February 12, 2011

You're beginning to slowly go insane. You begin to slowly lose your grip on reality.


February 1, 2011

 

Hey, just wanted to give you guys a brief update:

Things are coming along nicely with production, save for one little detail. We've run into a little hitch with Unity and using the original level that we had in mind, but it's nothing that we can't fix/replace. It's a little hiccup, but it isn't stopping anything. I know, I know... waiting for this must be annoying, but understand the work that has to go into making a project like this and how I'm trying to make this whole thing happen by myself. I know that probably isn't so comforting, but it will all be worth it and the longest part of the waiting game is over.

Alright, enough of the bad news. I'm pleased to announce that I've gotten in touch with a very talented artist and he's collaborating with us to make the soundtrack for the videogame. If you've liked any of the music that has been on the website in the past, then you're going to love this.


I also wanted to thank you again for all of your support, understanding, and your donations. They have been absolutely paramount in this story's success and keeping us motivated. Making the final phase of this story has been the most intensive project I've ever taken on and it's all starting to come to fruition in these next few weeks. The next update will be featuring some screenshots of the game and introducing the build-up event and this will probably be the last "out of character" update you guys get.

Again, I couldn't have done all this without you and your support. You guys are awesome.


PS The guest book is back up. Play nice.

January 1, 2011


It's the dawn of a new day and the beginning of a new year so I figured I'd take this opportunity to reach out to the community and give a brief update.

 

The game is still in development. I know that may illicit a teeth-grinding response from some of you (in all fairness I was too ambitious by saying that it would be out by the holiday season), and I feel like I've beat this point to death but just keep in mind that I am working on this and financing this by myself. I have no big company backing me, I don't have six figures to be throwing into the production of this - I am working with a small staff of various programmers/modelers/what-have-you that I've hired out of my own pocket. Learning how to make a game, especially one of this kind of calibur, is both difficult and time consuming. Money is tight and when it becomes too tight work progress can slow down. This is not me asking for donations: this is me conveying the reality of the situation for those who want to know. Donating will not speed up the development process (if you want to donate, obviously that's great and as always I appreciate your support, but it will not make the game come out any faster) - we've more of less got all of our ducks in a row for the financial aspect now.

 

I hope you all can understand how tackling this along with work, school, and the holidays is extremely - for lack of a better word - complicated. If this was my job, that'd be a much different story, but for now I have to ask that you bare with me. I will give you guys a heads up at least a week or two in advance when we're getting ready to release this so you guys can plan accordingly, and there will be a build-up event to the release of the game as well. Don't worry about missing when the ARG starts back up - you'll know, internet access or not.

 

I just want to thank you guys for your patience and understanding towards this entire process. Yes, I know it's hard. And yes, I know it can be frustrating to have to wait - but I can assure you the experience will be worth it. I've probably made some of my fans lose interest and while its unfortunate - so be it. I would rather release a well-polished game and satisfyingly conclude this saga  - because it's what all of you guys deserve - than churn out something that feels rushed and incomplete. Being able to get my story out and to have you all enjoy it as I intended is worth losing a few fans to me - as hard as that is to say.

 

A user that goes by the name of Sheik made a well thought-out and informative post in the guestbook that gives a brief perspective on what I'm working on here (thanks again, Sheik):

 

 


 

I'm going to put my realistic hat on. I've been waiting as eagerly for updates as anyone else because I don't know, maybe Jadusable was some kind of wizard or else someone with an incredible gameplan who had started working on Arc 3 before the first creepypasta post was even made. But the longer we go with no word the more it confirms to me that Jad didn't realise what a big project he was getting into and that he has no idea when it'll actually be ready.

I'm going to go by a few assumptions here based on the answers to this Q&A above. (So everything after this is conjecture). Firstly, Jad is going to have to make AT LEAST two different versions of this game available for download at various points. Second, it's in first-person and features a location "previously mentioned", so we can assume we're using the unity engine for a 3D environment. As to what the environment is?

First option: something Majora's Mask-ish. I think this is the least likely, but: they'd have to rip a bunch of assets out of the game (since I don't know of any website so far that hosts a ripped version of, say, the Elegy statue - nobody's bothered before). Then they'd have to get them to work in the newer 3D programs (for reference: I wasted a day of my life the other month trying to reapply all the textures to Twilight Princesses version of Kakariko village, because the old .3ds file it was made in isn't very compatible with the newer 3D software anymore and therefore didn't automatically apply the textures like it should have/did in older versions of the program. I can only imagine how old those MM models are.) Then they'd have to get them to work okay in the unity engine. That's not easy.

Second option: something set in the real world (Ryu's house, the old man's house, the orchard, whatever). So first off they're going to need to build a whole bunch of essentially useless assets (furniture) just to set the scene up. never mind anything plot-relevant or interesting. He's got to either have people building them (time-consuming) OR pay for them pre-built OR get the free ones off, say, Turbosquid, in which case it's either going to look shit or someone's got to spend a good while retexturing everything to make it look weathered and consistent with the rest of the scene.

Either way it's going to take forever. (Note: since Jad mentions that it's hard-to-explain, I could be entirely wrong in assuming it's going to have some kind of 1st-person Myst-type setup. Maybe it's going to be based around, idk, text and photos or something, or a series of static environment images in a point-and-click setup, in which case I'd say expecting to get it out of the door in 2 months is maybe more realistic - but then I don't see what the point of using the Unity engine would be.)

Plus we have multiple versions, multiple set-pieces, and this arc is meant to last a week. Even if we assume more than half of that is going to be spent waiting for YSHDT.net/youtube to update or waiting for enough slowpokes to cross the checkpoints so that we can proceed, there's still got to be a couple of hours of gameplay there, minimum.

I don't imagine we've got a large dev team working full-time, even if Jad *is* paying them, since he's a college student. A handful of people working part time is more likely, and since it's the holiday season they might not in fact be working on it at the moment at all. A comparison: one of my university tutors has a couple of dozen years in the game industry, and has just released a game on itunes (for reference and for shameless plugging: http://www.attackkumquat.com/ - go play it if you can, it's pretty neat). That was made by a dev team of two, working part time and out of their own pocket - much like Jad.

And it took them the best part of a year to do it.

And compare: these guys have a huge amount of experience. They don't have an insane amount of assets: the same building blocks are used from level to level. There aren't any elaborate scripted "set pieces" like Jad is trying to do, Silent-Hill style. You see where I'm going with this?

And, okay, I'm not a coder at all, I am an artist. I don't know the first thing about coding. But I'm willing to bet that programming a game to *not* be a stable environment, making it something that can change somehow between versions, or with players actions triggering environment changes, or with set-pieces, is a heavy workload. Depending on how far Jad is willing to go to break the fourth wall (enabling the game to tailor itself to recognise individual players via their email they've been using on the guestbook is still something I think would be unbelievably cool), that's a whole can of worms right there too. And, guys - this game CANNOT glitch. There must be no glitches in this game, because in a game BASED around scripted anomalies and glitches, a rogue glitch that Jad didn't intend to be there could, depending on the circumstances, destroy the game completely.

tl;dr Unless I am totally off track about how this game will work, I am totally amazed that Jad ever thought he'd get this out around the holidays, and frankly if it comes out in a good, non-half-assed, finished state before April he is probably a wizard who can bend the laws of game production-times to his will, and I will be very impressed.


 

 


 

 

 

... Although I can safely say that you won't have to wait until April.

For questions concerning the game - whatisben@youshouldnthavedonethat.net
For fanmail - fanmail@youshouldnthavedonethat.net
For other inquiries - continue to use jadusable@youshouldnthavedonethat.net

Older News:

 

Hey guys, first of all I know that it's been a long while since I've updated and I apologize, but we've been pretty busy over here trying to make things work. I originally meant to have this Q&A come out around Halloween but we've been working out various issues on how this final installment will operate and function (seeing as though this is the final part of the story that will tie everything together, I'm wanting to make sure its done right instead of trying to churn out a half-assed verison). Rest assured that I've still been lurking around reading your guys' comments and thoughts and I've been keeping up-to-date with the community.


I know some of you are probably frustrated with the lack of updates in a timely manner, but bare in mind that this final phase is more expansive than the first and second combined. Hours and hours of planning and work have gone into this and there's still much left to be done. I appreciate your guys' patience and I'm extremely excited about the experience that you guys will have once this is released.

As promised, here is the Q&A that will hopefully give you guys a little more insight into the project:



Q: Is the game the final phase of this story?

Yes and no. The game itself is only one part of the final phase in the story - I understand that for whatever reason some people will not be able to play the game, but that does not mean that they will be left out. There are several mediums that will be used to illustrate the final phase of the story - the website will be just as important as it was when it originally launched back in September as well as the Youtube account. There will be clues from the website that translate into the game and clues from the game that will translate into the website - you will have to conquer all three to progress.

Q: Can you please verify (or warn me if not) that the game isn't going to have virus-like effects on the computer as a whole?

No, there won't be any viruses attached to the game - I can assure you that you won't get anything malicious from downloading this.


Q: Do you, or will you, have some kind of way to "subscribe" to the game? What I mean is, for those of us not visiting the site every single day, will there be some way to recieve emails notifying us that you are starting the final phase (or the next phase) of the game?

I've thought about that, and decied that when there is a big announcement (such as announcing the release date), the easiest way to inform the most amount of people would be through the Youtube account. The best way to stay up to date would be to subscribe to Jadusable's channel, and I will announce the release date in advance so it doesn't just get sprung on you guys.


Q: When can we expect the game to be released?

I don't want to come right out there and say exactly when because it could be delayed, but like I said earlier, I will announce the release date in advance to give you guys ample time to get prepared.


Q: Will the game cost anything to download?

That was one of the factors that has hindered the development time, because I am paying my staff myself I've been constrained a little bit in terms of what I want to do/what I can afford. I definitely want to address this as soon as possible, though. At this point, I can honestly say that I am not sure if this will "cost" anything, it really depends on several financial/work factors. I may be able to work it out (ideally) that it would be just a free download, and I will let you guys know in advance what the final decision is.

It's really disheartening to entertain the possibility that the game itself may actually have a pricetag, because I know there will be fans of mine who immediately assume I've "sold out" or I'm trying to get rich or something, and I realize that its a perfectly understandable knee-jerk reaction, but I hope that I can try and clear a few things up:


1. If (and that's a huge if) this game ends up costing anything to download, based on development costs thus far, it would be around the $1.99 price range.


2. I am extremely passionate about this story and making sure the finale is done right is my biggest priority. Those of you who know people in the videogame business might have a better understanding that creating a game - even a relatively small project like this isn't exactly cheap. Essentially I'm paying my staff out of my own pocket and the price tag would be to pay for them and try and break even with this project. I want to get this experience out there as best as I can make it for you guys.


3. I have been and always will be extremely thankful of your guys' support, without you guys this whole thing would not have been as successful as it has been. As much as I am passionate about the story, I am just as if not more so passionate about understanding the concerns of my fans. This is why I would never, ever make the game the only way to participate in phase 3. Even if you do not buy the game (and the buy is still completely hypothetical), you will still be able to work together with the people that do.


If you choose not to purchase the game if it ends up having a price tag, I understand, but we have put a lot of work into it and I'm extremely proud of how it's shaping up. If you really want to get immersed into the final phase - take the fourth wall breaking aspect from the first phase and ramp it up times twenty - then the game will be a powerful experience for you.  Like I said, I may be able to work it out where we can release it for free, but I wanted to just give you all a heads-up so it doesn't seem like I'm trying to pull a fast one over you guys if we do have to charge a small fee for it.


Q: What program you are going to be using to develop the game?

The game will be developed using Unity (http://unity3d.com/).


Q: Is this a well known company or just a small one that produces flash games that is helping you make this?  I guess where I'm going with that question would be is it going to be an all out video game or just a web-based game?

Well, actually there's no company behind this. I've hired a small staff to help me craft the game. This won't be an all-out videogame, in fact, it's difficult to adequately describe it - you'll have to see it for yourself.  It's not a flash game and it isn't browser based - it will be a downloadable game.

Q: Will this game run for Windows or for Mac?

Windows confirmed, but most likely Mac as well. I'll keep you guys updated.


Q: What will the game be rated?


Haha, well I'm not an ESRB representative, but I would say that the content you've seen on the website is about par for the content in the game. There are some intense psychological fourth-wall breaking scenes that will blow your mind and make you shit bricks. The atmosphere and the "you're actually here" feeling is indescribable (doubly so if you've been following since the beginning). I can't let on too much, but I can tell you that the genre cliches for "horror" games (such as an abundance of cheap jumpscares and overuse of violence/gore) will be absent. Think more along the lines of Silent Hill 2, except this is much more personal for you.


Q: How will the game itself work? As in, will it be 2d, 3d, topdown, first person, second person, third person?

The game itself will be first person, but you can rest easy - it's not an FPS, there will be no regenerating health and bald space marines here.


Q: What weapons will we have?

Your only weapons will be your abillity to communicate with each other and your deductive skills.


Q: What is the purpose of the game? What exactly will you be doing?

You will be investigating a location mentioned previously in the story while simultaneously trying to uncover the truth about BEN. You'll be interacting with some familiar faces and a lot of things will start all coming together...  and for better or for worse the unanswered questions will be resolved.


Q: Who will you be playing as?

Yourself.


Q: If someone progresses further into the game, will everyone progress or is it individual?

There will be checkpoints - when the majority of the playerbase progresses far enough in the game to unlock the next phase of the game - a new version of the game will be released for download. Inititally not all areas are accessible, but by progressing in the story (similiar to how you guys "unlocked" areas of this website previously), it's through this that you will start to see the game world change based on your actions.


Q: How many verisons will there be? How long will this final phase last?

I can't ruin that, now can I? There will be a fair amount of checkpoints. It depends on how well you work together and how smart you are, but its fair to say more than a week.


Q: If this game ends up costing money, will I have to pay for each new verison of the game as we progress through the story?

No way, this game won't suffer from "DLC Syndrome", haha.  If (and still a big if) it does cost money, you will only have to pay for it once - every new verison will be free.


Q: How will you update the game with each verison? Will it be patched?

Not exactly, for the sake of having an archive for you to go back and revisit if you wish, you will be able to download a new .exe with the updated game.


That's all for now, if you have any more questions that weren't answered feel free to send them to the address below. I'll keep you guys updated in the upcoming weeks about the progress of the game, and try not to get suckered into mock-websites (Again, only trust updates on this site - the guestbook doesn't count :P).

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