It’s been a while since we covered the progress of The Forgotten City by The Modern Storytellers, an Australian indie game studio. We first covered the game’s announcement trailer from E3 2018. Elder Scrolls V fans may recognize the title as one similar to an expansion mod released for the base game back in 2015. And you would be correct to make that comparison.
The Forgotten City (mod) guided players through an underground city where a massive event had apparently taken place. Without revealing too much, the citizens of the city lived in constant fear of crime due to the Dwarvian Law: the many shall suffer for the sins of the one. Through investigation and the manipulation of time travel, players attempted to solve the mystery surrounding the destruction of the city, all the while trying to avoid lawbreaking. The story was non-linear, included various possible mysteries to uncover, and had different endings depending on your choices. It was creative, engaging, thrilling, and totally worth the 6-8 hour playthrough. If you have not tried it out, you should.
Now here we are in 2019, and the mod has been reimagined with a new setting: Rome. Nick Pearce, the founder and developer of The Modern Storyteller, recently showcased the project this past March during PAX East 2019. In an interview with Gage Edwards (from n3rdabl3), Pearce says the team has updated the voice acting, visuals, and score. Fans can expect an all-new story, new twists, new characters, and new endings.
Pearce revealed, in a recent interview with Reillusion, that he has received tremendous support for the game’s creation, including awards, grants, and co-funding. He mentions Epic Games granting the team an Unreal Dev Grant, as well as receiving co-funding from the Film Victoria, an organization which supports the innovation and engagement in the fields of film, television, and games. These contributions have aided in the growth of both studio’s team and quality for The Forgotten City. Pearce also revealed some of the barriers of making such a game as an indie game company.
I was told it was going to cost a fortune. – That it was going to be about a $500,000 to record the high-quality facial motion capture animations for about 2,000 lines of dialogue. Fortunately, I discovered Character Creator 3 and iClone 7, and was able to create or own facial motion capture animations for about 1% of the cost of traditional facial motion capture.
The Modern Storytellers Studio has received support and encouragement from fans of the game, both players of the original mod plus new supporters. Yesterday, the studio released a new video sharing some of the processes behind the creation and animation for the characters in the game.
The Forgotten City is expected to come out for the Xbox One and PC. Can’t wait? Why not check out the game that started it all, the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim mod, which is currently still available on the Nexus. There is a version for Special Edition players as well. Modern Storytellers aims to launch The Forgotten City stand-alone game sometime late this year. Be sure to visit the studio’s Twitter, YouTube, or webpage for updates on the game’s progress.