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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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Pushed release, award and GDC activities

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
55 likes

This update contains:

  • Release date pushed
  • Progression report
  • GDC activities

Release Date Pushed: (October 2015)

In Developer Update #27 we pushed the release date until the end of June 2015. Over the last 6 months we've been able to see that our production speed is slower than we anticipated. We have tried to look at gameplay features and content that we might cut so we could stick to the release date in June, but we feel the game will suffer from it. Instead we think it is better to push the release to October this year. The last thing we want is to release the game before it is done.

One of the reasons that development is slower than anticipated is that were counting on having more people on the team. Recruitment is not the easiest, and so staffing up has taken longer than hoped. Our new veteran team member is starting work in the beginning of March.

Progression Report

We have completed Ramoo Island and totally redesigned Plumpet Island. While doing Plumpet we have also to some degree redesigned the harvesting and crafting system for more flexibility. 

This will all be demonstrated at GDC in about 14 days. Basically we have detached the direct harvesting of ammo, and introduced recipes where the crops from harvest have become ingredients. So now you can craft potions and various ammunition from the resources harvested. You will also need recipes that need to be deciphered or purchased at the library.

The new Plumpet island is now completed and in-game, but we will not reveal it until GDC.  

GDC Activities

We are proud to announce that we have received the GDC Best in Play award. 8 games out of more than 50 were selected as the Best in Play. 

We are sending over Bendik, Eivind, Frits, Kenny and our new team member.
We will be showcasing the game at GDC Play @ Moscone Center, North Hall from Wednesday 3rd though Friday 6th. 

We are also participating on another event during the GDC week, but are not allowed to make any announcements about this event until it is over. Due to this, we will also hold any previews or testing until after GDC.

Best regards,
The Snowcastle Team

Characters, Monsters, Ramoo and Merry Christmas

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
59 likes
Young Amon
Young Amon

We’re really excited to show you more of what we are doing. The main reason for keeping things under wraps for so long is because we are going to release a new trailer and probably also a new playable demo early next year. We want that next update to contain noteworthy material so we get some good press and Let’s Play coverage on Earthlock.

Characters & Monsters 

Earlier in the fall, we bumped into some problems with our character and animations pipeline. It turned out that the production cost of the assets we needed was much more expensive than we had anticipated. Not only that, but it would take much more time to produce them. 

Fortunately, we got help from a 3D & Animation studio in China (Original Force) that we have worked with some years back, and they really have done a tremendous job for us! We got quite a bit delayed initially, but at this point, all but one asset is completed for the Christmas milestone.

Olia & PAT

The second pair of characters you meet in the game. Olia is now in and she even has a jump attack that does massive damage when she falls down the next round. 

Here are two new weapons for Olia:

Monsters

Droohgos: These are lizard-like monsters that have taken over the frog-friendly Ramoo swamp area. They are far from friendly, but fortunately not too bright. Here is a short video of Fredrik painting one of the 3D assets we got in from our friends at Original Force earlier this month.

Shaman walk cycle above and Varluk Droogh (Boss) below.

Combat 

In August, we totally remade the combat design and since then we have been implementing the gameplay and building tools to make it easier to add more content to the game. We have huge Excel spreadsheets with character stats for all characters and monsters that we can now tweak and copy-paste into the game editor. These tools will make a huge difference for our ability to balance the combat as we go along. 
We have implemented the pairing system, that we now call Friendship. All the Player Characters can be paired in different ways. When two characters are paired, they will evolve their Friendship by gaining friendship XP and unlock special perks and abilities. During combat the pair will gain friendship points that can be used for some very powerful friendship abilities.

Combat GUI 

The GUI for this is still work in progress but we are trying to make it fast, sleek and intuitive. Here is an action shot from the GUI design process:

Ramoo Island

We have just completed the Ramoo Island scenes last week.

It consists of the swamp scenes and the interior villa dungeon scenes. This area holds the first quest for Amon and Gnart, and it introduces Olia and Pat to the party. We are going to keep the visuals under wraps until the next update, but you can see a sneak peek of the combat scene in the section above.

Going forward

Comic Book: The comic book is now past the line render stage, and is being coloured. It is expected to be completed in January! We are going to print some copies for GDC and bring them along. Come by our booth and grab one!

Demo to publishers: We are in talks with several publishers and are hoping to sign a pre-order deal for the game by the end of Q1 2015. If we manage to do this we will get a lot more funds to spend on more content for Episode 1. 

Steam Early Access? We have been considering putting Earthlock on Steam Early Access, and will continue to evaluate this. It does feel like a really good way for us to get alpha and beta feedback on the gameplay. Getting updates automatically distributed and so on. What do you think? 

GDC Planning: We will be going to GDC in San Francisco the first week of March 2015 and will be preparing to show off the game. We hope some of you might also join us at the expo and get your hands on a printed Comic Book.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from all of us here at Snowcastle!

Big update coming soon

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
45 likes

Dear backers,

It has been too long since we last sent out an update and instead of postponing a little longer, we figured it was better to let you know that we are almost ready to give you a big update. 

We have been crunching hard to get this next milestone ready. We are really excited and proud of what we are making. Just a few (5) more days now. 

Thank you for your patience!

Best regards,
Bendik

October Update: Sneak Peek

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
41 likes

Progression - Combat Gameplay

We're forging ahead with the combat ideas we had last month and have implemented a lot of it. We've also gotten some help on the maths behind all the stuff that goes on during combat with damage dealing, experience points and all that stuff from the math wiz Andreas Bretteville who has a lot of experience from, among other things, Age of Conan and The Secret World. It's been great to have another set of eyes on our stuff and we're making adjustments based on his input as this update is being typed out! 

In last months update, we mentioned that we would show you the combat gameplay in this update. In short, it's not ready to show. Sorry! We have decided to wait with this until it looks really good. Instead we will show you some other place we have made good progress:

New Environments

We're constantly producing new visual assets for the game, and we wanted to give you guys a little sneak peek of a new area in the game and talk a little about how a very small team has to work in order to get to a good visual polish. 

At a point you'll find yourself in an old villa taken over by pirate lizards called "Droogos", and here are a few things from that process! 

First up we try to get a feel for the layout and mechanics in a first prototype pass. Here we've used a set of assets we got from Manufactura K4 (Michael O.) in order to quickly build a layout. 

First prototype
First prototype

As soon as we had something that played well, we had to make it look the way we wanted. Frits and Fredrik made a bunch of quick sketches to figure out the visual direction. 

Selection of sketches
Selection of sketches

 Next step brought the environment a little closer. Another kit by Manufactura K4 (Michael O.) allowed us to build something that was closer to the concept art. 

Prototype 2
Prototype 2

 After we got the final layout locked down, we started adjusting the kit as well as creating all new walls, floors and other assets we needed to get it to the next step. 

At this point we assigned the set design/set dressing to Saira who has a really good eye for populating our interiors. 

Set dressing in place
Set dressing in place

 We then go back and do paintovers in Photoshop to show where we want further adjustments and make suggestions for everything from props to final lighting. 

Paintover
Paintover

We'll let you guys experience the final result in-game and hope you enjoyed the sneak peek at some of the new visuals we're working on! 

Shoutout

The developers of Planetary Annihilation has just started a new Kickstarter campaign! They have the gutsy goal of $1.400.000 for their next project called Human Resources

 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/659943965/human-resources-an-apocalyptic-rts-game

September Progress Report

Posted by Snowcastle Games (Creator)
37 likes

Progression - Combat Gameplay 

It feels like we have had a slow progression this last month, but we have not been idle. It’s just that we have spent a lot of time working on the combat gameplay and some of the things we tried out did sound like a good idea at the time, but after playtesting we did not get the right vibe, so we rolled back and tried some of the other ideas.

We finally got to a point where we feel we have some cool combat gameplay. It feels new and familiar at the same time. Our programmers are working on getting this combat design implemented properly in-game and we have decided to wait until the next update before we show how it works.

Story and Quests 

Meanwhile Magnus, our story writer has polished the main quest line and he has also made several side quests.

Here is a little message from Magnus: 

“I really believe that the magic of the story, together with the world itself, comes from the characters. Our main narrative and our main quests firmly lock the characters and the world together, of course, but I also wanted the primary sidequests to have a strong bearing on character and reveal more about our heroes. These sidequests aren’t mandatory to completing the game, obviously, but they are designed in a way to really give you the player a stronger connection to the characters, to the world and its history, and also heighten the gameplay. We have given our heroes a lot of personality and a rich, meaningful history, and we hope you’ll take them on all the adventures you find throughout Umbra to get to know them as you know your friends. But, like in real life, friends have secrets too…” - Magnus

Concept Art - Artwork

Fridtjof and Fredrik have been creating a bunch of character designs that we will be sending over for 3D modelling and animation soon. We’ve boxed out a bunch of new areas in the game engine, and they are hard at work designing and making projection maps for those areas as well. If you missed our last post where we talked about projection mapping, it can be found here. 

We can’t wait to show you all the new artwork being produced!

Creative Tier - Design Work 

We finally got started with the first work session with one of our backers of the Creative Tiers. Once we feel we got this backer going we will invite the next Creative Tier Backer.

That's it for now!

-Snowcastle Team

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Shout out - Other Kickstarter projects 

We would like to point out 3 other great projects currently in the making. 

Moon Hunters

Our new programmer, Kenneth, has some friends over in Montreal that are working on an awesome pixellated action RPG called Moon Hunters! Check it out! 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kitfoxgames/moon-hunters-a-myth-weaving-rpg?ref=category

Reassembly

This is a really cool game concept about building spaceships. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/indievoyage/reassembly

Loki’s Exile: A Norse Noir Adventure Game 

A sweet adventure game made by some fellow Norwegian Game Developers. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1894134280/lokis-exile-a-norse-noir-adventure-game