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Earthlock: Festival of Magic
October 1 - Snowcastle Games

In this update:

    Progression report Alpha/Beta schedule Launch schedule

1. Progression report

With more people on the team, we have had to convert our meeting room into a workspace. We still need to have production meetings from time to time, but that is now done in the cafe on the first floor. The team has been working two of four weekends this last month. Morale and motivation is solid.

Since May we have been producing the game content in chronological order. This month we are somewhat delayed according to our schedule. At the same time, we have completed all the monsters and characters for the game so for that we are a little ahead of schedule on that part of the production. This makes it a bit hard to evaluate if we are in fact behind schedule or not.

Gameplay mechanics nearing completion: Thomas is completing the work on combat abilities, skills and monster balancing this week. This is a big milestone since this is the core gameplay that is being completed. This also means that we can begin to properly test and balance the gameplay - especially the combat.

We still have work to do to complete all the visual assets that is needed to fill all the scenes with beautiful artwork, but this is stuff we can add and polish while the mechanics of the game is being tested.

Xbox One

We now have the game running on Xbox One. It seems to run fine for the most part, but there are quirks that we need to iron out.

2. Alpha/Beta schedule (Steam distribution)

With the core gameplay completed we can finally begin to do some testing! So next week will be used to prepare for alpha testing. We have begun the work on getting the game up and running through Steam. This seems to be the easiest solution for distribution for now.

Once we are ready, we will contact our Alpha tier backers (or above) and invite them to some play testing.

Even though we might be able to do some beta testing through one or more of the consoles, it looks like we won’t have capacity to maintain beta builds on all four planned platforms for now.

3. Launch schedule

This is still the same as mentioned in the previous update: We plan to submit the game for certification at the end of November. Launch is planned in the ideal launch window which is February to April 2016.

That's it for now!
Best regards,
Snowcastle Team

March 20 - Snowcastle Games

New trailer has beed added to the media files above.

Progression update

Since GDC we have been busy with:

  • Moving the project from Unity4.6 to Unity5
  • Changed Version System to Perforce
  • Cleaned up the whole project removing unused assets and obsolete elements.
  • The art team is busy making new concept art for all the areas that still need to make it into the game. Here's a sample:

    It has been a bit tedious, but now that it is done, we feel lighter and are ready to take on the last part of the journey.

April 8, 2014 - Snowcastle Games

Today we would like to talk a little about our crafting and harvesting system! (We'll get to the kittens further down in the post)

But first, there is only 3 days left of the Kickstarter Campaign

We have gone about this the organic way by allowing the player to plant various seeds that will grow into ammunition for the different characters. We wanted to give the player a base to come back to after each quest, a place to rest and prepare for the next journey.

The idea is to split up some of the character progression elements into object and plants on your home base.

Original Harvesting Concept with Cloud Berries, Goose Barnacles, etc.
We want the harvesting gameplay to be fun, engaging, and never become a tedious chore, so we have experimented with setting Gnart, the Hogbunny, to work doing the watering and tending after you’ve planted a seed. This way you won’t have to worry that the spud production grinds to a halt while you’re away. Gnart will handle it, albeit a little more slowly than if you engage directly.

The next idea is that the plants will react to other spudplants that are placed next to them. It’s what we’re describing as a rock paper scissor relationship between plants that like growing next to each other and plants that will hinder each other's growth.

We are also thinking about tying the farming to character progression, like a super slow growing spud that will actually raise a stat. This will give the player more direct control in how their characters evolve, rather than just relying on standard levelling up to raise the stats in a general way. It’s like an ability tree that you can see on your expanding farm field.

A crazy idea, a rapid prototype!
Since we have a world full of magic, we have allowed ourselves to do some crazy stuff. Last week the art team (all cat owners) talked about a cat tree (big scratch post) and Bendik did not know what it was. He took it quite literally and imagined a tree that grew fluffy kittens. Once the general laughter of the subject subsided, one thing led to another and we now have this concept that we would like to get your feedback on:

Presenting the Kitten Tree
The idea with the cat tree is that it will grow some cute fluffy kittens that can be loaded in your spudgun and fired at enemies for awesome effects! (Disclaimer: No kittens will be harmed during these attacks.)

Charm Offensive - prototype

Charm Offensive - prototype
The attack that we have been rapidly prototyping so far looks like a super powerful attack, but in the end it is only a charm spell as the cute kitten melts the heart of the enemy.

So, awesome backers - what do you think? We want to have humor in the game from time to time, but is this too much? =)

March 18, 2014 - Snowcastle Games

Our Art Director, Frits drew up this concept art for the fallen heroes who will be wandering the world of Umbra. These enemies will bear the name of the backers who pledge at the Early Art Book tier ($35) or higher. So if you ever wanted to be an enemy in a game, this is your chance!

The Fallen Hero Reward
This is a way for you to permanently leave your mark upon the world of Umbra in the Earthlock series. You will get your name associated with one of the in-game Fallen Heroes. These are special ghost-monsters, undead heroes of the past from a time before the Great Halt of the planet. You can encounter these heroes of ancient times on the Overworld, they are collectible and you will be rewarded in game for laying them all to their final rest.

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