What Would A Thirteenth Hour Game Look Like?

All the reminiscing about past video game making (mis)adventures recently in the podcast with my brother and the accompanying post got me thinking – would it be possible to actually make a game to accompany The Thirteenth Hour?  Given that I originally thought of parts of the book more as moving pictures sequences rather than text suggests there are some parts that could translate well into a game, but I think it might be overly ambitious to try to create the side-scrolling Final Fantasy style RPG I originally envisioned.  It’s no wonder I couldn’t finish that thing.  I can’t even finish a Final Fantasy game someone else has made! 🙂

But since I already have a 2D sprite of Logan flying on his hoverboard, Lightning, it might be possible to create a little one-level game where he’s flying through a 3d landscape, like in the trailer I made:

The Thirteenth Hour Trailer.gif

The player would control him in an over-the-shoulder view, trying to fly above or below obstacles, like sea serpents jumping out of the water or rock formations jutting out of the rocky coast:

There would also need to be a sort of artificial “ceiling,” to keep the player from just flying over everything.  Flying too low would result in a fiery crash (if over the beach) or a watery crash (if over water).  Sea serpents popping up randomly would also preclude simply skimming over the water.  There could even be an evasive maneuver, like a barrel roll, to fit though tight places or avoid the sea serpents.

In order for there to some sense of urgency, each run could be timed.  Logan’s first experience with flying on Lightning in the book occurs when he sets off to find Aurora, so the driving force of the game could be that Logan needs to get to Aurora as quickly as possible, which would be consistent with the actual story.  So a quicker time would be yield a better score.

Other ways to keep gameplay interesting: trying to snag powerups (infinity signs!) that would give Lightning some special ability.  Lightning doesn’t really have equipped weapons in the book, but maybe the powerups could cut seconds off your time or render you invincible to obstacles for a period of time.  Or, they could help you regenerate health, which would be depleted if you bump into something.

I guess, in many ways, this sounds like those endless runner style-games that are so popular for mobile phones.  However, I think the ability to fly keeps it from being entirely rail-driven … at least, the player would hopefully perceive more freedom because of flight (that’s my theory, anyway).  The one thing about those games is that the environments are often randomly generated, giving you limitless replayability.  Programs like Unity give you the ability to make apps for phones, and getting an app on the Google Play store is not very expensive.  It might be a fun little promo item that’s good for quick play on the go.  Plus, since I already have music written for the book, I could just use the soundtrack I have already created.

However, the big obstacle I can see so far is that even if I retaught myself how to use programs like Multimedia Fusion, I don’t think they can do 3d landscapes easily.  I’m sure there might be a way to jury-rig something to create the semblance of 3d, kind of like how we had to jury rig Klik ‘N Play to make side scrolling levels, but I’d need to do more research into it, and I doubt an environment could be randomly generated.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean this is all for naught.  Just another idea on the backburner until technology catches up to the power of imagination 🙂

If you’re reading this and thinking, “I could do that,” check out the games idea page – feel free to leave suggestions or ideas there as well!




Videos are Now Also on Vimeo

Vimeo, a video sharing site like youtube, tudou, and facebook, to name a few, has a quite a few independent films in its catalog.  So I thought it might be a nice place to add content created for The Thirteenth Hour.  So far, I’ve uploaded the book’s trailer, the music video, and the bow creation video.  They’re already on youtube, but the more the merrier.

They’re available here: https://vimeo.com/13thhr

I have some ideas for a promo of A Shadow in the Moonlight which ties in a bow I recently made (the hunter’s bow from the story) – some shots of a hunter cloaked in black aiming his bow at an ethereal deer in a forested background. I don’t have any actors to use, so I may just end up using myself in a homemade costume, but there is magic in Adobe Premiere, me thinks, that may give even potential poo a glimmer of gold.  And I think a little movie (well, more like a 30 second commercial) might be fun to make.  So, when that’s done, I’ll upload it to vimeo as well.  As always, thanks for watching.


The Thirteenth Hour Theme done!

I was finally able to record the theme to The Thirteenth Hour after first starting to compose it while creating the book trailer.  It took me awhile to be able to play it through without making mistakes, and even so, it took many takes to get it to an acceptable point.  I wanted to make it a bit longer and add an electric guitar part but have stuck to just a synthesizer track for now.  As I mentioned in this post on film influences, there were a lot of 1980s sci-fi/fantasy films brewing in the pot of inspiration that created the book, and the synth soundtrack is my homage to the music of these films.

Nothing too fancy in terms of recording – just the voice recorder on a phone and a old Radio Shack keyboard I had from a number of years ago.

Here’s the stand-alone link again if you want to download it (in .mp3 format):


Stay tuned for the next project – venturing in to music video territory with one of the poems from the book!