Red Forest update – Greenlight, Re-re-re-relocation, new team!
It’s about time I wrote an update for everybody involved. Recently, we got greenlit. It was amazing!
I haven’t been fantastic at keeping everybody updated, so here it is- this is the first proper
Red Forest is going to be my first desktop game in four years. It’s a much much bigger game than my previous desktop game, Mash ’em Marbles. I’ve probably learned more since starting it than I did in the decade of PC development before it. This was no Super Mario clone, or a Match 3, or a minigame prototype. It’s also not an application. It’s a full on desktop game.
It’s not gone to plan so far. Life always gets in the way, and it has again recently- Four moves in two years, and I just found out I’m going to be a father. Along the way we’ve dismantled and rebuilt the project twice, and we’re still not done.
Getting greenlit caused me to re analyse the game, and audience, and reconsider if it was worth completing. The answer is, of course, yes- it needs to be finished. But not the same “finished” that it would have been without Steam.
As a result of everything, I’ve got some help on the artwork- two new team members who will help out when they can, providing pod meshes and 2D art. I’ll introduce these guys shortly.
Here’s the state of play regarding the Steam version:
- It’s now ported to Unity 5, with my custom Unity 4 shaders being upgraded to Unity 5.
- We have some new artists modeling new pods, so we can remove asset store bought pods and have unique designs, as you deserve. We’re aiming for 20 pods by December but that’s quite optimistic. I’ll be happy with half that initially.
- Track generation is now stable (previous versions have been notorious for spawning impossible tracks) but remains in heavy development.
- UI system is being updated for a third time. Daikon Forge became unstable, and NGUI too slow to use. We’re moving over to the new Unity UI system. This is quite a large job!
- Multiplayer is being tested with the new Unity networking system. The game was unstable with the old networking system, though admittedly this is likely to be because it was our first implementation. We want this to be as best as possible.
- We’re considering dropping the number of pods from 128 on track to 64 (in Ludicrous mode) simply because above 64 or so, you don’t really notice there are that many. This allows the game’s AI to perform almost double the calculations, bringing back the character in the AI that I did not notice had started to disappear.
I made a lot of promises about game content. As time went on, it became obvious that I can’t do everything I promised. I’ve mentioned that in previous posts too. I do feel awful for that, but it’s important we get to a release state. I’ll do everything within my power to make this game something the players want. I may not be able to hit every point promised on the Greenlight page, but I’ll be transparent about that, and I’ll be listening to everybody as we go along. That brings me to the next point:
I’m discussing an early-access release, using the funds to complete features that haven’t made it in yet. I won’t take a single penny of steam income until I’m happy with what was promised is delivered. All early access funds will be spent on artwork and features to bring the game forward.
Up until now, the game has been low budget. That means I’ve just saved and spent my own cash on what was required. For a self published game, that’s fine, but it shows, and I do not consider it good enough for Steam. Early Access will allow me to fund some serious visual updates.
In short, we’re still working on it, it’s a much bigger job than I thought, there’s lots left to do, but we’re doing it!
..Oh, Here’s a quick screenshot.