More Interviews, Greenlight, and UI Work

Hey everyone, Kent here with the Friday update. As always, here’s a list of ways to keep up to date with all things Novelist-related:

RSS Feed
Press Page

I’ve changed the press page link (both here and on the main site) to go to the article list, so now if you click on Press at the top of the screen you’ll be taken straight to a list of the most recent articles on the game (you no longer have to scroll through all the press copy and screenshots/videos).

To kick things off, how about another round of interviews? There were some really in-depth ones this week, so if you’re still interested in learning more about the game there’s a lot to dig into:

  • GameSpot: This one was really fun. I met Carolyn at Indie Press Day, and she put together a fantastic set of questions. Read this one for info on the relationship-based dynamic narrative of The Novelist, among other things.
  • Joystiq – The Novelist was featured in Joystiq’s ongoing Indie Pitch series! After reading so many of these it was pretty surreal to see The Novelist on Joystiq’s front page. The highlight of this one, for me anyway, was weighing in on the “AAA vs. Indies” conversation and the indie movement as a whole.
  • This one just went up today, and it’s one of my favorites. It talks about the game, of course, but it really digs into the personal angle of making an indie game. Work/life balance, anxiety, stress, personal investment, and beliefs are all discussed, and it also has an explanation of why I didn’t look to Kickstarter for funding.
  • Plus 10 Damage: This one explores an interesting idea that David (the interviewer) had about The Novelist being a second-person game. I’d never heard it put that way before, and it was fun to think about. It also includes a hint/teaser about who you play in the game (though it doesn’t answer the question outright, of course).
  • Fund This Game: Check this one out to learn the various things that influenced The Novelist (including the music).
  • Aussie-Gamer: Last but not least, here’s part 2 of my interview with Aussie-Gamer. You can find a link to part one in last week’s interview round-up if you missed it the first time. In part two I explain why I chose to make a stealth game (as opposed to an isometric game, a 2D game, or something else).

Phew! That’s a lot of interviews! I haven’t made it through all of my interview requests yet, but I’m getting close. Since I’m the only person working on The Novelist, time I spend working on publicity and press is time I’m not spending on the game, and this week I hit a wall where I felt I had to get back to the game and get some work done. I’ll continue to work through the publicity stuff this weekend and next week, so there’s still more on the way.

This week I was able to start working on some things that are so exciting, so groundbreaking, so influential, so creatively forward-thinking that it’s hard to put my excitement into words, but I’ll try here. That’s right, I started implementing … menus! I spent time with innovative features like mouse sensitivity, v-sync, anti-aliasing, volume (separate controls for music, sound effects and voice, of course), mouse smoothing, and so on.

All of those features have been supported under the hood for a long time, but they were always tied to keyboard shortcuts instead of having proper menus for adjusting them. This week I buckled down and cranked out a main menu with all the trimmings (new game, continue, options, credits, and so on). It’s not the sexiest work in the world, but it’s been a great way to get myself back into the flow of building the game after all the press and announcement excitement. I have a few things to finish up this weekend, then it’s on to more exciting story-related features and other stuff that’s actually cool.

One last thing: please support the game on Greenlight! It only takes a moment to vote, and every vote helps get the game closer to a Steam release. If you’ve already voted, thank you! If you still want to help, spread the word to your friends via Twitter or word of mouth. Indie games don’t have budgets for banner ads or marketing campaigns, so word of mouth and social media are the best tools for getting the word out there. Every mention of the game helps, so thank you to everyone that’s been supporting the game so far: it really does make a difference.

See you guys next week!