Buongiorno to anyone who still cares to read these unforgivably infrequent devlogs. This is Eli, reporting for duty from voluntary confinement. I do narrative design and writing for Whateverland, and when I don't do that, I write devlogs like the one you're reading right now. You are in luck because Caligari Games team is quarantined along with the rest of the world, which means that it is time to finally do things I've been trying to avoid for a very long time. So get ready for a lot of these in the upcoming weeks of self-isolation and thriving casual alcoholism.
But let’s get back to the task at hand, namely, talking about our progress with Whateverland. We’re currently polishing our demo and considering launching a Kickstarter campaign, so yeah, there’s a lot of waiting and nail-biting happening right now. Also, the economy is collapsing, which is depressing but adds some drama to the existence of our little studio and it’s a nice fuel for creativity. After all, when everyone's stuck at home for what seems like forever, what are they going to do if not play video games all day? Start eating clean and adopt that at-home workout routine? I doubt that.
Our entire office is working from home and we communicate mostly through memes and gifs on Discord. Apparently, with enough discipline working from home can actually work. We have conference calls twice a week to discuss our progress. At the moment we are busy prototyping Bell&Bones and making an animated opening intro, which looks pretty sick so far if I do say so myself. Also, everyone shares their daily conquests on a special channel. It's cool and all, but the progress of a writer is pretty hard to summarise in three sentences. Some days I just stare into a wall and consider it productive. And sometimes I complete several parts of the script a day, but it feels like procrastination.
Anyway, it may seem like we’re living the dream, but sometimes you just want to look your programmer in the eyes and see all his pain and some broken blood vessels in there. It’s an essential experience of an indie game studio that can’t be lived through lifeless pixels on the screen. But for now, I can only hear his tired voice two times a week, telling me that a feature that was supposed to be ready yesterday will only be finished by his grandchildren. Oh, well.
On the bright side, I can now squish my cat as much as I want to, although she probably wants to claw my eyes out at this point. But what are you gonna do, you gotta get some love while you still can, right? Also, I’ve never cooked so much in my entire life, and if I keep going at this pace, a time will soon come for me to ditch game dev and finally show Gordon Ramsay who’s boss. I also tried to make some fancy fluffy coffee that’s apparently in vogue in Korea, where they call it ‘Dalgona’, but my hand almost fell off from all this whisking. I’ll try it again later, but something tells me I’m better off drinking whiskey instead of endless whisking.
Fine, I’ll stop whining and tell you a little about our demo that we’re planning to release in the upcoming two months. It’s going to be a prologue to Whateverland and its main attractions, but there will still be a lot of nice stuff. It will feature a cool-ass intro, some music that will get stuck in your head forever, the beginning of our hero’s journey into the unknown, and most importantly it will give you a taste of the story and some of the main features of the game. In particular, you will be able to reach the end goal of the prologue in three different ways, one of which is reserved for all the bad boys out there. I see you. We like to call it “paths”, and I’ll tell you all about it in one of the upcoming devlogs, but not today. Today we celebrate the sadness and stagnation of working while on quarantine.
So please, for the sake of humanity, stay home, torture your cat, cook extravagant shit, don’t buy any more toilet paper and imagine that it’s not a pandemic, it’s just that introverts have finally taken over the world and introduced mandatory social distancing to all of our butterflies. In the meantime, please share with us how you are coping with all this madness. Have you signed up for TikTok yet? Hugged your cat so much that it started to hate you more than it already did? Considered making friends with a creepy middle-aged dude with a goatee who lives under your bed? Whatever you do, please stay sane and safe.
xx (from a safe distance ofc)
Caligari Gals and Guys
by Eli Mikeladze, Author and Narrative Designer of "Whateverland"