SpaceVenture #59 Update

Hey everyone! Wanted to post a quick update and let you know about some things going on right now!
Live podcast with Chris Pope, featuring special guest: Chris Jones(Tex Murphy Franchise). Go here for details.
If you haven’t gotten login info for SVRewards.com, go here. Remember, to view early diary entries, you must be a $30 backer. Go here to up your pledge if you would like to 🙂
Fan made game “Pledge Quest II” is out! You must go play it *Jedi hand wave*
Don’t forget we have an Official Minecraft server, for fans of Minecraft! Go here for details:
We <3 you! Thought you should know! No really, without you, SpaceVenture would just stay trapped in the minds of the Two Guys!
Websites that may interest you:
http://guysfromandromeda.com – The official game studio for Guys From Andromeda LLC
http://andromedanpost.com – Official News Paper for Guys From Andromeda
http://svrewards.com – Private Rewards website for backers.
http://twitter.com/andromedaguys – Twitter Account
http://www.facebook.com/guysfromandromeda – Facebook Account
We know we have a lot of web links here. We are working on improving our websites and condensing things down.

LSL Update 39

Just a couple of brief notes today, and then onto something I know will make everyone salivate. 

N-Fusion completed their second milestone last week: the fully navigable game, using rough artwork and the music extracted from the VGA version of the game. No puzzles yet, but this way we’ll be able to see new animations, backgrounds, and features plug into the existing game as they’re readied.
I fully expect us to have at least one or two exciting announcements VERY soon about the music. Selections have been made, details are being worked out, but I don’t want to post anything until all the ink on the contracts are dry.
We had an outstanding reaction to our Social Media department’s request last time around. We’ve put some *exclusive* behind-the-scenes photos and concept artwork onto Replay Games Facebook page (you have to have “Liked” Replay Games to access it, and we’ll be adding new exclusive artwork to that page occasionally). I also have a new message from the Social Media department regarding a quasipolitical battle going on behind the scenes here (which has made for some very uncomfortable situations):

In case you weren’t aware, our pal Larry has his own Facebook page at http://facebook.com/TheLarryLaffer and now is the PERFECT time to Like his page. Larry has apparently decided to run for King of Daventry. By Liking his page, you can stay up-to-date with the latest political attack ads, platform decisions, and even responses from his opponent. Of course, Larry also provides regular doses of his own special brand of comedy and musings. All of this can be yours for the low, low price of a button click.

Okay. It’s time to reveal what many people would agree is the single most emblematic image in the game: the front of Lefty’s, as reimagined, polished, and finished by heroic artist Colin Merlo and the dedicated men and women of N-Fusion. View it and weep.



‘Til we meet again,
Josh

SpaceVenture Update!

Hey everyone, by now you should have received login info for http://svrewards.com. If you haven’t gotten this info, please do the following:

Search your email inbox, spam folder/junk mail folder.

If you still can’t find it, please email pcj@andromedanpost.com. Please include proof of purchase attached to the email. This will speed up the process.

Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience!

Guys From Andromeda LLC

LSL KS Update

Hello again. Josh here with a lot of this and that for You, our Best Beloved Kickstarter pledgers.
Some weeks back, we promised you a video from Dennis Flath, Larry’s Technical Art Director at N-Fusion and your pipeline to N-Fusion on the Replay fora. That video had to take a backseat for a while, as the game takes precedence over all. But things are settling down to an even, albeit frantic, pace, and so Dennis is back focusing on the video. You’ll probably see it before the next regular KS update.

Dennis will also be doing a series of twice-monthly updates on the Replay fora. Keep a watch there, as these updates promise to touch on all different aspects of the production, different aspects than those we cover here in the KS updates.

At this point, we have all the information we need from those of you whose names and/or likenesses are going to appear in the game. As we said during the Kickstarter phase, we consider ourselves very much at liberty to make jokes at your expense (gently, of course), because this is Larry and we’re simply not interested in being serious. If we inadvertently end up offending you deeply, then we’ll call it a job well done!

There is one exception, one person we’ve been unable to reach: a Walk of Shame-level contributor who simply went by the name “INT.” INT, if you’re within the sound of my voice, please write to us. Mom is on the roof.

I’m going to drop three more rough animations on you today. The first is of Lefty, the bartender. The second is of Larry, stumbling drunk. I’ve included these two because I think the motion (especially in the “stumbling drunk” sequence) is practically poetic; Colin Merlo is doing an outstanding job (both with the animations and backgrounds) and he constantly impresses me. And this is without the tweening that Al explained last time; these are only the key frames. Lastly, I’ve included one of Larry’s “idle” cycles. An idle cycle is a kind of “fidget” that the character does when the player doesn’t make him do anything for a while. I love idle cycles; they’re rare moments in which a character forgets that he/she is being watched, and does something unguarded and habitual.

One of the requests we saw numerous times during the Kickstarter was for branching dialogue, and I’m committed to obliging that request, at least for the game’s major ladies (the hooker, Faith, Fawn, Jasmine, and Eve). In years past, when I’d work with a developer, they’d usually have some sort of homegrown dialogue tool, but N-Fusion said they’d accommodate any tool I wanted to use. So I set about looking at a number of programs, and I ended up with Urban Brain Studios’ powerful Chat Mapper program.
Chat Mapper, as its name suggests, only does branching dialogue. But it does it with just about every kind of option I could possibly want, and it has an extremely powerful feature: the program fully understands all the dialogue logic and conditions you attach (e.g., “Don’t display dialogue options Y and Z unless the player has already played through dialogue options W and X”). Once you’ve attached the logic, you can test the entire tree from inside the program and fine-tune it. When you’ve got it the way you want it, you can then export the tree as an XML file, readily usable in Unity (LSL1’s engine).

In a conversation with Urban Brain Studios, I learned that adventure games from Sierra were, at least in part, what inspired the creation of Chat Mapper. I can tell you we would’ve killed for a utility like this at Sierra “back in the day.”

Lastly, I’d like to pass along a message from our Social Media department:

If you haven’t already, please consider becoming a fan of our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/replaygames. We have regular updates about the game, we have surveys, contests, and more. If you’re willing to tell your friends about us, so much the better: if we hit 2,500 fans before the next Kickstarter update (that’ll be October 15th), we’re going to have a special contest to let one of our fans have their name in the game. That’s right, your name could appear as someone who used to beat Larry up, or a girl he once lusted after, or maybe both. We can’t tell you ahead of time in what context your name could show up, but it would be forever memorialized in the world of Leisure Suit Larry. And all you need to do to have a shot at it is to “like” us, and help ensure we reach 2,500.

And lastly, if your day needs just a little extra comedy in it, you should follow the man himself, Al Lowe, on Twitter. Just add @allowe and tell him Ken sent you.
That about wraps it up for now. See you in a fortnight!

LSL Coming Again!

Good day to you all, Larry backers! It’s Labor Day here in the States, and you know what THAT means: millions of children are quietly and studiously mulling the countless contributions that the working class has made to the strength and structure of the nation. Right?

At this point, all of the emails have gone out to those of you who’ve pledged $40 or more. In fact, if you didn’t respond to the first email, we sent out a second. If you pledged at $40 or more, but you haven’t gotten an email from us, please check your Spam box to make sure it didn’t get lost in the shuffle.

This is especially time-sensitive for those of you who’ll be getting your images worked into the game; the artists are working on those right now. So if you’re one of those, please look carefully for our email and, if you don’t find it, write to us at cs@replaygamesinc.com. We’ll be sending out a new round of emails for those who pledged up to $39 very shortly.

We’ve also had a question about the t-shirts, and we’ve decided that we’ll be offering the “female cut”-style T in addition to the standard style. We’re also talking about creating a general-release Larry t-shirt, which we would make available for sale. It may have the same front as the existing design, but a different back, so that our Kickstarter supporters will still have an exclusive that nobody else will be able to get.

No definite choice has been made yet as regards music. Al is still going through the process of finding a composer/arranger who’s right for the project. (Al and I agree that Chris Brayman set the bar VERY high in the VGA version of LSL1.)

For voiceover, we’re currently planning to use Jan Rabson for Larry and Neil Ross as the Narrator. One name we talked about was Chris Parnell, whose narration in the PBS series “WordGirl” is sort of like Gary Owens with a healthy dose of snark added. But Neil is both a fan favorite and Al’s strong preference. So maybe we can use Chris for something in the future. (BTW, since we’ve been playing the “Who would play Larry in a live-action movie or TV show” game for almost 25 years now, I think Will Arnett would be a great choice…but twenty years ago, I envisioned Jon Lovitz in the role.)

N-Fusion’s artwork is coming in almost as fast as Al and I can approve it, with model sheets, rough backgrounds, and rough animations (key frames only, no “tweening” yet) being submitted on a daily basis. We’re probably going to start releasing this artwork a little more generously than we have been, and that’ll happen primarily through Dennis on the Replay Forums. If there are days when we do a particularly large drop of artwork, I’ll send out a KS update notice about it.

Today, for your entertainment pleasure, we’re releasing the completely-approved final model sheet for Larry. The only thing you won’t see on this sheet is the bald spot; that was worked out after the fact and hasn’t been incorporated into this particular image.



You may notice several things about him compared to some previous versions. He looks a bit younger and his paunch is reduced (both in keeping with our plans for the character). His hair is different in a couple of regards (length and degree of hair loss), his leisure suit now has obvious lapels. His eyelids figure into a greater number of his expressions.

That about wraps it up for today. Remember, if you pledged $40 or more, be sure to find and respond to our emails…or contact cs@replaygamesinc.com if you haven’t.

Your penpal,
Josh

LSL HD – How Old Are You?

Dear Backers,
How are you? I am fine. If you haven’t come to the Replay Games forums recently, you’ve missed a lot of great info, art, and commentary by Dennis Flath, the Technical Art Director at N-Fusion. He checks in just about every day and has been answering questions right and left. Feel free to ask him any questions you want about N-Fusion’s dev process (and don’t forget you can ask me questions, too, also in the “Questions for the Team” subforum, which I check constantly).

Britton Mathews, our website guru, updated the Replay Games site (www.replaygamesinc.com) and the forums (http://forums.replaygamesinc.com/) over the weekend, and we’ve moved over to a new server. If you have any problems at all accessing or using the site or forums, let us know so we can address it quickly – but, so far, it’s been a very smooth transition.

Britton will also be sending out the surveys starting this week, so if you’ve got Leisure Suit Larry swag that’s supposed to be coming your way, you should get your survey soon. Kickstarter’s software only allows us to send these out *once*, so if you send yours in and it’s incomplete, or you want to change some information, contact us through Replay’s Customer Service and we’ll make sure it gets changed.

The artists at N-Fusion, Al, and I have spent a good amount of time this past week on the Larry model sheet. It’s now pinned down and we’ll probably release this model sheet very soon (possibly before my next update). Al and I are both totally happy with the version we ended up with: it gives Larry a tiny bit of a younger look (so that we can age him gradually throughout the games that follow), the right attitude, a properly tailored leisure suit, and a nose that pays subtle tribute to male genitalia. Or is that my imagination?

Oh, and N-Fusion is preparing a video update. They’re hoping to have it ready this week.
I’ve been asked if we’ll be releasing model sheets for all the characters, and the answer is an “almost yes.” My current thought is: we’ll release them, but not all at once, and maybe we should avoid releasing the Jasmine model sheet so that she’s a total surprise. I’m really reluctant to take all the mystery out of her prior to the game’s release, since she’s the only real new major character in the game.

Al has decided, at least for the time being, not to have his actual band playing in the game. He’s currently talking to a variety of composers/arrangers, and we hope to have a firm decision on this individual within the next couple of weeks.

For my part, I’m currently working on the Age Verification questions. Trying to make them funny and not TOO tough. Those of you who are under 17 right now, or who are too old to remember trivia and current events from the very early 2000’s, had better bone up on your pop culture. (Rim shot!)

Yours in Larry Laffer,
Josh