Bartlow's Dread Machine

Jan 28, 2020

I first met Clayton Kauzlaric when he was hired at Cavedog to be the lead artist on Total Annihilation. We quickly because good friends and over years have collaborated on countless games (if you can't count higher than 9). We made casual games for Real Networks, co-created DeathSpank, and made iOS games like The Big Big Castle and Scurvy Scallywags.

Clayton just announced his latest game, Bartlow's Dread Machine. Unfortunately I didn't work on the game, but I have seen it and it's amazing. It's basically a video game built in 1900. Everything is mechanical and it's a wonder to watch everything unfold and run on wires and gears.

Take a gander.

Sushi Jan 28, 2020
That machine gives me the creeps... I'd still expect a kind of Phantasmagoria-like horror twist to what looks to be a very original game otherwise.
And the music is unmistakenly Steve Kirk's!

Big Red Button Jan 29, 2020
What an original look! It might be fun to play this game in a co-op mode with a friend. According to the Steam page, there will be more than one co-op mode. I am curious how these modes differ.

Speaking of Steve Kirk, I had listened to the TWP score just before I visited this blog and watched this video. Nice to see that he is still a creative artist. He has a rich repertoire.

Clayton Kauzlaric Jan 29, 2020
Thanks! There's really only couch co-op planned at this point. Steam auto-checks their Remote Play Together feature on your Store page when you say your game has co-op. It sounds like it might work for Dread Machine but we haven't investigated it yet.

Evan Jan 29, 2020
Wow! looks amazing.  I'll have to check it out when it releases.

Big Red Button Jan 29, 2020
@ Clayton Kauzlaric:
Thank you for your reply. I think, couch co-op is the best kind of co-op for such a game anyway.

Reagan W Jan 30, 2020
Any recommendation from you is one worth listening to. Thanks, Ron!

David Fox Jan 30, 2020
This is beautiful! And it's a game that Rube Goldberg would have loved.

Robert Megone Jan 30, 2020
I love this, great concept too. 'In an era before health and safety comes a machine ready to rip your thumbs clean off. '

Clayton Kauzlaric Jan 30, 2020
Robert: That has to be the greatest box quote I've ever read.

Whup Jan 31, 2020
What a cool concept and setting - did the line based gameplay idea come first or the mechanical setting I wonder?  The music and atmosphere made me think of Bioshock - the contraption would be right at home next to a 'Circus of Value' vending machine in Rapture.

Clayton Kauzlaric Feb 01, 2020
Thanks! I figured we'd need to go with basic controls similar to early video games. The reasoning there was that someone trying to make a glorified shooting gallery would only have so many movements and directions available and might arrive at the same solutions as pioneering electronic games. I was thinking we'd go with more 2-dimensional tin cutouts at first but found it was easier to deal with collision, camera and aiming with more fully sculpted tin toys for the characters.

Whup Feb 04, 2020
Thanks Clayton - the sculpted toys look great - I'm sure you would have made cutouts look good too, but the tin looking models really remind me of my dads old toys I'd come across when I was a kid.  Looking forward to playing it!

Kolzig Feb 06, 2020
Still hanging on to my Scurvy Scallywags Android version that is in my Nexus 7 tablet. Shame the game is no longer available otherwise. I believe The Big Big Castle was never ported to Android?

Bartlow's Dread Machine looks really great, this one's going to my wishlist for sure and keeping an eye out at the release date.