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Lead the Rabbit and Owl through a constantly shifting environment of light and dark space.
Lead the Rabbit and Owl through a constantly shifting environment of light and dark space.
636 backers pledged $14,228 to help bring this project to life.

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Submitted for review to Steam

Posted by Gary Chao (Creator)
19 likes

Hello everyone,

Great news! We've just officially submitted the game, storefront, and other required materials to Steam for review! This process should take 2-3 business days (but I hear it can take over a week on occasion). Unfortunately we are not able to release the game until at least 2 weeks after it gets approved, so it looks like a late July or early August release :(

One thing that was required for review was to create a trailer for the game. During the 2 week lull period we plan on using that time for marketing, but for now, here's an exclusive first look at our official release trailer!

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We'll keep you all posted on more updates as they come!

- Gary

Steam integration update

Posted by Gary Chao (Creator)
13 likes

Hey everyone,

This past week has mostly been taking care of a last minute wave of feedback, polishing, and bug fixing. I was able to get about a day of integrating Steam in but that's about it. Today I'm getting back to doing that. I said I feature locked a while ago but here's the two main things I added that I thought were necessary:

  • There's UI to allow you to set which character is controlled by which controller or keyboard/mouse.
  • There's controls to allow you to play the game fully with just a keyboard (using arrow keys instead of WASD + mouse). A lot of players have expressed the platforming genre + arrow key setup as standard, and I agree.

Anyway, the review process for release on Steam takes several days after I finish integration, so it still looks at least a week out. My initial hope was to get it ready for release by 7/13 but... probably not D: Will continue to keep you all updated. The long tail for finishing the rest of the game is longer than expected.

- Gary

Game is 99% done!

Posted by Gary Chao (Creator)
18 likes

Hey everyone,

Just a quick update: we're nearly there! The "base" game is done, meaning all the main menu features are there, the game's playable level 1-48, and all the story, sound, and final art is there. Here's what we've got left:

  • Internal testing for any remaining bugs and polish
  • Putting back in the bonus levels (and testing for those levels)
  • Steam integration

To reiterate what the bonus levels were, they are levels that were removed because they were either deemed too difficult or simply because the game was bloated with too many levels. What we have to do to put back in the bonus levels is to remaster them to fit the standards and design paradigms of the current levels of the game (since they haven't been touched for probably almost a year). This process should go relatively quickly though since the core design of the levels are done. In general, these levels are more challenging and require some interesting tricks that you will not have seen in the main levels. These levels will be unlocked once you beat the game.

Steam integration is still looking to be at least a week of work, so we're looking at about 1.5-2 weeks out from release. Yes, I know :((

Really looking forward to finally releasing this out into the wild. Thanks once again for all of your patience!

- Gary

Light at the end of the tunnel!

Posted by Gary Chao (Creator)
14 likes

Hi everyone,  

I apologize for not being able to meet the most recent goal of a June 14th release. I really do not like having to push back the date so much. However, the game is so close to finishing. Please bear with me! The game is looking and feeling absolutely stunning. I cannot wait to release the game into your hands and to the rest of the world.

Here's what we got done so far since last time:  

  • Final cinematic done 
  • Story done
  • Sound effects and ambience done 
  • Integrated cinematics, story paintings, and all sound effects/ambience into the game. You will be able to go back and revisit these features in the main menu

What still needs to be done:

  • Rolling credits
  • Final sound, ambience, and music volume balance
  • Bonus levels polish
  • Final (short!) list of minor bug fixes, tweaks, and optimization

I anticipate being able to finish all of this by Friday. At that point, I would consider the standalone game to be complete! After talking to other game dev friends who have also released a game on Steam, it should take about another week to integrate required Steam features and submit the game for approval. This updated timeline puts release somewhere between the end of June and the beginning of July. I won't try to put a definite date down this time but I will update at least a couple more times this month as things develop.

Finally, for those of you who have ordered the soundtrack or art book, I haven't forgotten about that and will begin work on that stuff after release.

Thank you all for your continued support and patience. Almost there!!!

- Gary

Updated estimated release date

Posted by Gary Chao (Creator)
12 likes

Hi everyone,

We've run into several delays involving the final touches of development. For this reason, I've decided to push back the release date at least 2 weeks to June 14. I'll update you on our progress as we approach that date. Let me explain a bit about the release dates.

As you all know, in the past I have set pretty rough deadlines. I'd set something like "April of next year" or something like that. That in conjunction with the personal issues and anxiety I have explained in previous updates caused me to become numb to the urgency and priority of finishing the game. In 2017, not much got done development wise. I would always think "oh, I still have several months" and keep delaying what I need to get done. So I apologize again in the past I wasn't developing as efficiently as I could have at that time.

Mid April of this year is when I decided to set a hard deadline of June 1, at least in my mind psychologically. It has worked wonders so far and I have a ton of momentum going on at the moment. I did have a rough idea of what I had left to do, and it didn't seem to be a lot on paper so I thought 1.5 months was enough, but of course getting down to the nitty gritty of things it always takes longer than I think. 

For example, I thought finalizing the main menu's functionalities would take me less than a day. It took me three full days of 8-10 hour work days. A lot of it comes down to getting things working exactly the way I want them to, smoothly, and bug free. 

Another example is optimization. Unity has a great built-in profiler that identifies exactly how long scripts are taking to execute per game update. I thought my optimization fixes would be a breeze, but it turns out I had to upend a lot of deep-rooted code and optimize it at the memory level (for you programmers out there, I basically had to create a giant 2D hash map to store physical objects for collision detection - I do want to write this up someday in a post-mortem. It's super cool). So in effect I rewrote the physics engine again for the 3rd time which caused a 7x increase in speed. My friend who has an old laptop from 2011 who can play League at 60 FPS couldn't run my game smoothly at all. Now it runs at maximum speed (capped at 150 game updates/sec). 

Finally, all of this has to be tested internally by my awesome co-dev Justin who meticulously tests the levels over and over and OVER, trying every possible thing that players could try or accidentally do, for any emergent bugs that appear - often times fixing one thing breaks another. If you've ever played a game and wonder "How in the hell did they possibly break THAT?!" after a patch, I feel that pain and understand it now. Every time something breaks, I have to spend time to fix it. Thankfully, the game seems *nearly* bug free at the moment.

There are numerous other examples, and there's still a bunch of polish I have yet to do (for example something as little as randomizing the initial transparency of fog that appears in game). I am staying aware of making sure I don't get caught up in endlessly thinking of things to improve, and things can always be patched after release. However, I want to make the best initial impression possible, and so it's going to take a little bit more time. Also, the final artwork and sound design still been finished, and we're constantly iterating on that so that everything feels put together and synergized.

Okay, so off the top of my head since the last update here's what was accomplished:

  • Story paintings are done
  • Last 4 levels' backgrounds are being worked on (it involves a more complicated process than previous backgrounds, but it'll be pretty awesome!)
  • Sound design is still pretty all over the place (we had a first pass done before but a lot of it just didn't fit in right), but we're zeroing in on something good I think
  • Graphics settings are in the game such as disabling the animated backgrounds, fog, even making the background purely black and white
  • New weather system for rain/snow/ash is in. Has multiple layers going at different speeds for immersiveness
  • As mentioned before, lots of optimization. A lot. And a bit more to go actually!
  • Got a bunch of great feedback from a closed beta that I'm going to go over to improve the game even more
  • Laundry list of bug fixes / polish

Okay, that's it for now. Sorry to disappoint for that initial release, but please keep in mind the game is being fervently and actively worked on until it's finally done!

- Gary