Exogenesis Production Update #6: Christmas Special!
It's that special time of the year, boys and girls! Whether you've been naughty or nice, we couldn't possibly miss this day for you guys who've made everything possible. This supposedly monthly update's later than usual, but we've got good news inbound, so hang on tight!
The biggest thing for us is YES, the Unity demo is finally ready for public consumption, and we're going to release it to Early Access backers (Dominion and up) for feedback within the next 24 hours. We'd love to make it available for everyone, but right now there are still some tiny, mostly cosmetic issues that our programmer hasn't gotten to fixing, because hey, it's Christmas Day. Maybe the first people to test the game will also find other bugs we didn't catch, and to help with that, we're sending out a build with a scene select debug feature we use internally.
Another thing worth celebrating is that our engine is rock solid from here on out, as far as building the game is concerned. We may still face some programming hurdles, like if we change the UI which has always been a consideration, but we now have a framework for setting up scenes, characters, and dialogue that require less technical chops. With that said, we might be open to junior-level Unity developer applicants, or a higher skill level as long as you're cool to work with and we can afford it. ;)
Story and Art
As for everything else, we're moving quite steadily. We haven't done the math, but we're probably 80% done with all art assets excluding puzzle rooms. We've got seven endings ready to go, and all the backer-designed characters accomplished with some of them already having written dialogue. In fact, why don't we show you these characters? We could use more feedback, and it's Christmas. :)
Not included in this list are two other characters we haven't quite figured out into the setting yet because of how different they look, but we do have cool ideas for them and we'd like to keep them as originally intended by their creators.
While we're on the business of posting character sprites, we might as well share this lady who was surprisingly popular when we posted her on Facebook (click here to visit our page). We're pretty excited about her role in the story, and that's all we can say about that. ;)
As far as backgrounds go, we've always been relatively tight-lipped as we are with plot-twists. But, it's Christmas!
This one is a more recent piece as a part of the major overhaul Chapter 2 is going through. We're still probably keeping the theme park sections, but we're exploring other areas of Tokyo Dome and its immediate vicinity, too.
Another location we can talk about is Omotesando Hills, which is central to the events of Chapter 4. There's a few things to see inside this post-apocalyptic shopping complex. We'll leave that to your imagination. :)
Story-wise, there are still a few changes once in a while, most notably the Chapter 2 makeover, but everything is set otherwise. While production is unfortunately going only as fast as programming does, we're looking to establish a more structured workflow to accommodate our shortlist of writers who are interested in writing for the game. Right now, there's dialogue sprinkled everywhere, including the endgame. The sooner we can set a collaborative writing workflow that actually works, the sooner we can get final edits and start recording lines with our voice actors.
Some of the absolute best things in this world have had teams of writers. Even our biggest inspirations, headed by their respective directors, had more than one writer and also localisation teams which provided significant input on the games' writing outside of Japan. Maybe one man directing and writing a large visual novel, as feasible (and required, if not for the Ouya fund) as it may be, isn't the best for Exogenesis.
While he still wants to write everything, word has it that our director pledges to swallow live firecrackers if this workflow question isn't sorted out by the New Year. Ahem!
Music and Final Thoughts
Our music production is set in such a way that we can pretty much get music on demand. With that said, we're roughly halfway there on the audio side of things. Below are some of our tracks, including one that's been publicly available for months now. It's Christmas-y, and some people may not have heard it yet, so why not? :)
And there you have it, folks! We'd originally planned to release in December, though in hindsight we should have adjusted that from the get-go; that release window was set as early as January 2014, when were finalizing the Kickstarter draft, and our original KS launch was scheduled for February. Promises were broken, we were able to launch on our own, and never in our wildest dreams did we think we could move to Unity which will let us put the game on more platforms than Ren'Py allowed us.
Now we are where we're at, playing with the cards we've been dealt, fighting in the trenches like any indie developer would, and working feverishly towards a game that we hope you'd enjoy and one that we can be proud of.