2019 is coming to an end. Like last year, we want to take a look back and recapitulate the most important things that happened in no particular order.
If you don't know much about Eternal Escape is, no worries, we’ll give you a short rundown. Eternal Escape is a story driven, tactical game with a strong focus on turned based combat. In our game, players are visualizing their planning of moves first, before actually executing them and wasting precious action points. If you want to play it yourself, just go ahead and download our free pre-alpha demo to see for yourself!
One of the first bigger topics that we talked about this year was our art style. At the beginning of 2019 we decided to start working on our own distinct art style. As until then, we didn't really know what we wanted Eternal Escape to really look like. We had some ideas floating around, but we never really brought them on paper. So our artists created a nice set of concept art for possible art styles. We took a look at a wide range of possible styles. One of them being the cartoony look of Overwatch, but also more realistic ones like "Deus Ex - Mankind Divided". After several style studies, and late night team meetings, we finally decided on a semi-realistic look. Similar to games from Yager, e.g. "The Cycle", with a mixture of Boris Dyatlov's style for "Replicide", would fit our game very well.
As a game developer you need to be aware of what other games in that genre exist. Not only because they have to be considered competitors but also to create a game that stands apart. And for all the right reasons we decided to tell you guys what we compare our game to and what our inspirations are. Therefore, we wrote a blogpost about our major differences to other tactical games.
This year we also worked on our characters, not only on their stats, abilities and their functions in their squad, but also on their personalities and backstories. We talked about them in detail in this blog post.
Another thing is our teams' new Instagram account, which will primarily be about our team and the journey we are taking with Eternal Escape. As before, the important updates will still come through our other social media channels, like Twitter or Facebook, but we wanted to have a platform for something more in depth to share with you along our way.
This year we also opened up our Discord server to the public, as we use it anyway to communicate within our team. We figured, it would be the best to make it our official server, so that you guys can get in touch with us in the most direct way possible. Chat with us, give some feedback or just hang out with a bunch of passionate devs! You are welcome to join the Server and to have a chat with us here: discord.eternal-escape.com
There's a dedicated blog post in which we talk about our social media channels and which use we have for each of them, if you want to read more about this topic in detail.
Events & Demo 2019
You may already know that we've attended two events this year. The German Dev Days (GDD) in Frankfurt as well as Gamescom in Cologne. The GDD is a conference for German indie developers to show what they're working on, as well as to attend panels held by other folks from the industry and network with fellow artists and programmers. We met many interesting people there and got very valuable feedback about our game. Some attendees told us, that our last demo level took too long to get into and the the fun part starts way too late. After all, they where right. We focused on the tutorial section of the level more than necessary. So we started working on a new level that would better communicate our intentions with Eternal Escape than the previous demo did.
This new level was first presented at Gamescom 2019 and we immediately received more positive feedback about it. You can also read more about that in our blog post. In general, those of you who also played the previous Gamescom demo much preferred the new one. That's already a mission accomplished for us! After some polishing, we included this new and improved demo level on our most recent update 0.3.1 which also included a few new features that we want in the final game. Those being interactive environments and a tertiary gameplay phase, called "Exploration Phase".
Version 0.3.1 was not the only new release of 2019. There's also update 0.2.9 in which we added new character assets, UI and gameplay improvements. Update 0.3.0 contained a few new assets like new item boxes, further UI and usability improvements. Along with an overhaul of our previous demo version, which we still want to keep in the game, so you guys can check out the evolution the game goes through over time.
Of course all those updates contained way more things that were changed and improved, you can find the full patch notes of all versions on our Trello board.
Since the beginning of the project the whole team was working from home, even though most of us live in the same city. Initially our game was merely a hobby project. As time went on, things got serious and now we're an actual company called Goji Interactive! This made working from home was less of an option but fortunately this was about to change. GamesAHEAD, the local association that supports indie dev-teams, recently opened “Hubberta”, a shared office space for all members to work in. This means that we finally have an office together. This will boost our productivity as we come closer to being a fully fledged development Studio.