Two years ago:
Igor: “Here’s the thing though… I don’t want the same old thing. Light/dark… good/evil is boring. I want something with multiple traits we can track on something…”
Milo: “Oh, how about something like this?”
*Milo draws a circle on the board and three axes*
Igor: “Huh, that works.”
Milo: “Cool. Hey Joe, check this out…”
And so the TPI was born.
Granted, it still took another year or so of philosophical and mechanical debates, but the beginnings of what would be the driving narrative force in our game really did have such an anticlimactic beginning (you can read more about the system here).
The last two years came and went so quickly I still can’t quite believe that we’re in the home stretch. We’ve made a ton of mistakes in the process and we’ve had our share of disappointments (failed Kickstarter campaigns, missed opportunities, and seeing dear friends leave), but through it all we kept going and I knew that everything we did, we did for the betterment of the game. With scant resources and an ambitious timeline, this was (is) one hell of a project for a virgin studio and I am so proud to say that each member of our team has thus far exceeded every expectation.
So where are we now?
Well, the programming side is in implementation and clean up mode. It’s tedious, time consuming and often frustrating, but we’re inching our way through. On the art side of things, all of our 3D assets and special visual effects are done – and I’m very happy to say that we’ve exceeded our intended map-count by a comfortable margin. Our solo animator is busy putting together the final few cinematics with 2D assets coming in from the awesome folks over at Caravan Studios. Our music tracks are being finalized, and our custom creature sound effects are in production – leaving only the generic sound effects for us to deal with in the pipeline (one thing at a time…). On the narrative front, we are admittedly lagging – mostly due to the breadth of things pulling me away from it at any given point of the day. However we are making a ton of progress and I’m very relieved to have some solid friends helping me smooth things along there.
Forged of Blood, has been and continues to be one of the greatest challenges in my creative career. I’d like to think that I’ve grown over the last two years of mistakes and daily challenges, and I truly believe that the studio will have something we can be very proud to call our own when it is all said and done. Nevertheless, the coming months will be hard and they will be stressful, I have no doubt of that; but I really hope that collectively we take a moment and look back on where we were just two short years ago. The progress we’ve made is tremendous, and the work we are putting out has been worthy of the very high bar we’ve set for ourselves.
With that, I’d like to close with my sincerest gratitude for every member of our studio – past, present, and future. We’ve done amazing things together and we’ve forged one hell of a game so far. We’re almost there, and I cannot wait to show the world what we’ve done.
To our fans, friends, and families who have cheered us on from the very beginning, seen us through our Kickstarter campaign and the aftermath, and helped us deal with the very real and very challenging stresses of game development – “thank you” is just not enough. We wouldn’t be here without you and we hope to make you all proud with the game we will launch this year, and seriously: thank you.
Finally, to those of you who are just joining us on this journey. Take a moment, have a look, and we hope you like what you see.
Here’s wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year, and here’s to another year of adventures at Critical Forge.