Another Development Update and an Announcement!
Greetings, Cryatists! Sorry that we missed the second bus last month and early this one, but we wanted to make an announcement, amidst all this demo talk. This update is going to be pretty informational, but we'll try and keep it as brief as possible.
So a lot has been whipped up since the last update. Let’s go down a really quick list really quick:
- Weapons! They’re being tested accordingly. We have the Spear and Matchlock Pistols in the build right now and we’re tweaking them so they feel great in combat, and we’re going to be tossing in the Fists, Crossbow, and Axe next.
- Bosses! Our boss system is in and we’re testing boss patterns, sequences, and attacks. We’re essentially at a state where we can just drop in the boss sprite assets, set up the sequences, and tweak accordingly.
- Gameplay! Right now we’re concentrating very hard on the core gameplay experience. Our test sessions have led to us agreeing that some aspects are kinda monotonous, specifically with the combat. Of course, we don’t have all of the abilities in so we may not be seeing the big picture here, which is going to be the main driving force of the gameplay. We want you to be able to slam a Rock Fist into a shielded enemy breaking its defenses while launching Wind blades towards another putting offensive pressure on you, and feeling really good. So you’re going to start seeing more ability play soon. We don’t want to share everything, of course, but you will definitely get a feel for the flow of gameplay in that upcoming demo.
So still a lot to do, but it’s safe to say that we’re sitting pretty good over here. We’re continuing to go over the entirety of the game and cut out anything that seems excessive and dull, and polish, polish, polish. There’s a lot of changes going on under the hood in reference to the quest aspect of the game, too. We don’t want too much backtracking, ultra-tedious puzzles, and an overwhelming amount of things to collect. We’ll comment more on the specifics of that in a later update, but for now we’ll just share a short video showcasing some of the “upgrades” since the last one.
(Please note that everything you see is all part of testing things out. So for example, when you see Bliss running the Inn, note that she’s technically not supposed to be there. This goes for animations and everything else.)
A Recap, and Looking Toward the Future
Let’s give a recap of development: In March 2013, we were funded, and development started full-on. It was a momentous occasion! One year later, in March 2014, we announced that we had to move the game’s targeted release date to “TBD”. This meant that we had to start watching our remaining financial resources carefully, since at that time we’d been in development for a full year, and we grossly miscalculated our completion date. Even though a few of us on the team shipped games before, this is our first commercial development outing collectively, so we were a bit too bright-eyed, to say the least. Around this time, we also were forced to cut back and work on the game part-time, as we only had a bit of funds left for development time, and the rest was reserved for reward fulfillment.
Some of the general public were not pleased that we had to change our release date, but the reality is, the ins and outs of indie game development are tricky to navigate. Balancing cost and scope, not to mention PR and production, we were able to keep afloat for almost two years off our initial funding... However, we knew we needed to do something before the funds ran out! As such, since May 2014, we have been maintaining correspondence with a fantastic publisher, one of which everyone on the core team has had a personal experience with for many years. They had initially reached out to us, in fact, and expressed interest in helping us finish the game, and as the courting process played out, we knew we had found our publisher:
As of this moment, we are thrilled to announce that NostalgiCO has partnered up with Atlus to ensure Cryamore will be released summer 2016, as previously stated a few months back.
What Does This Mean?
We’re sure you have a bevy of questions (we did too when we were first approached!), so let’s break it down. First, the perks:
- Quality Assurance! It’s probably the biggest perk. We want Cryamore to be the best product it can be. Before they contacted us, we hadn’t even made plans for game-testing, and they had already proven to be very resourceful when it came to giving us feedback and suggestions on heavy build-testing and bug reporting. And they do it fast!
- Marketing and PR! They will take care of all the important public news stuff, outside of what we share here on Kickstarter and our dev blog/Twitter account. This will help boost Cryamore's visibility, give the title access to more featured news portals and sites, and give us more time to focus on development!
- Distribution! They’re already connected with Steam, GoG, and first-parties (Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony), which alleviates a major burden from us!
It has been a blast working with them so far, and we look forward to wrapping this up with them! And now, let's try to deal with any concerns you might have:
- “Oh no, does this mean that the game is getting gutted/losing original vision/will be taken over now!?” Not at all! We retain full control of our IP and the development process. The entire reason Atlus reached out to us in the first place was because they liked the property, not because they wanted to overhaul it! Rest assured, this is purely a publishing deal.
- Platforms Will Change Though! Because we are now releasing in 2016, it was mutually agreed upon that we need to rethink our release platforms. As such, Cryamore will be released on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PS4, and the Wii U. You will be free to switch your initial platform preference to whichever choice you like. Also, we are finding that the title is a bit too complex for touch devices, so the iOS and Android versions are likely to be cut from the initial release, so we can focus on the primary platforms.
- "What is going to change about the project here on Kickstarter?" Nothing at all. We’re going to do our best to keep up and give you information involving the game’s development right here, as always.
- “What about my rewards?” Everyone who backed the game for a specific reward (for example, the game itself) is still going to receive their reward! You will not have to pay again (unless you want to pay for another copy, which we wouldn’t mind). This also does not change anything regarding physical rewards, such as the art book, figurines, etc. DRM-free will still be an option, as well.
Why did we choose Atlus?
Well, we collectively feel that Cryamore fits right at home with Atlus’ core demographic, and Atlus felt this way too. As hinted previously, we have been fans of their catalog of games for decades, so it seems only natural to choose them. We’ve been contacted by many other publishers during the past 2 and a half years, but their enthusiasm and mutual respect made them feel like the right fit for our team.
Are we still considered “Indie"?
Very much so! They are not giving us an extra army of staff and a corporate-friendly coffee machine for our office break room (though a coffee machine would be nice… even a break room would be nice!). We are still working the same as we were; just back to full-time and without the headache of worrying about those publishing pitfalls that Atlus is better suited to handling for us! This benefits us just as much as it does you guys! Cryamore will, indeed, see the light of day!
In short, this has been and continues to be a thrilling experience, ups and downs included, with you guys here on Kickstarter, and we will continue to do our best to make the final version of Cryamore as good as it is in our heads and in your expectations. We thank you all so much for your continued support, your patience, and your faith in us. We promise that when the dust settles, it will all have been well worth the journey! And we want to thank Atlus for throwing in an extra helping hand!
(Also, Atlus will put up their own official statement at some point... We just couldn't resist sharing our excitement with our fans! Expect to hear a lot more about this partnership, from both parties!)
So That Demo…
We are going to polish the playable demo up further and release it in October. We’re sorry for continuing to push it back! We just want to make sure when you finish it, you’ll crave more of it.
And on that note, we shall get back to work. Until next time!