It’s been 2 months since the last update in April. That one featured some “bad news” after I had Pneumonia and was also diagnosed with high blood pressure.
June, however features more good news than bad! First and foremost, I’m down 22 lbs from 212 to 190 lbs! While I haven’t checked my blood pressure, this can only be good news on that front. My personal goal is to get down to the 170’s, so I’ve still got some work cut out for me, but what a wonderful head start.
But you didn’t come here for my personal health update, so onto the Betrayed Alliance update stuff.
Development has slowed for a couple reasons: First, to allow time to exercise more. Second, for a reason I’ll talk about below. That said, things are getting done.
- 61 Screens (basically finished) out of probably 100 (way more than I anticipated at the beginning!)
- Plot line is coming along very well and I’ve gotten all major plot points and character turning moments mapped out. Now it’s a matter of weaving them together with puzzle elements.
A word on plot
I’ve found this project harder to plot than previous stories I’ve written and I think it has to do with the gameplay mechanic I started the project with (having 2 switchable characters). It took me a while, but I realized this wasn’t just the story of the General you played as in book 1, but rather had two main characters and I needed to flesh out Leah in this game. She cannot just be a side character here, she needs to have a character arc as much as any main character. This sent me back to the plotting board numerous times to make sure both characters had motivations, backstories, ghosts, that not only did them justice, but also played into each other as well as the other characters they’d be spending a lot of time with.
I have to say that I’m excited with how the story has developed and hope that I can translate it to the game the best I can.
I’ve kicked around the idea a bit with some friends and talked about it casually on stream, but I’ve never fully announced my intention to kickstart.
Now is the time.
No! Not the time to kickstart, but to begin planning for it. This is the second reason development has slowed a bit. Planning a Kickstarter is a project in and of itself, but it’s one that excites me because I’m hoping it will allow me to do things I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.
First, I’d like to put together a physical box set of the game with printed user manuals. I’d like the manual to be old school for sure, but also much more. I’d like it to be part game manual, part art book with concept art, and part story book featuring a short story similar to how the King’s Quest manuals often had fairytale-like stories in them. Kickstarter will give me the overhead for the materials and printing of these boxes and books.
Lately I’ve been working on concept artwork for use in the manual (as well as the Kickstarter page itself). Some of these are physically colored with Copic markers, others were outlined with Ink on paper and colored digitally with photoshop. I would like to draw and color 2 large images (one vertical and one horizontal) for the box cover, and whatever other uses you could use such art pieces for.
I’ve also been writing script ideas for the Kickstarter video. I’ve got two scripts, but I’m not sure I’m quite sold on either of them.
As to when I would kickstart, I’m thinking either November or February, mainly because I don’t know how long things like this take to get up and ready.
It’s summer! Does that mean more time or less?
I’ve got big plans on doing arts and crafts with my kids this summer. Also learning to read and write better with my six and eight year olds. I’m not currently sure what kind of daily schedule I can put together for work on the game, but when the kids go to bed, I get to work, so I’m sure I’ll put at least an hour a day in.
I’m hopeful for the return of streaming background artwork asset creation, too.
What are your thoughts on the project so far? Are there things you’d like to see? Do you have reactions to the idea of me kickstarting this project? Most importantly, what cool stuff would you like to see as Kickstarter rewards?