We are trying a new format – developer diaries. As part of it, the ComonGames team will make its debut with a series of stories about the development of The Unknown quest, which, by the way, at White Nights St.Petersburg 2016 received the Grand Prix as the best project of the Indie Game Cup competition.

Дневники разработчиков - The Uncertain

My name is Artem Netyagin, I am the manager of The Uncertain project, I work in the ComonGames team. In the first essay, I will tell you how the development of the game began, the release of which will take place very soon – on August 11.

Two years ago, I was developing in the Unity 4 package. I often created various projects solely out of curiosity. Many of them interested me no longer than a day, but all of them still occupy my computer’s hard drive. These are shooters, strategies, car simulators, and much, much more. I’m sure some of you are having similar experiences.

Working on one-day projects, experimenting with genres, I improved my skills, constantly learned something new. Projects also grew with me. Every next one became more serious. The last of them – in the quest genre – fascinated me more than all the others.


The choice of genre is not accidental.

Firstly, I grew up playing Sierra and Lucas Arts: Space Quest 5, Day of the Tentacle, The Dig.

Secondly, at that time I was very inspired by Telltale Games – The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us. I wanted to do something like that. And I downloaded a free Unity project from the Asset Store – Mecanim Example Scenes. It had a platform with containers and a funny character. That was a good place to start.

I’m not a programmer, my main activity is creating models and visualization, but I can also create something in JS. A few hours of hard coding, reading references – and I taught the character to bypass obstacles, move through the level to the point I specified by clicking, using Raycast and Navmesh.

I liked the result so much that I decided to create my own stage – so there was a house of several rooms with basic furniture. The character was the Kyle robot – another free Unity asset.

I understood that I would not be able to write a full-fledged code for the game, so I began to look for a suitable paid asset. That’s how I got to Adventure Creator, a wonderful tool for any indie developer (although we later abandoned it, but I’ll tell you about it separately).

I was completely satisfied with the asset at that time: I taught my robot to walk, talk, interact with objects, and the picture became cinematic. My project started to look like a real game. But there was still no idea, no plot, so I just tested and adjusted the game mechanics. I was aimed primarily at Android.

At that time, the project looked like this:


The better I got at the game, the more enthusiastic I felt.

Gradually, I began to focus on what I love most – creating a nice picture.

I replaced some models, textured the room and seriously worked with light and effects. Since almost no Unity post-effect can be used on mobile platforms, I switched to PC development. At the same time, I turned on realtime shadows for all light sources. The game shone with colors:

Then I began to demonstrate the project. Friends first. Then to my colleagues (in particular, I showed them at DevGAMM Minsk 2014). I liked the game. People were really interested in what kind of robot it was and how it ended up in this house.

I realized that I needed to develop the topic. As a background, I took everyone’s favorite post-apocalypse: there are no people left on Earth, the planet was populated by robots. One of them is the main character. He settles in an abandoned house, where he invents devices, gets acquainted with the literature and culture of people, studies objects left by man.

By that time, I had connected a couple of friends to the project, the first art appeared, and most importantly, a new model of the main character (although later it had to be replaced).


Then I met Alexey Surkov, our current producer. This moment in development was a turning point for us. He offered to evaluate the interest in our project with the help of Steam concepts. We created a page and faced a staggering percentage of positive ratings – 99% of the audience said “Yes” to the project.


Having received such a response, Alexey offered help in finding investments. And together with him we went to the Winter Nights game developers conference in St. Petersburg to demonstrate our game to everyone.

Just in case, we made two builds at once – for PC and Android – to show potential investors: we are ready to make a game for any platform. At the same time, I asked our artist to draw beautiful art, which we printed on a small poster.


And in the new demo, it was already possible to play a full-fledged character, now created by us:

At the conference, the guys from ComonGames studio showed a very keen interest in the project. After the event, we discussed the game in detail with them and realized that we wanted to work together on its creation.

On April 1, 2015, we officially joined the ComonGames team. The main goal for us was to access the PC on Steam, and then on mobile platforms. We started hard work on the script, and at the same time began to transfer the game to Unity 5. It had just come out of beta and was still raw, but it opened up huge prospects in working with light, shaders and many others. I will talk about this stage of development in the next essay.

Web: http://theuncertaingame.com
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/406970
NVIDIA SHIELD: https://shield.nvidia.com/games/android/the-uncertain

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If you have a desire to participate yourself – write to press@app2top.ru . We will consider applications, if they are interested, we will definitely respond.