Hello my dear creatures of the night! I trust you’re all doing horrifically well. I must excuse myself for the long pause since the last update, but here I am today with a particularly lengthy piece to make up for the recent tranquility. I have much to tell you about Gamescom, the reactions to the playable build of Asylum, cool news about the physical boxes, and painful hype about our earth-shattering announcement next month. Ready?
It’s well-known that we love Gamescom and always have a great time there. There’s generally a very positive attitude towards adventures that is rarely seen in other trade fairs or conferences. This year was particularly important for Senscape as our company was selected to be part of the first Argentinian booth in an international game event. Suffice to say, I was quite happy.
This resulted in the craziest and busiest Gamescom I’ve ever been to, as I got to meet old friends, make new ones, get in touch with major websites as well as popular let’s players, and talk to some publishers. I also got the chance to show our newest playable build of Asylum which was unanimously well received. In short, people agree that migrating to Unity was a wise decision as the improvements and refined gameplay are a huge leap since the interactive teaser that we showed a long time ago. In particular, the weather effects were highly praised and I swear that many folks wowed when they saw the amazing volumetric fog in some corridors.
The new interface picked a lot of interest as well as it truly fulfills its purpose: to make Asylum a more immersive and smooth experience. That said, we have some adjustments to do — it’s currently a bit awkward how the protagonist holds the notepad with his right hand and shows the selected item with his left one. In real life you would always use the same hand to use things, so this what we’re going to do in order to make the game feel more lifelike: we will simply use the protagonist’s right hand for interacting with the notepad and use items. Some people commented on the seemingly uncomfortable position of the arm as well; that is, you wouldn’t extend your whole arm to merely hold a key, so we’re going to redo those animations and make them look more natural.
In general, I noticed a huge deal of interest on Asylum and high hopes all around. We’re certain that the game will live up to the expectations, but I was very glad to see that people understand this is a work of love and we’re determined to deliver the very best we can. From the brooding introduction to the palpable fog in the ghastly corridors of the Hanwell Mental Institute, journalists, colleagues, and friends were amazed at the attention to detail that we’re investing into this monster of a game. There should be many articles and video interviews coming up about my presentation, so stay tuned.
I’m aware that many of you are expecting to try this new playable build as well, but we would like to work some more time on it. It’s still rather finicky and some locations are missing, so it may take a while longer until we’re ready to share it. Also, there’s something I discussed with VIP backers: all backers will have access to the preview version of Asylum, the same one that we’ll be sending to press sites. Note that this version will include the first couple of hours of the game but not the entire playable building, which only remains accessible by VIPs.
Finally, there will be soon interesting news about consoles. Oh, and check out the reel that was showing in the booth:
Backers, meet the box — box, meet the backers
Another great thing about Gamescom was the chance to personally meet potential partners. From the first moment we’ve been looking to produce a sturdy and classic box for Asylum. I strongly dislike needlessly big boxes and my ideal size has always been the venerable design introduced by Infocom: slim, solid, and attractive. Not just that, but the wonderful booklet/manual included was a joy to read.
I was quite lucky to find a manufacturer that can produce the exact design that we have in mind, and I bring a few pictures to show you. Unfortunately the box suffered an accident on my way back, so please excuse the battered looks. No, I promise that we won’t send you crushed boxes like this:
A question remains about the booklet (which would be the printed Record Book): my original intention was to make it detachable whereas Infocom glued to it the box, but I can see now why they did that as there’s no way to make the booklet detachable if it’s full size. The current solution is to have a smaller booklet but I’m not quite satisfied; I’d rather have a full-sized booklet glued to the box rather than a detachable half-sized one. Of course, I would like to hear your thoughts about this.
There’s more to tell about the contents of the box, but it will have to wait. We discussed some interesting surprises for you, including a new “feelie” and a very neat update to the visitor card. The blueprints of the Hanwell Institute and gorgeous poster are also confirmed!
Countdown to the unmentionable
Oh my… If you only knew. Next month. Madness. Mayhem. Chaos. Destruction. You totally won’t believe this!
Anyway, I also had the chance to show a bit of #UnspeakableAdventure at Gamescom, obviously without revealing much. Everything is still so secretive that I had to turn around the protagonist to hide his face in a scene of the game. We couldn’t be happier with the way this is looking, and people who saw it agree that the combination of detailed 3D with gorgeous hand-painted graphics are a feast for the eyes. I also made sure that this flyer was scattered all around Gamescom:
But wait, there’s more! In case you missed them, we have already released three teaser videos about the game that range from “what the heck” to “oh my god”:
This could be the last update before the new Kickstarter debuts next month so I’m suitably nervous and excited. I know we’re going to have great fun and I’m SO looking forward to another crazy time in the forum. I can’t wait to discuss this incredible news with you as it turns out that there might be more than one game involved. This is going to be nuts!