And just in case we don’t win, remember that honorable mention is way cooler than being a finalist for best VR game. Think about it--the mention we got was ‘honorable’. I bet our mention came from like a knight or Winston Churchill or someone really honorable like that.
You can check out the other nominees on the Vision VR/AR Awards website, and we'll be there on February 10th--stop by if you're in the area!
Speaking of honorable things worth mentioning, we’ve updated our website!
It now sports tons of cool goodies, like an updated layout, a news blog for game updates, screenshots and comics, and a shop where you can buy an awesome dolphin shirt! (In case you were wondering, this isn’t the backer reward shirt: we’re making something special for you all.) We’ll be updating the site as we get closer to release, so be sure to check back often!
That’s all for now! Until next time, remember that despite popular belief, urine does not help ease the pain of jellyfish stings. The recommended medical treatment is to immediately rub the afflicted area with a Classroom Aquatic T-Shirt, available at classroomaquatic.com/product-doltshirt.html!
Not only is this the most earth shattering news of your day, but Classroom Aquatic is our studio’s first game ever, so it's pretty monumental for us too! Not only will we be available on PCs and Macs via Steam, but now we’ll be available on Playstation consoles as well! So thanks a lot Sony! We’re proud to be part of the family. And screw you Kim Jong-il! Don’t hack our family!
Down the fishing line, we’ll be figuring out how to add a reward option for Kickstarter backers to renew their copy of Classroom Aquatic through a Playstation code. Until then, I suggest making a Bloodborne character wearing the Cainhurst Set, as it makes you look the most like a dolphin.
That’s all for now! Until next time, have a happy holiday, and remember: X marks the spot, but Square brings up the treasure map.
Hey there all you frightful freighters! It's the time of year where you’ll be scared out of your wetsuits at the horrifying happenings this Halloween! In celebration of the holiday, we here at Sunken Places want to spook everyone by showing you all the shocking new stuff we’ve added to Classroom Aquatic!
There are plenty of games that put you up against fearful foes: gnarling monsters, enemy soldiers, even your fellow teammates! Classroom Aquatic is the only game that pits you against a dolphin teacher, so we needed to make sure Professor Porpoise was scarier than all of them combined! Say hello to the new Professor Porpoise!
Even though his model is new, Professor Porpoise is the same old teacher with the same old school style. You can be sure that any trick-or-treaters that knock on his door will be getting apples!
A change of skin for PP is chilling enough, but everyone knows that the most important part of scary games isn’t the monsters, but the setting: that’s what made Silent Hill so great, right? With that in mind, we’ve got a brand new History and Dolphinities classroom to show you all!
The new classroom blends together two aspects that we want in Classroom Aquatic: the first is the all-too familiar school setting, and the second is the fantastical underwater dolphin world. We hope to tell a story with the environment about how dolphin society works, what kind of school you’re in, and what the teachers of their respective classrooms are like! For instance, you can spy a class project going on in the back.
Once we’re done putting the finishing touches to PP’s animations and the classroom, we’ll be working on bringing the rest of the classrooms and teachers up to his strict standards.
That’s all for now! Remember, the scariest thing you can see in the ocean are your swimming trunks floating away.
It’s the start of a new school year! This can be an incredibly stressful time. To help the new students better acclimate, we here at Sunken Places have three helpful tips:
1. Wear awesome clothes!
Every new student wants to make a good first impression (just ask Ted Kaczynski). First impressions mean a lot, and each year our new crop of crappie fret so. Will I fit in? Will the other students like me? What do you mean there weren’t almonds in your pudding?!? Well here’s a suggestion that’s bound to work--show up wearing an amazing hoodie!
That’s right, it’s the first prototype of the one and only Classroom Aquatic hoodie! Behold its glory! One thing’s for sure, any kid who comes to class wearing the Classroom Aquatic Hoodie will instantly be warmer than the day before. With your Classroom Aquatic hoodie you’ll never have that dream about coming to school naked again (so you can get back to dreaming about everyone else being naked!).
Not ones to rest on our laurels (or anyone else’s laurels for that matter), we’re already designing our next hoodie prototype, which will feature some dramatic changes--overlapping fabrics and stitch patterns, even a zipper. You can see a mockup of our changes here!
Coolest-Kid-in-Class tier Kickstarter backers and higher will be receiving a special version of the Classroom Aquatic hoodie—those who have seen it call it the greatest, most revolutionary, single greatest innovation in dolphin outerwear since Starkist started coming in pouches. But don’t the rest of you fret your fins off. You’ll be able to buy it through our online store page once they’re available!
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
As Professor Porpoise once said, there are no stupid questions, only moronic mammals who ask them. But just like in Classroom Aquatic, we here at Sunken Places are always asking questions. “How do the dolphins breath in the school?”, “Should we integrate walking track pads into the game?”, and “Why is Professor Porpoise named Professor Porpoise if he’s not a porpoise?” The answers to those questions are: “There’s a special air bubble in the school”, “No”, and... “Hey, that’s actually a good question!”
Professor Porpoise is getting redesigned to fit in with the rest of the students’ design update, and part of PP’s touch up is to fit properly in the Phocoenidae family of toothed whales.
We’re just not sure if he’ll fit into his old chair now.
In addition to his new GQ body and rig, we are updating PP with the rest of the game’s streamlined code. Currently, his new model is being UV’d, which basically means we’ll be able to paint him easier. After that we’ll animate him, give him his voice and add him into the free demo of the game!
3. Teachers are your friends! If all else fails, seek their advice!
Even after you’ve made an amazing first impression with your Classroom Aquatic hoodie, you might still be worried about your grades. Will you succeed in this new school? Is your future on the honor roll or a sushi roll? Will the next Unity update break your build? Fortunately our third teacher, the Career Counselor, will guide you to the right path.
The Career Counselor always tells students to work smarter rather than harder, and exemplifies this by not working at all! Instead, he gets four enthusiastic (some would say power-hungry) students to do all his work for him--now that’s smart!
By now you’re probably on sensory overload, so we better say adieu (which is French for Sayonara my bichirs!). But don’t wander too far, because we’ve got a huge surprise planned for our next Kickstarter update (like George Clooney huge. Heck, like Mitt Romney huge!). Until then, remember that the bowline knot is the most useful knot when sailing, and yet it's still almost absolutely useless in any other circumstances! So what’s that tell you about sailing, huh?
It’s graduation day at Classroom Aquatic, and another class of degreed dolphins head out to conquer their kelp beds. So determined, so porpoiseful. And though it's sad to see them go, graduation also means it's time to welcome a new crop of pelagic pupils to Classroom Aquatic: say hello to the new Student Body!
These new students have been a huge project for everyone here at Sunken Places (well, 99% of the work was done by our resident master of motionography Mickey Goese, but rest of us provided emotional support! Team effort WOO!). Our new rig is a huge improvement over the old one, and gives Mickey much more control over the movements, poses and even facial expressions of our cetacean students!
Our new rig greatly expands the behavior of the dolphin students. Take Dolph Lundgren here, for example:
While last year’s class was so stoic, so stone-faced, Dolph and this new group of students are far more responsive and reactive to your every move: they become noticeably angrier the longer you stare at them, and they try harder to block their test when they notice you peeking. They even change their behavior depending on their mood!
And, most importantly, they’re even adorable.
Turns out this new adorability factor (or cuteness component, if you’re on the metric system) is directly linked to our new art style, which our also adorable resident dolphin designer Adeline Ducker explains:
“We wanted our art style to be more reflective of the fantastical and surreal world we have envisioned for Classroom Aquatic, so we worked on creating a student that had exaggerated proportions and a texturing style with bolder shapes and colors. With larger eyes, longer limbs, and a highly articulated mouth, the new student is capable of a much wider range of emotions and produces slightly more of a ‘toon-stretch’ effect when animated. We’re currently reforming the environment and the teachers to match the student design and are excited to be revealing more in the future!”
While this incoming class gets settled, our next project is upgrading Professor Porpoise to the new rig to expand his mechanics as well: so when some exchange diver student tries throwing an eraser at him, the reaction will be truly special!
And that’s not all. While Adeline was putting together Professor Porpoise’s new classroom, she was struck-- not by an eraser, but by inspiration! And by the time inspiration was done striking her, she knew how the History and Dolphinities teacher’s room should look. Behold, the drift fruits of her labors:
You’ll also see elements of the demo’s current classroom in the new Science and Math classroom, and the Detention Hall (reserved for class clown fish and dolphin delinquents).
We even have some news about platform support. We here at Sunken Places want everyone to be able to enjoy our game; Why? Because we’re givers. But balancing game making with game porting has really slowed development. A little birdfish told us there may soon be an update to Unity’s VR code that will streamline and normalize a lot of the functions. Yay! So, for the time being we’re creating the master build of the game. Once we're finished with our immediate goals, we'll be updating the Steam demo so that you can all check out the new stuff!
TTFN! Until next time, remember to always know where your buddy is during a dive. (If you’re not sure, “In the ocean” is probably a safe bet)