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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.


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!


Unity Game Engine

I’ve been fairly hush hush on game progress on our site, mostly because I didn’t think the news would go over well! Early last fall, we decided to port the game to Unity3d, for a variety of reasons. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it will ultimately make a better game, with higher resolution graphics, more to explore, and potentially available on more platforms.
We’d known that we were missing images and animations here and there in most of the rooms, and thought that we could just render them out as we needed them. Well, when we actually went to render them, we found that our source models were missing a lot of files, making it impossible to render the pieces we needed. We were faced with a tough question: do we redo the entire rooms, render out thousands of images for the room and puzzles, to end up with an 800 x600 resolution game, or switch to a more modern game engine, redo all the rooms AND code for it, but have a better product in the end?

Well, we chose the latter, which obviously set us back quite a bit. Nonetheless, we’ve made great strides forward; we have a baselined version of all of the mansion rooms in the game. James Bateman has done amazing work retexturing them and porting them to be unity ready. We also have a couple amazing programmers who have worked very hard to get the puzzles ported to Unity. We’ve just finished the 16th (of 26 planned) puzzles in the game. I’m excited to share them with people!

As always, this game is a labor of love, and a masochistic inability to stop working on it! I know it’s been a long time coming, and I appreciate all of the support thus far.

Once again, I do want to clarify that our game is NOT related to the official 7th Guest 3 currently in development by Trilobyte – different team, different game. That said, we’re 100% supportive of them, and can’t wait to play it!

2 Games, 2 Teams, we all win!

There’s been some recent confusion about the status of things with our game recently that I wanted to address.

First off, there’s great news that you’ve likely already heard – Trilobyte, the original developers of The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour, have reformed, and are now working on an OFFICIAL 7th Guest 3! They’re planning a kickstarter soon, and we couldn’t be happier for them! We’ll post the link when it goes live.

Now, The 13th Doll. Our project is totally unrelated to Trilobyte and the official upcoming sequel. We are making an all volunteer, fan made sequel to the original games. This is a labor of love for us, and we’re hoping to release it as soon as possible.

So, fans have a unique opportunity here. Two separate, unrelated teams are producing two separate, unrelated games. We all win here; we get not one, but two games: one an official game, the other a fan made sequel.

And while some of us may have the inclination to support one project over the other, that’s actually counterproductive. The 13th Doll greatly depends on the success of Trilobyte’s efforts, and our team would be simply mortified if we tarnished Trilobyte’s name, integrity, franchise, or slandered them in any way! The last thing we want is to create a divide between the fanbase! Let’s all support both projects! It’s a great time to be a 7th Guest fan; exciting things are on the horizon!