Icy inspiration


Hello Noxcrew Community

I thought I’d switch things up a bit this week!

Rather than going into detail about the small final touches we’ve been making to Codename: Cow and DvD to get them ready for the next stage of their development (Codename: Cow is finally heading into Bedrock and DvD is nearly ready for testing) I’m doing something a little different.

Some of you guys have been asking for more behind the scenes details about our maps in these community posts, and I just so happened to find my notes on Monsters from the Ice and its initial influences.

So, while we’re polishing off our projects, please enjoy this small glimpse into the myriad of things that inspired us to create that frozen nightmare!

I’ll see you all next week!


Monsters from the Ice, as with many of our projects, was inspired by numerous influences throughout its development. However, the initial idea for the project came from'At the Mountains of Madness - a short story by H.P. Lovecraft and the horror adventure series, Dead Space.

Both of these stories explore themes of exploration in desolate and often abandoned places, with unknown mysteries inside. At the Mountain of Madness details a disastrous expedition to the Antarctic in which a group of explorers discover ancient ruins built by alien creatures of unknowable horror, whereas Dead Space follows engineer Isaac Clark as he explores an abandoned mining ship which has been taken over by the vicious Necromorphs!

The delicate balance between exciting adventure and the dread of the unknown was something that we found very interesting in both stories and they inspired us to try and develop a map following the same themes.

They also led us to consider placing the map in a frozen world, despite it being initially confusing for those following the GDL timeline.

We wanted the opportunity to explore an underappreciated part of the planet. Often creators don't consider features and structures within frozen environments which helps to enhance the region's beauty, hostility and mystery, and makes them perfect places for adventures!

We began to research areas like Siberia and the Arctic to find out what we could do to invoke the area's bleak nature and create a hostile, yet interesting landscape to explore. We discovered that these frozen wastelands are filled with beautiful ice structures, vibrant evergreen forests and the forgotten wrecks of soviet facilities abandoned in the snow. These rusting structures led to the creation of the abandoned facility, a desolate area slowly being reclaimed by nature haunted by mysteries within, echoing Tau Volantis’ facility in Dead Space 3.

This further inspired us to expand our ideas about what would be in the area, leading to the development of the village, where researchers from the facility would have lived. We also designed outposts away from the main facility that could serve as recuperation sites for explorers, as well as structures developed after the fall of the facility, like the yeti's camp, inspired by the mythology of people who live in similar places.

However, while we had a clear idea about the environment and a basic concept for the map’s themes and plot, we lacked a central figure, the cause of all the destruction and the facility's abandonment.

The final inspiration that crystalised our idea and transformed it into the map we strove to create was a drawing of a Frost Worm. A monster from the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, it stalks the icy wastes, freezing any adventurer unfortunate enough to cross its path!

We felt, particularly after the aquatic monsters of Monsters of the Deep, that this worm would make both an exciting creature within the world and a dramatic boss fight for players to combat. It also gave us a reason for why this seemingly industrious facility had been abandoned.

A terrifying monster had ravaged the area and chased off the facility's inhabitants, leaving the door open for the player to investigate how this had all come to happen.

We had our world, we had our premise, and we had our mystery.

All that was left was to build it!

Noctis MoriComment