Sorry for the long silence but I've been reaching a new level of busy lately and taking time off from all these important tasks is a hard thing to do. I wished I had more to show but unfortunately that will be for the next update which should be some time in December.
Quick update on the project:
Raphael joined as an intern earlier this year, I decided to hire him and he's been working with us ever since. He has been helping us with improving the enemies and bosses using our in house AI editor system. He has also been testing, doing some art. He's been a big help.
Luis is still helping out doing some awesome art. He's working on a few set pieces and landmarks to make the world more exciting and easier to navigate.
Seb is busier than ever fixing bugs and polishing some important features. Thanks to him the game runs @ 60fps on a 5 years old laptop (2.2ghz cpu with a basic ATI video card). He's working hard to make sure it stays this way.
Me? I just came back from Tulsa where I met some amazing people and devs. I am currently working on some important paperwork, making videos for Basiscape and looking through demo reels and resume for potential new hires: an in house tester/integrator and a programmer for console ports. But my main task until December is to polish the levels: game objects placement, balancing combat and platforming, pacing the experience. Huge task, but it's the most fun I had for a while the whole project besides the initial brainstorming and prototyping).
We will probably not have much time to polish the bosses and mini games for the beta but we'll let you know in detail what to expect in the beta so that you guys can contribute suggestions and ideas if you desire.
On the art side, the polishing will come later once the public beta is out.
I also want to update my website, it's getting old and falling apart, I also have to finish writing and cleaning all the strings (texts) in the game and send this out to translation. I need to clone myself...
Our focus is still on getting a decent Beta in December so that we can roll it out to you guys soon after.
Sorry for the late update but understand that from now on I am in full concentration mode and will not be in the mood for happy giddy monthly updates until I am able to scream beta at the top of my lungs. I also have a release date in mind that I am still sure we can hit but that will be for the next update.
We did it! We now have an alpha version of the game. Here's a mini teaser:
I finally get to see how everything is coming together. Alas it's not over yet. It's time to refine the flow/pacing of the game as well as balancing. Levels need a lot of refinement: we have a lot of cool game objects and we need to use and mix and match more of them to make the game a lot more fun. Also cutscenes are very rough, I have decided that these could wait post beta.
This month we also moved the office into a bigger room. 3 guys in the previous "small bedroom turned into an office" didn't really work out. We are now surrounded by my video game collection for extra mental stimulation.
As I mentioned in the previous update I will be slowing down a little this summer so I may do the next update only in July or August. For the moment the entire next week will be dedicated to making reference videos for Basiscape. I cannot wait to hear the new tracks. Getting new music always gives me an energy boost.
That's pretty much it for the month of May. Talk to you guys in a bit and thanks for taking the time to check this update.
First I want to start by introducing our new intern and soon to be full time team member Raph. He is a very talented and motivated developer and we are super glad to have him on board to help us move faster!
With his help we have fixed tons of bugs and finished all the npcs and items in the game along with a bunch of other things. He will also be assisting me with level design integrating/animating some events and polishing and balancing.
I also have to provide a catalogue of A.N.N.E video captures to Basiscape by the end of the month so that they can work on the remaining songs and sound effects. I am really looking forward to hearing new songs!
As soon as we hit alpha I will be slowing down a bit for the summer. When I work the way I have been working for the past few months I do not spend enough time with the family and not enough exercise. Summer is the perfect time to do just that and enjoy life a little. It will also be a good moment to play the alpha and reflect on a plan of action that makes sense so that we can reach our goal of being beta this year.
First I want to say a big thank you to everyone that passed by the booth at Pax East. I am always super happy to see you guys and it just makes me realize how awesome my backers are. I had a great time there, I met some really cool people and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive (amidst the amount of silly bugs).
We are still on the road to alpha. We couldn't squeeze everything in this month and I am expecting that the missing bosses will take at least the whole month of April to make. On a positive note though we are getting some extra help in April and Mai. We will have an intern helping out with integrating some of the remaining assets.
On the audio side Basiscape will be done with music and sounds in August. At this point I am saying Beta this year very likely, release, end of year maybe but most likely early next year is my best guesstimate for the time being.
A little later than I was personally hoping for but that's just how things are.
I am constantly trying to improve the way I am doing things and getting all the help I can afford. We went from one contractor to three contract artists helping with art assets within and soon a second intern. I just want you guys to know that I'm keeping the pedal to the metal as much as I can and meeting some of you at events like Pax is always super motivating. Thanks for passing by once again!
We are still hard at work on the Alpha build and things are looking pretty good. We will be officially alpha by the end of the month of March. After that I am hoping to roll out a closed beta sometime around June. This private build will be for a few testers/friends out there who really want to contribute in making A.N.N.E better but who understands that it is a rough build. Help that will be much needed in order to accelerate the polish/balancing phase. Right now we're still busy putting some more bosses like this guy here:
Yes we are running a bit late (how surprising), but we are rolling full steam and even have a new artist now on the team helping out dishing out more assets. It's been nuts and will continue to be so for the following months I believe @_@. Months go by like weeks. Gotta... keeep. moving.
Here's a little homework for those of you who's name is going in the credits. This is the first draft of the backers section of the end credits. Simply do a [ctrl+f] on the page to quickly find your name in the list. Note that this is a direct copy and paste from the survey files. If there are any mistakes, typos missing names and or anything funny please get in touch via private KS message or comment below. Thank you!
Now a little word about the unreleased demo...
I have been reminded a few times that I did promise a demo a few years back and I never released it. I truely apologise for breaking my promise. However I am without a doubt that releasing a demo back then would have been a terrible idea, like, feeding you white strawberries or a green bananas. It just wasn't ripe and even now the game rippens more and more as everything is coming together. The pressure and realisation that the game would take me longer to make made me promise something that I didn't feel was the right thing to do at the time. I should have said something then rather than letting it slide. Once again sorry. I do not want to have too many demos and data out there. The internet does not forget. I am only comfortable showing the game personally at events for the moment.
And that being said if you are able to attend Pax East this year then make sure to drop by the booth! #17109.