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About Harold Halibut

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Harold Halibut for PC is a science fiction adventure game featuring unique and handcrafted visuals. The elements of the environment have been designed as real props out of wood, fabric, and other materials and converted with the photogrammetry software into virtual 3D objects ready for digital processing and implementing into the utilized engine.

This unique game has been developed by a small German studio known for creating two experimental and artistic games, featuring Klanglichter – a laser harp project combining the features of the instrument with the video game environment. Also worth mentioning is VR Outcasted, in which a player can assume the role of a man living as a beggar on the streets of a modern city.

Plot

The action of Harold Halibut for PC is set onboard a spaceship sunk in the depths of an alien water planet. The vessel is huge and has multiple shops, pubs, and even mock-up city streets with lanterns. As befits a ship designed to cover interstellar distances, there are many well-equipped laboratories onboard. The crew, however, is in no mood to uncover any mysteries of the universe – they mooch around the dump corridors engulfed in everyday routines and overwhelmed with the atmosphere of the underwater world.

One’s guide onboard the stranded spaceship is the titular Harold Halibut, a cleaner, a conservator and a gentleman. In between his regular responsibilities such as cleaning the floors and replacing light bulbs, Harold helps the scientists from the ship’s research department. The chief scientist is trying to find a way to restart the ship’s engines in order to leave the water planet. Harold decides to help her in completing this objective.

Mechanics

The gameplay of Harold Halibut does not deviate much from what other adventure games have so far delivered. Players observe from the side perspective how the main protagonist explores consecutive locations onboard the spaceship and interacts with the members of the crew. Among the NPCs one gets to talk to, there are regular passengers, ship’s maintenance team, and the science personnel. Even though the action of the game is mainly set onboard the stranded spaceship, the game allows one to explore the depths of an alien ocean inside a crawler track submarine.

Technical aspects

Harold Halibut for {PLAT] is based on the Unity 3D engine. All the elements of the in-game environment – from small items such as furniture and utensils through characters’ bodies and clothes, to whole corridors and locations across the entire spaceship – they all have been carved, cut, nailed together, and painted in the developers’ workshop and then translated into the virtual world with the photogrammetry technology. The puppets representing the characters have been created from a plastic substance surrounding metal wire skeletons. Then, small clothes and shoes have been sewn and pieces of equipment have been prepared. The in-game locations are actually miniature models, which look like a small film set or a dollhouse. These models have been implemented into the virtual world with the RealityCapture photogrammetry software.

At the beginning of the production processes, the developers have experimented with the stop-motion animation techniques. The characters were supposed to be in the form of 2D sprites with moving sequences recorded in eight directions. This approach, however, would make it impossible to implement dynamic lighting, camera, and other visual effects; thus, the developers have decided to use the photogrammetry software.

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