I’ll have to apologize that this post will lack the focus that the previous ones have had but there’s a very good reason for it: I also lack focus today! I lost the focus yesterday when I was out for a couple of beers with other Finnish indie game developers (and had a great time as usual) but despite that, my current state of being is actually good for writing. Usually when I’m a little hung over I have pretty good flow, in more ways than one, so we thought why not exploit my misery to type one of these “what we’ve been up to recently” -posts.

So now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, let’s start from the big picture: Legend of Grimrock 2 is starting to really shape up. I mean now it actually has a shape instead of being scattered all around in little bits and pieces that don’t connect with each others in any meaningful way. Our first levels are in alpha and we are closing in fast towards the state where we have more or less the whole package and can switch to “iterate and polish” -mode. But we’re not quite there yet: we still have time to experiment with new features!

One of those new features we tried out is rivers. Of course they are not only for looks so that you can go for a refreshing dip in them if you want to. A nice byproduct that we got from it is that now it’s possible to create terrain where there are bigger differences in elevation so now we can add small canyons or ditches into the wilderness or add “verticality” to some dungeon rooms as well.

Now that we aren’t facing the immediate threat of starvation if we don’t get the game done ASAP (like the situation was with Grimrock 1), we’ve actually had the luxury of being able to go back and iterate and polish some of the 3D models we’ve done. Especially the outdoors now look much more lush and we have a bigger palette of building blocks so we can put much more variety in them. Juho has been working on the intro cinematic and it’s just one or two days away from completion and this time it’ll be fully animated and it looks awesome. The steady trickle of new animated monsters has also continued and every now and again there’s also a burst of new items. Making items is fun but it’s best enjoyed in small doses so that you can avoid the creative hangover that you can very easily get from churning out those tiny icons and 3D models…

And, uhh, it feels like I’m maybe talking a little too much about hangovers here so I think I need to defend myself here so that you’re not left with the impression that I’m leading a completely destructive lifestyle (although admittedly it’s pretty close) :) . To prove my point, here’s a few photos from the 5 day hike I did with Juho a month ago in Urho Kekkonen National Park in Lapland:

If you want to see more, here’s a gallery by Juho and a gallery by me.

Oh and by the way, if you want more tidbits about developing Grimrock 2, Petri can now be found on Twitter too. Check it out!

 

Ok, we know we’ve been awfully quiet with our blog lately, but that’s only because we’ve been working very hard. Working hard on what, you say? More about that a bit later. Let’s first look back all the way to year 2012.

Last year was an incredible success for Almost Human. We released our first game, Legend of Grimrock, which was the best seller for two weeks in Steam and has continued to surpass our expectations. LoG reached 82 points in Metascore declaring it officially to be a great game (but we already knew that, right). We also released the Dungeon Editor that has spawned lots of brilliant mods and Steam’s Legend of Grimrock Workshop has over 450 entries already! Our great community is always surprising us with their skills, creativity and activity in the forums with 50.000 posts and counting. And those post are really high quality stuff too, unlike most forums dedicated to games ;) . That means you don’t run out of dungeons to explore in the future. Towards the end of the year we also released the highly anticipated Mac and Linux versions of LoG with great new features and optimizations. And to sum up the year, we’re now proud to announce that Legend of Grimrock has sold over 600.000 copies! We would’ve been happy with just one tenth of the sales numbers, so needless to say we’re very happy and the future of our company is secured for a long time.

But great success doesn’t mean we haven’t lost our passion for making great games. So, what’s next, you might ask. We thought we could share with you a glimpse of some new exiting things we’ve been working on. But beware, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Enjoy!

 

Folks here at Almost Human are going to take a small well deserved break and hibernate through the holiday season under the vast snow drifts that cover Finland. But don’t worry, we’ll be back (in Arnold’s voice) next year with new adventures! Big up’s to all our fans and awesome community. Thank you for all your support, we hope you stick with us also the next year! Have merry Holidays and happy New Year. Cheers!!!

 

Every year it’s the same story: bunch of snow suddenly falls from the sky and mayhem ensues. Snow plows rule the road with (almost literally) an iron fist and people wreck their cars and facebook feeds are filled with people who are irrationally angry towards snow. However I think (and scientists agree) that snow is usually cool.

But then again when you’re rescuing Petri from the side of a highway during a snow storm it can be kinda annoying. In the current weather you would basically need a pair of ski goggles to remain functional so you can imagine that it’s not the best moment to come to the realization that perhaps the fuel gauge in a -92 Volkswagen is not that accurate anymore.

Mac porting has progressed well but Petri also dedicated one evening of programming towards the editor too with the help of some beer and our wonderful forums community who could submit their most wanted features for him to implement. You can see what happened by reading onwards from this post. A dozen or so good features were implemented and if possible we’d like to do at least one more beer coding session before we release the next version. So make sure to follow the forums if you want to influence what new features get in!
Continue reading »

 

Wow. It’s already been a few weeks since our last post on the blog. Sorry about that. We definitely want to maintain our activity in here so we’ll try to work harder in the future to update the blog more frequently. I don’t wanna make any promises, but… this is a promise.

Of course we have our excuses for being lazy writers and as a matter of fact in this post I’ll concentrate entirely in just one of the things that has kept us busy during the last few weeks: we moved offices! That’s right, we bid farewell to our old basement office on the edges of periphery: even though the office technically was in the city, our next-door neighbors was a horse stable. Or “neigh-bors” if you’re into embarrassingly terrible puns… Ahem. Right. Here’s what our old office looked like during its last days:

But now things are different since we live (or work? I always confuse the two…) in Keilaniemi, a few kilometers away from our old place in Matinkylä. There’s a lot of tech companies located here so I suppose you could describe the area as a watered down -version of Silicon Valley. Down the road to north, there’s the headquarters of Rovio and to the south the headquarters of Nokia. And right beneath our feet in the office below, we have the brand new Finnish branch of Unity Technologies.
Continue reading »

 

Hello, it’s time for a proper weekly update once again!

It almost seems like there’s a rule in the universe that the amount of kick ass graphics produced at any given time is a constant. You see, we hired a new guy in the field of kick ass graphics production and almost at the same time Juho (who also operates in the very same field [kick ass graphics production -Editor]) manages to break his collarbone with his mountain bike, rendering him temporarily useless (for our twisted purposes, that is). Luckily though, he is left handed so he should be able to continue with us pretty soon and he also happened to have a camera mounted on his chest so we’re eagerly waiting to see what the tumble looked like!

Anyways, we wish him a speedy recovery but let’s get back to the topic at hand. Almost Human made a big leap and we did our first hire! Let’s all welcome Jyri, who’s an old colleague/friend of ours. He has previously worked on Trine 2 and Shattered Horizon, among other things, and his special skills include ZBrush and mucking around on an electronic drumset. He already started working on some 3D objects that will certainly find their home in a dark dungeon somewhere but right now as I’m writing this, he’s having fun by assembling some Swedish furniture which incidentally will also find their home in a dark dungeon somewhere (e.g. our office).

We also opened a Cafepress store where you can buy Legend of Grimrock and Almost Human shirts, hoodies and pet bowls! Tell us what you think and if there’s something you would like to see in the store, do let us know and we’ll take a look if it’s doable!

The dungeon editor is also progressing well. I know there’s a lot of folks out there who have been asking if using custom assets, like new environment graphics, monsters, sounds, items etc., would be possible and I’m glad to say that we have now solved all remaining issues with those! I’m sure we’ll see a lot of awesome new fan made graphics and other things of immeasurable beauty :) . There’s also a handful of usability improvements like better filtering of the asset list (no more scrolling, yay!) and we think we could call the editor pretty much feature complete. This means that it’s now possible to do everything necessary with the editor to create functional custom dungeons but there’s still a few improvements we want to make and we’ll also have to update the game itself a little so you can load the custom dungeons there. But all in all, we’re very close to the finish line here!

 

If you’re just dying to know who are the geniuses behind a masterpiece of such grandeur as Legend of Grimrock, this post is for you! Almost Human Ltd. is a Finnish indie game studio founded in the beginning of the year 2011 by four foolhardy game developers with loads of games industry experience but close to zero knowledge of entrepreneurship. Our office is in Matinkylä, Espoo, in the bottom floor of an apartment building. It’s a nice and quiet (and super cheap!) location and the previous tenant of this office apparently was involved in some sort of indoor agricultural project and if you want to commute to work via horseback it can be arranged since we are situated right next to a horse stable.

In the beginning, we kicked things off by doing work-for-hire style jobs for other Finnish game companies but now we think we are ready to tread the waters by ourselves. Or actually that’s been going on for the last few weeks already and, despite getting our feet seriously wet, the deeper waters seem mighty inviting still! That is not to say that we won’t do some odd jobs on the side occasionally but our primary focus is definitely on our own games from now on. But we’ll have to wait and see if this thing takes off. If you want to help us out on our quest, just tell your friends of the game or post on a forum that you go to or bake a cake with the name of the game on the frosting or something. Anyways, now we need to venture onwards to discover the secrets of the individual developers behind Legend of Grimrock! Continue reading »

 

Hi! This post isn’t actually game project related, but we thought it would be fun to share some behind the scenes footage. Enjoy!


 

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