[Dec 2016 - DBM] Partial on Hold

Hi everyone!

There's some important news we wanted to put out there-- mainly being that Partial is being put on hold.

It was an incredibly difficult decision for us to make, but there's a number of financial obstacles that, as a starting company, were unrealistic for us to overcome. At the current time, we need to work on a project that only requires the two of us to complete and ship, as well as start building a community and getting some funds built up before we take on something as important as Partial. This is all just covering the surface of what's so problematic about Partial despite working on it for 18 months, but if anyone has any questions, we're happy to answer them via e-mail or Twitter.

To recap, Partial as a project isn't being killed-- just put on hold indefinitely. It was a ton of fun working on it (and still was up til today), and we can't wait til we're able to work on it again.

On that note: what are we working on next?

The only other project that's currently public is Conception, which started off as a hobby project that took off pretty well. There's so much more we want to do with it as a brainstorming tool, though, so that's first up on our list as a company.

That's all the details we can share right now. Thanks for reading (and Happy Holidays)!

[Nov 2016 - DBM] Euta Seedlings!

Hey team!

For this month's Dev Blog Monthly, we'll continue to elaborate on what we've been doing over the past four weeks, what milestones we've met, and what some of our plans are while going into December.

As mentioned in our previous post, our milestones for the month were to:

  • Bring the Min. Viable Product prototype physics back up to 100%,
  • Complete a finished level with the necessary core mechanics-- player movement and hex plate movement, and
  • Implement the Seedling Collection mechanic.

Luckily, we've gotten a good bit done over the past month! The physics are sitting roughly at 90%, with player movement needing additional polish. We've also been able to construct a full level that allows us to test the new physics changes; but without the player polish, it's difficult to tell what else needs fixing.

As for the Seedling Collection mechanic, we've made steps towards implementing their quirks, and we want to elaborate a little bit on how Seedlings work!

Euta Seedlings function similarly to collectible coins you find in games like Super Mario, or the rings in Sonic the Hedgehog, but with a little more life. For design purposes we'll explain in the future, everything in the Partial universe needs a little liveliness. For that purpose, each mechanic in the game is associated with something alive-- there are very few static items, terrain, or collectibles. So with that in mind, our goal is to make the game as expressive as possible!

On that note, Euta Seedlings are what the player collects throughout the game, and are the youngest of the Seedling evolution stages. Their uses vary in size and scope; you're able to bounce on top of them, and they follow you around much like the eggs in Yoshi's Island do! But in addition to that, you can use Eutas to improve your relationship with your Iota allies, improve your Partial's reputation, and can even fuse to create a brand new Iota ally.

If you're lost as to what an Iota is, we'll elaborate on that for a future DBM! :]

Admittedly, we weren't able to hit those milestones as well as I would have hoped. Most of this is because I simply don't know Unity or C# well enough, given that I recently switched from the GameMaker: Studio engine only a few months ago. As a result, we intend on making some fundamental changes to our team to make sure Partial sits on par with the quality we expect it to have.

As the prototype currently stands, there are a number of bugs that need to be fixed, and a good few of them have already been removed thus far. As for the remaining bugs, these are obstacles I know how to overcome, but personally I'm not sure how to implement these changes. So, what are our plans going forward?

With a two-person team, its difficult to create a polished game in a short amount of time. We can't spend more than a couple years on Partial mainly because the potential risk is too high, and we want to do as much as we can do reduce that risk. This means that to make up for a shorter development period and continuing to increase Partial's quality, we'll need a team who knows their stuff and are willing to teach us a thing or two.

(Speaking of which, we'll be making an amazing announcement later in the month!)

We're also working to update the necessary reference documents since they're a couple months outdated. As our team continues to grow, the need for a cohesive vision and the upkeep of a design document (among many others like Art and Audio Treatment docs) becomes increasingly apparent.

With all that in mind, here are our milestones for this coming month:

  • Update all current documents to 100%,
  • Eliminate all current physics and Euta seedling bugs,
  • Implement UI to provide more reliable feedback,
  • Overhaul the in-game art assets,
  • Implement hex plate properties, and
  • Find some great people who are as inspired by the project as we are!

We have a busy schedule ahead of us and have more news to announce soon, so we'll see you next time!

[Oct 2016 - DBM] Dev Blog Monthly is here!

Hey team!

We recently attended our first conference at Atlanta's SIEGEcon 2016, marking a huge milestone for us. Our main team and project are finally getting known to the public, which means we need to make a few important changes.

The first is that our development blog is moving from Rob's personal blog to the website. The dev blog was originally used as a way to keep track of weekly goals since we didn't have an app to do so at the time. It's been running for 15 weeks, and its gotten to the point where it's been difficult for us to justify it being on the personal site as opposed to on our main page. This allows us to not only get info on development directly to you all, but to also keep the site updated with fresh content.

The other important change is that the series will change to a monthly format as opposed to weekly. One of the things we learned from posting weekly is that it became difficult to keep any surprises handy once the demo is prepared; we posted all of development in detail. We want to maintain this transparency without giving away all the details, and it also had the added benefit of not spamming you all each week with updates that could potential spoil the experience before Partial is even released.

And if we're being honest, a monthly format also helps us post on-time reliably! (As opposed to weekly.) Each DBM will be posted on the second Monday of each month, and we'll have a newsletter set up soon as well. Expect the next post to be available in November.

So, what will you even be reading about in Dev Blog Monthly?

Similar to our previous Dev Blog Mondays, we'll be discussing what our goals were, whether we achieved them, how we went about achieving various milestones, and what our goals for the next month are. Simple, right? Its been a helpful way of keeping our progress steady, and being able to share that growth with you all is something we want to continue doing. As a young startup we want to share our successes and failures, and this is one of the best ways to do so.

To wrap up this post, our goal for this next month is to get a complete level finished with all of the core mechanics implemented. The Min. Viable Product (MVP) prototype is currently undergoing a physics overhaul that's about 50% from where we had to scrap everything, so we're definitely making steady progress. It will probably take another couple weeks to get back to 100%, and the next two weeks will be used to implement the Seedling collection mechanic (more on this next month). And if there's time left over, we'll add a little something else too. ;)

Thank you for those sticking around, and thank you to the newcomers as well! Hope you all enjoy the coming months. :] Happy Halloween!

-Rob and Kev