A downloadable nightmare for Windows

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Cardiac is a surreal horror experience created for Halloween.

Slop your way through a strange and unsettling dream.

Everything was created from scratch in my free time over 6 weeks as a personal challenge instead of inktober this year. I'll be uploading some breakdowns, 3D assets, textures/materials, soundtrack and project files over the next few weeks. Feel free to use them for whatever you want.


Gamepad Controls:

L2 - Reach out with tendrils to latch onto the world

R2 - Pull your mass towards your tendrils

R.stick - Camera Control

Mouse Controls:

RightMouse - Reach out with tendrils to latch onto the world

LeftMouse - Pull your mass towards your tendrils

MouseMove - Camera Control

Esc - Quit Game


Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Cardiac.rar 864 MB
CardiacSoundtrack.rar 16 MB

Development log

Comments

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(7 edits)

ABSOLUTELY massive! This is worth a 12$ greenlight on Steam.

+The originallity of the concept.

+The atmosphere of free exploration and at the same time a sense of unknown inminent danger.

+Everything is dark,weird, but at the same time morbid and your design in the gameplay level system attracts the attention: it's a puzzle? I'm gonna dye now? what if I fall again? why I'm eroding the sand? are those hands going to harm me? 

+Every step is a constant mistery, not obvious and intriguing.

+Lovely disgusting.

I take my time, to do some testing on several machines:

CRASHES with dialog telling it has to crash : 

*nvidia GTX 1060 drivers version 441.20 direct3D api 11

WORKS ok and perfect framerate: 

*nvidia GTX 750 Ti drivers version 388.13 direct3D api 12

Are you saving a crash.log somewhere, and I can send it to you?

Might it be the d3D API version 11 or 12? 

Critics: The music AI is not as perfect and the music cuts and ambient loops do not serve the invisible "companion" story-teller purpose they should be, hence you notice the music. In my opinion the overall sensation is that the music is "imposted". The moments it works it's marvelous, it gives you hints of where to go to exit next level. But as I've said, the transitions, ambient-event loops or the music-AI needs a bit of rework.

Wow, thank you for such a kind and honest write-up. I'm really glad you got that feeling of uncertainty and imminent danger that I was aiming for. 

I appreciate you taking the time to try on a few different machines as it's not something I have access to test on. My thoughts are the same as yours that it is most likely to do with the d3D API versions. I used a few new features of UE4 including Virtual Texturing, which is not supported on certain cards. To fix it I would have to replace every single texture in the game, which unfortunately I'm not willing to do. I fall more into the art side rather than programmer so the crash log probably wouldn't make much sense to me. I have a GTX 1080 so I thought the 10-series would be fine. I plan to release a colour version at some point as many have missed that from the prototype so I may replace the textures then and perhaps there will be less issues.

I know exactly what you mean with the music. I had much grander plans for interactive/adaptive music but so many of the music features in Unreal are still very experimental and new to me ( the next version seems to be much more stable). I think I know what is causing the cut-off music bug too and can probably fix that when I have some free time. It's too many slop SFX playing and they are taking over the music slot, I just need to split them on different sound classes.

Thanks again for taking the time to play and for your insightful thoughts

Thanks for answering and clarifying things. Pleased to help/test anything, I'm a computer engineer degree so C++/C# it's like my second language. I do not have yet enough time to put my hands deep on Unreal/Unity thought.

Loved the dark atmosphere.

Interesting game.

(1 edit)

Hey, I'm also getting CTDs. Once after the initial cutscene finished, then another in the birdcage. The birdcage threw an actual error, though. LowLevelFatalError {File:Unknown] [Line: 3347] LiveRequests.Num or NumLiveRawReqeusts was > 0 in ~FPakAsyncReadFileHandle!

Possibly a typo in that second variable?

Specs:

Ryzen 9 3900X 

64GB RAM 

MSI GTX 1060 6GB

(+1)

Thanks for the detailed report. I think it might be due to UE4 compression on the pak file. I'm going to upload a new build today that should hopefully fix it. I'll make a dev log update when it's up.

Hi! I enjoyed playing "Cardiac" a lot, but I got an error on the part where you are caged with "Things" that jump like you. I just got out of the cage and looks like I fell from the scene and got this error:

LowLevelFatalError [File:Unknown] [Line: 836] 
Rendering thread exception:
LowLevelFatalError [File:Unknown] [Line: 3347] 
LiveRequests.Num or NumLiveRawReqeusts was > 0 in ~FPakAsyncReadFileHandle!

0x00007ff86193a839 KERNELBASE.dll!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61ab3f8c7 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61ab0e88a HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61aac4537 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61aac4438 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61b816ed1 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61b818864 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61baa48f1 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61baa8434 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61bed4b72 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61b303e23 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61b30401d HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61be66b34 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61b4d86f7 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61b4f2beb HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61aa2bb79 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61aa2bc83 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61b502f32 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61b503ae8 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61ab50b2b HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff61ab4b077 HEART-Win64-Shipping.exe!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff863197bd4 KERNEL32.DLL!UnknownFunction []
0x00007ff8647eced1 ntdll.dll!UnknownFunction []

Is it supposed to be like that?

(+1)

Sorry to hear that and thanks very much for posting the error message. It's the end of the game anyway, it just loops back to the start. I've no idea what is causing it but this definitely helps me start to work it out.

(1 edit)

I just went back to play the update, man really great work I'm amaze you did all this by yourself, do you have a twitter account I would love to follow you there to see what you do in the future, also would you be open for collaborations?, I work with UE4 same as you and I made a few titles with it, let me know what you think about this.

good luck with you future endeavours :) 

Hi, thanks very much for your kind words and the offer, but I prefer to work alone to maintain creative control and work at my own pace. I wish you luck with your own endeavours too though.

No worries I completely see where you are coming from, it's super hard to work with people and maintain a single voice.

Glad you understand. Oh and excellent work on What's Behind the Mirror, I look forward to trying your other games.

Absolutely loved this and was so excited to play the full version!

Thanks for coming back to play it and great video. Apologies for freaking you out at the end :)

It was great! I love getting freaked out lol 

ba<k

Very interesting, how I interpreted your work is that an artist pouring his heart and blood over his canvas creates magical artworks of bucket and thing I was not sure of. But pouring so much of his heart into his art costs the artist much with the poem and the finger chicken nuggets as a metaphor for artistic dissent. 

(1 edit)

Looks very good and great atmospheric . 


But the game just crash at the end where I getting attack by those disgusting worms things before the game crash.

(+1)

Ah sorry to hear it crashed on you, I made that part just before I uploaded so only tested a couple of times. I'll take a look at it this weekend. Thanks for letting me know!

el juego perfecto para jugarlo en halloween en la noche con las luces apagadas, el cuarto cerrado, coger unos buenos audífonos y estar completamente solo!

I really like the movement concept! I could imagine a frankenstein-like scenario where you are the heart and slowy build yourself back into a humanesque being (a zombie I guess) by finding your limbs, organs and head, all of which change and extend the movement capabilities provided. And what then? Idk maybe go into another area and attack civilians or something. Maybe it's halloween and no one suspects the horrors that will follow after they innocently open the door for you...

Also just a quick question: How did you create the first part of the level? I tried to redo something similiar myself but it went nowhere... Like, did you create a landscape and then put on the organ-material onto the landscape-mesh?

Anyways I really look forward to further development and if you'd like to develop it further (even after Halloween and not alone anymore) I'd be up for that.

Cheers and really good work so far imo.

Zenahr

(1 edit) (+1)

One of the original concepts was to have parts falling off like an inversion of Katamari and Frankenstein creature, so you're not far off.

The fleshy level part was sculpted in Oculus medium but you could do it in Blender too. Took a lot of work deleting all the outside faces tho. To make it quiver - I used a couple of blended panning noise textures hooked up to the displacement channel. 

I might release some breakdowns and project files sometime after if people are interested.

The reply is very much appreciated!

Muy buena ambientación, estaría perfecto

Para Hacer Una gran historia

What an interesting game! The movement was a lot of fun to play around with! Here's my playthrough:

This was a weird interesting game. Not much else to say about it 

I was honestly waiting for a surprise jumpscare. I think I encountered a bug on the last part where it kept looping back to the beginning. Not sure if I didn't meet an objective or, certain criteria to trigger "the ending" or, if it was a random bug. The controls were a bit clunky to me on keyboard and, mouse. I like the atmosphere behind the game but, I didn't really feel any horror behind it maybe i'm just a disturbed individual!
(+1)

Thank you for taking the time to video and comment. You are unlikely to find explicit jumpscares in any of my work as I think they are typically the antithesis of the type of horror that I am interested in.

It's not a bug as this prototype intentionally repeats itself. So don't worry, you didn't miss anything. :)

I can understand that many will not feel any direct horror from this experience (and likely not from the final version either). Another factor may be that I have placed a large emphasis on the audio design in this project and talking aloud to yourself is a naturally soothing action (like Ripley at the end of Alien singing "Lucky Star") so it might not be as well suited for video commentary as more visceral jumpscare experiences. However I thank you for your honesty as I do prefer criticism and open discussion over direct praise.

Thank you for the reply. I'm glad I didn't miss anything i've encountered bugs in other games that I noticed others have not. Especially when developers are working on their projects. That's great you stick to your own style and, not to let anyone sway you from that.In no way was I trying to bash your game if it was precieved that way. Was just stating how I view  this style of ar and perception will differ person to person.  My only real quip was the controls of keyboard and, mouse which could be in my play style and, not how you have it set up.

Oh don't worry, there was no offence taken and I do really appreciate the honest criticsm and comments. It is extremely helpful for me that Youtubers like yourself take the time to play and record, voice your opinions and spot bugs as I don't have play testers to pick up on the things I don't. I completely agree about the clunkiness of the controls and it is something I hope to improve for the final version. Thanks again.

that was absolutely gorgeous and lovely! i'll have to spend a little more time with the movement but even just clumsily traversing was wonderful. i honestly feel that it's great as it is, no real gameplay objectives, just going places is enough for me.

Thank you for your kind words, I'm really pleased you enjoyed it so much even in the state it's in! I also don't need a lot of direction or objectives to enjoy a game. Hope you'll like the final release too

markiplier played this game just incase you didnt know yet

Thanks, I just finished watching it. Glad to see he was appropriately repulsed and confused.

Great game man I'm an unreal developer as well, I love the movement you went for it feels like one of those old spiderman games, and it feels natural, some of the shadows were too dark especially on the last stage I couldn't see what I was doing, but other than that solid game waiting to see what you create next.

Thanks very much for the informed feedback, I really appreciate it. I couldn't agree more about the dark shadows and it's something I'm already working on without killing the contrast of the scenes.

God, I'm excited for the final version of this. It's almost too detailed. It's revolting in a really good way.

Cardiac starts at 6:36.

(+1)

Ha, "too detailed" is an excellent compliment! Thanks for taking the time to play and record it, I'll check out some more of your videos

Cardiac, as it is right now, is dark, disgusting, and full of goopy flesh. In other words, it's perfect for spooky October gaming. I'm curious to see what the final build will be like.

Good job, dev.
(+1)

Haha, glad to hear you were disgusted by this in the best way. As to your question about pre-made assets - everything was made by me from scratch. I enjoy the making more than the destination.

Great job on making it then. You do "gross" very well.



Really enjoyed the body horror aspect of this, look forward to you building off this. So rad. Surreal and rad. <3
(+1)

Thanks. Who doesn't like a bit of body horror!

That was weird :) I look forward to the update 

I dont think ive been so unsettled and creeped out from such a short experience lol wonderfully done! This was the second game I played in the video for 3 random horror games! 

Thanks very much. I apologise but I'm also glad it had that unsettling affect on you

good idea. I hope it is finished soon

Haha! Did you print out screenshots from the game in b/w + low rez and scan them for this page?

Ha, looks like it! This project has always intended to be black and white for the most part. It was actually a mistake uploading a colour build, but shhh - don't tell anyone...

Very weird game. My interpretation was that you play as a blood clot making your way to the heart lol not sure if that's correct but it was still interesting.

Really interesting, cool to see new ways of delivering horror.  As it stands it's more or less just eerie with a touch of disgusting.  I can't wait to see what you make of this, best of luck with the development

This is the first game in the video

The mechanics are interesting, I'll come back to the full game when it comes out!



I come back to give it a try but it is a little bit confusing me!

Pretty cool start, my only complaint is that it'd be nice to zoom the camera in and out a bit since the positioning isn't always ideal, but it does add to it being a strange experience that's just unintuitive enough to feel alien but still controllable. Definitely looking forward to more!

That is a good idea and shouldn't be too hard to implement. I wanted the camera to feel uncomfortably close but it would definitely help to give the choice for a bit of extra room. Thanks for the suggestion.

Gave it a go...

Very weird and cool. Curious to see how the rest of the game will be.

This is wonderful! Really looking forward to what you do with this for Halloween!

Haha, thanks very much trying and recording this prototype. I could tell you had the same kind of giddy fun with this as I did when I first got it working! I appreciate that you took the time to admire the textures and sound design too as those are the aspects I enjoy working on the most.

The sound effects match perfectly. And the texture work was brilliant! The combination made moving the heart around feel so gooey and gross. Congrats man, beautiful job!

(+1)

Realy cool game definetly a weird one but very original and hella fun gameplay starts in my vid at 4.07

Thanks for including this prototype on your video.  The other projects on there looked interesting and I'll need to add them to my list to try out later when I have some free time.

Talk about strange. I really enjoyed the slip slap of that super detailed heart of gooooo. 

As Usual Gameplay from Z9ZGAMES Channel!!
With All Thanks to the Creator of the Game!!

VERY INTERESTING GAME.

A very weird game. Gives you a little chill when you first look at it. nice job.

strange

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