When oh when is Asylum coming out?


#61

Thanks to all for pointing out my error in thinking that “Adamantus” was a Senscape project. Please disregard the part of my statement which references it.

As far as Dagon goes, my sense at first was that it was to be a standalone engine. Now my sense is that someday it will be, or is now somewhat a Unity add-on. While I cannot claim any technical knowledge of Dagon, I have a great deal of knowledge with Unity and all it’s versions including the latest. To be honest, and an admitted lack of knowledge where Dagon is concerned it appears that the latest release of Unity does most of what it was intended that Dagon do. Perhaps that is why the decision was made to port. I do not know. I do know what porting a normal game over to Unity takes… and if the game is really as far along as stated, then choosing NOT to use Unity in the first place was a large mistake.

In any case… I stand by the rest of my statements. While others may choose to disagree and clearly have that right, I personally feel that “summer 2015” is beyond acceptable. Further, it is not my or any other backers responsibility to keep graphic artists employed beyond the limit of the project we have already paid for. So, while that might be in the company’s best interest, it clearly was not in the backers. I paid for a product to be delivered in a reasonable time frame. That time passed, then more, then even more… for whatever reason… and now we are at “summer 2015”.

I consider myself a reasonable person. I understand delays. I understand reasonable creative decisions which might cause the project to be delayed. This has gone beyond that though. Again, some choices were made which we were privy too, and perhaps some which we weren’t but in any case those decisions have cost a huge amount of time. Look at Elite-Dangerous or Star Citizen, both those Kickstarter projects are well within their stated time periods. Those are far more ambitious projects both in scope and cost than “Asylum” and yet… sigh…

Like I said, this was going to upset some but it is my opinion. Whatever the reasons for these delays with “Asylum”, I am beyond the point of patience with statements like “summer 2015” for a project that has literally taken a couple years already. With this said, I do not want to beat this until it is dead. I had my say and all of you were thoughtful enough not to abuse me, and simply corrected my mistaken impression. For that I thank all of you.

Chocolate Ice creme by the way… chocolate rules


#62

I am not going to dispute your position, since I find it pretty acceptable and sound. Most of your arguments are legit, and I particularly agree with you about not being our responsibility to ensure Senscape can keep their graphic artists. However, I will correct you in two things:

  1. As someone already said in one of the previous posts, when the Asylum kickstarter was launched, Unity was still not as polished and versatile as it is today. Even though now it is obvious that Unity should had been used from the start, it was not the case back then
  2. You claim you have paid for a product, but you forget that kickstarter (and crowdfunding in general) is not a pre-order system. What it actually is, is an investment. Investment have risks, and as backers we also have to be prepared to the possibility of that investment not coming to fruition. Keep also in mind that, even if Asylum is substancially delayed, it is not a failed investment, and it doesn’t look like it will fail.

#63

sixthscents I agree with you. When the Asylum Kickstarter started, the game had been in production for years, there was a ‘teaser trailer’ to download and play, videos on You Tube, and the project description read:

It’s true that Asylum is in advanced stages of production. The Hanwell Institute is virtually complete and fully explorable. The script and design have been ready for a long time, most characters have already been modeled, the Dagon engine is mature enough, and the programming is well under way… In a nutshell: Asylum will happen. But we need your help to make it happen sooner.

At the time I believed that a December 2013 delivery (ie ten months) was realistic for a game in ‘advanced stages of production’, with a ‘virtually complete’ setting, ‘most characters modeled’ and an engine that was ‘mature enough’. I enjoyed Scratches, Asylum looked interesting and I really wanted to play it and was happy to donate way more than I normally would pay for a game in order to see it come to fruition. In hindsight I feel like I was either grossly misled or that there was some serious mismanagement along the way.

‘Investment’ implies the possibility to make a profit. KS is more of a way for people to support artists/creators who can’t get support through traditional funding systems. For backers, all the risks of ‘investment’ exist, but no possibility of profit apart from whatever rewards the creator of the project gives out.

I hope you’re correct that Asylum will not fail, as I do still want to play it, but I guess I am less optimistic than you are. Remember that we were promised a demo in November that has not yet materialised (unless I missed it somehow).

I guess we will see in a few months.


#64

To clarify some of the concerns raised here:

  • As others have pointed out, Adamantus isn’t our project. We’re assisting its creator — Imari — as we can with feedback and support for Dagon, but this is not taking any of our time.

  • Migrating to Unity was a tough decision but there’s a very strong reason. When we began working on Asylum, Unity was nothing close to the powerhouse it’s become today. It was simply not an option for us. We decided to work on our own solution and turn it into a open source tool for adventure games at no cost. But Asylum is a demanding game and this year it became clear that our Dagon wasn’t good enough for it. It’s not because we’re lazy or inexperienced: truly, developing a powerful, portable engine requires too much time and money, neither of which we have. So I was torn between cutting stuff from Asylum while sticking with our engine, or put Dagon on hold and deliver the engrossing experience that we promised. In retrospective this was a good decision. It hurt me to no end because I’ve been working myself on Dagon for years, but the game comes first. Believe me, it would have been a “mismanagement” to stick with Dagon. For all it’s worth, we didn’t scrap Dagon entirely — parts of the engine have been repurposed to work with Unity (hence “Dagonity”) and we’ll continue working on the standalone version of the engine when we’re done with Asylum.

  • We never stopped once working on Asylum. Not once. It’s true that we wanted to crowdfund a new game to ensure the continuity of our team, but even during the Charles Dexter Ward campaign there was people working on Asylum. It’s delayed simply because it’s a huge game and we’re aiming high in every regard: graphically, narratively, musically, and technically; everything about Asylum is remarkably polished and even compares favorably with expensive AAA titles. Speaking of expensive, I’m appalled that we’re being compared with games that raised 2 million and even 50 million or so. Sorry, that’s not reasonable. Even so, with our humble 100k we managed to open a physical office and we have people working full time on Asylum every weekday. And I’m still not making a single dime out of the game — that’s how devoted I am to this project. So please, always feel free to speak up your mind, but allow me to defend myself and my team when you accuse us of mismanagement.

  • When it comes to the continuity of the team, I have backed over a hundred projects myself and it’s never for the project alone but the people behind it — I’d like to think our backers feel the same, but clearly not all of them do. If you only care for the game then I promise it will be delivered. Charles Dexter Ward failed and I had to lay part of the team and absolutely no one is doing any work on that project, which is effectively on hold.

Finally, the Asylum demo is ready and I’m working with Humble Bundle to start distributing Steam keys and standalone downloads. I don’t want to do a Steam-only release because some of our backers hate the platform and I believe it’s best to offer a good solution for everyone before releasing the demo. It weighs over 2GB and we can’t distribute it ourselves. Sorry about the delay, it will be released soon. Holidays have slowed us down.


#65

I just felt like speaking up as a backer who is pretty pleased with the way things are going.

If you look at 360-degree panorama add-ons for Unity, your options are pretty slim and clearly designed for building simple things like real estate tours. The adventure game add-ons seem to be geared towards realtime 3D environments, which isn’t a practical means of production for a lot of indie developers. As someone who’s unusually vested in this specific interaction style and means of production, Dagon’s promise feels like a godsend. This is amplified by the considered workflows and conveniences that have been documented through incredibly thoughtful backer updates. I’ve backed 20-something adventure game projects on Kickstarter and not a single one has been as transparent or detailed as Asylum.

I originally got interested in Dagon because I wanted to make a panorama photography-based full-motion-video adventure game. There simply aren’t tools and workflows for making something like that. The old Dagon was incredibly fun to play with but super unstable and awkward to script for. Soon there will be tools for visual hotspot creation, interactive dialog, tracking of your character’s mood, effects and who knows what else. That is magic. OH — and we get a fully-realized horror video game too? It’s nuts.

If the Asylum team ever felt like they were treading water, I’d be concerned — but that couldn’t be farther from what’s happening. Consider this timeline, from memory: back in May of this year they delivered a fully-explorable Asylum to backers in the old engine, followed by character prototypes, the decision to switch to Unity, and then demonstrable evidence of a functional build with awesome realtime weather effects only 3 months later. That’s a little fuzzy, but can’t be too far off.

I’m so thankful that they were able to prototype the entire environment in a sandbox with the old Dagon, play around with it, find mistakes, and then have time to iterate. This stuff can’t happen in a straight line, and it never does. All I’ve seen to-date is a team that’s constantly prototyping, improving, and delivering the truth with demonstrable evidence to backers. It’s above and beyond 99% of other Kickstarters. It’s not something to complain about.


#66

I especially agree with you about that.

Oh, I would love to see a game like that. inwardly I have the hope that Tim Follin will make another game after Contradiction with Dagonity with knots with panorama view instead of showing the locations from just one perspective (at least that’s what I expect for Contradiction from the pitch video).

@Agustín: Do you think it would work to make an first-person FMV Adventure with Dagonity? Filling the sphere of the knots with Google Streetview-like photos instead of textures and having no real use of Unity as a graphics engine?


#67
@Agustín: Do you think it would work to make an first-person FMV Adventure with Dagonity? Filling the sphere of the knots with Google Streetview-like photos instead of textures and having no real use of Unity as a graphics engine?

That’s my plan, at least. It was certainly possible with the old Dagon engine. Waiting for my Panono (https://www.panono.com/#/en/home) to arrive. Turns out consumer-focused technology for this is a pretty new thing.

-Max


#68

[quote=“Remnant, post:13, topic:670”][quote author=Haybin link=topic=1924.msg12371#msg12371 date=1390862104]
My laptop screen broke a few months ago & i still haven’t had the money to get it fixed… I was super nervous thinking “could Asylum be completed & i have no idea?!” I was even scared to look, but now I’m happy that I’m not missing out! So take your time, because I need a working laptop first. haha Thanks :slight_smile: as long as i know it’s not being given up on I’m as content as can be awaiting the moment…

;D
[/quote]

If they end up delaying this thing just one day because of you I’m going to put a voodoo curse on your laptop.[/quote]

Not to worry, Remnant does not need to put a voodoo curse on anything. I have a new computer now :smiley: game can be released any day now, I am ready :))

In the meantime, I will be playing Scratches for the 4th time. It has been too long.
;D


#69

[quote=“Haybin, post:68, topic:670”][quote author=Remnant link=topic=1924.msg12575#msg12575 date=1391745036]

If they end up delaying this thing just one day because of you I’m going to put a voodoo curse on your laptop.
[/quote]

Not to worry, Remnant does not need to put a voodoo curse on anything. I have a new computer now :smiley: game can be released any day now, I am ready :))

In the meantime, I will be playing Scratches for the 4th time. It has been too long.
;D[/quote]

See you in Blackwood Manor… 8)


#70

This was actually possible with the standalone Dagon as well, though it can be very straining on the CPU if you want to implement a fully explorable node in FMV. Imagine that you need to show at least four big chunks of movies, one per each face of the cube (sacrificing up and down, thus full 360 rotation).

However, using plain “real life” photographs as described by Mellin is doable right now. All that is needed is a special camera tripod that can take pictures at a very precise angle. I know a developer that used this technique with the antecesor of Dagon, SCream :slight_smile:

Here’s a quick update: we’ll start testing Dagonity with a few developers soon as the new engine is already very usable. We’re also testing the Asylum demo which is going to be released for VIP backers next week without exception. Distribution through Steam and optionally Humble Bundle is ready and set!


#71

I am constantly in amazement when I hear people complaining about things like games taking too long. Especially when you’re talking about building an engine to base your game off of. People look at AAA games and think that’s a workable timeline for EVERY developer. The reason why Call of Duty gets yearly sequels is because that developer has 200 million dollars to spend per game. Infinity Ward has 260 employees. Treyarch has 300 employees. Sledgehammer Games has 225 employees. I don’t know how many employees Senscape has, but I feel pretty certain they aren’t working with that size of a team.

Even still, for other companies, long gaps in development time isn’t all that uncommon. Valve released Half-Life in 1998 and Half Life 2 in 2004. That’s 8 years. Rockstar North released GTA 4 in 2008 and GTA 5 in 2013. That’s a 5 year gap. Blizzard released Starcraft in 1998 and Starcraft 2 in 2010. That’s 12 years. That’s even with BILLIONS going into the company. And then there’s the Mass Effect trilogy which took between 2007 and 2012 to complete, but bear in mind Bioware is a company with 800 employees. And Bioware’s games STILL are not “next gen” visually. Wasteland 2 still managed to need to be postponed by an entire year after their Kickstarter. The entire development of L.A. Noire was a harried mess and essentially drove people out of the industry due to 7 years of 60 hour work weeks.

This is just how games development happens. Timelines get pushed CONSTANTLY. This is NOTHING new.

Granted, these companies have other huge properties on the table but long development cycles really isn’t that uncommon. Hell. So far Senscape has had 5 years from when they first announced Asylum. It’s really a question of man-hours imo and asking Senscape to compete directly against THAT is just impossible. While I have the fullest confidence in this company to put out a good game, I don’t really get why someone wouldn’t be able to understand this very simple fact.

And that 100k in games development money doesn’t go very far. It’s a fair amount for Argentina, I guess, but I’m guessing it’s (sort of) comparable to the 3 million that Double Fine essentially burned through. Kickstarters have really given people a false idea of what games development costs. You see someone on there asking for 10k and you think that might be a lot of money, but a senior programmer in Argentina probably makes around $13,000 a month. So that 100k that Senscape received through Kickstarter has already been paid out for salaries. Of course, I don’t work there so I have no idea. I’m just spitballing estimates.

But any way you slice it, even if you’re able to stretch the money further, it’s only going to go so far. I really can’t imagine that it would have bought much more than a year’s development time.

And honestly I haven’t seen anything that makes me worried that they might have misspent that money. Senscape for all intents and purposes really does look like they’re working on their game. There are regular-ish updates. I’d certainly like to see maybe a little bit more, but as best I can tell, they’re pretty well into the development cycle.

Though I certainly think it was a little foolish to start up a new Kickstarter for Charles Dexter Ward when Asylum didn’t have a release date on the table, (especially asking for money to “officially license” was weird since H.P. Lovecraft’s stories are in the public domain), inXile/Obsidian didn’t wait to finish development on Wasteland 2 before they got their Torment Kickstarter happening. And to be honest, I think that’s a smarter way to go about things. Maybe Senscape’s art department is done working on Asylum so they need something else to work on. As long as it isn’t detracting from the game that’s already in the pipeline, doing some very basic concept art and design for a new game isn’t such a bad idea. Better than having your art department or whoever sit around doing nothing.

I’ve been waiting eagerly for this game since I first heard about it in 2010 and I really want to play it but I would rather wait until it was actually done than have it rushed out the door in an unplayable mess. Because that’s the worst situation this game could wind up in. I don’t just want a game. I want a good game. Especially since this is inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft and there are so few really good pieces of Lovecraft video entertainment out there.

And that, my friends, takes time. It’s like making a stew, really. You could rush it, but you’d just end up with a pot full of uncooked beef.

Sorry about the wall of text.


#72

aaron_m, I agree with you on everything except one -

(especially asking for money to "officially license" was weird since H.P. Lovecraft's stories are in the public domain)
Public domain in the EU wasn't the issue. They are still copyrighted in the US.

#73

Well I believe I’ve earned some bragging rights. This post has earned 71 replies and well over 8000 views. Not too shabby. :nod:

When Asylum comes out, I’m going to light firecrackers.


#74

uhmm…hi …any news about asylum’s release date …? xD
and also …what’s the progress of alpha beta versions …? :stuck_out_tongue:


#75

Kickstarter/PayPal backers are already trying an alpha of Asylum, which we’re hoping will become a beta soon. No news about a release date yet, but we’re working on that!


#76

I would like to take a wild guess here and say “When it’s done”. None of us wants a half finished game do we?


#77

We don’t want to pull a “when it’s done”, though. We do our best to inform about the status of the project and provide estimates – you deserve better than a “when it’s done”!

That said, Asylum is a terribly complex project which has always been very hard to plan. I know that I say this often, but you’ll understand why when you play it. No horror game comes close in terms of environment and attention to detail.


#78

[…No horror game comes close in terms of environment and attention to detail.
[/quote]

It’s statements like that that make me realize that, in spite of an extra long development period which has caused a lot of impatience and exhasperation among some of us, it will have been worth the wait. There are a ton of game out there with a lot of great detail and cool environments, but I have ot say that since playing Scratches way back in the day, there actually hasnt been one that has quite managed to capture the quality of environment and detail that that one has. I cant even imagine how Asylum will play out when it comes to that.

I suppose the point here is that while the lengthy development time may have been the cause of some strife, it is also the very reason why the game will be so good, which I have total faith in.


#79
[quote author=Remnant link=topic=1924.msg13713#msg13713 date=1430067924] [...No horror game comes close in terms of environment and attention to detail. [/quote]

It’s statements like that that make me realize that, in spite of an extra long development period which has caused a lot of impatience and exhasperation among some of us, it will have been worth the wait. There are a ton of game out there with a lot of great detail and cool environments, but I have ot say that since playing Scratches way back in the day, there actually hasnt been one that has quite managed to capture the quality of environment and detail that that one has. I cant even imagine how Asylum will play out when it comes to that.

I suppose the point here is that while the lengthy development time may have been the cause of some strife, it is also the very reason why the game will be so good, which I have total faith in.


hehe yeah , almost agree … but one game with quality of environment and detail to everything really did exist …’‘Thief’’ pc game chapter 5 …you have to explore a huge dimensions asylum with very careful details in the environment’s sound and visual effects…Let’s see now what Asylum 2015 is coming to promise us Mr.Agustin :slight_smile:

P.S. release date …?


#80

Thanks, the vote of confidence means a lot to us. And that’s true: we could’ve released a subpar game a long time ago with less rooms, less interaction, poor execution, etc. But we truly started this project with a vision and every passing day we’re getting closer to fulfilling it. Developing Scratches was an incredible experience and we’re taking advantage of every little thing we learned in it. Asylum will definitely live up to that promise.

When I say “attention to detail” I’m mostly referring to the way you can interact with things in the environment. I really dislike when adventures throw generic messages at you and this is something that we’ve been improving over and over in Asylum. Every time you look at something, open a drawer, zoom on a document or image, etc., something will be revealed about you, the asylum, or the story. And many times you can keep clicking for more feedback. The sort of depth you’ll find in the game will blow your mind, and the more you learn, the more the complex story opens up for you. Like I always say, I love rewarding people who invest time in the game :slight_smile:

As for a release date, none yet. We’re testing the alpha with good results and we’re still aiming to have a stable beta later this year. More information as soon as we can!

PS: @horrorgamesCrazy, I fixed a wrong “quote” tag in your post :slight_smile: