All posts by RHK

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Development Update 4-8-2015

We’re ramping up for filming, finalizing the script, writing taunts, insults, and hints for puzzles.  The script is nearly 70 pages long, and lots of planning is required.  Which scenes to shoot when, coordinating actors, costumes, stage access, etc – it’s pretty time consuming to get it all together.  Peder and his crew are taking it in stride though.

Last weekend, I gave a talk about the game and a brief demo at The University of Iowa.  We got some great feedback on the game, and it was received very well.

Probably more relevant to you guys is the preparation for that demo.

-Peder and I had to work through some issues to get video to play with transparency.  Ultimately, Peder had to render out video with a mask to omit the black background so that the 3d modeled scene shows through. I had to edit a custom shader to get it to work.  The end result looks and plays great.

– I had to modify the code such that the video plays at the correct time, fixes the camera in place, and restricts player motion until it’s complete.  Also, the music volume had to drop while the dialogue played, then ramp back up afterward.  This scene ends with Tad leaving the kitchen into the maze, so the door had to close after him.

-Matt modified and improved the code for the puzzles in these scenes and fixed some bugs.  He’s also improved the navigation and made that smoother.

-James, of course created and optimized the 3d models, and made them ready for our game engine.

-Chris Bormend created the music tracks for the game.

So it really was a team effort, and everything looked and sounded great.  Here’s a screenshot of Tad reacting to Dr. Richmond in the game:

So, things are going very well with the game!  It’s a bit surreal, and somewhat stressful too: lots has to happen in a very short time period.  Nonetheless, it’s a very exciting time for us.  Thanks to all of you for being onboard!

– Ryan

Development Update 3-17-2015

Hey everyone, just a quick update on where we’re at with things:

James has finished the 3d models for Wonderworld Toystore!  it looks fantastic, and I’m excited to see those scenes come to life.

Shane is still working on the Asylum, which is a pretty big endeavor, but it’s coming along really well, and looks great so far.  James will likely be jumping in to help him finish UV Unwrapping for the models.

These two environments are the last big pieces to add to the game, so we’re moving along well.

Matt’s going through and fixing bugs in the code for various puzzles and doing some testing while he awaits some more puzzle assets being finished.

I’m working on adding the filmed footage into the game.  Using the alpha channel in the video is proving more tricky than I expected, but I’ll get it sorted out sooner than later.

We’re still working on the script, mostly dialogue.  Our current goal is to film in mid to late April, so finishing the script is top priority.

On that note, a few backers have selected reward tiers that include renaming characters, so we’ll be sending out info for that, probably today or tomorrow.

That’s it for now; happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Ryan

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Development Update 2-23-2016

Over the weekend, Peder and the cast filmed scenes for the early access demo.  I’m very proud of the work he and the rest of the team have done!  Peder’s friend Erica Cole provided costumes for us, and they look incredible!  Have a look for yourself; here are some screenshots from the set:

Mathias Blake as Dr. Richmond
Mathias Blake as Dr. Richmond
Hunter Menken as Tad Gorman
Hunter Menken as Tad Gorman
Julia Rohlf as The Woman in White
Julia Rohlf as The Woman in White

 

3D Art

James and Shane are still working hard on the Asylum and Wonderworld Toy Store.  Both are looking great!  These are the last areas to add in the game, and then we’ll be focusing on pieces of flair for all of the rooms – animations, video, sounds, and different events to spook you during gameplay.

Programming

So far in development, we’ve been using a puzzle template that standardizes much of the code. It allowed Matt to work on puzzles outside the full build of the game, and then I’d merge them into the main build.  We’ve sort of blossomed beyond that; most of the puzzles have at least a first draft, and now just need testing, bug fixes, or just extra effects to make them feel more polished.

So, Matt’s been setting up a cloud based version control system for us.  Choosing a platform to use wasn’t easy, as the source project is nearly 15 gb in size so far, with many individual files over 100 mb.  Both of those conditions limit the choices we have, but thankfully Matt found something to work and we’ll now be able to share builds of the game within the team much easier.

Early Access Demo

As I mentioned in the last update, most urgently, we’re working on the early access demo of the game.  Filming is done, as are the 3 rooms included.  I’m mostly finished building a PC with specs high enough for the Oculus Rift, just setting up software and swapping in a bigger hard drive.  The Rift itself is up and running on it, just need to integrate the rift code into the game build.

So overall, things are going pretty well with the game!  Art, filming, and programming are all making solid progress.  Stay tuned for another update in a few weeks!

Ryan

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Development Update 2-6-2016

Test Filming Begins!

Today, Peder filmed some test shots for the game!  We’ll add them to the game build to make sure there are no technical issues before we begin shooting production film.

We’ve also hired someone to do wardrobe, and have costumes for nearly all principal characters!

If all goes well, we could be ready for filming some final game footage as early as next week.

Director Peder Goodman, actors Ben Rollins (Dr. Thornfield) and Mathias Blake (Dr. Richmond) share a laugh between takes on set
Director Peder Goodman, actors Ben Rollins (Dr. Thornfield) and Mathias Blake (Dr. Richmond) share a laugh between takes on set
Director Peder Goodman prepares to capture a scene with Hunter Menken (Tad) and Mathias Blake (Dr. Richmond)
Director Peder Goodman prepares to capture a scene with Hunter Menken (Tad) and Mathias Blake (Dr. Richmond)

3D Modeling

James is continuing to work on WonderWorld toystore, and Shane is working on the asylum.  The mansion is mainly finished, with some minor fixes to add here and there.

Programming

We’ve had an annoying bug in the game for a while; if you bumped into some objects, it would send the player floating into the sky.  This week Matt fixed that, and corrected some issues with the puzzle in Temple’s room.  There are only a handful of puzzles left to code at this point, then some debugging to make sure they’re all working properly.

Rift!

Now that the specs for the oculus rift have been released, I’ve built a PC with the rift’s minimum system requirements.  I’ll be adding in the code to handle that this month, and make sure everything runs smoothly on the rift.

Goals

We’re still focusing on 2 goals: first, to get everything ready for filming, and second, to get the early access release ready.  From the last update, you’ll remember that the early access release will be a 3 room demo with final versions of puzzles, 3d models, animations, music, and video included.

So, after a pause in development, we’re back on track and making good progress.  It’s really exciting to see filming starting to come together!  I’m really proud of my team, and all the work they’ve done and continue to do.  We can’t wait to share it with all of you and the rest of the world. Stay tuned!

Ryan HoltKamp

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Development Update 1-20-2016

Props!

I picked up our prop for The 13th Doll recently at a thrift store.  Maybe the photo doesn’t do it justice, but it’s decidedly creepy.  It spooked me out just sitting in the car on the drive home!  It’s a perfect addition to the game.

3D Art

James and the rest of the team are charging along.  We’re still working on the asylum and Wonderworld Toystore, and adding game animations and assets as well.

Filming Update

We’re still getting things ready to film the game, which is taking longer than expected.  I’ll keep you posted when we get something concrete in place, particularly for backers who chose tiers that allow them to be on set.

Script

We’ve hired a writer to add dialogue and some finesse to the script.  It’s been nice having a fresh set of eyes look at it so we can see which portions need more clarity.  We’ve had the basic plot finished for some time, so it’s easy to assume our audience is more aware of the motivations of our characters than what we’re really conveying.  Things are coming along well with the script, and I’m very happy with recent progress.

Reward Tiers

We’ll soon be sending out requests for in game items chosen in reward tiers, particularly those pertinent to the filming of the game.  Just a heads up for now that those will be on their way soon.

Regarding Lack of Updates…

I have to apologize personally for the lack of updates since the end of the kickstarter.  I’m not typically one to air my dirty laundry, but at this point, it seems I owe you some explanation.  Since the kickstarter ended, I’ve been going through a divorce – after nearly 20 years and three children together.  I can’t say it was exactly unexpected, but I certainly did not anticipate the emotional, physiological and financial strain it would have on my children and I, much less the logistical impact of moving to a new home, becoming a single parent, and trying to coordinate a new routine.  I wish I’d been strong enough to maintain my focus on 13D but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and progress on the game has suffered consequently.

Obviously, the schedule is impacted, and the release date is unknown at this point.  On the bright side, we are still working on the game and making slow but significant progress.  No, this is not an elaborate scam (as some have suggested), nor are we sipping mai tai’s in Tahiti with kickstarter proceeds.  (Actually, most of us are suffering through snow and single digit temperatures; gotta love Iowa winters…)

I understand your frustration, and I know this message is bittersweet.  All I ask is for a little patience while we get things back on track!

Early Access

Without audio and video recorded yet, the build of the game seems somewhat hollow at the moment, thus the early access release is still premature.  We’ve talked about this recently, and our goal at this point is to focus on a complete set of 3 rooms to release as an early access demo.  These would include full voice over audio, video, a set of playable puzzles, and in game animations.  Furthermore, our intention is for this early access portion to be fully RIFT ready.  Our focus now is on finishing content for this early access demo and preparing for filming the game.

It’s a new year, and a resolution is in order!  I’ll end with a request, and that is simply to send some love to the one you’re with, be it your spouse, partner, or significant other.  Hug them, kiss them, hold them.  Let go of that nagging little resentment, and drop the grudge you’ve been hanging on to.  Oh, and maybe take them to see Star Wars.  Hopefully they’ll repay you in kind.

Thanks everyone, and Happy New Year!

Ryan HoltKamp