Hey there giants,
The final assets needed for the update have been delivered and all you loyal blog followers get a quick preview of what to expect. In short, the artist behind them is the same artist that designed 99% of the creatures and characters found in the game. I can finally say that the game’s art style is now cohesive enough and fits together perfectly.
A few of you asked me on twitter and facebook why I decided to improve the art style now, one year after the initial release. The good developer who loves his community answer is “For you guys“. But the truth is that back on November 2nd 2017 I just could not afford to pay someone to design/draw the tiles so I did the best I could.
And I could have left the game exactly how it was with just the UI and UX improvements that will come in the update (even more on that later) but here’s the thing: Remember my gamasutra post about my sales goal for the game? 700 copies in a couple of months so I can afford to work on another game? The game ended up breaking even after the post went live (a month after it) and surpassed the sale’s goal. Not only that but right now it sits at around 6000 copies sold across Steam and Itch.
So I can say that for me, personally, the game ended up being a success. And I will count the initial failure as a blessing because a few changes happened for me when the fight instinct kicked in. I have a few contracts to work on, a good consultancy side-gig and a few freelancing gigs under my portfolio. All in all, even though I had to move to the capital for more work opportunities, the game and the risk I took ended up working out for me (do read the original article tho’, I ended up getting lucky once again – this is not the norm).
In a funny way, this update is for you guys. My way of saying thank you to the community and count my blessings once again. The real answer to the initial question is:
“Because I can afford to do it now. And because you guys helped me afford the art through your support”.
The graphical update feels a bit like them new HD remakes for games from an older generation. I hope you’re all going to enjoy the extra eye candy that comes with this anniversary update.
Besides the new graphics more improvements will come. I wrote about them here. The game’s is pretty much wrapped up but it will take about a month of more work before the update drops. For starters I have to make a new trailer for the game, showcasing the new and improved art and usability features. And new promotional materials for the Steam page.
Some people mentioned the game’s art pushed them away from purchasing. I say they have a chance to purchase the game now. For those that hated the idea of keyboard only controls, well pick it up with a single mouse click. And for those who bought the game for no other reason that to support me I hope this update will show you that you did the right thing, I hope.
If feedback from this update is good and sales pick up again (right now the game nets me about 100$ / month, sometimes it falls just barely under the needed threshold for a Steam Payment) I can move Ebony Spire 2 from pre-production into full production. I’ve been playing around with the idea for a while. The game’s supposed to feature an overworld that the player can explore. Each tile can be visited (be it forest, town, dungeon, etc). You can picture it as everything you loved in Ebony Spire with a bit more lore built in, new enemies, new items and actual stats to level up. And a few quests tied to the events in Heresy.
Thank you giants!