The Game
How to play
Online Demo

Creating the Graphics

We began the graphic design by familiarizing ourselves with the first part of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, titled “Inferno”. It’s the main source of inspiration for the story of the game, as well as for many visual ideas for the monsters and the levels of Hell. Five levels are included in the game, themed with fire, blood, city, swamp and ice.


The Layers of Hell

The game graphics is constructed of four separate layers: the colored backdrop (“the sky”), the background structure, the midground elements and the foreground. The midground elements include clusters of flames and other details that add depth to the graphics and separate the background and the foreground more clearly from each other.

The four layers of graphics combined form the final look of the game environment (click to enlarge).

The creation of the level graphics began by first sketching them on paper. Later these sketches evolved to detailed map drawings of the levels, which were used as the guide for building the final layouts.

The evolution of the level graphics from a Photoshop mockup to the final game through a sketch on paper (click to enlarge).


Collecting the Garbage

We started building the levels out of modeling clay, but as the visual identity of the game developed, garbage and construction waste took over as the main ingredients. We took a visit at the waste land behind the UIAH building and gathered anything that looked remotely interesting, such as rusty iron scrap, thorny twigs, weird rock formations and shards of porcelain and glass.

The junk was arranged on a long tray and photographed with a digital camera against a blue screen. The different pieces of scrap were shot both individually and in piles, and these photos were assembled into collages for both background and foreground images. This technique provided flexibility for the visual layout composition, as the elements were easy to move around even in the later stages of the production.


Some pieces of our junk collection (click to enlarge).


All of the image editing, including the heavy lighting effects, were made in Photoshop. Each final background/foreground image was a single large bitmap that was imported into Director to be used in the game.


Playing with Fire

The monsters started also out as sketches on paper, which were developed into clay models supported with iron wire. Some of the monsters breathe real fire, which was created by playing with hairspray and matches.

The monster models were photographed for animation frames, using a setup with a blue screen and three dedo lights. AfterEffects was used to key out the blue screen and adjust the colors. The animations were imported into Macromedia Flash, where they were equipped with scripts handling the different kinds of movements, such as crawling in different directions or dying.


Three generations of monsters: the first sketch, the spiked-up version and a frame from the final animations (click to enlarge).