Thursday, September 11, 2014

Release Date!

I'm happy to announce that A Golden Wake will be released on October 9th for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Currently the game is available for pre-order, which includes a free copy of the game's soundtrack.

Monday, August 25, 2014

That's a Wrap

A Golden Wake is finished.

I've been waiting a long time to be able to write that, and now I finally can. The game is in code freeze and has been passed over to Wadjet Eye for safekeeping until release. I've had a great time making the game and am extremely proud of it. Hopefully everyone who plays it will enjoy it too.

We'll be releasing in October, though I can't say the exact date just yet. It will be announced, along with pre-order information and a new trailer in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I've been keeping busy with two projects: one is the collaboration with Ben Chandler, who has finished his duties on Technobabylon and is now committed to the project fully.  The other is one which is still very much in its infancy, but will be my next full time project after finishing the collaboration.

As for this blog, I'm not sure what will happen with it. Ben has suggested doing a dev blog for our project, but that would be a separate link.  Maybe this blog will get a revamp, or maybe I'll just leave it as an archive of A Golden Wake's production.  We'll see.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Preview Roundup

A couple of weeks ago, we sent out some preview copies of A Golden Wake, and so far there have been some rather nice things said about the game.

As for progress on the game itself, I've coded in achievements and am currently scouring the web for some good sound effects.

Almost there!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Home Stretch

This is it, the home stretch.  The final 5%.  The part of game development notorious for being the most difficult, only because it's so easy to get complacent with yourself about being done.

As of right now, I just need to add some polish to the game, finishing up little extra animations, putting in sound effects, recording commentary, etc.  Release is in September, which currently feels like ages away, but the truth is it will be here before I know it.  On the bright side, I am feeling an ever-growing sense of accomplishment knowing that this project is finally going to be crossing the finish line.

The music (by the wonderful Peter Gresser) and VO have been completed, and I am very happy with both.  I feel like the game I've been testing repeatedly for the past few months now has new life with the amazing audio quality.  But you can be the judge of that yourself with these three previews.

A Golden Wake Music Preview 1
A Golden Wake Music Preview 2
A Golden Wake Music Preview 3

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Busy busy

The past month and a half has been incredibly busy.

I was able to finish all the animations in the game, which meant I was able to add an extra sequence, one which I feel improves the pacing of the second half of the game significantly.  Of course, this means a few new animations, character portraits, and sprites, but it's all worth it.

The game has been cast, and we're about halfway through the recording process.  I'm extremely happy with the performances everyone has given, and I feel the game will get a lot of recognition for the quality of the VO.  Also, music is slowly coming in, and I'm really excited about it as well.

The best part is, we finally have a release window: Fall 2014.  The game will most likely be out at the end of September, or early October at the latest.  I'm extremely excited to have it out and seeing what people think of it.

Right, back to work!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coming Together...Slowly

The past few weeks I've been working exclusively on animations for the game, this coming after playing it and writing down a list of all the necessary (and not so necessary) animations.  In the past when I was working on freeware games like the Ben Jordan series, animation was always something that tended to take something of a back seat.  Since they were freeware, it was a lot easier to sacrifice the more complex and time-consuming animations I may have wanted to include with the excuse that since nobody would be paying for the game, they wouldn't mind so much if they weren't included.

Now that I'm working on something commercial, animations are much more important.  This isn't to say that I'm loading up the game with animation just for the sake of it only because the game is commercial, but it does mean that I need to do a bit more showing rather than telling.  Luckily, having made the Ben Jordan games over the past 10 years has given me quite a bit of practice, so animating isn't as daunting a task as it used to seem.

In other news, I am starting the process of casting voices for the game, which is great, because it means the light at the end of the tunnel is getting slightly bigger.  This will be my first time working with a casting director, as well as with exclusively live actors (as opposed to having some or most of the roles done remotely) so it's pretty exciting.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cat's Out of the Bag

Although to be fair, it was a very loud cat in a transparent bag.

In news that will surprise nobody (or maybe a very select few,) it was revealed today that the publisher for A Golden Wake is none other than Wadjet Eye Games.  Now that it's out in the open, it's a bit of a relief to be able to talk about it without walking on eggshells.

You can read an article where it's mentioned briefly here on Gamasutra:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stop the Presses

In a little over a week, I will be attending the annual Game Developer's Conference (aka GDC) in San Francisco.  This will mark my third year attending, but it's the first one where I'll actually have a commercial game to promote.  I was on the fence about going for a while, but finally decided it was worth it for that reason. 

As such, I am most likely going to be talking to the gaming press about A Golden Wake, which is both exciting and terrifying.  I'll do my best not to come off like a complete goofball.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Golden Wake Updates

I've realized that lately I've talked lots about game design, but said very little on the status of A Golden Wake.

Well, I am pleased to say that the game is fully playable from start to finish.  That is to say, it's in an early alpha stage, still missing several art assets like animations, backgrounds, and character portraits, as well as music, sound, and voices.  The bulk of the design work is over, now it's just time to go in and make final tweaks, as well as add all the bells and whistles.

Also, I'm extremely happy to announce that the game has been signed with a publisher, which means it will actually be up for sale at some point in the future.  An official announcement will likely be made in the next couple of months.

Exciting times!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy New Year

It's been a while, hasn't it?

First off, I should admit that I am a big fat hypocrite.  In the last post I said I wasn't going to go back and redo my character portraits, and then guess what happened?  I learned a better method of doing them and sure enough, I went back and started redoing them all.

Normally, I would frown upon this sort of behavior and ask myself what the heck I was doing, but taking a step back and looking at things objectively, I feel this has been the right decision.  The way they looked previously wasn't awful, but there was a lot of room for improvement.  If A Golden Wake were freeware, I could have left them as they were with no problems.  Since I plan on selling it, I feel I need to raise my own personal bar higher and make them look the best they can within my abilities.

So what exactly did I do?  Basically, I adopted the same method I use for my backgrounds, which is to say I draw them at double the size they are in game, then scale them down.  Combining this with the methods I was shown about gradient maps really allows for a lot more detail and shading than drawing them at game resolution.  A bit of detail is naturally lost when scaling them down, but I feel it's a sacrifice worth making.  Another benefit is being able to make portraits based on real people actually look more like those they're meant to portray.  

Doing portraits at a higher resolution also meant having to make a tough decision: animate or not?  I've always had animated portraits in my games, and even lip sync in the later Ben Jordan games, but unfortunately it's extremely time-consuming to animate higher resolution portraits and make them look good.  So in the end, I decided to abandon the animated portraits.  I'll still have different facial expressions, but no moving mouths or blinking.

So here now are some examples.  Looking at the old versions makes me laugh.