I have been quiet for a while, but back in May I joined Apocalypse Studios as Game Director, to build the design foundation of Deadhaus Sonata, a highly ambitious action RPG title in the intersection of AAA and free-to-play.
Apocalypse Studios (based on the often misrepresented ancient Greek term that roughly means “to reveal cosmic truth“) was founded by industry veterans behind acclaimed (or even legendary) titles like Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, and Warframe.
To get a project and publishing deal of this magnitude off the ground is quite an epic ordeal, especially in the current borderline apocalyptic (pun?) industry climate, but there are always small wins along the way.
One of these is the latest episode in our ongoing community-favorite “radio play” series called Chronicles of the Grand Inquisitor, which sets up the lore and background narrative for the dark world of Deadhaus Sonata (the entire series is available on Spotify).
It’s quite captivating and immersive – especially for fans of ornate Lovecraftian horror – but this time it also served as a testbed for some innovative content creation experiments.
This entire episode was illustrated (and even partially edited) using a workflow that involved the extensive use of AI tools and advanced generative AI techniques, enabling a pace of production and iteration that exceeded our wildest expectations.
(As a side note, embracing AI and finding the right use cases for it is core to the DNA of Apocalypse: one of our key pieces of technology is an innovative procedural AI-assisted narrative generation framework.)
I created all illustrations for the episode using Leonardo AI with a custom-trained model, guidance images, extensive multi-stage seed re-use, and the awesome AI canvas in/outpaint feature, as well as a pinch of good old Photoshop.
I’m obviously biased here, but I think the atmosphere, and the degree of consistency and continuity achieved turned out to be quite remarkable.