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Explore, eat stuff, be a Bear!
Explore, eat stuff, be a Bear!
3,871 backers pledged $100,571 to help bring this project to life.

Update #7 - Improvements, Bear Card and Social Media

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I know these updates are a little boring/tedious but not entirely sure how to make updates interesting when no one can play the game yet. Trying to make sure the game is good first so updates will be funner to make and can respond to things easier.

Improvements

  • Spent yesterday making new Achievement/Quest icons to replace the original graphics I was using which were kind of a mess and a lot of them were premade graphics:

Made the new ones in a pixel art style. Been a while since doing this kind of thing but it wouldn't be an indie game without pixel art. Here's a preview of them:

The last one looks kind of odd, it's supposed to be a bear going Super Saiyan. This is the original non-pixel icon which was awful but kind of hilarious:

Most of the original ones were good but they were a mix of different themes, wanted them all to share the same style plus pixel art is kind of fun to do so it works out. These should also show up on the Steam page too.

  • New HUD graphic:

It's kind of fancy but doesn't stick out or block the screen very much. Toyed with adding a border around the bear face cam but it made it all jittery for some reason.

  • Continuing to improve various textures. The newest engine update made things look a lot better.
  • Animated a bunch of different patterns for the fish so they're pretty okay now. Will be showing all the new stuff with the new trailer(s?).
  • Made a promo for the Bear Card:

Went to the park for the nature-y setting are people were wondering why I was taking a picture of a card on the dirt. Told them it was a promotional thing for my bear game and they were like what

Problems

  • Getting things printed continues to be annoying. Got pieces of everything but not everything yet. For example I have the game cases but don't have the artwork for them. Still having trouble with printing the bear books, the place I printed them from turnout out kind of blah so going to redo them.
  • Still trying to figure out the best way to distribute digital stuff.
  • Kind of want to remake the website since it seems too simple.
  • Also still trying to get better email/pm support. Really should get an assistant or something but that seems kind of ridiculous for a person making a bear game.

Social Media

What kinds of things do you want to see via social media like Twitter/Facebook and what do you want to see as blog posts?

Kind of ran out of ideas for blog posts and am saving a bunch of stuff for the bear book thing, did anyone like the tutorial posts or should I try something different? Was thinking about writing a post about making pixel art or maybe about invisible colliders?

Other

Still want to do a twitch stream, will probably do it when making the Campground update to this game. Must get everything done first for all the Kickstarter things.

Made a promo for the backer credits:

Keep getting messages people made mistakes on their surveys, try to see if you can edit your surveys. Not 100% sure if you can do it or not but try so I can reorganize everything again.

Lastly there was one person who backed at the “Ruined Nature” tier but I couldn't use your tree message and you needed some time to come up with a new one. Can you PM your new message here on Kickstarter? Use the title “NEW TREE MESSAGE” all caps so it will stand out.

Update #6: More Info

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 New Things

  • Here's what the new multiplayer menu looks like, except the input part is kind of bland:
  •  Been making new screenshots, really like this one:
Also made a new screen identifier for screenshots, makes them look a little more official. You can see it in the corner.
Also made a new screen identifier for screenshots, makes them look a little more official. You can see it in the corner.
  • Here's the new promotional poster for the Kickstarter Island region I made yesterday:
Tried to use a "Modern" color scheme to make it look all fancy.
Tried to use a "Modern" color scheme to make it look all fancy.
  • Added a few more pages to the bear book thing, here's another sample from one of them:

Problems

  • The fuzzy fur texture doesn't work on Linux, no idea when it stopped because it wasn't that long ago when I last tested the Linux port. Mac version still has a sound bug, it seems the longer you play it the more the sound clips stop working.
  • Accidentally messed up the cat's animation when making a previous blog post so it sort of pops now.
  • Noticed I didn't place a lot of models correctly so some of them are hovering:

Tried to fix the ones I could notice but probably missing some.

Other:

  • Didn't make a blog post, couldn't think of anything to make one about.
  • Rewrote the Steam page to be more "Official", how is this:

Steam Page Description:

A game where you live life through the eyes of a bear. Eat things, go on an adventure and discover horrifying things about your forest home.

  • Explore 7 different regions from the regular forest, to the mountain top or maybe take a long walk on the beach. But don't go to the Spooky Woods, none have braved that task and came out with their sanity intact.
  • Fight against an array of villainous creatures that dare try to stop your bear way of life, from the horrible bunny rabbit to the dreadful frog.
  • Find things to eat like bugs, mushrooms, plants or various bits of food left by humans. All of which increase your bear stats.
  • Collect cosmetics, find curious things to decorate your den, discover strange and confusing bear beds. All very realistic bear behavior.
  • Discover secret areas and things but keep them secret ya hear?!
  • View your bear through the Bear Face Cam. With it you can display your bear reactions(?) and hats(??).
  • Befriend animal buddies who will move into your den. But don't eat them, that's mean.
  • Read the markings left by other animals after upgrading your nose.
  • Plus more! *

* “More” includes quests, boss creatures, bear abilities, unlockable bear skins, trophies, collectables, fish and diving.

_________

Also want to add bullet points for multiplayer and mod support but it's not a sure thing yet.

Update #5: New Kickstarter Island

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Completely remade Kickstarter Island using my old idea. The region was updated with new models and textures. Tried to make it like one of those modern park/museum areas.

Wanted Kickstarter Island to be really interesting and unique and since Kickstarter is known for art stuff I think this change is tons better than the boring and generic island from before.

Here's what the new walk of fame looks like which I'm happy with:

 Plus there's strange art pieces everywhere that make no sense:

 And there's the backer museum:

It also looks really cool at night but you'll have to see for yourself. The “Tree Reserve” part of the island was left as it was.

  • Made a poster thing for the old version of the island:

It's outdated now so making a new one to fit the new theme but just wanted to show this one because I liked the design. Also will update the region's page on the game site later.

Other:

  • Done with the two launch trailers, going to test them out first so they won't have any quality problems.
  • Still waiting for all physical rewards to print to show everything off. Most of the things so far turned out great but the bear cards are a little smaller than I thought.
  • Haven't been able to mess with Steam stuff much.
  • Finished the “Story” promotional thing, it's really dumb. Not quite sure when to reveal it.
  • Last update was supposed to be update #3 not #4 so this one is technically update #4.
  • Lastly, made another blog post here about programming:

http://farjay.com/post/121883633143/programming-a-bear-game

New Web Stuff, More Graphical Updates and Other Things

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Web Promos:

Been working on the website some more, making a “Story” promotional page and making the “Backer Credits” page all fancy too.

For the Backer Credits, made a wrapping/background of a theater set in a forest, here's a preview:

The video will be in the gray square. Got the theater image as a stock photo which I edited and added some foresty stuff to it along with making a sign, here's a quick overview of how the sign was made:

A possibly interesting idea I had was to promote the story which is ridiculously overkill but I think it will be neat, here's a preview:

More Graphical Updates:

Still don't like a lot of the models/textures so I've been replacing/redoing a lot. Don't think this game was ready for Greenlight, the website or Steam yet, still needs work. Wanted it to have more of a unique look so not entirely happy with how it turned out, too bland/generic compared to a lot of the other nature style indie games.

The programming is fine, the events and creatures are fine, UI is good, regions are all mapped and pathed, runs well on all 3 platforms, think most of the art and writing is decent and the game is completely playable and mostly balanced, so there's no problem with replacing and redoing the models/textures right now since it's just swapping stuff.

Going to completely retake all previous screenshots and game footage for the site, trailers and steam page after finished touching things up.

  • Opened up the ocean area, before it was just blocked off so you couldn't swim far but that seemed kind of stupid so got a bunch of coral and other undersea models to add:

Should be funner to casually dive but there isn't a whole lot to find. Also added a bunch of plants to the lake region's lake. Mainly did this because the fish are much more active now, will explain further down.

  • Remade Kickstarter Island, going back to my original idea of having a theme park sort of feel. Really didn't like the current, bland, generic autumn setting and don't know why I went with it. Almost done, here's a preview of some new models I made for it along with it's new textures in the mean time:
Don't worry they will make sense when you see it fully.
Don't worry they will make sense when you see it fully.

Working on adding spot lights and completely redoing all the backer submitted images to fit the new theme.

  • Lastly made a button for the bear book thing on the website:

 Kind of want to put it on amazon but it wouldn't make a ton of sense.

Other Things:

  • Made another blog post here:

http://farjay.com/post/121230973073/adding-a-cat-to-a-bear-game

  • Going to try working on moving all the text to a single script so it can be easy to translate the game to different languages but really wary of messing something up.
  • Fish aren't static anymore, they move in patterns meaning they aren't dynamic. Will show it in the new trailer but you can't grab them from the surface, you have to dive to eat them. Want to get more use out of diving and the coast region.
  • Multiplayer has been going well? Main problem with multiplayer is if I add the multiplayer and it's buggy/not perfect it would just be disappointing. Plus I don't want Steam people to buy the game with the intention of it having a decent multiplayer mode. But it would be really fun to get it working, exploring with others and collecting hats and stuff.
  • You can set custom controls for this game, whether you want to use a keyboard or a controller but it might be a little complicated, it's there though.

Lastly for the backer credits I kind of want to upload them to Vimeo since it has an insane resolution but Youtube is far more popular so you can leave comments and share it easier. Also unsure on what to use for the background music now. Want to find something royalty free with a similar style to this song since it's perfect:

Music Link

Bear Game Update: Trailer Info, Informative Bear Facts and New Graphics

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Updating Assets:

Been updating lots of things, mainly textures and models. Don't have many “before and after” screens since I didn't think ahead.

  • Redid almost all the textures on the rocks to help them not stick out so much, they blend in pretty well with the scenery now:
  •  New Chicken:

The chicken is actually a pretty nice model and I might just modify it/re-animate it for the evil chicken update instead of making a custom one.

  • Completely remade the backer food submission, wanted it to stand out from the other berry bushes:
  • Made a blog post about making it here with some info and thoughts:

http://farjay.com/post/120491633733/implementing-backer-submissions-bear-food

  • Also increased some of the foods to make them more visible:
  • Added many more falling leaf and other nature-y particles everywhere.
  • Tried to brighten up things, make the environment more colorful. Don't really want it to be drab and dark.

Trying to make sure everything is peachy before letting early access people play. First impressions are key you see.

Other Graphics Updates

  • Made a CD cover for the ambient soundtrack:

Not entirely sure what to do with it but it was fun to make so ehh. And yes I realize the headphones aren't going over it's ears.

  • Updated the game site again with new graphics, including a background image and this sweet new “More Info” button which is way better than the shoddy button from before:
  • Also made this for a slider image on the main page that would lead to the Steam page replacing the current greenlight image, it's not final though:

 Also might need to update all screenshots, don't like a whole lot of them.

Informative Bear Knowledge:

Using this bear game as a podium I designed some “Endangered Posters” which informs people about endangered bears along with an interesting Bear Fact:

There's four of them to find along with an additional sign to let people know about the honey bee problem, since bees/honey are usually paired with bears you see:

Even went the distance for it, instead of just buying a stock photo of a honey bee I snapped a picture myself which took forever because bees really like to move around a lot? Here's the photo:

Tried to make them eye-catching and informative but not too preachy. Plus I can add an “Educational” tag to the game now! Got most of the info just typing “Bear Facts” into Google.

Upcoming Trailers

Finishing up a new trailer which is really cheesy, like I went maximum cheese on it. Tried to make it like one of those pretentious indie movies that make no sense. Here's a preview:

It's a mix of in-game footage and cinematics, this is going to be the “Funny” trailer. Still going to make a “Gameplay” focused trailer to go along with it. Needed to re-record all the game footage again showing all the updated textures, models and bear arms plus going back to my original way of recording footage so it won't have any fuzzy video problems.

Also started to work on an older, fully cinematic trailer I gave up on a while ago due to difficulties. Here's a preview:

It starts out like a cliche horror movie but takes a 180 degree turn half way. It uses the in-game models which are fully animated and edited in a movie-like way. Liked the idea of it but don't think I have a decent enough grasp on 3DS Max to execute it fully yet. We'll see.

Other Things:

  • Haven't received all the physical rewards yet. Some haven't even been printed yet. Eager to show off the designs of everything, went through like 4 drafts designing the bear card in Photoshop.
  • Made the fish spawn in different areas on different days to spice things up.
  • Made some progress on the multiplayer mode? Really want to try and get some kind of multiplayer thing up but I feel like it might be more trouble than it's worth.
  • I kind of don't really like the title to this game anymore but it's probably far to late to change it. Ehh.
  • Don't have a release date yet.