Ahem... ASYLUM DEMO!!!!!1
Nobody expects an ASYLUM update on Friday! (not really)
One of Those Awesome Friday Updates Bursting with News And HORROR! And sheer hatred.
Milestones, Videos, Streams and Emoji
Amazingly huge update like old times sake with FREE LINKS INSIDE!
Greetings from beyond the grave! It's all moist and dirty in here, but that doesn't prevent me from sending you this timely Friday update. Listen up, because I have many things to tell you.
Demo just around the corner!
Yes, for really real this time. We're putting the final touches to a big playable segment, and it's more than living up to our expectations. While there's always going to be tweaks and polishing to be done before the actual 1.0 release, this demo will be as close as it gets to the real deal. It features the first moments of the game, including a lengthy and intriguing conversation with Julia, tons of locations to explore (including drawers!) and a particularly devious puzzle. One I'm sure fans of adventures will enjoy.
VIP backers may start playing this demo by the end of November, around two weeks from now. After hearing their feedback, adjusting a few more details, and potentially squashing a bug of two, all remaining backers will be able to enter the Hanwell Mental Institute by the end of December, just in time for the holidays.
Take a look at the gameplay video that we showed in our local conference EVA 2018 a few days ago for a taste of what's to come:
Please note the footage was captured at 720p and the game itself looks much sharper. Also, we haven't recorded dialogues yet, but there will be voice overs during conversations.
Oh, and no, there are no action sequences in the game. Some people were worried, but that baton is a bit misleading and we'll be modifying the gesture of the hand next.
We can't wait to hear your thoughts about this demo — it's been a such a long time, but it's all coming together now. I'm sure you'll fall in love with this game.
Of course, we didn't forget about your rewards! Work has begun on filling several environments with your in-game presence and we'll be making sure every reward is properly implemented for this demo. So many of you will be able to read their names inside the institute soon — the exception is the artists and students with creative works featured elsewhere in the institute.
There's plenty of stuff we showed or discussed in our community since my last update. Speaking of which, there's still many of you who did not register in our Discord server. Folks, I mean it, you don't know what you're missing — at least give it a try: https://discord.gg/senscape
So, we added a minimal crosshair that has greatly improved gameplay. I thought it would hurt the immersion, but no, it's subtle and helpful:
We added tons of interactive items to the game, with the mandatory hidden references and mysterious details:
You love opening drawers? Of course you love opening drawers! Just as much as we love implementing them:
We also released our exclusive paperback edition, the ideal gift for nostalgic family members these holidays:
(not really, but people wanted to buy it)
Another interesting milestone we reached just today is 16.666 wishlists on Steam! Woo! It's unlikely we'll ever reach 66.666, so it's a good opportunity to celebrate.
Look, apparently it rubs some people the wrong way when I talk about our wishlist figures. I don't want to make it sound like I'm bragging, it's just that I'm genuinely thrilled ASYLUM is gaining traction again. We're going through one of the trickiest periods in the game industry, with indie games selling next to nothing, companies shutting down, and an uncertain future. The fact that a niche adventure is getting this much attention should make us all happy.
I'm hoping you backed this project because you wanted it to succeed — right? That wishlist count is a good indicative that ASYLUM may see a successful launch. After nearly 10 years of work, please allow me to be excited about it 🙏
Finally, to answer the eternal question (is ASYLUM ever going to be released?), let me quote Jerry Dandrige:
But seriously, it's looking good and following the demo we will have an accurate deadline to share with you.
Have a bloody weekend!
Somehow, I always manage to turn a perfectly peaceful Friday into sheer mayhem. Not mayhem for you, mind you, because chances are you're going to enjoy this update, but me, I had to deal with all kinds of technical issues, mostly related to capturing the whole game audio. I'm not sure which software should be blamed, if FMOD or Unreal Engine or macOS (most likely not macOS, of course, macOS is awesome) but the result was a very unhappy game developer.
All because I was determined to bring you a new video.
So I'm sorry if today I'm not in my most cheerful mood, but I did all this because I want make you happy. The downside is that I'm feeling all miserable and gloomy, but in no way I want to make you feel guilty.
I stress: in no way.
A conversation with Julia
If I was in a more cheerful mood, I would tell you all about this video, with in-depth comments about exciting milestones and progress, etc. Alas, this ranks very high as one of my crappiest Fridays ever. I'm sure you must be enjoying yours. Remember: I did all this for you.
So. Much. Atmosphere.
What the title says.
10.000+ wishlists on Steam
This is all very exciting but I have to go make dinner.
I hope you enjoy your weekend. At this rate, mine is going to be awful.
I still love you all.
Greetings from beyond the computer monitor/mobile device screen/VR headset/AR glasses! I trust you're all doing great.
Look, following a massive, possibly longest update ever filled with words and multimedia, I'm going to keep this one laser-focused. I swear. In fact, it's probably our highest multimedia-to-word ratio yet. So many first milestones!
Speaking of milestones...
This little video has been making the rounds and I wasn't expecting such an overwhelming reaction. People genuinely loved it, and while you've seen how these features work by now, looking at them together and polished like this is exciting. At least that's what people told us:
It almost looks like a finished game!
I'm doing my best to avoid typing words, but I should post a quick overview of the stuff we did since the last update:
- 🔍 Revised cursors and hotspots. The hands are smaller and detecting spots is now ultra smooth and sexy.
- 📙 Incredibly awesome menu system and very die... diaie... diegait... DIEGETIC. Wait till you see how our achievements work.
- 🗣 We’re finally able to have a proper conversation with the denizens of the asylum. And it looks good! And feels good! Our context-based dialogue system is unlike anything you have experienced in adventure games.
- ✏️ 3D inventory and journal, including 3D pencil. So immersive, so fancy. Much 3D.
- 🎥 Too many visual effects and tweaks to mention here.
- 🕹 Surely many other things we’re forgetting. And obviously a huge deal of playable content!
(as you can see, I'm excited to see that I can use emoji on Kickstarter updates!)
Currently, we're putting the finishing touches to the hugely complex dialogue system, after which we'll be able to declare ASYLUM feature complete.
Also, another video that I inexplicably forgot to share here. Fans of Scratches will appreciate this sequence. We're going out of our way to include loads of Easter Eggs and small details... for instance, you may want to repeatedly try to get a radio signal 😉
Do note as well how we'll allow you to explore and touch everything there is to see! 😍
What else? Right...
To hand or not to hand ✋
I've been discussing this all over our social networks. It's by far the most controversial aspect of ASYLUM, but I believe most of you are happy with the hands. Still, I wanted to make sure you think the hand cursors aren't detracting from the atmosphere or hurting immersion.
If you are fans of The Hand, you may enjoy this visual evolution of the most adventure-y cursor ever.
It's alive... I mean, they're alive! The streams!
Beginning tomorrow Friday at approximately 12:00 PM PST, I'm going to start doing regular livestreams on Twitch speaking about the development and current status of the project. Tomorrow is going to be a short "warm up" discussing the above milestones in detail before I go live with a lengthy playable chunk of the game. Make sure you follow the Senscape channel at: https://www.twitch.tv/senscape
I'll try to make fun and interesting streams, not just for fans of our games but fans of adventures and developers in general.
(I meant the developers themselves, not fans of developers)
We're verified 😎
Finally, we're now an officially verified Discord server! Look at that member count! It's a huge and ever-growing friendly community that's becoming a haven for fans of adventure games. Our newest feature? Coordinated Group Plays to enjoy your favorite games with other members! http://discord.gg/senscape
Speak to you soon and hope to see you tomorrow!
For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.