And on behalf of the entire Blasphemous team, a huge THANK YOU for giving us the chance of working in our dream project for a full year!
Wrapping up 2018
The year closes with the team deep full in production. We are working against the clock to have all the features we want the game to feature on launch day ready on time, so the QA and Console porting can happen as well.
We spent most of 2018 prototyping mechanics and enhancing our production pipelines, almost entirely. Thanks to that, production is now going flawlessly, and we're adding lots of new content each week.
When is the game coming out?
The game continues to be scheduled to release on 2019, as planned. I know you are eager to learn about the release date. Please hang in there, it's going to be revealed very soon ;)
Backer-designed items and bosses
The work in the items and bosses coo-designed with backers it's the next order of business, so if you backed at the 'The Immortal', 'The Martyr' and 'The Punisher' levels, we will get in contact with you really soon to initiate the process.
If there's a critical moment in all game development processes, no doubt it is coming out of pre-production and going into production. Not two months after the release of the "Narrative Prototype" to our backers, and after some of the busiest days we've ever had, we finally can say: we're in production and full steam ahead!
As usual, we would like to you let you know about the relevant processes and decisions that were taken during this transition period. Let's begin!
Gameplay Changes to Expect in the Final Game
The latest playable we showed the world was our final prototype, codenamed "Narrative Prototype". The development of this prototype was the ultimate exercise to prove our proposed gameplay mechanics valid or invalid, as well as all the development processes and techniques required. And, indeed, some of the things we tried for the Narrative Prototype, didn't come out as well as we expected.
So, the first goal of closing pre-production was to settle on a reasonable amount of mechanics that are still going to be added or rethought in the final game. There cannot be many, because at some point you have to be focused on ADDING CONTENT: more locations, more enemies, more bosses, more quests and equipable items, etc.
Unlockable abilities of The Penitent One
The Penitent One will feature a set of unlockable abilities to expand the combat possibilities. These will be purchased in special places, using a new currency called 'Purge'. This currency can be also be used to trade for rare items with NPC's.
Map and fast-travel
At any point, you will be able to access a schematic map of the world, which will only show you the areas you have uncovered (so not to spoil anything).
Travel between distant locations of the world using specially designated places.
Here they come: the reinforcements!
During pre-production, we focused on answering uncertainties about the type of ingredients we needed, and the processes required for each of them. Despite all of our efforts to optimize these processes, some of the stuff we're putting into the game is simply too hard/costly to make, so the only way to have enough of it in the game is to scale the team a little bit.
So we went out and seek for some of the best pixel artists out there, and invited them to join on what's left of this development journey. After a couple of weeks working with them, the team is now full speed ahead, and we are witnessing new enemies, bosses and locations being implemented each week!
The "OK, But What's Left" planning
Creating the definitive roadmap for the entire production
One major advancement that happened during this transition period was the high-level overview planning of everything that is pending. In order to do that, the design team first had to settle on the size and complexity of the world they have envisioned. The process involves determining which features the game has, and how costly they are. Next is to determine the desired 'amount' for each one of them: a balanced combination of "how much can we afford to make" and "how long we want the development to last".
Once we’ve determined the "what" and the "how many", it's time to start writing the exact requirements of each one of this items: name, lore, rules and behaviours, etc. When you have all of these, then you have what's called a game-bible, or the Game Design Document. In our case, we have done some of these requisites upfront, while some others are being done in batches at the beginning of each bi-weekly sprint.
Going against the clock
At this point, and for the first time, we have enough information about the entirety of the workload ahead of us. It's time to place all these tasks into a timeline and create a production schedule: a high-level overview to be used as a backlog of our agile development methodology.
Entering Spoilery Waters
The speed of the production has increased a lot these days, we have new content every day! We want to keep you in the loop of progress, but at the same time, we want to do our best to avoid spoiling the final game. So starting next month’s update, let's see if we can achieve a good balance between transparency, and retaining the mystery ;)
After four months of hard work, we're finally ready to hit the release button on the third (and final) playable demo: the "Narrative Prototype".
As disclosed in the earlier stage, this prototype's goals were to determine how the narrative is going to be delivered in Blasphemous, through the use of rich environment art, NPCs, dialogs, and cutscenes. Of course, we take this opportunity to deepen a little bit in the combat and player progression mechanics, building on top of what we have in the previous "Gameplay Prototype".
Submerge yourself in the world of Blasphemous with new scenery, and revamped pixel-art style.
One pixel-art animated cutscene.
Five NPC which provide a few dialog lines, and actionable challenges that might give you some interesting items in return.
Stop enemy attacks using the parry at the proper timing.
Equip relics that will change the way you perceive the world.
Explore the world deciding your path, and enjoy a huge replayability while searching for all the hidden zones and items.
Epic boss fight, with a narrative introduction.
Pre-Production is over!
We're celebrating one year of hard work, enabled by our beloved backers. We took a whole year to develop a strong prototyping pre-production phase, in which we tackle main three aspects:
Determine what Blasphemous is gonna be, by means of prototyping.
Determine which are Blasphemous ingredients, and how to produce each one of them.
Determine how much of each ingredient is going to be present the final game, and create a production plan to get us to a full-game release as soon as possible.
We have successfully accomplished first of those two! And the third is being finished at this very moment, with the team having frequent production and design meetings, and putting together a huge production plan. With all that, we can finally enter the production stage with confidence!
So what's with the Production stage?
"Production" it's the phase where, after figuring out all the game's uncertainties, you can finally focus on systematically adding hour after hour of final gameplay.
We are well aware that you all want to see the final game released soon. Making good game takes time, so we don't want to rush Blasphemous into the market and compromise its quality.
We are about to determine the candidate launch date, which comes right after the detailed production plan!
What's in the immediate future?
Something we know already: there's going to be a new playable soon! All the demos you have seen so far, and the one we'll publish next Thursday, are "prototypes". On the other hand, the playable coming in a few months it's called a "vertical slice", something like a demo to the final game.
One month ago, we gave the 'Gameplay Prototype' to our backers ("The Disciple" level and up), and boy they have a great time with it! We still wanted to show everyone else what was there, so we put together a video tour explaning all the features present on the second prototype.
Join our 100% Spoiler-free gameplay discussion!
Enrique Colinet (Level designer) and Mauricio García (Producer) are back in a new video tour, this time around it's all about the finished prototype #2, also known as the 'Gameplay Prototype'!
We really want to include all backers in the discussion about gameplay mechanics, and not only the ones in The Disiciple level, who had the chance to play this build one month ago. So please, watch the video and let us know everything that excites and/or bothers you the gamplay so far.
If you'd like to send us some feedback, you can choose between the video comment section, our Discord server or even email us directly ;)
Full speed ahead with 3rd (and last) prototype!
The "Narrative prototype" is already in the making ;)
The final stage of the pre-production phase has begun. We've been working for a while now on the new prototype, which goal is to layer the narrative mechanics on top of the gameplay already present in the second prototype.
What to expect of this new prototype?
For starters, the fancy graphics are going to be back: no more "gray blocks", but the nice visuals you all are waiting for ;)
Then you will be facing friendly inhabitants which will give you some conversation, bits of information that combined with the narrative layer present in the scenary art will trigger very interesting situations.
All in all, this prototype will include, for the first time, all the ingredients of the Blasphemous formula.
Finally some 'The Last Door' news!
Our first title 'The Last Door' is back in business ;) We setup a new team to give support to our first title, and they started working on several stuff, including: new supported languages and countries and enhanced 16:9 graphics for Season One!
Would you love to see "The Last Door" on consoles? Engage the discussion on Twitter or Facebook and let us know which platform you'd like us to focus first! ;)
We're giving the finishing touches on the second prototype, due for mid-February 2018. We wanted to share with you some of the new gameplay mechanics you are to expect on the prototype.
A complete boss fight!
It's working and it's really compelling ;) One of the things we wanted to prototype is how boss fights will play out in the final game. The new prototype features a boss fight, against the "piety monster" (that's a temp name ;).
Now you can differentiate between ordinary and floor-level attacks. The later will be useful against crawling enemies and short destructible scenery props. You will also inflict damage when falling from a certain height, and you can even perform an attack from the sky maneuver.
Rosary Beads have changed a little since we showed them to you: each one will have a predefined effect, and you can equip up to eight of them at the same time. Combining different beads you can create your very own playing style, or adapt to different situations.
Relics will change the way you perceive the world. You can have up to three of them equipped, and they will allow you to somehow see or hear stuff that was not present before on the scenery.
Fervor will be obtained by hitting enemies, then you can use it to unlock new prayers. You will need fervor to activate prayers, which are going to be temporary states (they consume fervor and will last until you deplete your bar) while you enjoy a certain ability.
Also finding permanent upgrades will increase both your defensive and ofensive abilities.