Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Photo original
Explore, eat stuff, be a Bear!
Created by

Farjay Studios

3,871 backers pledged $100,571 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Photos

656d8aeca20ba2550dbe6229f6967559 original
2564290c9c1ca5d9a806c51928d14ddc original
3a6ab9059ceb1fe0ce53dad95a56bf6f original
3bed6f84c2ba86b874c8054d5798cc46 original
Da238e42854bb710ab5ad32c513109ed original
7fd8a273f74777061b56c61619787466 original
3599a3df3ba17845912fc5c8840107d5 original
E1bda035114d0774d9ec45b41cceefb1 original
521dc50b610e9d7a94847af7c74d9985 original
7e662edeffccc4fd62a4b69958e99b02 original
Db7d32838f70c50637217e222ade4a2f original
09b9d461317685f0795c68e176ce8932 original

Sending out them backer surveys.

48 likes

Ok so sending out backer surveys tomorrow to collect some info. Going to send out all of them from the Mystic Bear Tier and up for now and shall do the other tiers before the game comes out since then is when I'll need info from them. Really wanted to get someone else to do this but man I am not good at trying to get help. Still trying to figure out how go about but LETS JUST HOPE THIS GOES WELL

IMPORTANT: For the Name on Site and Backer Credits name submissions you can use two different names if you want. For the Name on Site submission you can have anything as long as it's not more than 20ish characters BUT for the Backer Credits you must use an actual name, it can still be a made up name like “Dr. Butts” if you want just as long as it's a name and not a nickname like xXNo_SCoPe_BLAAZEITXx. Get what I'm saying here?

Looking back at the previous Kickstarter Island screens, they kind of look lame so here's an updated look with fancy lighting:

Questions and Problems:

  • I THINK I figured out a way to send out digital rewards I was iffy about. We shall see if it works out.
  • To that note I think I figured out the freezing/crashing problem. Now believe it has something to do with the grass which I totally didn't even consider. Tests still need to be made.
  • For the animal eating thing it was suggested leaving bones or something behind but that seems kind of morbid and this is sort of a lighthearted game ya know? Was thinking about just changing the text to “Ate some of the [Animal]” to the larger animals?
  • For the fish, ehhhhh, I can get them to move around dynamically (eg: they move out of the way when you get near them) but the problem is it makes the game incredibly choppy. The other animals are fine, it's just the fish. Could just take the “dynamics” out of them just have them swim in circles but I don't know about that.
  • Also for the Steam Greenlight page I wrote it similar to this KS page where it's got that hint of stupidity and sarcasm throughout. Was thinking about writing it “Professionally” but don't think that adds to the theme of what a bear game should be about. I assume people liked the writing style on this KS page?
  • Going to start doing "Screenshots and Features of the Day" when I have finally have the game up and I have a few other promotional things planned which should be fun BUT I was wondering if anyone even liked these posts on my blog? I like making them but it was saddening because I don't think many people were reading them ༼ ͡◕ д ◕͡ ༽
  • And lastly I wanted to make game making tutorials and stuff but apparently I program things weird and confusingly so I wouldn't want to misguide potential learnees with my strange way of doing things?

Another Thought:

Don't think many know this but when I first made this KS I had a simple bear game already set up which just needed models and touch ups. The regions were fairly simple and had a few animals with things to do each but since the idea got kind of hyped up, e.g. the trailer getting thousands of views which got people expecting more. So with the new amount of funding I ditched my old version and am trying to make a sweet bear game using all the suggestions/enhancements received while trying to live up to any hype but the main problem I'm having is the messages and reactions. It was fun at first to read and reply to all the stupid and sarcastic messages about polars bears and such but it eventually evolved into people expecting way too much then becoming angry when I reply saying I can't do that.

I know there are lots of decent comments being missed but it seems like the ratio of negative messages to fun messages is like 10 to 1. This sounds awful but I became a lot more productive when avoiding reading things about this game. Tried to fix this by getting the help of a couple people to answer messages/do social media by just using their best judgment but that didn't work out so well. Again I think this will all work out once people can play the game but I really want it to be well received so I can make expansions and updates to it in the future since this has been the most fun making a game I've ever had if not for everything else.

tl;dr: Just wanted to have fun making a stupid bear game but some are taking it too seriously making it not so fun.

Wrapping Up:

Anywho, that's it for this announcement/update, the next one should def be about the Steam Greenlight page, the game site and sending out the preview game/beta test to people.

But first here's another sneak peak of the bear book, put more effort than I thought I was going too so I'm proud of it ok:

Delayed Bear Game Update for People

68 likes

Hello, hi, how are you? Okay so really delayed update here, I know I'm behind schedule but hopefully all the things added will make it worthwhile. Kind of holding off on updates because I want everything to be a surprise, just hording stuff to make a grand bear update in the near future. Really want to get this game on Steam so my aim is to make sure it's all fantastic enough for Steam Greenlight.

Anywho, the last screenshot on the last update isn't the official first screenshot anymore, here's a fresh new one:

Been kind of iffy on making updates as things have been changing a lot, plus it will be a lot funner to make updates and promotional things when people can actually play the game and everything is in a finished enough state.

Though this isn't the only reason for delays. As everyone already knows, bear games can be fraught with many hardships, check out these hardships in bullet point form:

Bear Game Hardships:

  • Finalizing things is my main problem right now. I keep wanting to add things and redo/improve old things I just don't know when to stop. Plus I keep playing these other games then comparing the two and seeing that mine pales in comparison and ITS SADDENING OK.
  • Remaking Regions: Made some maps too big so they were buggy, too open, sort of boring and worst of all, kept crashing. Had to “condense” the lake and forest and completely remake the coast region. Basically I had to move everything closer together to make it work well. 
  • The UI: Giving up on a purchased/premade UI thing, had to figure out how to make a functional UI from scratch which was beyond annoying but I think it turned out ok:
  • Trying to get multiplayer to work. I don't think it's gonna happen any time soon. Was just going to make it so you could do like a two-player adventure mode after failing at the separate multiplayer mode but I don't think it would work out, would have to balance everything and such...eehhh, multiplayer man, sometimes I just don't know.
  • FISH PROBLEMS: I don't know why but fish are annoyingly complicated. Before it was easy since I just had them swim around in boring patterns but trying to make them dynamic is for some reason supremely complicated to me and I was putting it off too much. So fair warning, there probably won't be any fish in the game BUT I think there is enough other things added that it won't matter (question mark?)

Things that still need to be done:

  • The game's website. I'm probably just going to use a premade/template site, found a good one that could easily be converted to a game site plus it's mobile compatible which is p sweet? I was making a site in Adobe Muse but ehh, it's not turning out well and I don't know why I was trying to make it myself in the first place?
  • Fix a freezing/crashing problem. It's completely confusing and I have no idea why it's freezing. It mainly freezes when it changes weather so I'm fairly sure it's a particle problem but again there is nothing going wrong with the particle systems so wtf is going on?
  • Finish the Coast Region, Spooky Woods and Kickstarter Island. They aren't 100% yet.
  • Send out backer surveys. I keep putting this off until I finish the game so I can focus on it and not accidentally lose any info which would have 100% happened if I sent them out earlier. Will get to it in due time.
  • Implement backer submissions which ties in with the above bullet point. Wanted to do a Twitch stream of implementing the submissions to the game but I'm waaaaaay behind and I don't think that's feasible anymore so sad days.
  • Let beta testers play it first. What I'm planning to do is make a version with the forest region, the caves and a mini-region to send out, then said players can play and review and tell others whether or not it's a good game and to vote/not vote for it on Steam Greenlight if they want. That sounds ok right? Wanted to add more more regions but again I don't want to ruin surprises. The one thing I don't know wtf to do about is how to send it out? I was thinking about just putting a password on it then just send it to backers via dropbox? But that seems super lame??
  • Another thing is how should I send the Ambient Soundtrack? It's a pretty large folder so should I just put that on dropbox or something similar too? Again there has to be a better and not lame way?

Things that are done:

  • Most of the promotional images and video stuff is complete. Making this stuff is always fun.
  • All the artwork and designs for everything. Also all the physical rewards are all set up so I just need to order them. Here's a teaser of the faux game cover:
  •  The Bear Book is done and it's really stupid? Check out a sneak peak of the cover:
It's 24 pages which seems like an okay-ish range? It's also more of a magazine/strategy guide type thing than a book. It's got the promised pictures of bears too which is majestic.
It's 24 pages which seems like an okay-ish range? It's also more of a magazine/strategy guide type thing than a book. It's got the promised pictures of bears too which is majestic.
  • Backer Credits! I still have the credits all set up waiting in After Effects awaiting names to be typed in, here's another sneak peak:
  • Lots of secrets are in. This was a big point I wanted to focus on and I think there are more than enough secrets. Maybe too much?!
  • All Digital Backer Rewards are done as seen here:
  • There are plenty of animals, collectables and foods to find/attack. Each region has completely different things.
  • THE UI AND LOADING SCREENS AND STUFF ARE DONE. It's prob not that exciting to you but you don't know the struggles, having to make it functional, easy to understand, not buggy while looking halfway decent? maaaaaaan

Things I don't know wtf to do with:

  • Social Media: It's kind of a mess right now. I'll try to get everything settled when I get the game on Steam Greenlight. Kind of ignoring it atm. Will prob just focus on having just 1 twitter account, 1 facebook page and my blog thing which I too have been neglecting after I spent so much time making it ;_;
  • EMAIL AND SUCH: Oh man I am not good at replying to emails and pms, I formed a horrible habit of putting messages off then letting them build up as said in the last update but the habit just got worse since then which isn't good at all?? I'm actually paranoid of logging into things to see like a list of pms waiting, it's far spookier than when making the spooky woods. I think this will be better when people can actually play the game.
  • As stated earlier, not entirely sure how I'll be sending out some digital things. Have the Bear Book, in-game and physical rewards figured out and I'm really hoping to get the game on Steam so you can easily download it from there and I can update it and stuff all easily, but am drawing a blank on sending out the beta test game and the soundtrack.

Other Things:

  • Just getting this out of the way, there won't be any skeletons in the Spooky Woods. The spookiness is already at 11 so adding skeletons would bring it far above the maximum startling things allowed in games, there are unwritten rules about this.
  • There are multiple “Story” elements but it's up to you if you want to figure out what's going on, will prob make a special blog post about this later since I think it calls for one.
  • There are no humans per say, it sort of ties in with the story though.
  • The ambient soundtrack won't actually have bear roars thrown in - was funny joke. The sound files are actually high quality and professional and all that. WHO'D OF THOUGHT?
  • Got a sweet theme song for this game, it's Celtic so it matches the game justly.
  • Oh man I think I went too far with one of the animal buddies, it might be a little too preposterous even for a bear game. You'll know which one I'm taking about soon enough. OH YOU'LL KNOW
  • The controls are okay-ish? You can crawl, run and walk on two legs, all that, but you can only jump when on two legs which makes it easier for platforming. Also I wanted it simple enough so you can play with a controller and you wouldn't need many buttons which I think was accomplished well.
  • I forgot to “smooth” the rabbit animal buddy model before exporting so it looks blocky like so:


You're probably asking why not just export it again? Well I didn't notice it was blocky for a long while and I can't friggen find the original file and I don't want to reanimate it so I'm just going to leave it blocky. I guess it could be thought of as some kind of meta joke where it's a lazy rabbit and I was being lazy with it? That's the excuse I'm going with if anyone complains.

  • THE SHED CONTAINS THE BEST REWARD YOU CAN POSSIBLE ASK FOR AND MORE
There is NO feasible way anyone will be let down by the beauty of what the shed contains. To be disappointed would be madness.
There is NO feasible way anyone will be let down by the beauty of what the shed contains. To be disappointed would be madness.

 Questions:

Some questions I could use input on:

  • When you mercilessly strike down an animal and eat it should the entire animal disappear after said dining? It looks fine for smaller animals but it looks really awkward for larger animals just to disappear?
  • Most people here have played adventure games like the Elder Scrolls series right? I've been assuming so.
  • Also everyone has a somewhat up to date computer right? Like from 2010+ would be fine to play this game. You can always lower the settings regardless but playing at max settings really makes the bear experience shine.

Wrapping Up:

So anyways I'm just trying to finalize, figure out and finish up everything then make a giant info explosion to go along with the Steam Greenlight page. There is a lot of things I added, strange things, things that will confuse many but at the same fill them with wonder. For example check this out:

 Like what even is that?

..Well, I know what that is but you guys probably don't, but let me tell you if I were in your place and a bear game making person showed me that screenshot I would most definitely be struck with wonder and confusion.

Anywho, will try to finish it asap but I also want it to be a grand bear game. Should be making more/better updates when I have the game on Greenlight. Everything is organized enough that it should get done it's just a matter of time.

tl;dr - Soon

(very soon*)

Bear Game Update for All

38 likes

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.