Okay, this is an extremely significant update. All backers are encouraged to read the post very carefully and then shout hilarious things at random in the comments.
We're proud to announce that we've teamed up with microprocessor hypergiant Intel (yes, *that* Intel) in order to make There Came an Echo better. That's a vague phrase meaning "they're funding us", and before you shout those hilarious things in the comments, let me explain.
We were unbelievably thrilled to exceed a hundred thousand dollars via Kickstarter, *and we have been on track to complete the game with the funding you've given us*. We got an office space with the Kickstarter funding, we built our work machines, bought licenses of Unity Pro, hired three employees, and things were going swimmingly. Full stop.
Still, there were things we weren't going to be able to do. We weren't going to be able to translate the game into other languages. Our QA process would have been...well, abbreviated, to say the least. We would not have been ESRB rated, we would have had a very effectively low marketing and advertising budget, and most of all, the programming burden being entirely on me (oh, this is Jason Wishnov speaking at the moment, hi) meant that all of my personal coding weaknesses would have been on display and evident in the game. Which obviously don't exist, but you know, *hypothetically*.
Intel approached us some months ago, expressing interest in the title for their upcoming Intel® RealSense™ Technology platform (you can read some early CES impressions here) (also they told us to use all those wacky legal marks). Our game, primarily utilizing voice commands, was a perfect fit for their device, and they offered additional funding and assistance in exchange for supporting their upcoming platform. They were extremely excited about the game, but more than that, they were committed to our artistic vision of the game, with no compromise. Let me make that point even more clear: Intel is absolutely not acting as publisher. They have no direct say in the creative process, beyond mandating that the experience be bug-free and support their platform. They will be providing assistance in many ways, but they will not in any way alter the original vision of There Came an Echo. Period.
So, what does this mean? Here's a little bullet point list:
- We're able to hire an additional programmer, and heck, we already have. Everyone say hello to the newest member of our team, Archie Prakash! He has over nine years of experience in the videogame industry, and he is rad. His skills in artificial intelligence and shader design are going to be of vast assistance in the coming months.
- Our game will at the very least be translated to English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish with subtitles, and possibly full voiceover (the amount of voiceover in TCAE is fairly immense, so we'll need to get some quotes). Other possible languages include Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean.
- We're able to devote a significant amount of funding to dedicated UI design and sound design. We were pretty much flying by night in these areas prior.
- With a marketing budget, you can expect to see us at some trade shows in the near future. Which ones? We'll let you know. ;)
- The game will be ESRB rated and have significant user testing and QA.
- Support, of course, for Intel's RealSense™ technology. We're going to add some gesture support as well, but don't freak out gestures are totally optional and are not in any way required. And, of course, keyboard and mouse controls will still be included.
- There really aren't many of these, but here's the big one: you can probably expect There Came an Echo to release in October 2014, as opposed to the aforementioned June. I know, another delayed Kickstarter, right? The good news, however, is that this is now an extremely likely timeframe for TCAE to release, because we really want to support RealSense™ at launch. We're not expanding the scope of the game significantly; we simply need the extra time to support their device, do more QA, and translate.
- We had to write all these words but it's cool.
We understand you might have some concerns, questions, and comments, and we absolutely encourage you to sound out and let us know. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for all of your support (the Intel contact specifically reached out to us because he saw the Kickstarter campaign's success). We'll address every question you have personally. This really is an excellent thing, and we're thrilled to have the additional support to make There Came an Echo even better.
Oh, also, here's a cool GIF! (Corrin's aiming and firing animations are currently undergoing a bit of a rework.) Mission 2 is nearly fully built, and we're moving on to Mission 3.