Eyeballs, Tentacles, and Monsters
Greetings Insane Children!
American here with an update on progress with the Otherlands animations. Before that, I just want to say that I'm very sorry for the slow rate of response to people who are missing posters and other backer rewards. Since the campaign is managed by only myself and Ophelea, and she's recently been pulled away to deal with a death in the family, things related to Kickstarter updates and logistics (with both Otherlands and Akaneiro) have suffered. If you do have an urgent issue regarding an undelivered item, please contact us directly via email at contact (at) spicyhorse (dot) com, thanks. Those emails come directly to myself and Ophelea.
Now, off to Otherlands...
Our first update comes from Troy in Hollywood, who recently finished work on the latest Fantastic Four feature film and has returned his attentions to the Wagner in Otherlands animation. He and his team have completed work on additional models and props, which you can check out in the images below. Troy sends along specific details:
"I've got a simple cast of the Alice puppet out to my costume person and she's well under way. Once I have the head mechanism done I'm sending it out to my hair person to make animatable hair. I've switched gears to finish up the Wagner puppet so I can shoot his scenes along with the remaining dragon scenes in two weeks. I have the motion rig booked again and I'm pre-vising those scenes right now in Maya."
Exciting stuff! I am really looking forward to sharing some sneak peak production footage with you once that starts rolling in. Judging from the models this animation is going to be epic!
On the other side of the Pacific, Ed and his team of 3D animators have finished the 2D animatic that will guide production of their final 3D animated short based on Jules Verne. They've also shared a PREVIEW VIDEO containing some of the 3D models that will be used in the animation. Keep in mind that these are un-textured, un-animated, and may not reflect final design decisions. Get a load of that Bumby tentacle!
Random thought... we should make that a game... "Bumby Tentacle" A cross between one of those Japanese hentai games and "Goat Simulator" perhaps?
On the feature film front, I've continued talks with Tsui Hark and his team in Beijing. They previously provided a neat narrative container for a feature film - and I'm now working to get writing started on that with the screenwriter in the UK. We've encountered a few lawyer-ly obstacles, but nothing unexpected. Working together with the producer in Hollywood who we've licensed the rights from, I feel confident we'll be able to get a solution hammered out soon. These are the ways of Hollywood film development.
Lastly, I'd like to share a couple bits of info on Spicy Horse and how we've managed this project (and its funding) to date. After the most recently major announcement about our Akaneiro project - specifically the fact that we were "in the hole 1.something million dollars" - a lot of people speculated on the stability of our finances and ability to deliver on campaign promises. So much of what was being reported was so outlandish that I felt it better to ignore the BS, move forward, and provide proof of our health with tangible results. I hope this update on Otherlands answers your concerns about this campaign - and I'll be posting an update to Akaneiro later today, also with some major progress to report. Yay!
To be clear, Spicy Horse was in a tight spot financially during January of this year. The studio was only weeks away from certain death. Not a fun spot, but also not an unusual spot for an indie developer. It's also not unusual for a developer to spend their own money towards making a game - and then be "out" that money - but the way it was reported... Perhaps the oddest part was that I was (and am still) willing to reveal these facts about our business to the public. Thankfully, our investors saved the day with another infusion of capital. Since then our latest game, The Gate, has found significant success, and things are better than ever.
None of this was ever about our inability to manage our budgets or schedules. And the Otherlands funds have always been kept separate from our day-to-day studio operating budget, so that even in a worst case scenario, this campaign could have continued to deliver on its promises. Makes sense given that 99% of the work is being handled outside of Spicy Horse, right?
Anyway, the worst is behind us now, so three cheers for not dying.
To any person or "reporter" wanting to snipe at me from the anonymity and security of their Internet sofa: Please take a moment to ask yourself why companies don't normally reveal detailed information about their operations and struggles. Consider your reaction when privileged information is shared; and your power to shape the relationship that exists between gamers, press, and publisher/developers.
Do you like secretive publishing entities that operate like black boxes: taking your money, vanishing it into canceled projects nobody's ever heard of, and treating you like you can't handle the truth of how the industry functions? Based on my read of your internet chatter, you'd prefer a more transparent system in which your opinions mattered and development happened in collaboration with the audience. Then again, based on your reaction to the truth of my studio's struggles, honesty should be answered with pitchforks and torches.
You create your own monsters.
For the more rational and supportive of you, once again, many thanks for your continued kindness and support.
Going forward, I'll be spending more time working with Ophelea (and directly with KS backers) to ensure everyone's getting their rewards. And I'll check back with you all once we have more progress to report with the animations. The next update should contain some actual... animation! Imagine that ;)
From "The Hole" in Shanghai,