We have now reached the milestone of having all chapters written. Yeah, this is a great feeling and we feel more motivated then ever to move into the next phase of editing.
Tomorrow the core dev. team will be meeting online to plan everything well and make sure we got the details right of who does what in this phase.
As mentioned in our last Update the Johnson brothers will be handling the technical editing, while our lore supervisor is always a few chapters ahead of them. All in all we will be going through about 1.020 pages of A4 text in this phase. It may sound like a lot, and it is, but the edits needed for each chapter should be minor really.
Let's have a look at the status meter, just because we like how it looks:
But this game is not all numbers and text. The Seed is a visual journey that will take through a post-apocalyptic landscape, sure to leave a lasting impression.
This is a raw photo from an abandoned location:
Looks a bit dull, doesn't it?
Every chapter in the game will have a couple of location visuals to immerse you into the story and the sceneries that we have designed for the story. So we are adding props and details to make the world come alive. To make it look as if survivor groups have camped here. Just to give an example. Here's an example of that:
I wonder who lived and travelled through here? Maybe you'll find out...
We have another Update inbound soon, but we wanted to share this milestone and good news with YOU - our supportive backers.
We will be reaching a milestone in a few days time.
We are happy to say that the writing phase is now almost completed!
This is a long but interesting process for us to and we have learned so much from it.
There has been ups and downs along the way, but seeing the light at the end of the fiction writing tunnel is a huge boost of confidence and motivation to say the least. A huge accomplishment on our list of development achievements and goals to say the least.
To give you an idea of the quantity of writing we've accomplished today the total amount of chapters (for Act 1 alone) is covering roughly 1.016 A4 pages of raw text in size 10 in Word!
The development timeline has even been long enough to include a severe loss of data, full recovery, multiple team replacements, break-ins, numerous birthday parties, and an enriching change of gender for one of our devoted authors. How many development teams can brag about that?
Let’s have a look at our current status as of today:
When the last couple of chapters are completed we will be moving right into the editing phase.
This is a phase that we intend to cover with as much passion and devotion as we have thus far.
Every single chapter of the game will now be re-analysed by our lore supervisor, who will always be one step ahead of our technical editing team, covering the basics of grammar and style synchronization.
The Seed will be edited by the highly experienced Johnson brothers, Glen and Gary Johnson. These gentlemen have more than 40 self published novels on their resume and they know what they are doing.
We intend to release the game in US english, yet staying true to the fact that the story takes place in Eastern Europe, who uses kilometers and liters, not miles and gallons. We feel like this is the right thing to do with a Russian protagonist and a game concept that strife for relentless realism and immersion.
Again, we can’t thank you enough for the patience and understanding surrounding this project.
You do a great job at making us feel backed and generate wind in our sails.
This is an Update to let you know that we are very much working on the project, even during the weekends. In fact we are making a very good progress these days, and we'd like to share some light on the completion status with you.
The writing aspect is having our primary focus and we are seeing the light and the end of the tunnel. Of course a bit of professional editing awaits after the completion stage, but that's all easily taken care of and quite trivial really. So, that great news!
Our programmer Damjan Cvetkov-Dimitrov has managed to update the game code to be better optimized in relation to FPS, CPU and GPU- consumption. On average we are seing about 20% improvement on this very aspect, which is of course very good news. Ie. this upgrade means that your iPad battery won't be drained as much while the playing the game.
In other news we've updated the code structure to allow for pretty much any type of open font available. Not only does this mean higher aesthetic freedom for us as game designers, but it will also ease the challenges of data merging, translations and editing quite drastically.
To end this Update we have a nice little handful of edited ingame scenes to show you. While this is a mild spoiler for some of you, we are sure that they will serve as a great teaser for what to expect from the game world and environment.
Thanks again for all the supportive comments and encouraging karma!
As we are progressing with the Act 1 plotlines we thought you might enjoy a mini interview of one of our main authors. At the same time, this is a great way for us be very outspoken and share some light on the persona of our development team. We are continuing this mini interview series with Sean T. Smith, who is a US author published by Permuted Press, with a solid resume in post-apocalyptic fiction,
including Objects of Wrath, Children of Wrath and Wrath and Redemption are his first three novels,
set in the United States after the next world war.
Sean T. Smith is an avid gamer, father of three, and student of military tactics and history.
What got you interested in The Seed project?
Sean: "I discovered The Seed through a post-apocalyptic fiction group on social media that I’m fairly active in. I followed the posted links, and was instantly impressed by the artwork and the overall idea of the game. The photography is world-class, absolutely riveting. Ideas started popping into my head right away. I knew I wanted to be a part of this team."
What is so appealing about the post-apocalyptic theme and setting?
Sean:"I’ve been a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction and games for about thirty years. Books like Lucifer’s Hammer, Alas, Babylon, The Stand, and The Road inspired me to write the sort of books I wanted to read. The Seed is unique. The setting is post-apocalyptic, and the world is as peeled and depleted as that of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but in this novel, the reader has the ability to choose where the story leads. I love the idea. Since the story is set in Russia and Eastern Europe, I found this fascinating, as well. I haven’t read another post-apocalyptic story set there. This made for some thoroughly enjoyable research. In terms of themes, I think that the apocalypse will bring out the best and worst in us as human beings.
Most people are kind and decent, but evil exists, and when it comes calling sometimes there is nowhere to run. It must be defeated. It is in those dark places that I find hope for humanity. The game itself is built around the choices that define us as humans. Most of the time, there is no clear right or wrong choice. Our assumptions can get in the way of clear thinking. When I’m writing I put myself into the character’s shoes and ask myself what I would do, trying to look at the situation from all angles. It can be uncomfortable and revealing and there are times I can feel the icy Russian wind on my own beard and hear the collective anguish of the doomed world."
What mystique or symbolic value lies in the title 'The Seed' for you?
Sean:"Although life has been stripped from the earth, the seeds of a new world still exist. A seed is untapped potential, a promise waiting to be fulfilled. I look at the main character through that lens. Whether the player bears fruit depends on the choices; all decisions are not created equal."
What would you say defines the core audience for The Seed?
Sean: "Readers and fans of post-apocalyptic games and books who are looking for something different and more immersive than what they are used to. Fans of the Fallout games will enjoy The Seed, but this game doesn’t pretend to be a shooter or an RPG. It’s something new and dynamic, and if readers allow their imaginations to wander through the empty wind-blown streets and smashed cities, they will be thrilled to the bone."
Could you mention a tough moral choice that you've faced in your own life?
Sean: "This is one of the toughest interview questions I’ve had to field! I guess the hardest choice I’ve been forced to make recently involves an element of forgiveness, or at least tolerance. There is an individual out there who has done great harm to my family, who deserves the wrath of God unleashed upon him. Retribution and anger can be poison. I had to decide what kind of man I am, and what sort of example I wanted to set for my children. I’ll leave it there."
Any quirky writing habits?
Sean: "I think all writers are inherently odd, otherwise they wouldn’t think for a moment that anyone anywhere would ever give a damn about what they had to say. It takes a certain fierceness to be a writer, I think. Beyond that, I guess I drink way too much coffee, smoke too many cigarettes, get up too early and stay up far too late."
Is humor an obligatory aspect to be featured in any good novel?
Sean:"No. There isn’t a funny moment in The Road, Grapes of Wrath, or The Old Man and the Sea. That said, I wish I had the knack for more humor in my own writing. Kurt Vonnegut and John Irving are two of my favorite authors who are masterful at blending humor with heavy themes."
In no particular order, name three of your favorite movies.
Sean:"Saving Private Ryan, Rob Roy, and Gladiator. I love books and movies that possess soul and action and depict the triumph of the human spirit."
Do you believe in fate or coincidence?
Are you a spiritual man?
Sean:"Yes. I’m a Christian, a deeply flawed one, at that. I figure that good and evil are real, and that there is indeed a daily battle that rages, a certain balance that must be struck. While I read and study the Bible, I also fear that mankind has attempted to put God into a box far too small to contain Him. The paradox of free will versus fate is something that fascinates me. In my mind, God is far more vast than we can possibly conceive, and He is able to see the infinite possibilities. Some choices lead to easier paths and better outcomes in our own lives, but in the end, one way or another, His will is accomplished."
The Seed has multiple possible endings. What sort of impact does this have on your normal approach to writing?
Sean: It’s not as different as you would think. When I’m outlining a novel, I do it in very broad strokes, only a few pages long. I break it into three distinct parts, or acts, if you will, with the rising action, the tension in the middle, and the climax. I break this down into smaller parts, and typically outline chapters two or three a time while I’m writing. Herein lies the similarity, because when I’m in this mode, this pure storytelling mode, I often write alternate scenes and chapters to see how the characters should behave. “What if he does this…” And I see where it leads. Some of the best twists I’ve come up with arose through this process. In writing for The Seed, it’s the same process, only condensed in each chapter. I have to make myself believe it before I can write it, though. I have to understand why a character might make a choice I wouldn’t make myself, and justify the outcome. That’s what makes the game so interesting. People are different, and will make their own choices based on the information they have at hand, their own experiences."
What other projects are you currently writing for?
Sean:"My next novel, Tears of Abraham, releases on March 22, published by Post Hill Press and distributed by Simon & Schuster. This book is about the coming American civil war, seen through the eyes of heroes, innocents, and villains. The rhetoric and political nastiness in the U.S. now makes me weep for my country. A civil war should be unthinkable, yet it is not. I’ve also got a trilogy out, beginning with Objects of Wrath, about the aftermath of World War III. And I’m almost finished with my fifth novel, Faith of the Fallen. This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to write. The main character is an angel with very limited abilities. The book alternates between the past and present. He’s been a gladiator, a monk, and a knight, and his choices have sent ripples through human history. In the present, he is trying to thwart the apocalypse. The research required for this book has been insane."
What are the pros and cons of writing for a video game vs a standard novel?
Sean:"My sons finally think I’m cool because I’m writing a video game! Seriously, writing for a game is fun for a number of reasons that don’t apply to writing a novel. With the game, there is collaboration, where we bounce ideas back and forth, dreaming up plot, whereas a novel is a solitary endeavor. Also, I don’t have to come up with many of the plot points; that’s done for me. I get to flesh them out, and that is an enjoyable, refreshing process. There is a certain feeling a writer gets when he gets to hold that book in his hands for the first time that is priceless; with the game, I’ll be able to listen to the sound effects and look at the fantastic graphics as well. I can’t wait for it to release."
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Feel free to comment on how you like'd this interview or if you have some specific questions that you'd like to see answered from Sean T. Smith in addition to these.
Stand by for more insight and news on development progression!
It is safe to say that the team has been passionately working our way right through the holidays. This train is on a steady course and there is no stopping it.
Lately we've seen a very nice progress on aspect of writing for The Seed, Act 1. Several of the 32 unique plot endings have been completed and taken care of. At this speed we should have all chapters done for Act 1 within a couple of months time!
We could post cool and atmospheric snippets of fiction from the latest chapters right here, but we see little reason to let plot spoilers ruin all the fun of the game, being a visual novel and all.
Just recently a freelancer female photographer, Ilina Cvetkova offered to donate visual assets to the project, and obviously we took her up on the generous offer.
Ilina Cvetkova is the half sister of our lead programmer, Damjan Cvetkov-Dimitrov, and she kindly offered her photos and time to us as a donation to the project.
What you're seing here is the raw, unedited photos from various locations in Macedonia. Photos that will be sliced and diced by our visual artist N.Aaroe and put together to render gritty spectacles for the scenes in-game.
Dark, gritty, abandoned and partially destroyed sceneries.
Photos like these are exactly what we need to inspire our authors and generate immersive visual content for your game and world exploration.