Apologies for the somewhat unoriginal title of these updates, rest assured we're channelling all our available creativity into developing the game!
GDC San Francisco
Before folks accuse us of blowing all of our backers pledges on a holiday to sunny California I should thank our friends at Northern Ireland Screen and UKIE for supporting our trip over to Game Connection and GDC this year in San Francisco. It was an opportunity to show the game to press, publishers, other developers and to start to get HMS on folk's radar that missed our Kickstarter campaign.
It was also an opportunity to meet up with some fellow adventure Kickstarter creators. Most notably was great to finally meet Nick and Chris who are on the home stretch polishing the impressive looking STASIS. They too are developing a sci-fi adventure, although it's fair to say they are aiming for a somewhat darker tone. If you missed their campaign you'll find all the information you need on STASIS here.
I also had the great pleasure of meeting the very talented Cyrus Nemati, the voice of our antagonist Antoine Bonaparte. It was great to put a face to his many voices.
In short GCA/ GDC was super productive and hopefully we'll have some good news to share off the back of the conversations we had in the not to distant future.
Meanwhile, in Belfast...
So, while I was away having my nose sunburned the rest of the team were diligently working away back in Belfast. Peter found the time to model the ship piloted by our continental crew. The decals have yet to be added but she is starting to take shape:
Both Paul and Ryan have been flat out with the big migration over to Unity 5. For the most part this has been pretty smooth although we are still getting used to the new lighting system and have been forced to redo quite a few of the textures we had painted before. This process isn't ideal however it will make a big difference to the quality of the visuals once done so we think it'll be worth it in the long run, even if it slows us down slightly.
During our campaign we showed a rough sketch of a promotional image parodying the famous, original Star Wars movie poster. We finally got around to finishing that up and can share it with you below:
We'll just pop this into storage for now but, closer to the release of HMS, expect us to dust this off and use it to entice folks to check out the game.
The sound of Music
The very talented Michael Dornan has stepped on board HM SPIFFING and is currently working on the game's musical score. Michael is still roughing out some tracks for us at the moment although we can share with you this initial sketch he's put together for the game's title tune:
The vision is to scrape together some cash down the line to record this with a variety of musicians using real instruments. With our current budget this simply wouldn't be possible, however it is something that we intend to try and pursue.
Other development news
If it weren’t for you folks HMS simply would not be in development right now, so it is only fair that we share both the good news and the bad news regarding the game’s production. As mentioned the big switch to Unity 5 has delayed us slightly, however it isn't a huge concern. Unfortunately our biggest setback so far has been with our environment artist (we mentioned this new start in our last update). We thought we'd came across the perfect chap, talented, keen and seemingly ready to embrace the risk associated with working for a small team working on a slender budget. It is with regret that, after a very short time with ourselves, this chap was seemingly offered a better deal by someone in his native country and (in spite of the great personal expense this individual had went to moving to be with our team in Belfast) left promptly.
Personally, this has been a huge strain on myself as I had planned to spread my workload with this individual, freeing me up to work on the many animations required for the game. But, we wish him the best and hope to find a replacement to report to you folks soon.
Having travelled half way around the globe I finally met our Dublin neighbours Story Beasts for the first time in person and saw a little bit of what they are planning for their Simon the Sorcerer Kickstarter. Suffice it to say the game looked great, however they're not quite ready to hit the go button just yet. So in the meantime here is another worthy project that has been recommended to us.
The Baader Meinhof Phenomenon
Again a darker tone of adventure game, The Baader Meinhof Phenomenon is being developed by a small UK team and aims to raise awareness about mental health. The game has been in development for six months already and Bearded Pixel are looking for your support to help them meet their targeted December 2015 release date.
It appears to have flown under people’s radar and, approaching the half way stage of their campaign, could do with a boost. So check out their campaign and if you’re interested consider supporting them as well.
To end on an upbeat note we're pleased to report that, in spite of a couple of setbacks, we are making steady progress with HMS and appreciate you folks checking in and commenting on our updates. I'm hoping to share an updated gameplay video next month showing the progress we've made switching to the new lighting system in Unity 5. You'll also be able to listen to the new voice of Aled and we will have a few more animation previews to show you.
As ever thank you for all your on-going support!