Filcher status update

Filcher is now disturbingly close to completion. Last time I posted, I was about to start drawing the comic book cutscenes. It took way longer than expected, but all the art is now finished. I went for a black-and-white pixel art style, heavily influenced by Hellboy‘s Mike Mignola and V for Vendetta‘s David Lloyd. Still needs some polish here and there, but I’m really happy with how it’s come together.

Then there’s the writing, which permeates the game in the form of mission briefings, cutscene captions and speech balloons, in-game dialogue (you can eavesdrop on certain conversations) and the occasional snarky comment from Sporey during missions. I was initially going to have a full comic intro cutscene for each of the game’s ten missions, but that proved slightly over-ambitious. There are now six cutscenes (which cover all the major story moments) plus a text briefing for each mission, complemented with images.

So much for the story stuff, but surely the gameplay is more important? True, so I’ve been going through all the levels, filling previously empty rooms and adding more loot, secrets, readables and overall detail. I’ll await the feedback of my long-suffering playtesters Gurt and Splinter and fix whatever problems they find. Then I’ll invite a few more outside testers for the whole game, and maybe put out a demo version for the public. Still figuring these things out.

It looks like Filcher should be ready for release later this summer. More info soon!

Filcher status update

Time for another update!

The game’s ten levels (including the tutorial) are now *basically* done!

It’s been a lot of work, and there are definitely gaps left to fill in – placeholder textures to replace, conversations to write, props to add, challenges to tweak, boring rooms to make more interesting… but at least the critical path is all in place, which is a weight off my shoulders.

Next, I’ll be making rough sketches of all the comic book panels and put them between the missions. to get a feel for the flow of the story. With all the building blocks in place, Being able to run the game through from start to finish, I’ll see what needs fixing and tweaking, shortening and lengthening, softening and hardening, lightening and darkening, clarifying and mystificating…

I’ll probably need another month for the cutscenes and one more for general polish. I know I keep pushing the deadline back, but to be fair, the deadline is just a goal – something to prevent me from getting stuck on tiny details forever.

That’s all for now. Take care!

Filcher status update

Happy new year, reader! It turns out I’m bad at guessing how long things will take. I haven’t quite finished all the levels for Filcher yet, so my planned release date will have to change from “early 2021” to “pretty early 2021”. My current best guess is mid-April. Yeah, that sounds reasonable! he exclaimed confidently.

I’m almost done with the game’s tenth and final mission. I then want to finish one more mission for the middle of the game, and lastly I’ll make the very first level, which is the tutorial. I’ll then draw all the fancy comic book panels for the game’s story, all of which I’ve thumbnailed and planned out in reasonable detail. I’ve had most of this stuff figured out for a long time, and now it’s just a matter of implementing it, which can be a slog at times.

Also, because I’m an old man now (30) I need more breaks from the computer so I don’t fossilize in my chair (keep in mind I’m doing all this in my spare time). While this is a passion project, my advice if you’re planning to design, code, write, draw, score and sell your own immersive sim is 1) wtf don’t, and 2) Keep it small! I’ve always thought of Filcher as quite a small game, but the amount of custom content required for these 10 levels is more than I imagined.

To give myself a nice break, I drew a Mike Mignola-inspired poster for the game. I don’t know if the in-game comic book cutscenes will be in this exact style. I’ll be doing a lot of drawings, and a minimalist style isn’t necessarily faster than drawing something with more lines and detail… but we’ll see how it turns out! Thanks for your bottomless patience, and stay tuned for more.

Status update

Hello my fellow sneakthieves, sorry about the distinct lack of updates lately. I’m bad at posting about my progress at the best of times, and November has been extra busy.

I’ve made good progress on Filcher though. Seven of the game’s planned ten(?) missions are roughly complete, but it’s clear I won’t be releasing the game this year. My plan is to finish the remaining missions before the end of 2020 and then have a period of polishing them all up, as well as drawing all the pictures for the game’s comic book style cutscenes, before a release sometime early 2021.

Since I’m working on the game in my spare time, I’m always subject to unforeseen interruptions, but I try to get something done on the game every day while also taking care of myself so I don’t burn out. Thanks for your patience, here are some screenshots!

You often need to break into someone’s office for loot and information.
All those screens won’t help against a blackjack to the back of the head!
Security terminals let you see through and disable cameras.
Sporey isn’t really a dog person. Or a people person, for that matter. It’s best to steer clear of both.

The Filcher Steam page is up now!

The Filcher Steam page is ready at last! Why not add the game to your wishlist while I work on the remaining missions?

You’ll notice the release date is set as “2020?”. I don’t know that I’ll be able to get the game ready in two measly months, but it helps to set myself a deadline. Anyway, don’t be too surprised if I push the release back a little.

Thank you all for your encouraging words on Twitter, I hope the game can live up to the expectations!