I wanted to, I don't know, write a little bit here and let everyone know how we're doing, and what the status is on Hypertension. Don't worry - everything is in order, but I feel that I should explain myself a little here. Get ready for an ultimate ramble of incredible text! ;)
Normally, when working on something like a modification for a game, there's not much pressure there. You are doing it for yourself, for your own amusement and for nobody else's. The project gets a couple of "cools" and some fans. A few years later and its one of the most anticipated releases for the Dreamcast console.
|Older screen showing 2 player!|
Okay, so what about 2015?
2015...just...what a year. Good, bad, it's all there. But this year was definitely our year - the game evolved greatly as the game was being built and visually, it shows.
But we did not set any release dates this year like we did the years prior. In fact, I would say that this year has been our quietest year on record so far. In light of the tragedies the world has faced, we just simply don't have much to say.
|PICK UP THE SOAP|
Sure - could we have just simply re-skinned the 2008 version and made lots of money? Absolutely! You can see this effort in the Midwest Gaming Classic 2014 trailer and the reaction we got! Despite me growing unhappy with it, the fans really ate it up. Eugene Jarvis really liked that version of the game - fucking Eugene, man!
But something wasn't settling right. Even though we were converting into 3D and using a newer version of our 3DGE engine, it didn't feel like the game I wanted to make anymore. The decision to restart development came at a time when we were working on the other game, SCOURGE, in 2010-2011.
|WIP with normal/bump maps|
They suggested we retool Hypertension and release it - after being cleared of the Atari mess, they wanted us to go back to the game that started it all. So we did.
But there was a catch: we couldn't use any existing assets, so...ENTER THE THIRD DIMENSION! BECAUSE SCIENCE!! Unfortunately, that took much more effort than we originally estimated.
Fast forward (or, rewind) to the beginning of 2015...the game was coming together with a brand-new team (save for Jason, who's had much more patience than I can ever dream of mustering). However, my responsibilities were mounting.
|Yo Dawg. . .|
The first two guys that contracted with us did excellent work. They came up with elaborate designs based on a skeleton document I managed to cobble together. Pages and pages of stuff...and at least 5 revisions between them both. But, as the team was really fusing together and making this fun again, I started paying attention to the actual design.
Not having to be in charge of that stuff and lead the technical side is a dream come true! But it truthfully became a nightmare, because the design documents were nothing like I wanted. Out of frustration, one team member quit and another was re-assigned. Once again, it felt like things were falling apart.
Then Connor Linning came along, the guy that really changed everything. Here was a fine gentlemen who developed games (Overlooker: get it!), composed music, and was really into horror - something the last two contractors sorely lacked. He instantly clicked with our team and myself. We share much of the same twisted sense of humor and design goals, so it only became natural to eventually appoint him in charge of the story and design.
|Sanity Meter...a new addition to the game.|
So with both bases covered - design and engine - I was ultimately able to take back control of the development process. For the first time and ever since then, I feel like my game is coming together the way I want it. After all these years, things are finally moving into place. Add our amazing 3D and level designers to the mix and we have one hell of a game.
Hypertension: Harmony of Darkness is truly becoming one of the greatest achievements of my life. Seeing something that you cobbled together in 2008 stand on its own legs in innovative ways is really stunning. It went from being a remake to a copycat to a original piece of work. It's invigorating!
So now all of that circles back around to - well, when will the damn thing be finished?!
|He just wants a kiss!|
But now we are in the phase where serious development is taking place, the point of game development that requires absolute concentration and coordination. Long hours, juggling jobs and children and projects has taken its toll on my team and myself. But it's not in vain - we are working extremely hard to deliver.
Sometimes that means sewing up your lips and cutting off communication with the world. A development process that I was never a fan of until recently. Quiet time is what gets us going, and for good reason.
What we have is not just a game, not just a Blood remake or a 90's first person shooter. A deep, personal and emotional plot lay the foundation for a game that employs stellar graphics and sound design. Something fun, enjoyable, and lasting.
So, are we waiting then? Yes. While our engine is irrevocably nearing the end of its major features, the game itself is wholly different from the previous version. It's not just a shooter. It's a psychological thriller played from first-person...gunplay, survival-horror, and classically emulated.
We hope we can show off something either this Christmas or New Years. The MGC 2016 is in the early part of that year as well.
But as I've said before, because I'm a broken record...we have no budget. No kickstarter. No funding to speak of. I save whatever pocket change I can muster and send it off to my team members - hardware, currency...whatever I can do to keep us motivated.
It's slowly becoming less about the fans and media attention. I'm truly connecting with my videogame again, and it's finally fun. After these last few years of doubts and hard work, I'm home.
Please don't lose faith in us. Know that we know we're making one of the most ambitious and highly anticipated games for the system, pushing it graphically and poetically beyond anyone's dreams, even my own.
I have rambled enough. I hope you guys have found this interesting. Even though it was a bunch of text with pretty pictures. Going on camera is fun and all, but sometimes they say the way way to get it out of your system is to write it down.
Okay, I'm out. There's a game to finish! Remember - we love all of you! Positive vibes! Make sure to check our our Facebook page and get involved at our forums! <3 p="">