Creating Monsters For Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock

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Creating Monsters For Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock

Doctor Who TEC Key Art

Welcome to the second blog on Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock. I’m Simon Harris and I am the Executive Producer for BBC Worldwide on the game, which means the project is my overall responsibility. I need to ensure that all aspects come together to make a great game that stays true to the Doctor Who brand. This means working with our developer, Supermassive Games, across areas such as design, art and programming. It also extends to working with the Doctor Who teams in London and Cardiff to ensure that everything looks and feels as it should.
For this blog post, I thought I would give you some insight into the monsters that will be appearing in the game. This goes alongside our first gameplay trailer, released today, which showcases them.

Choosing the monsters for the game turned out to be a more of a complicated process than you would imagine. Initially, when Supermassive put in their design pitch for the game, they had chosen the four monsters they would like to see, both as Doctor Who fans and from a gameplay point of view. However, at that time they weren’t aware of the new monsters that were going to be shown in the new series, which was just about to start on the BBC. Given the high level of security we place on information about the show, there were some great discussions where we had to talk very cryptically about a specific monster. We had to balance this with trying to understand what the design team at Supermassive wanted to achieve – we didn’t want to include the new monster if it completely broke the gameplay plans. Thankfully the design change felt good and The Silence was added to the monster line up. I’m not going to tell you which one got cut, but I can promise it will make an appearance in a future game.


Having settled on our monster line up: the Silence, Cybermen, Silurians and the Daleks, work started on the detailed game design on how they would challenge the Doctor and River. We also had to start modelling the characters for the in-game graphics. Accuracy is vital, and it was essential to have the models looking like they do in the show. It was great to start working with the Doctor Who teams in London and Cardiff to ensure our dimensions, the shaders (the technical term for an aspect of the graphics which give a texture a look and feel to it such as steel or cloth) and the colours were all entirely correct.
It was during this process that something slightly surprising happened. The art team at Supermassive were getting really positive feedback on how the monsters looked, which was great, and the Doctor Who team then asked if we could make some changes that deviated from the reference photos. It turns out that there were a number of small tweaks which the team would have loved to make to the designs of the monsters on the show, but had been unable to for various reasons. At this point they saw the opportunity to make these tweaks in our monster designs. Of course, we were more than happy to include these amendments. So, whilst you’re watching the trailers or playing the game, send a tweet to @DoctorWhoTEC if you think you know what the tweaks we have made are… We would love to see how eagle eyed the fans are!

Doctor in TardisDalek

Having got our standard monsters all approved and looking great, we turned our attention to the game “bosses”. As all Doctor Who fans know, there is always a leader or central character driving the troops forward and so we wanted to see if we could create some monster leaders that really utilised the technology and visuals we have at our disposal working on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita.
The team at Supermassive spent a huge amount of time looking at all of the references of the monsters from previous shows and games, as well as the massive amount of books, webisodes and other content available. The team then proposed two new versions of existing monsters which would become the finales for our monsters. This was a pretty nervous time; we wanted monsters that felt as scary as they do in the show and matched the scale of the locations and environments we were creating for the game. Creating a new version of a classic Doctor Who monster is a big ask – they have to be carefully detailed and you must establish exactly where they sit within the canon of the show. Thankfully, the Doctor Who team loved what we were suggesting and both of our new monster versions were approved and are in the game. There is a tiny sight of one of them in our new monster trailer; again, tweet @DoctorWhoTEC if you think you know which one it is…
So, just an insight into some of the thinking and things that happened to get our monsters into Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock. I’ll be back soon with another blog detailing more information on what goes on behind the scenes of making our game.

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  • Will this be like other PS3/Vita games where you buy one you get the other?

  • Looks really good at the moment.
    Any chance the Adventure Games could be released through the PS Store?

    • The Adventure games were great, but we don’t have any plans to release them on the Playstation. We feel that rather than putting effort into remaking older games (especially as they would need a lot of work to bring the visuals up to the right level for PS3 & PS Vita), we should put that effort into developing new stories.

  • Glad to see that the BBC and the people that make the show are so closely involved. Also glad to see Supermassive Games are so dedicated to the game, hopefully that will ensure its good. Looking forward to this!

  • Is it Digital download from PSN .

  • I’m really hoping this to be a good game! PLEASE do a good job guys!
    It wont feature a over-head view though will it? That ruins games for me.

  • a ps3 exusive means more space in the disk due to the blueray
    you guys better make the graphics look realistic like uncharted 3 :D
    love doctor who

  • Looking forward to it.
    Who is writing the story for the game?

    • The story was written by a team of people. The design team from Supermassive, David Bryher who is a credited Doctor Who writer and then the script team down in Cardiff help us to ensure that it truly feels like a Doctor Who story and the “voice” of the characters is just right.

  • Just a question… when is this game set in the River timeline? The Series 5-Series 6 one, or beyond? I’ll pick this up for sure off the store once it launches, hopefully it gets a good price too.

    • One of the great things about Doctor Who is that the idea of a fixed timeline doesn’t really work…
      Where this story sits in the timeline between the Doctor and River is something we’d love to hear your thoughts on…

  • is it free to uk fans like the pc games were?

  • I’m really looking forward to this one. Just not sure if I’l get it on PS3 or on PSVita.

  • I am strangely looking forward to this, one thing i have Allways wanted to do, Well be, was a Darlek.. I know it may sound a bit mad. But i remember a uncle asking me what i wanted for xmas (many years and he said anything, so i demanded a Darlek suit, Which kinda brings me to this, Will we get to play through this (or a future) game as the Dr’s enemies?, as it would be awsome (imo), and i may finally get that long ago xmas pressie.. As there were no such things as Darlek suits, Was there,? Anyway best wishes to everone working on this, They say it is a hard thing to do, make a tv/movie hero into a good game, And (imo) they (tv heroes) don’t get much bigger than the Doctor..

    • You’re definitely not alone, we get loads of requests about being able to actually see things from the Monsters point of view!!
      We are definitely approaching bringing Doctor Who to gaming with lots of ambition! There’s no reason in the future we couldn’t possibly do something where the player gets a different viewpoint than the Doctor’s…

  • This is a sidescroler?
    Thats what you do with the licens?
    I know not everyone has the talent of a Naughty Dog but it´s Doctor Who and then you make it a platforming sidescoler?!

  • 6# Are you serious? It’s a psn game so don’t expect the graphics to be the games horsepower. Hopefully the story and gameplay will be good.

  • 1) Disappointed that this seems to just be a side-scrolling platformer. With such a rich world and characters, it could have been anything… I’ll reserve judgement but my excitement has dropped by 23%.
    2) @chrisandsheva STOP CALLING THEM “DARLEKS”! They are DALEKS. There is no “R” in Dalek. And you wanted to be one, pah! They’d not let you in to their club if you cannot even spell their name. IN-FER-IOR HU-MAN! EX-TER-MIN-ATE!

  • I’m really looking forward to this, which is good, because, at the moment there aren’t many 2012 games i want (there’s The Last Guardian, and maybe Jak & Daxter, but …)
    I’m a really huge Doctor Who fan (got every individual DVD from 2005-2010) so i want a story as good as the tv shows. Hope you can deliver.
    Eagerly awaiting news on a release date too. Hoping next month, but March wouldn’t be too bad. Just don’t make it too long, please? :)

  • oh also, @9, no, i really doubt it will be free to ANY user (unless it’s possibly PS+, but i doubt that too). The Adventure games were free, but they seemed, forgive me BBC, quite low budget. This will be higher quality, (i hope) so i don’t think it’ll be given away. I’m guessing the price would be around £7.99 – £14.99.. maybe?

  • It’s DOCTOR WHO! ! ! So i want it! :P

  • Looks like fun (and a hell of a lot better than the Nintendo games) and thankfully not a graphic adventure game like I was dreading it might be. Will very likely purchase. Actually I will definitely purchase. I love Doctor Who and can’t get enough of the Eleventh Doctor (more than makes up for what I hated about the Tenth).

  • i think this launches at the same time as the new series goes to air on BBC. March will be the month of the doctor. :)

  • This years series is running from Sept to Xmas so I wouldn’t get your hopes up of seeing it much before then.

  • Looks kind of good, but looking at this trailer my assumptions were right! That being that The Eternity Clock will probably be for the younger generation. The last Doctor Who DS game was described as Professor Layton for kids but The Eternity Clock is going to be Uncharted for kids by the looks of things (still slightly older as this is the PS3). Ah well this will definitely be a time waster until the wait to Series 7 and The Adventure Games will also eat away a month.

  • @15:
    Maybe Jak and Daxter? MAYBE?! C’mon, everyone needs to buy the trilogy and show ND that we still love it. It’s probably my most anticipated game of the year. Well, games, technically, but I’m seriously excited for it.
    Anyway, I’m also a bit surprised to see this is a 2D platformer, they’re dying out a bit atm, but I’m sure you’ll do a good job of it

  • why do they still bother all doctor who games are terrible and out of date

  • aww man its a side scroller!! :( i was expecting a 3rd person game and getting to use the move controller as my sonic screwdriver. might still be good but it can only be so good as a side scroller a 3rd person proper game woulda been a much better idea

  • Never understood why people like doctor who it always seems to be a load of old rubbish to me.
    Red dwarf is a much better show and it’s back this year.

  • @22 – i say maybe J&D because i never got to play 2 or 3, i’ll most likely get it… more eagerly awaiting confirmation of a R&C collection.
    anyway, sorry for drifting off topic, had to clarify my meaning there… for now, i’ll look forward to hearing those distinctive engine sounds again … *vwoorp* vwooorrp* … lol

  • It’s looking fantastic, I can’t wait to get it. :D

  • This seems somewhat reminiscent of the recent TinTin game.

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