Demo Update, Development Progress, Physical Rewards, and Real Talk
Demo UpdateDownload the new demo here!
Today I'm proud to announce a new version of the demo that reflects a quality close to the final vision of the game. There are 9 levels in this demo, a couple of which are brand new. In-house, we have almost 60 levels completed with only a handful of levels left to create. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!
There's a new main menu system, and every level includes custom, animated, handmade artwork by our fantastic artist Andrew Chen. We expect for every level to have unique backgrounds in this regard and for them to also tell part of the story.
Speaking of the story, we have three paintings (which I think we've shown before) that are spaced out every 3 levels that each have a caption to depict some sort of event or place in the overall story arc. I know it's still a bit ambiguous right now, but we hope these paintings set the mood for the game and hopefully gets you to ask some questions about what it all means.
The tutorial is purely contextual now, using icons instead of text to minimally explain how to the play the game. On top of all of this, there are many little bits of polish that make the game just *feel* better overall.
Please, if you come across any issues, do let me know so we can fix them immediately.
As stated earlier, we're nearing the end of the journey here. We're hard at work producing the final artwork for the game and have already entered the polishing stage of the game. In fact, since there are so many levels in the game that artwork may be the bottleneck as we finish up development. However, I believe, in this age of many procedural-based games, that attention to detail and custom design is more important than ever.
One cool feature we recently thought up of was to create some emotes for the Rabbit and Owl so if you play co-op you can cheer for your partner or even face palm when they make a mistake!
As for fulfilling all of the Kickstarter feature promises, there are two things I am still unsure about: the Linux version, console versions, and online co-op. It's a lot of extra effort on top of what we're trying to achieve, and I admit I had starry eyes thinking development would take a lot less time than it already has. If I do end up implementing these features, it will have to be after initial release. I apologize if this is disappointing news to you.
Our new goal is to try to finish development by August or September and release on Steam within a month of that.
I know a few months ago I mentioned I was going to ship out rewards in April, but I've had to put that on hold for a while. However, we've got everything here ready to go! We're going to have to commit some solid time to figuring out shipping logistics. Check out all the merchandise we have! We've also got some new designs for stickers and buttons, hope you all like them!
Okay, so I understand if some of you may be wondering why I haven't been updating very often or why progress has been slow. Since the end of the Kickstarter, I had been slowly spiraling into some pretty severe anxiety.
To be clear, this was not the type of issue that I was born with. I put myself in these circumstances with my decision to take on the monumental task of developing a video game nearly from scratch (I say nearly because Unity is such an amazing engine that takes care of so much stuff already), to build and manage a team, and to oversee all parts of it developmental and business wise. From the start, I knew what I was getting into, and I knew it would involve a lot of stress, but I did not anticipate how I would react to that stress. As we live in a culture that heavily stigmatizes mental health issues, I initially kept a lot of this to myself, which caused me to have periods of several weeks or even months at a time where I did little to no work developing the game and keep the wheels grinding. My mental fortitude was definitely weak.
Over the past few years since initially starting this indie journey, my social life and my physical body had deteriorated slowly to the point where it felt helpless at times. Earlier in this year, thanks to some close friends whom I confided and talked things out with, I decided to take time to improve myself. I took a lot of time to just go out and explore the city, make new friends, reconnect with old friends, and exercise. I took up rock climbing thanks to a fellow indie developer here and now it's one of my favorite hobbies. Today, I am so much healthier and spiritually charged which in turn has boosted my overall motivation and energy. I feel like I've been reborn over the last few months.
I just want you all to know times have been tough, and yes, the development on this game has suffered because of it. But I will never give up until I've completed this project no matter how long it takes because I am 100% committed to it and it's my ultimate passion. I will never forget all of your enthusiasm for the game which keeps me going. A fan even reached out wanting to cosplay as the Rabbit and Owl at this year's upcoming PAX West which I'm super excited about!
I am ready for the final stretch this summer. Look forward to more updates!