Hello again. So this is the first of the Qasir Updates, where we will try to fill in with what’s going on our current project’s development. On this inaugural iteration, I will answer some questions about the project and over the next posts I will provide news about the up-to-date state of the project, much akin to our Tsar Updates. So, without further ado, on to the questions:
What kind of game is Qasir?
Qasir is the prologue to the Tsar Project. It tells an early story of our invisible protagonist and it’s an introduction to the mechanics and themes that will be explored more deeply on Tsar. The game is a stealth action-adventure that takes place on a ominous night on 12th century Syria. The game features a invisible character, that needs to assassinate 3 targets before dawn while avoiding detection. Although invisible to the human eye, our protagonist can be covered in particles, which can be seen by guards (such as the blood of it’s victims) and it can still emit noises that attracts attention. The game deals with an important aspect of this character’s personality, that of a risk-taker, which pursuits the best given reward out of any situation even if with it comes greater risks and consequences for failure.
How big/long the game will be?
We do not call the game a prologue for nothing. It’s size can be compared to that of what a long chapter in a full-sized indie game like Tsar Project will be or that of a major Zelda dungeon. So, it’s not super shot or bite-sized, but it’s not also particularly long or “full-sized” as one should expect.
When it will be released, exactly?
By fall 2011 (for those on the northern hemisphere). Expect the game to be fully available on early to mid September.
The game will be released free of charge?/How much it will cost?
It’s our first commercial project so it’s not freeware. It will cost $5 dollars, which are what we consider a fair price for a game with this scope.
Why the choice to develop Qasir right now, instead of Tsar or Mnemons?
I will be sincere on this one. We are currently in the middle of a crossroad at Aduge. We need to deliver projects, and we need to deliver commercial-grade games. Most of us recently graduated from the university, and we are more determined than ever to finish and deliver our projects and to sell them. We started to exercise this mentality of delivering, achieving closure, with Semblante and Mnemons, two very short three-week-long experiments. However, under this time constraint, we cannot deliver a commercial, finished product with our current level of mastery on game development. Qasir is on a middle ground. It is an achievable, short project, that has enough time for us to polish it enough to warrant it as a commercial product and also serves as a good test for Tsar Project, which is bigger in scope.
What engines/tools you guys are using on this project?
So far, we used the excellent Scirra’s Construct on both Mnemons and Semblante. It’s the perfect tool for short projects and prototyping, but it doesn’t quite cut it for a bigger project under a team of 6 like Qasir. So, for the Qasir project we chose to go with Unity 3D as our engine. It’s very powerful and easy to use, enough for us to deliver a finished product with the features we are trying to achieve with Qasir. Also, we are still using Construct for quickly prototyping ideas of mechanics and level design.
Can you expose a brief timeline of the project up until now?
The project started on early March with the Direct phase, or Conceptualization, where we chose to go with an older story of the main protagonist of Tsar Project for our game. This phase was characterized by the choice of our theme, Gambit, and the creation of a conceptual/creative direction for every facet of the game, from sound design to the game design itself. It was during this phase that we decided the main mechanics, the setting and the context of the game.
After that, by late March, we entered the Design phase, or Pre-Production, where everyone, with the creative direction in mind, started designing the game’s components, rules, narrative and representation while a quick prototype using Construct was assembled to test most of what was being designed. This phase is where we also acclimated with Unity 3d as our main tool and worked out how we were going to implement all of our assets and features in the final software.
By mid-April we entered the current phase, Develop, or Production, which is where we produce and implement the visual assets, sound effects, level design, etc. namely all the content of the final product. We are about at the middle of the develop phase trying to hit a fully-playable Alpha before May 31st and submit the game for the Indiecade festival.
Oh well, that was a long post. Expect the next updates to be shorter and with more stuff to see rather than stuff to read. See you soon!