Leaving the Cradle

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"Leaving the Cradle" is a webcomic, and a main reason of existence of this worldbuilding project. The plot revolves around xenobiologist named Gharr, who accidentally crash-lands on Earth, which sets in motion a contact between Earth and the Alliance.

Where to read the comic:

In Russian:

In English:


"Leaving the Cradle" initially was supposed to be a total conversion mod on Source engine, a second part to my older mod for HL1, "Dark Territory". Development started somewhere early 2006. It didn't go well, the project become stale because of lack of programmer capable of working with Source, and my shitty producer skills. Development stagnated, disintegrated, and then mummified.

Originally the entire setting was set in the past, main character of a previous part got there by a portal made by the Ancients, and was the only human there (well, cyborg). He then was supposed to go on a quest to return to the present, but in process of doing that discovers that his true goal is to find the Ancients themselves. He would dart around the galaxy looking for clues and gathering a support cast.

The setting itself was pretty undeveloped in that time, and was A LOT more liberal with scientific realism. It was, essentially, a hybrid of Mass Effect and Star Wars (Well, not taking in the account that Mass Effect would not be released for another year and a half, in late 2007, and I won't have chance to play it myself for another half a year after that). It should been an action RPG, like Deus Ex, character traveled through several " hub" areas, where he could obtain side quests. I wanted to include a real nonlinear plot progression and different endings, with story actually branching in different places, kinda like in visual novels.

You are beginning to see why it didn't exactly take off the ground, yes? XD

Basically, I naively believed that I can create a mod with scope of the first Mass Effect, but without the funding and with just a few guys (In reality - basically just myself alone).

So naturally, I couldn't even find a programmer to do stuff that lacked from the engine, and then some. I did a few crappy test maps, bunch of models and textures, and then... It all just stopped. I didn't knew what to do next. So it just sat there and sat there, 10 gb of content just gathering dust, from 2008 til 2013, where I finally decided that enough is enough, and the project is undoubtedly dead.

It took some time, but finally I managed to recover and get the thing on the roll again. It wasn't a game anymore, but it wasn't anything else in particular yet, too. A few concepts remained, a couple of characters lingered (Gharr and Virus), but the main scope was shifted onto aimless worldbuilding for the sake of worldbuilding (and a bit of forum roleplaying). And that was the case until 2015, when I finally got ideas about what type of story I would like to do, and what would fit well with the setting that I created. But even then, it wasn't until the summer of 2016 that I started to getting any concrete ideas and characters for a story, and after that it took me half a year to finally put everything in motion and start to actually draw, so the first page saw the light of day only in January 2017. And even after that, the comic had a rocky road, falling into hiatus after just five pages already, which spanned almost half a year and nearly buried the whole thing. But in December of 2017 I got a surge of passion, and since then, the comic have been releasing on irregular, misshapen, sporadic - but actual schedule. Initially it was "a page a month or so", lately I managed to move a little closer to the desired "professional standard" pace of a page a week, hit an "at least a page every two or three weeks" hallmark... And then serious personal life stuff got in the way almost immediately after I've found a comfortable rhythm of work, and it wrecked me. The work stopped for half a year. But after it got sorted out and I've found the strength to return to the comic, since then it's been releasing at a steady page-a-week schedule.