BLACK LODGE GAMES, LLC usually releases an update for Arcana Kira alpha each Friday, and…
If you’re skeptical of our dates for game releases, I don’t blame you. We’ve delayed both Daath Galaxy and Arcana Kira multiple times, so I understand. Just know that I’ll always delay a game if it’s not ready, as a game has to be both “fun and done” regardless of the arbitrary release date that we set, in order for us to actually pull the trigger and call it a “released game”. With that said, we’ve been sitting on a near complete game for a long time now, and that game is Daath Origins, for Windows PC. I’ve waited a long time to announce it until I was absolutely certain I wouldn’t need to revise the release date (however, this isn’t the official announcement, which will be a bit later when we issue the press release and start doing actual promotion for the game.) I’m going to try harder to not pull a “Mighty No. 9” like this in the future, and my plan to do so is to stop announcing release dates until a game hits beta. Anyway, you might be wondering what is “Daath Origins“, what is the status and implications for Arcana Kira, and where is Daath Galaxy? All these things and more I am going to address below:
How Daath Galaxy Split into 2 Games (Origins of Daath Origins)
In Fall 2014, I put “Daath Galaxy” on Steam Greenlight, and in this form, the game was 2d, top down, sprite-based. The trailer was rather horrible to go with it. I got a lot of feedback, both negative and positive. My plan at this time was to start with this 2d game called “Daath Galaxy“, and then a few years later follow it up with a 3d first person sequel called “Daath Universe” using the Unity engine (which I had already prototyped.) However, with all the feedback I got, I decided to immediately switch Daath Galaxy from the 2d engine it was on, to the 3d Unity based engine I was prototyping for Daath Universe. It should be mentioned at this point that the 2d version already had several years of work put into it, so I immediately started re-purposing the old 2d Daath Galaxy engine into a new game, which I called Daath Origins... since it was the original Daath engine.
In late 2014 it became apparent that Daath Galaxy didn’t have the budget to complete the project with the full voice acting I need in order to fulfill my creative vision. So I made the decision to delay Daath Galaxy until funding could be earned bootstrap style (hopefully a 2017 release.) In February 2015, Arcana Kira was conceived as a game set within the same universe as Daath Galaxy (and Daath Origins for that matter.) I initially hoped to have Arcana Kira fully released on Steam in November, but tacking on Oculus Rift support and other bleeding edge features caused a lot of code rewrites that wouldn’t have been necessary if I had planned for VR support from the beginning. Problem 2 is much bigger, and I’m still working on solving it, and that is simply that it takes a lot of time and attention to detail to actually make a fun open world game. Another issue with Arcana Kira was the fact that it was born on Unity Pro 5.0, and then kept moving up to Unity Pro 5.1, and finally to Unity Pro 5.2.x, where it will stay. I kept upgrading Unity 5.x versions because none of them were stable enough for me to ship a completed game on (and because some of the new features are awesome too.) I really grew to hate Unity Pro 5.x compared to 4.x because of their new hard deadlines for “stable” releases, mixed with giant new (and therefore buggy) systems. This meant that each new version came with a litany of new show-stopping critical or fatal bugs (at least for Arcana Kira.) During this time of extreme frustration with Unity 5.x, my attention sometimes shifted back to my current only non-Unity based game in development: Daath Origins. It was a breath of fresh air, especially because most of the hard grunt work for this game was done in 2012 and 2013. All I had to do was tie up the loose ends, write a new story, and implement the quests. Done, done, and done. In fact, the main things left to do with Daath Origins are: record some more music for it so I don’t bleed too many tracks from the Daath Galaxy soundtrack, and to actually promote the game so that people know the game exists.
Speaking of that, I still haven’t explained what Daath Origins is. Don’t worry, soon there will be tons of video, screenshots, and even an online manual for you to look at. In fact, I just manufactured a very limited Collector’s Edition physical release that includes a box, manual, map, the game on DVD, and a bonus. Only 100 were made, and I’ll be opening orders the day the game is announced (at which time I will also reveal the bonus.) Until then, Daath Origins is basically an unannounced title…
In the meantime, I’ll just say that Daath Origins is a 2d, top down turned based RPG with deep mechanics, beautiful HD sprites, and an all original soundtrack (yeah, that is the current goal, completing the soundtrack.) Almost every response you make while in dialogue has direct consequences, and your journey will take you across dimensions, through space and time, exploring the boundaries of morality, of conscience, and of the fabric of the universe itself. Here is the initially galaxy map that you can explore, while additional stars are unlocked for exploration when you upgrade your sensor capability :
Arcana Kira is Delayed Again
Wait… I’m still not really announcing Daath Origins officially here, as the marketing hasn’t even begun, so I’m done talking about it until the marketing begins. Really, I’m writing this because if I were waiting for Arcana Kira and all the sudden the developer is like “nope, Arcana Kira is delayed, take this other game instead,” I might be kind of miffed. “Where the heck is Arcana Kira and why are you wasting time on a different game before delivering the game you already promised and pre-sold to me?”
To answer that, Daath Origins was in development years before Arcana Kira was even dreamed up, and by the time Daath Origins had jumped ahead of Arcana Kira on our release timeline, it was because the game itself was basically complete, whereas Arcana Kira was still sitting in Alpha development. So the whole point of this blog post from my end is to try and give an explanation as to why this is only having a minimal affect to Arcana Kira‘s development, and to point out that truthfully if Daath Origins wasn’t even coming out at all, Arcana Kira would still be getting this exact same delay.
A lot of people own a key to Arcana Kira on PC and are looking forward to it’s release on Steam. The last target date was March 22, 2016, but given the current situation, Arcana Kira will benefit from more world and narrative building and is still far from the goal of being both “fun and done.” We’re still committed to getting some more playable builds available in 2016, and I will update you with another target release date once we approach another solid playable build. I’m pushing for this summer, but it could be fall or winter if there are a lot of unanticipated problems along the way.
Daath Galaxy Release Time-Table
The fate of Daath Galaxy depends on the sales of Daath Origins and Arcana Kira. If those two games are even modestly successful, it becomes much easier for 2017 to be the year of Daath Galaxy. Beyond that, I can only speculate. For now, my focus is soley on programming Arcana Kira and marketing Daath Origins. Stay tuned for tons of Daath Origins and Arcana Kira news in 2016!