Hey all - we have to apologize for the radio silence for a while! First of all, we didn't even know that we could still post on this after the Kickstarter ended (thanks for the heads up Zack Averyt, William, and Farhan Quader). Second, we've been working diligently to (1) secure our needed funding (it took a while to figure out how we'll keep doing this, but we finally got it all ironed out), (2) completing the design for the first season, and (3) develop the game with a better look, feel, sound, and fun.
It's been a really busy several weeks for all of us so we really thank you for your patience as we got everything on the administrative side sorted out. And now...
THE HARD WORK CONTINUES...BUT FASTER!
We're working day and night to be able to get the game to you as soon as we can. Since you guys were so early to the party and probably sick of waiting, we plan to get the first two episodes to you as soon as they are done. Needless to say, that will be a really rough beta. But if you're willing, we'd love to collect your feedback and suggestions so that we can go through them and figure out how to really improve the game for you. As we go along, we'll continue to see better and better versions of the game together and hopefully you guys will appreciate the ride as much as we will.
So the tentative date for the first two episodes is: July 31st 2012.
A FEW DESIGN DECISIONS
In the meantime, we wanted to tell you guys about a few design decisions that we made that can whet your appetite for debate:
1) Old school RPGs = No hand-holding. Honestly, we hate games that start with long tutorials with tons of dialog/text that breaks up the game flow. We miss those old days when we had to actually figure out all the cool stuff that we can do and gradually increase the number of skills we can learn. In those games, we actually felt good for figuring it out ourselves. So when you start Tempus Chronicle, you'll know how to walk around, interact with objects, open your menu, and save. That's it. As the game goes along, we'll be unveiling a plethora of actions as they become appropriate. For example, later in the game, we'll introduce our heroes to Time Skills (that will fit perfectly into the narrative) to help you solve puzzles throughout the world and go back to old worlds to unlock secrets. Also, there will be a Capsule System that will enable our heroes to channel an element through a small time gate (aka use magic and summons in battle). These features will be introduced as they are appropriate to the story and the game balance.
2) Narrative through the world and meaningful cutscenes - We don't plan on beating your over the head with text and super long cutscenes. We are huge proponents of the idea that narrative is often more effective when it's a part of the world, not delivered as a long-ass cutscene in which the characters spill their guts. Instead, our characters will show you what they are thinking and their thoughts will change throughout the game. The story is rock-solid and that is driven by a really great cast of characters.
3) Random battle encounters - This is a tough one. While most people really like the non-random battle encounters like in Earthbound and Chrono Trigger, we want to give our players a really old school and challenging experience. We want you to see the next healing spot in the corner of your screen and be scared to walk there because you might trigger a bad ass battle before you get there. As players, we saw that as a huge pain and thought "oh man, I wish I knew if there was a monster there so I could plan." But as developers, we see the benefit in making it just a bit harder and give players a sense of surprise and thus, achievement.
These are only a few of the design decisions that we made. Would love to hear your thoughts on these. That said, above all, we want each of you to play through the beta and give us feedback on that since it will be much more informed and useful at that point.
GETTING INTO THE BETA
Way back before the Kickstarter ended, we said that we'd send a link out so that you all can get into the beta. Since then, we tried to make it as streamlined a process as possible to get you all in. To that end, we will be announcing the beta through our Facebook Page.
So if you want to be in the beta, please just LIKE our page. We'll then send a message about the beta to all of the fans and if you click on it, you'll go directly there. It will be that simple.
Now, we know there's some trepidation around using Facebook. As I've said in many of the comments, we are in an amazing position right now to change Facebook gaming as we know it. With Zynga's and Facebook's stock dropping, they will be vulnerable to a new model of games that are actually good and we'll be able to attract great games to the platform. Then, we can envision a world in which Facebook will only have awesome cloud-based games that we could (or choose not to) play with each other. Let's make that happen!