Nobody expects an ASYLUM update on Friday! (not really)
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!