Here is the correct link for the Mac demo download.
Sorry about that folks.
Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 10, 2011.
Here is the correct link for the Mac demo download.
Sorry about that folks.
After months of craziness, problems, re-designs, re-makes and delays, as promised, here's a playable demo. Although we strongly feel that this isn't ready yet as there's still a TON of work and polishing to be done, we've all waited long enough, and you deserve something playable. Hopefully this gives you a feel for what's to come. Thank you so much for your patience and continued support!
We know this has taken longer than the original estimates and we've kept a lot of things under wraps so it's totally understandable that a lot of people are getting antsy. Most of us witnessed firsthand how this project evolved artistically, but we haven't been as generous sharing the gameplay. We wanted to make sure the game not only looked pretty, but was fun to play as well, and we went through hundreds of hours designing, testing, programming and reprogramming. The biggest redesign happened shortly after we opened our new studio, after a peer review of the current system. Which, unfortunately was one of the key factors that caused the delays you were subjected to the past few months.
We'd like to take this opportunity to show just how much the gameplay has evolved over the years.
Original Last Class Heroes.
Here's some super early footage from last year's Kickstarter pitch showing the game as an action RPG.
The thing that ultimately pushed us to exploring other gameplay modes were our limited level sizes. Our level sizes were limited because of our fixed sized backgrounds. Back then, our artists were still unfamiliar with the concepts of modular level design. Remember, this is the first game for most of us and 90% of our team are art majors. We realized action RPGs weren't as fun with small levels so we tried creating a simple/classic turn based RPG like above.
That was way too simple so at one point we experimented with rhythm game mechanics, while this was fun at first, it became really tedious, really fast. It made the game very limited.
We then tried out a grid based strategy RPG that incorporated a gesture + rhythm based command system.
And for the longest time we used this button combo + dynamic queue turn based system.
We still felt like the levels were too small and we almost completely ruled out changing the backgrounds because they were all done and we would be wasting months of work. Ultimately, we started prototyping multileveled rooms like the .gif above. We were happy with the results and how much larger the world felt so we started creating completely modular levels, which allowed us to quadruple the sizes of our biggest levels. Unfortunately, this meant dozens of wasted assets and hundreds of work hours lost.
Now that the problem of limited sized levels was solved, we decided to go back to our original design of making a straight up, classic, action RPG. Which can be previewed by downloading the demo. Unfortunately, we only made this transition a few months ago, AFTER we announced the release preview, after we opened the studio and for the first time, did face to face peer reviews. Which will be evident when you play the demo. So instead of a "release preview" we'd like to drop down this release's status to "demo".
Thank you for your understanding! All the delays and decisions being made are necessary to provide you with the highest quality and satisfying game possible. (with our limited resources)
Our good friend and RT Voice Actor Edwyn Tiong is part of Conspirocracy, a game about the travails of David Poulson (voiced by Edwyn) a schoolteacher who one day finds himself without an identity and his existence completely erased from seemingly every public and government record. Check it out!
Check out this super cool Anino fanart/speedpaint from Lancer Cross! Thanks Lancer!
I'm starting to sound like a broken record but... guys, we're almost there! I know we're all frustrated waiting for this to come out but we'd like to ask you guys for three more days! Why is this taking longer than expected? These past few months, the game underwent (and is undergoing) a major gameplay redesign. We took a long and hard look at what we had and the game was sorely lacking in the fun department. This required a lot of wheels to be reinvented. So far, it feels like we reinvented these fancy new wheels and we're running ourselves over with them. We've been sleepless the past few days just trying to make this all work. Unfortunately, we're only human and our resources are still, unfortunately, limited. To make up for it, here's a bonus poster for everyone. (click here for full version)
See you after the weekend. O_o
So we've come to update you on the status of the Release Preview, and in turn, hope that you'll put aside any disappointment and allow us just a bit more time. To be honest we can't wait to have everyone try the game out and give us your feedback but unfortunately, we spent more than half the month setting up the studio, getting desks made, buying equipment and furniture, waiting for boxes we shipped over, getting utilities and internet set up and a hundred other things. It was more work than expected.
We're excited to see you excited, and all of you who keep checking in on us, we can't thank you enough for your support! Now that we have the team together, first half of last month aside, everything has been progressing much more smoothly! Unfortunately, we're still not comfortable showing it as-is. A lot of spit and polish still needed before it's ready for primetime. With that being said, we'd like to ask for at least ten more days.
A few surprises with the gameplay.
We've been working on this for months with Singer and Rara Voice Actress Amanda Lee. Have a listen!
Fan Rebecca Collis sent us pics of her Sebastian clay sculpture and papercrafts! Thank you so much Rebecca! These are fantastic! <3
And that's that, another ten days isn't a whole lot of time at all for what's left to be done, at the same time we hope the small extension can be pardoned. In the meantime, our idols over at Vanillaware has their newest title "Dragon's Crown" releasing tomorrow in North America. If you haven't already seen the trailer ten times then here you go:
Our friend Chris Carter just launched a new Kickstarter campaign! Some Kontrabida regulars helped out with some of the art. Check it out here!
Once again, we know we're stretching your patience, really sorry, hang in there! Thank you so much for all of your support. Thank you so much to all of our friends and family who helped us with the move and a personal thank you and shout out to our sleep deprived, underpaid and overworked team members for hanging tough. Love you guys.
See you all in ten days!
Leo & Jennee
We've got some news to share... We really didn't want to do this, but unfortunately the Public Release Preview set to be launched today, July 5th will be postponed until August 5th. We've run into a lot of hiccups and regardless of what was in our way, we weren't ready to deliver today. We're sorry for the disappointment, and hope that you all don't mind hanging in there for a couple more weeks.
I know this update dropped a little later than most of you expected. We were grinding until the very last second to make this happen. We took a very, very long look at what we had - to see if it was something good enough for the public and ultimately we decided to delay it by a few more weeks so we can polish the game a bit more.
I know we keep pushing back our deadlines and at this point I'm sure some of you are already frustrated hearing the same thing every update but rest assured we're working to the best of our abilities with the resources we have, which unfortunately at this time, isn't a lot.
Now about those hiccups.
Shortly after we announced the date for the Public Release Preview we were presented with an opportunity that was simply too good to turn down. As you all know by now, we've been doing this for two years with a high degree of difficulty - most of us have never met each other in person, work together in the same room, let alone in the same country. Our team is made up of people from four different countries. All the work has been done through iMessage, Skype or Google+ chat rooms and email. This means everything took a lot longer than usual; a simple colour swap request or modification would take hours, sometimes days as opposed to seconds or minutes in a normal office setting.
And this is all about to change.
We've decided to finally go all in and invest in a real studio. A year and a half ago this would have been impossible, but thanks to the success and exposure we received from Kickstarter and a lot of amazing people who pulled through for us - our friends at Alter Ego Productions, our angel investors, our friends and family, and with my personal life savings we finally had enough money to make the studio a reality and be able to sustain a real business for the remainder of the year and beyond. Everything just lined up conveniently and we had to act fast.
Unfortunately, this amazing sequence of events weren't considered when the release date for the Preview was made and I naïvely believed we would be able to deliver the game in time while at the same time looking for office and living space, setting up furniture and utilities, legal papers, and successfully flying over and moving at least 60% of our team to the same country.
Aside from being the lead developer, co-creative, technical and animation director, I also had the unfortunate task of making this happen. This image represents what happened the last two months:
Most of the team finally together in the same room for the first time.
The whole game has 6 Chapters/Scenarios. The release preview will feature Chapter 2: Old Vermilion. Child prodigy turned Academy professor Rara Goddard leads a group of students into abandoned Ashford Manor where the original Vermilion Troupe honed their skills with puppetry and conducted untold experiments. What else lies inside these old walls?
And the world premiere of Anino, Sebastian's Marionette.
This is a feature that will be explained in-game but here's a peek at Anino's Heart. Each Marionette Heart is different and customizable to varying degrees.
A rogue marionette:
Your supporting cast for this scenario:
Edwyn Tiong as snobbish and vain Julian
Danielle McRae as headstrong Nora
Peter Gerkman as shy but opinionated Theodore
Annalie Davidson as sweet Alice
Amanda Lee as morbid Cecila
And there you have it. So what else is left to do and why do we need extra time? All of the/most of the major pieces are already in place however, what the game lacks right now is a higher level of polish. Unfortunately the immense amount of distraction from the move and studio set up set us back a few milestones. We're really sorry about this delay, but after much deliberation, we believe it's for the best.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
Two exclusive Last Class Heroes HD wallpapers for your desktop and your name in the credits!
The above plus a copy of the game for your mobile device (iOS or Android) and a Sebastian toy template! Print and create as many as you want (Please see the "About this Project" section for a sample)!
The above plus a digital copy of our yet-to-be-titled short story. A great introduction to the wonderful world of Marionettes. Fully illustrated by the amazing Tey Bartolome (http://teygraphy.deviantart.com/gallery/) and penned by short-story veteran Chris Lewis Carter. (http://chrislewiscarter.com/)
The above plus a copy of the game for your desktop once it comes out (Mac or PC) and a digital copy of The Last Class Heroes art book (Full colour. 28+ pages. Please see the "About this Project" section for more details).
The above plus a copy of the full soundtrack and a full colour poster (12" x 18"). Choose from three designs. Plus a digital copy of all three designs!
The above plus your own in-game shout out! Your message on a bulletin board, a poster, a notebook or even engraved on a tree! Zoomable and presented artistically. (Limitations apply. Please see details in the "About this Project" section under rewards or contact us.) Plus a limited edition Last Class Heroes shirt! Choose from two designs!
The above plus your own character in the game! Created to your likeness or someone else's with your own dialogue! (Limitations apply. Please see details in the "About this Project" section under rewards or contact us.)
All of the above plus a hard copy of our art book. (8" x 11", full colour, 28+ pages), another exclusive Last Class Heroes Wallpaper for your desktop, both t-shirt designs and all three printed posters!
All of the above but with a specially signed copy of the art book from all the team members! Be listed as an "Executive Producer" in the credits. A copy of every single game our team will be making beyond "Last Class Heroes" on every platform they're made for. A special spot in the credits for yourself on each game. A personal art request from you, Last Class Heroes related or not from one or more of our artists. And our undying gratitude. :)
- (45 days)