In the build: Unification day

‘Again John?’.

In awareness now of the smell of burning flesh, he still felt no reason to speak, but a sudden and familiar feeling of guilt had overcome his emotions. The man held out his right hand to pass Johns own cell-phone over to him.

Instinctively he reached cautiously, suspiciously. The man pulled his waiting hand away and gazed into John’s eyes.

‘Answer it John’.

A heavy breath of air escaped as he arose quickly from his sleep, lifting him up as the shock of the events he had witnessed dissolved like it always did.

His phone was ringing on silent, vibrating as it moved closer and closer to the edge of the bedside table. He struggled to the edge of the bed, reaching out blindly to collect the phone before it fell.  Eyes cloudy, he reviewed the screen.

The caller ID was withheld, but to John that was more of a tell than a name could ever be. He swiped at the screen to answer, and with a breath he raised the phone to his ear. His assistant Maggie was on the other end.

‘We need you in John. Soon as you can make it – sooner’.

The sound of desperation made the immediacy of her request all the more apparent. John coughed through the microphone, holding it away from his mouth momentarily, only to notice the number of missed calls had reached 13.

‘What time is it?’
‘6 AM, but John have you seen the report?’
‘6 AM?’

His voice was firm, dry from the night’s indiscretions, unapologetic yet unangered.
‘Yes John’, she affirmed, ‘but John, the report. Turn on your TV’.

He looked down. The bottle had fallen over, but what had remained in it had not left much of a mark on his shirt, instead pouring down the summer blanket and onto the cream thick pile carpet. The remote was within arm’s reach, and when the bright panel ceased to sting his eyes he could make out footage of a deep pit. – Ch.1 The Call

A lot has been happening over the last week on the Deep Earth development schedule! We met Friday night for our weekly dev night, with unification on the plan. Each of us have had backlog items to finish before meeting up to join our work into one singular level. In this instance, we have been hard at work developing the apartment scene, where John wakes up to the sound of his phone after a night of drinking and feverish dreams.

Regulation fire stairs

If you have been keeping up to date on our work via Instagram, Facebook or even Twitter (and that’s a shout out to visit and subscribe if you might be so inclined 😉 ) Scott has been busy building the fire stairs for John’s apartment. We have had wonderful community involvement in this area, and have been listening to your thoughts and recommendations!

John’s palatial apartment

John’s apartment is coming along nicely! David has designed the layout, and developed the prototype, which includes a mezzanine with all the luxurious features a highly paid scientific advisor might desire (even though John no longer cares for luxury).

Unification day!


There it is folks, the end-to-end scene (minus the elevator) for John’s apartment. A number of game scenes will use this space, over the course of about 4 of John’s years in game. Scenes of love, heartache and existential crisis. You can see the foyer, fire stairs, hallway and John’s apartment at the back. Prototyping an end-to-end scene allows us to build a backlog of features that we can incrementally implement. Notice the attention to detail in the staircase as opposed to the foyer. More changes and improvements will come with time.

Artistry and animation

Here we are trying out our new motion capture tools. Pretty exciting stuff! We are also investigating the most appropriate character modeling tools and are actively looking for a concept artist to help bring our ideas to page. If you are Canberra, Australia based, we want to talk with you! Perhaps a comic book is in order?

Sprint 4  “The Animator” backlog

What is in our next week long sprint of work?

  • Elevator development, including animation and access control
  • Locating a concept artist
  • Investigating modeling tools (character creation)
  • Upgrading the apartment
  • Developing a first and 3rd person controller
  • Animating the player

Until next time…

Scott, Sean and David.

An introduction to PickLock Games and our project – codenamed ‘Deep Earth’

Logo GIF

Welcome strangers to our grand introduction! This is our first post outlining who we are and what we are doing here on this blog, and on the project (codenamed ‘Deep Earth’). This blog will hopefully give you an idea about who we are (all 3 of us), and what we are working on as our first video game project.

Codenamed ‘Deep Earth’

Deep Earth promotion 1.png

Let us formally introduce our game – codenamed ‘Deep Earth’. We don’t want to give away the title just yet, because the book is presently in the works too! The short novel by Scott started it all, and has lead us on a journey of discovery.

Deep Earth is a story driven exploration game, in development through the Unity platform. We are currently in the prototyping phase at the moment, but we have big plans should things look good by the end of this phase.

Science! This game is all about science, religion and morality. You play as John R, a lead government scientist who’s life has taken a turn. His experiences and thoughts, as well as those of his friends and co-workers guide him through the decisions he must face in story. He will see travel and exploration, feel horror, sadness and confusing, all the while painting his travels with his own cynical brand of humor. Other characters will be playable too, and we plan a fully voiced cast!

We haven’t found the perfect character design for John just yet. But the below concept art has been progressing.


As well as those of his best friend and co-worker Raymond C, and his secretary Maggie K.


We want the player to feel the moments of triumph, desperation and existential confusing that John and others will be experiencing, so we will be exploring John’s life, his secrets and motivations and delve into the depths of his moral code.

Check out our last blog post (link here) to learn about how the development is going.



We plan to have a working prototype going soon, then to broaden it out into a high quality playable demo to take to the gamers to try themselves.

Who are we?

PickLock Games is comprised of three IT professionals working and living in Australia’s capital city Canberra. Two Agile Coaches and one Project Manager.

Team photo2

Scott is the storyteller and 3d modeler. An Agile coach/Business analyst who has been playing with 3d modeling and game design for years. He has worked on virtual reality, pc game design and has far too many hobbies.

David is the visionary and project manager. He can see a good idea from a mile away (or approximately 1.60934kms). David has 10 years of ICT delivery experience, including in transformational IT projects. He plans to utilise his skill set to deliver a high end and enjoyable game. He will also be working in code and 3d design.

Sean is the technician and principle developer. (not pictured). Sean has 10 years in Agile development, including large scale ICT applications and custom built solutions.

That just about does it for this blog entry. Keep watching this space for more blog entries to come as we continue out journey.

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