Pre PAX East Update & Delayed Release
Hey backers and followers!
As you may already know, we got around 115 000$ of funding from the Canadian Media Fund. At first, our plan was to hire two additional resources in December and reach Beta at PAX. The problem is, we do not have access to the CMF funding yet. There are forms to fill and some structures to put in place before receiving a payment. If all goes well, we should have 45% of the CMF money in a month. This is after PAX.
That being said, we want to be honest with you guys, the game won't see the light of day in April or May. Our revised production plan points to October or November. This give us time to hire new ressources and spend more time increasing the quality of the game. We hope you understand our position and now, let's talk about Kôna! Here are couple of updates on a variety of subjects:
Wondering how the game looks? Here are a few new screenshots:
After the Kickstarter campaign, we adjusted the color correction and also added a distant fog to simulate the accumulation of snow in the atmosphere. We also updated the engine to Unity 5, giving the game all the benefits of physically based rendering and global illumination. Maxime also developed a dynamic depth of field effect that simulate optical focus on the objects you are looking at.
The bottom line is: Everything now looks better, on all machines.
Maxime has been working on a wolf-pack artificial intelligence. A video would be the best format for explaining the concept, but since the whole scenario of meeting with wolves currently lacks some animations, we will show a footage in a later update. Here are some facts about how they act:
- Wolves move in gang / pack.
- Like in real life, there is an Alpha wolf that is a bit bigger than the others and also more confident.
- Wolves can circle, attack and kill you.
- You can scare them with non-natural noises such as shooting in the air or driving a vehicle.
- You can attract and feed them by throwing food at a distance.
- The player who is careful can clear the episode without killing an animal.
We are still discussing the actual rate of potentially harmful encounters, but this is balancing and right now is not our main focus.
Last friday, we spent all day recording the first 1/3rd of the game in French. We had to record all the old ones again because we changed the verb tense from present to past.
This is the first time we record with the writer present in the room That was really great to have him there as we could rewrite parts of the text on the spot.
We also started sending English script to potential English narrators. Our goal is to have all the aformentioned lines recorded for PAX East at the beginning of March. So if all goes well, you'll be listening to Enlish VOs sooner than later.
We recently posted a lenghty update on the interfaces on our blog. Since then, Alex had a lot of business-related tasks to do. He also worked on the game Main Menu. It is not final, but right now it looks like this:
The current design includes a radio, represented by the white box on the above image, that output various 1960s songs as well as short spoken updates on the game story.
Then we worked on designing the Inventory. At first, we wanted everything to be in the bag in the character hand. Now that the game grew a bit more than we anticipated, holding all items in a bag would require the bag to be 5 meters long. The problem is that you cannot stack items on top of each other as it would be a mess to interact with it.
The current idea is to create an inventory that is shaped like a ring. The more item you have, the more the ring "fills". Each item weight has a direct impact on the amount of space it takes on the ring. The center of the ring gives useful information on the object you are currently looking at. More on that later :)
PAX East Demo
We will be at PAX East in Boston next March! We will have two demos there.
The first one is snowmobile demo made for the Oculus Rift. At the Montreal Internation Game Summit, we realized that many people came to our booth to try the Oculus and did not pay a particular attention the game itself. They had to adapt to the new display and explaining both the hardware and the game was a bit overwhelming for the attendees. This time, the demo is really simple. Only snow, trees, hills and a snowmobile. This is enough for people to try the rift while discovering a little bit of the Kôna world.
The second one is the first quarter of the game, with potential spoilers stripped out. This demo truly communicates what we want the game to be, which is a mix of exploration, investigation, and survival. You can expect to see the inventory system in action, some wolves and many new places to visit. If you're going to PAX East, don't hesitate to come and see us at booth 5215!
Our next update will be after PAX, at some point in mid-March. If you have any questions until then, feel free to poke us here, on Facebook or Twitter :)
Alex, Etienne and Max