Hello again friends! Welcome to what is likely to be our last update of the year! 2013 has been a really life changing year for us here. The beginning of the year saw us working on the City Quest demo, and then into the City Quest Kickstarter. Then we got to meet all of you lovely people! It was a lot of work (for both us and many of you who went to bad for us!), and soon enough it will all come to a head. Late summer brought Ryan back to Wisconsin, and shortly thereafter brought Jon back to full time work, both of us working to keep food on the table while we push this game out.
We've seen delays to the game, and you've all been wonderful about it. As always, your patience is appreciated. We really want to make this a game worth playing. We'd rather get you a game you enjoy and we can be proud of, even if it's later than we hoped!
There was one other big life change this year, by the way...
Yup! That's right! There's a new little monkey on our team. Jon and Erica spawned this little guy on December 16! So say hello! I'm sure he'll say hello back when he's old enough to read (not a guarantee). So, what else have we been up to this month?
Well, before we get to the art, cast your eye-meat upon this:
Hooray! Just under 36k words now. A bit of this is menu text/quest text/things of that nature, but for the most part, this is all description and story (and of that, most of it is funny. What isn't funny is either heartbreaking, riveting, or absurd. Sometimes all three!)
I like posting things like this because, while it's not something objectively pretty, it is certainly a bit part of the game. We do want the world to feel full of detail. What we can't squeeze out of our low-res style (though it's surprising how much we actually can squeeze out of it), we make up for in interactions/exploration.
More before the art!
For the most part now, our scenes are entirely blocked out. The story has been locked in for awhile now (save for minor tweaks here or there), so Ryan's been spending time blocking out the city while Jon finishes the art.
Much of this has involved Ryan producing crude monkey scratchings:
... and Jon turning them into actual art:
Even with Ryan's monkey scratchings, though, we can lay out colliders, set up interactions and characters, and move along with the story, so even wireframes are useful! This means we're not waiting on final art to keep implementing the rest of the game, so we should both finish our work around the same time!
Right now, a few of the areas are art-complete (save any minor objects/characters we retroactively decide need to be there), and the rest look something like this (Hipton):
Or this (Downtown):
With final art mixing "gracefully" with blocked-in art.
Speaking of Final Art, we've got a few more scenes we can show off this month (no context provided, as usual). There's some other stuff we're dying to show off to you, but it would be a bit spoilery, so we're going to leave it as a pleasant surprise on launch. Heck, I'll even give you a bit of a hint: We've got a fair few really neat, higher detail (though still low-res) closeups for important scenes/character introductions. Most of these are pretty darn funny too. (Spoilers are also a big reason we mostly show you scenes/characters without context. I'd hate to drop important plot points in a KS update!). Anyway, here are a few more scenes:
Can you match that one up with the outside from a previous update?
And for you cat lovers out there:
And look! One Ryan made! Well... two Ryan made, but it's the suburbs, so all the houses are supposed to look the same, right?:
(Ok, so Jon may have something to say about those before they're final).
Hmmm... what else should we talk about? OH! I know!
So, as it nears the end of the year, we had a little chat. Since we're still not ready for release yet, and much of our loot is in-house now, we decided to start sending out the T-Shirts and Posters! You may be wondering "well, you've had them for a few months now, why were you waiting?" Well, we were planning to wait until the game was done and our boxed copies were printed, so we could send all of the loot out together. In part this is because we wanted to save a bit of cash on shipping/packaging by sending some of the items out together. We also didn't want to send Shirts/Posters to those of you who didn't get a boxed copy, but then wait to send them out to folks that DID get a boxed copy. That just didn't seem right.
Aaaaanyway, it turns out we've been good little kids and budgeted our money well. This means we've got enough left over to not have to worry too much about shipping costs!
In the next 2-3 weeks, we'll be shipping out all of the Shirts and Posters to folks that ordered one of the physical tiers. So keep your eye out for those!!
We'll still be waiting on the boxed copies until we've got the game ready to ship, though.
That's about it for City Quest this update, but there was another thing we wanted to tell you about:
Over the weekend of December 14-16, both Jon and Ryan participated in our 3rd Ludum Dare. For those of you who don't know, Ludum Dare is a game jam. Basically, you get a theme (for Ludum Dare the themes are voted on and only announced when the jam begins), and in a condensed period of time (for the Ludum Dare it is 48 or 72 hours, we did 72), you have to create a game on that theme.
With 3 other friends (Nick and Sean, both backers here! As well as a new friend, Zeke), we took on the jam, and are quite proud of the results. The theme for the jam was You Only Get One, and we went a bit to left field with it. Our idea is a bit left of center from the theme, but it's a pretty neat game nonetheless.
The game is called Mega Gungineer Chronicles 3: Final Gun and it's a game where you only get one gun.... buuuuuut that gun is magnetic or something and picks up other guns, turning you into a flaming tornado of lead and lasers. Also, there are robots. Just look how pretty it is!
If you'd like, please check it out:
Official Ludum Dare Entry
Post-Competition Web Version (Ryan spent an extra day fixing bugs/tweaking balance, and adding some UI). It's still far from perfect, but a bit better :)
Jon wasn't quite able to finish the jam, what with the birth of his firstborn and everything, but he definitely got a solid 2 days work on it! Anyway, it was a crazy weekend, but now we're refreshed and back on City Quest! Hopefully you don't mind our weekend detour and get a kick out of it!
As always, thanks for sticking with us friends! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Enjoy yourselves, and be safe! See you in 2014!