November 2016 Update
Hey everyone, we wanted to give you all an update and let you know the status of things. Most of you have probably guessed that the game is still not quite ready yet, there is no beating around the bush on that. We wanted to let you know where everything stands at the moment.
First off, we are still moving full force at finishing the game as quickly as possible. Nothing has changed there. We absolutely hate making excuses, but we know you all are wondering what is going on. The game is still being worked on everyday, but obviously we are gonna need more time. We are reluctant to set another exact day, because there are a few variables that have to be figured out. One being the fact that SAG-AFTRA(Actors union) is currently on strike and the majority of our voice cast is SAG-AFTRA members. We are not blaming the strike for the reason the game is still not ready, only that it is one of the variables that need to be worked out. Hopefully the strike will get wrapped up in the coming weeks and we can get our voice cast in the studio and record.
Secondly, working out the end of the game has taken longer than expected as well. Some art is still being finalized and the last puzzle mechanics are needing some TLC as well. We also still have some creative death sequences(which we know Space Quest fans love) to work out. We still plan to let you guys(that backed at a high enough level) vote on these along with some artwork voting stuff very soon.
One of the biggest reasons for falling behind this year is due to having to go back and work out a lot of bugs. We definitely still plan to beta test the game with backers that backed at a high enough level, but we want to work out the obvious bugs first. Some of you out there that have worked in game development before probably know one of the pitfalls that can happen. It can be summed up in four words, readjusting previously working code. If not, I'll shed some light on what we've experienced.
SpaceVenture is laid out in four major sections, almost like chapters, because you can re-visit most areas. There are lots of mini sequences that connect three of the four sections together. One being the fact that we want you to be able to travel between pieces of the game freely. Think along the lines of Space Quest 3,4, and 5. The first section of the game is the Nostradamus area that we showcased a teeny bit of in our demo a couple of years back. Once we completed that section we moved to the next, and then next, etc..
The majority of the game is being created on top of our custom built event system that was made through the Unity engine. The event system allows us to tell the characters and scene elements to do anything we want without having to "re-invent the wheel" by reprogramming the same types of code over and over. As we've reached the scenes nearing the end of the game, we've had to adjust the code of the event system to allow for newer features. This is because we want SpaceVenture to be a unique experience from start to finish and not feel like a hidden objects game.
In changing code and adding new features, this introduced lots of bugs in scenes that were finalized earlier in the game. Going back to earlier sections of the game and ironing out all the wrinkles has been a huge undertaking. We know that a lot of you are excited about beta testing as well. We are getting close to that point, but need to get this obvious bugs worked out first.
HOW THE PROJECT IS DOING FINANCIALLY
We have been pushing VERY hard to keep our belts tight throughout the entire process of working on SpaceVenture, but as you can probably imagine, things are getting down to the wire. The Cluck Yegger game did help bring some funds into the project which is good. Cluck Yegger has been selling on Steam and in the Apple iOS store, but we've made a pretty good chunk of change by selling it on bundle websites, such as this one.
Ultimately, we still have the funds for our rewards/shipping(as we estimated), along with our voice actors and paid team members. We have had a couple of artists and programmers that have been willing to work for credits in the game so that has helped move us forward as well. Needless to say though, we are working extremely hard to get this game out quickly so we do not run out of funds. The good news is, we are close!
AN UPDATE ON SCOTT MURPHY
Some of you may know that Scott Murphy had a really bad year in 2015. He addressed some of this in a blog post that can be found here. 2016 has not been any better for Scott as he has had some big health problems that has affected his quality of life. Unfortunately, this has severely hindered his ability to work with the SpaceVenture team. Mark and myself have done our best to keep everything moving towards the finish line, but needless to say, it has been hard without having our third partner. Let me make it clear, that we do NOT blame the fact that the game is still not finished on Scott. But we did want you all to know that he has had to take some time away to work out the things he is dealing with.
From the game being completed perspective, the good news is that with the exception of some final grammar edits, the script is done. The game design has been done for awhile now. We are really pulling for Scott to get back on his feet and rejoin the team full time.
I know I'm being very vague in my above comments regarding Scott. This is because I don't feel like it's my place to share his personal challenges. Hopefully, he can address everything in another blog post for you all at some point. We hope you all will be understanding of him and his privacy.
WHEN WILL THE GAME BE RELEASED?
We are reluctant to give another exact release date, but I can tell you that we are close guys. We just need to work out the last few variables that I mentioned above and we will have this game in the can. No one is more excited to have the game done then us. We have enjoyed working on it, but you can imagine the amount of stress involved here. We hate knowing that we have disappointed so many people. It pains us to know that you all gave us money and we have still yet to deliver the product in this amount of time. We hope you all will stay positive, we need as much positivity thrown our way as possible right now.
ARTWORK FROM THE FINAL SCENES
We don't have as much to show you as I would like due to a huge part of our time being focused on fixing bugs in the game. We also are gonna try and not be too spoilery here because what I'm about to show you happens in the final sequence of the game, we'll let you draw your own conclusions.
Here is another look at a scene that we've not shown you before. It is in a close to being finished state, but the artwork is still having final details added.
EPISODE 39 OF THE BI-WEEKLY PODCAST BY THE SPACE QUEST HISTORIAN
This is it! The end. The REAL end! After 12 ‘real’ episodes and 4 Xtra episodes, season 3 finally rolls to a close. There’s some special bloopers and outtakes from the season, as well as finally capping off the Music Talk with Brandon Blume, James Mulvale, and Ken Allen, as well as the ‘merits of the Space Quest series’ chat with Francisco Gonzalez. See you around the chronostream!
Thanks for all of your support everyone!
Chris Pope a.k.a your humble local intergalactic SpacePope