The outdoors look completely different in the new version.

Hi everyone. A few personal situations in real life substantially slowed down progress in the last few weeks. Things might get even slower for the first week of August, but development will quickly pick up steam again shorty after August 7th.

Working extremely hard on a Somewhere in the South build based on the E3 Feedback. Having some difficulties developing ideas on “things to do”. Somewhere in the South is about guiding a female slave to the Canadian border,  “activities” or “missions” along the way is proving to be a challenge creative wise. She needs to keep moving, slave hunters and bloodhounds are chasing her. Perhaps you could switch between a different character during lulls in travel? Maybe an abolitionist who is waiting for the slave to arrive at one of the stations?

Also (FINALLY!) planning on putting this version on the iTunes/Android store. Not sure if I mentioned this, but these versions may look completely different due to performance interests. This version might have a “retro” feel to it, but contain all of the elements of the original Somewhere in the South, including the Black English.

A multitude of other projects are quietly being tested. I’ll have a more detailed breakdown on what’s going on and hopefully new builds for you to try in the coming weeks.

Thanks again, as always you can reach Wonderneer using the Contact page.

 

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Hope everyone had an amazing fourth of July! Here’s what we’ve been working on since an eventful E3.

For starters, we’ve been contemplating ways to include you more in the development process,  giving you more insight on what’s being worked on. Here are the ideas being meditated:

Audio progress logs

Though we try to do “timely” written blog postings, audio updates would be more frequent. These would delve into the status of each project, completion percentage and any problems encountered. Sent questions could be answered too. Might try a “test” version to see how it goes.

Monthly Alpha builds

Quite a few projects are in production, but some aren’t ready enough to be announced or seen. Alpha builds lets you experience the current in-progress version, sort of like a “play-while-it’s-made”. However, sometimes an alpha build could look near completed (graphics, animations, etc), other times you might see a bunch of numbers and squares! 50/50 on this idea, but it always depends on what you prefer.

Forums

Would allow faster feedback and more interaction, not sure on the demand for one.

Twitch Streams

Wonderneer does have a twitch channel, but it’s empty right now. Thinking about live streaming dev sessions on Twitch, meaning you’ll be able to look over my shoulders while working.

Indie Spotlight

So many extraordinaire indie games aren’t getting the spotlight they deserve. Perhaps every two weeks we’d showcase a game from a different creator.

These are some ideas floating around, but if you have any suggestions please let us know. As mentioned, feedback is crucial and we want to make it easy for you to share your thoughts with us.

Ch97

Channel 97 (or ch97) is the home for alternative, edutainment focused programs, both animated and live. These shows will air on public access channels in the future. We put Ch97 on hiatus to accumulate more resources to Somewhere in the South, but will be resuming with a new direction soon. Some ch97 shows will be getting their own website, along with separate social media feeds.

Video Game Humor Show

About a year and a half ago, we created a show about a video game store. This debuted with ch97. This was animated and had fresh take on a certain niche of comedy programming. The show was pulled because “live action” was the original plan, so a test episode was green-lighted. We hope to have some footage completed soon.

Somewhere in the South

As mentioned in the first part of the update, the feedback you gave us is being implemented! The new control schemes are in beta form right now, but are more efficient. When a stable version is ready, it will be introduced as “Somewhere in the South version 2”.

Our Good Leader

This EXTREMELY ambitious open world project, about the search for a missing relative, was put on hiatus (for good reasons that cannot be shared yet.) However, due to the interest sparked at E3, development may continue. Some of the open world elements may be “toned down” due to system performance, but the story will stay intact.

Dignity (working title)

Going back to the drawing board with this experience. The all female martial arts project isn’t working in terms of the stories being told. The fighting elements also need retooling. It may look COMPLETELY different then the early concept video shown last year.

Timeless Basketball (working title)

The original idea for this sports inspired project will be toned down.

Untitled casual experience

No name for it yet, but it’s actually been near completion for years. It’s a simple experience aimed for casual type, but addresses serious issues confronted in the workplace (pressure, stress, etc).

Untitled semi open world experience

Based on a real world town, you’re “allowed” numerous methods to explore the inhabitants and it’s past. A decision cannot be made on going 2d or 3d! This would be Wonderneer’s first completely 3d experience if decided to go that route.

As always, thanks for the continues support, feedback and patience. We wouldn’t have been able to showcase our project at E3 without you! At anytime, you may contact Wonderneer using the contact form or mail us at contact (remove) @ (remove) wonderneer.com

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It’s a rarity to be in the same vicinity for three days with some of the best creative visionaries on the planet. At E3, it was that type of moment. We tried to sneak away from the Somewhere in the South booth and play the other games present. Here are a few gems we got to try:

DISCLAIMER: Due to the feverish nature of E3, we couldn’t get around to play everyone’s games (we didn’t want to miss any of our visitors). Most the games listed were neighboring our booth. If a fellow developer doesn’t see their game listed, please forgive us, it’s not a snub by any means!

Tracking Ida
By Lishan AZ and Lynn
Trackingida.com

Tracking Ida is a series of activities based on the life of Ida B. Wells. The activities are physical in nature, such as rearranging news articles related to the newspaper she worked on (The Free Speech) and searching through Ida B. Wells historical chest. This really stood out not only because it’s based on a hero, but also because it wasn’t a “video game”, the experience is all activity station based. It’s brilliantly done, deeply researched and leaves a lasting impression. You will learn something you’ve probably didn’t know after TrackingIda.

“O” for Oppression
By Skylar and Daniel
https://chrane-sylk.itch.io/o-for-oppression

I was lucky to be right next to this great duo and their game, “O” for Oppression.  You must decipher code using sound. At certain moments you’d press one of the key directions corresponding with the sound-wave to make a match. Very limited visual elements, heavy reliance on our ears. I’ve honestly never seen or heard anything like it!

Disco Bear
By Brian Handy and friends
Discobeargame.com

Help a polar bear get it’s groove back. Nuff said really. “Polar bear” and “groove” in the same sentence! Joking aside, great music, simple game-play (only directional buttons! Really creative!) and plenty of laugh out loud moments. You’ll probably see this on the big screen one day because it was masterfully written and has a lot of appeal. Believe it or not, I’m a casual breaker/footwork dancer and this great piece inspired me to try breaking again!

Everything is going to be OK
By Tanja and Nathalie Lawhead
@AlienMelon

A series of narratives and mini games based on depression and traumatic stress, all represented by hand-drawn animals. In one sequence, you must choose the “right thing” to say to another character in an emotionally difficult situation. Say something wrong, a meter ticks up. We’ve all been in situations like this where we don’t want to say something insensitive, yet have a hundred things swirling in our brain. Tackling this very sensitive subject matter deserves praise alone, but the sister design duo managed to take it to the next level in terms of creativity and substance.

Detention
By RedCandleGames
http://store.steampowered.com/app/555220/Detention/

I couldn’t get past the first sequence, I was that frightened! The setting is Taiwan in the 1960s. A gripping martial law is in effect, any dissidents to Kuomintang’s rule (a government party) would be imprisoned and/or killed. This was also known as the 228 massacre. The art style is appropriately dark, yet has original authenticity to it. The game-play reminded me of the survival horror games of the 90s, which is always appreciated! The historical details (won’t spoil it, but the main character and overall setting have a big significance to that time period) are exceptional. RedCandleGames manages to capture a disturbing time in human history with much purpose.

Big Burly Men At Sea
By BrainandBrain
http://store.steampowered.com/app/403290/Burly_Men_at_Sea/

Intriguing narrative, immersive soundtrack and beautiful art style! The game is based on 20th Century Scandinavian folklore of three big men at sea. The art directions makes it feel like a storybook that’s come to life! It’s very soothing and calming, with great cut scenes and adventure style game-play. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this as an animated series one day!

 

Once again, we couldn’t get to all of the games at the E3 IndieCade showcase, but what an incredible lineup of games to be surrounded by! Please support these amazing artists anyway you can.

The third and final part of the E3 update is coming up next. We’ll talk more on Somewhere in the South and other projects in the works! Don’t be afraid to contact Wonderneer using this form or email us at the following: contact(remove)@(remove)wonderneer.com

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Somewhere in the South celebration cake.

Thanks to everyone! Swipe the frosting with the mouse cursor, you can pretend to eat it!

Wow, what a crazy two weeks! Never thought that Somewhere in the South would be shown at E3, the biggest game event in the world.

I can’t put into words how thankful I am to IndieCade and to all the friends (your not followers, you’re friends!) that made it possible.

This is a huge update, so big that it had to be broken down into three parts. The first part discusses the E3 experience, reactions to Somewhere in the South, the amazing feedback you gave us and upcoming updates. The second part covers some of the amazing games we tried at IndieCade and why we hope you play them too. The final part discusses what’s next for Wonderneer!

E3 IndieCade Showcase

A visitor playing Somewhere in the South at IndieCade.

A photo from the Somewhere in the South booth at IndieCade. On the left is the original version, the right is the director’s cut.

All of the visitors were extremely kind, polite and quite interested at the theme of Somewhere in the South! One friend was honored to meet me personally! It was truly one of the most kindest gestures I’ve ever experienced. I don’t know if the person is reading this update, but please contact me.

At the booth, we showed the original Somewhere in the South along with an enhanced, “director’s cut” version that’s never been shown publicly. The director’s cut version contained a lot different elements such as movable objects, group members, refined art work and “cut” features you’ll learn about below.

The three days went incredibly fast and we received tons of superb feedback! From veteran gaming professionals and industry icons to everyday gamers and non-gamers (and everyone in between and outside!), we’re very grateful for the advice, praise and comments (both negative and positive). We want to get better!

Here is the list of reoccurring suggestions and how they’ll be implemented in the coming updates:

Bring back the cut features!

Numerous features and content was removed (or not added) because the fear of controversy. For example, slaves could pray at certain moments. Prayer was very important to slaves, as they believed it could heal ailments and stop bad things from happening. However, prayer didn’t stop pursuers, so if a slave was praying and a dog stumbled upon him or her, the dog would still attack.

The original version also had two other slaves that were traveling with you. The slaves didn’t know you, but trust would be gained during the journey. Sometimes the slaves your traveling with wouldn’t tell you about injuries because of fear of being left behind. I also planned moments where tempers would flare. It’s a stressful, dangerous journey and staying calm and collective would be a challenge.

Health was also different. You didn’t see percentage or a power meter, it was displayed visually by images. If a slave had severe blisters, this meant that new shoes were needed or longer rest sessions were required. If a slave had nibbles on their clothing, this could imply that they were hungry and not eating as frequently (slaves sometimes at their own clothing.).

In the next update, prayer will be an option. It may take a little longer to introduce the other traveling slaves. Injuries and other health ailments will gradually make it’s way into the experience.

Alpha image testing universal control. At the start of the Somewhere in the South, you may choose your preferred control method: Touch movement, mouse and game controller.

Get the bugs out!

Crazy how you can bug test for months, but a visitor finds a huge bug in less then 2 seconds! Lots of the code will be redone again. Switching to the Unity engine is a possibility as well.

We’re contemplating ditching the side control inventory with a more simpler, Full Throttle style menu. We introduced this in another experience we’re working on called “Our Good Leader” (more news on that soon!).

These changes also makes it a lot easier to add universal controls, meaning support for mouse, touch screen and possibly a game controller.

Slow down, I want to read the Black English!

Almost everyone was amazed at the Black English. A few of were almost brought to tears! I spent a very, very, VERY long time researching the slave creole and thought it would never get noticed. One visitor even suggested to remove the translations, as they enjoyed the Black English better!

You’ll definitely notice the text last a little bit longer. An option to remove the translations all together is being considered too.

Newer version of the outdoor map on the right,compared to the older version.

What to do outside?

When users traveled around the map, they wanted something “to do”. Traveling over 500 miles to the Canadian border can be pretty tedious. We’ll be adding more sights and things to do, but were not sure what.

One idea was the player stumbling on towns, but that will be a massive addition, as we would need to include lots of interactive elements, like NPCS and structures to make look right.

Other notes and changes

-Visitors loved the indoor color palette and silhouette look of the original. The outdoors of the director’s cut version got high marks.

-Multiple languages is possible, but translating the Black English will be a challenge. It may have to be dropped completely(for other languages) if multi language support is added.

-At night, a small sky map will be visible to follow the North Star if it isn’t cloudy.

-Considering a “rest” button. It was in the original, but removed because it felt like a “save”.

-At the start of the experience, you’re essentially “Somewhere in the South”, but you’ll get a few pointers on where to go :).

-Cutscenes can be skipped…

Look out for part 2 and 3 of this update in the coming days! As always, you can reach Wonderneer via the contact form or via email: contact(remove)@(remove) wonderneer.com

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Somewhere in the South coming to E3 2017!
A survival-horror experience on the Underground Railroad.

Woodland Hills, CA – June 1, 2017 – Wonderneer, an indie production company that hopes to inspire knowledge, is excited to announce that Somewhere in the South will be part of the IndieCade showcase at E3 2017.

In a frigid September of 1859, a determined female slave must traverse the vast and dangerous Underground Railroad network. No progress saves, no power-ups, no points. A brutal take on the survival horror genre. This isn’t a game or simulation. This is a horrific experience.

Somewhere in the South is an HTML5 streaming experience. If you have an internet connection, it will probably work on your device. You may stream the original version now at wonderneer.com

Along side the original Somewhere in the South will be a significantly updated version making it’s debut at the 2017 IndieCade E3 showcase, located at South Hall booth #501. E3 will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 13 to June 15, 2017.

For more information on Somewhere in the South, visit wonderneer.com

Additional information, please contact:

“C” (Somewhere in the South creator)
Email: contact@wonderneer.com

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December 6, 2016

Hi everyone. While we’re working on revamping the Somewhere in the South engine and providing content to Ch97, we stumbled upon an old concept formation video for a fighter we announced about a year ago. The working title is called Dignity. It’s an entirely hand drawn fighter with an all female cast.

The above video is a concept formation, this means the experience (or video game, whatever you’d like to call it!) is at the brainstorming stage. What is the game about? How will it play? What will it look like? Those are a few of the questions we ask ourselves at this point.

We actually planned on putting the concept formation on the site for you to experiment with, but the build was not only nowhere near close to being playable, but the graphics alone were created in an insane high resolution format (future proofed too much) and constantly overheated the development computers!

As of today, the concept of Dignity is being simplified. It will be shown again next year.

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We first must start by apologizing for over a year of not updating. What happened? Wonderneer was very, VERY close to shutting down. We decided to stay the course while contemplating a few drastically different directions for the company.

We’ve shifted a lot resources over to our other project, ch97. This is an “edutainment” based network of mostly original animated/live action projects with an emphasis on promoting independent productions. Ch97 took a lot more resources then we imagined, which took away development time from the interactive experiences.

Somewhere in the South
The survival horror experience on the Underground Railroad is being reprogrammed from scratch. Two days ago was the anniversary and we hoped to have a workable build ready for it. Sadly, we didn’t feel like it was stable. The main problem is the outdoor segments, which we want to revamp but are somewhat stumped on how.

The goal is to try to show it at trade shows and possibly a museum display.

Other Experiences
The rest of the experiences we announced are currently on hold as the priority is to get SITS stable and running on all platforms. We have A LOT of things we want to show and announce in the future, but not until we revamp SITS.

Once again, apologizes. No matter what was going on behind the scenes, we’ve should have kept YOU informed.
Things will be changing soon, but as always, thank you for your support.

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freedom

It’s the anniversary of the release of Somewhere in the South and we would like to thank everyone for supporting this experience. Hard work is being done to get Somewhere in the South to more platforms, as we believe it has a very powerful message.

-Wonderneer

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Where have we been!?

Well, it’s a long story. A REALLY long story, but we’ll make it quick:

After E3, the site experienced nearly a month of downtime due to a dispute with our hosting company. Updates weren’t possible at this time, which made it seem that we disappeared.

Here is what were working on:

Dignity

concept_8b

The MMA experience roughly known as “Dignity” may see a change in look. We like the traditional “VS fighter” appearance, but a more “looking-down” viewpoint might be more accurate.

A Better Earth

You will FINALLY see images of the working title “A Better Earth” this month. A Better Earth takes place in a future that sees that last remnants of the planet search for a new home. However, humans are not the dominant species and past gripes haven’t been forgotten. Though we can’t promise, we MIGHT be able to get a prototype build running this month for your valued feedback.

Somewhere in the South

As stated in the last update (a long time ago), strong consideration was going into whether or not to start over on Somewhere in the South. The process has already begun, though not sure if it will continue.

Our Good Leader

Our good leader is coming along greatly, we hope to update the prototype this month!
The market system is being revamped to better reflect the atmosphere of a depressed country. The city is getting closer to completion, so you’ll finally be able to guide the player from home to downtown.

Wonderneer.com

In the following weeks you’ll see some changes to the website. If you haven’t already noticed the homepage, it has all the Wonderneer experiences front and center for convenience. More changes our on the way,

Once again, thanks for your continued patience.

-Wonderneer

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June 8, 2015

It’s about time we update you on what Wonderneer is working on.  Here are some of the main projects currently in production.

Somewhere in the South

freedom

Synopsis: Survival horror experience on the Underground Railroad.

Somewhere in the South is somewhat complete, though strong consideration in moving to a different engine is being discussed. The sample version can be experienced now: http://wonderneer.com/somewhere-in-the-south/

Our Good Leader

special_40

Synopsis: A woman searches for a truth in the shadows of an overwhelming regime.

A large open world with new elements introduced to the genre. Prototype version can be experienced now and is updated annually: http://wonderneer.com/our-good-leader-prototype/

 

Timeless Basketball (working title)

basketball
Synopsis: A player breaks the sturdy color line of a reluctant basketball league.

This is experience takes place around the early 1950s. The difficulties of segregation and equality in the sporting world are depicted. Though a fragment of the experience and more of a light part of a very serious subject matter, a “free-throw” can be taken: http://wonderneer.com/throwback-free-throw/

 

A Better Earth (working title)

abe_logo

Synopsis: That last reminisces of Earth search for a better planet, but only past gripes and rivalries are discovered.

 

 

Dignity (working title)

fight

Synopsis: A group of women fight for a second chance.

Concept art and prototype images have been posted on the social media accounts. This experience intertwines Mixed Martial Arts and traditional adventure elements with a heavy emphasis on storytelling.

 

These are some of the projects being worked on at this time. As always, we greatly appreciate you patients and feedback as we work diligently to bring you these experiences.

Again, thank you.

 

-Wonderneer

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