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Back on Track

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!

7 comments to Back on Track

  • darklord42

    Here is a very interesting utility for converting content to portal 2 that was just posted on moddb. Think it could be useful to you?

  • jalex3

    More detail? the game was already stunning. I cant wait to play and hear the new soundtrack.

  • Lewk

    Wow, brilliant stuff as always. I’m interested to see how some dynamic lights and shadows could play into this little project. But I guess we’ll have to see.

    Glad to hear you’re officially a studio now with some new projects lined up. Can’t wait to see what other new original game idea’s you guys can come up with.

  • If only steam or your sites had a micro-invest button ;)

    I would have clicked on it a few times by now.

    So would that be the portal2 engine?
    And you’ve made the levels even MORE detailed?

    Don’t show them – please.
    Because By todays standards of graphics in these current screenshots up until today are impressive and beautiful and if you have something more awesome in your bag, keep it there as a surprise.

    Maybe go back put a bit fat “pre-alpha-work-in-progress-footage” watermark over all your images so people don’t get confused, and THEN, If they want to see the even more detailed version, well they’ll have to buy the game :)

  • im not sure if im talking to the right person, but i think your editing in the source engine is STUNNING

  • Hyetal

    That looks stunning. Well done, sir.

  • [...] Rob’s got his take on what’s been a really intense few weeks over on his dev blog – you should read that [...]