Good evening, loyal readers! (all the three of you)
For the first time since we started working on The Journey of Eko, we had the chance to show our progress to a huge crowd! We've been at SBGames, a great expo that took place in Brasília (Brazil) on this last weekend. It was also our first time showing anything at an expo. Butterflies in the stomach? Hell yeah!
Anyway, we packed with a version of Eko specially tailored for the expo, built at the cost of three weeks of sleepless nights and an unreasonable amount of caffeine, and we built our micro-stand with a nice TV and a scenographic Super Nintendo found in an obscure chest at Pixel Cows' basement.
|Our humble stand. The SNES was there just for the looks, but our veneration for it is very real! ♥|
And then the miracle happened. For some obscure reason, despite of our game balancing having been made in a hurry, of the few levels and the massive usage of placeholder graphics, it seems as the public really liked our game! Between game design students, Zelda 2 fans, some Brazilian indie devs that we idolize, guys on their 40's missing the SNES era and a bagizzillion smiling kids, our SNES' joystick was under constant usage on the fight against giant ants, monochromatic pterodactyls and horrible archer totems inherited from the last Ludum Dare!
|The second dungeon of the game, which became the final resting place of many players. muhuhuhohahaha!|
The version of The Journey of Eko that we've shown on the expo was also our first public alpha. In it, one controls Eko on a topview map full of enemies, dungeons, cities and treasure chests. When he reaches any of these situations, the game changes to a sidescroller view where all the action happens. The fun side of it is that all of the external levels and dungeons are procedurally generated (in other words, they are different at every combat and playthrough), and the items that the player gets are also random. This means that in one playthrough you might have a powerful longsword but no long range attack, in another you have a bow, in the other an almost limitless flight ability... Or, more often, a little bit of each. On this version, the topview map is always the same, but we're already working on a procedural map generator as well, aiming to make each playthrough really unique!
|The current look of the topview map.|
Due to the unexpected success of The Journey of Eko's alpha, we decided to publish it here on our blog as well. We're just fixing some random crashes, tweaking the interface and testing an automatic updater, which will offer the option of downloading the newest versions of the alpha when we update it with new levels, items and enemies. Be sure to check back in a few days, as the download should already be available on a new post and on The Journey of Eko's page.
Finally, we wanna share here our most sincere appreciation for the organization of SBGames, who gave us the opportunity to show our work to the public, to the many players who tested Eko for their encouraging comments (except for the kid who said our game is really strange - I hate you, kid!), to the indie dev colleagues who helped us with several ideas and constructive criticism, and to my older brother who made it possible for us to participate on the expo, not only by hosting us on his apartment but also by teaching me how to make games in QBasic about 20 years ago (even though according to his questionable memory, all relevant facts of his life actually happened 15 years ago).
Be sure to check back soon to test The Journey of Eko v 0.1!
Gabriel (or "30k" for the close ones)