It's time again for another update!
Last week we were at GDC (San Francisco's Game Developers Conference). As always it was an amazing experience and a great opportunity to say hi to old friends and meet new ones.
It was truly inspiring to see so many innovative, fun, and beautiful indie games that are in production or have been recently released. Talking to other indie mobile developers was a fantastic experience and made it clear that there are many other people going through the same things we are. GDC was a welcomed break that left us refreshed and more passionate than ever to finish Axle and show it to the world.
The current alpha Axle build that we were showing around at GDC was extremely well received by everyone that played it. It was also good to get some more solid play testing at this stage in production. Some of our system iteration has finally paid off, and one or two designs are headed back to the drawing board- because we want to make Axle as good as it can possibly be.
As for progress on Axle, we just keep rolling content out!
Since you last heard from us we have:
- Put together a system to create parallaxing backgrounds so that we can give our worlds some depth. We're currently in the process of painting those and assembling them.
- Finished a first draft on some more levels! (You'll see this one a lot in updates, we've got quite a few levels each a part of a unique machine with different obstacles and hazards)
- Made revisions moving towards a final draft on our music.
- Started testing the build of our game on different mobile devices.
- Finished cutscene system implementation
- Finished the tutorial
- Added more particle effects. Because fire, electricity, and explosions make everything cooler, and easier to see on a small phone screen.
Here is what the vfx for a checkpoint will look like. When you reach a checkpoint, Axle will push until he can get the gears turning and power up the next part of the machine. (We will be doing another art pass on the checkpoint structure itself, and the gears will turn with you, but we wanted to show off the lightning!)
Speaking of rewards - guess what we've ordered!
The rewards have been ordered and are slowly coming in. The only exceptions to this are the Axle Soundtrack, the Axle Art book, and the Axle Background Pack. All of these will feature content from Axle, and since we are still building Axle, to deliver those at this time would make them incomplete. Because we want to put as much content as possible into both the art book, background pack, and soundtrack, we will complete and ship those once we are at a point where we are done adding art and music to the game. Don't worry! You will still get your digital or physical copy, but just a bit later than the rest of your other rewards.
Making a game, especially one unique and robust as Axle, takes quite a bit of time and dedication. Unfortunately we are a bit short on the former. Our small team has to be employed full time in order to pay the rent while we finish up Axle, committing everyone to a tight schedule of nights and weekends. We've accomplished an amazing amount in that time, but it does make production take longer than if we were able to devote our full time to only this game.
While production will not be finished in April, we will be working as hard as ever to get you rewards and finish Axle as soon as possible.
We've come up with a pretty exciting schedule of when you can expect to receive content and rewards from us:
- First, once we have received them from the various companies which we ordered them from, you will receive the first round of Rewards. These will include everything but the Soundtrack, Art book, Background Pack, and Beta Party.
- Second, once we finish polishing one of our levels that we want to see your response to, we will share with you a section of Axle, a small beta, for you to both sample and help us test.
- After that we will be moving towards the end of production on Axle. Once we have a complete soundtrack and all the art done, we will put together our background pack, soundtrack, and art book, and ship them to you.
- Finally, once we feel we have a well-tested project that will work on your phones, we will ship the Android version of Axle. Digital copies of the game, watts, etc. will be given out at that time.
- After the Android release we will be working on user support and moving towardsreleases for other systems like iPhones, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 phones, the Ouya, and so on. We don't have time estimates for these yet, but rest assured we will keep you updated!