Updates and Design Discussion

Hello everyone,

You may have noticed that once again we haven’t been updating as much as we were a few months ago. It seems to be a bit of cycle with us. We’ll update regularly for a period of time and then neglect it for a while. I have been thinking about that lately and I really wanted to discover why we keep doing this. After some thought I have made a few observations that I thought I would share to give any of our followers some insight into what’s going on behind the scenes.

First and foremost I think we started talking about and publicizing our game too early. The last half of last year I spent a great deal of time programming the underlying system for the game and it felt like progress was happening, which it was. We started the Try { Stuff } podcast in an effort to promote the game and engage the community. We were pretty consistent for a little while but ultimately the development in the game couldn’t keep pace for how often we were doing updates (which was every two weeks). Furthermore, we found we were dedicating too much time to updates which took away time from working on the actual game. We decided to shift our frequency to once a month.

For February’s update, we had planned on releasing one of the game’s songs and have the composer on the podcast. The song was composed and we liked it a lot but we wanted a few things changed to it. Unfortunatley, our composers keyboard malfunctioned and she lost access to the samples that we wanted to record with. She is still currently trying to get it repaired. We still plan on doing that podcast but the delay bumped that update out of February and March.

I had intended on doing a different update that revolved around the new screenshots since I had moved on to creating the user interface for the game. Then a strange thing happened. As I was creating the HUD and the menus for the game I ran into a myriad of questions about how the game works. I ultimately realized that what I thought was a solid design document actually had numerous holes. And so I went back to the drawing board with a newfound understanding of how much detail ACUTALLY needs to go into a design document, and it turns out it’s a lot. Chalk that up to inexperience. My work history is more on the side of web applications and smaller specialized applications. Web applications are very modular and you can build and design them that way. Other applications I have done have all been designed to solve a specific problem and so the scope was small. This is the first large-scale project that I have taken on and I’m seeing now that you really need a solid design for the entire project before you can really begin work or you’ll end up with a mess and spending a ton of time later reworking things.

Luckily, the code I have created so far is a very generic system-level stuff, like input handling, that isn’t impacted by my lack of design to this point. I have spent the better part of the last month ironing out all of the details with the gracious help of my brother and cousin who have both spent hours of their time discussing the pros and cons of the numerous decisions I’ve had to make about the gameplay.

At this point, I would say I’m roughly 80% done the comprehensive design and I will be much more confident with continuing with the coding with that in place. Another benefit of doing such a thoughough design is that I’m even more excited about the game now. We had to detail every gameplay element and option and as a result we have come up with some really cool game mechanics as solutions to problems that we came across in the design process. I can’t wait to talk about it more.

Anyway, for those who have been following this project, thanks for your patience. We’re still moving forward and things are looking better than ever.

 

Happy New Year

Hi everyone. I wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and to give a progress update.

So we were doing good for a while there with updating every two weeks with the Try {Stuff} podcast but not so good in the last month. I ended up getting into a productive flow of working on the game that I didn’t want to take time away from it to do a video. So I think we’re going to scale back to monthly updates and see how that goes. I really do like making the podcast so I don’t want to pull away from it entirely.

Progress on the game is going well. A great deal of the underlying system is in place and I am now starting to work on building all of the games user interfaces. I have already finished the main screens interface and the map. Right now all of the art is placeholder, but as soon as we get something a little closer to the final version I’ll post some screenshots.

The story has been written and a full pass on editing has been made. We’re currently getting a few people to do a full read through and get feedback on that. I’m still not sure how exactly we’re going to release it or when, but I think it will be chapter by chapter and I hope it won’t be too long before we can start sharing some of it.

That’s all for now but stay tuned in the near future for another episode of Try {Stuff}.

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram where I put up some art from time to time:
https://www.instagram.com/officialcrownnation/

Here is Erika’s Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/tempeststudioss/

You can also follow me on Twitter:
@tysonvilleneuve

 

Try { Stuff } Ep 08 – Tyson’s Gaming Experience

I just realized that I forgot to update this page with the links for Episode 8 of Try { Stuff }. In this episode we discuss Tyson’s gaming history. Here they are in case you missed it:

Youtube:
https://youtu.be/6lY6Jlm8r6Y

Audio Only:
http://crownnation.podomatic.com/entry/2015-10-27T19_04_11-07_00

 

Try { Stuff } Episode 07 – Motivations and Expectations

In this episode, we talk about our motivations for making Sunset Over Lievnos as well as our expectation for what will happen once the game is released. What conditions would make us consider the game a failure? Find out in this episode.

Youtube:
https://youtu.be/Xb0-rYNzvkw

Audio Only:
http://crownnation.podomatic.com/entry/2015-10-15T18_09_49-07_00

 

Try { Stuff } Episode 06 – Erika’s Gaming Experience

In this episode of Try Stuff I find out what game Erika first played, what she has played over the years, and what she is playing now. This podcast is only 13 minutes long, so check it out.

The video is available at:

https://youtu.be/7xSafngyhxA

Or audio only:

http://crownnation.podomatic.com/entry/2015-09-30T15_23_33-07_00

 

Try { Stuff } Episode 05 – Sunset Over Lievnos Chapters 1-3 Analysis

Here is the latest episode of try stuff. We ask a panel to read chapters 1-3 of the Sunset Over Lievnos prequel story and give us their feedback. In order to fully understand what we are talking about, here is chapters 1-3 for you to read!

SoL Chapters 1-3 version 1.0a

We are very exited about finally releasing some of this story! Please give us your feedback either in the comments here or over at the Crown Nation Forum

This is an audio only podcast and it runs just over 1 hour and 20 minutes. You can listen to is at youtube:

https://youtu.be/SHYnjDgsTO4

Or audio only:

http://crownnation.podomatic.com/entry/2015-09-16T18_58_31-07_00

 

Try { Stuff } Episode 04 – Goals & Risks

In episode 4 of Try Stuff we walk about our goals for the Try Stuff podcast as well as the risks of publically designing and talking about the development of Sunset Over Lievnos. Unfortunately, our camera stopped half way through the recording, so there is some video missing at the end. All of the audio is there though.

Watch the video:
https://youtu.be/h0T80JZXIZo

Audio only:
http://crownnation.podomatic.com/entry/2015-08-19T20_27_23-07_00

 

Sunset Over Lievnos Progress Update Aug 2015

Here is our latest podcast where we discuss the current state of the game, why it taking so long, and some plans for the future.

Listen on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/_7qfvhB1ywk

Or audio only:
http://crown-nation.podomatic.com/entry/2015-08-05T20_44_02-07_00

 

Let’s Play Gemfire!

Ok, so I realize that it’s been a very long time since our last update and I apologize for that. We have still been working on the game although it has been hard and at times we have had to deal with other issues and had to put the game on the back burner for a while. Things are still moving forward though! We are going to do our best to update more often going forward. I know we have said that before and failed, but we’re going to keep trying. We do have some updates lined up for the near future. We are hoping to update every two weeks on the Wednesday. So check back then.

We have for you right now a Let’s Play of Gemfire, the game that inspired Sunset Over Lievnos. I have loved Gemfire since I was a kid but Erika has never played it. Considering she is working on a game that is inspired by it, I thought it would be a good idea for her to play it, so we recorded it!

Watch our Gemfire Let’s Play now: http://youtu.be/dgUM6N-PHkA

 

We’re back!

I apologize for the delay in getting the site back up again, but at last it’s finally here. There may be a few issues with the conversion, so if you find something not working, let me know. We’ll have more substantial content shortly!

 
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