Developer Diary #1

I’m glad to be able to bring you the first developer blog of our new upcoming game Warped Times – and since it’s the first part of the developer blog and so far we’ve only published some previews and teasers of development on our sites, we’ll take it from the beginning 🙂

After our first Steam game 3×64 received its final update and arrived to Android and iOS, it was time to move on to a more ambitious new project. After the release of 3×64, we tried a lot of things to keep the game fresh, from individual updates to several events (including one community event) and we were also lucky enough to present the game at two in-person game events just before the pandemic. At the same time, 3×64 represented our return to game development after a long break. Despite my low expectations of our first Steam release, the game was actually quite successful and had almost 400 copies sold or given away during its three-year existence.

All these experiences have brought us to this moment and to the project that is a matter of the heart for me – it’s a remake of our old game “Warped Times: Pres3nt“, on which I spent the most time at school in the past and which was already technically obsolete at the time of release. For this reason, and also because we could do it much better today in terms of graphics, story, and level design, I decided to remake this game with a much more powerful engine and knowledge.

Original Warped Times Pres3nt (2013)

I started playing with basic movement and gameplay last year, but only occasionally, because I didn’t want to embark on such a large project as long as we were still developing 3×64 (and also it wasn’t an ideal time with returning back to work after the pandemic). So I was just taking the time to think about all aspects of the game.

However, at the beginning of the year, I completed the last thing on my to-do list with 3×64 and released the game for iOS, so there was nothing to stop me from experimenting on remaking Warped Times in Unity (the original game was released in Game Maker 8, which was already obsolete at the time), and gradually put together ideas about the story, level design and graphic concept. The level design has undergone a significant change (and it will still take time, because at the moment I have designed only about five levels :)).The basic principle of traveling between dimensions remains, as does the division of chapters into environments ending with unique boss levels. But I decided to give the second dimension (where the player is looking for the second part of the magic stone) more weight and meaning and in the end it will be the same level in a different timeline, so the player can easily see the consequences of the unfolding story.

First experiments in Unity

Warped Times will definitely be a project full of challenges, because I would like to bring the game to the highest possible quality that we can achieve in such a small team and with a minimum budget. We have already completed some challenges, so far the most difficult was design and animation of the characters (animations will be continuously improving until the final game). Compared to the original with primitive round characters, I wanted to give them a little more life, which has so far succeeded and people especially praise their dynamic reactions to the surroundings, which will be even tighter and more diverse with ongoing development.

Characters with dynamic reactions

Quite challenging was the concept of the story, which is inspired by the original game and revolves around connecting the fragments of the stone of life in two different dimensions, but until we found the right theme and the contrasting idea of ​​the utopian versus the dystopian world, the story branched out in a lot of other directions. For example, we are still not clear about how big a role the villagers will play, with whom it will be possible to interact, and it will also be a big challenge to write so many characters. Fortunately, I have a great screenwriter and at the same time a game reviewer and tester who has played a lot more games than I did, so I hope that this side of the game will work out in the end.

At the moment, we are preparing the first preview build for players at Game Access in Brno, where we will be able to see the first feeedback from the players. That’s why I’m trying to prepare a build with nicer graphics and as many finished parts as possible – so far it looks like we will have at least two forest levels ready. I would like to gradually share all the progress of the game from the current version with the first levels and placeholder graphics to the finished game, and ideally continue that as we start working on DLC, so you will be able to follow the complete path of our game with me 🙂 I definitely don’t want to leave the game after the release, regardless of the success of the game – in the end it’s still a hobby and the money earned from our games will only cover some additional costs such as game store fees, purchased assets or participation in game events – although I still have to finance it from my main job as a game tester :).

Current build with less placeholder graphics I took today’s first developer blog as an introduction to this whole adventure of development of our most extensive game yet. I already enjoy the design of individual levels, where two different timelines create more and more opportunities for puzzle ideas and minigames. I’m also looking forward to (and at the same time I’m a little scared of) the development of boss levels, which I’m planning to leave almost unchanged from the original game – although I don’t like a lot of things from the original game, I consider the boss levels to be successful 🙂

Currently, our highest priority is to prepare a page on Steam, where you will have the opportunity to follow the next developer blogs and add the game to your wish list :). In the meantime, you can follow the news on our Discord or Twitter, or wait for another blog from development here :). Another blog post is likely to appear after Game Access, where we gain feedback directly from the players.

Replacing placeholder graphics

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