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An open-world action adventure game set in a simulated world that does not belong to humans.
An open-world action adventure game set in a simulated world that does not belong to humans.
4,091 backers pledged €121,480 to help bring this project to life.

January Recap - A Story of Humans

Posted by Twirlbound (Creator)

Hello hello!

With the release year officially started for Pine, we can definitely feel the pressure building up, but also excitement to give the game to everyone. We’re building a world full of interesting areas and stories to explore. We are building the main quest into the game (which means story) and continue our work on improved combat. Here are some highlights of January, of which one is a reveal we can finally share!

We've revamped, improved and updated Hue, Pine's hero!

A while back we shared a teaser preview of something bigger to come – we are glad to say that we’ve been working to update Hue!

Old Hue, new Hue!
Old Hue, new Hue!

There are a few core reasons:

  • We wanted the anatomy and physique of the Humans to be much more unique and Pine-worthy. What would have happened to their bodies if they indeed lived in seclusion for this long, not hunting at all?
  • We wanted Hue to look more memorable. We looked for defining silhouettes and ended up on the unique wooden plaques in the hair of Pine's humans, as well as Hue's distinct ponytail.
  • We wanted the humans to have an outfit that makes sense in Pine's world and in the context of their habitat.
  • Hue's technical quality lagged behind on all other models and later characters, so this needed an update anyway.

This was no quick decision, obviously. The Humans underwent a lot of iteration and research. We wanted Hue to be found somewhere on the spectrum of Humans of now and Humans of old, to highlight the different evolutionary approach on Albamare. 

The new Hue is something that will need getting used to, just like we had to for a few weeks – but we think there’s much more character, depth and uniqueness to the new Hue.

The other Humans are being developed more too

Alongside Hue, we did work on the other members of the tribe. Their clothing, culture and bone structure/physique was important to get right for the starting base of the story. Here are two examples: 

The story has spawned a few more creatures

Not only Humans, but some other unique creatures will be featured in the story too. This jolly fellow is one of them that you’ll meet along your quest!

The Vaults got a large art pass

While last month we showed a blockout of the Vaults, we have improved them further and done a large art pass on both. Here are some examples of materials for the Vault in the swamps:

The Vault in the mountain area is very moody and dark and holds a very unique secret in the area of materials and mining… 

Combat editor

For a while we’ve been working on improving the combat a lot. As mentioned, this entails making all moves have more momentum in any direction so that the whole is much more dynamic. To tweak everything to perfection, we’ve built a combat editor, allowing us to tweak (per frame!) where the hitboxes are, what damage each attack does and what effects plays. Check it out!


We’ll keep moving forward with the world, the story and the combat. Everything is coming together already and we hope we’re building something truly special for all of you.

As always, all feedback, questions and comments are welcome. Feel free to reach out through pine[at], on IndieDB, on Reddit, on our Discord server, Facebook or Twitter

Demonkid, Alexander Meeks, and 65 more people like this update.


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    1. Benedict Mende about 12 hours ago

      I really don't like the new character model...

    2. Akule

      I like that you took the time to consider this. Keep up the good work.

    3. amigacooke on

      Video game dates are estimates and they are always optimistic, in some cases wildly optimistic.

      It's not backers who should be adjusting their expectations, it's developers, because they are in the best place to judge.

    4. Josh on

      Love the new Hue. Can't wait for the game. Still holding out hope for a PS4 release. I don't play games on computer, so it will just be a shelf decoration if no console, sadly! :-(

      I love everything we are getting from these updates. Take your time and make sure everything works as expected!

    5. Missing avatar

      Protected on

      New Hue has grown on me a bit since yesterday - really, I don't have an issue with the body (it's the head that's a little uncanny); you mentioned variations in loadout, pose and expression tweaks, which would be interesting to see.

      I'm commenting again just to say that I have backed many successful videogame crowdfunding campaigns here and through three other platforms, and not a single one has released on time. Videogame release dates are always estimates, unless you have a publisher mandating a release date (which by the very nature of crowdfunding is not going to happen here), in which case you end up with a lot of launch day bugs.

      Just adjust your expectations a little, be patient and it's perfectly safe to back the videogame projects of reliable teams!

    6. Twirlbound Creator on

      @Tom van der Spek: Thanks so much! We'll continue to make it a truly special world, including the Humans. :)

    7. Tom van der Spek

      Thanks for your reply! As I said, I will get used of the new Hue. And... it is wonderful how the team manage to improve Pine. It looks like this will become a fantastic game to play!
      I am not in a hurry... take all the time you need to make this game experience even better!

    8. Twirlbound Creator on

      Thanks for all the comments everyone! We are definitely getting a mixed response, as expected. We can definitely tweak based on all the comments and will do so accordingly as we move on with the other humans too!

      @Tom: It was definitely needed to update him. The Humans lacked any form of characterization in Pine's world, even though it's a world about species and evolution. Besides, the character's overall quality lagged much behind the rest of the game as the tools and our skills improved too, so old Hue was almost like a placeholder anyway. It's fairly impossible for us at this stage to make the main character customizable in that way. But we'll just have to make sure Hue fits everyone's desires as much as possible. We'll keep you posted!

      @Wim Jansen: Definitely not using 5! That image is there for reference of our process indeed. We did explore the 'evolutionary' course as we saw it and moved along the spectrum, that's what that image is from. Current Hue ended up somewhere between 2 and 3.

      @Skysong: sorry to hear that - we'll try to make sure he will grow on you more easily too! We think with better posing this would have been a much less jarring surprise too, and ingame there's so much more life and heart to Hue, we hope you can get into that. Without spoiling too much we'll try to share a bit more of this too.

      @Shannon L: Thanks for that feedback! The mouth was posed a bit off here we noticed, but we'll have another critical look at it, because we can only agree. Thank you!!!

      @Kevin: Soon!

      @amigacooke: Sorry to hear that. Estimating a game's release date 2 years in advance is nearly impossible, as most of the game still needs to be made (which Kickstarter enabled us to do) - we wouldn't have wanted to give you an unfinished product. The delay is definitely for the better so that we can actually deliver what we promised, we hope you can see that in these updates.

    9. amigacooke on

      Could the hue and cry be headed off by making Hue's appearance customisable?

      I only backed two video game KickStarters in 2017, both of which estimated a release in 2018 and both of which have slipped to 2019 at least.

      Congratulations, for me the, in most cases, obvious mIs-estimation of release date has poisoned the well. No video games backed in 2018, it will take something spectacular to get me to back from now on.

    10. Kevin on

      I just can't take it anymore... how much money do I have to throw at you to get a release date?!

    11. Missing avatar

      Andreas Trageser on

      I think Hue looks great. As long you not used the extremely overused sexist cliche of a football player armor with some skin over it and the curvy fan service on the other.Ia m so sick tired of those models in way too many games.
      It was obvious that the old Hue was just a working placeholder.
      His scrawny look is much more natural and having the hair simply tied into a ponytail feels more normal in a place without barber shops.
      In a world with a variety of anthropomorphic animals does an 'older' look more sense as even today a lot of humans obviosuly are still not proud of our closest relatives. ;)
      I just hope that future updates will not contain too many spoilers for those who prefer to wait. Thank you so much guys and keep up the good work. :)

    12. Leigh L.

      I love the redesign of Hue and the humans in general! I agree that it was needed change, and I think they're much more interesting now. The old Hue lacked a lot of personality for me, so I like that the new one has more distinction and character.

      I think the only thing that I really dislike about the new model is how Hue's mouth has changed. There's something about it that seems more cartoony and "pursed" than the original. I think that change alone, losing some of the softness in how his mouth is settled comfortably in his face, is what puts Hue in uncanny valley territory for me.

      I love everything else, though! The new hair makes me wish for some way to choose between a few slightly different hair options, either in the beginning or unlocked during the game's progress. I don't know if it's possible with how the game is built, but it would be a feature I'd be extremely interested in if it is.

    13. Skysong on

      I will agree with the apelike comment. Although I can hope he will grow on me. I've had several reactions like this that I just couldn't adapt to. Whether or not I get a game is partly based on who and what I'm playing. If the character himself is far too jarring, I can't enjoy the game no matter how good it is and tend to give it away or never play it again if I can't transfer it. If this Hue stays like this, I will likely gift my key to my sister who doesn't seem to have the uncanny valley creep outs at some games like I do. A shame, I had really been looking forward to this one.

    14. Wim Jansen

      Hmm.. I do not mind the new Hue, although I agree the hairstyle is an improvement.
      I assume the series of faces (1 through 5) is only there as a reference; the '5' column looks distinctly apelike (big ears, protruding jaw); I really hope you are not using that...

    15. Missing avatar

      suddenspaceships on

      New Hue is fantastic! While I was initially taken aback, I think new Hue is actually much better. He's gone from looking like a stereotypical "youthful good guy hero" to someone who looks like he's spent his whole life living in the world of Pine.

      I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but it looks like he's got a purpose now. I feel like he can use that sword he's holding, and has a few stories to tell, you know? He looks capable, and I like it! Old Hue didn't have any personality. He was just a vessel for the player to inhabit.

      I hope you keep new Hue, but it's your show, I'll enjoy the game either way :)

    16. Missing avatar

      Cassie A. on

      I'm another person who liked the old Hue more, but that's pretty much entirely because you happened to choose a hairstyle I really hate rather than actually disliking this version of him in general. If it was the same model with the old hair, or the ponytail was longer or his hair was loose I'd be totally fine with it. If it was tied down towards his neck I'd still be pretty 'Your hair is too short to bother tying back, kid' (it's a reaction I have in real life too, he's at the stage where I won't pull my own hair back even if I want it off my neck because it just feels too dumb to me) but it wouldn't bug me as much over all.

    17. Tom van der Spek

      Yeah, it is strange what an avatar in a game can do. From the very beginning I liked Hue very much, I felt I could 'creep into his skin' while playing Pine. In a command I even called him 'cute'. To me he feels like a good, close friend and a symphatic person, I like to help.
      So to me, beeing confronted to a 'new' Hue, came to me more or less as a shock. It looks like a friend of me is killed... and it looks like if more backers here has more or less the same feelings.
      My question is, is it so vital to change Hue? As reason you said: "The new Hue fits better in the invironment of Pine." To me the 'old' Hue fits well into it too. After all, he doesn't look as a bussines man in a suit, isn't it?
      Ok, I will get used to the 'new' Hue, but I feel sad the 'old' one is dead... Pity, really pity! :(

      Realize it is not too late to turn things back as so many backers embrace the 'old' Hue. I
      For example: is there a solution possible that, at the beginning of the game, you get the possibility to choose with which Hue you want to play, the 'old' of the 'new' one?

    18. Twirlbound Creator on

      @AcesofDeath7: that makes sense, we see what you mean! A lot of this is his expressions and pose in the renders too, however; he looks much more like the old Hue in that regard if you strip away the sword/shield/bow and combat pose. We'll make a render soon to show that too!

    19. Twirlbound Creator on

      Thanks for all your comments, everyone! It means a lot that you all care.

      We knew this announcement was gonna be a tough one, because Hue is obviously such an important part of Pine - and changing that means changing the 'face' of Pine. We've worked on it for months and although at first we couldn't nail it down, we realized it was also because we were so used to the 'old' Hue; a character that, for us, wouldn't be out of place in a modern-world cartoon. We think that with Pine's world of species and evolution, humans deserved a similar treatment - something with more thought behind it, something more recognizable.

      A render of Hue doesn't do him justice entirely - his movement and expressions do a lot for the character too. Additionally, over the course of the game he'll be wearing a lot of different outfits, including an updated version of the 'old' outfit, so the vulnerability here also comes from the fact that this is the first 'tribe' outfit from the game.

      Hue isn't your typical fighter, nor is the human tribe a typical hunters-gatherer's community, and we wanted to reflect that in character art too. The new Hue, for us, supports the story much better than the much more generic 'old' Hue, and we hope that'll be clear to all of you too when you go through the game! :)

      Of course we do take your comments to heart. We are getting a lot of positive comments too (especially on Twitter, Facebook and from marketing) so we'll hold off with big changes - a change like this needs some time, just like it needed time for us.

    20. AcesofDeath7

      I have to agree, old Hue is the best Hue! He was the main reason I liked the game from the start. Now we have a Hue that has already seen the hardships of the world without our help.

    21. Missing avatar

      Protected on

      I want to add that I agree with everyone in that you guys seem to be doing a great job of explaining the development process and putting a lot of work into making the best possible game, including the protagonist for sure, and I appreciate that as a backer.

      howtaobrowncow makes a really good point about Hue's look that I hadn't rationalized. Maybe it has to do with the half of the character pertaining to his relationship with the player, rather than with the world.

      There are more than 4000 of us so a few critical comments aren't significant enough to be representative of all backers as a whole, of course, but it's something to keep in mind.

    22. Missing avatar

      howtaobrowncow on

      It's strange, I started out thinking, "Ok, sure, he's fine." I didn't even clearly remember the original look. But the more I looked at the old and new pictures, the more I realized that I liked the old one more. It took me a while to pin it down, but the old Hue's combination of the hair style and clothing softened his look. He looks warmer, fuzzier, friendlier, and better protected by his layers which subtly suggests more safety and security. The new Hue is more stripped-down and streamlined; the lines are cleaner, but he looks thinner, weaker, and more vulnerable. This is clearly super subjective, so take it with all the grains of salt. But if you asked me which of these characters I'd want to *be*, based on these images, I'd pick the first Hue. That said, by all means follow your muses and make the game *you* want. I look forward to playing it! :-)

    23. Tom van der Spek

      Great update! But I fear I have to share the opinion of the others here. I also like the 'old' Hue more then the 'new' one.
      If this is the opinion of a majority of the backers, perhaps it is a good idea to bring back the 'old' Hue?

    24. Claude M. on

      Manbuns? Seriously? Good grief, had I known that there's so much soy in this team, I would have never backed this project...

    25. Twirlbound Creator on

      @Skysong: Sorry to hear that! The direct comparison might be a problem here too. Old Hue looked too much like a plain Human with no interesting characteristics for us, so we wanted to give the Humans of Albamare a 'Pine-worthy' evolutionary background too. I hope he will grow on you like he did on us!

    26. Twirlbound Creator on

      @Protected: Let's hope so! A big change like this always needs some time, hopefully it will land for you too.

      @Rengin: Thank you, that's awesome to hear!

    27. Skysong on

      Thanks for the update! I like the game progression but I really don't like the changes to Hue. He went from a cute kid to creepy uncanny valley. I may hold out for Hue mods before I play the game.

    28. Rengin Tümer on

      Just wanted to say that you guys are doing a great job at keeping everyone updated in the process of development! Can't wait to try the game :)

    29. Missing avatar

      Protected on

      My first impression of the new Hue is negative in comparison. However, it may be that, like you wrote, I'll get used to it.

    30. Twirlbound Creator on

      @Demonkid: Fair point, we've heard that a few times! It might be his loadout in the render too, however; through animation and expressions we're ensuring he'll keep that important characteristic in the game. Especially in the start of the game, Hue should look innocent enough. :)

    31. Demonkid on

      The new Hue has lost that ‘innocent’ look the old Hue had. But over all its a better model.