Inspirational Sources

The ideas behind Balzu come from a wide range of sources. For convenience, I've divided them into a couple of broad categories.

Literary

One of the biggest influences on the mod (though most of this influence is still in the conceptual phase) is the work of the widely celebrated pulp fiction author H.P.Lovecraft. Evidence of his influence will become apparent as the Balzu mythos is elaborated and one comes face to face with tentacled horrors and shadowy cultists.

A second major influence comes from the work of E.A.Poe. Not the content, so much, as the haunting melancholy and poetry which inform the mood and atmosphere of the mod.

A third literary influence is the Gothic masterpiece Dracula, by Bram Stoker. The plot and setting of this work influence Balzu in a number of ways which are not immediately apparent, but unmistakably present.

Other literary works have also influenced Balzu. Some which immediately spring to mind are Algernon Blackwood's The Willows, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's Green Tea, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Artistic

There have been just as many artistic influences on Balzu as literary. Probably the foremost artistic influence is the work of the late medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch. If you study his paintings, you'll get a good feel for how the world of Balzu exists in my imagination.

Another important influence on my work is the collection of surreal landscapes painted by Max Ernst. These paintings have really profoundly shaped my concept of the Astral planes in Balzu.

A third influence, which you might not expect, comes from the weird imagination of Steve Ditko, specifically, his work on the Dr. Strange comic book. Exploring his bizarre landscapes in three dimensions is a profoundly desired ambition of mine.

Video Games

It would be impossible to make a computer game mod without being influenced by other computer games. Leaving aside, for the moment, obvious influences like Morrowind, Neverwinter Nights, and other CRPGs, I'd like to cite the less obvious sources of my inspiration.

The first, of course, and probably predictably, is the Silent Hill franchise. It's fairly obvious how much of a debt Silent Hill owes to Lovecraft, so the influence is somewhat circular. Still, Silent Hill explores the relationship between psychological breakdown and human horror in a way that is poignantly close to home and with a contemporary twist that more than does justice to its influences.

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