Well here we are. I’m writing this on the eve of launching the very first full Brackenwood game and I am pretty excited.
The two of us have spent the past 12 months working hard in weekly sprints. As well as talking constantly every day over Discord, each week invariably begins with a video call and screenshare where Kirk and I do a retrospective analysis of the previous week’s achievements/failures and then plan the week ahead. It’s also in these meetings where we raise new ideas, discard shitty ones and lock in any good ones. Whether we stick to the current plan, or decide to switch things up or adjust the schedule, I’m proud to say that the communication, planning and decision making has been fully documented and absolutely consistent. I like to think I’m very well-organised in my work but Kirk’s organisational skills are god tier. That’s why tomorrow, we’re releasing a game we’re proud of and I’m not here writing some delay apology/excuse.
Tomorrow, as per my usual weekend schedule, I’ll be live streaming on Twitch. We’ll be asking our viewers to register their interest for game codes. From there Kirk will be sending them out to the lucky chosen players. Once you have a code, you’ll be able to install the game and play immediately with options for solo practice, multiplayer against bots, set up your own server for your friends to join directly, or play on our dedicated servers in USA, Europe and Australia.
For us, the hard work starts after tomorrow, because this Early Access launch will be followed by a few months of fortnightly updates, including bug fixes, improvements, new levels and character progression. Kirk has also set up telemetry tracking everything that happens on the servers. If any alarms go off he’ll be alerted.
What’s kind of cool is that we’ve managed to get this far with me working full time (I’m an assistant director on Bob’s Burgers) during the week, then doing around 35-40 hours of game work on top. There are times when I feel a little burned out but the second half of this project has seen cool new feature added after cool new feature and it’s just amazing to watch it come together. I can also look back on the mountain of art I’ve created in the past 12 months, not to mention the new software and skills I’ve learned along the way, including Photoshop, Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, UE4 materials and lighting. I mean holy shit I can even write HTML and CSS now! Whaaaat??
OK I gotta go do some more illustrations, ball animation and marketing. See you tomorrow!