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Enter a beautiful world haunted by its fateful past and join a party of unlikely heroes on their journey to rescue Amon's uncle from an ancient cult and uncover the secret of the Earthkey.
Enter a beautiful world haunted by its fateful past and join a party of unlikely heroes on their journey to rescue Amon's uncle from an ancient cult and uncover the secret of the Earthkey.
4,506 backers pledged $178,193 to help bring this project to life.

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Happy summer! Vacation is cancelled!

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
31 likes

It's finally summer here up in the cold north part of our little blue planet. We should all go out into the sun and enjoy life and the warm rays of the sun. WRONG! It's crunch time!

Woho! 

I'm blessed with a wonderful team of developers who have decided by themselves, to cut back on the summer vacation and instead do a double sprint to the finish line!  

June Progression Report:

Team Expansion - again!

We have hired a new veteran 3D environment artist from UK starting July 1st. He is packing up and moving to Oslo now. We are super excited to have him onboard.

Character design and production

Everything is going as planned. We have gotten the first 3D assets back from the June batch and as always Original Force deliver what we expect. Frits has started on the next batch - the Monster batch. We can't wait to get them all into the game!

Swarmers
Swarmers

Combat design 

Thomas has grayboxed all the monsters now and have begun to play-test them all. 

Alpha and Beta testing

We have gotten quite a few requests about alpha and beta testing. I can totally understand the excitement. Over the summer, we should be well into alpha and moving towards beta. After some internal alpha testing, we will invite the first alpha backers to play test. This will be done for PC/Mac only. It is likely that we will distribute the Alpha and Beta through Steam, but it is not set in stone yet. 

That's it for now! 
-Bendik

____________________________________________________________

Other exciting projects worth mentioning

Hero-U
We were too late to mention our friends Cory and Lory Cole who are making an adventure RPG in the spirit of Quest for Glory. (It's not a rip off as they made the original series as well). They did however succeed with their second kickstarter on the same project a week ago. I must say they are the most transparent kickstarter project I have ever seen! They also did a very interesting piece on Turn Based Combat that I enjoyed very much. If you like to help out, they are still taking pledges through PayPal.

Developer Update

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
33 likes

May is almost over and it is time for a new update.

Progress report

Team expansion
In the last month we have gotten a new team member, Øyvind Mathisen, who is helping out with sound implementation. Now Jory and Øyvind will make sure we will get the proper sound effects into the game. 

We have almost completed the process of hiring a much needed new environment artist as well. 

Character design and production
We are also preparing the first bulk of 3d characters to be produced by Original Force. We will elaborate on this as we get the results back, but in the mean time here is a sample of one of many NPC character designs.

Combat design
Thomas has been going over all the combat mechanics, stats and abilities and is making great progress. 

Overworld and level design
Fredrik and Bendik have completed blocking out the entire game now. All the scenes are in and getting filled with props and content. There is still a lot to do, but we have a very good feel with the scope of the game.

Story and Comic Book
Magnus has been sparring with the team, and is tweaking the story so it is becoming even better. He is starting preproduction on the story for the next game; Earthlock: The Final Memory.

Emerson has also completed the comic book now. We are super pleased with the results and look forward to sharing that with our backers who opted in for that.

We feel really happy about progress but we are still not quite ready to invite any external people to play test yet. We will let you know as soon as we are ready.

That's it for now!
-Snowcastle Team

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Other exciting projects worth mentioning

1. Through the Woods
Our very bearded friends over at Antagonist (fellow developer in Oslo) is running a kickstarter project for a very cool and very scary game: Through The Woods

We have tested the current demo and they are really doing some great stuff!

2. Little Devil Inside In less than two hours the project: The Little Devil inside will end. It is well over it's initial goal so we are really happy for them! It's not too late to back them though.

 

One year anniversary!

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
50 likes

A year has passed since we successfully ended the Kickstarter. We have come a long way since then. The team has grown, and we have become better at what we do. The scope of the project has in most ways remained the same, but we have adjusted here and refined there.

Tavern by the canal in Suvia
Tavern by the canal in Suvia

After the kickstarter was over, we spent a few weeks recovering from the strain that running a kickstarter is. It was without a doubt the most straining but also rewarding work we ever have done. After that, we spent some time nailing down the story and world lore with our new writer, Magnus Aspli. Then we updated our production plan with the resources we expected to have. To increase production speed we hired a new Senior Game Programmer, Kenny, who came over from Ubisoft after having worked on Farcry 4. 

During the summer, we got the story down, gave the combat gameplay a major overhaul and began the work on several new areas. We spent the fall creating new monsters, player characters, locations and testing and refining our new combat system.

Equally important, but easy to oversee was all the tools and extensions to the Unity Editor we developed. We have developed a custom tool pack for Earthlock that could be compared to RPG Maker in terms of flexibility and ease of use, but with the Unity Engine as base. This is has taken a lot of resources, but is worth the investment since we are making 3 games in the Earthlock series and it will greatly increase our production speed.

Subtrain station in Suvia
Subtrain station in Suvia

Beginning the new year, we hired Thomas, our new Senior Game Designer who came to us after having worked at Rockstar, and then began the preparations for GDC 2015. Our comic book was mostly done and we brought a 16 pager limited print to GDC.

Passing March 2015, our original estimated release date, we pushed the release for the second time to Q4 2015. On top of that we just upgraded to the new Unity 5 engine. It’s always a lot of work to upgrade the game engine, but we had to in order to enable publishing for the consoles. Delaying always a balance between completing a good game and not running out of money before the game is done. We are so fortunate that we have enough funds to complete the game as long as we get it done before the end of the year. It’s still going to require that we are super efficient and work really hard to get the game ready in time for this deadline, but we are getting a really good feeling with the scope of the project now so our prediction accuracy is increasing.

Subtrain Concept
Subtrain Concept

We just passed April 10th the 1 year anniversary for the Kickstarter! We now have the whole game gray boxed and we are now focusing on completing the first chapter (the first 30% of the game). It’s a bit hard for outsiders to scope how far we are in production, but keep in mind that the tools, all the systems, the combat design and the crafting design are all big chunks of the production that we have completed. Moving forward, we expect to greatly increase production speed since it all builds on the ground work that we have completed. To increase production speed even further, we are also now hiring a new environment artist in-house. 

Konkylia Concept
Konkylia Concept

As soon as we have a good playable and completed chunk of the game we will invite alpha testers. The purpose of alpha testing is to get real feedback that we can use to improve the game. There is no point testing the game before we have something we think works well. We will need at least May to get there and we will update you all on the progress in the next update in May.

We have great ambitions for Earthlock and will always try to make the best game possible with the resources we have available!

That's it for now.
-Snowcastle Team

New trailer!

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
52 likes

Hi awesome backers!

Here is the new trailer!


Progression update 

Since GDC we have been busy with: 

  • Moving the project from Unity4.6 to Unity5
  • Changed Version System to Perforce
  • Cleaned up the whole project removing unused assets and obsolete elements.
  • The art team is busy making new concept art for all the areas that still need to make it into the game. Here's a sample: 
Underwater Mile (Dungeon)
Underwater Mile (Dungeon)

It has been a bit tedious, but now that it is done, we feel lighter and are ready to take on the last part of the journey.

Shout Out

Our friends over at Red Thread Games have just released the second episode of Dreamfall Chapters! It has gotten really great reviews, so if you are into adventure games, this might be worth your time, and it's on 30% sale for the next 2 hours!
http://store.steampowered.com/app/237850/ 

Dreamfall Chapters: Book 2
Dreamfall Chapters: Book 2

 Best regards,
The Snowcastle Team

The Mircosoft Loft Event @ GDC

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
33 likes

Hey everyone! Here's the first report from GDC!

This year we brought Bendik, Frits, Eivind, Kenny and Thomas for the show floor at GDC Play. Eivind won a scolarship so he has been off to lectures about Artificial Intelligence and other cool stuff.

Yesterday we were showcasing Earthlock at Microsoft's indie event in San Francisco. It was a superb event with a bunch of other awesome indie developers we were proud to be amongst. 

Photo courtesy of Microsoft ID@Xbox
Photo courtesy of Microsoft ID@Xbox

Thomas French, our new veteran Game Designer with 10 years at Rockstar North under his belt, started working on March 1st, the same day we flew from Norway to San Francisco so yesterday was his first day of real work! Talk about hitting the ground running!  

And here is a photo of the handsome scotsman:

The first two mentions from this event are pretty cool too! Check the links underneath:

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2015/03/03/the-very-best-indie-games-of-gdc-2015.aspx

http://www.redbull.com/en/games/stories/1331709153432/kickstarting-the-jrpg-10-crowdfunded-successes

Microsoft also provided us with some sweet Xbox One controllers with our own custom designed skin!

 More to come from GDC! Stay tuned! 

- The Snowcastle gang