June 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm #4355
What ho, backers!
We wanted to do a quick update thanking all our backers and all our new players for the post launch support!
We’ve gotten emails and messages from a lot of you saying how happy you are to play a non-modern designed RPG like this, and some wonderful support from a lot of you spreading the word that the game is our there! It’s been a pleasure to be able to design something like this, and while we’ll refine our processes, this reception has made it clear that there is still an audience for RPGs with a learning curve, and we hope to cater to them for as long as we can.
The game is looking better than ever with our last update, and we’ve just been adding some UI suggestions and ideas some users have had every so often now, so if you haven’t played it yet or have been waiting, now’s definitely the time to jump in!
We’ve had such great help from you all the past month, from helping get the word around about the game to helping with finding any issues, and we really think it has embodied a lot of what the Kickstarter experience can be for small developers like us — a project, a game like this, really couldn’t have easily been made in reasonable time without your funds and support. We built this together, and with that support we’ll continue to be able to make these kinds of games for you in the future. We’re so grateful for all the people that helped out and gave impressions and feedback throughout development and after, it’s been an exhausting year but we’ve learned a tremendous amount and are eagerly looking forward to the future. After a short hop to the west coast, (Whalenought is moving to Seattle!) we’ll be right back in business and onto some real fun things we’re excited to share with you.
Marketing without an easy button
While we’ve had and cherished a modest amount of user reviews, marketing continues to be a bit tough — it’s a game without an easy mode, and journalists can’t just jump in and make quick impressions, and we think that makes it difficult to get those early impressions reviews. We hear of a few folks that attempted that and got whiplashed with a learning curve like they haven’t seen in years, which though kind of humorous to hear about, does filter the reviewers down to gamers that have patience, which is of course an incredibly slimming population. But learning to play and learning the world is part of the game, and a part we’re really proud of.
Try to sit me in front of an Ultima again and I’m going to need an hour just to learn the ins and outs of controls and how to interact with the world in all the various ways — but that’s part of it — it’s a game with learning, not just consumption like television — learning the game world is kind of lost in a lot of RPGs today, and it’s something that makes it so much more engaging. Hearing people’s accomplishments of navigating the Hallowed Doors to traversing the death-bog is as much an accomplishment for us, and we’re thrilled when we hear about people enjoying them. Games are certainly much easier to consume if you’re just jumping to conversation to quest with knowing exactly what to do, but we think that can get a little tired and misses something we love so much, which is the exploration of the world and how to win it.
There’s a few wonderful reviewers that have contacted us saying they are really taking their time to finish the game prior to reviewing, and their initial playtime just wasn’t enough, they needed to actually finish it. Beyond exceptional journalism, we think that’s a testament to our open ended story and player explored world — it’s really about the whole experience, your whole adventure, and a couple hours getting stomped by foxes and wolves and learning how spells work isn’t really scratching the surface.
While our next project will refine this, and maybe present this in a more sophisticated way, the ‘learning the world’ design is a philosophy and foundation we’ll continue to use for all our games. It’s a concept we’ve heard a wonderful response for, and we’d love to fill that demand in new and fun ways in future games — we’ll never take our p&p-inspired RPG roots and cater them to a modern audience for as long as we have an audience to continue.
A lot of you have asked about the expansion, and while we can’t give you concrete details on a release and of course don’t want to spoil anything (for those of you who haven’t guessed who the antagonist is), we can assure you it will be available to anyone who purchased the game, and will be automatically added with a (big) update. You’ll be able to jump right into it with that final save, so if you’ve beaten the game you can just continue on right there. The expansion update will feature a few new systems, and include Grade 4 Skills and Spells along with any rebalancing needed for the core game.
The expansion content is in the works, but we’ve been listening to players on what they like and want more of, and have already begun adjusting some things to fit that. We love hearing these ideas and building this game’s world mechanics, and the expansion will likely be the last time we visit Vol for a while so we want to end it on a wonderful note.
We’ll have more announcements and blog posts on that in the coming months while we’re in full-development of it!
The art book is finished and we’ll be sending that to everyone this weekend! It got a little bigger than we expected, but with just the two of us we had plenty of tidbits to share after living under a rock for a year developing the game. If you’re interested in art, process, our concepts for story structure or inane knowledge of Whalenought and development, give it a look through! It’s got lots of pretty pictures.
Like we mentioned in the video, we’ll be trying to get some of you awesome players and community members on board earlier to help and give feedback for future projects. We’ll have a more formal announcement regarding that on our website later this year, so if you’re interested in getting some early looks and giving feedback we’d love your help! Our website will be updated soon with a blog, which will go into some design, technical, and random details of the Whalenought adventure, and we’ll of course continue to be active on the forums.
As always, if you have any feedback, suggestions or comments feel free to email us or message us. We look forward to providing you with more crpgs for many years to come, thank you again for making that possible.
Hannah & JoeJune 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm #5259
I am still playing the game and I will probably write something about it in the future. The game to money quota is good.
Not many of the traditional media have covered the game but as an indie game that it sometimes expected, if still more weird now a days.
Serpent in the Staglands may seem complicated to some people but if you have played any CRPG or strategy game then it’s has a pretty familiar formula. It’s not always intuitive and there isn’t a set path but this is what makes these games fun to play. Certain aspects need modernising and some old games are near impossible to go back and play now though.
I am looking forward to the expansion, your future games and a developer blog is a good idea.
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