[Project Log] Malum Game Engine


Project Resources:

Game Development Project
November Game Development Hack-A-Thon

Idea logs:

  • Players start in HR and are issued a “Standard issue Kakos Communications Device” which is upgradable as the player progresses and provides access to the game UI, apps, and comms.

  • Gated progress by users needing to “unlock” vector functions or collect additional P.S.I. (programmable psychic interface) components and upgrade their nano bots and/or decipher with “the numbers”

  • Graphics; think It Crowd intro and but vector not pixel based, set to monotone palette and color coded npc (via importance/class) in a style closer to Silent Age but fitting of Kakos Industries.

  • nano bots can grant abilities (both positive and negative) and act like “potion effects” in other games. If the nano bots are not periodically recharged then they can go haywire which causes negative effects or harm to the player. These also have integration upgrades with the standard issue communications device and p.s.i.

  • PSI unlock is done by players progressively programming psi cartages via a visual programmer app on thier communications device with their currently available vector functions.

    • these functions have constants, operators, selectors, and “tricks” called runes. all of which interact with the game engine to allow the player to create complex interactions with the world, buffs, summon entrees, and just about anything they can imagine.
    • the psi system is practically a gated and sandboxed developer console to the game with interesting game play mechanics.
    • cartages can include loopcast, projectiles, generic, “grenade” style, and charged versions.
      • loopcast loop the function doing a time period based on the amount of psychic energy/level the player has and continues until the player deselects the function
      • projectiles require functions to have a focal point rune and shoot an digital like light orb containing the function in a line directly to where the player is aiming.
      • grenade cartages do the same as a projectile but are lobbed and activate after a timer
      • mine type cartages function just like grenade cartages but are affected by gravity and activate when an entity object touches the orb
      • generic cartages function like a projectiles cartage save for the function execution is instant and at where the player is aiming
      • charged cartages function like a generic cartage after a charge up period can be activated by the player at will
    • cartages take material that is found in world to create
    • functions are programmed around vector based math
    • PSI levels and unlocks persist across game plays and permadeaths
    • PSI functions can be shared between players via a pastebin like function and ties into the steam community
  • After unlocked a player can clone themselves up to three times in a clone machine terminal which takes real world time to generate and acts as a clean shell with its own abilities, nano bot levels, etc… which does not have access to the original communication device without the player storing both the PSI and Com Device(s) within access of the shell.

  • NPC Classes:

    • Janitor (aka spy)

    • BofH “IT Guy” (aka hacker)

    • Temp (aka the rouge)

    • Office Secretary (aka the flirt)

    • Suit (aka corporate drone)

    • Security (aka killer android)

    • Scientist (aka evil genious)

    • level maps are generated once per world and persist after player death. Map generations take in schemas of key areas and use random noise generators and other algorithms to ensure smooth progression around the world

  • players will be able to always return to the lobby area and access their cubical to be able access functions of the game, save their progress where there’s a blocked path and reset an area of the map (which would “randomize”/reset the pathways) by calling into tech support and spending their hard earned level points

  • Players would need to collect emails, spreedsheets, research notes, post-it notes, and other office documents to help discover the underlining plot while traversing the world map aka corporate building

  • Expansions can include other corporate sites (such as the factory and the werehouse) or player generated maps.

  • A few game achievements when awarded on steam/google play also unlock areas of the game


Mob ideas:

  • killer robots
  • bite wolves and bite wolf trainers
  • rouge Peters and Jills (aka dickbutts and hello k…ty) [ dms jokes :wink: ]
  • corrupted experimental tentacle monsters - tiny cthulu beings covered in slime and other things
  • Mallious toast (flying haunted toast burnt a little to dark)


  • Bazizka: upgraded by kick arse robots and ran amok
  • Dark Mega Puppy: Most evil version of bite wolves with multi heads and super adorableness for attacks. What one gets when combining dark mega cane with the ultracute serum made from a select board member’s Daughter’s husk.
  • Steve: works in the audio visual department or something and attacks with sonic attacks

Final Battle:

  • Shareholder’s brawl


ferret w/ donut


@Narkane and guys how’s the project coming along?


What times are we meeting up?


same as last week 7pm. Naturally I’ll be there at the space before that though.


Internal email discovered:

To: Coren Deeth, 3rd.

From: The desk of supermega awesome
video gaming division.

This is amazing news we’re hearing just now over the broadcast. Apparently your alter ego’s latest announcement has our department all a buzz with ideas.

We’re delighted to begin on a new Android game where robots move humans … wait I’m being told that’s not how Android phones work.

Ok, so picture this a plot delivered metroidvania platformer with rougelike gameplay set in it’s ownself contained sub universe that’s about an internship at kakos Industries as told by memos, emails, and water cooler chat.

Characters would travel through out the floors of Kakos Industries doing various takes given to them by vaugely distinguished bosses and middle management all in attempts to earn more evil points.

Players would face harrouling challenges and paroius levels of the building as they attempt to complete their tasks. If the players are lucky to survive the week of internship and earned enough evil points they are awared stock in Kakos Industries and immediately enroled into the super secret hell work force program. If they discover the whole plot they learn that they are back up subjects to the kakos industrial brain simulation program and are immediately reset in the simulation.

That head developer who doesn’t get out too much.


Kakos_Game_180730.pdf (33.4 KB)
tutorial script


I wanted to make sure I gave you guys some stuff to work with, so here’s some more general ideas about how the game can go and some ideas for concept art. Let me know what you think or if you have any ideas to add.

Visual style - High contrast black and white. Muted other colors most of the time. Bright red blood when it happens. Dark purple, green, and blue where applicable. Pixel art, cell-shading, or other flat, cartoonish style.

Style inspirations -

Animation/cell shading: Don’t Starve (Mute Colors), Borderlands 2 (3d cell shading, cartoony style), Neverending Nightmares (high contrast black and white with splashes of accent color), Vampire Masquerade Bloodlines (Mentioned during discussion), Antichamber (Stark Colors, but probably too bright), Darkest Dungeon (dark color palette), Sunless Sea (dark color palette), Astroneer (Low polygon count)

Pixel: Stardew Valley (customizable character, low detail, simplistic), Paper’s Please (mute color palette, harsh pixels), Baobab’s Mausoleum (3D pixel art, great details), Owlboy (really just great looking pixel art), Binding of Isaac, Hotline Miami (top down pixel art, but too bright), Mandagon, Nuclear Throne

Level ideas-

  • Division of Genetic Manipulation and Body Modification - unlock upgrades, genetic monster
  • Division of Nanotechnology - unlock upgrades, nanite swarm?
  • Division of Supercomputing - Get some technology, but a rogue AI tries to delete you
  • Division of Insurmountable Fear - A monster that controls fear like the Scarecrow (but it’s actually a sentient hippopotamus)
  • The Culinary Division - A seafood gumbo that has come to life.
  • The Division of Fire - unsurprisingly, everything is on fire. Unlock a sciencer protocol.
  • The Division of Monsters - Actually, everything is okay. You get to talk to a completely reasonable monster.
  • The Division of Human Sexuality - A robot covered in sex toys gets loose.
  • The Division of Advanced Physics - You have to battle a small black hole with a bad attitude. Maybe an upgrade that allows you to modify the physics around you.
  • The Division of Radiation - Everyone is gone. Just shadows of ash and radiation to clean up.
  • The Division of Labyrinthian Lab Layouts - a maze of some sort.
  • The Division of Pain - No one is in pain. Why? A sentient drug perhaps?
  • The Division of Submechanophobia - You have to dive into a shipwreck that is somehow inside the building. No one from the Division has been heard from in a while.
  • The Division of Textiles has created a human skin analog, and they accidentally created a homunculus out of it.

Looking at this list gives me another idea for a mechanic - after each level, you get a choice of upgrade: A gene mod (like a bioshock plasmid), a Mechanical upgrade to your person (robot parts), or an upgrade to your sciencer. They have similar effects, but different costs. Sciencer needs batteries or recharge, genetic mods work less and less well as you get tired, mechanical parts are more consistent but not as good (and you begin to become more and more machine). It should make sense to blend them throughout the game, and maybe even swap them out at a station. Could have tiers and variations.

Possible Central Conflict Resolution

  • Surprise! You’ve been a brain in a digital reality the whole time. It’s a video game, get it?
  • Nanotechnology has escaped and started bringing things to life
  • A virus has the capability of giving inanimate objects DNA and have been bringing things to life
  • A mad scientist has been shooting a “life ray” at things and making them live and fight.
  • A primordial gas that creates sentience.


  • Sciencer and upgrades
  • Mods for Sciencer
  • Mechanical body parts
  • Gene mod samples
  • Weapons. High tech (but still melee) objects.
    • Super Inertial Hammer
    • Impossibly Sharp Axe
    • The Infinitely Pointy End (spear)
    • The Bluntest Baton
    • The Extra Extra Stun Baton
    • (Could do something like Borderlands and combine color, design, adjectives, etc. to make a lot of weapons with random stats, or just stick to a few scripted ones)
  • Thrown objects
    • Coffee cups
    • Bricks
    • Bottles
  • Stealth gear - face changer, different clothes, etc.

Potential Mechanics

  • Melee
  • Thrown items
  • Sciencer “spells”
  • Genetic/mechanical augmentation
  • Stealth?
  • Pacifism? (A joke about Undertale - No, you’re really going to have to kill it. It can’t be reasoned with)
  • How bloody you are. Makes stealth harder.
  • How monstrous you’ve become
  • How much machine you are
  • How inhuman you’ve become
  • Some element of romance, and probably the ability to date at least one monster.
  • Janitorial Headquarters upgrades.
  • Physics and the ability to modify it?

Physical Traits

  • Long hair (a handful of styles)
  • Short hair (a handful of styles)
  • Heavy/medium/thin
  • Tall/medium/short
  • Square/Medium/Pointy jaw (depending on the resolution of the character)
  • Ability? Maybe the option to have a wheelchair, and later power legs?
  • Missing limbs
  • Make your character any color. Maybe eye color as well.
  • Typical male/female chest and shoulders (crass humor - no breasts, normal breasts, and holy shit. Changes dialogue from certain characters?)
  • Typical male/female pelvis/hips (Similar to the above - an option for a substantial bulge in the pants. Changes dialogue options? Totally fine not including either of these, by the way)

“Secret” characters - When you select a different personality test than your own, you can end up a bear in human clothes just trying to blend in. Maybe a few others (unlocked after a successful playthrough or something). Gladys asks if it’s really you, then (Gladys POV) she squints at your designed character until you become the bear. Maybe a tentacle monster and slender man also.

Character Traits

  • Strengths
    • Brainy (bonus to a skill)
    • Strong (bonus to a skill)
    • Agile (bonus to a skill)
    • Charismatic (extra dialogue options)
    • Energetic (bonus to a skill)
    • Well-Connected (extra plot line with relative in the company?)
    • Hard worker (bonus to a skill)
    • Humble (extra dialogue options)
    • Educated (extra dialogue options)
  • Flaws
    • Lusty (you automatically pick certain dialogue options)
    • Anger problems (You lose your cool and gain strength, but lose combat options)
    • Totally Insane (Could be like Wild Wasteland in New Vegas, or introduce a character or two who may or may not be there)
    • Lover of drugs (No option when drugs are around. They are going in you)
    • Confrontational (limited dialogue)
    • Liar (restricts dialogue options)
    • Fearful (Makes certain kinds of combat harder)
    • Sickly (less health?)
    • Egoist (changes dialogue options)
    • Hard to look at (dramatically reduces things said to the player)

There can be a few recommended builds for Normal, Interesting, Fast, etc., so players can decide what kind of play through they want. Maybe some posters in the HR department you can examine. Maybe mid way you can change it also.


  • Manny - Director of Janitorial
  • Clarissa - Director of Janitorial
  • ??? - Director of Janitorial
  • Gladys - HR
  • Corin - CEO
  • The tentacle monster Manny loves
  • Maybe an Internal Investigator (I.I. or Aye aye)
  • Other Divisions that are trying to figure out why there’s so many strange accidents. Sort of like towns in other video games.
  • Factions? People who are for the existing management and their response to the problem, and people who want them replaced, and people who think it might be a sign of the spiritual end times. This might be too complicated.
  • Other janitors
  • People you rescue
  • A spy from Melantha’s company (her company is having trouble also)
  • A DarkMegaUSSR spy

Questions for the team:

  1. How do you feel about pacifism/stealth options?
  2. How do you feel about the several play style variants? The player mods, the weapon types, the character traits, etc.
  3. What are the pros and cons of 2D and 3D in terms of development?

For concept art:

So, let’s say the first level is The Division of Genetic Manipulation and Body Modification. It’s a laboratory with countertops lining all of the walls. The walls and counters are black. The floor and ceilings are white. The ceiling emits a dim glow of light. Microscopes and high tech equipment are broken and in disarray all over the floor and countertops. There is a smear of blood that leads the player deeper into the laboratory. The player readies THE SCIENCER, a device shaped like a radar gun, but with a satellite dish at the business end, and a big rotary knob on top. There is also a coding terminal in the top of the sciencer with a touch screen keyboard. The player gets to room number two of The Division of Genetic Manipulation and Body Modification to discover a SCIENTIST. His body is badly deformed and he lies on the ground face down. His lab coat and clothes are in tatters. His head is swollen and lumpy. His arms and legs have too many knees and elbows. He hears the player enter, looks up and begins crawling toward the player. The scientist begs for help, dragging his body along with twisted and contorted limbs. After a short interrogation, the player learns that some genetic experiment was a failure, and the virus that was carrying the genetic material started behaving strangely before infecting the entire staff. The scientist did not mutate well. He became hideous and weak, but others grew beautiful and strong. The player should get him out of there quickly as the others are coming. Just then, a door bursts open and three extraordinarily beautiful human beings enter the room. They are dressed in lab coats, and apparently nothing else. The first, a blond woman, approaches the player. There is nothing to worry about, she assures. Whatever caused the alarm to go off was obviously a mistake. There is no problem here. Only a virus that makes people beautiful. The Scientist on the ground shouts at the player to run and not to let her get too close. Another of the beautiful people, a dark-haired man kneels down beside the scientist. Large fangs grow from his gums, his mouth stretches open incredibly wide, and he swallows the scientist’s head entirely, leaving only a blood-spurting neck stump. The blond woman curses after her accomplice ruins the surprise. Then her fangs begin to stretch out of her mouth. Time for combat. The three beautiful people are fast, but the sciencer does a good job of repelling them with huge bursts of air. The player also has a stun baton to knock out the monsters. Also, the microscopes, incubators, and computers around the room can be thrown at the monsters. After defeating them, they can either be captured or killed. Each choice gives a different reward. The beautiful man throws up the head from the scientist to reveal that he is somehow still alive, but very much looking forward to being reattached. This is only the first room, however, and there are several more like it, culminating in the final room where a beautiful, but enormous woman struggles to fit in the room. She is in the fetal position and unable to move, but her teeth are sharp and her tongue can shoot out of her mouth like a frog’s. Boss fight. The player has to dodge the tongue, the teeth, and her free hand while attacking her to get her health down low enough for victory. After the fight, the player finds a gene sample that can provide a bonus to charisma, but they will need to learn how to use it first. They can also go back through the few functioning computers in the lab to learn about what happened just before the problems started.

I hope that’s a useful description as far as concept art goes. Let me know if there’s anything else I can describe, or if you guys have any different ideas.


Here’s also a list of the Divisions mentioned in the podcast if you guys are looking for inspiration:

It’s perfectly within the character of Kakos Industries to just have a never ending list of new divisions, though, so these aren’t the only ones we can work with.


Blocker… need concept artist and a 3d modeler/animator.


Here’s some more idea development I did.

We’ve been talking about Roguelikes a lot in these discussions, so I think we should embrace that and try to aim for something sort of like the rogue-lite structures of FTL or Rogue Legacy.

the player should play several shorter playthroughs with a new character each time. Aspects of the game should be randomized or procedurally generated to keep that interest.

The Division gets upgrades as the player completes tasks (which shouldn’t be all that punishing early on). Any upgrade the player unlocks can be used by future characters, but cost some sort of in-game currency to do, so you would have to save up a lot before a character dies to start the next character as a complete cyborg.

At a certain point, the player can build a Reconstituter, which will recreate any of their other characters so that they can continue where they left off (possibly also for in-game currency. There’s something kind of diabolical about having to make a new character, play that character until they die an early death, and then use the money they earned to bring back the character you actually want to play.) When the Reconstituter gets built, the Division heads have a conversation about how it can bring back everyone… but they’ve only got the one job opening, so… oh well.

Once the player has enough of the infrastructure set up so that they’re consistently doing well in the game, they can get to one of several endings, but each ending has a “That doesn’t seem quite right” moment. That leads to the next playthrough, which gives a different ending. The endings can be based on play style, amount of stuff unlocked, or random/sequential. There can be a “real” ending at 100% completion.

If someone tries to recreate a character by making an identical one, or one with a small difference, I think there should be dialogue changes where people mistake that character for the old one, but correct themselves.

It also might be kind of cool to have interchangeable titles. the character is never addressed by their real name (because it’s typed in by the player), but they can be addressed as “The Bloody One” or “The Monster Lover” or “New Hire”.

I was also thinking that it might be interesting if there were multiple ways to play that go beyond the melee/ranged/magic (science) dynamic. Maybe there should be Violence, Wit, Science, and Seduction to solve all of the problems, but you’ll need at least two in good shape to beat the game. Maybe there should be certain side tasks that you will need a character with certain character traits to beat, like a monster that can only be reasoned with, or one that is only weak to love.

I’m also thinking that the story should unfold in spaces that are not randomized so there is still a feeling of on-rails story telling continuity. Something I haven’t worked out just yet is how relationships between the player and NPCs should go. It would make sense to revive a character who is friends with another character, but that might lead to some sort of stalemate scenario where progress becomes impossible. Perhaps, some characters just respond to certain character types in different ways (You’re covered in blood! You must be a great warrior!).

Maybe it’s only the laboratories that are randomized, and the rest of the map stays mostly the same. Or we could do something like the Sunless Sea map where there are the same things every time, but they move around in the time it takes to reconstitute a character or hire another. Maybe the reconsituter is kind of bad at its job, so it brings back a character and several monsters in the vicinity. There may be too much repetition if the same bosses have to be fought repeatedly, though.

Maybe there’s a machine you can purchase that causes a problem in a certain area to start up again, and then the ending for 100% completion has something to do with that machine actually being responsible for all of the problems. “I definitely remember buying it. It wasn’t always there.” “How well can you trust your memory? How do you know one of your colleagues didn’t hide it from you?”

I’m just riffing at this point so I’ll leave it there.


Game Asset resources











Found some models of business people:


the janitorial offices?!

and maybe… bite wolves?


might need to reskin them and play around with it in blender3d.


hmm… maybe a bit of this style though if we could do it in a semi 3d level design


ok so not Kakos industries but maybe as a general game asset for menus or what not (if we get the rights to use it that is) or in a different game.



Calendar event:



if the game was a music video I think this would be it or at lease the art style we’ve been discussion


ideas for map “feel”

https://www.cryptovoxels.com/[email protected],3S

of course not so… “blocky”