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The Intruder
9. juli - Mister Royzo

A long time's passed without any news about The Intruder, so alongside a brand new trailer I want to take a moment to talk about the important things: under what circumstances the project started, what happened to the project post-Greenlight, where the game is now and what our plans are for the future.

Like most of you I grew up playing games, and in particular adventure games sparked my imagination. Taking someone to a mysterious and dangerous new world seemed to me like the best adventure ever, and to me games were the perfect medium for that type of experience. Knowing no-one who was interested in making games I started making small games by myself, and I ended up having to do everything: the design, art and even the programming, which at the time was the polar opposite of what I was good at or interested in. To get better at programming I studied Software Engineering, and I ended up finding it pretty fun to do in itself. During this education I started a prototype for what was later to become The Intruder. Ambitious and naive I posted it to Greenlight with the intention to turn it into one of those games I loved growing up, and I was going to do it all by myself within a year because that seemed like such a long time.

Shortly afterwards I started an internship at a Dutch game studio and I was suddenly surrounded by people who loved games and were experts at their craft, which was amazing. While excitedly talking to my colleagues about my game all kinds of questions came up to which I didn't really have an answer. In particular the flow of the game and the visual style (or lack thereof) turned out to present major shortcomings. On a technical level I was having issues getting a convincing real-time day/night cycle in the game, managing an open world, and coping with a very complex asset pipeline by myself. Not to mention the fact that my internship ended up taking the form of a full-time job as a programmer, on top of which I still had to a research and a thesis for my education, while spending almost every flake of spare time working on The Intruder.

Despite all this I tried to keep expanding the game and stay in touch with the community, which I managed to do successfully for a while but eventually, life happened. They gave me a permanent position, I moved out of my parent's house and I got caught up in finally being a professional game developer, meeting new people, trying to master my crafts and pick up new ones (like writing shaders, which was completely new to me). That, along with the road blocks I didn't know how to overcome caused production on The Intruder to slowly grind down to a halt.

In this time I still made a variety of game mechanics but it was more of a loosely connected spaghetti of cool ideas than a concise whole. The project even switched engines several times, with varying degrees of difficulty to port, meaning that not everything I had made came along instantly and some of it even had to be completely rewritten.

Things were stuck like that for a while, but having spent some time in the industry, sparring with my colleagues and developing my skills I eventually became able to solve some of the major design problems, technical challenges and even managed to eventually conjure up a visually compelling world after a few crazy scientist moments involving creepy photographs, atmospheric scattering and some post processing effects. I also joined a studio called Paladin Studios, and they're working on cool stuff that's challenging and interesting to participate in and they are very supportive of my personal project. Along the way I also met Luciënne, who's currently helping me with assets and developing the story, but whose greatest contribution so far has been mercilessly bashing me over the head about the fact that I left my audience in the dark regarding the new developments, which is something I really needed to hear.

So, having figured out the major design and technological issues I've been working really hard lately to neatly tie all the game systems I've built together, and I spent some time polishing the game assets that I currently have to be ready to show publicly. Currently almost all of the game mechanics are built, most of the Intruder's AI has been ported from the previous engine, there's a real-time day/night cycle, several enemies and an open world that desperately wants to be filled in with content. The project is back on track and is being worked on seriously again.

As for the future, I'm currently finishing up a playable section of the game that features an 'abandoned' school for which I want to do playtests again, which I haven't done in a long time. Before the game is finished I will have to complete several more of such environments with unique content, and once I have a better grasp of how much there's really left to make I will make a new estimate for the remaining development time of The Intruder.

Currently, just by working alongside a full-time job I should be able to eventually deliver the game I set out to make, but I want to deliver something sooner than that. Luciënne convinced me into applying for an open call from the Dutch Stimuleringsfonds, who is sending promising new developers to Gamescom 2015 which I never thought I would be eligible for, turns out they actually share our excitement for the game so we're going in August. We want to use that as an opportunity to make new business contacts and hopefully to find means to expedite the development process.

Lastly I want to say that I'm hugely grateful for the positive response so far and for all those people who were still actively engaged with the project despite the radio silence. We want to deliver the best game we can make to you guys, and although I feel like a Minecraft-esque pre-purchase model where you get to see every single change to the game doesn't make sense to us - especially for a horror game that's based so much on suspense and mystery - we want to do a better job at keeping you in the loop when there are major developments.

TL;DR I was kind of naive about game development when I put The Intruder on Greenlight, I made a bunch of cool stuff but I got stuck with the project. Then I finished my education and joined a game studio which was an eye opening experience, picked up all kinds of new skills. It's recently lead me to solve all the problems the project had, we're back on track now, we're looking to expedite the production process, Luciënne joined to help out, currently working on a new gameplay demo to show off and make new business contacts at Gamescom 2015.

Thanks for sticking with us all this time.

Roy

7. juli - Mister Royzo

Stay tuned for a big The Intruder update this Thursday, July 9th.

Follow us @theintrudergame on Twitter for all the latest updates.

7. november 2012 - Mister Royzo

I've just done an interview with Game Muse, which has some new facts and insights about the game and its development.

http://gamemuse.net/the-intruder-interview/

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