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The Sun at Night
21. november - Minicore Studios
Hi Friends of Minicore Studios!
Today’s a big day for us. We’re finally lifting a veil we’ve had up for a couple of months (more on this in a second) and giving you tons of info about our current project, The Sun at Night.
The Sun at Night is the game formerly known as Laika Believes: The Sun at Night. Laika LLC, the animation studio responsible for the criminally underrated Coraline, felt there was enough confusion by use of the word “Laika” in our title to warrant a rebrand by our team. Despite feeling like this confusion is minimal at most considering the historical nature of the name, we want to avoid an escalating legal situation. This ongoing conversation has been the reason for our radio silence about The Sun at Night. I’m happy to be ending that silence today.
The Sun at Night is still very much Laika the space dog’s story.
We’ve been working on this game for a long time; longer than we wanted to, to be honest. This space pup has been the center of our universe for a while now and we’re ready to get the game out to everyone who can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for her.
We’re excited to announce that The Sun at Night will launch for PC on February 4, 2014.
We still have a while to go on Steam Greenlight, so any help you can provide by way of “Yes” votes and positive energy would be greatly appreciated.
Beyond PC, we’re working on ports for Mac, Linux, and PSN/Vita. We’ll have more news on those fronts as things become more concrete.
If you’re new to The Sun at Night, the game follows an alternate history where Laika the space dog returns to earth to find a very different world than the one she involuntarily left. Combining elements of 2D platformers, Metroidvania-type experiences, Deus Ex-esque character progression, JRPGs, and adventure games, The Sun at Night is a dream for those who love tight gameplay with their engrossing, exploration-heavy worlds.
From here on out, we’ll be in touch a lot about the progress of the game as we get closer to launch. We’re in the home stretch! Thanks for all your support so far!
John & The Minicore Team
28. august - Minicore Studios
We've added two new videos on the description tab. One is a somber look at the environments of Laika Believes and a hint regarding the dynamic between Laika and Abram, another major character. The other is a more action-packed trailer which shows some of the Shield functionality (the hexagonal layer over Laika in some shots -- glows blue when hit), different weapons, and enemy types. Things can get frantic, if that's your preferred play style.
We're putting together a nice character/story package, so you can meet the characters in Laika Believes.
We've also launched a twitch channel where we have started to air live streaming of development and gameplay. You can follow that here: http://www.twitch.tv/minicorestudios
John & The Minicore Team
2. august - Minicore Studios
Things have been a little quiet in terms of updates.
First, a fairly major announcement. Not too long after our Kickstarter launched we reached a deal to privately fund major aspects of remaining development for Laika Believes. We didn’t get those details finalized until last week, so we wanted to keep the Kickstarter up in case something different happened. This might leave you asking: “well why did you start a Kickstarter if you were trying to privately fund the game?”
A few quick notes. Aside from lots of design duties, my job is to make sure we can continue development of what we’re working on. This means, essentially, always being open to different funding sources. At the time our Kickstarter campaign launched, Kickstarter was our best option. We’re happy to be funded no matter what, but it was rather unexpected that we’d be able to privately fund what we were asking for. However, we’re not at all regretful that we started out with this campaign, because because meeting and getting to talk to folks excited about Laika Believes is awesome.
Since we’re now not in need of $100k from our backers, we’re going to take this specific campaign down and launch another campaign for far less. Tomorrow, we’ll launch another Laika Believes Kickstarter where we’ll be asking for $20k. Why do we still need the money? What we have privately covered takes care of the majority of remaining development for us, but it leaves out extra aspects of sound design that we really want in the game (more ambient sounds, better implementation of effects in the engine, taking the time to implement sound more perfectly into the scripting system, etc.). In addition, one of things we learned in our first 20 days of Kickstarter and Greenlight is that our game has a wide, international appeal.
Localization is always something we were planning on, but not until we had a nice showing of sales so we could afford to patch in localizations later. I see now, of course, that it would be a disservice to many of our fans to wait on localization. The money we’re asking for on Kickstarter will cover necessary costs associated with localizing Laika Believes: The Sun at Night into Spanish and Russian languages, with more to follow as we explore our growing community.
We know that $20k is still a lot of money, so if you’ll indulge us and follow us over to our new campaign, you’ll find rewards and stretch goal margins are intact. We’ll be throwing our existing updates up on the new campaign and releasing new updates as we continue development on the game.
As far as specific game-related updates go, we got some good news about Microsoft’s new commitment to creating a more open development platform for independent studios. In addition to their new Xbox One policies, there’s a rumor swirling around that it soon may be much easier for indies to publish for XBLA. This is great news for us and bodes very well for a timely XBLA version of Laika Believes.
As always, you can leave comment here or at email@example.com. Thanks for believing in Laika!
John & The Minicore Team
19. juli - Minicore Studios
We've posted a new video that gives you a brief overview of the rebel camp you visit at the start of the game. Here, you'll meet a lot of important characters and run errands that only a special robot dog could run.
One mission, which you'll see briefly in the game, involves ridding a supply tower of its feral, mutant bird population.
We'll update again this weekend!
The MInicore Crew
17. juli - Minicore Studios
We've added two new videos to the project.
The first is an introduction to our aiming system. In Laika Believes, you’ll have total control over the direction in which you shoot. With a controller, you move the right stick to move the aiming reticle. If you play with a keyboard and mouse, you’ll have free aim on the screen. Either way, you’ve got a lot of control over your shooting. To that end, we’ve incorporated an aim assist.
You can adjust this assist in the options menu. In the video, you’ll see it both at its minimum (basically a straight line with no discernable assist) and its maximum (wide cone with great assist).
It’s about choice. For those who want a challenge, the aim assist will only hold you back. If you want to enjoy exploration and story, crank up the assist and blow by your enemies. We took a cue from AbleGamers Foundation and their awesome accessibility doc called Includification. Our remappable controls and soft aim assist should help folks with accessibility needs to play our game more effectively. That won’t be the last feature we implement in that vein.
Our second video is an offensive sequence in the game. You can see Laika using four of her available weapons in the video, including the powerful (but costly) Laser Cutter and the short-range Lightning Cannon, which can link between enemies.
There’s a little of everything in the video. Different weapons, different enemies, some platforming, etc. It’s short, but we’ll take those elements and put them under a microscope in the coming weeks.
We plan on making more of these mini-featurettes that will focus on different gameplay mechanics and in game features. Here’s what else you can expect in the coming weeks:
- Machine Gun
- Missile Launcher
- Laser Cutter
- Lightning Cannon
- Map System
- Main NPCs
- Scripting System
Thanks again for your support so far! Feel free to ask us questions!
The Minicore Crew