2020 wrap-up, and news from production
27 days ago
– Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 10:55:15 PM
What a year 2020 has been. We hope you are all safe and healthy.
From an intense Kickstarter campaign that started at the same time as a global pandemic, to going fully remote while hiring, to refining our production and work from home pipelines, it’s been quite the roller coaster. That being said, we couldn’t be more grateful for the support we received from this community, and the very welcome distraction it blessed us with.
This update was long overdue, so let's start unpacking...
Act 1 alpha is a wrap
Pretty big milestone for us as the team is putting the finishing touches on the first act of the game. We learned a lot, and are really happy with the result!
Here are a few shots from Act 1 (alpha footage) :
We are live streaming new Sea of Stars content this afternoon (EST).
This afternoon (December 22nd, 2PM EST), Thierry will do a live Q&A on Twitch and present a sneak peek of the Mountain Trail dungeon, featuring everyone's favorite warrior cook!
If you have a question for the team, you can post it in the comments section here, and we’ll add it to the pool :)
Our team now has 22 members
To maintain the focus on quality without causing avoidable delays or compromising on the full vision, we hired 6 more people! Three more pixel artists, one more programmer, a social media manager and a new QA manager. We’re now fully ramped up and ready to tackle this production with only one metric in mind: to make Sea of Stars as good of a game as we can make one.
In other news, like many others we had to adapt our methodology and processes for the challenges of full time remote work, but we are happy to report that velocity has not been impacted. Our dev pipeline is optimized and content is being produced at a steady and predictable pace, so you can expect to be seeing more reveals in the following months.
Exciting news: we are self-publishing Sea of Stars!
This isn’t the official announcement, but we closed a major deal that will allow us to self-publish Sea of Stars. We’ll go into the full details in a dedicated post in 2021.
Since it is not an exclusivity deal, we have complete freedom here, so you are more than welcome to voice any hopes or preferences about platforms. We will be listening and prioritizing our efforts according to your demands.
The Crypt Customizer is launching early 2021
With more than 7000 memorials to be customized for The Crypt, we had to create a platform to gather all the data and streamline communication with backers.
The Crypt Customizer is a web application that allows eligible backers to customize their memorial, whether it is a monument, a statue, or a stone. It will be accessible via your favorite browser using your unique code and backer email.
In the first phase, coming Q1 2021, only the monuments section will be open (a Hero to be Worshipped tier), and will progressively open up to other tiers.
The second phase will add statues (A Hero to be remembered) and stones (Solstice Warriors).
You will receive an email with instructions the moment it goes live. Multiple reminders will also be sent via Discord and email to make sure everyone has ample time to send us the data.
2021 will be a big year!
There are a lot of announcements coming next year, including launch platforms, feature reveals, character reveals and so much more.
But for now, it's time to rest. We wish you all happy and peaceful holidays, and give you our thanks once again for the incredible support you have shown us in this adventure.
-The Sabotage Team
Demo post-mortem, and the beginning of production.
4 months ago
– Mon, Sep 28, 2020 at 01:20:51 AM
It's a wrap for the demo, and what a month it has been! Despite a few distribution hiccups at first, thousands of backers played and replayed it inside and out, and we couldn't feel more blessed with the response.
We received more feedback than we could have hoped for, and had discussions with players from all over the world who offered their perspectives and hopes. The one thing that seems to come through unanimously is that the core of the vision works. There is no way to overstate how happy this makes us as we make the transition from pre-production to production.
A lot of you have taken the time to put together extensive feedback, all in the spirit of helping us make Sea of Stars the best game it can be, and we have been listening. Without going into too much detail here, one thing that seems worth mentioning is that in the demo the world was rather "empty", both to keep playtesters focused on the main path, and because it is still so impossibly early. In the final game, you can absolutely expect more ways to touch the world in both mundane ways like opening drawers, fishing and cooking, as in more concrete ways like undertaking side-quests or booting your endgame save to discover and fight optional bosses that are "stronger than the final boss".
If you miss the demo or want to revisit it, there's a lot available online from streamers and content creators! Here are two of our favorites:
Now that we're officially done preparing tools, renderers and character controllers, we are hard at work on our first milestone of final content (Act 1). Here's a sneak peek of what's in the works:
Childhood intro in Mooncradle Village:
Some enemy concepts from Act 1:
Kid Garl, Kid Valere and Kid Zale running
Enemies spell FX concept sheets
By popular demand, Garl's frying pan attack:
We are also ramping up the team with three additional artists who will help us attain the quality we are shooting for without having to compromise on the timeline.
As always, be sure to come say hi on our Discord from time to time for backer exclusive updates, or to chat with the team!
You can expect another update this fall, as we have started the work on Monuments, Statues and Stones. A Web app is coming soon for you to make your choices!
As always, we thank you once again for all the support <3
The exclusive demo is coming out on August 20th!
5 months ago
– Tue, Aug 18, 2020 at 10:41:57 PM
Exhausted and brimming with excitement, we’re happy to finally announce that the super backers exclusive demo (Solstice Warrior package and above) will be out on August 20th!
Featuring 3 different areas to explore, the demo has been cut out of the middle portion of the game, heavily redacted to avoid spoilers, and balanced to offer an early taste of the core mechanics. While you will be encountering areas and characters that are part of the final game, we will ensure your adventures on Watcher Island feel fresh despite having played the demo!
If you are eligible for the demo, but haven’t gotten your access to the dev channel yet, simply join us on Discord and follow the instructions in the #instructions channel. To secure demo access, you need to claim your "Super Backer" or "Top Backer" role. Head over to the #support channel for any questions or issues, we're making a point to be swift and responsive!
If you haven’t backed Sea of Stars yet, there is still time to get the Solstice Warrior Package on Backerkit, which includes access to the Super-Backer Exclusive demo and the private #dev channel. If you want to upgrade your pledge to the Solstice Warrior package, just come see us in the #support channel on Discord.
Here are a few considerations about the demo:
- It is for PC (Windows 10) only
- It is accessed through our Discord exclusively; your Super Backer / Top Backer role is the access key
- It will be available for 1 month, from August 20th 2020 to September 20th 2020
- You are free to stream the demo, take screenshots, record footage, or otherwise share content or impressions about your time with it etc.
And one last thing!
We started a casual Twitch stream. A couple times a week, Thierry plays some retro gems to chill with the community and sometimes talk about game design.
To kick things off, the first third of the demo will be livestreamed on August 18th, at 8PM EST. Tune in on Twitch to chat with the team!
New trailer, and some news
7 months ago
– Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 11:10:00 PM
My, we spent a long time in the dev submarine, silent and all. Just as it was about time we poked our head out, Summer Game Fest invited us to join the celebration with a new trailer, and we gladly obliged!
You can watch it here:
"With the Coral Hammer in hand, Valere and Zale arrive on the shores of Watcher Island. Across the jungle they must reach Docarri Village, where they hope to have an audience with the legendary Oracle of Tides..."
While the game is still a couple of years out, a lot of you pledged for access to a playable demo, and it is coming VERY SOON. Cut out of the middle section of the game, the demo has the two protagonists go on a quest without the rest of the party. Spoiler tags will be used profusely to preserve the experience once the game releases, but there is still some world building taking place there with an outdoor dungeon, a town, and an indoor dungeon.
Along with the traversal and combat mechanics in place, you will be able to play with the main systems (leveling up, upgrading equipment and harvesting food to rest and heal up between combats).
Meanwhile, in our empty studio…
As you can probably guess, we had to switch over to remote work. It did require some adjustments, but now that we are a couple of months in, we can gladly report that our production timeline has not been impacted. Our only gripe is that we have yet to get together and celebrate the success of our dream campaign, which is a very minor gripe all things considered.
Many backers have joined our Discord to talk about Sea of Stars, game dev, and enjoy some unique inside looks at our work in progress. If you were still considering joining the fun, here is a quick look at some of the things we've shared on there:
Level design ideas sketch
Title screen in action (music included)
Valere's successfully timed attack animation
We'll send another update soon as the demo rolls out, which will be distributed through Discord, so all the more reason to join us! Feel free to come say hi, we'll be happy to have you.
Thank you once again for your support, it still means the world to us and goes a long way in carrying our efforts as we build this fantasy world of ours!
All the best, and stay safe <3
Sea of Stars post-campaign store is now live on Backerkit!
9 months ago
– Sun, May 03, 2020 at 11:31:18 PM
Now that the first wave of fulfillment has been taken care of, we are moving on to the most requested addition!
We received hundreds of messages from people who learned about Sea of Stars after the campaign had ended. If that’s your case, or if you have friends who would be interested in getting in early on our dream project, we’re super excited to announce that our post-campaign Backerkit page is finally up!
Pre-ordering from our Backerkit page is the best way to support and get involved with the production of Sea of Stars as we gear up for an exciting 2 years of dev, studio antics, reveals and live streams.
Also, for those who encountered problems with their payment being declined, know that Backerkit supports Paypal and all major credit cards.
4 items and a tip jar, for now
As of now, only a limited number of items are available:
- Digital Copy for Sea of Stars (PC or Console)
- Solstice Warrior Package (includes dev channel and playable demo access)
- Early Backer Edition Physical Copy for Sea of Stars (PC or Console)
- Sea of Stars OST Double Vinyl with Kickstarter exclusive cover
We’ll be monitoring demand, and it is highly likely that there will be more items added throughout production, based on which merch or perks the community would like to see.
Add-ons and surveys for Kickstarter Backers
Important note for Kickstarter backers: if you already backed the project through Kickstarter, there is nothing to do on Backerkit for you right now. You’ll be able to get more add-ons when the surveys are sent. We know this might feel a bit counter-intuitive, but the way Backerkit is built doesn’t allow us to complete fulfillment before surveys are sent, which will happen once we announce platforms for Sea of Stars. Please reach out if you feel any confusion reading this; we make a point to be unprecedentedly responsive!
Rest assured that there will still be Early Backers edition physical copies and vinyls available by this time, at least for the Kickstarter backers who desire them!
A reminder: Discord roles and exclusive access
The Discord community welcomed over 5000 new members last week, and our Kickstarter bot managed to fulfill most of the role attribution (with minor hiccups, like Discord banning the bot 6 times because of the volume of interactions triggered the spam filter). If you haven’t gotten your Discord title and/or your access to the exclusive #dev channel, the Kickstarter Assistant is now stable. If you have any problems with it, please send a DM to Philip on Discord, and he will manually handle your role attribution.
We’re almost done with the boring updates, the next ones should be game-oriented :)
Once again, thanks for the support, and stay safe <3
If you didn’t get the Kickstarter wallpaper yet (now with 2 exotic formats), here are the links: