Exogenesis Supermega Update! (Part 1)
Everything happens in threes.
At first, it was a special friend of mine, and our biggest fan back when Kickstarter success was still a pipe dream.
Then it was our audio engineer, who mastered our tracks and composed some of our best music.
When I started getting sick, I thought I was next for sure. The third and last to go. I had sleepless nights and persistent chest pain. I was excited to join the 27 Club and go out in flames. Exogenesis would go on in infamy as one of those unfinished products that'll never see the light of day because its creator died. All my worries on how it'll be received will be gone, because I'll be dead. If the unfinished version is released, the mystique surrounding it will make it at least a minor cult hit even if it sucked.
Turns out it was my mother who'd take the number three spot.
Knocking On Heaven's Door
She informed us around three months ago that she was on the losing end of battling cancer. She fought it out, but this was the second time for her, and her liver couldn’t handle the aggressive treatment she needed. She fought silently for almost a year prior to that announcement, not wanting to be a burden on others, but most of all - she had hoped that I’d finish Exogenesis before I could attend to her.
I wasn’t the best son. I left a more lucrative and stable job to chase a childhood dream. My lifesavings went into Exogenesis. I didn’t subscribe to the concept of choosing a less personally rewarding but more secure career like many of my friends did. It has always been do or die for me. I liked taking chances.
Sometimes, you lose.
I was left with one final chance to give her my all, to take care of her like she did for me when she brought me up, so I did. I wanted to witness everything, as difficult and painful as it was. Even when she was no longer aware of her surroundings, I had to be there.
Among her last words, in her final brief moment of clarity a week before she became totally incomprehensible, she said she was sorry I couldn’t finish the game. That meant many things to me which I won't discuss now, but I’d never forget that morning in the hospital when my uncle woke me up and I groggily listened to my dying mother apologize over a video game.
It’s just a damn video game.
That’s what I would’ve thought, under different circumstances. I partly did. Around that time, however, Facebook has been reminding me that the earliest posts I’ve shared with friends about Exogenesis were from 3 years ago!
I couldn’t even entertain the idea that everything has been for naught. That was unthinkable, and I could only hope I wasn't being delusional.
Weeks before she bid her farewells, I had her play a debug build of the game. (Some unaddressed bugs and text encoding errors were immediately apparent, so that night I ranted a little to our programmer, which led to his now months-long bug hunt.) We’ve been in and out of the hospital at that point, each visit more grim and hopeless than the last.
But that one time, reading and clicking away with headphones on as she played, she had this calmness like the relatives I was with have never seen.
She kept on praising everything about the game; she loved the art and music, and while she couldn’t really follow the story because we jumped through chapters, she seemed engrossed in what she read.
On one hand I knew it was just her saying good things about what’s now going to be my life’s work, but at the same time, the effect the game had on her was very real to my eyes, and in my mind I thanked my luck for having found the right people to create Exogenesis with.
She passed a few days ago. Things have finally started to settle down, although I’ll have to admit it's a little overwhelming right now. Our programmer had free reign to polish and optimize the playable chapters (Prologue + 1-4), while our additional writer has been chipping away at Chapter 5. Generally speaking, we have 90% of the content we need, a big chunk of the remaining 10% being puzzle design and art, restructuring the work I’m only able to review now so we could start putting them in the game, and tying up any loose ends.
I intended this update to be a tell-all, so that I could tell you about the other reason that slowed down our progress, which was my struggle with medical issues ranging from anxiety to diabetes.
But right now, after having rested from such an ordeal that included sleeping on a hospital bench for two weeks next to my dying mother (who exhibited all the signs you may have read about, or seen yourself firsthand), I’m anxious to get back to work. It's also quite exhausting to try and tell the story of what had just transpired, but you deserve to know why we've been silent - again.
I’m hoping that at the end of the day, what we all want is for the game to come out this year. Our team is hard at work to make that happen.
I'd also like to apologize if this update seems incoherent. It doesn't really flow all that well, and I wish I could structure it better. But right now my mind is all over the place, and I need it to focus on getting things done. I wanted to give everyone a clearer picture of where we're at production-wise, and we'll do that as soon as we can.
So for now, this update is going to be part 1. In part 2, we'll go more into detail about production and the challenges that await us as we make a final push to release the game before the year ends. We'd definitely love to show more of what we've been working on.
This is really it.