The arrival of 2016 has brought many exciting things for me to tell you about! Here’s a run-down of what’s been going on at Big Cow Studios since my last update:
Big Cow goes on tour
December saw two events at which I showcased The Last Time – the Intel Buzz Workshop, and Adventure X. This was a great opportunity to get more people playing the demo, and, as always, I met some new fans who are now stoked for the game’s release. I met a couple of particularly exciting people at Adventure X – one was Chris Burton, the maker of Adventure Creator (the software I’m using to make the game), and the other was Dave Gilbert, owner of Wadjet Eye Games, publisher of such adventure titles as Gemini Rue and the Blackwell series. In fact, Dave Gilbert himself played my demo – and guess what? He liked it! 😀 Here are some pics of the events:
Big Cow brings The Last Time closer to beta stage
You may remember that I finished a super-rough ‘alpha’ version at the end of October, and that my next step was to fill in all the blanks – this is still in progress. There was a lot to fill in, and I’ve done a significant majority of it. The following work remains before the game will be ready for beta testing: finish remaining art assets and animations, add in dialogue and interactions which have been written / designed but not yet implemented, make some changes to existing scenes which I have planned, have Tom finish and code in the music (he’s been making great progress on this recently and has shared some beautiful drafts with me), and finally do some ‘polishing’, which will include updating the UI, getting saving and loading to work, and fixing all the fiddly imperfections that have been bugging me.
It might sound like there’s a lot of work remaining – and, on reflection, there is – but a lot of it won’t take as long as it might seem (dialogue, for instance, is quick for me to write and implement). Am I on track to release the beta at some point in January, as per my original aim? The answer is ‘not quite’. There’s always more things cropping up for me to add / fix (which is, I suppose, why video game development infamously falls behind schedule). Also, remember how I mentioned in my last update that I was looking for a nine-to-five to support development? Well, I did better than that – I started work last week as a teaching assistant, working an ‘eight-to-four’ which give me more time in the evenings to carry on working on the game. It does mean I don’t have as much time for development as I did before, but on the plus side, I can now make sure the game will be as good as it possibly can, rather than having to rush to release it before my funds run out.
In any case, I’m happy to say that progress is being made, and that – to my great relief – The Last Time is starting to look pretty damn good. The story is engaging and tight, the gameplay flows beautifully, my art is improving, and the dialogue still makes me laugh. I’d say that I’m probably going to overshoot my January beta goal by up to a month, but I’d also say that it’s looking like it’ll be worth the wait 🙂
As always, here’s a spoiler-free teaser image for you – some characters you haven’t met before, taken out of the context of their scenes so as not to give away the story:
Big Cow gets funky
As mentioned above, Tom’s been doing really great work on the music. It fits really well into the scenes, and does a great job of enhancing the mood. He’s going to be coming over to my ‘studio’ (i.e. my flat / apartment) for the whole weekend next weekend to code the audio into the game. I expect to have some nice new music to share with you in the next update 🙂
That’s all from Big Cow for now! Thank you so much again for your support and enthusiasm for the game, and for bearing with me as I work on development. It means a lot to me that you have my back!
As always, would love those comments and questions from you if you’ve got any you’d like to share 🙂