At the time of writing there are exactly six days until the gaming expo rAge JHB 2015 starts, and that terrifies me. I’ll be showing an early (pre-alpha) demo of Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale there, and I thought I’d catch you up with the game’s progress and the state of the demo.

The demo for Among the Innocent won’t be long: I’ve been told that demoing an adventure game is ludicrous as it is, so I’ve decided to keep it short, and do my best to take a “vertical slice” of the game and let you run around for as long as you wish. There will be an objective (escape the cabin), but you’re free to take your time, explore, read things and learn a little about the cabin and its history.

But this demo represents more than just a thing to show during an expo: it is a milestone in my fledgling game development career. Reaching this goal, showing this game at rAge, means that I’m not just screwing around, and the last three months of my life haven’t been wasted – nor will the next nine months of development. It means that I’m actually producing something. It feels good to play and it even looks half-decent. That realisation thrills me more than anything ever has before, which is probably why I’m so damn scared to show this game to the public. There’s a lot riding on this. “No pressure”, right? I’m working on it!

As I write this, a scary long to-do list looms over my shoulder like a school teacher during end of year exams. It watches, reminds me of how much time I have left, and occasionally tuts quietly to itself. There’s still so much to put together in time for the expo – I have no solid plans for dressing up my little 2x2m booth – but I know that two things will be ready: the actual demo, and the comic. Yes, the comic! I’ve mentioned it a few times and now it’s almost done. The artist, Rhys Ap Gwyn, has sent through the final pages and they look glorious. I just need to wrap them all up with a cover and then send it off to the printers on Monday morning. I’ve been told that I can collect the printed comics by Friday morning, so here’s hoping there are no problems!

Among the Innocent

A snazzy little 3D render of the comic.

The comic will be printed in very limited quantities, so I’ll have to be picky about who gets one during the show. I intend to keep a few afterwards, which I’ll send to local and international press along with a media pack and a refined version of the rAge demo.

During the last few weeks, the gameplay for the demo has been sitting pretty, and I concentrated on getting in all those little details. These are the things that most people won’t even notice, but if they’re not there, everything will seem odd. For those people who enjoy small pleasures, I think you’re in for a treat. Nothing in Among the Innocent is incidental or throwaway. Everything means something, whether in a gameplay or a personal capacity.

Among the Innocent

Biscuit tins (obviously filled with sewing stuff)! These and other items like them litter the cabin. I like to think they’re telling their own little story.

Unfortunately I haven’t had time to get everything done that I had hoped to do for the demo. There will be no voice-overs! The truth is that I haven’t found all the suitable voice-actors yet, and with my budget being what it is, doing so is not an easy task. What that means is I’m on the lookout for voice talent, so please come through to the booth at rAge and let me know if you’d like to be a voice in the game. I’m looking for well-spoken South African accents, of various ages and races. I can afford to pay in Ginger Nuts and hugs, so if that exchange works for you, let’s chat!

That’s about it for now. I sincerely hope that you’ll come through to the booth at rAge this weekend (Oct 9-11). We’ll be at the home_coded stand (#52, between the stage and main LAN area) all weekend! For those who can’t make the show, rest assured that I’ll release the demo publicly as soon as it’s ready.

Take care, good luck, and have fun!

PS: Apologies for the long delay between blog posts. I’ve been so caught up with preparing the pre-alpha demo that I just haven’t had a chance to put a few words together! Once rAge is done and my daily pace returns to a gentle and steady panic, I’ll be posting more regularly. This will also be the point at which I finally move on from the cabin (I bet you’re all sick of seeing it by now!) and start fleshing out the rest of the game world.

 

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Among the Innocent

 

Next post: Demo status and pre-orders