Xmas update magic!
A seasonal greeting, Drifters. We've been hard at work over at Heart Machine, working out all the pre-alpha bits: locking down features, the scope of the game (landmarks, dungeons, towns), lining up the important story elements (in game and for the art book), and just generally doing a lot of coding and designing, conversing and drawing, animating and sound effecting.
We had a successful public event over at Giant Robot 2 (projected on the side of their shop in the evening), which a few stray backers showed up for; it was a joy to meet you all and watch you perish several times in-game.
Nathan over at Rock Paper Shotgun had a stab at the game as well: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/12/21/lets-chattersplatter-over-hyper-light-drifter/
Please keep in mind this is an early build yet (hence the term pre-alpha), so there are plenty of sound effects not in place, the music is not a final track for the area, little graphical glitches/incomplete animations abound, and everything is subject to be tweaked (or killed!) as we progress. Also, he did not nab the projectile weapons, so it's sword-play and shield in the video. He made a fair go of it, considering we provided him with very little context!
Team and plans
Beau Blyth, my first partner in design on this beast, recently finished up development on Samurai Gunn, an amazing arena fighter (intense, often ends in controller throwing and screams of wicked glee) which is up on Steam and his site now! Instant and endless fun with such a fine soundtrack. He's been part time for the past month as he crunched to release; Teddy has been doing a damn fine job picking up all the structural design/coding duties in his absence. Beau is coming back full time starting January. Woo!
We'll be moving into an alpha state after that, meaning we will have the core mechanics and systems, all over-arching level designs, general enemy sets and patterns, sound effects and weapons in place for tweaking, testing, and breaking. We will continue to refine systems, send out builds and play-test, all the while keeping you lovely souls updated as much as we can without spoiling anything.
One of those updates will include an introduction to our sound designer; he has been working on some behind the scenes video that features a look into the dark and arcane art of sound effect creation. Pro-tip secret**: he uses nothing but a bent dinner fork, old breakfast meat, and a 1997 Dell mouse scavenged from an alleyway bin. **jokes
Rich (Disasterpeace) also has plans for some behind the scenes on his process for the soundtrack, and we hope to release bits of it as development continues.
Rewards and other items
I have a quick peak at a few of the prints (these images are in a unfinished state), which will be revealed in their full glory soon. I'll put up an official survey/vote for them upon completion.
Rita Hunt has been prototyping the Drifter plushy, which we plan to do a limited run of 50 to gauge the desire for such an item (maybe use as a prize in the future?). You can see a much-closer-to-final version below:
As for surveys; the first round will be the t-shirt tier, sent before year's end, as we'll be producing the first run with our vendor ASAP!
Wallpapers will be the next go around, as they're relatively pain free to distribute, and other rewards will go out upon completion as we continue to send out surveys.
Considering we now have Beau back full time, we'll be doing more regular, smaller updates, rather than having these longer stretches in between.
Also! another contest is in order, with some physical prizes this time since we won't be bound by KS rules on our site. I have a few things in mind for the contest itself, though feel free to throw your ideas in the comments for consideration!
Lastly, I hope everyone is able to spend this holiday with people they love and reflect on the positives in the their lives. I've been incredibly fortunate this year; it rather quickly changed from the worst year of my life to the best so far. Finding a diagnosis, receiving effective treatment and maintaining a far better status health-wise than the first half of the year. Enjoying this successful Kickstarter with such an incredible community behind it. I'm not sure I've expressed how much it means to have the amazing support and enthusiasm on this project, to have people share their own incredibly personal struggles with a stranger like me, and to speak and meet with backers from all over. Thank you, Drifters; have an amazing new year.