Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 25, 2012.

Update #46

March Update!

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Hey everyone,

It’s been another busy month working on Shadowgate. We imagine that you are just as anxious as we are to get the game released and, as we mentioned previously, we’re definitely working hard to get the game to beta – adding final features as well as doing a lot of bug fixes. Thank you so very much for your patience!!!

Development

Here are SOME of the things that we finished or are in the middle of working on this past month…

  • Achievement support is in (and ready to be hooked up to Steam) for all 24 possible achievements 
  • A second pass has been done on all game text 
  • Help screens are finalized 
  • Tons of work on our 2D animations has been done (mostly monsters and such)
  • Hidden Death sequences have been redesigned for better functionality 
  • Original NES music mode is now in the game (Yay!)
  • We revamped the tutorial framework completely and it is now in and the script is being tied to it 
  • Additional torch, darkness and lighting level scripting has been added
  • The Hint framework is implemented and is being scripted 
  • Secondary puzzles and quests are being polished 
  • Additional room particles have been added
  • Burning effects (on any burnable object) is in
  • Spell effects are mostly complete
  • Lots and lots of bug fixes 

New Stuff 

Two additional things happened this month. First, we gave the Zojoi site a complete makeover so feel free to check it out!

Second, and MUCH more important, we're now working with master painter Damian Audino! Damian will continue the fine tradition of creating awesome art that our good friend Chris Cold started! We're THRILLED to have him and we’ll be talking more about what he's up to in coming months :) In the meantime, check out his amazing work here and take a look at one of his recent paintings from the world of Shadowgate… 

Rewards  

The boxes came in a few weeks ago and they look great. We didn’t want to give Adept or higher backers a wimpy paper box so we created more of a boardgame style box that is perfect for displaying your favorite first-person adventure game! These will be individually numbered and we couldn't be happier with them! 

Also, after a number of back and forths with the printer, the Art of Shadowgate soft and hardcovers are ready to print!

Thank you! 

We very much appreciate you being patient with us. As we’ve said before, we are amazed at your support and just want to make the best game we can based on your generous backing!

The Zojoi Team


Update #45

February Update!

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Alpha

In between digging out of the big snows that have plagued the East Coast (we got over 16 inches a couple of weeks ago in central Virginia), we've been very productive this past month. We have reached our Alpha milestone! 

This is huge because it means that every game play-related feature is in (in one form or another) and now we can concentrate on working toward our beta. It took a little longer than we expected but we’re pretty happy with the results!

Development

While there are tons of things that have been done, here are just a few of the bigger things we accomplished since our last update...

  • Darkness: This feature required all-hands on deck for implementation. It touched all aspects of the game: graphics, scripting, and PAC engine. Take a look at what Sarah has put together in the latest video update to see how this is looking. We are still tweaking this graphically.
  • Organizational Refactoring: Our programmers have refactored the structure of game files. This is so we can easily support the various difficulty levels, tutorial mode, localization into other languages, etc. More of an under the hood piece of work, but important nonetheless.
  • Animation Prefabs and Spawn Points: We have added spawn points to all the rooms so that differing animations can play as necessitated by the script. This allows us to share one animation or particle effect across multiple scenes without having to add it to every scene. A real savings on the footprint for each scene load.
  • Animations and particles: We continue to finalize our 2D animations and insert the particles effects that are needed for object specific interactions (like burning a burnable object) and various room ambiance (like fog and rain).

So now we move on toward our Beta Milestone and the full implementation of features that are only mostly in the game. This includes the following...  

  • Achievements: The support for our in-game achievements is currently being added to the game engine. We need to then input this into the script where necessary and hook in the visual display of each on the achievement page. And of course, part of this process is to add the support hooks for external achievement systems like Steam.  
  • Tutorial: While the design, xml script and assets are completed, we will be tying this together with the code (based upon the refactoring mentioned above) and begin testing it. 
  • Visual/Audio Tweaks: We are going through the game and polishing all the animated sequences. This includes adding missing audio, tweaking animation durations, and adding delays so things sync up properly.
  • Play Test and Polish: Before we release the game to beta testers, we intend to play test and polish Shadowgate as much as possible to make it an awesome game.
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Rewards 

We now have word that our game boxes have been cleared from the Port of Richmond. Talk about your slow boats! Hopefully we'll get our eyes on them soon! 

And again, if you didn’t get your Humble key, contact us at contact@zojoi.com and we'll be sure to get that sorted out.

Lastly 

We are thankful for the continued support you have shown for our small company. We know it’s taking longer to develop than we had hoped but with the addition of extra rooms and features, we feel that we are giving you a much better game. Feel free to drop us a line (or post a comment) and let us know what you think. 

We very much appreciate your feedback! 

Karl and the Zojoi Team


Update #44

January Update

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Happy New Year!

We hope you have had a fun-filled holiday season and that your New Year has started off right.

We've had some great success this year already, Shadowgate was greenlit on Steam! Thanks to everyone who helped support us with your Up Vote and getting the message out! We were greenlit in 8 weeks and the comments have been phenomenal! Here are some interesting numbers from our Steam Greenlight page, including (in parenthesis) a comparison to the average top 50 games that were on Greenlight at the time:

  • Unique visitors: 47,987 (32,434)
  • Yes Votes: 14,626 (9,838)
  • Favorites: 1,231 (630)

We will be getting the official Shadowgate Steam page up soon, as well as a page on the Zojoi site to allow folks that didn’t participate in the Kickstarter to pre-order the game.

Development

So far we've been busy putting in the remaining features for our Alpha delivery. It looks like we will most likely declare Alpha within the next 10 days.

Cool things just added...

  • Death and Game Over: We've hooked in the game-over functionality which drops you from the game and back into the main menu. Also the death sequences have just been linked in. This means that doing something foolhardy during gameplay (like jumping in that deep, deadly, lava-filled chasm) now matters and will end your adventure for good! As you might imagine, this now makes playtesting that much more difficult!
  • Cinematic Cut Scenes: The cut-scenes are built and have been added to the game script. You can now see and experience Lakmir in all his magical glory! It's awesome to see the story unfold during game play!
  • Map Features: The map is now fully functional with correct tie-ins to each location. In addition, interesting items that you run across will show on the map in the form of "notes". These can be used to help solve puzzles or remind you of unique areas that you visited.
  • Inventory: We've revamped the inventory to handle objects in a more efficient manner. We've also added an indicator for items that are currently equipped by the player.

Relax and take a look at the video that Sarah has compiled showing some of the latest features.

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 As you can see, we've made great headway and will be at Alpha soon. So what's left to do you might ask? Well, I'm glad you did...

  • The Darkness: A key aspect to Shadowgate centers on managing your torch supply and keeping the darkness at bay. This means that we need to control the light level in each room based upon your torch level and any ambient light in the room. When it's too dark- it’s deadly to a player. We are adding this logic for gameplay during low-light and no-light situations as we speak.
  • Winning: Shadowgate would not be much of a game if there wasn't a payoff to solving the adventure. By this, we mean appropriately handling the awards, achievements, and other various and sundry things one gets after saving the world!
  • Final Assets: Placeholder animation and audio is being replaced with final assets. The real trick to this is syncing the audio with the animation. We'll be doing this from now until the game is released I am sure!
  • Play Test and Polish: Be assured that we intend to play test and polish this game as much as possible! To that end, we will be setting up our beta test soon. So stay tuned for an upcoming announcement about that.

Rewards

We have word that our game boxes have just shown up at the Port of Los Angeles from places overseas. The box design is awesome! We are in the process of getting these shipped to the Port of Richmond and then to our staging area where we plan to collate the boxes once the game is ready.

The Humble Store keys went out a few weeks ago to all our backers. These keys allow you to claim your digital rewards. Please let us know if you did not receive yours or if you have any issues. You can always email us here!

Lastly

You guys are awesome! We want to thank you for your continuing support, especially as we start our final push to get the game completed!

Karl and the Zojoi Team


Update #43

Mid-December update: Rewards links and more!

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Hey everyone,

Development

First, I hope you got a chance to read last months update as it went into where we are at in development. We are still on schedule for finishing the Alpha build this month. Then we have a dozen or so things to finish for Beta so we'll keep you up to date on that as it progresses!

Rewards

We've teamed up with the Humble Bundle folks to create individual backer pages where you can go to get your rewards (including the game) as they are ready. Depending on your pledge level, links to the following rewards (zip files) are up on each page for the following:

  • Shadowgate wallpapers: 5 wallpapers + 4 bonus wallpapers in 9 different resolutions  
  • 2014 Calendar: 14 months (with and without the calendar overlay) in 9 different resolutions  
  • Digital Map: A digital version of the cloth map in 9 different resolutions

How to redeem:

  • Go to https://www.humblebundle.com/store/keyresender and enter the email address you used for pledging to the Kickstarter.
  • You will receive an email containing a link to your personal download page.
  • You can download your rewards from this page.
  • However, if you would like to come back later without having to use the link, you can CLAIM your page by either creating a new Humble account or logging in to an existing Humble account. 

Other notes: 

  • For those who purchased add-on wallpapers, we will send you those a link separately. 
  • Not all rewards may be shown on the page (for example, you will get a separate email for the iOS version when that is ready).
  • If you never got a soundtrack key, email us at contact@zojoi.com

Audio Bonus

Recently we hooked up with uber-composer VanStratho to produce an epic metal version of some of the classic NES Shadowgate themes. We're excited about featuring it in the game. Of course, you get a chance for a first listen so enjoy!

Steam Greenlight

The support on our Steam Greenlight page has been phenomenal! In addition to the awesome comments, we've received over 11,000 Up Votes and are currently ranked #3 out of nearly 1,500 submissions! Thank you so much for spreading the word!

Lastly

We would be remiss not to thank you once again for supporting our small company. We are always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have so please drop us a line at contact@zojoi.com.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Karl and the Zojoi team

No doubt, the Warlock Lord's Christmas Tree :)
No doubt, the Warlock Lord's Christmas Tree :)

Update #42

November Development Update!

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18 likes
Greetings!

Wow, time sure does fly! It's been almost a year since we achieved our funding goal. And so far, it's been just over 11 months of full-blown development! The past year has seen a lot of extremely hard work by the team and I think we are starting to see the finish line. Let’s talk about what we’ve been working on since the last update …

Alpha 

We are close to releasing an internal Alpha of the game. This will mean that we have every feature that is crucial to game play in the game and it is in a playable state from the beginning to the very end (though with some placeholder assets.)

Programming - In last month we have completed 95% of the scripting support. We have also added settings and options including load/save, key binds, and audio settings as well as fixing lots of bugs and solving performance issues. Underway are some torch tasks (lighting the UI torch from the room or inventory), a few reconfigurations to the Map (allowing for selecting differing levels, zooming, and returning to the selected room), and the addition of programming hooks for death and cut scenes.

Cut Scenes, Art and Animation - Chris Cold has wrapped up all room/item art! This is a major milestone as Chris started working on this in the middle of 2012. He’s done an outstanding job creating dynamic new rooms as well as reinterpreting iconic locations and monsters from the original. Wang Ling is about 2/3 done with the cut scenes, deaths and hidden deaths. We hope to have these done by year’s end. These are looking great- as is evidenced in the last update which shows the intro cut scene. Our animators have been taking the art, voice over and music from Rich Douglas and combining them into the scenes. They have also been working on rigging our 2D animations so that the creatures of Shadowgate come to life. Both of these tasks are very tedious but we are hoping we will have these complete by the end of the year as well!

Game Scripting - Game play for the ‘Master’ level of difficulty (more on this below) is completed and scripted. We are now in a continuous test and fix mode for any logic holes or incomplete interactions we run across. Additionally, we are adding sounds and animations to the puzzle logic as well scripting out the Tutorial screens.

Audio - We have recorded all the voice overs and Rich Douglas is hard at work composing scores for each of the cut scenes. The atmosphere this adds is truly epic! BTW, check out these new pieces of audio Rich put together for this update.

Here's an 9 minute score built from the cut scenes. 

... and a fun death mash up featuring just a few of the ways you can hear yourself die :) 

Beta 

Once we achieve Alpha, we will incorporate all final assets and fully implement all the non-critical features and then build a Beta version. Our current plan is to reach Beta in January and then work specifically on bug fixing, performance testing and polishing with hopes of shipping on PC and Mac sometime soon after. We are working as fast as we can but we also want to make sure we give the areas that still need development enough time. There are quite a number of things on our Beta list but here are just a few of the major things we need to wrap before we can reach our Beta: 

Stretch Goals  - We have not only added our first stretch goal (The Towers) to the game but are including some of the second stretch goal (The Catacombs) as well! We felt that the Shadowgate experience needed to include a subset of what we envisioned for that second unfunded stretch goal.

Difficulty Levels - We are implementing difficulty levels in a way that makes the game accessible to all levels of players. Each of our levels: Apprentice, Adept, and Master, will have a unique game play experience that uses differing game scripts. These scripts range from simpler, more forgiving puzzles and game play to harder, more involved adventuring. This allows for an easier entry for first-time players while also including expanded versions of game play with more intricate puzzles for those who like their game play more challenging. Combined with changes to torch and overall quest times, this will offer three different play experiences.

Achievements - Shadowgate provides a unique set of challenges when supporting achievements; especially since we want to ensure any awards attained fit within our world. Whether you are trying to find every death or are attempting to play the game in the shortest time possible, you will be honored appropriately. 

We remain committed to producing the highest quality product possible. We are sure that you will agree that the quality of the product warrants the additional time we'll take to finish the game! 

Rewards 

As some of you may be aware by now, we have started shipping out another batch of rewards. We are bundling each backer's swag as efficiently as we can but because some rewards are drastically different in sizes (posters and boxes for example) we must do multiple shipments. So posters, card games, and shirts have been sent out domestically, but when we went to ship the same package internationally, we ran into a snag - the weight x dimension skyrocketed shipping prices five fold. So, posters are being sent separately for our international friends, with the card games and shirts coming in another package or later in a bundle with the boxed games (if that is what you have ordered). 

And speaking of boxed games... we got an awesome suggestion from one of our backers (Petr!) to number the commemorative edition boxes for collectability’s sake - so we are sending that finalized design to the printers this week. 

Lastly 

Steam Greenlight - Please continue to spread the word about the game and be sure to help us get approved on Steam Greenlight. Just Up Vote, Like and Favorite HERE! 

Other Campaigns - If you are itching to find some other Kickstarter campaigns that could use your help, why not check these out?

We want to thank everyone for their continuing support. During this season we are truly grateful that you believe in what we are doing and have stood by us during its development. 

Karl and the Zojoi Team 

Hey! Who's this big guy here?! Hmmmm :)
Hey! Who's this big guy here?! Hmmmm :)


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    Early Bird - INITIATE: The FINISHED SHADOWGATE GAME like you've never seen before via DIGITAL DRM-free download for Windows or Mac. Plus a five-pack of our favorite WALLPAPERS in tons of resolutions.

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    INITIATE: The FINISHED SHADOWGATE GAME like you've never seen before via DIGITAL DRM-free download for Windows or Mac. Plus a five-pack of our favorite WALLPAPERS in tons of resolutions.

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    NOVICE (Addition): We've decided to ADD a few more things to this digital tier! If you have already pledged to the Novice tier, you will get these rewards as well! If you want to pledge to the Novice tier, you can pledge to either $30 tier to get all the rewards. First, we're adding a 2014 digital wallpaper calendar "THE WORLD OF SHADOWGATE" in a boat load of resolutions. This 14 month calendar (going back to November of 2013) will feature the many fantastic locations outside the castle - all illustrated by Chris Cold. (NOTE: We will also provide each illustration without the calendar overlay for convenience.) Second, we are offering you a DIGITAL VERSION of the cloth MAP in many resolutions as well!

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    NOVICE: An awesome tier featuring the digital, DRM-free, haunting Shadowgate SOUNDTRACK by composer extraordinaire Rich Douglas. You also get the 60 page DIGITAL BOOK "The Art of Shadowgate" illustrated by master painter Chris Cold. Your name will also be added to the Shadowgate website as an official backer! Plus all previous rewards.

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    ACOLYTE: NOTE THAT THE SECOND $45 TIER IS NO LONGER VALID. The first reward is a series of exclusive commentary videos. These streaming and/or downloadable videos will walk you thru the game while the Zojoi team shares insights, notes and humorous stories from design to art to audio. It's a must have for players that like to know the inside stories behind the games' development. The second reward is a digital COMIC HINT/WALKTHRU featuring all the rooms within Shadowgate in illustrative form!

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    APPRENTICE: Take this EPIC Shadowgate title on the go with your very own digital iOS or ANDROID TABLET version. Plus, your name PERMANENTLY etched digitally in the final game credits! And all previous rewards.

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    Early Bird - ADEPT: The game ships in a never-to-be-made-again COLLECTORS BOX created specifically for displaying the game in all its glory. And what's inside? A retro CLOTH MAP of the Shadowgate world, of course! You'll also get a full-sized Shadowgate POSTER that will blow your mind! Plus all previous rewards.

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    ADEPT: The game ships in a never-to-be-made-again COLLECTORS BOX created specifically for displaying the game in all its glory. And what's inside? A retro CLOTH MAP of the Shadowgate world, of course! You'll also get a full-sized Shadowgate POSTER that will blow your mind! Plus all previous rewards.

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    Early Bird - ENCHANTER: You get the CARD GAME "Quests of Shadowgate", created specifically for the Shadowgate universe by MIDDLE EARTH Collectible Card game designer, Coleman Charlton. We'll also include EXCLUSIVE Jair and Lakmir cards that will NEVER be created again! Plus all previous rewards.

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    ENCHANTER: You get the CARD GAME "Quests of Shadowgate", created specifically for the Shadowgate universe by MIDDLE EARTH Collectible Card game designer, Coleman Charlton. We'll also include EXCLUSIVE Jair and Lakmir cards that will NEVER be created again! Plus all previous rewards.

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    DRUID: A cool, 60+ page SOFTCOVER BOOK "The Art of Shadowgate", featuring dozens and dozens of room and character illustrations to impress your friends. You also get the OFFICIAL backer T-SHIRT featuring the Shadowgate logo! Plus all previous rewards.

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    MAGICIAN: We ship you an exclusive 18" STAFF OF AGES replica made of resin from master craftsman Kenny Hudson. You also get upgraded to the HARDCOVER version of "The Art of Shadowgate." You'll also get a LIMITED EDITION physical SOUNDTRACK from Rich Douglas! Plus all previous rewards.

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    SORCERER: Love fantasy? Science Fiction? Artist Chris Cold will create a personal, original, DIGITAL ART COMMISSION just for you! Plus all previous rewards.

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    MAGUS: This is it! Be the envy of Shadowgate fans everywhere with a FULL-SCALE 72" STAFF OF AGES made of resin and featuring a beautiful blue calcite sphere (Other-worldly power sold separately). Plus all previous rewards.

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    WIZARD: Become one of the legendary CIRCLE OF TWELVE wizards featured in the game. You get to help name the wizard and create a back-story and skill set for this character. Your creation shall be featured in the library and other locations within the magical keep. Plus all previous rewards.

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    ARCHMAGE: We'll FLY YOU OUT for a weekend with Shadowgate creators Dave Marsh and Karl Roelofs in beautiful Virginia. You'll get to help brainstorm future Shadowgate titles as well as play QUESTS OF SHADOWGATE with Coleman Charlton. We'll visit Jefferson's Monticello, play board games and enjoy hours of wiffle ball home-run derby in Dave's backyard. You get all this plus previous rewards. (Domestic backers only).

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