I never thought this update would take a month to be posted but it did, and the reasons why are legion. However, I am here to bring you good news, possibly followed by even more good news.
1) The GDD that I set out to write properly took way too long, but it's done - or at least in a decent enough state so that anyone that reads it can understand what's going on with the game, the story, the characters and everything inbetween. Right now the whole document fits on 31 pages, with about 25 pages of pure text. It's quite the thing and I am ultimately proud of it.
Before you ask: no, I cannot share it with you. It contains major spoilers. It is THE Game Design Document after all, so stop asking to see it. I know you might not share it but let's be honest.. I would have to kill you once you're done reading it. It represents four (4) years of my life. I hope you can understand that.
2) We have received a couple of other offers from publishers or people willing to get involved in the video game industry by helping Midora. I still don't have names for you unless I get a definitive answer from one of them, which should happen soon now that the GDD has been sent (after signing NDAs of course).
3) A lot happened this Summer, and working on the GDD for so long (writing and rewriting it so many times) made me realize that I could write a lot more updates and talk about Midora, even though it wouldn't fit here most of the time. I, as a developer and game designer, have a lot going on in my mind but also in my life. The past two months have been hell for me because I had to write this document which holds everything I ever thought about, for a project I am still very passionate about.. and yet I doubted myself. I went through a quick phase of depression which is something I have never experienced before. It was scary.
I played a lot of video games to escape reality and my work, even though my notes were literally one alt+tab away. I've decided to reopen my personal blog to talk about all this while remaining 100% honest and open to discussion. It's still under construction and should pop up as soon as I am done writing my first post (which is quite lengthy). Summer heat is gone (at least in France) and this whole period of working so hard on a single document is over. Most of the stress I experienced is gone, which is why it feels really good to be back in shape and determined to accomplish greatness. Epic Minds and the rest of the team still owes you (yes, YOU!) so much. Hopefully what I'm going to say below will bring a smile to your face.
4) On the subject of websites: I am back working on the personal page for each kickstarter backer. As you probably know, the Steam Early Access version of Midora has been "cancelled". We still have plans to release a demo of the game at some point. But first, let's talk about game copies.
At some point last year, every backer that was eligible for a copy (or more) of the game was asked to confirm which copy of the game they wanted as well as possible add-ons. The resulting database was a complete mess and copies were handled somewhat poorly. It is possible to fix this mess by researching exactly what operations were done on the whole thing (apologies if this gets too complex already), but my skills have changed quite a bit in one year (for those who don't know: I am primarily a web designer / developer).
With the upcoming backers page, there is an easy solution to this: ALL backers (even people who pledged $1) will be added on the Humble Store and be able to download the demo of the game once it comes out. The demo will, of course, not be updated to become the final game. It will remain what it is: a demo. All backers will be able to pick their game copy on the backers page and change it as many times as they want as long as the version they pick (and the copy previously picked) is not out yet. Here's a working example:
- You picked a PS4 version of the game.
- You switch to PC.
- You switch to XB1.
- The PC version came out!
- You switch to PC. You cannot switch anymore (the page will assume you redeemed your key).
Feel free to tell me what you think about this new system. It should give everyone the chance to get the copy that they want, even if they screw up, and gives me the opportunity to start a fresh new database that will hold backers information in a way that makes sense this time. I want to do this properly.
5) This is Aurora
As revealed on Facebook and Twitter, her name is Aurora but her identity is a secret. We hope you appreciate the character for now. We might reveal her face in a month or two!
6) Tempest is coming
I'm going to leave you with this. This is a work in progress, first sketch freshly delivered by Giorgos this morning. You have no idea how excited I am about this new character we've been working on for so long. His name is Tempest.
See you all in the next update, hopefully moving forward with a publisher deal!