The Big Timely Post E3 Update Part 1 of 3

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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