Nov 282011
 

We’ve got some big news this time! Let’s get started with the most important one: Legend of Grimrock has reached beta! This means that every feature, all enemies and all levels that are going to be in the final game are now in place, and we can now fully concentrate on polishing and balancing the game and fixing bugs until everything is perfect. If we get cool new ideas we might still add them to the game but improving existing features has now higher priority. And before you ask, at this point we are not looking for additional beta testers! :-)

Secondly, many of you have been asking if we’re on time for launch at the end of this year. Looking at the game we have now we could do it but that wouldn’t be the best game we can deliver. We want to make this game really shine so that’s why we have decided to push the release to early next year. With the extra time we can hopefully fix all the bugs, make the level flow better, tweak item attributes to perfection and adjust the balance to be just right. These are the things that really matter to us, and hopefully to you as a player too! We are not ready to give an exact release date yet, because when we give a date we want to keep the promise too. But don’t worry, we won’t take too long! :-)

We also need to start looking more closely at our distribution options. We would really like to release first on Steam because it’s simply the biggest digital distribution service on the PC and we want to make the game available for the largest audience possible. For that to happen we need to pass their evaluation process, so we really hope that the guys at Valve like our game!

So the next steps are:
* Get the distribution channel sorted out.
* Get the preorders working.
* And of course finish the game!

Check out the new shiny video and screenshots from the beta build:

 

Another extremely busy week behind us and even more busier times ahead! Generally we have been tweaking, bug fixing and polishing many aspects of the game this week. Some highlights:

  • First pass of story related content has been added to the game. This will continue as we work towards the beta.
  • Juho has finalized end cinematic graphics.
  • We have all monsters now in place and animated. Olli is still going to add more detail to animations and keep improving them.
  • First batch of performance optimizations have been implemented. The game is now playable in 1080p with decent frame rate even with our relative old and cheap PCs!
  • We’re in the middle of redoing the gui so that it scales to higher resolutions nicely. This work should be complete sometime next week.
  • Related to the gui changes we have a new font rendering system which is capable of rendering vectorized true type fonts (previously all fonts were bitmap based), so text look much sharper now, especially in higher resolutions.
  • Groundwork for “secrets found” statistics has been done, i.e. we have a mechanism of marking and tracking secrets in the game. The game has already 45 secrets and I think we’ll still add a bunch!
  • Antti has been generating a gallon of mucus and has also been adding new items to the game.
  • Work on tutorials has been started.

To celebrate our 4000 Facebook fans we presented them with a riddle. Here’s what the encoded message contained:

 

Phew, another busy week behind us! Oh, and a big thank you for all the support and well wishes you have sent to us regarding reaching the alpha! It really means a lot to us in these times of intense crunch! :)

The alpha playthrough resulted in a hefty todo-list (or perhaps more accurately, a todo-pile) and we decided to do the biggest changes first so that they would have plenty of time to settle so that they can be iterated as much as possible and so that we have more opportunities to encounter any possible bugs with them before reaching beta. Here’s a selection of the things we’ve been working on:
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Nov 022011
 

As I said in the previous post, our alpha milestone was pending only a complete playthrough. Petri worked on it for the last three days and we’re happy to announce that he passed through the game so now we can proudly proclaim that Legend of Grimrock is officially in alpha! Now that we have a working full length game on our hands, we have a good vantage point where we can see what aspects of the game still need to be refined the most and luckily there were no big glaring issues or features we would need to drastically change. Regardless, the smaller things added up to a rather hefty todo-list but worry not, we are already working on it!
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