FEBRUARY UPDATE: Teaser, Jesse Cox, Those Awesome Guys... and BETA INCOMING!
Hey, my dear backers!
Welcome to a HUGE UPDATE. February has been a crazy-ass month and we have tons of things to explain! If you follow us on Twitter you probably have heard most of it. But even so, take a look: you might get surprised anyway! ;)
First, SUPER IMPORTANT: wishlist the game if possible HERE.
1. OUR FIRST BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: TEASER & RELEASE DATE
On St. Valentine's Day we released our teaser trailer. Have you seen it? Not only it revealed a good amount of new content, but it also revealed the release date: April 27th. That's 2 months from now!
I know this was important for you. We wanted to be 100% sure, and now we are. Of course, you never can be 100% sure and I don't want to jinx it (remember some cases like Dream Daddy, which had last minute issues); but this date seems like the good one.
Also, thanks to the AMAZING voice actors we got for the teaser: ProZD and Cristina Vee. Also thanks to Adam Tierney, from WayForward. Adam has been always supportive and he's helping us to secure these kick-ass voice actors and many more.
2. OUR SECOND BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: JESSE COX
I know lots of you are here today thanks to Jesse Cox. During our Kickstarter Jesse did a Fan Friday with the Super Beard Bros and Dodger. That video was essential into getting not our main goal, but a crazy +400%
Jesse has been always a genuine fan of the game and we cannot stop saying how cool, nice and approachable he is. First time we contacted him by sending him a very raw demo we improvised in around a week. We contacted him because we saw he did a great video on our main inspiration, The Yawhg. We're not shy about The Yawhg being our main reference when we started, and what we did is we contacted a bunch of influencers who seemed to have a great time playing it with an email titled "Monster Prom: if you loved The Yawhg, you gonna love this!".
And I still remember how suddenly our Kickstarter numbers started to skyrocket. I was SUPER CONFUSED AND HAPPY. Then I discovered the reason: Jesse's video. It was GREAT. Not only the traffic it generated, but the confirmation we were making a good game and how it showed on how much they seemed to enjoy it. The year after that we were invited to many international events and I met Jesse at 2 of them: PAX East and MomoCon. PAX East was the first time I met Jesse face to face. I wasn't sure if he would remember Monster Prom... and boy he did! He was signing stuff and I waited in line for a while... and to my surprise when we met not only we chatted a lot about Monster Prom but he also asked me to sign him a Monster Prom postcard. It was awesome. Later on MomoCon Jesse and Dodger were on a panel. I attended and I approached them after it. They were super busy and yet they made time to come to our booth and play our second demo. And they loved it!
(pic taken by one of our GREATEST FANS, Theo "Evune")
After that Jesse and I kept talking about the game. He showed real love for Monster Prom and slowly but naturally an idea started to take shape... AN ALLIANCE. Jesse asked us if we could use some help and heck yeah we could. And then he became our PRODUCER. Since then, he's been super supportive and we're sure it'll help us to get better results, which might translate into more content in the future! <3
3. OUR THIRD BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: THOSE AWESOME GUYS
And as said, we have a publisher! We talked to 3-4 potential publishers and all of 'em were amazing. This is not me trying to be polite: we really had a hard time choosing. Not only they were all super interesting as publishing options, but we started a conversation because we felt a true connection with the people with whom we talked. Really. I don't know if I can mention the 2-3 we didn't choose, but if you're reading this you know who you are and you know we love you very much. Like truly I'm looking forward to seeing you on upcoming conventions (:
But let's talk about TAG. This might come as strange, since they are not (or more accurately "were not") a publisher. I discovered them thanks to Nicolae's GDC talk: You Suck at Showcasing your Game. It is a super smart talk that covers lots of useful stuff in a short amount of time. I liked it very much and it told me this guy was not only a successful dev, but also a smart guy that reflected on what he did, being highly strategic about every detail. Then, during PAX West 2017 I met him, and I discovered he was also a cool super nice dude. Thing is when I meet successful indie devs I always make them a tricky question: what will you do now? This is a polite and sincere question I have because we're still on an early stage of the modern indie era. We already have established indie modern classics, ofc. But even if we can easily list lots of great indie successes, it is still too soon to list successful indie studios with MORE THAN 1 success. My dear backers, succeeding with an indie game is hella tricky. But succeeding with two indie games... oh boy. So I am really intrigued on what's the roadmap and plans for those talented individuals that got a success under their belts. And obviously there is no right answer, but I love to learn more about their insights. So, to me, an obvious solution is publishing. It makes sense because after a success you get the resources, knowledge and contacts that become essential for good publishing while placing smaller bets on teams with similar products to yours is not only nice (as you help the indie scene grow) but also smart (as you're diversifying your portfolio). Sometimes I comment this thought of mine and sometimes the person with whom I am talking agrees. Nick (and at least one of the other potential publishers we had) agreed and since his game (Move or Die) and his company (Those Awesom Guys) shared the irreverent spirit of Monster Prom, I went bold and said "so what about publishing... us?". And here we are. We chose TAG for many reasons. Nick is a super smart and strategic individual, as said before. Also, they seem to be constantly looking on how to improve their product, being brave and exploring many potential options, which was something I valued deeply. Even some of those specifics ideas seemed close to our spirit (parntering with Rick&Morty, which is one of our main tone references) or useful for us (like their smart Twitch Features). More importantly, they shared the most with us. I mean... their fuckin' name and logo is something that felt close to Monster Prom's essence. I could easily visualize "Those Awesome Guys" as a logo appearing at the start of "Monster Prom".
So that's the story! Now we're working together. Nick and Rick help us constantly with LOTS of things, which is awesome, so we can focus more on making the actual game. Also, we can't ignore the fact Nick is the one who made our badass teaser trailer.
4. WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING ON FEBRUARY?
We got lots of things done during February. First, I spent LOTS of hours working on event format to get all the events done ready for the current build. Damn it is a boring thing to do.
Reilly, our UI artist got the last screens finished. Now we can focus on UI outside the core game experience (settings, online and gallery).
Art worked on some final big visual content (a new item, new super secret minor NPCs, etc). Now he's working on icons and emotes. When that's done, we will be practically ready. The only art task for the core game left will be an extra, which is visuals to add "little animations" to the location images.
I prepared the prompts for the last events. Right now there are 40-45 events left (similar to last month). These are divided on:
- 13 events that are written (by Maggie) but I have yet to check
- 17 events that I have to write
- 15 events that I'm contacting Cory to see if he can write them
- Shop dialogues
- Titles (this is a small feature for the "results screen" at the end of each run
- Ending lines (this is another small feature for the group ending
And what about programming? Welp... Elias has done A FUCKIN' LOT. Yeah, guys, we're in beta territory now. So we finally got to put the game on the Steam Client. Obviously, now is kinda buggy; but we're close to have the complete beta. Now we're waiting on Nat to do some changes to the credits so they're presentable (if not final) for you to see.
(We've added 2 short vids showing the miracle we get when mixing the talent of Art, Reilly and Elias)
Does this upset you? Be upset no more! Above the $$$ criteria, we will apply a "I want to play" criteria. It only takes to comment this update telling us you want to play the beta and we will put you first in line, OK? We would deeply appreciate if by doing so you also answer the question. The first wave will be very important for us to make crucial changes so next waves receive an even better version. Oh, and of course this only applies to backers who backed at the beta tier or above!
Also, I created a Drive document to keep track of all pieces of art and cosplay we receive based in character and pairing. For instance, Liam is the least popular character so far (give him some love!) while Vera and Polly are the most popular by far (ironically, they've never been drawn together... maybe too much power together!?).
And that's all! Lots of news, huh? What do you think? Please, leave comments! We're almost only 8 weeks to release! CRAZY! We're super excited!