Alaska : An Endless Night
Alaska : An Endless Night is a graduation project done in 9 months (2021/2022) at ArtFX. A team of 8 students is at the origin of this project : Lucas GILLE, Gabriel GARCIA, Klara GOETZ, Ludovic ODDI, Clothilde CHOPIN, Antoine BORDE, Lucie HENNET and Samuel HOAREAU.
Alaska is a third person investigation and exploration game where you play as Clarence, a former bounty hunter seeking revenge. You will have to follow the trail of Enyeto, on the run after being accused of your brother's death, by reconstructing his adventures on various investigation scenes. Explore the vast snowy landscapes of Alaska and track down your target, where only you can decide his fate.
The game is about a hunt through Alaska, but our goal is to push the player to change his mind about Enyeto's fate throughout the game and to spare his life. The real objective of this project is to break the cycle of violence. It was a big challenge for the team to find a narrative way that makes the player reconsider his decision and question himself about what's true in this murder case.
The Hangover is the very first area of the game. As a tutorial, this place was intended to be a closed area with a thick layer of fog around it to not to spoil the main vista and northern lights.
To find his target, the player will have to carry out investigations by looking for clues and associating them: a visual system allows him to understand and make the link between places, people and action for each investigation. Once the dots are correctly connected, the investigation is resolved and the player gradually understands where his quest is leading him.
The deduction system was born from a balance between readability and visual harmony with the aim of helping the player to make and understand his own thoughts and conclusions. As a major gameplay element, the artistic team had to do many tries before obtaining the final result (left), because old versions proposed did not meet the UX objectives that we had set (right).
Once the tutorial completed, you're now free to explore the open world of Alaska. You can go wherever you want and resolve the different area of investigation in any order.
The mud pit's ambiance is a bit oddy, with a foggy atmosphere, ravens and a dead bear in the middle of the scene. A fight took place here and you have to understand who were here and what happened.
To investigate, you have to find all the clues in the area. Once all the points have been found and connected, the scenario is set up and a small cinematic shows you the important moments that have happened whith a tranluscent/ghostly shader.
The trapper camp is one of the few areas with traces of human civilization in the vast plains of Alaska. The feeling of loneliness is broken by this point of warmth and comfort that a home can provide.
The storytelling in the environment is very important here. This pleasant feeling of finding a welcoming place is quickly replaced by a certain discomfort... Up to you to understand what happened here.
If a clue is too hard to find, you can use the hunter vision. It highlights small areas on the ground around the clues you missed.
For this place we wanted a more magical and mystical atmosphere than the others. The light and the composition of the place create a sort of pause in the investigation. It's a relaxing place, like out of time, where the mission objective is suddenly no longer a priority.
This place is different from the others since it's not an investigation area, but a place where we can wander aimlessly, just to appreciate the visual and sound atmosphere of the place that makes us feel our loneliness even more.
The investigation concludes in the old mine. It is still functional and used, but it is abandoned like every winter because the cold and the snow make work in the mine impossible.
To add some realism in our game world, the building is based on the real Kennecott Copper Mine at McCarthy (Alaska).
For the end of this hunt, the play of light is very important. We looked for a chiaroscuro that makes the atmosphere worrying and underlines the abandoned side of the place.
The main character is an anti-hero archetype; an old bounty-hunter looking for vengeance. He's surviving alone in Alaska for a long time now, enough to see his skin damaged by the freeze.
Enyeto is a native American accused of murdering Clarence's brother. He suffered a lot during his escape, facing threats as he fled, hurt and scared, with only one wish to find a place where he can live safe and sound.
Lucas GILLE - Game Design/Level Design
Gabriel GARCIA - Game Programming
Klara GOETZ - Art Direction/UI/Props
Ludovic ODDI - Environment/Lighting/UI/VFX
Clothilde CHOPIN - Character/Animation/Rig
Antoine BORDE - Character/Animation
Lucie HENNET - Animation/Rig
Samuel HOAREAU - VFX
Corentin ZIMMERMANN - Props
Paolo DUPUY - Environment Support
Amandine MAREST - Character/Foliage Support
Ulysse CHAUDRON - Video Editing
Julien SAUVAN-MAGNET - Sound Design
Alexandre AGNIEL - Sound Design
Jules VICTOR - Sound Design
Mark KACZMAREK - Voice
Rassim KESSASSI - Compositer
Senthuuran VELLUPILLAI - Compositer