Category Archives: Mortimer’s Mansion

Everything having to do with the volunteer, indie VR horror title created by the game dev group HVRE of Lexington, Kentucky.

Mortimer’s Mansion at Vector ’17 Panel


For the past few years, a video game conference called Vector has been hosted in April at EKU Gaming Institute for an entire weekend.  For my second year there, instead of just being a part of the ever-growing crowd like the first year – taking in the sights of local and big-wig game developers and industry leaders – I got to also be on an hour-long panel to discuss our experience (as HVRE) in making an indie, volunteer-based VR game for the Vive; “Mortimer’s Mansion.”

I did not personally edit this video, but as I said, I was on the panel in the video and got to be involved in two of my favorite past times: talking and video games!  We worked on Mortimer’s Mansion for half of the year in 2016, and got to discuss it in April of 2017.  I had a wonderful time, and it was an awesome experience to be able to present all of the hard work we had done, and also get to talk about it to curious students and onlookers, alike.

Enjoy the video!

Mortimer’s Mansion Brochure

mm-brochure-front

The front and back of a brochure for Mortimer's Mansion used at LexPLay
The front and back of a brochure for Mortimer’s Mansion used at LexPLay

In helping create Mortimer’s Mansion (an indie, VR horror game for the Vive system) we were eventually tasked with creating things to be used to advertise what we had done and to garner more attention for it for LexPlay.

Considering I was in charge of most of the social networking and advertising for Mortimer’s Mansion, it was thought to be a good idea to also have a brochure that we could give out both before and during the convention, to gather more attention and bodies to our specific wing of the event.  Shylo (our team lead) asked for both myself and my wife (Christina) to help create and finalize a brochure that she had started on, and wanted us to include pictures of most (if not all) of the participants in the project.  Christina had the wonderful idea to create keyhole borders around the faces (if we were indeed using the Mortimer’s Mansion logo that one of our devs (Zach) had created, to kind of tie in the whole theme of having to unlock enough puzzles to get a key to finally unlock the library door for the player to escape.  This was the first brochure/magazine entry I’ve ever had to create (other than a basic one back in high school for the Ski Team), and feel that the overall outline, design, look, and colors fits our HVRE theme perfectly!

Mortimer’s Mansion 1st Icon

A second logo/icon for "Mortimer's Mansion"
A second logo/icon for “Mortimer’s Mansion”

An indie, volunteer VR horror/puzzle game made by a group of local game developers in Lexington, Kentucky (RunJumpDev), “Mortimer’s Mansion” was created over a span of several months in the year of 2016, and is scheduled to be presented at this year’s LexPlay gaming convention at the end of October of 2016.  I was tasked with various jobs, one including designing and creating a specific, themed puzzle (out of many) for the game.

During the last month of production for this year’s HVRE game, we had to create a few things to make the game more personable and advertising-friendly.  One of the team leaders asked a couple of us to create both an icon and a logo for the game, to try to encapsulate what the game was about, but with a simple, yet stylized design.  I had come up with an idea for what I was calling an “amalgamated shadow” logo; which would have been the text “MM” ( for “Mortimer’s Mansion”) in a custom font in the foreground, with a dark mass behind it which would take the form of several key puzzle items in the silhouette.  Along the way of wanting to create that specific idea, I stopped halfway through because I found out that someone else’s logo had already been picked within a relatively short time.  So, I decided to take some of what I already had and create something different that would serve as a nice little icon, so I made the dark mass into the shadow of a pumpkin and positioned the special, custom text I made into the face of said pumpkin (with the “MM” being the eyes, and the “HVRE” being the mouth).

I really like how this turned out, but I really wish I had had a little more time to create what I had in mind in the beginning; perhaps I will create it in my spare time as a personal test and post it when finished!

Chimerdermy Puzzle Piece Models, Cont. Again


An indie, volunteer VR horror/puzzle game made by a group of local game developers in Lexington, Kentucky (RunJumpDev), “Mortimer’s Mansion” was created over a span of several months in the year of 2016, and is scheduled to be presented at this year’s LexPlay gaming convention at the end of October of 2016.  I was tasked with various jobs, one including designing and creating a specific, themed puzzle (out of many) for the game.

These are the last set of models I created from scratch (both meshes and textures), and were eventually used in game we have been creating.  I have yet to actually speak about this puzzle in particular, so let’s do just that!

In the beginning, each puzzle our team were to create needed to fit into a specific time in Mortimer’s life, growing up from a weird kid to an absolute mad man.  My puzzle, in particular, was supposed to represent the time of his life where he began to really delve into the aspect of perfecting and even creating new life.  Right away I knew that I wanted to create something that had to do with the creation of a chimera (or multiple chimeras, if possible).  I began to draw out the puzzle on Photoshop, and came up with a puzzle that included three specimen bodies (each were of a different species: like hamster, snake, and kiwi bird), and a variation of different taxidermy animal pieces one would have to match with the bodies (that were actually placed in dissection pans, held down by dissection pins).  At first, the hamster only needed a tail (in which you’d have to figure out of three tails, which would fit), the kiwi bird needed new arms and a tail (which in this case had to do with making the kiwi bird fly, hence putting the wings and tail feathers of other birds would suffice), and then the snake was going to need arms, legs, and also a tail (which for this specimen, it obviously would need more pieces attached than the other bodies.

To make a long story short, we eventually had to trim down the three specimens to only one (the snake was the victor), and try to focus on making the puzzle more succinct, yet still engaging.  I feel it turned out wonderful and I can’t wait for people at this year’s LexPlay to also enjoy what I (and the others) have created!

Mortimer’s Mansion 1st Logo

The first logo for the indie VR game "Mortimer's Mansion"
The first logo for the indie VR game “Mortimer’s Mansion”

An indie, volunteer VR horror/puzzle game made by a group of local game developers in Lexington, Kentucky (RunJumpDev), “Mortimer’s Mansion” was created over a span of several months in the year of 2016, and is scheduled to be presented at this year’s LexPlay gaming convention at the end of October of 2016.  I was tasked with various jobs, one including designing and creating a specific, themed puzzle (out of many) for the game.

One day, in my spare time, I thought I’d create a type of game logo, perhaps even a flash screen, for our game.  At this point, we had been using a lot of placeholder art for both the game itself and the social networking sites we had been updating on; so I took it upon myself to try to give our little game a face that people online could connect to.  This was essentially the first game logo/splash screen I ever made (which is kind of obvious with its simplicity), and went through a few different iterations until I decided upon this one.

At the time, as well, the game didn’t have an official name (we were still up in the air as to exactly what it would be called, even though the words “Mortimer” and “mansion” were definitely going to make it in the finalized version; and as you can see, the name changed from this to the standard “Mortimer’s Mansion.”  I found a nice, old library picture from google and used it as the background (after placing some filters on it), I took one of the puzzles from the game – in this case, the Bust puzzle – and attempted to create a symbol with it (hence the four freaky heads placed beside one another), and then I added the text in a stylized font with some extra features to give it a more unsettling feeling.  I feel this could have been better, but for being a first try, just for a few hours one night, I think it turned out rather neat!

Chimerdermy Puzzle Piece Models, Cont.


An indie, volunteer VR horror/puzzle game made by a group of local game developers in Lexington, Kentucky (RunJumpDev), “Mortimer’s Mansion” was created over a span of several months in the year of 2016, and is scheduled to be presented at this year’s LexPlay gaming convention at the end of October of 2016.  I was tasked with various jobs, one including designing and creating a specific, themed puzzle (out of many) for the game.

As the project went along, we gained people and ideas, and eventually had to trim away some ideas because some of said people had left for various reasons, as well; but the core team of about 8 people or so held firm and fought through the entirety of the game production process.  We first started with a game that would take place in various rooms throughout a mansion, involving a player and about 6 “playable NPCs” that would be played by real people and would physically interact with the person with the Vive headset on.  We came to find out that was a bit ambitious, and scaled it down to a 6-player, 12-puzzle, 60 minute experience in a single room (a wing of a giant library), with a hidden room that would eventually open for the players at one point in the game.  This version, too, had to be trimmed down a tad, which made it into the final version we’ll be presenting at this year’s video game convention called LexPlay; where the game is now a single-player, 15 minute, 4-random-puzzle experience that will also add back some narrative that we had lost in the 2nd version.

In the next (and last) post about these models, I’ll explain some of the puzzles that made it into final version, and more specifically about the puzzle that I created and have been posting about!

Chimeradermy Puzzle Piece Models


An indie, volunteer VR horror/puzzle game made by a group of local game developers in Lexington, Kentucky (RunJumpDev), “Mortimer’s Mansion” was created over a span of several months in the year of 2016, and is scheduled to be presented at this year’s LexPlay gaming convention at the end of October of 2016.  I was tasked with various jobs, one including designing and creating a specific, themed puzzle (out of many) for the game.

During my 2nd semester at BCTC, an organization of local game devs – “RunJumpDev” – were coming together for the second year in a row to create something they called HVRE (which stands for “Halloween Virtual Reality Experience”).  The year before, for a small get together around Halloween time, the first HVRE presented was of a VR horror game that some members of RunJumpDev had created over the span of a few months.  This second year, they were looking to expand on what they had done previously, and even to the point of wanting to use a Vive VR headset (instead of the somewhat stationary Gear VR they had used before).  They enlisted volunteers of various ages and backgrounds from several places (which ended up being over 20 people in all, testers included) and I just so happened to be one of those lucky people!

From the very get-go, I was tasked with social networking (to keep up a weekly blog of our progress on our personal Wix page and to update our Twitter page a couple of times, weekly), helping come up with ideas for overall narrative, puzzle design, lore, and mechanics, and I also even got to design an entire puzzle from scratch, being able to create models and textures for my idea, as well!

Above are the final versions of some of the models I created, these being the centralized pieces for the actual interactive pieces that I will be posting soon enough!