Captain’s Log #18: Voyaging

This is an archived Kickstarter update, originally only available to Nelly’s Backers:

Ahoy!

June was a very eventful month for the Nelly team. This update is a wee bit late because I’ve been doing stand-up at Glastonbury Festival and in Scotland for the last few days. (Oh, imagine the glamour of eating a pot-noodle at 2am in a Glasgow hotel room.)

But that’s not all the travelling I’ve been doing. I also popped over to Germany to work with the Application Systems team on Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet.

Visit Heidelberg!

It was a 4am start, but here I am having loads of fun at London’s St. Pancras International:

London St. Pancras

Then, after a mere 10 hour train journey I reached the picturesque city of Heidelberg:

Heidelberg

As you can see, I was very pleased to arrive. What a lovely place!

I had an intensive week with Alex the programmer and Volker the project director. We spent around 15 hours talking through the logic of the entire game which was great fun / insanely exhausting. We made real progress in terms of gameplay and plotting. Here are some of the highlights:

Play Testing

We’ve now got solid, constructive feedback for the first two-thirds of the game. This is where the implementation is solid enough that people’s feedback stops being about bugs and starts helping me to spot logical problems with puzzles: pixel hunts, missing clues, red herrings etc.

I’ve taken away a long list of puzzle tweaks, animation changes and script rewrites to improve the first two acts of the game. Meanwhile Alex is focusing on making the third act play smoothly enough to get the same quality of feedback for the finale.

Localisation & German Voice Acting

The German localisation is complete, and French, Italian and Spanish are well under way. We’ve got a talented team of translators who keep spotting typos and errors in my English, which makes me hate them for being so clever.

Meanwhile, the German VO is currently being recorded. I know that Nelly is sounding great, even though I have no idea what she’s saying. I was even allowed to record a cameo in German. But based on stifled Teutonic laugher I could hear outside the booth, it may not be good enough to make the final cut…

Nelly Pencil Drawing

Tangible Rewards

We’re in the final stages of producing physical rewards. Treasure maps & Rogues’ Gallery portraits are printed. Felt Coots are stuffed. Hand-drawn Nellies have been drawn by hand.

So, I hope to be sending out that long-awaited backer survey soon. Thanks again to you guys for coming with us on this Voyage into the Unknown, past the Deadline Isles, across the Well-Behind-Schedule Ocean.

As long as you know we’re working hard, I’m happy.

Alasdair.

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