EPISODE 1: SYREN

SYREN is designed exclusively for VR.

A scientist obsessed with eugenics builds an underwater research facility above an ancient lost city, in which he conducts horrific experiments in an attempt to recreate the lost species of ‘Syrens’ – the legendary inhabitants of the civilisation, that once existed in the ruins below.

You awaken into chaos. The lab in ruins; creaking under the immense pressure of the sea.

With the station reactor about to go critical, you have limited time to navigate out of the lab and evacuate the facility. With death everywhere, you soon learn that you are not alone. Some of the experiments have gotten loose.

In this stealth and survival game, you must solve puzzles to progress through a series of room scale scenes and always remain alert for the deadly Syrens who are hiding in the shadows.

Episode 1 is available now on Oculus and STEAMVR and will be updated with the free DLC in May 2017.

EPISODE 2 SYREN: OPERATION ANOMALY 

Coming Soon Free DLC – It’s time to fight back!

Set after the events of SYREN, a CIA agent is sent into Darwin Station to find out why there has been loss of contact with the secondary science team and Navy Seals, who were previously sent in to investigate. As you move through the structure, you learn the CIA is less interested in the experiments but more the mysterious ‘Anomaly’ that sits at the heart of the ruins.

In this action packed free roaming shooter, you play as CIA black ops agent, ‘Manning’. Thrust into a world of violence and chaos, you must use your skills, and immense armoury, to contend with the deadly swarm of syrens stalking you and make your way to the mystical Anomaly.

The bonus episode 2 will be available as a free DLC to those who have purchased Episode 1 of SYREN, and will be available on SteamVR for HTC Vive and Oculus, in May 2017.  PlayStation will follow shortly after.

For press enquiries or further information please email Yush Kalia at yush@hammerheadvr.com.








 

OUR JOURNEY

Mocap Animation Pipeline

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SYREN’s animations are a mixture of motion capture and hand keyed animations using 3DS Max. There are many steps from capturing the data to seeing it in engine, from processing the data, cleaning it up, making sure the skinning of the rig works, and then exporting to engine to be set up with animation blueprints. You can see our process in this video.

Lighting Speed Video

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Our lead technical artist has super-human wizardry skillz when lighting scenes in Unreal Engine 4. This video shows lighting one of the corridors early on in SYREN’s game development. As you will see he goes through various incarnations of lights to get the mood just right.

recroomconceptart

Rec Room Concept Art

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Concept art is an important part of any game development cycle. In the first few weeks of SYREN whilst making the Rec Room one of our environment artists created this image highlighting the need to break up the room into segments but still have a large open window on one side. You’ll now see a lot of similarities in the game.

SyrenHair

Hair

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Hair can be a challenge when developing in VR. In SYREN we tackled this problem in 3DSMax using it’s different physics systems. We started by optimising the hair mesh, then rigging each chunk of hair, then we simulated in 3DSMax the movement of the hair. We had to do this for each hair style for each bit of animation on all of the types of hair. It was a lengthy process but we learnt an awful lot!

Facial Rig

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When creating animation for humanoid bipedal characters like the Syren’s we follow a fairly traditional pipeline for setting up rigs. Here is a video showing our facial rig tests as well as the different morph targets we created during this project for our generic syrens.

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Flipbook UI

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Here are some early UI tests. We initially went for a very futuristic interface, but this was then dialled back. The buttons at the bottom were originally to open the doors, but these also ended up going through multiple iterations. However you might still be able to spot some parts where these initial tests end up being used!

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Blocking Out Puzzles

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We always ‘whitebox’ a room or puzzle before we start to work into it further, this helps us to establish the flow of that part of the game without spending hours putting effort into something that might not make the game. For example, the placement of these boxes in the Medbay changed multiple times during development.

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Fuse Asset Creation

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An early version of the fuse system, that appears multiple times in the game. Our team model and unwrap all of their assets in 3DSMax but don’t get to see their final work until it is in Unreal Engine, with all of the shaders and materials hooked up.

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Modular World Building

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This image shows one of the early modular packs we created on SYREN, that was initially mainly to be used in the Medbay for the the structure. The curved look and bright colours were quickly swapped out for something more robust and mechanical.