Game Progress Update, Voices, Live Instruments and More!
So, what the heck have we been up to since the last update?
Finishing the game, that’s what!
That’s right, ladies and gents - Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure is now playable from start to finish, and if “well, why the heck aren’t I playing it?” instantly popped into your mind, the answer is that there are still things that we’re diligently working on. Before going into detail about that, let me say that the team has been testing the game thoroughly ( bless Roxi, she’s a saint, only she knows how many times she’s played it) and, while we’ve been squashing bugs left and right, most were minor inconveniences, and none were game-breaking.
Alright, back to what we’re still plugging away at:
First and foremost, voices!
This is the big one, folks. Here’s the deal with having custom responses for each and every possible item to item or hotspot combination: that means a TON of voice acting.
We’re currently working with three, let’s call them crews - two of them Stateside (but not limited to American actors), and one here in Tirgu Mures, with local actors, in our own studio, plus the occasional collaborator.
We couldn’t be happier with the results! Here’s a sample of the audio insanity:
In case you’re wondering “Geez, Okay, what could be taking so long?”, check out the chart below:
Just be clear, we’re not comparing ourselves with either Assassin’s Creed II or the Silmarillion in anything but number of dialogue lines and words, respectively. You’re free to draw comparisons after you play the game, wink wink!
To also give you an idea of why things take so long, I receive everything in at least 3 different takes which I need to listen to closely, decide which one is closest to what I wanted, trim it, look up the sound id in a spreadsheet, copy / paste id from spreadsheet, export, rinse and repeat. It’s not the most conducive to sanity work, but I haven’t snapped and bitten anyone’s face off yet, so we’re good.
Voice acting also plays a big role in…
I’ve talked about this in the last update, and we’ve been making huge strides since! Basically, with the exception of a few things like tweaking lip sync, everything is animated and cleaned up. Cami has been editing and polishing them up in After Effects, we’ve both been writing special musical scores for each one of them, I’ve handled sound design duties, and we have our friend absurdcus mixing everything together so it sounds good.
We can’t really show you what we’ve been working on lately, since it’s final moments of the game stuff, but I can give you an idea: the ending cutscene alone is 5 minutes long, and it's EPIC. I don't use that word lightly.
I do want to give you a taste of the animations, so here’s a sneak peek at one of the intro cinematics (yep, there’s two of them), with the disclaimer that the voices, fx and music aren’t yet mixed and mastered.
Don Thacker is insane cult leader Brother Starburst, and constantly haggling him is Sister Halo, whose voice is our very own Cami!
And speaking of music, let’s transition to...
Recording live instruments!
This was one of the stretch goals I was incredibly happy to reach, an oh boy did this pay off!
Below is a video of one of my personal highlights of making this game.
Rolli is an 18 year old local artist who is incredibly talented at playing the violin, and while I did expect our first recording session to go well, I didn’t think we’d be quite as blown away as we were.
I could go on about it for paragraphs, but I did annotate the video, so you can just watch it and get the same goosebumps we did when first listening to Rolli’s performance.
That melancholic Gipsy violin is just incredible, especially given the fact that it was 100% improvisational, and it ties in greatly with the local Transylvanian vibe we’re infusing into Gibbous. Thanks again, dear backers, for making this kind of magic possible.
The game soundtrack is currently over 4 hours long, and will be mixed and mastered throughout the following couple of weeks.
Next up for live instruments recording: clarinet, piano, drums, and guitar.
...Are 99% done. We’re still testing them throughout the game, tweaking this, lowering that, deleting and replacing the occasional one ( this is my first go at sound design, but I loooove it - and I'm also very self-critical).
We've put a lot of work into making each screen's ambient sound feel different than the previous one, and the game really came alive aurally.
With the added forces of two extra programmers, we were able to do another couple of polish passes and enhance the environments even more. Here’s an example of just that: I’ve always loved how beautiful clouds’ shadows moving over hillsides looks, so we put that in the game via dynamic lighting.
Mind you, the gif is at something like 20x speed, so it’s really subtle in the game, but it really contributes to atmosphere.
Trailer and Upcoming Steam Page
We’ve also spent some time crafting our launch trailer. It’s not done yet - we’ll probably show it off in our next update, which will come sooner than this one has, that’s a promise. We’re still in the process of choosing footage and constantly tweaking it.
Until then, have this gif of Kitteh as she appears in the trailer:
We’ll soon also have a steam page, and once it’s up and running we’ll update again and ask you guys to kindly wishlist the game.
I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the absolute deluge of games that Steam has become in the past year, but the bottom line is that launching a game - especially a niche game like ours - is a crazily competitive and risky endeavor, and we’re going to need all your kind support and encouragement to make sure that Gibbous makes a splash and allows us to keep making games.
Thanks again for all your support, patience and understanding.
Digital Comic Tier
Heads up, everyone who backed us at at least the $40 level - the link to the digital comic prequel has been sent to your Kickstarter private messages.
We’re trying to avoid mass-communicating via e-mail since this whole GDPR insanity started, so if you do want to contact us at contact at gibbousgame dot com or gibbous at reea dot net, make sure you give us your written consent to contact you back ;)
Keeping in Touch
As always, we try and stay as communicative as possible even outside of the Kickstarter updates, so feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and read our blog. Also, we do our best to do hour-long team streams every week on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so check out our Twitch, or our Youtube channel for the VODs in case you can’t tune in live.
We're blown away that our little studio that hasn't even released an official game yet is receiving fan art! This was made by Rasvisboi, and we were impressed by how many game, team and stream-related Easter-eggs he managed to squeeze into it. We love it, dude!
All is well in 3.0’s world. She's been taking her time, moving from chair to chair, bothering everyone equally. Well, not everyone - she only does this to girls; make of that what you will.
We’ve even had the couch cleaned so she can more efficiently spread her layers upon layers of shed fur all over it.
Back to it!
Alright, these voices won’t edit and implement themselves. It’s really close now, guys.
Liviu, Cami, Nicu, Roxi, Orsi and 3.0
As has been our tradition, we can’t end an update without some shout-outs to some good indie adventures out there! And there are quite a bunch, so let’s take a look at them:
Unforeseen Incidents is a classic-style point and click by Backwoods Entertainment which I’ve been enjoying quite a bit in between work sessions. It’s a bit Twin Peaks-y, a bit X-Files-y, and comic book-y all over. Worth your time and dime! Click the pic to go to its GoG page.
Detective Gallo is a comedy point and click with great art, and yeah that’s a chicken dressed up in a detective’s coat, how cool is that? Click the pic to go to its GoG page.
And, last but definitely not least, Gray Dawn is the result of 3 years of work of a personal friend, and it’s… it’s stunning. It’s hard to believe that - much like us throughout most of Gibbous’ development - Gray Dawn is the work of just three people.
Just check out the trailer on their Steam page, it’s AAA-looking stuff, and having played it I can confirm that it’s the good kind of surreal. I think Gray Dawn and Gibbous are the two indie games that draw most from local Romanian aesthetics, music and myths. Click the pic to go to Steam its page.
That’s it! See you next update.