The Harvest precedes The Chaos Engine 3

Earlier this evening I was looking at Dan Malone’s art on DeviantArt. He is the brilliant artist who worked on The Chaos Engine, by The Bitmap Brothers.

I posted the following comment on his drawing of the six characters from The Chaos Engine:
“A great drawing :)
The Chaos Engine is one of my favourite games, and The Bitmap Brothers are my favourite game developers.
It feels surreal posting a comment here.
One of my dreams is to work on The Chaos Engine 3.”

It took me about 20 minutes to compile the comment. Why so long? Because I felt it was too important to screw up. Because The Chaos Engine is one of my favourite games. Because I reread every article in every magazine about the game when I was a kid (even now I sometimes read those articles again). Because I stared at the screen shots for hours. Because it made me want to work on a game with the same amount of quality.

The Chaos Engine is a piece of clay moulded to perfection and the end result is a classical marble statue. Ok, I’m exaggerating a little, because the game is not perfect. But it’s close. For me, The Bitmap Brothers epitomised the ultimate game development studio.

One of my dreams is to work on The Chaos Engine 3. When we worked on The Harvest at Luma Arcade, small quantities of that dream seeped through without me being aware of it at first.

I sent one of the artists a few screen shots of The Chaos Engine as reference. He probably wondered why I’m sending him old 2D stuff for a new 3D game and deleted the email :)

I named one of the locations in the game to Navvie’s Blues, as homage to the Navvie character. When we were discussing character stats, I mentioned we should implement a similar coin system as the one in The Chaos Engine for upgrading the character stats. Thankfully I was ignored, because it would not have worked in the context of the game, and not what fans expect from current action RPG games.

When I first saw the art for the sewer level in The Harvest, it took all of my will power to control the tears about to flow from my eyes. I quietly sat at my desk and opened screen shots from The Chaos Engine’s sewer level and looked at The Harvest’s sewer level. That green, those pipes, the bricks…

The final boss in The Harvest is an alien merged with advanced technology. In The Chaos Engine the final boss is Baron Fortesque merged with The Chaos Engine, an advanced machine he created. The decision for the final boss had nothing to do with me. It was just a coincidence :)

The Harvest turned out to be a powerful force in its own right. It has solidified a place in gaming history as one of the first, best looking, and monolithic 3D mobile games. It planted its flag. It drew a line in the sand. From this point onwards mobile games will never be the same again.

And I’m glad I was part of it :)

To everyone who worked on The Harvest, and everyone who made it possible: THANK YOU!!!!!

It is the best game I have ever worked on.

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