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Update #2

Mr. Kimura Builds a New Level for DREADLINE.

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Level building is a very organic process. I start by sorting through online and print reference, and doing some drawings to get a feel for the architecture, and how it might work for our game. I'm not interested in accurately re-creating historical places. I want the space to be recognizable, but the last thing we want in this game is to be bound by the facts.

Once I have a basic idea what the architectural vibe of the level is going to be, it's time to consider the larger picture. Is it going to be primarily interiors or exteriors? Will it be hilly, or flat? Doors? Fences? There are all kinds of ways to shape spaces to create tactical interest, as well as all kinds of ways to visually represent what those spaces are.

For this level, inspired by the 1657 Great Fire of Meireki, I wanted to create smooth transitions between interior and exterior spaces. I'm often struggling with the boring, but handy conventions of traditional dungeon-crawling. Turning hallways into bridges over water, and walls into trees is one way to make the space more engaging.

The level map serves multiple functions. It's a freeform way to develop a decorative object vocabulary for the level, show scale, show how spaces are interconnected, and as a visual concept that can give me a real feel for what the level is supposed to look like. I used this sprawling drawing as a basis for drawing all of the world’s textures, like stony paths, grass, fences, walls, and trees. Even as I’m working in 3d, I’m constantly referring back to the original drawings. They keep the level feeling fresh, as I’m forced to find ways to reconcile what’s going on in a drawing with how I can really make it work in 3d space.

It’s always incredibly gratifying when it goes into our engine for the first time, and I get to run our little monsters all around, and explore it from that fresh perspective. It’s even better once it’s filled with hapless humans to kick around.

Please check out our Kickstarter campaign for DREADLINE, now in progress!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eeriecanal/dreadline

Thank you for your support.

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    A downloadable copy of the game, DREADLINE!

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    A digital copy of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION. This edition includes the full game, with digital art book and soundtrack, and other extras!

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    Special, Kickstarter only, in game outfits and accessories for your favorite monsters! See them as they have never been seen before! Plus, a digital copy of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION.

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    NEW REWARD! BY POPULAR DEMAND! Finally, an affordable DREADLINE for your shelf. Enjoy a real-life, mailable, losable/scratchable, DREADLINE DVD. It will have a lovely basic package, including some kind of entertaining insert, sticker, and good vibes.

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    Enjoy your beautiful new DREADLINE T-shirt featuring your new favorite monsters, with a design exclusive to Kickstarter! This also gets you a download of DREADLINE:SPECIAL EDITION!

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    The no-game bonus pack! Do you love Eerie Canal, but hate video games? This will get you the DREADLINE T shirt, EERIE CANAL T SHIRT, plus some buttons and stickers. We may insist on thanking you in our credits, but you'll never have to see them yourself.

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    We will stuff a DREADLINE T, and EERIE CANAL T into a box with some buttons and stickers, and mail it all to you! Includes the download of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION!

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    Be one of the first to play DREADLINE in it's messy and un-glorious pre-alpha state. Gain access to our most forbidden knowledge, and help us right our wrongs. You will of course get a copy of the finished game, with your name in the team credits as well.

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    Stare into the dark as it stares back into you. A hand-pulled, limited-edition silkscreened poster featuring mayhem, monsters, and more. Signed by the EC team, and limited to 72 prints. Includes the download of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION!

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    DREADLINE 2 Disk Box set. We will mail you a beautiful box set containing the full game, art booklet, and soundtrack. The box set will be signed by the team at Eerie Canal, and is limited to 300 pieces. There's a pretty good chance that it's going to come in Ghost's tiny red backpack.

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    A original pen and ink illustration created for the game. It could be anything from the hand-drawn texture of Ghost to the opening shots of the cinematic, to an elusive monster never seen in the final game. Don't fret, it'll be a good one! Includes a digital copy DREADLINE:SPECIAL EDITION, and a thank you in the credits!

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    You will be murdered. Mr. Kimura will draw a picture of you getting killed by the monster of your choice. Send us your photo and address, and this terrible image will arrive in your mailbox. Includes a download of DREADLINE:SPECIAL EDITION, and a thank you in the credits!

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    You will appear in DREADLINE! Send us a photo of yourself, and we will re-create you in game. That's the good news. Unfortunately, you will almost certainly die in the game over, and over again. Includes a download of DREADLINE: SPECIAL EDITION, and your name in the Cast Members section of the credits.

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    You founded Eerie Canal. We will perform a founding re-creation, but this time you will be there too. Mr. Bennett and Mr. Kimura met one boozy night at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA, and decided to start a game company. Come join us, pretend to be down from day one, and we will post a story about it on our blog. Mr. Kimura will draw your portrait on the spot, and we'll put it in the credits in the ultra-exclusive Pretend Founders section. This also incudes the T Shirt, Box Set, Tote, and other cool junk. Travel to Cambridge, MA required. 21+ only!

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    Appear in one of the Dreadline animated cinematics! Have you ever wished that a clunkily animated likeness of yourself got it's head ripped off by a charming, if clumsy mummy? Some dreams do come true if you let them. We will also send you all the junk from below this tier. Drawing, shirt, game, signed junk, credits, in-game models... piles of Dreadline junk and/or memories to tuck away in your Hope Chest!

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    This could be a serious calamity. Come to a team meeting, and tell us your amazing idea for a level of the game. It had better be amazing, because we intend on doing everything within reason to take your idea and make it work. Do you have an undeniably killer monster idea? Come convince us. In addition, you get all the previous awards. In extra-addition, you and a guest are invited to the Dreadline launch party. You basically worked for the company at that point anyway, so really how could we say no. You're responsible for travel to Cambridge, MA or Providence RI. We could settle for a video chat if you're unable to travel. Regardless, we will be handing over, or mailing you a ton of Dreadline/Eerie Canal junk including the T Shirt, Box Set, Stickers, Drawings, and whatever other detritus we can sweep off the factory floor.

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