Today marks the one year anniversary of our success on Kickstarter! We love the support we have gotten from all our backers in the last year and now we want to give a full rundown of where we are in the development process for Lacuna Passage. This is our State of the Game Address...
The amount of art content required for Lacuna Passage is a pretty massive undertaking for such a small team, but we are making great progress, especially now that we have another full-time team member dedicated to 3D art. Spencer has been hard at work lately with our other part-time team members Jeremy and Cameron on the internal designs of the Foundation Base Habitat, one of several human structures in the game. Below you can see some work-in-progress shots of the main habitat.
Obviously there is still a fair amount of work to be done here, but you can start to get a sense for the space and how it will appear in the final game. We have also been testing out lightmapping for the light and shadow effects you see in these screenshots. Even these very early tests seem extremely promising. I think the finished product should be a compelling location among many that you will inhabit during the game. We would like to do more frequent blog posts in the future showing art progress including some tutorials on how to achieve the effects we are creating.
We also continue to refine our terrain creation process and our surface textures. The planet Mars is as much a character in Lacuna Passage as Jessica Rainer is, so we want the terrain you explore to be as detailed as possible.
Our team members contributing to the story have been doing some amazing work. Unfortunately this is one aspect of development that we can't really share with you. We want each of you to experience the narrative without spoiling any details. We did hold a writing contest a few months ago though, so if you haven't read the winning entries yet make sure to check them out.
Our primary gameplay systems have seen some major improvements in the last few months and we have been chronicling our progress in our devlog. Here's a recap of where we are with some relevant links to previous posts:
- The Photography system is nearly complete
- The Time-of-Day system has been rewritten
- The basic components of the Survival system are in place
- We have recently started working on our item/inventory system
- The Dynamic Music system is looking good and will be on the Unity Asset Store when finished
- Oculus Rift support is coming along nicely (DK1 only for right now)
Most of the music you have heard so far has been a proof of concept. We are waiting until some of the story scenarios are more concrete before working on final compositions. The features we continue to add to the Dynamic Music system will also influence the final soundtrack.
When we were preparing to attend the Game Developers Conference earlier this year we put together a small demo of Lacuna Passage that we called Prologue. This helped us have something to show a few journalists and other interested parties. The feedback we got was great, but we knew that there was a lot that needed to be done before showing the demo to players.
Just earlier this month we attended the Midwest Game Developers Summit with a new and improved Prologue demo at our own booth. We made a post about our experience there a couple weeks ago which you can read here. The response we got was excellent (someone was even nice enough to write about us) and we returned home with a renewed vigor that has kept us pumping ever since. Make sure to check out some of the amazing in-game photos that players took from the conference.
I also gave a talk at the MGDS called "AAA" Indie: Big Games with Small Teams and Tiny Budgets. It's about 30 minutes long and gives some additional insight into the development of Lacuna Passage to help other aspiring indie devs. I got some great feedback from the talk so I posted the whole thing online (though you will want to watch with captions because the audio isn't great).
MEMENTO AND SIGNATURE BACKERS
Right now we are focused on creating core game-related content, but we will be contacting Memento and Signature Backers in the future when we are ready to add in these special backer rewards. We are very excited to integrate some of our supporters into the game in a very personal way.
The Bad News: It’s becoming obvious to us that we will not have the game completed by our original estimate of December 2014. We hope that none of you feel misled. We were honest up front when we told you that we were not experienced game developers, and this is a side effect of that, but...
The Good News: We WILL finish this game. We will NOT disappear. We won’t run out of funding anytime soon. We will continue to share regular updates and get the game to you as soon as we can. We want this game to be something special by the time it gets to you. Thank you for your patience and support.
If you are feeling extra generous, you can actually donate additional funding now through our website to help us secure even more resources to finish development (voice artists, 3D artists, software licenses, etc). And don’t forget, you can also preorder additional copies of the game for your friends and family. Every little bit helps!
We hope you have enjoyed following our progress as much as we have enjoyed working on Lacuna Passage. This game is our passion and it wouldn't have been possible without our Kickstarter backers.