Post news RSS Perseverance: Part 1 is out now!

Witness the horror! Perseverance: Part 1 is now available on Steam!

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Greetings everyone!

We are finally here! Perseverance: Part 1 is now available on Steam for $3.99 / €3,49/ £2,99 with 25% discount in first week!

Perseverance: Part 1 is here!

I feel like I have a reason for celebrating. I wonder, as fellow developers, do you celebrate your games enough? I hope you do, because no matter the size of a game, a release is something worth a glass of good chardonnay.

As you may have noticed Perseverance is not an AAA multi-million production for the mass market and all platforms available. It’s more of an ambitious and personal game project developed against many odds and with many obstacles on the way. What I want to share with you today are development elements and decisions that worked out and made it possible for the game to be launched today.

Military convoy in Grey Ville

Intro cut scene filter experiment.


First of all, the story concept and the idea of slicing the main story line into five chapters was a very good decision. My vision was to create and deliver a complete product as effectively as possible. If our team was to develop a game built around all main story line threads, we would be probably working on it till late 2019. The danger of working on a huge project with a team of freshmen is that without the team seeing effects of their work early on, witnessing progress, it would get exhausted very fast. If you are w developer inside a big studio and working on an AAA title you know what I’m talking about. The initial enthusiasm begins to wear off. Encouragement stops working. Tension and personal conflicts arise. The love for the game slowly fades away. We’ve all seen it. We’ve all been there. One of the ways to prevent it was for us to have a clear idea on when as a team we wanted Perseverance development to end. Since it only took us five months to develop, it was a time period everyone could see the end of straight from the beginning.

The second choice that worked for the project was using Fungus — a plugin designed strictly for visual novel games. Working with it allowed us to skip the coding phase of fundamental mechanics and go straight to design and play testing. At a very early stage of development we could play the game and see holes and unclear elements in characters motivations and story. For me, as a person responsible for the story and the project as whole, it was quite shocking to see that people didn’t ‘get it’ from the start. Having experience with writing stories for 9 Clues and 9 Clues 2 I knew that if a person doesn’t understand something it means the information wasn’t conveyed clearly enough. Of course, my ego rebelled against the critique. But as developers we need to be mature and have the players fun in mind the whole time. That’s why I decided to work with another writer, Basia, who would bring a fresh approach and perspective with her. It’s hard to look at your work objectively if you’re in the middle of it.

Fungus Flowchart for Perseverance: Part 1

A screenshot showing flochart made with Fungus.


Another good choice was to add color to cut scenes and work with a professional art studio (Artist Entertainment) on certain assets. I’m always opened to work with ambitious newbies but sometimes a job just needs to be done correctly at the first try. The cut scenes were meant to be kept in black and white since I wanted them to give a stronger impression of being inspired by ‘The Walking Dead’ comic series. I was very fond of them that way. But once our designer sat down and added color to one cut scene (he is a very multi-skilled person) the whole team immediately decided that we needed to do this for the rest of the game. So we did, and I am very happy with the final result. The colors added much flavor and atmosphere to already grim story.

Early concept and final assets for Night ride cutscene

Cut scene workflow.


Next, once the game was nearly finished we did some thorough play tests with people from outside of the team. What came up was the feeling that the story ended abruptly. Something was missing. A player lacked a sense of closure. We had to work on the ending.

Trouble is, if you add something at the end of a story it most certainly will determine what happens prior to that. That’s why working on a game ending requires thoughtfulness and looking at a story and the game as a whole. It requires you to go back, adjust the dialogue, add missing pieces of information and go through the whole story again and again. We have left a few pieces from Part 1 unresolved as we wanted them to appear in Part 2. Overall, adding a new ending was a good idea but it required a lot of hard work and created a lot of issues on the way.

Jack in the forest (Russian language version)

Jack speaking in Russian.


Lastly, we did a double check of all of our language versions for the game: English, Polish and Russian. The translators did a fairly good job but it’s the double check that makes the difference. Since the game was nearly 20 000 words there was space for both error and improvement. We did good with proof-reading the English and Polish but since none of the team knew Russian we had to look for somebody who: a) knew the language and b) knew good writing. Fortunately, since there are many immigrants from Russian and Ukraine in Cracow, we managed to find a specialist. I can’t say how good of a job she did since my Russian is still terrible ;-) Guess gamers from the East will be the judges.

(there are probably still some spelling bugs we didn’t catch)

Thank you for support us!

Kisses :*


Finally, the game is available on Steam so you can judge by yourself how good of a job we did. Feel free to leave a comment. It’s always great to hear an opinion of a fellow game developer.

Cheers!

Daniel, Tap It Games Team

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