A couple months ago, I started to participate in a Halloween themed game jam, figuring I could kill two birds with one stone (create a quick standalone visual novel game, and develop a modular dialogue system I could use across projects). The jam ended up being, eh… not quite what I expected. But the entry I was working on became something I fell in love with.
As a result, I decided to go ahead and work on it full time as a planned Steam release. The demo in its current form took a little over two months, which was a lot longer than I’d originally intended (I thought I could wrap it up in just a couple weeks). Increasingly, it shifted from being a simple visual novel to more of… eh… text adventure? Interactive novel? Add in some point-and-click elements, I eventually just started referring to it as “interactive fiction.”
I’m not generally fond of demos that are simply a slice of some bigger game, so I opted to make it a prequel to the events of the main game (which just started development earlier this week). Most of the backgrounds in the demo are simply CC0 licensed stock photography with generous alterations, but the main game will have proper custom backgrounds, generated in 3D then painted over, in order to speed up development (I’m contracting out some of the art, music, and sounds, but for the most part, this is a solitary ambition). Character and creature artwork was done by hand, then digitally painted. I’ll be contracting for any character artwork in the main game, but I’ll still be handling creature illustrations myself, so expect a lot of weirdness.
It’s been a wild ride, and while I’m rushing to get things done before funds run out (I’m digging into retirement to fund this project), it’s still a lot of fun.
Stay tuned for weekly updates. In this space, I’ll be delving into some of the actual development process (perhaps some code samples, as well). Game specific lore and updates will be available on the Echo Feedback website, so be sure to check that out. I’ll also be posting weekly Twitter and Facebook updates, for those who prefer to stay notified that way. Also a mailing list.