of designs but felt that only one conveyed that haunting vacant look that I was seeking. It’s always enjoyable seeing and hearing the reactions of people to the old man’s sudden close up in the game. With more time, I’d have probably done more with the hair but I’m happy with the result.
There were two features I wanted to explore with this project to try and enhance the atmosphere. The first was the use of video files to convey the more dramatic moments and the other feature that I wanted to trial was the use of subtle moving portraits for when characters spoke - it’s a gripe I have with many click and points, images that don’t move seem a bit lifeless to me. This portrait use I think adds to the mood of the game and makes the whole experience a bit more unsettling. It’s a feature I’d like to use again and build on.
Most challenging for me were the backdrops. I seemed to spend ages trying to get these to look decent. The perspective is a bit off but I felt it helped with the claustrophobic feel that we wanted and so just went with it. Backgrounds are something I’ll need to work on getting better at!