Archive

What’s next

It’s over a month since our campaign ended and we’ve been keeping a bit quiet. Everyone is probably curious what we’re up to now. So here I am to tell you what our plans are for the upcoming months.

Time to store all those Kickstarter money (GDC Humble Bundle Party was taking place in the San Francisco Old Mint).

Time to store all those Kickstarter money (GDC Humble Bundle Party was taking place in the San Francisco Old Mint).

I’ll start with what we did last month. Following a two-month sprint it was time to start dealing with all the stuff that got sidelined, particularly such personal issues as family and taxes. Obviously it was also necessary to reply to the tons of e-mails that had piled up in the inbox and respond to all the interviews we had no time to respond to during the campaign. Following the success of our campaign our doorbell hasn’t stopped ringing and we’ve had a whole series of visits from various newspapers and magazines (like Forbes, for example), as well as a few fellow developers.

Continue reading

The Art of Waiting

KC_Deliverance_Wallpaper

Our pitching tour over, we went back to work. A moderately nervous team was waiting there for us. “How did it go? Does anybody want it? Are we going to carry on? Can I take a mortgage? Should I be looking for a new job?” “You know, we’d like to know that, as well! But this, ladies and gentlemen, is the gaming industry, and that means everybody has plenty of time!” Everybody but us, of course.

If you, like our colleagues, were expecting our phones to start ringing off the hook one day after our return, swarming us with promises of millions of dollars, then you were expecting incorrectly. The first call finally came about a week later, and it was from our agents, letting us know who had already passed on our game. Very disheartening.

One of the biggest blows was being turned down by a very promising, international publishing company. Although the U.S.-based wing of the corporation seemed very excited about the project, their European representative let us know that they didn’t think the game would fly with Americans. We’ve faced rejection from other companies, too, of course, but that one was perhaps the most painful.

Continue reading

WARHORSE WORLDWIDE PITCHING TOUR 2013

Me and an unnamed publisher.

Me and an unnamed publisher.

Last time we left off just at the point when we were embarking on a pitching tour of publishers to try and push our game on them. So it’s obvious what’s coming this time. Yes, you are about to find out what was conjured up at those mysterious meetings with the people who decide what games you get to play. Will ours be one of them?
We were fairly well prepared for the trip – I would say even well above standard. We had a working version of the game that looked good and contained a half-hour quest with all the basic game mechanics fully functioning, a several minutes long trailer, lots of screenshots, a presentation and a nice flyer on luxurious paper – all data recorded on flash disks shaped like gold bars and packed in leather cases. You’ve got to make an impression, and when I compare it to how we pitched other games in the past, this is a whole other league (you can read about the preparation of these materials in our previous blogs hereand here).

Continue reading

VIDEO AND CABIN FEVER

An image from our storyboard, this one was not drawn by me

An image from our storyboard, this one was not drawn by me

A strict deadline for all things to come together invariably leads to “funny” situations. You may for example have fully functional pathfinding and a completely operational crafting minigame and when combined into a single whole, both will stop working for some unfathomable reason. The likeness of that happening increases with the number of systems that are being joined together, as a result, when everything is merged, nothing works.

It goes without saying that the bar goes up as well. You stop overlooking “tiny” glitches like clipping (graphics that vanish when they get too close to camera) in combat. It didn’t bother anybody so far, everyone was happy that it’s possible to fight at all and we saw superficial stuff, like two weapons intersecting each other, as something to be fixed later. But when you show the game to somebody, the clipping and the weapons intersecting each other are the first things they’re going to notice in combat. It doesn’t matter that no other game ever had combat like this: it flickers and looks unfinished, so it must be rubbish.

Continue reading

POWERPOINT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

A fetching slide from our presentation

A fetching slide from our presentation

In the last entry I covered our overall strategy and how we started to get ready for pitching the game to publishers, I talked mostly about the game demo. But there is more to a pitch than just a playable demo, it includes various documents, screenshots, artworks and most importantly a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes everything in a nice and accessible way and which may be the most important thing of all. We are going to discuss the video next time, today, I am going to submit for your reading pleasure an essay on working the PowerPoint. It’s gonna be exciting!

Continue reading

LOOKING BACK

Real screenshot from our game

Real screenshot from our game

Long time no see! We’ve been silent for five long months, and you’re sure to wonder why. What was going on here? Why this long pause? To put it simply: we’ve been quite busy. We were finalizing the game prototype for a Publisher pitch that our future basically hinged on, so we were focusing on that and blogs unfortunately had to be sidelined. Besides, we didn’t want to publish too much information at that important moment as it’s certainly better when your potential partner learns the salient facts from you directly and doesn’t have to hunt for them on social media. Now we finally have some time so I’ll try to catch up and write an account of what was going on here.

Continue reading

WE’VE SPRUNG A LEAK!

A screenshot from the leaked video. The image quality is not indicative of our current visual  fidelity.

A screenshot from the leaked video. The image quality is not indicative of our current visual fidelity.

A piece of our “next gen” video from the game has been leaked! This means that anyone who’s been waiting for a chance can finally see at least a fragment of what we’re doing and judge whether it’s worthwhile keeping an eye on us or not. To pre-empt any rumours and misinterpretations of this tiny bit of the environment on show, taken out of the context of an hour-long presentation at a game industry conference, it’s best to clarify just what’s going on here and how our game is looking, and to recapitulate on the development so far, which I wanted to do anyway. So here we go.

Continue reading

COLOGNE REVISITED

The author, beset by a gang of teenage zombies. Gamescom is not for the faint of heart.

The author, beset by a gang of teenage zombies. Gamescom is not for the faint of heart.

Things have been pretty hectic around here the last couple of months. Warhorse is up and running and the hour is fast approaching of planned completion of a very important milestone – the ‘Vertical Slice’ which we’ve been working hard on 24/7. As the name implies, a Vertical Slice is a cross-section of the game and should be a very polished demonstration of all the game’s basic mechanisms, its graphic look and its treatment of the important elements. For us, this means generating quite a chunk of art (in an Open World game doing one level is not exactly an option), scripting into it a representative quest, which will contain all the important game mechanisms, such as complete control of the character, the dialog, the combat system, AI controlled NPCs, and throwing in an animation sequence or two, voiceovers and user interface. As far as possible, the whole package should look as good as the finished game. In the case of a shooter, we’d simply do one level and exploit lots of mechanisms straight from CryEngine; with an RPG it’s a bit more complicated than that. For example, we had to program a very complex dressing system, which you won’t find in any 3rd party engine. But such is life.

Continue reading