After months of craziness, problems, re-designs, re-makes and delays, as promised, here's a playable demo. Although we strongly feel that this isn't ready yet as there's still a TON of work and polishing to be done, we've all waited long enough, and you deserve something playable. Hopefully this gives you a feel for what's to come. Thank you so much for your patience and continued support!
Why the Delays?
We know this has taken longer than the original estimates and we've kept a lot of things under wraps so it's totally understandable that a lot of people are getting antsy. Most of us witnessed firsthand how this project evolved artistically, but we haven't been as generous sharing the gameplay. We wanted to make sure the game not only looked pretty, but was fun to play as well, and we went through hundreds of hours designing, testing, programming and reprogramming. The biggest redesign happened shortly after we opened our new studio, after a peer review of the current system. Which, unfortunately was one of the key factors that caused the delays you were subjected to the past few months.
We'd like to take this opportunity to show just how much the gameplay has evolved over the years.
Original Last Class Heroes.
Here's some super early footage from last year's Kickstarter pitch showing the game as an action RPG.
The thing that ultimately pushed us to exploring other gameplay modes were our limited level sizes. Our level sizes were limited because of our fixed sized backgrounds. Back then, our artists were still unfamiliar with the concepts of modular level design. Remember, this is the first game for most of us and 90% of our team are art majors. We realized action RPGs weren't as fun with small levels so we tried creating a simple/classic turn based RPG like above.
That was way too simple so at one point we experimented with rhythm game mechanics, while this was fun at first, it became really tedious, really fast. It made the game very limited.
We then tried out a grid based strategy RPG that incorporated a gesture + rhythm based command system.
And for the longest time we used this button combo + dynamic queue turn based system.
We still felt like the levels were too small and we almost completely ruled out changing the backgrounds because they were all done and we would be wasting months of work. Ultimately, we started prototyping multileveled rooms like the .gif above. We were happy with the results and how much larger the world felt so we started creating completely modular levels, which allowed us to quadruple the sizes of our biggest levels. Unfortunately, this meant dozens of wasted assets and hundreds of work hours lost.
Now that the problem of limited sized levels was solved, we decided to go back to our original design of making a straight up, classic, action RPG. Which can be previewed by downloading the demo. Unfortunately, we only made this transition a few months ago, AFTER we announced the release preview, after we opened the studio and for the first time, did face to face peer reviews. Which will be evident when you play the demo. So instead of a "release preview" we'd like to drop down this release's status to "demo".
Thank you for your understanding! All the delays and decisions being made are necessary to provide you with the highest quality and satisfying game possible. (with our limited resources)
Our good friend and RT Voice Actor Edwyn Tiong is part of Conspirocracy, a game about the travails of David Poulson (voiced by Edwyn) a schoolteacher who one day finds himself without an identity and his existence completely erased from seemingly every public and government record. Check it out!
Check out this super cool Anino fanart/speedpaint from Lancer Cross! Thanks Lancer!
Once again, thank you so much for your continued support and patience. I really hate having to make excuses but it's better than keeping you guys guessing. Sorry for the lack of communication. Rest assured everything that can be done to keep this group, this project and this dream alive is being done, albeit by one person. Although the Rival Threads team still exclusively works on Rival Threads, Kontrabida has grown beyond just Rival Threads, with four ongoing game, animation and commercial projects. Managed and directed by one person, things can get hairy sometimes (all the time). Our numbers have grown but our resources have yet to catch up. We are as indie as indie gets.