March Progress Report
How’s it going, everyone? It’s been a hot second since our last post, so I thought I’d take some time to talk about how things are progressing.
The short answer is: well!
Our big focus this month has been gearing up for the Kickstarter, which consistently feels like it’s approaching all too fast. Balancing marketing and game production is quite a task, it turns out! It’s interesting being on this side of things, after I’ve spent so much time following indie devs from a safe distance. It’s no surprise to me that the experience is about as fretful and pressured as it’s made out to be. But it’s nonetheless been a fun, exciting time, and the response to our screenshots/videos has been very encouraging! I’m very thankful to everyone who’s had such kind things to say about our precious li’l game so far, and been slamming those 'like' buttons. You’ve been fantastic! I appreciate every bit of interest, and I hope you enjoy what’s to come!
I’m also thankful to Mike, who’s been pulling the most weight on the promotional front, and has had to put up with sorta fighting me on every piece of content we’ve put on display. I get all anxious about showing things when they’re not finished (because “it’s not done yet! I could make it look better!”), but Mike understands the subtle importance of “letting people know we’re making a video game.” Hmm. He’s a sharp one, that guy.
Development itself continues smoothly. Though there’s still a ways to go, the stages have begun to cement. Level design is an interesting process, at least to me. It seems like no matter how comprehensive your outline is, certain things just don’t come into focus until you get there — then you realize stuff like, “ah, this part should be longer shouldn’t it?” and “this section should have tighter loops!” and “wait, actually, wouldn’t Chapter 5 be better if it was somewhere else? Yeah, I think it’d feel better if it was way the heck somewhere else.” In a huge, interconnected world like Ambrosia, every change to a stage has a ripple effect on everything else, causing the whole thing to be this big writhing, ever-changing mass for a long time.
I’m happy to report that we’re past that phase. The flow and layout of the chapters is feeling good, and it’s mostly just fleshing things out where they stand now! That’s exciting to me, anyway! (I am a terrible, incorrigible tweaker though. It’s hard to not continuously revamp things. Nate’s probably gonna have to shoot me before this game can get out the door.)
Enemies, too, are moving along at an agreeable pace. Almost the entire roster is planned and concepted out, and most are implemented in some manner or another, with only the last couple of chapters-worth needing major design work. It seems like only yesterday that there was only one functional enemy in the entire game, but now the world is crawling with beasts, bugs, and uppity robots! The art’s a little further behind, but slowly and surely everything’s being brought to life by our amazing pixel artist, Maciej, whose every submission feels like Christmas to me. Like seriously, this man’s designs and animations are nuts, and my favorite part of this job right now is applying his art to the game. The thought of having an entire game furnished with these beautiful pixels is, by itself, reason enough to make dang sure this project gets finished! (I’m saying I’m a fan of his work.)
Speaking of contributors, we’ve also got a talented composer on board recently whom we’ve been planning with and bringing up to speed on the game. It’s personally quite an exciting first for me, to be working with someone to create a custom score. We should have more to share on this front soon!
So yeah, things are happenin’ here in the land of Ambrosia! I’m excited. Can you tell I’m excited? Look out for our Kickstarter soon, and check back for additional updates! And if you’ve any comments to share or questions to ask, we’d love to hear from you!
Until next time, thanks for reading! Wishing you a great day on behalf of the whole team at Realmsoft!