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Creating Monsters for Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock

Simon Harris's Avatar + Posted by Simon Harris on Jan 23, 2012 // Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide

Doctor Who TEC Key Art

Welcome to the second blog on Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock. I’m Simon Harris and I am the Executive Producer for BBC Worldwide on the game, which means the project is my overall responsibility. I need to ensure that all aspects come together to make a great game that stays true to the Doctor Who brand. This means working with our developer, Supermassive Games, across areas such as design, art and programming. It also extends to working with the Doctor Who teams in London and Cardiff to ensure that everything looks and feels as it should.

For this blog post, I thought I would give you some insight into the monsters which will be appearing in the game. This goes alongside our first gameplay trailer, released today, which showcases them.

Choosing the monsters for the game turned out to be a more of a complicated process than you would imagine. Initially, when Supermassive put in their design pitch for the game, they had chosen the four monsters they would like to see, both as Doctor Who fans and from a gameplay point of view. However, at that time they weren’t aware of the new monsters that were going to be shown in the new series, which was just about to start on the BBC. Given the high level of security we place on information about the show, there were some great discussions where we had to talk very cryptically about a specific monster. We had to balance this with trying to understand what the design team at Supermassive wanted to achieve – we didn’t want to include new monster if it completely broke the gameplay plans. Thankfully the design change felt good and The Silence was added to the monster line up. I’m not going to tell you which one got cut, but I can promise it will make appearance in a future game.

Silence

Having settled on our monster line up — the Silence, Cybermen, Silurians and the Daleks — work started on the detailed game design on how they would challenge the Doctor and River. We also had to start modelling the characters for the in-game graphics. Accuracy is vital, and it was essential to have the models looking like they do in the show. It was great to start working with the Doctor Who teams in London and Cardiff to ensure our dimensions, the shaders (the technical term for an aspect of the graphics which give a texture a look and feel to it such as steel or cloth) and the colours were all entirely correct.

It was during this process that something slightly surprising happened. The art team at Supermassive were getting really positive feedback on how the monsters looked, which was great, and the Doctor Who team then asked if we could make some changes that deviated from the reference photos. It turns out that there were a number of small tweaks which the team would have loved to make to the designs of the monsters on the show, but had been unable to for various reasons. At this point they saw the opportunity to make these tweaks in our monster designs. Of course, we were more than happy to include these amendments. So, whilst your watching the trailers or playing the game, send a tweet to @DoctorWhoTEC if you think you know what the tweaks we have made are… We would love to see how eagle eyed the fans are!

Doctor in TardisDalek

Having got our standard monsters all approved and looking great, we turned our attention to the game “bosses.” As all Doctor Who fans know, there is always a leader or central character driving the troops forward and so we wanted to see if we could create some monster leaders which really utilised the technology and visuals we have at our disposal working on PS3 and PS Vita.

The team at Supermassive spent a huge amount of time looking at all of the reference of the monsters from previous shows, games, as well as the massive amount of books, webisodes and other content available. The team then proposed two new versions of existing monsters which would become the finales for our monsters. This was a pretty nervous time; we wanted monsters that felt as scary as they do in the show and matched the scale of the locations and environments we were creating for the game. Creating a new version of a classic Doctor Who monster is a big ask – they have to be carefully detailed and you must establish exactly where they sit within the canon of the show. Thankfully, the Doctor Who team loved what we were suggesting and both of our new monster versions were approved and are in the game. There is a tiny sight of one of them in our new monster trailer; again, tweet @DoctorWhoTEC if you think you know which one it is…

So, just an insight into some of the thinking and things that happened to get our monsters into Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock. I’ll be back soon with another blog detailing more information on what goes on behind the scenes of making our game.

//Add Your Own

20 Comments

1

+ MarkakaJin on January 23rd, 2012 at 7:13 am said:

I am extremely excited, happy, and crazy that this game is coming out on the PS3 and PS Vita! I’m definitely getting this for sure!


2

+ HatmanTc on January 23rd, 2012 at 7:14 am said:

hmm i am not sure how to feel about this game now. i was really hoping for a point & click game, but this looks more adventure-y..


3

+ ATES on January 23rd, 2012 at 7:24 am said:

I started watching Doctor Who a few months ago but still have to watch the last season, waiting for netflix to add it to instant, but i cannot wait for more info about the game


4

+ bakerarmy on January 23rd, 2012 at 7:27 am said:

Love Doctor Who. I really look forward to this game. So far it is looking and sounding good. When can we see some game play? Hope the controls are tight


5

+ HatmanTc on January 23rd, 2012 at 7:31 am said:

#4 did you not watch the trailer? it shows a decent amount of gameplay in it


6

+ pudgenet on January 23rd, 2012 at 9:59 am said:

Yeah I dunno … I am not a big platformer fan. Even if I were, to me Doctor Who is not really an action show, and doesn’t really deserve an action game. If there’s a demo I’ll try it out, absolutely, though.


7

+ time17 on January 23rd, 2012 at 10:01 am said:

Is this going to be a downloadable game from the store are a disc base game ether way I’m getting it but I need to if I should make some room on my hard drive and how much will it cost


8

+ Budapesti on January 23rd, 2012 at 10:06 am said:

The trailer kind of reminds me of something like Rochard or, if you’re an oldie like me, Flashback. I don’t mean this as a criticism, I’m just a bit surprised that they’ve chosen this route for a Doctor Who game (can’t wait for the Sherlock first person shooter, guys!)
Anyhow, really looking forward to playing as the Doctor, and River, on Playstation hardware. One question – will the PS3 and Vita version be the same? That is, if we purchase one version will it transfer over to the other system or do we have to buy them individually?


9

+ SOOPERGOOMAN187 on January 23rd, 2012 at 10:08 am said:

is the whole game a sidescroller? ifso. fail


10

+ Souledge94 on January 23rd, 2012 at 11:24 am said:

I see they are going in a different direction then other who games iv seen. Which from my experiance is a good thing. Hope this turns out well.


11

+ iTofuMan on January 23rd, 2012 at 12:39 pm said:

I NEED this game already! As a big dr who fan im excited. i hope if this is successful we see more dr who game in the states! Although im not a big fan of Matt Smith characters, hopefully we can see more of the past doctors get a game as well.


12

+ TUSTIN1 on January 23rd, 2012 at 12:42 pm said:

Looking forward to this, just don’t screw it up.


13

+ Capshot18 on January 23rd, 2012 at 1:01 pm said:

I have a question, if you buy this for the PS3, would you also get it for the Vita? Or would you have to buy it twice? I know some other games make it so you only have to buy it once, and I was just wondering whether anything had been said about this.


14

+ RidleysBox on January 23rd, 2012 at 3:42 pm said:

I really enjoyed the PC Doctor Who games that were released recently, I wonder if this one will follow the same design. I am looking forward to see where this goes. Thanks for the update.


15

+ bakerarmy on January 23rd, 2012 at 3:56 pm said:

I just watched the video (first time I was on my Ipod and must of missed it). So it is a side scrolling 2D game with 3D enviroments. Looks kinda like that Matt Hazard game since you can turn and shoot in the back ground.

Are these the Vita graphics or the PS3?

This is not what I thought this game was gonna be.. I will still get it, but I really want a 3D game that is epic…..(Mass Effect 2) Think about a Doctor Who game where you can fly to different worlds and times. Talk to people and solve problems. Not just a game with story and a jump button


16

+ marzuco on January 23rd, 2012 at 4:21 pm said:

I have to agree with bakerarmy. This looks like nothing more than a side scrolling game with a jump button. I mean granted the Doctor doesn’t use traditional weapons, but from the looks of this video the game will not live up to the hype. This video makes the game look like something they threw together in like 2 months.

I would prefer it been something like the Back to the Future game(s), and I am on the fence about those.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.


17

+ Welmosca on January 24th, 2012 at 4:02 am said:

At first glimpse looks cool but we’ll see if worths the buy.


18

+ bldudas on January 24th, 2012 at 4:22 am said:

I have always wanted a true, core Doctor Who game, but I don’t know about this. It looks like, I don’t know, a child’s game on the PS3 and Vita. The game’s going to be a Blu-Ray, take advantage of that and make a game story based.

I think Doctor Who would make a great RPG-like game.


19

+ bldudas on January 24th, 2012 at 4:26 am said:

Oh, yeah, but instead of combat, you use words, like the Doctor.


20

+ Jaisen on February 21st, 2012 at 9:17 am said:

Wish they would announce the price of the game, I am hoping like around 20.00 like most DLC on PS3 is.


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