December update: Funding, New team members, Release date and more!
Some of you were aware that I spent a few weeks last summer working on a CMF funding application. For this I received a lot of help from my cousin Dwix aka (Jean-Francois) and my wife Yumi. They both spent a lot of their time outside of their full time jobs in order to help me with the funding application.
We sent the completed funding request in early September and we recently received a confirmation that the project was... Approved for funding!!!! Obviously by supporting this project from the beginning, you have contributed in giving this project some weight and credibility. Thank you for your support once again! At the moment I am busy with filling funding related documents, getting all the planning done and doing a couple of odd jobs like painting the new office space.
New team members
I am proud to announce that I will be joined by a full time senior programmer starting early next year. Seb has more than 15 years of experience working on different games and at different game studios. I've known him since 1996. We actually tried to work together a few times in the past but we were both too busy with our full time jobs. Now is the time to finally team up! He will be in charge of all the programming for the game in order for me to focus solely on art and assembling the remainder of the game. I cannot wait!
I am also looking for a freelance pixel artist / animator. Tasks will involve a mix of cleaning up sprites, creating new sprites and animating new and existing sprites. If you are interested, send me a quick word and rate at jobs@[MY WEBSITE]!
I will also be welcoming interns and hiring testers locally throughout the year in order to get all the help I can get!
New audio direction
I am very excited to announce that the soundtrack is now being composed by the talented team over at Basiscape. I have been in touch with Sakimoto san for a while now and last summer he has introduced me to Higashihara san with whom I started working on new songs for A.N.N.E. We have been working together now for more than 3 months and although my Japanese is not that great we manage to understand each others and the soundtrack is coming along very well! I know some of you may have questions regarding this change, but I will talk more about that at a later time. Just know that it was the right decision for me to make.
Here is a mini sample/medley taken from the game's introduction. Unmastered work in progress!
Game progress overview
The past few months were mostly spent on planning and game design. But that being said here are some highlights from 2015:
- The Game design is pretty much done. Some mechanics were added, some were modified. I cannot wait to reveal more details throughout the year.
- Programming ?%. Although pretty much all of my features have been coded already, most of them have been coded in quickly and roughly in order for me to test my ideas and finalize my game design and vision for A.N.N.E. I can't wait for Seb to implement these features properly with all the small details and polish that it needs.
- Environment art is 60% done. Although most of it is still lying dormant in photoshop files, with some newly acquired level editing tools, assembling them inside game is a real breeze. Although all the worlds are well defined visually, the remaining 40% is mostly sub areas, and more sprite variety throughout the game environments.
- Enemy art is 50% done. Lots of enemies left to art away but with me not having to focus on programming anymore and with the help from a kick ass artist, this should go pretty quick.
I believe that once A.N.N.E goes Beta, I will need a minimum of 6 months simply to balance, fix bugs, polish the game based on all the precious feedback from the beta testers. That brings us to the one thing you were all waiting for… Drum roll please, and now the...
My target is May 25 2017. With the help from the Canadian Media Fund, being able to work with a programmer full time and with an additional artist to help out on the game, I am confident that this is the final stretch and that we can remain on target. More info on the console versions coming later this year.
Once again, thank you so much everyone. I understand that the release date is still in a little while but for me it’s a big relief to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!
I will take a look at messages and feedback later next week. It is time for me to enjoy a bit of time away from the computer.
Happy new Year!
Just in case you've missed it, I released the following video earlier this year.