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Friday
Jul222016

Weekly Blog Update: Coloring Book Mode

We started the week working on the Octopus Temple - but on Weds we decided that since the Coloring Book Mode is going to be a part of the final release of the game anyway, we could shift our focus to releasing it as a standalone purchase soon. :) 3 years of development is starting to feel long, so we thought this would be a good way to motivate ourselves, give us an opportunity to share something substantial with players, and maybe build some awareness of the game at the same time.

The Coloring Book is currently functional, but there are a number of things we want to add to make it more fun. Issam is working on a save & load system, and after that he's going to change the way you take screenshots (currently you just get 4 set camera positions, but we'd like to add the option to set your own camera angles).  

We also only have 3 rooms to choose from at the moment, and we are aiming for at least 6. This week I added a new Frog Temple Room:

Now I'm working on adding an Arctic Fox room - which will be good progress us since we haven't done any art for this temple yet. Yesterday I spent some time on research and found some cool stuff. I remembered that Never Alone has Cultural Insight videos that you unlock as you play, so I went back and watched them for inspiration. (If you haven't played it before, it's a really cool game! They collaborated with Alaskan Native storytellers to make it, and you learn a lot about Inuit culture while playing it.  )

I found some reference as a starting point - in particular these sod houses that use whale bones. I had assumed the Fox Temple would have some fire, but now I'm wondering if it might also be a dark level (like the Frog Temple).

I started blocking out the room yesterday and I'm going to try digging into it today. (I'm also taking some time this afternoon to go judge some games at Game Worlds Camp!)

Miles is still in vacation-mode, I think.

Friday
Jul152016

Weekly Blog Update: Frog Temple To Do

Issam and I are still on vacation (although we're juuuuust starting to get a little back into work stuff today), so I don't have a ton of updates, but I can at least talk about what we're planning on doing this coming week!

The Frog Temple has 5 functional puzzles, but there are currently some issues keeping us from playtesting. Most of the puzzles require you to take color from fire, but doing so right now is really difficult since there's no room to stand on the lip of the lamp, and if you're standing in the fire when you take the color, you get collision errors that slow the game down.

We also need to do work on the water shader, since it currently isn't affected by the lights:

There's also a section where you block a sentinel with a pot, which doesn't really work - and you can't carry the fire over the pot without the collision making you drop it. :)

Also just carrying fire and jumping together is hard:

Issam is going to dig into these issues so we can start testing them. Today I'm opening up the Octopus temple to assess the current state of the rough puzzles that are in there, and start finalizing the first five. 

In terms of marketing/interviews etc I did an interview today which will be turned into a YouTube video. We're supposed to do a live interview sometime in early August. Here's a new interview I did for GameSkinny.com - and I'm still waiting on some other interviews I've already done to see when they go up. Our game is also part of the Indie Revolution Expo which is happening today-Sunday online! 

Here's Miles continuing to enjoy his vacation time:

Tuesday
Jul122016

Weekly Blog Update: RTX & Interviews!

Wow I actually did forget to post last Friday!!! Issam and I are both on vacation this week so there's not too much to give updates on, but I did make this recap video from RTX!

Also here is one of the interviews we did at RTX!

The game was on "Jesse Schell Plays Your Game!" the other night on Schell Games' Twitch Channel so I got a ton of good feedback from that (if you're a dev and you're interested in submitting your game, you can go here). I also did an interview on the Indie Game Stand Twitch channel which was fun! GameSkinny posted a preview and should be posting an interview I did with them soon, and a few other interviews from Indy PopCon and RTX may surface in the next week or so. :) 

Miles is also just chilling this week (I miss himmm!!!)

Friday
Jul012016

Weekly Blog Update: RTX!

Whoaah I almost forgot to post this week!!!

We're at RTX this weekend!! Today was our first day and it was fantastic! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and played today! We'll be there tomorrow & Sunday too! We're in the Indie Alley (near the main stage in the Expo Hall)!

Here's what our booth looks like!

The fake plants are Miles-Approved!

Friday
Jun242016

Weekly Blog Update: Indy PopCon & Coloring Book Mode

We're back from Indy PopCon!

We were named a Semi-Finalist in the Reboot Indie Game Awards, which was really cool! 3rd place went to TumbleSeed, 2nd went to Manifold Garden, and Hive Jump won first place!

Tons of people played our game and it was fun! I think our demo is finally in a good place in terms of polish. The only outstanding feedback items are that it's hard to jump out of the water in one of the later puzzles, and people still get confused when they're learning that ivy can use any color. For right now though, I'm really happy to move on to later parts of the game. :) 

 

 

 

 

And here are some pictures from around the convention!

 

 

 

   

This week I've been working on the Coloring Book Mode! It was important to me that the player would be able to color all of the objects - even in places that aren't normally reachable in the game - so I connected some pieces up and I think the result is more fun to play with! 

  

 

 

Also our MomoCon award arrived in the mail yesterday! Look how cool it is!

Next up is RTX in Austin the weekend after next! If you're going to be there, make sure you drop by! We're smushing our booth together with some other Austin indies at the show: Super Duper Game Company,Newmark Software and Taco Illuminati!

 

And here's a picture of Producer Miles busting me for watching Gilmore Girls instead of working!

 

Friday
Jun172016

Weekly Blog Update: Pre-Orders & Indy PopCon

We're showing at Indy PopCon in Indianapolis today through Sunday, so this will be a short post - but I have an exciting announcement:

PC PRE-ORDERS ARE LIVE!!!!

Go to ColorThiefGame.com to pre-order the game! This week when you pre-order, we will also send you the Indy PopCon build - which is an early-access section of the Chameleon Temple!! We'll email the build to everyone that pre-orders by Friday the 24th!

If you're in Indianapolis, come and see us! 

Here's Miles helping me pack:

Friday
Jun102016

Weekly Blog Update: Preparing for Indy PopCon

This has been a busy week, full of a lot of different stuff! 

First off, I forgot to post last week that Color Thief won one of five award spots in the MomoCon 2016 Indie Awards Showcase!! They haven't updated the website with winners yet, but we're really happy to have placed along with Dimension Drive, Ellipsis, Epistory: Typing Chronicles, and Inversus! We unfortunately weren't there to collect the award, but we'll get a cool trophy in the mail. :D

Next weekend we'll be in Indianapolis for Indy PopCon 2016, so most of this week has been spent preparing. 

We're going to be showing the Coloring Book Mode on one of the stations. Right now there are 2 rooms, but I've been working on adding one more from the Octopus Temple: 

I'm going to lower the side walls around the pavillion so you can reach more places to color. 

Issam has been working on a screenshot system so that you have something shareable when you finish coloring a room. I think for the convention we'll get people to enter either Twitter handles or email addresses so we can send them their pictures. :) Here are some camera angles for the Meditation Room: 

 

 

Right now the chameleon isn't in there, but we'll add him in. 

We've also been working a lot on updating the website with new info and screenshots (updates aren't live yet). 

We're planning on adding pre-orders to the website! We'd like to offer 3 options:

  • Pre-order the game at a discount
  • Pre-order the game at full price and receive the early access demo (first half of Chameleon Temple)
  • Pay more for 2 pre-orders + early access demo + a version of the Coloring Book Mode

The Coloring Book will be part of the full game, but the 3rd option just lets you play with it sooner. 

Issam also spent some time last weekend playing with motion blur, ambient occlusion and depth of field. Unfortunately for him, I ended up rejecting all 3 for game-feel reasons. Sorry, Issam!

Here are some motion blur tests that make me dizzy:

And ambient occlusion tests that look really cool:

Things have been a little hectic

 

Friday
Jun032016

Weekly Blog Update: New Frog Puzzles

This week I've been working on the Frog Temple!!

These are 3 new puzzle rooms, although right now they're hard to tell apart. Right now the water isn't receiving shadows - which looks very cool, but is puzzle breaking, so expect that to change. :)

Small bug ;)

Issam made the importer for my wall lights, and has been working on a Mac build of the game. We also submitted to another thing on Monday, which took some time. He's also been starting to move us to the latest version of Unity.

I also took a short break from work yesterday to go apartment hunting. Here's a picture of a Very Important Meeting:

And Miles and I have been enjoying the occasional breaks in the rain. Team-building exercise:

Friday
May272016

Weekly Blog Update: New Trailer & Gameplay Summary Video

This week we made a new trailer!!

We also submitted to IndieCade (today!), plus a few other competitions, and made a gamplay explanation video for a different submission. 

Issam set up a music logic system for me to place triggers to layer the music tracks as you progress through the level and it's really cool! We also changed the way the bird acts in the intro (he sticks around to lead you towards the temple), and Issam fixed various bugs and worked on the shadows for our build. We also updated the PressKit with our new trailer. 

I've gotten back to working on the Frog Temple this week, which is exciting! 

Here are some puzzle design scribbles:

Here's something Issam scribbled??

Here's Miles helping me record the audio for the Gameplay Summary video:

Friday
May202016

Weekly Blog Update: Story, Trailer & Polish

We're finishing up the 2nd half of the Chameleon Temple to submit the game to IndieCade (and a bunch of other festivals) this week. 

I added some narrative stuff to the 2nd half of the temple: 

I also did another pass on the last puzzle in this level. I think it works better now:

And the last 2 days I've been working on a new trailer for the game! It's mostly done, I'm just making some little tweaks, then I will post it! :)

Also I was a little busy today working on a presentation about game development I'm giving to some middle schoolers tomorrow. Here's my Network Engineering slide:

Issam has been working on the camera and climbing systems. He also made the butterflies fade in and out instead of just appearing, and worked on some bugs related to sounds playing at the wrong times. 

Also earlier in the week Miles and Issam fixed my desktop again. :)