Devlog February 2020

Hello everyone, here is the news from the front!

This month, I continued to work on version 0.6 which focuses on the first levels of the game, and in parallel I tried several things to publicize the game.

Improving the design

I first started by reviewing some game design issues that affect the whole game. I reworked the game economy, where the role and use of gold coins lacked a little consistency. I reworked the rhythm and the curve of interest, improved the motivations of the player, reviewed the scenario. I analyzed all the playtests notes and replayed several times to the game to clearly identify the strengths and weaknesses of the gameplay, in order to have a clear list of modifications that will have to be made for all levels.

I made the decision to reintegrate characters to talk to! I had originally planned not to put a character at all, given the work required to be done well, which had drastically lengthened the development of The Goblin’s Week. However, to correct the feeling of loneliness felt by the players, and to offer new narrative and humorous opportunities, I made a first prototype including a character to talk to, and the results were very good. These characters will however be limited to dialogues; no fights or other interactions planned, to limit the work required to add them.

Finally, I had the opportunity to make some playtests with two teenagers. I thought that my game was intended only for an adult audience, but I was delighted to discover that they really liked the game and its subtleties. So, I took the opportunity to add an option to deactivate the gore, so that the game can also be played by the youngest.

Revision of the first levels

The first levels of the game, which were completed over a year ago, are among those most in need of rework. Indeed, since their creation, the concept of the game has been further refined, with in particular a more RPG and less arcade approach. I have also progressed a lot in level design lately, and it would be a shame if the first levels of the game, those which will therefore be the first played and the most seen, are not as good as the following ones.

In the process, I encountered some block. I did not know where to catch the problem because the existing levels were already interesting and functional, the objective being to make them “better”. After having reworked all the concepts and objectives of the levels, I finally got over this block by concentrating on the creation of independent sub scenes, which I create without constraints, in order to increase my creativity and to try many varied things. This allows me to focus on experiences, emotions, situations of traps or puzzles, without immediately having the constraint of knowing how they will fit into the final level. I then rework the level by synthesizing its old design and these new elements, in order to keep the best.

Update on wishlists

In parallel with development, I spent a lot of time promoting the game. Now that the Steam page is in place, the goal is to reach a sufficient number of wishlists for the game to be successful. The current figure is not very high, but the player feedback is encouraging. I think there is an audience for this game, the hardest part will be to reach it.

I posted a lot on social networks, I contacted the press, I tried to contact users directly. Of all the things I have tried, my post on reddit has brought me the most visits. The press did not relay information about my game at all, except Gaming on Linux, whose article created a nice peak!

If we look at the progression curve, we see that the wishlists only increase when I actively promote the game. I will therefore have to continue this constant effort until the release.

Discord community

The community continues to grow little by little on the Discord. I regularly post content, such as work screenshots, and answer questions from players. If you are interested in news, images, and more regular discussions, it’s here: https://discord.gg/FpXESF7

Roadmap

I still have to send emails and post on forums, but I think what will work will be to finally send a playable demo to streamers. It is on this demo, which will therefore focus on the first levels of the game, that I put all my efforts currently.

See you soon,

Arnaud.

Devlog January 2020

Hello everyone, here’s news from the front.

Little progress on the game in December and January, but, a new major step has been taken, the Steam page of the game is finally online!

Steam page online!

Making the Steam page took me much, much longer than I thought. But that’s it, there it is! Great success!

First, I had to make the most beautiful trailer possible, containing beautiful captures of the game, with good narration, surprise, humor, to be careful to make it well representative of the game, and to make players want to know more. I am rather satisfied with the result, especially given my inexperience in the field of videos and the low budget of the trailer. I hope nevertheless that it will be enough, that it will not give a bad image of the game, and that on the contrary it will make players want to know more.

I want to thank again all those who took the time to give me feedback and advise, to help me make this video is the best possible.

Then, I underestimated the time required to make a nice Steam page. Writing the various descriptive texts, capturing and choosing the screenshots, GIFs, tags, creating the page layout, and above all creating the “header”, I spent quite a bit of time there. Since this Steam page is the showcase of the game, it was important that the page be the best possible, because even if I manage to make a good game, if the store page is bad nobody will buy it .

Here is the header I made for the store. This is the image that is used on the store to represent the game. What do you think?

Personally, I like it, but when I compare it to the quality of the illustrations of my competitors, I think that I need something better, and I will need the services of a professional illustrator. Since this image is used to all over the store, it is necessary that it is the best possible.

If you know a good illustrator that can create nice looking fantasy drawing for my Steam page, feel free to contact me.

Add the game to your Steam wishlist!

To be clear, no, the game is not available for sale, because it is not yet finished. The page is currently a showcase in preparation for the release.

It was very, very important to set up your Steam page as soon as possible before the release. The main objective of the Steam page is to collect as many subscriptions as possible on the wishlist before the game is released. People who subscribe to the page will automatically receive a message from Steam on the day of the release to inform them and offer to buy it.

The number of subscribers is directly proportional to the number of sales in the first days; a game without subscribers will make little or no sales, and a game with many subscribers can hope to make enough to live on. In addition, a game with many subscribers and which makes a lot of sales in the first days will be highlighted by the store, thus generating even more sales.

You can therefore discover the final trailer and the Steam game page at the address below, and for those who have Steam you can also add it to your wishlist !

Help me spread the word

As I said above, it is very important for the success of this project that a maximum of people subscribe on my site or on the Steam page. With the new trailer and the game web page, now is the time to help me make people aware of the game. To help me, feel free to like, share, tweet, etc., as much as you can, and to link to my page or my Steam page to people who are potentially interested.

Neverlooted Dungeon page online

To support the launch of the Steam page, I set up the game page on my site, and I took the opportunity to make a little facelift to the whole site.

You will find the game page here (only in English for now): www.wildmagegames.com/neverlooted

Do not hesitate to give me your opinion.

Discord

Don’t forget for those who have Discord that I now have my own channel, if you are interested in news, images, and more regular discussions, it’s here: https://discord.gg/ FpXESF7

Roadmap

Now that the Steam page is in place, I will be able to continue working on the game while doing maximum communication to publicize my game and increase my number of subscribers. Making my game as good as possible, but also making the number of subscribers as high as possible, are the two necessary conditions for the realease to be a success, in a hope to earn my living and continue to create games.

In version 0.6 I will tackle the most important game design and level design issues highlighted by the last playtests, focusing on the first 2 hours of play. I will try to make shorter version cycles to avoid getting bogged down in too many things at once like with version 0.5.

See you soon,

Arnaud.

Devlog November 2019

Hello everyone, here’s news from the front.

It’s already December, time passes at a speed! I will never manage to keep my impossible deadlines. But it does not matter, a major step has been done, version 0.5 is over! A small bonus, the Black Friday sales have worked well, and my assets sales will allow me to continue this adventure a little!

Thanks to the playtesters

First of all, thanks to the testers of the month for their time and their feedback. Thanks especially to Maxime for all his feedback, whether on the game or his help for the logo, images, and the trailer. Thanks to Axel for his live playtests and feedback.

I already have enough feedback on the V0.5 so I do not need more players, but do not hesitate to ask if you want to participate in future alpha playtests. Warning, the game is not yet very well optimized, and you need a rather powerful pc.

Version 0.5 completed !!!

Finally! It took much longer than expected, but the result is really encouraging. I have corrected almost all the known bugs (although my super testers have already found tons of new ones), all the features are there, I corrected the systems that had some issues, such as translation and save, I optimized the use of resources. The game is playable from beginning to end, on more than 14 different levels, with more and more tricky traps.

Even if the testers are rather positive, there is still a lot of work to complete the game. There is no story yet, there are some game design issues, and some levels require a lot of improvement. In addition, all game systems work but everything need to work well in harmony, for example the potions, inventory, gold coins … testers know what I’m talking about.

I also need to polish several things, such as menus, visual effects, some 3D models, and all the little touches that will make it more pro.

The musics of the game are still temporary, they will be replaced by more adapted tracks, and maybe by musics composed for the game.

V0.5 is therefore a solid foundation on which I will gradually iterate to improve the content. Many exciting things are planned, some surprises, and I can not wait to let you play it!

Trailer Preview (work in progress!)

It is time to launch the Steam page, to really start the promotion of my game, so that it is sufficiently expected the day of its release and thus prevent an epic failure at launch. So I’m working on the logo, the images, the description, but also on the trailer!

I offer you to watch the latest working version of the trailer!

Warning: this is a working version. Ugly titles are temporary, and music transitions will be improved.

I would love to have your feedback, whether positive or negative, it’s for my own good!

I take this opportunity to thank all those who helped me and advised in the design of this trailer! Special mention to Maxime, Laurent, and Eric, who took a lot of time with me to discuss all this.

The adaptation of the music is in progress, it will be performed by Alexandre Sciré, who also composed the theme of the game.

Once the issues of this trailer are corrected, I will make a better montage, especially with pretty titles and maybe a little animation of the logo. I’ll share that with you when it’s ready!

Roadmap

Now that the v0.5 is done, the priority is to promote my game, with the creation of the Steam page. When it is done, I will promote the game, and I will start working on v0.6 to correct the issues found during playtests.

See you soon,

Arnaud

Black Friday – Universal Device Preview -50%

Universal Device Preview is ON SALE !
Get it now at -50% !

Universal Device Preview is an advanced and easy-to-use tool that gives you an accurate preview of your game for a huge variety of devices, and help you adapt your games to them. Instantly test how your content looks and feels on each of your target devices within the editor to prevent long and tedious iterations, and incredibly fasten your game development process!

(NEW!) Safe Area simulation and automatic layout feature!

Devlog October 2019

Hello everyone, here’s news from the front.

I made good progress this month on v0.5, but I have not finished yet, especially since I spent a lot of time doing a major update of my “Universal Device Preview” asset. All the details just below!

Thank you for your feedback

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to answer my questions of the last devlog, about the name of the “Almost Epic Adventures” series and the name of the game “Neverlooted Dungeon”. It’s unanimous, you all like these two names. This confirms my beliefs and I will probably keep them. Thanks again :)

Thanks to the playtesters

Thanks to Philippe, Guillaume, Yves, Maxime, Mika and Arthur for testing version 0.5 this month. Thanks to you, I was able to discover some bugs and issues from the first levels, and that’s very important.

Version 0.5 almost complete

I kept working on lots of things that are not necessarily visible to the testers but that are necessary to get closer to release.

I worked on the character controller. I’m very happy to have replaced the default Unity controller last month, and now that I finally have something clean that works like I wanted. I will soon be able to add swimming and climbing ropes, which I wanted to do for so long.

I replaced Unity’s basic keyboard-mouse-controller management system which was really limited by a much more powerful asset. In particular we can now reconfigure the controls in the game, which was essential. This asset also support any gamepads, and I have already made them almost working. In fact everything is already working very well, except the inventory that must be improved because its controls were designed for mouse interactions. I’m not going to do that right now, but I was very happy to find that the support of the controller would be easier than expected.

I reworked the logic of the game, including transitions between levels. I removed the ugly lifts, I replaced them with beautiful doors and transitions, which are more consistent with the story. Thank you Mika for your advice on the end of levels, I made a lot of improvements and I hope you like the changes ;)

I corrected the tutorial that had some weaknesses. I added some pickable items, and I modified a lot of the issues found in previous playtests. In particular it was possible to pass without really learning to manipulate the inventory, which became an issue thereafter. We will see in future tests if my modifications work.

I added an endurance system, to prevent being able to sprint permanently. I also added endurance potions hidden in the levels to boost the player a bit. I still do not really know if I like this result, because I used to speed run the whole game, and that limits me a lot now. We will see after the tests if I decide to keep it.

I improved a lot of systems and fixed a lot of their issues, especially the localization system, save system, trap damage system. I have done deep code changes to stop using Unity Resources, which are actually too expensive. I have corrected a lot of bugs, some complex, some easy.

In short, a lot of work, and I can not wait to finish to finally go back to level design to improve levels.

Universal Device Preview 1.8

After many requests from users concerning the “Safe Area” support, for the new phones that have a camera in the screen, I finally made a major update of my asset to take them into account in the simulation.

I took the opportunity to redo a marketing work, including changing the name (the previous name was “Multi Device Preview & Gallery), and making a great video. Thanks Eric, Laurent, Jonathan, Kenneth and Christophe for your feedback when creating the new video :)

You will find all the details of the update here: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#!/content/82015

This update took me a lot of time, hence my delay on the schedule of v0.5. I hope that in the long run it will take and that it will finance the rest of the game.

Roadmap

The end of v0.5 is near. I still need to correct some systems, and some stuff here and there.

Once completed, I will make a marketing pass with a nice logo and a simplistic first trailer, to finally launch the Steam page. It is important that I hurry to do it, to allow time to win subscribers before the release.

I still hesitate to launch the public demo at the end of v0.5 or wait for v0.6. Indeed, the last playtests showed some issues with the rhythm, and variety of traps and triggers. I prefer not to release a demo if it might disappoint the testers. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I keep doing playtests regularly, so tell me if you want to come and to test the game :)

In general, the game has taken a good turn, everything starts to fit as I have in mind, and I’m happy with the result. For once I see the release as something doable, and it motivates me well. Once the v0.5 is over, it will be time to work on levels one by one, to bring them little by little toward their final version.

See you soon,

Arnaud

Copyright © 2015-2020 - Arnaud Emilien. Wild Mage Games® and Almost Epic Adventures™ are trademarks property of Arnaud Emilien. All rights reserved.