Too Long Without A Blog Post
Well, it's been way too long without a blog post, so first I'll have to apologize for that. But the good news is that we have a lot of progress to share, and things are definitely heading in the right direction! A lot of things have happened so far in 2019, so let's get started talking about them!
Only about one month after the previous blog post was published, I accepted a full-time programming job. It's been difficult (impossible) trying to pay the bills on my video games alone, so having this job was pretty much necessary at this point. While I'd still like Goldbar Games to be profitable, I can afford to take my time now, and I won't need to compromise creativity in order to push out a new game. Additionally, any revenue that Goldbar Games makes will be immediately re-invested into making new games, so it should be a lot easier to grow the company this way, too.
Speaking of that, I've been taking a new approach with the Twitch streams, partially inspired by what other streamers have been doing. Every two weeks we put up a new 'donation goal' to reach, like for example '$50 for a new music track' or '$100 for the Steam fee'. We've actually had some moderate success with this method, so I hope it feels like the viewers are having an impact on the creation of the game this way. It's through their (or your) donations that we're able to fund more assets (and I think when we get into the later stages we can maybe put them toward viewer-inspired stretch goals). In other words, it works a lot like a Kickstarter, but continuously ongoing through Twitch. Even if we don't reach the goal through viewer donations, I always pay the amount in full with my own money so that we can stay on top of development.
Also, regarding Twitch, my stream schedule has changed a bit. We now begin and end one hour earlier, from 7 PM to 9 PM CST. And we are only streaming on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Friday will be occasionally used for playing video games, rather than development work. I've had to modify my schedule this way to avoid getting burned out too quickly from my day job, plus there are just some GG-related things I need to do that can't be streamed and I need to make time for them.
Witch Doctor Kaneko
So at this point we've been working on Witch Doctor Kaneko for half a year, and we've made a lot of progress. The game's basic physics are done, and about half the spells in the game have been implemented. We currently aim to release a free demo sometime later this year, so we're focusing on really polishing everything we have so far. Sometimes on the stream I will show myself drawing level designs or even writing story elements, rather than just programming in Unity. There is also speculation that I may switch to an engine other than Unity, but I'm not really sure if that's viable. There are some really good reasons to switch to our own custom game engine, but given how limited my time is right now, it's still probably best to continue development in Unity.
Earlier this year I commissioned a short little animation from Osato, who also drew all of the promotional artwork for Witch Doctor Kaneko. I'd like to use that animation somewhere in the game trailer, though it's too early for that right now. And if possible, I'd like to commission more of these animations, if possible, because I really think they're cool and could be used for short scenes in the game. But that's a long time from now, so we'll focus on finishing the game first!
We've also started up production of Kaneko's soundtrack, once again teaming up with Solo Acapello (who worked with us on Snowball Saves Summer's soundtrack). Just like with Snowball, we'll be posting short clips of the soundtrack on Patreon for early-access listening.
Detective Butler DLC
Regarding Detective Butler's we've also started development of the DLC for Maiden Voyage Murder! Thankfully it requires no new programming, so it was super easy to get things up and running really quickly. I just need to dedicate enough time to writing it all out. And although I may have mentioned before that I was going to get assistance with the writing, I really don't want to do that anymore and will just write all of it myself. Though I will still get proofreading help from a few people, just to be sure I'm on the right track.
All I will say about the contents, without spoiling too much, is that the DLC will be a totally optional experience. You will not need to play it in order to play the sequel, nor will there be any achievements or anything locked behind the DLC. It's purely a collection of short stories that will give you more opportunities to see this cast of characters in action. These stories will take place during the story of MVM, but written from the perspectives of different characters. There won't be as much mystery, so I'll try to make each story as entertaining as possible in its own unique way.
My goal is to finish the DLC soon and release it later this summer, so wish me luck!
Snowball Saves Summer
Lastly I would like to mention that Snowball Saves Summer will be on sale during Steam's Summer Sale, so if you have not played it, now would be a good time to buy! Also, at the request of one of our Twitch viewers, we added an optional feature to invert the mouse controls, for people who want to play that way.
That's all for now. We'll keep you posted here for the major stuff, but if you'd like to keep in closer touch, you can follow us on Twitter, Patreon, SubscribeStar, Twitch, or Discord for more frequent updates. Thank you for reading, and see you next time!