Hello, today we want to give you an outlook on how we will continue with Eternal Escape (work title) during the next months. As we mentioned in our last blog it's about giving you a timetable of how we will create the Vertical Slice Prototype (VSP). Therefore we switched the whole project at the end of the second quarter of this year to Unreal Engine Version 4.25. That means we will benefit from a much improved engine and can raise older systems and gameplay to the level of production, for example the animation- and cover system.
At the end of August we received a positive message about our funding application. By that, beginning on the 1st of September 2020, the production of the VSP will start. We expect it to last 9 months and thereby will be completed in May 2021. During these months the current systems of the “Proof of Concept” prototype will be partially taken over, renewed and expanded. Also we will add more mechanics that will complement our tactical rules. They will be conceptualized in the first two production months (September and October) and after that implemented in the new project. Therefore the first two months are scheduled for the concept phase of the VSP. Although we already have a wide consensus of what we want to show in the VSP from the final game, we still have to clarify some details. This includes the appearance of the levels, which props are contained and what the possible main and optional objectives could be. Furthermore we have to determine which characters the player can choose and which he has to encounter as enemies. Because we have a wide variety of things we can choose from, we want to select everything carefully for the VSP.
From November onward, it's time to let the planning be followed by actions. At this point, the actual development of the VSP starts, which contains both parts of the game: strategy as well as tactics. For the strategy level, the overview map of the prison will be depicted in 3D. On this map you will be able to move around with your squad. The resources and research management will take place there, too. Last but not least it is the place where you can assemble your squad and assign skills as well as equipment before the tactical missions.
After that there is the tactical part which will contain two mission areas an one small combat area. This last area will offer random fights which will be triggered when you and your squad will move on the map. The mission areas on the other hand will offer big regions with main and side quests, where you can explore, but will also experience resistance. In the beginning you can control your squad in real time, but the moment you are spotted and a fight will start, the game will switch to the round-based mode. At this point your characters will take turns based on their initiative value, as in comparable RPGs. Each character has a certain amount of action points that can be used to interact and move. But the special feature in our game is, that you can plan the actions before you let your character execute them. This leads to the advantage, that you can evaluate and reschedule the actions of your character more precisely. Especially with our thirdperson camera and a non-grid based movement is this innovative system indispensable and enables a new approach, which was missing in the tactic genre.
So much for the extend of the development of the VSP. The development-phase will end in March 2021 and will be followed by a testing and polishing phase, which will take two months. As we mentioned in our first blog of this year, the VSP, which will be finalized in May 2021, will be the foundation of our early access version. This version is planned for 2021, too and will contain an advanced version of the VSP, as well as a sandbox mode. With the help of this mode we want to try out the new mechanics and incorporate feedback from the community.
During the last years we learned a lot and came far. Not only did we achieve to work full time on the project by founding our studio, but we also found a good place to work with other game developers that share our passion in Trier, our former schooling location. We want to thank everyone who accompanied us up to this point and we are excited about what the future holds for us. But I can already reveal a little bit for you: In our next blog you will get a first glance on the world and story of Eternal Escape. Until next time, I wish you a beautiful autumn and enjoy every second you can play!