Devlog: The origins of Galactic Princess #3 - Stardate 20150824

KickstarterWelcome to the third part of our “making of” dedicated to the origins of Galactic Princess. You can find the first part here, and the second here.


Kickstarter

At the end of 2013, Chmyke announced that a crowdfunding campaign would be organized in early 2014 on Kickstarter. "Kickstarter is convenient, because it helps fund the game before its release," says Chmyke. "And it especially allows us to have a community and see whether the project has a public interest. The project is ambitious enough, and I did not necessarily want to get into something too ambitious without being sure it can really get people interested. In fact, with Kickstarter, it was more than just making money. It was primarily to validate the concept with people. And to say it may please, it's worth it to invest (very) many hours of work in this project. This is an interesting tool. And it motivates tremendously." At the time, crowdfunding was still idealized. Many games, which would never have been funded by mGalactic Princess concept artajor publishers, were given the necessary financial resources. The delays had not yet accrued or the cancellations (or worse, scams). Devotees generally had confidence. However, it was difficult for a studio outside the US territory, to leverage the benefits of Kickstarter. "At the time, the French had no official access to Kickstarter," says Chmyke. "It was therefore necessary to create a company in England, a branch of Cecly with a bank account. Beware, there is nothing illegal! Moreover, we must also pay bills in England. We use a specific service that handles it all. We could also do it in the US, but it was much more expensive. It was just a corporate domicile in England. We are already a multinational! (Laughs)" In recent weeks, this tedious process is no longer necessary, since the French developers finally have official access to Kickstarter in France.

You may be wondering why we wanted to reach the sum of 20,000 pounds - if this amount seems large, it looks ridiculous compared to the amounts usually needed for the development of a video game. "Basically, we wanted to make the game by two people," says Chmyke. "I asked for a little help from a friend, but he liked it so much that he became my partner in this project. So, we said we still had some money to work as a pair for two years. The problem was that the necessary sum was far too important! So I set the first level of Kickstarter with the aim that at least I alone, can do the game. In the worst case. My partner eventually left the project before the Kickstarter campaign and the landinDates: Feb 14th -> Mar 16th (30 days)g was sufficient to finance a big year of developing solo, and the work of our musicians (discussed soon). So the idea was to cover the costs of future development." Finally, between February 14th and March 16th 2014, the crowdfunding campaign garnered no less than 34,180 pounds (170% funded), from 2108 backers. A sum sufficient for the needs of Chmyke. "I can not say I'm disappointed, although less ambitious projects, but with better communication, did better out of Kickstarter". Galactic Princess was, however, one of the few projects from France that successfully funded their Kickstarter campaign (until the official arrival in France). This proved to us that the concept appealed to a sufficient number of players, as we expected.

Let the Ikoom win !
Paradoxically, the amount collected, which is just enough to cover the costs of developing solo for nearly two years, had unsuspected benefits. "Honestly, though some stretch goals weren't achieved, such as the multiplayer: OK, I would have had a lot of money to develop the game, and I could surround myself with a very competent team," says Chmyke, who prefers to see the bright side (Always look to the bright side of the life, like Eric Idle said) : "But our current setup has advantages: I'm all alone, I am the master of the project, the master of the game. It's something I enjoy.. I do not have to scatter myself around to manage a team, each member would have a slightly different view of the game. Of course, one would be on the random generation, the other on the build system, etc. But in fact, all these systems are linked. For example, it is necessary that asteroids don’t enter your ship when you create it, etc. So, taking hold of all, I really have control of my vision." While the author of this update, Captain Pierre, spends his time saying "what if we did this?", Chmyke has total control of his project. "While it's true that sometimes I am a little confused!", cautions chmyke. "It's one of the disadvantages. You get lost in your own ideas."

 

Steam Greenlight Galactic Princess

WSteam Greenlight Galactic Princesshen the crowdfunding campaign was launched, Chmyke was soon to discover that his project was well received by the gaming community. In the space of just a few dozen hours, Galactic Princess got the green light on Steam Greenlight (which offers a place in the Steam store). The next day, the original goal of the Kickstarter campaign was reached. "I was sleeping when the game was funded", Steam Greenlight Galactic Princessrecalls Chmyke. "I found this pleasant surprise when I woke up". (Because of the time difference, the North American fans participated in the French night). "Later, I was not able to watch the increasing amount; even if the stakes were high, it was becoming too unhealthy. It was too stressful. In addition, we spend all our time watching the progress curve, and therefore we do not work! And I received a lot of emails; it was quite difficult to answer everyone, and to move things along, the updates ... I had to neglect some people, etc. It was not easy."

 

 

Images : Steam Greenlight for Galactic Princess : Views and Votes over time / Cumulative 'yes' votes (per day)

 


So it was with undisguised joy that Chmyke could then focus on the development of the game, far from the media noise. In this regard, it was in November 2014 that Captain Pierre (it’s me !) (Mario !), freelance writer by day, contacted him to help develop the universe and the story of the game. We have launched this new website last spring. Don’t hesitate to visit us on our forums, where we will be happy to answer. Between two pulverizings of SpaceBugs.

Cheers,
The Galactic Princess team

Thank to our cosmic proofreader, L. Moor !

Devlog: The origins of Galactic Princess # 2 - Stardate20150817

Welcome to the second part of our “making of” dedicated to the origins of Galactic Princess.

You can find the first part here.


Animated concept - Galactic PrincessFrom September 2013 to February 2014, the small team of Chmyke focused on preproduction. But the Galactic Princess project would soon be spotted by a few enthusiastic fans. Sooner than expected ! "In November 2013, I was creating the first site for the game," says Chmyke. "But I also wanted to make an Indie DB page, because that site is well known. But there were not many visits on Indie DB. One day, a fairly influential journalist found us by accident. He wrote an article and, suddenly, there were a lot of hits on our website. But, in fact, I wanted this influx of people for the launch of our Kickstarter campaign, scheduled for February 2014! Too bad: the communication campaign started - without me - in the month of November." At this time, Chmyke focused on the implementation of his concept. In November, he realized in three weeks, with the help of a collaborator, Hubert, a huge "proof of concept" GIF with a vessel and characters in action (see the illustration). "At this point, we really implemented the logic of our game design: there are so many systems per module, functions of modules, new module shapes (cones by example),"says Chmyke. Recall that a module is a part of the ship - a "room" - in which the player can set up different systems (generators, various tools, etc.).


Galactic Princess"It really was a GIF summary of the concept. There was already an engine room, an infirmary, etc. There was already the whole concept, actually. Except the physics part, of course, that we could not show through a GIF; it would not have been elegant (or easier) to show a machine that turns in space..."

In parallel, Chmyke created a first build (in alpha state) of the game, to ensure that the working principle of the modules and the physics work (approximately). "I did not want to get into a project if I was not sure that we can reach our goal. From there, I knew if I had my modules and my physics, with the engine working, the rest would not be impossible. Beyond that, there was always the problem of pathfinding, but I had some ideas- even it was a bit hardcore." From the beginning, the famous and prolific Unity engine was chosen for the creation of the game "It had already served to create my first game, Too Many Me, so I already knew this engine.. frankly, it is really effective."

Influences

SW tributeIn the fall, more concept art was realized. One of them was particularly noticed on the Internet: the image was inspired by the design of the "style A" poster for Star Wars: A New Hope, created by Tom Jung in 1977 (and a variation by the Hildebrandt brothers, Tim and Greg, made in 36 hours only !). "I have something to say about this picture," says Chmyke. "Basically, I wanted to make a simple promotional image; I was interested in Flash Gordon and the serials from the first half of the twentieth century. In fact, George Lucas was also a fan of Flash Gordon pictures and all that kind of universe. So I said it would be nice to take this kind of composition." After all, the universe - and even the principle of our game design – of Galactic Princess is inspired by Star Wars and many SF works "In terms of composition, this poster is still perfect.. The colors, lines, dynamic, symbols, etc: everything is perfect. On the other hand, I told myself that if I continued this kind of composition, people risk thinking that it is a stupid and shameless plagiarism. While homage is frankly assumed. I chose to take the poster of Star Wars, because it's such a familiar image. This is probably the most viewed promotional poster in the world. It is emblematic. People can not miss it. You can not accuse me of trying to hide it; it really is assumed. Obviously, if ever assigns ask me to remove it, I will." Lucasfilm, Disney, we love you! We just make a little game we'd like to play...

Star Wars post by Hildebrandt brothersStar Wars poster by tom jung

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Wars poster (1977) by Greg and Tim Hildebrandt / Star Wars poster "Style A" (1977) by Tom Jung - Copyright Lucasfilm Ltd

 

Galactic PrincessBut if the poster is an assumed tribute to Star Wars, our goal is not to make a giant easter egg, quite the contrary. The Galactic Princess universe is also inspired by many of yesteryear's SF opus serials of the 1980s and 1960s that the saga of George Lucas drew from... That's the love for this kind of universe that we push to develop in Galactic Princess. In freedom and creativity. "It's always love -the job well done, the license - which move things," says Chmyke. "And not money." Yet money was fast becoming an issue that our team has to manage. Having an idea is good. But good will is not enough. We must also find funding sources!

With that, we'll give you a rendezvous within a few days for the next part of this “making of” dedicated to the origins of Galactic Princess.

See you soon,
The Galactic Princess team

Thank to our fantastic proofreader, L. Moor !

Devlog : The origins of Galactic Princess # 1 - Stardate 20150812

Dear captains,
Welcome to our new update, now devoted to the origins of Galactic Princess.


You have often asked us how the project began. It is time to answer these questions.

Too Many Me titleToo Many Me screenshot
Galactic Princess was born in the head of Chmyke (Mickael in real life), our project manager / designer / programmer / amateur of bees / handyman. In 2013, he realized, alone, his first game: Too Many Me (a project to which we will return shortly). Too Many Me: a title which corresponds rather well to his many roles in the creation of Galactic Princess!


Chmyke embarked on indie development as soon as he completed his studies in a specialized school without going through the AAA industry (AAA : blockbusters produced by famous publishers). "It's really nice to be independent," he says. "There is nobody to tell us what to do, we do what we really want, no financial pressure ... Obviously you need to succeed if you want to do that for a living. But these are not the same issues as the AAA projects". If you have participated in the financing of our project on Kickstarter, you must be passionate, and therefore you must know: Freelancing allows you to really appeal to creativity (you don’t have to meet the specifications established by a marketing department), or to just make a game you really want to play.


Like many of us, Chmyke (a predominantly PC Player: "I have some home consoles, but not the last generation, whose line-up I did not like") was excited - and motivated - by many games made by indie devs (Super Meat Boy, Fez or Minecraft, for the most known). "I love Minecraft even though at that level, it's not even an indie game. It's hard to say which games have prompted me to start. But it's really the super success of Meat Boy and some other games that have helped revive indie games." Certainly, we should not forget that behind a small list of popular games, there are hundreds of indie games that deserve the attention of video game enthusiasts. Yet with a word of mouth, some games have gotten more attention (media) than others. And it is in this way that Chmyke discovered two excellent games, which are clearly the ancestors of Galactic Princess.

 

Galactic Princess

A not long time ago, in a nearby galaxy


During the summer of 2013, Chmyke marvels - and this is not the first time - before FTL: Faster than Light. But his game designer's heart is titillated by the possibilities of the game. "I was thinking it would be good that we can do this, and add that, etc". At that time, he also plays Kerbal Space Program. We take this opportunity to take our hats off to the teams of Subset Games and Squad! Guys, thank you: you are our models.

Although both titles will be major influences for our team, the idea behind Galactic Princess is mostly born of a session on FTL - a space roguelike developed by Subset Games and released in 2012. "In FTL, I loved specifically to manage my crew," remembers Chmyke. "Accordingly, I almost did not pay attention to the arming of my ship (laughs)! If I lost someone, it was more dramatic than if my ship took heavy damage." Yet FTL does nothing for the player to focuses on characters who have no personality, just statistics. "This is not necessarily logical, but I really loved my characters. Getting the rank announcing that they took experience (better stats) was really nice. But I found that this dimension, which I loved, was not exploited well enough ... I really wanted to play a game centered on the crew. While also taking into account the physical forces". Chmyke was especially frustrated to not be able to control his ship in real time. "I have found it strange that we had a static vessel, and in the right of the image, there is another ship in a sort of frame. This is not what I wanted to see, actually. I really wanted that one can see the clash between the two ships, one next to the other."

As explained above, Kerbal Space Program has also influenced our vision of the project. "In KerGalactic Princess concept art - 2013bal, there are really very interesting challenges," says Chmyke. "You really learn to master the forces of physics, build your ship throughout your failures. It's awesome. There is a sandbox aspect in Kerbal, where you let your imagination run; you can do crazy stuff, that have nothing to do with what the developers had planned," he said, adding: "In Galactic Princess, there is this dimension, but not the same. And that's a shame. But one cannot have everything! (Laughs)". Indeed, over the creation of Galactic Princess, we preferred to put the sensations of the game before the respect of the reality. This doesn’t mean our game is a simple arcade game. It's about finding a happy equity. And Zeus knows how the boarding of an enemy ship is arduous when you vogue through an asteroid field ...

So during the summer of 2Concept art - Novembre 2013013, the Galactic Princess game design takes shape. "At the end of my previous game, Too Many Me, I wanted to create another project ... in pixel art," says Chmyke. "The art direction, in the pixel art style, really interested me, and I already had programs to do this. I started tweaking a few things. Then at some point in September 2013, I made a spaceship artwork in pixel art, with three modules and one person (see the illustration). By creating the concept art, I thought it would be nice to make a game that looks like FTL. In side view, graphically, because it worked well for the characters. And I already had ideas for some modules, in profile view. And I've always been attracted to physics. As an aside, if I may, I have a little theory about physics..." Note that our beloved Creator had not taken any illegal substance before speaking about this fun comparison! "When the little cubs are having fun, they give small swats with their paws. In fact, they discover their world by playing with physics. And I think the game is a little like discovering our world, learning to manipulate things. It communicates with the physical. I wanted to put physics in Galactic Princess". You will understand the message. There is some learning curve to successfully master our game. Unless you want to be a bull of space, you must have some dexterity to successfully tackle an enemy ship without becoming millions of small fragments drifting in the infinite space!

With that, we'll give you a rendezvous within a few days for the next part of this “making of” dedicated to the origins of Galactic Princess.

See you soon,
The Galactic Princess team

Thank to our wonderful proofreader, L. Moor !

Thank to our marvellous proofreader, L. Moor !
Thank to our marvellous proofreader, L. Moor !

Special Update : Kickstarter - Objective beta - stardate 20150811

Dear captains,
Dear backers,
Galactic Princess


You've helped us to finance our project in the winter of 2014. With your participation, the creator of Galactic Princess, Chmyke, was able to concentrate for more than a year on the development of the game. The creation of Galactic Princess looks like that of any video game: the joys, disappointments, and moments of bliss or despair. We have overcome many challenges - which we ourselves created, imagining the game of our dreams. But no matter the preparation upstream: when theory gives way to practice, things are getting serious, and some aspects that seemed to be mere details become time-consuming difficulties. The reality is not a fairy tale, and creating a video game is like an adventure, with its ups and downs. Rest assured: we held the course, like any space explorer in the SF and in the future. At present, we completed the heart of the game - the gameplay loop, a few bugs around.


Of course, the road ahead is still long. Some features will be added; others, superfluous, will disappear. We need to tweak the AI, menus, the creation of spaceships, the crew management, etc. We need to add quests and go bug hunting. Preparations, before take-off, is not completed. But now : we need you.

Jailbreak
Dear captains, if you bet on this project you carry hold some interest. And if you made a donation of 20 pounds / 33 euros - double the amount for the digital version of the game - you trusted us. With, as a bonus, access to the beta. But the bonus, in reality, is for us. For us, the beta is to our benefit, not yours. We need you, your opinion, your ideas, and your comments. If you are one of those who will soon have access to the beta, you will help us to finish the game. 603 backers (of 2108) that will have access to the beta are, for us, a force.

A word to the others fans (or other backers) : it is unnecessary to ask us for access to the beta. We do not need more than 603 participants. Please understand that access to the beta is not a gift. On the contrary, if it is the opportunity to witness the metamorphosis of the game - between the beta and the final version - the beta is only a rough draft of the result we wish to achieve. Between the bugs, lack of quests and features, this version of Galactic Princess is a playground, a sandbox, we wish to use to build the final version. You will do us a service -  a gift - by giving us your views, not the contrary.


Fight in jailThis beta, to which 603 backers will have access in the coming weeks, also looks like a "god mode". While, in the final version, you will struggle to enlarge and equip your ship and recruit your crew, you'll have access, in the beta, to unlimited resources. You can therefore, from the start, make the ship of your dreams. Said like that, it sounds great. Yet one of the main interests of Galactic Princess is struggling to conceive, by the sweat of your brow, the war machine (or exploration/diplomacy/stealth ship) that suits you best. In addition, we have not yet implemented the quests (related to the scenario), missions (for resources) and bargaining. You can just have fun building a ship, before leaving to attack random enemies. We are still working on adding a (small) quest in order to test the gameplay loop in the practice of a story. With the aim of giving meaning to the beta.


Jailbreak in Galactic PrincessBut we rely primarily on our 603 backers to look back on the forums and to give us game ideas, comments, feedback (positive or negative; no matter as long as they are constructive!). Any participation is important. So is telling us when you find bugs (oh yes, you will ^^). We will set up a form on our website to facilitate your reports. While we don't necessarily keep account of all of the remarks... But you, our 603 captains, you will join, in some way, the team creating the game. It's an honor for us. Sincerely.

Cheers,

The Galactic Princess Team.

Thank to our marvellous proofreader, L. Moor !

- See more at: https://galactic-princess.com/#sthash.BC57LOnI.dpuf

Patience, then. We must add the quest and solve some problems, and prepare our site to help us manage your remarks.

We hope the beta will be out this month.

 

Cheers,

The Galactic Princess Team.

Thank to our marvellous proofreader, L. Moor !

 

Cheers,

The Galactic Princess Team.

Thank to our marvellous proofreader, L. Moor !

- See more at: https://galactic-princess.com/#sthash.BC57LOnI.dpuf

Cheers,

The Galactic Princess Team.

Thank to our marvellous proofreader, L. Moor !

- See more at: https://galactic-princess.com/#sthash.BC57LOnI.dpuf

PS: Do not forget you can contact us on our forum, which is the "headquarters office" for this project.

Devlog - Stardate 20150701

Hi Captains,Galactic Princess - One team

Welcome to our latest update !

 

Some non-exhaustive changes :

- Fixed the position of trails along the Z axis

- Reorganization of enemy ships behavioural script

- Fixed the auto pilot vessels with behaviourial script

- Fixed physics engine : the framerate should not have an influence on their engine power.

- Fixed the connection between the laser turret and weapon system that allows the ship to shoot (or not)

Hard meeting- Overhaul of asteroids behaviour

- Fixed the asteroids explosions and ship's systems explosions.

- Fixed the module explosion particles

- Fixed the explosion of laser shots fired by the external system

- Fixed the backup system for the ship systems settings and stocks. A backup malfunction occurred when one wanted to back up a system that was built before the last load

- Fixed the construction slot on angular modules

- Fixed the construction feedback sprite for the laser turretSpace battle

- Fixed the red laser explosions.

- Many more things. Many. Things. Where is the spacebed, please ?

 

About the beta:


During the crowdfunding campaign, we announced the beta (available for some backers) for December 2014. But our priority was the development of the game. The beta isn't a gift to the backers. On the contrary, it is helping us to finish the game. More recently, we decided to launch the beta in late spring. But due to some problems and decisions we have taken, it is postponed again to a later date. We apologize to our backers, but we will need you - only on time. This is when the version of the game will be more stable, and we can have an interesting beta (with some goals) so you can offer ideas. We'll return to this subject later in July. Thank you in advance!

 

Cheers,

The Galactic Princess Team.

Thank to our marvellous proofreader, L. Moor !