Hello again, Thunderbeam backers. It's been way too long since we have posted an update, but it's been a pretty gray slog of a winter for the project. Work continues though, and here's a peek at what's currently going on with the game.
Paul put in a lot of work to get us to our current state, but the game isn't really beta testable until we have what I'd consider a "vertical slice" of the gameplay- something that includes psychic power usage, container objects, item trading with NPC's, death and unconsciousness, and our randomly generated characters actually appearing within the game. Each one of these game aspects is what we'd call an epic task, they each involve new low-level code in the engine, additional UI, and a lot of new scripting hooks so lowly mortals like myself can use each new element in level design. Once we do have those features though, we will be able to seek additional funding if needed, and maybe even approach partners for help with localizing for other languages, testing, and porting the game to other platforms. Not to mention finally getting user testing feedback from those of you who don't mind having the final game spoiled a little by playing early versions.
Another thing that's happening is that a "Thunderbeam" trademark we applied for back at the beginning of the project needs to show some usage soon or we will lose it. It's not totally vital to have a trademark on your name as a game, but if you have any measure of success there are intellectual property trolls who will come crawling out to sue you for using your own name. So, I'd very much like to hang on to the trademark if possible. The plan is to take a part of the game that's mostly done- the random cadet generator- and add it to the app store as a free download. The idea is that you could generate cadets, save them to iCloud and then recruit them into the game once it's released. Saints Row IV basically did the same thing with their free initiation station, and it was fairly fun to play with.
I've hinted at it for a long time, but once we finally release the game, there are plans to do a simultaneous release of the Soundtrack by The Octopus Project, coinciding with a show/release party. The Octopus Project have been keeping extremely busy lately, and are about to release their soundtrack to David and Nathan Zellner's new film Kumiko The Treasure Hunter. Both the movie and the soundtrack are excellent and I recommend them both highly.
I'm also doing another Hexadecagon-style audio video performance with the band in April in Austin at The Museum of Human Achievement. More info about that will be posted soon at http://shapesandothershap.es
Finally, I'd like to give a warm welcome to Eliott Lash, who has been doing some programming on the game over the last few weeks while Paul and James take sabbaticals. Eliott has already kind of revolutionized the way I work on Thunderbeam levels by creating a room-connection mapping tool. James and Paul should be back to work on tasks shortly, but I'm really excited to see what else Eliott can do for the project, since he has a lot of experience working on iOS games, as well as experience with the specific technology stack that we are utilizing on this game.
Oh, one last thing! James made another little game a while back called Frankenfoods which has been languishing for a bit while life seems to keep intruding into game development time. Well, the game is finished and we plan on releasing it soon. Stay tuned to this page and the Karakasa Games blog and we'll make sure you are all the first to get it. We'd love your feedback. You can also follow us on Twitter for news & tidbits as we keep punching our tiny path towards glory.
Take care and stay warm, everybody-