A pivotal milestone

Hello all, I had an odd moment last night and I wanted to share.  I reached the moment in the development for our point & click adventure game, Arkhangel: The House of the Seven Stars where I could see the finish line...albeit briefly:

Just three little words (well...two words and an acronym).  I had just wired up the three different endings and triggered the final (and temporary) dialogue call.  Then I played through the three different endings and IT WORKED.

Like...whoah, dude.

I realized that this has been a journey that started about five (!) years ago (a bit more if you count the initial short story idea that I had in 2003).  It was a little emotional/overwhelming/exciting/terrifying.

That's great!  So does that mean you're done?

Oh god!  OH GOD!!  No, not yet.  There's still a ton to do...but this is one of those *big* milestones in a project.

What's next then?

Alpha!!

What the F is Alpha?!

Good question!  Alpha basically means that the game is there.  All of the pieces and systems are in place, the full flow of the game is represented, and I can basically play the game from start to finish in a very rough fashion.

There are still placeholder/missing assets, some puzzles aren't finalized, cinematics are basically just text explanations or rough animatics, etc...Basically, all of the BIG stuff is done. Now it's about making it pretty.

Now...I am incredibly close to reaching Alpha.  All of the systems and scenes are there.  I basically need to do a huge consistency pass on the entire game to make sure everything is operating in a stable manner across the board, that all logic is in place to make sure that the game progresses in an expected manner, and that nothing critically breaks on me.  It's basically going to mean I will be playing the game even more than I already am.

Just in terms of visibility; the upcoming milestones for AA:THotSS (still the most ridiculous abbreviation ever) are as follows:

  • Hitting Alpha -- 1/31/2017!
  • Gameplay Trailer!
  • Setting up Steam Greenlight Page!
  • Finalize dialogue script!
  • Begin work on Cinematics!
  • Working with composer Chad Seiter on the musical score!
  • Finalize non-critical systems and puzzle design!

Sooooooo...still so much to do, but it seems as though we're getting closer and closer!  That's exciting!  I'm super pumped to be able to start sharing more progress with you all in the coming weeks/months.

Happy new year, everyone!

Winter Night Games: An Update

Wait...we haven't updated this page for almost A YEAR?!?! For shame, Quarles-Brothers...For shame.

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The fact that we haven't updated this site shouldn't allude to the idea that things are going slowly or that we are resting on our laurels.  Quite the opposite!  We just tend to update our social media channels a bit more frequently than this page (so you should all follow us on Twitter and on Facebook).  We are making an effort to change that particular behavior as of RIGHT NOW!

OKAY!  Here's a quick update on all things WNG:

Arkhangel: The House of the Seven Stars - I (Zack) have been cranking away on systems, puzzle design, characters, animations, textures, 3d models, and everything else you might think of.  My friend Chad Seiter and I have been discussing what we are going to do with the musical score (Chad recently composed the score for ReCore...It's awesome) and we are geeking out about what we are going to do with the music for this game.

As a special treat, Chad has provided the isolated music track from our announce teaser from last year.  Here it is for your listening pleasure:

God, I love that theme.  Just wait.  He's got so many goodies waiting for you all.  :)

In terms of an all-up status for AA:HotSS (that's the most ridiculous abbreviation ever), we are getting *dangerously* close to a fully first playable game!  My goal is to get to that point by the new year and then spend 2017 polishing everything up, recording the music, and push forward with a hopeful release date in Q4 2017!  Now, it's always tricky to put a date on something that significant simply because this isn't my day job.  I don't always get a chance to sit down and work on this as much as I would like and real life can sometimes get in the way...but I'm trying to put this goal in front of myself, so you all can actually play this thing.

Arkhangel: The Great Nameless - Josh has been doing a ton of playtesting with AA:TGN (another amazing abbreviation) and made the trip to GenCon again this year!  We've been getting a ton of great feedback from all of these playtests and have been really encouraged by the warm reception that we get when people see the artwork, read the mythology, and play the game.  One thing that Josh has really been focusing on recently is making the rulebook very accessible to new players.  The thing about working on these games for so long is that we know them inside and out; so we need to make sure that everything makes perfect sense when someone sits down for the first time and doesn't get overwhelmed and/or frustrated.  I might try and con Josh into writing a full blog post about his adventures in writing the rulebook.

WNG - In terms of what we are up to as a company at large, both Josh and I have moved into new residences and have coordinated a lot more mythology/fiction writing over the last few months for both games (and for future project ideas).  We have been doing a lot of research when it comes to Kickstarter (stay tuned on that front for Arkhangel: The Great Nameless), and we just got an internal Perforce server setup.  It's like we are a real game developer!

Well...sort of.  Let's not go crazy.

BUT LOOK.  IT'S A BEAUTIFUL SERVER (well, it's a RAID modified desktop, but who's really counting):

Server of Dooooooooooom

OKAY.  That's it from me today.  Everyone have a great weekend.  Josh and I will try our damnedest to be better about updating this page!