by Elysian Shadows Team
I can't wait to dig into those dev notebooks.
Falco, thanks for the detailed reply. I'm actually pretty impressed with what you have already achieved, from a purely technical point of view. I really hope that in the end all of it will come together nicely to also make a great game, when seen from the gameplay perspective :-). Would really feel sad if ES fell short on this most important aspect! Besides, we already had a great tech-demo this year :-P.
"Welcome back, Mr. Girgis... We've missed you..." Ten bucks to anyone who can tell me where that quotes from :)
Oops. Probably should have signed my previous post so you know who that was. --Falco Girgis
Kai, don't worry, this massive wall of text and 2+ hour-long video nearly killed us to produce. We are definitely wanting to update more regularly with more sane KS posts and more concise AiGD footage. We just wanted to go the extra mile for you guys this time, because there was so much to discuss and we owed it to you for the long periods of silence.
And yeah, this automated build setup was like the best thing to ever happen to me as the engine developer. I used to do most of my work on a Mac, then most of the team was on Windows with one guy on Linux. When I was done, I would have to dual-boot back into Windows, manually make a build, then swap to Linux and manually make a build just to get it to the level and art guys. THEN like once a month I would have the "holy shit does the Dreamcast or iPhone build even still work!?" crisis and bugfix. Nowadays I spend almost zero time worrying about a specific platform, and that's how it should be. The second I commit something in the code (or even if the art, music or level guys change anything), we know whether we broke something somewhere else on any platform and every team mate instantly gets a new build with the updates. It's the only sane way to go about doing this.
As for feature creep, we've had a shitload of that since the inception of the project, but we've kind of really toned it down since the KS and especially since we're late. The Poke'mon style minigame isn't actually that big of a deal in my mind. It was a feature we had already committed to on Dreamcast, as it's kind of an essential feature for being a top-notch commercial or indie Dreamcast game, and the Dreamcast-scene (who supported us a whole shitload) would have been sorely upset had we not. The truth is that all of the monster levels, stats, and combat behaviors are already in the engine, so it's not any more work content-wise. The real work is just writing the bastard in pure 8-bit assembly...
What I REALLY didn't want to do was come back with a later Kickstarter update showing off this cool minigame that we've had to invest a little bit of time into producing that a lot of you would never even get to appreciate or enjoy. ElysianVMU was the solution to that, as now any time investment into the VMU can be enjoyed by anyone.
Good to see this is still ongoing. I was a little worried that the last update would be the only one for months, or possibly ever.
Linux is the future of gaming!
That was certainly the most informative video update so far, though thanks for that. (Though I really would have wished to receive that kind of info in more easily digestible 30 minute chunks over the course of the past 6 months or so). Still, good to know that ES is still moving forward.
I do like your approach to cross-platform development, and in my book it's the only sane way to go about it. Lot's of projects I backed get this wrong and we end up with half-assed ports if we're lucky, or no support at all for our platform of choice upon release day.
I am a bit worried though that ES may succumb to feature creep. That is something I have struggled with in my own project, so I see the dangers in that. As fun as it is for a developer to tackle new challanges, at some point it's no longer benefitting the product. My feeling is that a lot of iconic games from the past are so good, because they constrained themselves to a few core gameplay elements, and did those extremely well. Nowadays, games tend to throw in so much stuff for players to do (not to mention unnecessary visual fluff), but none of it feels deep or particularly rewarding. I'd rather have a highly focused, if somewhat limited game, than jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none fare that gets endlessly delayed, because, "you know, there is this cool thing that might really be useful in this one instance, and we certainly need to ride on the pokemon hype train, too!".
Love the new outlook and focus that you promise going forward.
Keep up the hard work; you have my support and gratitude :D
Agree with Seumas *thumbs up emoji*
Thanks, Seumas, I very much appreciate it. If anybody else has more technical questions, let me know. I don't mind sharing more with you guys if you wanted more technical information. I'm just thankful as all hell to Brandon for helping to take a load off of me by managing things like this. He's done an amazing job, and I can't thank him and all of you once again for the continued support. --Falco
I'm in no rush for any games that I support, as long as there are regular updates and obvious progress being made. There are more than enough games out at any one time to consume endless days; I'd rather give projects like this the time and space to come together the way they were meant to.