Late but not lost. Project status for August 2018
Hi everyone! Ri Ra - the game designer - is here and I'll try to shed light on what's going on with Undungeon during the last six months of silence.
The most important thing is that the development during this period was continued without any interruption. We’ve decided to be silent while working on the demo - it was necessary to pay all our attention and efforts to the project to show the real gameplay instead of short videos and gif images. It seems that you’ve been also waiting for the same results. Unfortunately, there were several occasions that prolonged the silence.
When the first demo version was finished (about 3 months ago), we were completely dissatisfied with the quality of certain systems, such as combat or AI ones. Thus, we’ve decided to delay the release of the demo and polish the available version. However, it wasn’t a simple task. After a month of attempts to fix the behavior of units, our only programmer left the team.
We’ve rapidly hired two new members, but it is obvious that the quit of the only person responsible for the game code pushed us back to the situations when the team was forced to explore the game code from the very beginning.
Currently, everything is under control, but we’ve understood that the existing problems cannot be solved just by fixes and improvements. They require a complete rework. Since it is a time-consuming process, we cannot stay silent anymore. The situation around the project led us to the decision to release two demo versions of the game instead of the promised one.
The first demo is dubbed PAX Demo since it will be displayed on the PAX expo which opens up on August 31 in Seattle. After a week or two after the conference, this demo will be sent to backers. Despite that this version is a little bit "rough" and many things will be replaced with better ones in future, we’d like to ensure you that the project is alive and the team works hard.
More good news: we will release a new trailer on Pax and announce the collaboration with one of the indie publishers.
Let’s return to the topic of the demo versions. After providing backers with the first demo, we are going to concentrate on various aspects we are dissatisfied with. Then, rework them within a few months and release the second demo in autumn. This “vertical slice” version will include much more content, will be more oriented towards replayability and will include all our rework progress. The decision to do the rework was a hard one, but we’ve decided to move the project forward with the highest possible efficiency instead of staying in the same place and fixing endless flood of bugs.
To help pass the time before PAX and show that we don’t let the grass grow under feet, I’ve recorded several short gameplay videos which illustrate the progress in various aspects of the development. All videos are created on the basis of the PAX version that will be displayed on the conference and then provided to backers as one of the two demos.
A little example of combat system. We’ve added a bunch of new abilities and mechanics. And even more are waiting in line for implementation. You can combine any 4 active abilities discovered on the run.
During the development, we’ve decided that it would be great to use animatics not only for storytelling but as a part of the gameplay. Being completely satisfied with the result, we are going to use this feature more broadly.
Creating the demo version, we’ve also spent lots of time on localization. Some dialogs are very extensive, so now, we try to decide whether they will bother players or not. Give us your opinion.
This fragment illustrates the barter system. There is no money in Undungeon since the Shift gathers very different creatures and fractions. Thus, they are forced to return to the primitive conditions of the plane exchange. If you’ve noticed an item in the trader’s pocket that looks useful, you will need to spend something that is already in your inventory to get it.
Traveling all over the world, the Herald spends the energy of the Core which can dissolve almost any matter to recharge. Thus, you will need to feed the Core with something from your pockets.
Besides, we are back to the posting of Undungeon-related materials on a regular basis. At least, we’d like not to miss any #screenshotsaturday.
That’s all the vital information we’d like to draw your attention to in this update. We sincerely hope for your understanding and support. Expect the next update during PAX and demo - soon after. We are ready to answer any of your questions in the comments.
P.S. A small bonus - our composer, stonefromthesky, has just released his first full-length album - Spirals. It has slightly heavier sound than the Undungeon soundtrack, but it seems that many of you will like it: https://iamstonefromthesky.bandcamp.com/