May Studio Update
Hello hello, from Broken Hammer! Founder and CEO here and it's time again to pay a visit to all that's been going on here this last month.
With the end of May comes the end of school for many places here and overseas. We're happy to give a shout out to one of our artists, Conn Hughes who is graduating in June with a degree in game design. Conn has been with the project since the early days of the Guns VN. Originally he was just another GOIO player like the rest of us. I actually used to fly with him off and on and always appreciated how he knew all my ship names and their origins. Being a fellow fan of Skies of Arcadia helps that. So a big congratulations to him!
As the lead writer on this project, I can't discount Skies of Arcadia as a major source of inspiration to get into writing. I wrote not only a sequel but a series of prequels and other sequels based on the game. Don't bother looking, I never submitted them anywhere. Honestly didn't have all the fan fiction sites back then that we have today, but that world just tantalized my mind so much that I couldn't help it.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the same has happened with GOIO. To which I'm eternally grateful to Muse to be able to use their world to create something so grand.
I'm sure the rest of our team has similar stories of inspiration. Perhaps we'll get a chance to get them told with time as the project expands. In fact you may be hearing from one of our composers on that topic in the coming months. Our resident Irishcat, Finbarr, who is also finishing up his education soon. So another shout out to him.
As one of the original musicians from the early days of the project, he's very in tune with the characters (Gwyn especially), and so he's currently in charge of character themes. He did the composition for the Aerodrome events, and also does a lot of work for the Rob & Dan Show as well as The Bully Boys,
That said, May ultimately was a big month for refining our coming crowd funding campaign. A lot of the ideas gathered over the prior months, that had been put on hold to get the demo further along, were now front and center.
Draft plans were refined, and refined again, to now something much more final and ready to go. I don't want to spoil much but I'll just say we're leveraging our talent well in the items we'll be offering.
However, not everything in May was about that campaign. Our first batch of new music was completed by our general theme composer, Cody Thomas. Truly what he does in a short amount of time is phenomenal. Can't speak high enough for his talent. He's making the city of Cathedral come alive with every note. Really can't wait to hear the reports from our testers on it.
Speaking of testers, internal build 120 has been released. The testers now have access to a day one build based on 120 which includes quite a few bug fixes. One of which were very happy to have finally squashed since it was an issue that went back quite a few months.
Build 120 is a rather large jump from our 90s builds which we had out before. But the amount of content added warranted it. As noted last month, Sofia was completed and with her, a slew of supporting cast. Following up on that will be some of the major key images and then Calle. I've included an early snip from one of our Sofia key concepts this month. Just a small part of a larger image to come.
As with every new build I like to also tweak the writing where needed, and so day two's word count grew a little. Not as much as on day one but just a little to enrich a couple scenes.
Refinement of the game is an ongoing process here. One which we do regardless of any crowdfunding. I really hope that shows by the time the full game is released and playable on your own device.
So lastly on that note, as we get closer to the campaign, we may be revisiting some plans for our story rollout. This was something planned for awhile so it isn't a surprise. I just want to make a note of it now so there is no surprise later.
While we wanted to provide the best value by releasing each story as it's own add on, the inner workings of Tyrano have not advanced enough to handle it to the level of quality we want. They're great people who are always working on expanding the engine, but it takes time as the engine development happens in Japan before getting here. Reminds me of what Muse has to deal with regarding Unity. Some things they just have to wait for while the developers refine the engine more.
In the coming weeks we'll be talking more with the Tyrano devs and we should have a solid plan by the time the crowdfunding starts. If we have to rework how we'll release, then so be it.
My intent as director of this project, is to provide the game at a value, not something overpriced that languishes forever in "Early Access" like so many Steam games do. Any changes to the plan will be considered with that in mind. If you support us early, I want you to get a better value from it.
So, that's it for May. As we head into June, we'll be seeing a ramp up of our teams who have their schedules getting freed up. It should be a busy summer and the conclusion of our first full year as Broken Hammer. Thank you all for following us and I thank you for your patience as we venture into this world of game development. It's not all fun and games, but it is fun!