Work of Wyrd – Bringing Hellboy Web of Wyrd to Life

Hey Xbox users! We’re Upstream Arcade, the team behind the new roguelike brawler; Hellboy Web of Wyrd. We’re a small independent team of 16 developers based in the UK who originally leveled up together at Lionhead Studios, working on the Fable Franchise and Black & White 2. Now, some years later, we’ve regrouped to make distinctive action games together!

HB screenshot

Hellboy Web of WyrdIt’s a toe-to-toe fight featuring the eponymous Hellboy in an ever changing and shifting world. It was important to us to make the most ‘Hellboy’ game possible and there were lots of elements that seemed important to the feel of the character; supernatural detective work, getting into trouble and then punching your way out of it.

HB screenshot

In order to create an authentic Hellboy experience, we imagined what it would feel like to build a video game where you could step into the pages of a Mike Mignola graphic novel. We are all big fans of Mike’s work but we made sure each team member had the time to read through Hellboy’s stories and familiarize themselves with the work so that we could consistently ask ourselves when approaching the game and art design: “But is it Hellboy?”

HB screenshot

There were a number of tricky challenges translating the 2D art style into 3D – for example we have to fully rotate around a 3D Hellboy and make sure his proportions remain accurate, our animators have to convey his sense of weight and heft as he moves and swings a punch, and our players have to be able to step into those signature areas of black shadow and still know where they are. From the code side of things we had to re-write some of the rendering code entirely to achieve the ‘hand drawn’ Mike Mignola look

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We developed a chunky outline rendering system that conveys a hand drawn look both on the silhouettes of characters and their internal detail – the scratches and scuffs of surface detail. Our game uses a different lighting system to keep a flat-color look. This allows us to ensure that the Mignola creatures are recognizable from all angles and in any setting. We had a lot of fun tackling these issues during development, and hope that the respect and love we feel for the original material is evident throughout the entire game.

To keep the flat look, lights had to behave differently in other engines. The lights had to act differently in different engines in order to maintain that flat appearance.

The story was shaped by our own constraints. We wanted to encourage players to continue reading the first comics, even if they were unfamiliar with Hellboy. Also, we wanted the story to have a pulpy feel with high-action and mystery. With these in mind, we settled for a year – 1982 (a bad year for hairstyles, but a great year for a new Hellboy story) – and a setting; the Wyrd – a mysterious realm which celebrates stories. We hope that the story will feel very authentic. HellboyAs it touches upon some familiar themes. Of course, there is one other twist in the game that Hellboy fans might be able to guess, but that’s a surprise!

Enjoy! Hellboy Web of WyrdAs much as we have enjoyed creating it. Just remember, you’re gonna be sore in the morning!

Hellboy Web of Wyrd

Xbox Live

Hellboy Web of Wyrd

Good Shepherd Entertainment



The B.P.R.D. Hellboy, a member of the B.P.R.D.

Play the Comics
Developed by Upstream Arcade, Hellboy Web of Wyrd utilizes an art style faithful to Mike Mignola’s original masterpieces. The game, like the comic, sends Hellboy to a number of unique and wildly different adventures. While each tale stands alone, it is all connected by the mystery of The Butterfly House.

Wyrd Welcomes You to Our Site
Built in 1962 by occultist Pasquale Deneveaux, The Butterfly House is more than a mere residence; it’s a gateway. The strange geometries and angles of the Butterfly House were built using ley energies to create a gateway into The Wyrd, a horrifying and intriguing dimension.

Roguelike Action Brawler
As you journey through the Wyrd, go head-to-head with an array of horrific creatures. Combat has been engineered to create challenging encounters that encourage you to learn patterns, dodge, parry, and – of course – punch your enemies into oblivion.

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