Apologies for being less active on here! (and social media) over the past few weeks, this is because we have been participating in Tranzfuser and game Talent Wales events as well as dealing with the onboarding process for them.
We wanted to share our progress over the past few weeks and what we have planned in the immediate future. The first of which was implementing a basic menu with real-time background. This is intended to be placeholder as we wanted to use sequencer to make something more cinematic so expect change in the below but it is easily modified.
We have also been focusing on lighting as per screenshots on videos shared on social media. This is an ongoing process but its already looking much better than before. We have added fog and dust particles to the scene and will now focus on making areas darker or lighter based on tone of the store or area. If you missed it, here’s a video of the new lighting (currently still being worked on). The fog makes visibility less clear and emphasises the red light of the chasing Nutcracker however, we are undecided to keep this feature moving forward.
The kill animation at the end of the above video will be changed to something more creepier as we move up the intended age range from 7+ to a revised rating of 11+. The reason for this is that as we intend to launch on Steam we realised that to even have a Steam account you need to be 13+ and although children will always find a way round this, it does give us more flexibility in the content we can make going forward. Ben will be working on new captured animations to replace the current one in the coming few months.
We are currently working with contractors for both Art and Audio. These will provide the team with expertise in these areas which we are lacking. We cannot name them due to incomplete work but will do so when everything is ready. However, we can list the areas they are working on. These include:
- Cover Art
- Merchandise Art
- Lore related Art
- Main Menu Music
- Arcade Ambience
We are looking for an additional programmer to help adjust AI in the near future and will announce this once we get someone. In the meantime we may share finished work on social media when they start being completed.
Above is a rough sketch currently in progress which shows the Toy Store mascot Bailey who is undergoing a revamp.
We know a key part of our game is lore and how we deliver the lore will be the making or breaking of the game. As such this is a key area being focused on now. We have a list of ‘victims’ of the Nutcracker as well as missing items related to them to be found in the mall (and beyond). The artists are currently working on items belonging to the toy store both from the present day and old. You will be able to find retro toys, personal belongings from the missing and clues too their disappearances within the area. Your task is to find the items and work out what happened to them and the motives behind them.
One thing we can tell you is that although we have a mall area this does not mean we are limiting ourselves to such an environment. Secret areas are waiting to be found and the eventual area will be much bigger than you imagine, as long as you can find the way to access them.
The above may sound cryptic but we believe telling everyone our ultimate plans would spoil the surprise.
PLANNED MINI RELEASE
We plan on releasing a very small release of the game in conjunction with an upcoming event. This will be a 2 minute timed event where you must collect a number of items within the time period. The core mechanics of the game will be present and there will be prizes for the winner of the competition.
The plans for the event are as follows (subject to change)
- 2 minute time limit to find as many of the items provided
- Avoid being caught during this time
- Find secret areas to gain bonus items/objects
We wanted to showcase the mechanics and discoverable items in a fun way without revealing everything. There will be secrets hidden with no clues given, allowing the player to discover and try new ways of unlocking them which will feature prominently within the game.
A very small example of this can be found in the video below (apologies for UI etc as work on this has just started)
The coming month will see the team complete or start the following
- Animation overhaul
- Objective implementation (old system being scrapped)
- Artwork finished from contractors
- Seasonal items added
- Hidden areas worked on
- AI overhaul
We know we are some way off where we want to be but have solid plans and realistic scope to provide a good experience by the time we have major showcase events in September.
Keep an eye on our socials for more content in July
Thanks for reading!