Howdy backers! Here's our first official update video:
Over the last two months we’ve been working on the basic navigation mechanics and user interface. We’ve also been revising game’s primary story/questline puzzles so they fully gel with the gameplay decisions that have nailed down. There’s a ton of content, but very little in the way of implementation thus far. We’ll be moving on to that stage in coming weeks.
We’re planning on being at alpha Alpha by May 1. It’s going to be tight, but I’m positive we can get the core game implemented by then.
Nonessential elements like the Dreamworld and cutscenes (more on those at the end) will likely have to wait until after that time, as they both depend on the flow of the core story progression to properly implement. The Dreamworld will see implementation by June, and we’re looking at July for the cutscenes. The Beta should be ready in late summer/early fall, with release around November. ---
New Thing - Interactive Collectables!
There are going to be SNES-esque game cartridges and cassette tapes strewn about the gameworld. The tapes will play ~30 seconds of audio, and the cartridges will trigger minigames. You’ll be able to find and use as many of them as we can squeeze into the game.
Animation and Art
Acacia is animating the characters’ basic forms and colors and then sending them to me for final detailing. This allows us to play to both of our strengths, and helps to maximize our animation budget by having her spend more time on actual animation.
Lately, she’s been working on perfecting Dropsy’s primary 8-direction walk cycle. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is possibly the most beautifully animated walk cycle of any adventure game protagonist ever. I haven’t had a chance to detail them yet, so I'll post the final official walk cycles in the next update.
Art wise, I’ve been working on a little of everything. Backgrounds, GUI stuff, icons, NPCs, and so on. I don’t want to spoil too much, but here are a few snippets with the important bits missing. These are all located in the forest just Northeast of Dropsy's home.
Logan Tanner has also recently jumped on board to help flesh out a few background areas. Here's part of a scene he recently completed:
One of my favorite parts of any game are the maps. Nothing gets me ready for adventure like seeing a sprawling, vibrant, undiscovered landscape before me. The worldmap was something I knew I needed, but wasn't sure of exactly how I’d implement until development started.
In most adventure games, an NPC or item in the gameworld will “unlock” new locations for you by telling you about them. You’d then navigate there by simply clicking on an icon. In Dropsy, you discover locations by actually discovering them. Every area connects to every other, so if you were very very patient you could beat the game without even looking at the map.
While you COULD do this, and reach every area in the game by simply walking there, there is an in-game map and fast travel system to make things a bit smoother.
Once you've discovered a new location, a small dot will appear on the map. Yellow dots indicate that there are still undiscovered areas in a location. A location’s dot will become green after being fully explored.
Clicking on any dot will allow you to fast travel to it’s respective location. Fast Travelling displays a cute (and fully skippable) animation of Dropsy and his friends using various modes of transport. Check out the update video below for a small preview of the game’s worldmap.
We’ve decided on this as the game’s final GUI. The main interface drops down frop the top of the sceen, similar to the system used in games like Gabriel Knight, or most of Wadjet Eye’s titles. In keeping with the “no text” rule, everything in every menu is represented by an icon.
I can’t express how much of an incredible job Chris has done with the music so far, so I’ll let him explain:
“I have been working on building a small library of Dropsy themes and incidental music. I plan to write a few more before I arrange charts and variations. I have assembled a six piece ensemble to perform the music and we have studio time booked for mid-March. A small film crew will be on hand and we hope to have some video to share in April or May.”
Not only is he arranging pieces for an incredibly talented group of musicians, but he’s filming the whole thing. Also, this may only matter to a small margin of backers, but he’s using an honest-to-God real life Mellotron during these live sessions. Any vintage instrument dork would recognize this as the king of all radical hard-to-reproduce keyboards.
--- Other stuff!
Later in the process we’ll be employing the talents of Tom Deslongchamp to complete a few cutscenes for the game. This will come towards the end of development, as much of the content depends on depends on NPC and location designs I haven’t quite finalized.
We’ve also got Keith Rankin (of Giant Claw and Orange Milk Records) in the wings. He’ll be helping me compose a few dreamworld themes.
Joe Badon is still working on those coloring books.
There are still a few posters that I haven't shipped yet! Sorry about that! You'll get yours if you don't have it yet.
--- Thank you!
I'm going to be posting updates on the eleventh of every month from now until release. Thanks again for believing in this game! I can't wait to share it with you guys.