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Mythic Ocean lets you teach the gods to create a better universe - or screw it all up

http://paralune.com/images/presskit/MO_TitleImage.png

http://paralune.com/images/presskit/screenshots/high/screenshot_03.png

Mythic Ocean is a single-player, first-person, underwater exploration game set in an otherworldly ocean. The idea for the game came from our mutual fascination with the sea - our love for its gentle beauty, and our fear of its darkest depths.

You’ll meet many strange creatures, and what you say to them will have a big impact on how they feel about you and each other. The mystery of where this world came from - and where it’s headed - will become clearer as you form bonds with its inhabitants and help them grow.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=dHriVqfqDMI

http://paralune.com/images/gifs/MO_FishPass.gif

http://paralune.com/images/gifs/MO_KerbTalk.gif

http://paralune.com/images/gifs/MO_SonarPulse.gif

http://paralune.com/images/gifs/MO_VelvetTalk.gif

GAME FEATURES

  • First-person exploration of a lush underwater world
  • Multiple environments to discover and immerse yourself within
  • Dozens of characters to speak with and get to know, including some who offer deep, branching conversation trees with many different outcomes
  • Progress through the game in a non-linear fashion and discover the purpose of your journey and the secrets of who you are in your own unique way

SOCIAL MEDIA

Hey everyone! We are Paralune, a 3-person game studio in Austin, TX, and we felt it was time to share the game we’re currently working on. We’ll be posting regular updates on Mythic Ocean to this thread, so stay tuned for more info.

I’m Darren Malley, the primary writer, systems designer, and composer on the project (@DarrenEMalley](https://twitter.com/DarrenEMalley) on Twitter).

Let us know what you think, and if you have any questions for us ask away!

well…

http://i.imgur.com/9401xrf.jpg

Looking really good so far! I wish your reveal trailer was longer lol. I’ll keep an eye on this, keep up the good work!

I really like the concept of the game, as also Iam truly fascinated by undersea worlds.
However, I would expect a less bright and saturated world… well, something that actually lookes more mythic, maybe like in that image?

[ATTACH=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“large”,“data-tempid”:“temp_115282_1503666911797_796”}[/ATTACH]

In my opinion much of the mysterious and fascinating character of the sea is due to the fact that vision is limited and you never know what exactly is around you…

Ha, yeah, the shots we’ve shown so far don’t really highlight the caustics. In this particular area, the caustics are most prominent in the bright spots where light is shining into the cave from the water surface. I’ll include some GIFs later in this post to give you a closer look at them.

Thank you! Glad to hear you’re interested, we’re excited to show more soon.

The idea of being in water with low visibility and having that uncertainty about what lies ahead has been an inspiration for us too. The waters we’re depicting that are close to the surface are fairly clear, like in the video/screenshots above, but we will also have environments that are deeper, darker and more mysterious. We’re looking forward to sharing more of that content once it’s ready!

For now, here’s a couple of those caustic GIFs:

http://paralune.com/images/gifs/MO_Caustics2.gif

Thanks for your reply and new images :wink:
Glad to hear that you want to have both, clear and turbid (i.e. super mysterious) zones. Regarding your caustics: Are these “just” light functions? Would it be possible to have a volumetric effect?

Hey all, I’m Matt, the environment + lighting artist on the project as well as the principal programmer. My background in the game industry is actually 100% programming, but going indie has allowed me to do art as well. Jumping into this thread so I can comment on all of the above and answer any questions.

Good question! AFAIK, there’s no in-engine support for realtime caustics because calculating them is quite costly – if you have not seen it yet, check out this excellent talk by Ryan Brucks (I linked to the part about caustics). It shows some of the best caustics I’ve seen anyone do in UE4, using a method that generates a flipbook texture so performance isn’t too crazy, and even getting a volumetric appearance with some UV tricks.

Our caustics are a fairly simple light function. We use the standard method of using Motion_4WayChaos with a premade caustic texture to create visual chaos. However, I found this method to look a bit too “obvious” on its own (I don’t like how my eye can track any single texture and follow it along a predictable trajectory), so we augmented it by also 4-way panning a white noise texture that subtly offsets the coordinates of the main caustic texture. This creates unpredictable movements and I think it makes the effect mesmerizing to look at without catching on that you’re seeing a bunch of static textures being panned. On top of this there’s a bit of tweaking done with CheapContrast and alpha thresholds.

For comparison, here are some tweaked caustics on an empty landscape.

Default Motion_4WayChaos. Not too bad IMO, but notice how you can follow each texture with your eye.


With some UV distortion applied (based on a very low-frequency white noise texture that is also being chaos-panned). It’s a little less predictable.


For demonstration purposes, here’s what it’d look like if you cranked up the tiling on the noise texture. You start to see more UV “swimming.”


(Side note: these images also demonstrate our water post process, which causes the red spectrum to fade out over a distance, emulating how light works underwater. But that’s probably a subject for another post…)

Hey everyone! Here’s an update showing our progress on another area of the game, the “Eel Kingdom.”

https://youtube.com/watch?v=UsPP8BbXfs0

http://paralune.com/images/gifs/EelKingdom/MO_EelKingdomGardenEels1.gif

http://paralune.com/images/gifs/EelKingdom/MO_EelKingdomVista1.gif

http://paralune.com/images/gifs/EelKingdom/MO_NotSoFast1.gif

The first 30 seconds of the video showcase an important character you’ll meet just before entering the Eel Kingdom (the player doesn’t know its name yet during this early conversation, hence the “???”).

Here you can see some of our expressive text effects, such as quivering letters, wavy letters, and so on. These help us convey the tone of voice our characters are using. Animations also help us establish tone, but the poses and expressions are still WIP for this character.

The rest of the video shows off the Eel Kingdom environment, along with some of its interactive elements (such as the cute garden eels at 0:42!). The area is still WIP - we plan to have more deco and a handful of side NPCs with a bit of dialog each in the future, but the overall mood is coming along nicely.

At about 1:01, as we get close to the entry point of another area, you’ll hear the music dynamically change to a more rhythmic and exciting version. At 1:19, you can hear it fade back to the calmer one again. We’re using these realtime shifts between songs to match the change in visuals and atmosphere from one place to another, with the goal of making the shift as seamless as possible.

Let us know what you think!

Looks cool so far. The text-effects are neat, no question!
However… do you tend to leave the character models that are displayed during dialogues only play there idle animations? Or do you rather plan to implement more “interesting” animations that also transfer the emotions of the individual phrases? So to have maybe some standard animations for surprise, questioning, being happy or something like that? I guess that would make the entire scene a lot more believable!

Great Job! I like the style!

Thanks Hackmet! We do plan for all the major characters to have a set of animations for various emotional reactions. Our dialog system is integrated into the blueprint for each character in such a way that we can trigger an animation alongside any line of dialog that might need the extra emphasis. Afterwards, the character will return to their normal idle loop until another reaction is triggered. Poses and expressions are still WIP for the “???” character shown above, hence the idle-only presentation for now.

Thank you Cobas and JakeCreate, glad to hear it!

Hey folks, it’s been awhile, but we’re still hard at work on Mythic Ocean. We just released our first gameplay trailer today, which has a ton of new content we’re excited to show you! We also have a Steam page up (although the game won’t be out for awhile still). We’d love to hear what you think!

Oh my gosh the text animation is outstanding! How did you all do it!?

Here’s 2 numbers you want to know:

  1. Visibility in clear water is between 50-80m.
  2. Light penetrates up to a depth of 275m.

Nice, I like the progress and am excited about the new content. Especially the new characters are well done. Their animations make them look very lifely :slight_smile:
Plus: It now definitely looks more “mythic” than the first screenshots you showed here indicated^^
Keep on going :slight_smile:

Edit: just a short remark: In your trailer I was continously tempted to read the text that the characters are “speaking”, but the cuts of the video are so quick that I didn’t have the chance to get through. Maybe you could choose scenes with shorter text or make the scenes simply a bit longer?

Thanks so much! Essentially, each letter is a widget with its own animation, and offsets are used to create the effect of “wavy text” for example. We use a hierarchy of containers to make per-word text wrapping work. If enough people are interested in a “text effects” system like this, perhaps it’s something we could look into putting on the marketplace?

Thanks! It’s helpful to have a basis in reality and an understanding of how light interacts with water, even though we’re taking liberties with stylizing the game.

Thank you! I’ll pass the compliment to our animator :slight_smile:

Appreciate the feedback on the trailer! That’s something we’ll consider for our future marketing efforts.