So we rolled out of bed to a pleasant surprise this morning! We received an email from Valve congratulating us on being Greenlit by the Steam community! Thank you all so much for your votes on Steam, as we obviously couldn't have done it without you. The Steam version of Elysian Shadows will be available to any backers who pledged for Windows, Mac, or Linux versions.
We're especially stoked to be adding Steam achievements to Elysian Shadows, and we're even going to put them on the Dreamcast too, haha!
We have a gigantic update in the works for you, with lots of exciting news from our team. Expect it sometime at the end of the week... We just couldn't wait for the update to announce this. ;)
Also, for those of you who don't want to wait for the giant updates, we all post ES-related progress, concepts, screenshots, and selfies on social media almost daily. You can stay in the loop by following us on social media!
I'm honestly not even sure where to start here. Thanks to you guys, our entire lives changed with the month of September. Several of us quit our full-time engineering jobs and are now full-time game developers working towards the release of Elysian Shadows. We're even planning to import our pixel artist, Patrick Kowalik, into the states from Poland to be our full-time art slave--errr graphics designer.
The majority of the month has been spent focusing on two things: storyline and artistic direction. During the campaign, a common complaint we heard was that we didn't have much storyline. The reality is that Elysian Shadows began as a storyline concept before anything else, and we have been intentionally keeping it very secretive. It's something we hold very dear to our hearts, and it has a little bit of our entire team within it. It's like no other story you've ever seen in a 2D RPG, and we want it to retain the "wow" factor when you guys get to play it.
Falco and Tyler have been having weekly meetings with fellow game developers and development studio over at Digital Radiance discussing our storyline and plot direction with fellow full-time writers and creative directors. Their feedback has been greatly appreciated, because we finally got external validation for the work we have kept so secretive. We knew we were either making something absolutely terrible or absolutely amazing. Now we finally know we're really onto something special... It's just hard to give you meaningful updates saying "we dun some good storyline work!" without being able to show anything off for fear of ruining it!
The graphics of Elysian Shadows have really been an ever-evolving aspect of Elysian Shadows. It has been a journey of pixels and shaders for us. We always knew the look we were going for, but realizing it through code and art has been one of our biggest challenges with our unique style. We developed our engine from scratch, and there isn't another game or engine we have found that attempts to do quite what we want to do with Elysian Shadows.
By the time we finished our Kickstarter campaign, we actually felt as though many of our graphics were already out-of-date. The first town, for example, was pixeled out before we even experimented with a 3D perspective of dynamic lighting within our engine. Patrick wasn't given the opportunity to really exploit the full potential that was available to him there.
We released a small teaser on our Youtube channel showing off a more developed lighting engine and pixel-perfect shading techniques that we would like to incorporate into all graphics of Elysian Shadows moving forward. We will also be releasing these teaser videos along with our "Adventures in Game Development" video updates on our YouTube channel throughout the development of Elysian Shadows, so please subscribe!
Here's the video (Kickstarter won't let us embed it):
We were invited to participate in 4 different panels and lectures at SIEGECon this year, which was AWESOME! We loved meeting you guys! Every time one of you came up to us and mentioned backing us on Kickstarter, we were totally moved! We are hoping to see you guys at more conventions with playable demos (and Dreamcasts)!
Pier Solar Released I hate to plug other games at you guys in our updates, but every so often something beautiful comes along from people and projects I believe in. Pier Solar is one of these cases. Watermelon has been working their asses off on this game. It is a retro-style 2D RPG originating on the SEGA GENESIS, and it has just been released on Steam (and is also coming to the Sega Dreamcast). It's an amazing game and has been quite an inspiration on us.
Watermelon is our publisher, and will be pressing Elysian Shadows to disc and distributing fancy jewel cases once we're done. In addition to that, they have been friends and mentors to us. They believed in us before anyone else thought we were onto something. They took us under their wing and helped us through the Kickstarter and creating our own gaming company. I cannot emphasize my respect for them enough, and am so stoked to play Pier Solar on my Dreamcast!
Hope you all had a great start to the week, I know we have! As we start wrapping up this last week of our Kickstarter, we’re still working hard to stay on top of the massive amounts of email, comments and messages we’ve been receiving throughout the campaign. There are a few big news items that we wanted to update everyone on, so enough rambling, lets dive right in!
“New Game+” Stretch Goal!!
We are extremely excited to announce the first stretch goal, “New Game+”, has been hit as pledges have pushed us over the $170,000 mark. This option will become available to players who have completed the game at least once, allowing certain things such as experience or items to carry over and even allow for certain events to become available that would not be available during the first play through.
The next goal will be "Boss Attack", which is a mode of play that allows the player to run a gauntlet of sorts, facing bosses they've already defeated. Players will be graded based on time it took to complete, damage taken/received, weapons and abilities used - rewarding the players with unlockable unique items, trophies, and experience or other in-game points depending on their score.
PayPal and Bitcoins now accepted!
Since we launched our Kickstarter campaign, we’ve had tons of potential backers reach out to us from all over the world asking us to accept PayPal as an alternate means of payment since they are not able to pledge through Amazon Payments. Today we are happy to announce that we’ve officially updated our page to allow for PayPal pledges!
In tandem with trying to accommodate fan requests for alternate means of pledging we have also included a QR code and wallet address for Bitcoin donations. Although we will have to keep up with these pledges ourselves, please email us at Contact@ElysianShadows.com if you choose to send us a few Satoshi and let us know what reward tier you’d like and we’ll be in touch!
Launching a Kickstarter is a huge step for any project, a sort of ‘soft reveal’ of the months of even years of work that have gone into it can be harrowing for the developers. However, being developers ourselves, there are often projects out there that really resonate with us as fans – Aegis Defenders is one that has us particularly hyped!
The folks over at GUTS Department struck a chord with us, several members of our team became instant backers. Their lore, art, gameplay and audio samples left us all thirsting for more. This is definitely a game that we’ve put on calendars and can’t wait to sink our teeth into!
Tyler and Falco participated in the All Gen Gamers podcast this last Sunday, which was released today! The link above takes you to their page where you can listen to the mp3 of the broadcast, however if iTunes is more of your thing they offer that too. We also recommend that you check them on out and like them on their Facebook page as well!
Although the post we’re bringing to your attention isn’t the first article that Crotchety Old Gamer has written about us, we felt that this second one was definitely something special. The “old man” has quite a passion for gaming and his blog really shows it. Inspired by this, we may have slipped up a little and revealed some story, character history and insight that we haven’t yet shared with anyone else.
“The age of truly great 2D RPG games like Wild Arms, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy has passed and no, I don’t count the new iterations of Final Fantasy, the series ended at 9. At least I thought they had… that was until I saw Elysian Shadows. A quick glance at the game and it looks like a throwback from the past…It’s only when you look properly at the screenshots or watch the gameplay videos that you realize that Elysian Shadows is much more than your average nostalgia trip.”
So we are within our final 8 days. We have received massive amounts of backers these past 5 days, somewhere in the region of ~$40,000! If we can continue like this going forward we will SMASH our goal and be able to work on our stretch goals :)
We have opened up one final batch of 5 custom Dreamcast consoles! That's right -- one final batch. There will be no more available after the campaign ends so get them while they're hot!
In other news, we are doing really well on Steam Greenlight thanks to everyones support, and I guess you all saw our special news? If you didn't:
Falco and Tyler have recorded a spot to appeared on TV. We mentioned this recently but we finally have the video and accompanying article by WHNT News 19 here.
As always we will be doing a livestream this evening)(time incoming) since you all seem to like them :) We may switch to Twitch this time around and allow the audience to help answer some of the questions we don't get the opportunity to. Let us know which you would prefer - Twitch or YouTube?
Get your questions lined up and prepare yourselves!
We appreciate all the support we have received and we can't thank you enough for helping us get this far. We are passed the halfway mark, lets not slow down now!