We have taken time to explain many details about TIMEframe over the last few months, but most of that information is spread over several blog posts and Kickstarter updates. So today we are going to recap all the details and hopefully answer any questions you have.
Why is this update more than a week late?
My wife just recently got a new full time job that required us to move to Burlington, Iowa. After we got here our internet connection was spotty for a while and it took us time to settle in. Things are back up and running and we should be in a normal update schedule from now on.
Wait… what is TIMEframe again? I thought you were working on a Mars game?
TIMEframe is a simple exploration game set in a world where time is massively slowed down. It started as a Ludum Dare game which was made in a single weekend. It got the attention of several gaming websites and YouTube gamers who all had very positive things to say about. We eventually decided to put it up on Steam Greenlight to see if anyone had an interest in an updated version. TIMEframe was Greenlit in less than two weeks thanks in no small part to our Kickstarter backers from Lacuna Passage. However, we then had to put the updated version of TIMEframe on hold after we received the news that Lacuna Passage was accepted into the PAX East 2015 Indie MEGABOOTH. After we got back from Boston we transitioned back to the updated version of TIMEframe once again and we are now getting close to a release.
Why are you taking time off from development of Lacuna Passage to work on TIMEframe?
Making games costs money. Our Kickstarter for Lacuna Passage is still managing to fund a large part of development, but we don’t have much room for error in our budget. If we have more setbacks or unforeseen costs then Lacuna Passage may have difficulties getting finished.
TIMEframe is a much smaller project that we knew we could take to market is a much shorter time span. We will also effectively get to use TIMEframe as a learning experience for launching a product on Steam. We are getting practice with integrating Steam achievements, trading cards, and other elements of their API that we can apply later in Lacuna Passage. We will also get to learn more about the marketing side of launching a game on Steam. We would much rather learn the stumbling blocks now with TIMEframe than later with a larger title like Lacuna Passage. By the time that TIMEframe is finished and available on Steam we will only have lost about 2 months of development time, but we also potentially have a lot to gain.
Our hope is that the sales of TIMEframe will make our studio more financially stable and make the continued development of Lacuna Passage less stressful. Since my brother Spencer joined the team last year he has effectively been donating his time. Both of us would love to be able to afford more than ramen noodles and pop tarts. There is no guarantee that TIMEframe will provide any meaningful income, but we think that it is worth trying.
The updated version of TIMEframe is also our first official test run of our Unity music plugin Song Seed. We will also be using it for Lacuna Passage, but more importantly we are planning to release the plugin commercially on the Unity Asset Store. Hopefully this will be another source of supporting revenue for our studio.
So if this is an “updated” version of the old TIMEframe then what is new about it?
Here’s a pretty good list of everything that you have to look forward to in the new version:
New polygonal terrain
Better matches our updated art style
New foliage models and textures
Vertex manipulation for wind animation
Improved water effects
Vertex manipulation for wind and waves
14 total explorable locations
8 completely new locations
Old locations also have updated models and textures
Better slow-motion effects
Previously listed vertex manipulation effects for foliage and water
New particle effects
New slow-motion physics objects
New story content
Unlockable historical texts
20+ minutes of music in an updated soundtrack
Live recorded string instruments
Uses our Song Seed Unity plugin for dynamic transitioning of tracks
New settings screen
No default Unity launcher window (all options are in-game)
Quality level options
Resolution and full screen settings
Look sensitivity, smoothing, and Field of View sliders
Xbox controller support
That sounds pretty cool. When will it be available?
We should be finished with the game in the next two weeks. At that time we will transition back to about 90% development time for Lacuna Passage. The other 10% we will spend on TIMEframe doing playtesting, fixing bugs, creating marketing images and trailers, sending review copies to press and YouTubers, etc. It’s uncertain right now exactly what the release date for TIMEframe will be, but early June is a good bet with a price between $5-10. If you are a Kickstarter backer for Lacuna Passage however, you will be getting a free copy of TIMEframe and the game’s soundtrack as a thank you for your patience with us.
If you have any more questions please feel free to ask in the comments.
Random Seed Games