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Explore, eat stuff, be a Bear! Read more

Portland, OR Video Games
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This project was successfully funded on April 17, 2014.

Explore, eat stuff, be a Bear!

Portland, OR Video Games
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Bear Game Update for All

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Hi, how are you? I've been hard at work on a game where you play as a bear, I made a Kickstarter thing for it a while back. Been making progress reports here (with another today about textures, yeah!). Also updated the site a while back and I think it looks just swell along with updating social media stuff with the same style, see: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube.

First things first, here's the first “Official” screenshot:

Count all previous screens, video, some info and art shown as concepts because the game has changed/grown majestically from my original build.

And a new video/trailer here: (I put it together last Saturday!)

http://youtu.be/F_ui1wLvyTA

Made it all dark and cryptic to build suspense and all that. Have a teaser trailer ready but I'm going to wait on that and post it when the game is on Steam Greenlight. Still going to make a couple more trailers including a Kickstarter trailer and a launch trailer.

After purchasing 3DS Max I also wanted to animate a cg cinematic for the launch trailer as well since I feel as though I'm not getting much mileage out of it. It's like I'm letting 3DS Max down by not using it to it's fullest.

Backer Stuff:

Onto backer stuff, going to send out backer surveys out soonish starting from highest tier to lower tier. So expect an email with a survey. Wanted to do it late August but we can see that never happened.

Anywho, here are some pics of the stickers and bear card:

 I'll be sending out most of the physical rewards when the game is on Steam Greenlight.

As for the backer credits I'm animating them in After Effects, here's an example of the style I'm going with:

The “Backer Names” section of the game's website is mostly finished. For everyone who pledged 5$ and more. Check out the preview here:

http://www.bearsimulator.com/backers

Still have more to do like add a comment section of the bottom but tried to make it all regal and snooty. Also was toying with the idea to have classical music playing but I'm p sure most people don't like auto playing music when visiting sites?

BearSimulator.com

For the game's website... It's gone through an odd journey that ended up with it looking like this atm:

Think I covered all the bases. It will have info about each region, a news section for announcements, screenshots and maybe wallpapers, a giant glowing buy button that pops up constantly which harasses you into buying the game (I kid) and an about section. Yep.

Kickstarter Island:

Alright so, Kickstarter Island is mostly finished and awaiting backer submissions. It's a strange place and I wanted to do a lot more than I actually could but it turned out nicely I think.

Here's a preview starting with the Backer Musuem:

 Empty frames that await art:

 Here's the Walk of Fame:

I'm not too happy with it and will prob change it though.
I'm not too happy with it and will prob change it though.

And the tree adoption signs awaiting trees:

Twitch.tv:

Been wanting to do this for a while but kept putting it off for reasons. But anyways since I need to incorporate all the backer submissions - the photos, messages and all that, I thought it might be fun to stream that ya?

I'll ask submission backers beforehand if I can stream implementing their submission first. This will also be a good way to show backers I'm not slacking off.

Thoughts on this? Good idea? Yea, nay?

Problems:

Problems are always the best part, so lets have a few. #Yay #Problems #WhyYouGottaMakeThingsSoComplicated

  • Getting Help:

Getting freelance help has been more difficult than planned because I'm making this game kind of strangely. Learning lots of new stuff doing most of it myself though, knowledge is power and all that.

  • Getting Things Finalized:

Okay so I'm having trouble with finishing things/Making things perfected. Once I finish an area or something I always go back to it later and I'm like, “I can totes make that better.” Plus I'm having fun making the maps and keep wanting to add things.

  • The HUD/Menu:

This is one of the main things I'm having problems with. I bought a neat custom HUD/Menu system from some freelance people but it's been a huge pain to implement. Again it's mainly due to the strange way of making this game but every time I get a part of it to work it breaks something else which continues seemingly endlessly.

  • Lighting:

Ugh, friggen lighting. The lighting situation has been a butt, namely the interior lighting which I didn't think would be that big of a deal. Probably should have gotten some help with this earlier but didn't think that through. I was like “Lighting? Meh no big deal I gots this.” CLEARLY I WAS WRONG.

  • Web Stuff:

Had a lot of problems with web stuff but was making it way more difficult that it actually was. Think I have a hold of it now. I HOPE.

  • Messaging:

I am not doing a good job with messaging. Like not even a little bit. For one I tend to slack on answering messages/emails then they build up and then I'm like oh no. I also had everything organized chaotically so receiving emails was a mess and lastly some people think I'm a company with employees and everything and I'm like whaaaa?

Really need to like dedicate like an hour or so every morning to answering messages, that would be smart. Made a new email account since my last one was lost in a flurry of notifications, spam and polar bear questions. John@Farjay.com (which forwards to jfarjay@gmail.com)

  • Saddening Data Loss Event:

I had a file failure a while which lead to a loss of a bunch of work and made me sad. Since then I've bought harddrives along with a small server thing and a bunch of other back up things that back up everything every hour on the hour.

  • Planning Stuff:

I was trying to rush things at the beginning which was dumb but I will def get to everything I've planned on this Kickstarter campaign and stretch goals. Really have a problem with announcing plans then changing my mind or something comes up.

Changes/New Features:

Enough with problems, let's get onto new changes and features I came up with while developing the bear game thus far.

  • There will be a bunch of different ways to upgrade your den by collecting ornaments along with trophies.
  • You can Dive(!) and there is a Dive bear stat (!!!)

Underwater design isn't final, trying to add sun wave reflections. Something like this where the waves reflect on the floor:

  • Regions are a lot bigger from my original maps/plans.
  • The mountains are no longer a snowy region but they have a theme, here's a screenshot hint of said theme:
  • Overweight Raccoon animal buddy is now an Overweight Rabbit. The reason is really stupid for the change so I will leave it a mystery. #WhyWasTheRaccoonChanged
  • Combined the Lake and the Field regions into a single region which is called Shepard Lake.

Wrapping up:

Really trying to make this game fantastic and am trying to live up to all the support the Kickstarter received but I think I'm trying to do too much which is putting me crazy behind seeing as how I want to release this game November-ish. This game started out fairly simple which was mostly put together but kind of got over ambitious seeing all the extra funding I had to work with.

So here's my general/vague plan:

  • Release a region to beta testers to play then put it on steam greenlight and ship out all physical rewards.
  • If/when it gets accepted I'll release a release date for when it gets released.
  • Then I will finish up all the leftover stuff, digital rewards, bear book, etc.
  • Then I'll make the campsite region.
  • Next I'll make the polar bear expansion thing.
  • Finally if people like the game I could continue making expansions/regions.

That sounds good ya?

Next time I post here I will have the game open on Steam Greenlight and will be sending the beta test to beta testers, check my site and twitter for other news until then. I would say I'm about 60-70% done with the game? Though there were some difficult portions in that percentage finished.

One more thing, 15$ would be a good price for this game right? Been getting conflicting ideas.

Farjay.com

John@Farjay.com

Slightly Boring Update

40 likes

Time for a boring update which means the hashtags and sarcasm of previous updates will be kept to a minimum. If you need some pizazz while reading, simply play this in the background.

  • To start off there won't be much news or social media posts for a bit. Bear videos, screenshots and the general fun stuff will start popping up in the future, need time to make everything fantastic and get things organized. Will also be a while before backer surveys are sent out.
  • Really aiming to add Oculus Rift support because that would be amazing.
  • Going to use these Kickstarter updates from here on out as a forum for important milestones like the new website, beta testing, and so forth. This is a good way to get solid feedback directly from backers while using other forums on the side.
  • Planning to make a progress report every other Friday, like the one here. Originally I wanted to make a report every single Friday but that might be too much.
  • I've been pretty quiet on my twitter and various accounts because I keep having a horrible feeling I'm going to say something stupid and/or be misinterpreted. I know this sounds dumb but I am pretty dumb so it checks out. Going to let other peeps take over the community department for a while whilst I stay behind the scenes to focus on making the game, the marketing stuff, continue writing idiotic updates such as this, silently reading suggestions and drawing awesome pictures of frogs.

Another thing is that a bunch of people who couldn't use the Amazon/Kickstarter option to back and others whose pledges were canceled due to complications with Amazon have been asking about a paypal option. Here is the pro and con of this: 

  • Pro: It would give people who's pledges didn't go through or couldn't use the KS method of pledging the ability to do so.
  • Con: I already have enough funding to finish the game and it might make things more complicated to keep track of. I think the age-old adage applies here:
Powerful, powerful quote.
Powerful, powerful quote.

Anywho, I would probably only be able to offer the 5$ - 60$ rewards (maybe some limited physical rewards too) and there would probably be some risk for the people who back using this method. There are viable reasons for and against it so I legit don't know what to do. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Important frog information

79 likes

Okay, so funding finished and it was a tiny bit more than expected. Other than that, been working a bunch on the bear control, creature AI and ragdoll features. Expect a new short video this Friday.

Anywho, time to clear up some things.

  • The game was planned around the original funding goal and I honestly thought it would struggle to get that much so things got a little complicated. Along with the stretch goals, I guess the best idea I have is to use the extra money for beefing up previous features that simply require more money (e.g.more sound effects), also buying better equipment and things for this upstart game studio, and hiring extra help.
  • Another thing which was brought up a few times earlier is to keep your expectations sane, this won't be an AAA game. Really aiming for it to be a simple exploration game where you're a bear.
  • Probably going to release the beta testing sooner than planned. It's going to be a single region and I want to include 3 versions: Windows, OSX and maybe Linux. This is also when I'll put the game on Steam Greenlight.
  • Not entirely sure about multiplayer yet. I want to add it, I have some really awesome ideas for possible multiplayer modes and I'm familiar with it; however, it can take a long time to do and become really complicated.
  • The game should be updated with additional content after it's release to keep things fresh and exciting, but keep in mind there are other games I want to make after this one.
  • I don't know about console support yet, I'll figure that out after it's out on PC first.
  • Found out I can't be as active as I want on the internet communications front as originally hoped. I'm still reading stuff, just can't respond to everything.
  • This is my first PC game, I chose the Kickstarter route because I wanted to involve a bunch of bear fans to contribute which is why it's going to be fun to put Kickstarter Island together. Trying to use this game to learn the process of publishing a PC game so bear with me. Haha get it? “Bear with me?” ...Because the game is about a bear.

Now that that's settled, onto the important frog information. I updated the frog pic with a party hat for the celebratory occasion. Took me 40 hours.

Note: This frog may have a role in the game far greater than you can possibly imagine.
Note: This frog may have a role in the game far greater than you can possibly imagine.

Bear Related Update

49 likes

Hi how are you.

Updates:

  • It's Friday.
  • Gonna upload a video of the creature interaction/ai soon because it's pretty awesome so far. Please like, subscribe, share, donate, upvote, and dedicate your entire day to watching it when I upload it here.
  • Been thinking about streaming game production on twitch.tv because why not.
  • Recently updated the studio blog so it's all horribly bright and cheerful.
  • My twitter will be used to show what I'm using funds on, every single inane thing. Also behind the scenes stuff and possibly "screenshots of the day" tweets when things start rolling along. It will also be used to show pictures of my food and whenever I yolo something. Here's an example:

Game Changes:

Camera Control:

  • Been wondering if I should keep the control in constant “Bipedal Mode”. It's makes the game a bit more fun to play and it's hilarious to see your bear arms react to things which is hard to show when crawling around. The aim of the game is to be fun/funny and I'm sure people aren't expecting complete realism so I don't know. Anyway this is just a thought and I'll keep watch over comments about it.

Simplicity:

  • I'm trying my best to keep the game fairy simplistic to focus on the relaxing, exploration aspect. Going to remove all timed events because timed stuff usually isn't very fun, just stressful and some of the aggressive foes are being moved around so you won't be attacked all the time while on your bear adventure. Also want gameplay to be simple enough that you won't need a tutorial to know how to play because tutorials are lame.

Minimalist:

  • Gonna keep all the menus fairly minimalist and clean which fits in the with relaxation theme. Expect a lot of wood paneling though.

This will be similar to the types of posts you'll see on da blog. I'll try and make a post every Friday morning in the future.

About:

Here's an about section because apparently people didn't get enough info from my Kickstarter bio.

Fav Games:

  • Chrono Trigger
  • Mass Effect
  • Banjo Kazooie
  • Morrowind
  • Donkey Kong Country 2
  • Final Fantasy 6

Fav Movies:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Indiana Jones
  • Anchorman
  • Donnie Darko

Fav Shows:

  • Futurama
  • Adventure Time
  • Lost
  • Seinfeld
  • It's Always Sunny
  • Not Spongebob though, I don't watch and enjoy the earlier seasons and will not stand for such outrageous accusations.

Other Interesting Facts:

  • I once ate a whole lime.
  • Used to make mobile apps/games but I hated them and refuse to be associated with them anymore which is why I'm starting anew with this crazy bear game.
  • I had a splinter the other day and couldn't find the tweezers so I went to the store and bought some but when I got back I found the other tweezers so now I have two pairs of tweezers. #TweezerHype

And this is Mars. He is a cat.

That's it.

Update where you are updated.

56 likes

Hi everyone how are you. I would have wished you Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas here but I just found out December was like 4 months ago??

  • First things first, contact this person with all questions. 

>> Britnie@Farjay.com <<

I can't handle any more polar bear inquires or I may go mad. I'm still going through my mess of an email so if you haven't received a response I either haven't gotten to your message or it was a polar bear question.

  • Second: I updated them stretch goals and they are really good:
Something to note is that stretch goals were always going to be stupid. I'll add popular requests after the original planned game is out which seems like the bestest idea. Also multiplayer will eventually happen, no need for a stretch goal.
Something to note is that stretch goals were always going to be stupid. I'll add popular requests after the original planned game is out which seems like the bestest idea. Also multiplayer will eventually happen, no need for a stretch goal.
  • Third: I'm gonna use reddit instead of making a forum because I hate web design/coding more than someone eating my last ice cream sandwich. Reddit is p awesome because you don't even need an email to join.
  • Fourth: LINUX! After some research and testing, Linux support shouldn't be that difficult to add. Not official tho.
  • Fifth: I was taking the garbage out and garbage water spilled on my shoes. D:
  • Sixth: I'm going to be using twitter, reddit, various places of discussion a lot more to interact when I get things settled. Here's my twitter, please follow because I use the follow count as a measurement of my worth as a human bean. Also I'm going to use this twitter to show you guys everything I'll be using the funds for.
  • Seventh: Does anyone else have a fear when drinking out of a water fountain that someone might sneak up and push your head in from behind?
  • Eighth: Was gonna do an April Fools update but meh.
  • Ninth: Look at this frog I drew. I will only accept compliments for it.

 That's it. This was a really good update.