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I am proud and happy to announce that SLX Games (The Gothenburg, Sweden based company where I work for a living) has now merged with SkyGoblin (the pseudo-fake company I started for the Journey Down development group) and now form one single entity: SkyGoblin. "What does this change?" I hear you ask. Nothing, really. It just makes life for everyone involved in the development of "The Journey Down" a lot less confusing, since it's now developed under one flag, instead of two.

 

The core team behind the game is still exactly the same. Namely me, the two programmers Mathias and Markus, as well as our animator Henrik and our musician Simon. The only real difference is that SLX Games (now SkyGoblin) as a corporate entity makes a large official focus shift toward working on the commercial release of "The Journey Down", rather than spending all its time working on our other title, the social mmo "Nord".

 

 

jdcharter.jpg

A look at the charter interior in the high-res commercial release of TJD.

 

So why am I posting this? Mostly because I wanted to share the good news of us now focusing a lot more on TJD development and because I wanted to share my relief of now having made my life a tiny bit less schizophrenic on the "where I work" front. Also, hopefully giving our development group one title instead of two will reduce the risk of confusion a bit.

 

Since the initial AGS engine source code release (and since we now finally finished our silly facebook-credits implementation into Nord) our two programmers have finally been able to start poking around in AGS to make it 720p friendly, which is the resolution we intend to release TJD in. I would like to take this chance to thank CJ for the bold move of releasing his precious source. A highly commendable and ballsy move to say the least. I am confident projects such as TJD and other similar commercial game efforts will benefit from it greatly.

 

Chapter one of the fully voiced, puzzle extended, high-res version of TJD is scheduled for a 2011 Q4 release and its development can be followed over at www.skygoblin.com

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Longcat: heh, well, Nord has been, and still is generating enough revenue to keep it running, but sharding out and running more projects in parallel is to put it simply: more fun. :)

 

elTee: Thanks, man!

 

Edward van Helgen: Glad you appreciate the style. I've put MANY hours into these backdrops, heh.

 

sanguinehearts and Ascovel: The first release is either way definitely going to be PC, and nothing else. We certainly hope to branch off onto other platforms as well, depending on how much time we have to spare and what the market looks like at that time. As for PSP support in AGS, I'd say it's still rather theoretical and could work with a lot of hard rewriting and rebuilding of assets - is it worth it though? The psp market is an odd one. There are other handheld devices that definitely seem more tempting to work with, such as android and iOS devices.

 

Alex IDV: Agreed! I get nasty memories of playing Maniac Mansion and Shadowgate on NES. Which, granted, was a lot of fun, but input wise it was truly a nightmare.

 

I'm also posting to say that we've just updated the blog today with a sneak peek of the voice of Lina. Thus finishing our lead cast preview on the dev-blog. Check her voice out and tell us what you think!

 

linabook.png

 

Keep your eyes peeled on Skygoblin.com for more updates regarding The Journey Down!

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Sky this is great news indeed. I'd love to get a copy to review on scummgames.net - I have barely done any work on the website in the last two years, but that's about to change I promise, I have a real passion for the adventure game community and I'll be putting reviews up of Telltales other games (when I get the chance to play through them, etc) as well as adding classic ones soon, I think starting next month I'll aim to do at least one game per month :) Can you shoot me an email daniel at scummgames dot net when you're closer to release?

 

I will certainly promote the game for you at scummgames.net in the future (as long as it's good, and I trust that it will be)!!!

 

In the meantime I really wish you very good luck with this project and in the future!

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Hey plamdi.com, thanks for showing interest! I'll be sure to send you an email once we start closing in. Release will likely not be until some time December though, so there's still some time to go!

 

Here's a fresh look at what Kito, our chunky sidekick looks like in 3D!

 

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Hope you like how he came out. I think he's quite faithful to the original 2D version of him. Also, check out the devblog to read up on some of the roots of the artwork in TJD! I'm hoping to make a little series of posts about the artistic origins, and the one I posted yesterday, is the first of what will hopefully be a collection of such posts.

 

Please, don't be feedback shy! We want to hear what you guys think.

 

Thanks.

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Bumpin' with a little progress update :)

 

We're slavin' away at a crazy high tempo now, churning out Bwana and Kito animations at the speed of light, also we're hard at work finalizing and animating our backdrops. Here's a sneak peek below straight from our dev-blog:

 

(This BBCode requires its accompanying plugin to work properly.)

 

Visit the dev-blog for some behind-the-scenes stuffies if you're curious :)

 

Comments are as always appreciated!

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Thanks for the kind comments, guys! I appreciate 'em a lot! Encouragement at it's finest, truly! :thmbup1:

 

We finally got our new "The Journey Down" website up and running with a couple of brand new screenshots and other neat copy-paste-friendly junk on it! Here's a quick peek at a couple of the screenshots featured on the site:

 

thumb1.jpg thumb2.jpg thumb3.jpg

 

As always comments are appreciated, we love to hear people's thoughts on the stuff we create! Either here or on the devblog over at http://www.skygoblin.com.

 

Don't forget to visit the website to see the rest of the screenies. Also, please give us some sweet internet-love by hitting the good ol' spammy like button. It makes a difference. Thanks:)

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sanguinehearts: heh, I'll be sure to advertise the pre-order clearly when/if such an option becomes available :)

 

Alex IDV: I wish I knew! We will launch it on as many sales platforms as possible, I can tell you that much. Getting on them doesn't seem like a very easy task though, so who knows?

 

elTee: Thanks, man! As always, keep your eyes peeled on the dev-blog for updates!

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saboscreensmaller.jpg

 

Figured it was time for an update. We've been so busy churning out point-n-click sweetness, we forgot all about taking the time to get down and dirty with some good old spamming. We are slowly closing in on release after all, and with zero money for advertising, ranting on forums is just about our only option for being seen, pre release.

 

Progress is moving along beautifully. We recently changed game engine from AGS to our own home-grown Gobby engine, which at a start pretty much put production to a complete stand still, but now that we've settled into the new milleu, it really turned out to be a good idea. Not only does it allow for easier multi-platform porting, it also gives us artists a wider range of new neat tools to work with to make the environments blend together better, without bogging down the system.

 

Working with Adventure Game Studio has been great though and I'd still recommend it to anyone who wants to get into point-n-click game making. It's a brilliant tool with incredible possibilities and it's got a great game developing community attached to it to boot. Our main reason for changing was the single-platform issue. Our in-house programmers decided that understanding and reverse engineering the innards of AGS would be more work and less fun than simply building our own streamlined, TJD specific development environment, built from the start with the intention of porting the game to several different platforms.

 

We are currently aiming for a PC, Mac, Android and iOS release some time Q1 2012.

 

Work on in-game assets is slowly starting to get wrapped up. Most backdrops are ready and animated, almost all characters have been built and animated. Music and speech is all pretty much in place except for maybe a third of our main characters lines, (There are over 1300 of them, heh.) The only major parts missing are some scripting and working on the intro+outro cinematics. In short, we are slowly getting there!

 

Please drop by the dev-blog a little now and then to catch up on or progress.

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Progress is moving along beautifully. We recently changed game engine from AGS to our own home-grown Gobby engine

 

Fantastic, the game looked fantastic in AGS but I'm so pleased that you opted to create a new more portable engine, I'm very eager to play this game on my Mac.

 

Is Mac a target platform for day one?

 

Any more thoughts on running a pre-order? I've got money in my pocket right now ready to pay for this game! :)

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Thanks guys, I appreciate the kind words a lot!

 

Yes, we will do our best to release the Mac version on day one together with the PC version. The handheld versions however will likely come a month or two later.

 

Pre-order will probably happen, but not until we're closer to wrapping it all up. Glad to hear you've got your wallet ready, anyhow :)

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