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Thursday, May 30, 2013

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Abducted To Deliver Alien Horror This August
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Sunside has announced plans for an August release of episodic horror title, Abducted. Based on a concept originally unveiled by Contraband Entertainment over ten years ago, this all new game will feature new graphics and a redesigned modern engine. In the game players will take the role of a person abducted by aliens and taken thousands of light years from home.


Abducted is a game in which you play an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Abducted by aliens and taken thousands of light years from home, you have one ultimate goal: Escape. But you have so many unanswered questions… How did you get here? What is this place? Who took you and why?

Abducted is an action-adventure mystery horror game with a focus on a deep storyline, immersive gameplay as well as a mixture of classic adventure game and RPG-lite mechanics. While all these elements may seem familiar, they are combined with intense visceral combat, horrific death, and environmental puzzles, making Abducted a truly unique experience.

Gameplay & Mechanics Overview

  • The Arm
      One of the most interesting and mysterious things you will do is interact with an alien computer embedded in your arm, which we simply call “The Arm.” Why and how the computer got there is a critical element of the story.

      The Arm computer is your primary source of guidance and information. In truth, it’s your only friend and ally in an otherwise baffling and inhospitable world. You interact with your Arm computer by having conversations with it. We have developed a directed free-form conversation system that allows for near endless discussions. In Abducted the flow of conversation is player-driven and not predetermined. This is very different from games such as Mass Effect or Star Wars Knights Of the Old Republic where conversions are fixed in their structure.

      What does this mean for you as the player? It means that you can discover things through conversation in a very dynamic way. You may uncover information about your environment that gives you interesting backstory, unlocks a new ability or upgrade, or even saves your life. However, you are never forced to use The Arm. You can have deep hour long conversations with it or you can ignore it entirely.

  • Manipulate
      In Abducted the environment can be “manipulated” (moved) by the player. Manipulating objects is a mysterious power that The Arm gives to the player.
      Using your Manipulate ability to fling a hostile Tentacle

      Some objects in the environment are deadly unless they are bent or moved by the player to keep them at a safe distance or otherwise restrain them from moving. Others may not obey your commands permanently so you must be wary of objects that may snap back with deadly consequences.

      Manipulate is also upgradable, making it more powerful and affecting more objects or holding objects in place longer. If the player’s Manipulate skill is not high enough he/she may have to find other ways of solving a puzzle.

  • Shield
      Your only physical defense (and if used creatively, possibly even an “offense”) is the Shield, an electrically charged air-tight bubble that forms around your character that can protect against most physical threats.

      Unfortunately, your Shield is necessarily air-tight and will kill you if you leave it on for too long. Over time, you may find ways of upgrading your Shield, gaining the ability to overcharge it and possibly electrocuting enemies that get too close.

  • Pulse
      Your Arm can fire a bolt of energy that will obliterate anything in its path. It is a scary and often unwieldy weapon that if left charging too long has the potential to explode, killing you and anything unlucky enough to be in the vicinity.

      Upgrading your Pulse ability will let you use it more often and will unlock alternate modes of operation.

  • Exploration
      In Abducted exploration is a mechanic in and of itself. The player has to combine critical thinking and his/her other abilities to successfully explore and travel through the environment without being injured or killed in the process.

      Sometimes exploration and progression involves run-and-gun intense action where you must use your Shield and Pulse abilities to blast your way through flesh-eating bugs as big as your head. Death in Abducted doesn’t just happen from being eaten. It can also come from falling or being crushed or in other unforeseen ways.

Uncompromising Art

We may be indie, but we don’t intend on looking like it. Sunside uses advanced 3D techniques that are typically employed in modern AAA games, but we do this more rapidly and with lower cost than big studios. One example of this is the heroine Eve.

For this particular work we use the scanning services at SurfaceMimic. This helps us make characters and environments that are more detailed and realistic.

This is not industrial factory work. There is a lot of artistry that goes into scanning a real person and bringing them to life in a game. The actor provides a basis and professional artists take it to the next level.

True Cinematic Gameplay

The camera in Abducted is controlled by a cinematic “director” AI system. This is not a typical over-the-shoulder third person view. Environments and levels are built with tracks similar to a movie set, with conditions that control how and where the camera will change and how it will respond as the player moves. This is designed with a high degree of control, giving the game a very cinematic and visceral feel. We use the camera to affect the mood and emotion of the scene and of the player.

Music and Sound FX

Music and sound effects are extremely important to our environment and horror theme. We have partnered with Voodoo Highway Music to produce all our music and sound for Abducted, and they have already created a large volume of amazing content for us. Music and sound effect queues are used to great effect throughout the game.

Custom Built for Each Platform

Abducted is being developed using our in-house multiplatform engine, Radiance™. On the PC we have high resolution textures, per-pixel dynamic lighting, shadows, and volumetric fog. We are able to bring these same effects to mobile targets using a number of systems we have designed that allow us to scale our assets across multiple platforms. These techniques are similar to systems in large commercial engines like Unreal™ and Unity™.

The user interface is designed exclusively for each platform. This means full mouse and keyboard support on PC (including user-assignable keys), touchscreens on mobile, and gamepads for consoles.

Each platform has its own perks and unique advantages. For example:

  • The Mac and PC version will also include higher resolution textures and FX, Steam achievements and bonus materials like the soundtrack.
  • For iOS and the Mac App Store we will support cross platform Game Center and achievements between Mac and iOS gamers.
  • We will be on modern Android devices including the OUYA console.
  • Radiance™ gives us the capability of taking Abducted to Xbox and Playstation.
Minimum PC System Requirements:
  • Windows Vista, Mac OSX 10.7, Ubuntu 12.04
  • Intel Core i3
  • NVidia GeForfce 600 Series and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series
  • 1 GB of RAM
Abducted Episode 1 is due to ship in August 2013 on Mac, Windows, Linux, and iOS devices. Android and the OUYA console versions will follow shortly after. New episodes are planned for release every 75 days, with a total of six episodes in the series.

Check out the links below for more information and a cinematic trailer.

Abducted Trailer

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