Ladies and gentlemen, cultists, fish people and other dwellers into the Occult,
One year ago today we were shaking in our boots, biting what remained of our fingernails and wringing our hands til they turned white – we were going to launch a Kickstarter campaign.
We had done our homework, gave it all we possibly could. We knew we had a good project on our hands, but we still had no idea how that intimidating, faceless thing known as the Internet would react to it. We just crossed our fingers and, come 10.30 PM, hit “Launch” and stayed behind our respective desks, hoping for the best but bracing ourselves for disappointment.
And then the pledges started pouring in. You know those gifs of people throwing money at the screen? This was the other way around.
There we were, just screaming at each other with every pledge that came in, watching in awe as the numbers increased. I know I keep saying it, and it probably sounds like such a cliché, but it wasn't just the money that was making us yell out loud with every contribution – each and every pledge was actually a little bit of an acknowledgment and validation of the work we had already put into Gibbous. And maybe, just maybe, a little love.
We'd been the only ones excited about the game for so long, and now we weren't alone anymore! Turns out the internet wasn't so faceless after all – it was also made of people who cared about making indie adventure games happen. When it comes to passion projects you've poured your heart and soul into, that's the absolute most you can ask for.
It's been exactly a year since we launched the Kickstarter, and we did everything we could to stay in touch with you as much as possible, and be as transparent as we could, and let you know how special this game we're working on is turning out to be. We love having you along for the ride, and if there's one thing we are 100% sure of, it's that it's all going to be worth the wait.
Where We're At
This is probably the first question that springs to mind on a campaign anniversary, so here's a quick breakdown of our progress, and, below, a little bit about the extra mile we want to go for this project.
Here's where we are with regard to the most time-consuming tasks that go into making Gibbous: background art (left column) and character animation (right column). I can't stress enough just how much goes into them, especially the left column.
Having a kick-ass Cintiq at home, too, increased productivity significantly, but the amount of detail that goes into them is something we don't want to skimp out on. We want every single one of these environments to wow you, and we're not cutting any corners.
But bringing sexitosity™ and awesomitude™ to the world you'll be experiencing is not something that only happens in the confines of Photoshop. We're adding more and more little touches like flickering lights and scrolling clouds, creeping fog and shadows, parallax scrolling and unpredictable weather. You might be loitering outside a building and suddenly heavy clouds gather above and the whole scene goes dark... It's all so cool-looking! We try and stay humble and modest, but every once in a while one of us will go “Damn! This is awesome looking. Did WE actually make this?!”
But maybe I should back all that self-aggrandizing up with some gifs. Hold on to your 56k modems!
I'm so proud of this project, and it would be nothing more than a dream without you guys.
The Extra Mile
We launched the Kickstarter with the hope of reaching as many of our stretch goals as possible, and we hit a lot of the most important ones, like voice acting and multi language. But, a year down the line, we STILL would love to do more, even if we didn't raise the money for the extra, cool stuff, like animated cutscenes or the documentary.
Well, you know what? We're pushing ourselves already, why not push a little harder and try and deliver those, too, or at least as much of them as we can?
So we are doing animated cutscenes. True, they are significantly shorter than we would like them to be; they won't appear as often, with maybe less detail than ideally, but they will be in the game. How do we do that, since we didn't raise the money for it? Well, week-ends are overrated anyway. We do have the advantage of being accustomed to animating really, really fast – a lot faster than this kind of work usually requires. And we have the added advantage of loving every second of it.
But wait, there's more!
A Documentary, You Say? Please And Thank You.
April the 5th to May the 5th – a very important month to us. Last year, it was the best period of our professional lives, with Gibbous stepping into Kickstarter's crowd-funded light and becoming a reality, through the support and enthusiasm of so many amazing people from all over the world.
It's a month that we will never, ever forget. We wanted to celebrate it in a way that can both provide a deeper insight into what it means to make an indie game in Transylvania, Romania, and also serve as a big, warm thank you for the continued support and, especially, patience you guys have been showing us.
Therefore, starting today, April 5th, we will document every single day (and night) that goes into making Gibbous, and edit it all into a documentary that will hopefully bring you even closer to the process of making this game, and closer to us as creators and human beings.
Ok, maybe that sounded a little too pretentious. Here's the thing: I really, really enjoy communicating with all of you, and there is so much that I could write about the work that goes into the game, how it's affecting our lives, for good and not so good; the challenges, the excitement – but a picture's worth a thousand words, and moving pictures are even better, right?
So that's what we're doing. All we have is a borrowed GoPro, painfully freed up HDD space and a lot of enthusiasm to share almost everything in our lives over the course of a month.
Work is already underway, we've filmed day zero and are currently documenting day one. I'm editing everything myself, and will probably get a little help from a friend on the technical side, but all in all it's going to be a very guerrilla / gonzo thing. Keeping in with the indie theme, I guess.
And a disclaimer: we know about making games; we don't exactly know about making documentaries. We chose to announce it here so we couldn't back out of it, no matter how good or horrible it might turn out. Either way, it's going to be as sincere and insightful as it gets, of that we'll make sure. No idea about the length and content – we're just documenting everything for a month, editing everything the next day, and seeing where the journey takes us.
To be quite honest, we don't have a clue about what we're setting ourselves up for, but we hope you will be along for this ride, too. I have a feeling it might be fun.
One Year Anniversary Stream and Releasing the Documentary
Last year, we streamed the final 7 hours of the Kickstarter on Twitch, and it was so heart-warming to have so many of you join in the celebration! Here's my favorite moment:
We figured it would be super nice if you would join us on Twitch again on May the 5th – we'll show a lot of our progress, answer all your questions, maybe even take musical requests (not Hotel California again!), and at the end of the stream we'll officially release the one month documentary to you on our YouTube channel. No worries if you can't be there for the stream, we'll soon afterwards put out a Kickstarter update with the link to it. We'll probably message you on Kickstarter a couple of days before the event to let you know exactly when it's happening.
So do we really want to do this documentary thing? Will it turn out exciting and heart-warming, or will it be a bore or cringe fest? Is it really a good idea? Welp, I guess it's a little late to answer that. Let's find out together, folks!
We really cannot say thank you enough times, so I'll use this ending paragraph for exactly that: thank you. Again. Thanks for trusting us with your hard-earned money, thanks for standing by us, thanks for being patient and understanding with this three person outfit that's trying to do things more meant for thirty person outfits. The game is coming, and it's going to be a blast. Until then, come May the 5th you'll get a peek into our lives and how Gibbous has taken them over. We don't know if the documentary will be worth the wait.
We know the game will be.
Liviu, Cami, Nicu, Dan and 3.0, aka Stuck In Attic
PS: Shout-Out Time!
We have to do a shout-out this time, we HAVE to. The actual father of the adventure game genre is back, ladies and gentlement! Ron Gilbert just released Thimbleweed Park, and all you need to know is that it's awesome, and you must play it this very instant. No, seriously, hit that new tab and go to Steam or GoG and get it. Yes, it's that good. We've played 5 hours of it together and had an 8 bit, pixellated, charming, late 80s early 90s, self-referential, wise cracking, Sierra-teasing, almost open world-y, nine verb-y, blast. Click the pic below to go to its Steam page. It's SO good.
See you next update!