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Candle
August 15, 2013 - TekuStudios

It's time for the big content update! Let's talk about Candle's gameplay. First of all, please take a look at the gameplay commentary we've prepared for you. Everything you see there is Work In Progress, what means that there's a lot of placeholders and unfinished work. For instance, the night zone you see on the video will not be in the final game: Candle will not repeat any of its levels.

Now, Candle is not just a pretty game. Yes, we are trying to achieve a visually stunning art style, but there is more! And remember that Candle is not Point&Click driven. Players have complete control over the character and his actions.

The players will play as the inexperienced and vulnerable Teku, in his thrilling journey to save his friends and unravel the mysteries of his world. Through his epic journey he will face many trials and puzzles that the player must solve using his mind and inventiveness.

First of all, Teku is a defenseless character. He can't attack nor has any lifebar. During his adventure, he will have to deal with lots of traps and enemies that will kill him instantly, so you better watch out! And, as you already know, Teku has a candle instead of a hand: this is the key feature of the gameplay. It can be used in dark spots to reveal hidden items, as well as to solve many of the game's puzzles.



Let's take a look at the flame first. Teku can't light his candle on whenever he wants. Instead, he has to look for a fire spot. Fireplaces act as safe spots, players can save their progress there. Also, the are some torches and other small fire spots throughout the levels that Teku can light to use them as fire checkpoints, so you don't have to go all the way back to turn on the candle if turned off.

How can be the flame turned off? Well, there are many hazards that will do that (water, wind, several enemies...), so the player must think hard to avoid them. Also, there are some situations in which the player must not have the candle on. If it's at night, the enemies can detect Teku if the flame's burning (that light is easily noticeable in the dark!), so, if the players want to turn it off, they can do it whenever they want. Stealth is also important in Candle.

Ok, we have the candle, the fire spots to light it and the hazards (or player input) that turn it off. But what can you do with it? Well, almost everything! With the candle, players can solve many puzzles (fire, heat or light based) or play for more subtle uses. What about that annoying animal that keeps chasing me? Maybe it's scared of light! And what can I do with that insects I need to take to another room? Maybe if there was some moving light for them be attracted to... And there's still one more action concerning the candle. The player, by pressing a key (or button if you're using gamepad), can make a strong flash that lights up the level. This way, every item or clue that was hidden in the dark will be revealed. This flash action has some recovery time, so use it wisely!



Let's talk about the control scheme now. We're trying our best to simplify Candle's controls as much as possible. You will have the regular movement keys, a jumping key, a candle key, a quick inventory key and a Context-Sensitive Button. With it, Teku can take part in several context-sensitive actions (each one with its own animation). Pull levers, push crates, use the candle, climb ladders, pick up items, talk to people... almost every action! There will be some unique ones, as well.

And finally, there's also the plaftorming side of the game. You can expect some platformer sections to help diversity. Teku has 3 different types of jump: vertical jump, short horizontal jump and long horizontal jump. By pressing “up” Teku jumps vertically to reach ledges or grab things. When walking, if player presses “Jump” Teku will make a short jump, and if you jump while running, Teku will jump a longer distance.

Of course, the whole control scheme will be fully customizable. If you don't like our recommended settings, just change them :)



We're now approaching the end of our Kickstarter campaign and may close it with several stretch goals achieved. So thank you all for your support. In exchange, we promise to make Candle the best game we can.

Cheers,
-The Teku Studios Team

August 13, 2013 - TekuStudios

This is it, we are funded on Kickstarter! This is an awesome moment, and we would love to thank everyone who has trusted us and our project this last month. Thanks for your huge help and support.

But this is only the beginning! Now it's time to reach those stretch goals before the campaign is over.

Thanks everyone!

August 6, 2013 - TekuStudios

Since many of you want to know more about Candle we will be holding an AMA event tomorrow on Reddit so you can ask us real-time whatever you want to know about the game, its gameplay, the development process...

Europe's timezones are several hours ahead of USA's, so we're trying to hold this event in an accurate time for everyone. The AMA we've planned is scheduled for tomorrow (Aug, 7) 2.00pm EST (Eastern) / 11.00am PST (Pacific) / 7.00pm GMT (London). We will post another update with the link some minutes before we start. Of course, it will happen on r/IAmA

If you think that another time would be better for you, please post it in the comments section so we can decide a time that fits everyone's needs.

Cheers,
-Mike

August 3, 2013 - TekuStudios



Please take a look at this. It's the very first Candle's FanArt ever! Isn't it absolutely gorgeous? The user Daniel, who backed our project 2 weeks ago, has sent us this wonderful piece of art painted over rocks and shells, and we've just had an incredible idea! As you may know, Candle will come with an artbook for some tier levels in our Kickstarter campaign. Wouldn't it be nice to have an exclusive FanArt section in it? This is how we'll do it:

We can't give away anything in exchange. Instead, you can send us your fanarts for Candle and we will build a Gallery to show them (we will post some blog entry here, as well as a dedicated section on our web). And those that we like the most will be featured on the artbook as official fanarts!

We just need you to scan your piece of art (300 ppi will be fine), or save it as a PNG in case you are only using your computer, or take a picture of it if you aren't doing neither of those (high resolution pictures, please). We will clean the background and will include the resulting image into the artbook. Like this:



You can send them to backers@tekustudios.com or contact@tekustudios.com, and please include the name (or nickname) you want us to put in the artbook in case your fanart is selected. Due date is August 16.

Ladies and gentlemen... release your art!!

Cheers,
-Mike

August 2, 2013 - TekuStudios

Some days ago we talked about Candle's main character, Teku, mostly about his background. But today, we want to show you the whole process behind it. So, since a picture is worth a thousand words...



That was Teku. Some time before we looked into the african voodoo dolls iconography, all the characters in the game had this humanoid resemblance. The only thing that's left of those initial designs are the masks that every living being of Candle wears. But well, that's some story-related info, so it will come in a future Update! As you can see, Teku was meant to wear only a shabby cloak. Before we reached our current art direction and decided that every character was going to be made of fabric, they were going to be nude guys! How awesome is that?

Here's another version of that initial Teku:



We were going for a tribal look for the game, that's for sure! But take a look at those desings. Aren't you missing something? Something candly? Yep, that's right, no sign of the candle at all. That's because at that point we were only developing a "dynamic graphic adventure", but we hadn't mixed the fire mechanics in yet. So, after a few animation tests, we couldn't find this design of Teku useful. Animating it was really hard and slow since it was a rather complex character (with his long limbs and the cloak). Then Jose sketched some new versions of Teku looking for a more useful design, and fortunately the candle idea came in that very week. Add some dolls to the formula and this is what you get:



So cute. We loved this idea for the characters, and so we decided to continue this way. But what about the early stages, the first protoypes? Well, as Jose was already animating and designing most of the new characters, I started some quick prototypes to test the gameplay, the controls, the candle mechanics, the basic AI for NPCs, the physics... some of you may be expecting some glamorous screenshot showing one of those prototypes. I'm afraid you may be disappointed: it's not glamorous at all. Here, take a look:



I am proud to introduce you our old fella Sheepy McSheepo, the very first sprite for Teku when I was doing all the prototypes. And notice that red bubble of death? That's a Wakcha. Isn't it rad to have red assasin bubbles acting as your deadly enemies? Sheepy McSheepo adventures lasted some months, until the first scenes and characters were painted and animated. With him, we tested the controls (walking, running, jumping, climbing ledges/ladders, swimming/diving, item picking...) as well as many other things such as menus, an inventory system, saving/loading, etc. The last thing I tested with Sheepy was a very simple draft for our current realtime, custom-colliding candlelight:



Incredibly beautiful. And not even a singe Pac-Man reference in that picture. But life goes on and it was about time Teku was finally put into the game. We will miss Sheepy McSheepo a lot, although he may have some weird cameo as a hidden Easter Egg... we'll see! Now take a look at this screenshot from the game:



Things have sure changed a lot, don't you think?

Cheers
-Mike

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