Well, a lot has been happening since I last posted here, some of it bad and some of it good…Whilst development on DE has been going relatively smoothly over the past few months, we were unfortunately hit with a rather large setback relating to the University who was originally backing our Indie Endeavour.Due to various convoluted legal reasons regarding liability issues, insurance and a whole bag of other things a cant begin to comprehend, the University decided to pull out of the project just before the final bits of paperwork were due to be signed, and we were to get access to the retail Source code.
This meant that not only had we lost our backers, but obviously our funding also, putting us into a state of limbo until we could gather our thoughts and figure out what to do next.
Fortunately Dan had a backup plan; free the Dear Esther IP from the Uni and make TheChineseRoom into a fully fledged company so we could pursue backing on our own as legit Indie Developers. Meanwhile, Dan had also already been in talks with a company called IndieFund about funding another project and we decided to see if they’d also be interested in helping out with Dear Esther. They wanted to see a demo! I asked Dan to stall for a couple of weeks while I began crunching like crazy to get the pre-alpha version of Dear Esther into a more ‘alpha-like’ state; implementing all of the content, scripting and game play, in an attempt to really show off the game when we presented it to them. Although an exhausting couple of weeks, ultimately the work paid off after IF enthusiastically agreed to fund us, which was not only a big relief but hugely flattering coming from the top Indie developers that make up the IndieFund. It was also a huge milestone for me as it meant that, after two long years, the game was in more or less of a completed state, with only a few tweaks left to do.
So that is where we are now! All that’s left is for a few last bits of paperwork to be sorted and things will be kicking off again very soon.
With the content complete, minus some polish here and there, all that’s left is simply porting the content and our existing code over to the latest version of the Source Engine (which we’re hoping will be the Portal 2 code base!). And considering most of the code work consists of simple tweaks to already existing features I’m hoping it will be a relatively simple process!
In the short term im holding off showing any more media now until we’re in the new engine and can present something that’s a bit more final (There’s much, much more detail in the maps now) However, until then I thought I’d post just a couple of new screens as a thanks for all your support during this time and to tide you over until more cool stuff shows up!
Finally I’d really like to say thanks again to IndieFund again for all of their support! For more information on the IndieFund head over here!