Weekly Post: November 29, 2014

      We're nearly halfway through our Kickstarter funding period. At about twenty percent funding, we're looking at a real uphill climb to reaching our funding goal, but with all of your help, we think it can still be done! Share To Azimuth on Twitter or Facebook if you can, and just help us spread the word! Word of mouth can take us a long way, and we're relying on all of you to help us get there. We really believe in To Azimuth. We know that we can reach our goal. 

    Due to the holiday here in the States, it's been a fairly slow week on the development front. Since we don't have much to show you that's new, we thought we would share some of To Azimuth in its earliest state to illustrate one of our first design decisions.

    The dynamic environments were one of the first design ideas that we really latched on to. Aside from making the game visually interesting, we found that it also afforded us opportunities to dig into some of the more surreal aspects of the narrative (which we haven't really gotten into yet, as that ventures into spoiler territory). Since settling on the environmental movement as a constant aspect of the game's interiors, we had to start thinking about both camera placement and object placement in our environments a lot more carefully. Instead of modeling a single wall that runs the length of a house, for example, we have to figure out how many pieces we need to separate the wall into, its position in relation to the camera and the other walls it touches, when and how each wall moves, etc.

    The fixed camera angles also meant that, from the basic design work of an environment to actual modeling and integration into Unity, we had to start designing environments that would be navigable from a single direction. This is hardly an obstacle unique to our game; any game has to take into account its camera when designing environments. The extra wrinkle we ran into was that all of these objects also have to move in and out of frame as the camera requires it, *and* throughout this sometimes chaotic-feeling movement, the player character has to remain the camera's main focus. It probably sounds more complicated than it really is, but it proves a challenge, especially in areas that require a lot of "stuff," specifically houses, with all of their accumulation of a person's daily routine/life.

    We have one new screenshot for you this week, though it's an area you've seen before if you've seen the trailer: Eli's living room.

(The TV has been moved out of frame to allow the player to see the coffee table more clearly.)

    For the next week, we'll be crunching to try to get an area up and running for another gameplay video. The area we're working on is Nate-centric and more puzzle-dense than Susannah's house, so the plan is to show some of the environmental puzzle gameplay in time for the last week of the Kickstarter. This is a *ton* of work, however, so while we hope to have something substantial to show off to kick off the last week of funding, it may not be as feature-complete as we are planning. Nevertheless, we'll have something to show then!

    Hope everyone has a great weekend!

    [Side note: Three Fourths Home, our most recently released game, was Greenlit on Steam this week! We'll be working on the Steam release for that over the next few weeks in addition to all of our work on To Azimuth. We have a few ideas to flesh out the game a little more for its big day on Steam, but it shouldn't take away from our focus on To Azimuth too much or for very long. Thanks if you voted for it!]