What is Sulfur?

Sulfur is an action/stealth top-down perspective shooter in which you play a spy for a variety of organizations. You travel around the world completing missions for your boss. These missions could involve assassination, extracting prisoners, planting bombs, stealing documents and sabotaging equipment. Your opponents are trained and coordinated soldiers and security forces.

These features will definitely make it into the game:
- Highly dangerous and coordinated enemies
- Stealth elements such as sneaking, disabling alarms and silent takedowns
- Furious action scenes in which rooms are shot up into pieces and bodies litter the floor
- A nice variation of missions and settings
- A huge arsenal to wield, including the usual fare as well as some experimental weapons

These are some features I would love to include if design and time constraints allow it:
- A continuous narrative storyline, reacting to the players actions
- Be captured by the enemy, tortured for information and attempt escape
- Semi permanent death (each death gets you a purple heart, 3 deaths means game over)
- Cooperative multiplayer for 2 players
- Counteroperative multiplayer for 2 to 8 players
- Vehicles

This is what the game looks like right now:


Want to see a video? Scroll down!

What will the art be like?

Sulfur is a birds eye view 2D game. The graphics will be minimalistic and abstract, the emphasis being on communicating the game state rather than on looking hyper-realistic.

One of the main visual features of the game is the line of sight shadowing. Like Westwood’s seminal Nox, the player is only allowed to view on screen what his character can see in the game. This makes for tense, claustrophobic gameplay as the shadows are potentially teeming with threats.


I spent some time researching and implementing this type of 2D shadows. These shadows represent the players line of sight, but I also want to render ‘real’ shadows, which do not block the player’s line of sight, but add some visual flair to the world.

I’m looking for artists who can fit my style and are willing to work with me, so I will post more about the art style in the future. If I don’t find an artist I will roll my own art – it won’t be as good, but hopefully it will be good enough.

When is it done?

I have very little time to work on this project, it’s made entirely in my free time. I log the hours I spend as I go, so far I have spent 100 hours, which is approximately 2 weeks of work if I was doing this full time. In that time I’ve gone through two major revisions/refactors, each of which resulted in better code. I think this is because even though I can’t always work on this project I find myself thinking about it a lot, while on the bus or train, or in the shower for example. This extra thinking times lets me make important decisions before I get to the actual coding.

So when will Sulfur be done? I don’t know. There are a ton of features left to code, and I will need to make a lot of content. However, I have decided to put a restriction on myself and get this project completed within 2013. So, the deadline is December 31st I guess :)

Is there any video?

Here is a short look at the test level I built today.

Thanks for reading/watching, I hope it was interesting! If you have remarks, feedback or criticism, please post a comment here, send me a tweet @cmvanb or email me at

Posted in Blog
2 comments on “What is Sulfur?
  1. Sausage says:

    The gameplay videos look pretty good so far. I couldn’t find that you posted elsewhere, so forgive me if you already answered this already- what method do you do to calculate/create your lighting? It looks pretty shweet.

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