Mittwoch, 20. Juni 2018

Devlog #15: Facing Episode 2

Hey there, hackers! It's time for another update.
The Steam Summer Sale is near and Code 7 will be part of it, so if you have friends or family waiting for an opportunity to become a world-saving... nay, universe-saving hacker: this is it!
We try to keep you updated on a regular basis but the further we dive into the episode's development the less spoiler-free content we have to share. We still try our best to give you tidbits of news now and then!


Story Progress (Spoiler-free)

The last couple of weeks we have been finalizing and tweaking the story for episode 2. We want it to be exciting, dramatic and suspenseful but also tying into the previous narrative. Even though we know what we want from each episode's story, there are so many fine nuances of how to get there. What are the character's desires? Their fears? How does everything play together? How does Episode 2 develop its own story while still feeding into the main story? 
At this state, we're very happy with the story of Bear and Raven and we hope you will be, too! We have started to think about the key art and Paul has already worked on a composition and color draft of it that we really like and we'd like to share with you!
Three characters standing in a futuristic city alley, a menacing giant overshadowing the skyline
Three characters standing in a futuristic city alley, a menacing giant overshadowing the skyline

A while ago we announced that we combined two episodes in order to have a better story flow. This also led to a little change in the main characters. The agent Bear / Berhanu who was initially planned to be portrayed by Zein is being portrayed by the main character from the episode that got fused with the current one. We also now have a face for Raven. So meet our heroes for episode 2 (portraits not final):



Programming Hacking Game

A new mini game will be introduced in the next episode in which you will be able to program a cute little robot named Muffin in order to cross air shafts and reach rooms you otherwise couldn't. Don't worry! You don't need knowledge in programming in order to control Muffin. With simple lines of code you'll make the little robot move in different directions, push buttons and find the way out.

This mechanic ties together with Bear's stealth mechanic. You need to send Muffin through air shafts to reach rooms in which you can distract enemies. Sometimes you need to "park" Muffin in another room to access it without your partner being there. 
Alex distracts a guard with sounds of a printer
Alex distracts a guard with sounds of a printer

Also the MiM hacking game gets expanded with switches and buttons. The message will sometimes only be triggered manually by the player so they have to time it right. This way the hacking games get a little trickier and tactical.



Event: Open Squares

We'll be on the Open Source Festival on July 14th in Düsseldorf, showcasing the game and the escape room hacking game that we showed at gamescom. A lot of people enjoyed it, so if you missed it: here's another chance to be a real-world hacker!

That's all for now! Don't hesitate to shoot us a question if you want to know anything about the game and don't forget to join our Discord Channel to get more frequent, little updates.
Your Kevin & Zein

Montag, 26. März 2018

Devlog #14: Breathing life into New Berlin

Glowing lights of a lively part of New Berlin

Glowing lights of a lively part of New Berlin

Hello, hackers! How have you been? I hope you're having fun. We're busy working on Episode 2 and wanted to give you some peaks into development. In case you missed it, we're streaming a lot of it live on Twitch! You can watch all the archived videos on Youtube.

We have settled into our new office in Cologne, from which we can even see the Dome! With a bunch of other cool devs we're part of the so called Cologne Game Haus, some sort of shared office space with game developers in the heart of Cologne. 

Not fully done yet, but this is our new cozy wolf's lair
Not fully done yet, but this is our new cozy wolf's lair

We plan to invite other developers over into our stream and talk with them about their games and indiedev life. Our first guest was Utz Stauder from Ludopium, you can watch the full stream here

Zein, Utz, Kevin: The highly serious people of the Game Haus Talk
Zein, Utz, Kevin: The highly serious people of the Game Haus Talk


Development

We've been working on the finer details of Episode 2's story and we're making good progress. You'll follow the adventures of the agents Bear, Raven (some of you might know one or two things about them from the gamescom booth!) and Geron. 

We're working on a lot of gameplay mechanics, that evolve the ones from episode 2. They should feel new but also familiar at the same time. We've been prototyping a so called Binary Logic puzzle and tested around with it. In the end we decided to scrap it again, because it was too limited in terms of complexity and too easily solved by just trying (you can watch the progress in the twitch archive). Prototyping and scrapping mechanics is part of game development and very normal. It's good to know early if something just doesn't work the way you want it and stop working on it. Instead we will tweak gameplay with other means.

The nodes and circuits of the Binary Logic puzzle
The nodes and circuits of the Binary Logic puzzle
(minor gameplay spoilers ahead)

There will be different missions that you can do with each character and every character will have their own little addition to the gameplay. Following Bear will mean stealth levels in which you can distract guards with sounds (prototyped with flushing a toilet!), Raven is the mistress of disguise and if you give her enough information about a person she can turn into them. Geron will be able to use simulations to interrogate people, very similar to the Life is Strange dialogues in which you can rewind time after learning something.
(minor spoilers end)

Research Art: Cyberpunk City by artursadlos
Research Art: Cyberpunk City by artursadlos

The Vibe of Episode 2

With this episode we want Code 7 to feel a lot more cyberpunk-y. With New Berlin you'll be visiting a crowded location for the first time with lots of interesting and weird places, like anon-clubs in which you enter with a holographic costume to keep your identity hidden.
We've researched a lot of art and music and even though Code 7 will not show most of it, we can still recreate the vibe and atmosphere of a cyberpunk hotspot through maps, animations and sound. Expect obnoxious advertisements to ring through your headphones... do you want to buy the new HexLab ImproVein Implant to run 25% faster? Probably not. It's experimental...

Antibiotics Challenge

If you have missed it on Twitter: We're doing a special challenge! The first 10 to complete the Antibiotic achievement in Code 7 - Episode 1 will be able to name a computer in Episode 2 after them and maybe also have some references in emails. Seven brave hackers have already completed the challenge, three more chances are there! Send us a screenshot of the achievement with the unlock date, like this:

Don't forget to join us on Discord to stay in touch
and please follow us on Twitch to follow live-development!


Cheers,
Kevin & Zein

Mittwoch, 13. Dezember 2017

Winter Update & Charity Sale



Hi everyone,
we hope you're all doing well and are prepared for Christmas and the end of the year! We've been busy improving Episode 1 and adding features and are launching the big winter update, before logging off for the holidays.

 German Version

We're happy to announce that with today's update the German translation is available. You can change the language in the main menu. Note, that the audio is still English, but all texts are now available in German.

Accessible Version


The accessible mode for blind and visually impaired players is now available and can be activated with CTRL + V. We hope you enjoy the game! We love to make games more accessible for everyone and are learning with every step. We're happy and thankful to have your support and feedback, it helped a lot!

On Steam, the update will download automatically. You'll have to re-download the DRM-free version. The update also contains minor tweaks and bug fixes. The Antibiotic achievement is now finally achievable!

  

Charity Sale

To celebrate the accessible version, between Dec 13th and Dec 26th, we are donating 10% of Code 7's revenue to blista. blista is a competence center for blind and visually-impaired people and at the same time an open and lively education and meeting site for all ages.
Help us share this event and create awareness for accessibility in gaming. Spread the hashtag #gamingwithoutbarriers!
Thank you all for your support and patience. Have a wonderful Christmas and a great start into the year!
Yours,
Kevin and Zein



Dienstag, 2. Mai 2017

Devlog #13: It's not all fun, but there are games

Hello, everyone!

It's been a while since our last update. Apologies! We have dived down the mysterious and dark "tunnel" of development. We coded, wrote, discussed, decided, fixed, tested and so on and so on... and now you're probably wondering "what are those guys up to?!"

We've made good progress with Episode 1 and we're really happy with the depth it reached but we also realized that we will not be able to do the ship in May. We're truly sorry about that. We really try hard (as in working day and night, which we did for several weeks...) to keep our promises but unfortunately this one we can't keep. This has two reasons:

1.) We underestimated the content of Episode 1. This is one of the "better" problems to have, because it means that the game is longer and richer than anticipated but it also means we need more time to make it right, fix the bugs, polish. There would be some publishers who'd force us to still release in May, but we don't want to launch an unfinished game.

2.) Bureaucracy. Don't we all love it? We're still waiting for our European tax number which we applied for several weeks ago, which we need to apply for a U.S. tax number, which then again takes weeks for approval, which we need to set up our stores and, and, and, and...AND!!!
You know that office scene in Asterix and Obelix? That's us now (we let you debate who is Asterix and who Obelix... don't be mean!)

Actual footage of Goodwolf Studio applying for a tax number


So without further ado, here's our announcement:

The Release of Episode 1 is planned to be end of July.


Yep. It's going to be three more months. We're sorry about that but this is going to be the best for the game, the soundtrack, the voices, the Kickstarter Rewards and so on (we're still only two guys doing all this... can we make cloning happen? No? Ok...)

Award!!


So now that we got that out we can talk about some good news! Hey, look, we won an award! Code 7 - Episode 0: Allocation was awarded Best Youth Game at the "Deutscher Computerspielpreis 2017". This is a huge deal for us and we're super happy. We're receiving 75.000€ for a "future project." Whether this includes the following episodes of Code 7 or not, has yet to be found out. We will keep you posted. But one way or the other, we will probably not get the financial support before next year, so there will be no impact on current development.

If you're interested, you can watch us on stage here, and below a short interview by our national TV channel ARD. It's in German, but we've added English subtitles. Congratulations to all the other winners!






Our redesigned website is up and running, including a new press kit. You can check it out here: http://code7-game.com
Along with the redesign, we also added new screenshots from Episode 1, which we want to share with you here as well:








We know, delays suck and we'd love to release the game as much as you do (and also to start earning money so we can kinda live normally and stuff...), but we're taking the time we need for this. We want it to be the best game it can be and we're working hard to achieve this. Because you deserve nothing less.

Yours,
Zein & Kevin

Mittwoch, 15. Februar 2017

Devlog #12: Less is More... Literally!

Hello, everyone!

How is the development of Code 7 going, you ask? Well, it's going great! We have finished our first alpha test and learned a lot from it. Features and plot are getting even juicier and the best part is: people had fun playing it! We gathered a lot of feedback and would like to show you our decisions and some of the features.

Less is More... no, really!


We have fleshed out the overall plot and also the story arcs of the episodes; together with the fact that Episode 1 is around 3 hours long (in contrast to our 1.5 hours estimate), we have decided to reshape our episode plan. In order to avoid filler plot (hi there, One Piece!) and also add more gameplay, we decided to tell the story in four episodes instead of five. But don't fear, fellow hackers! At the end of the day the game will still be longer than originally planned. Feast your eyes upon this comparison:



Even though we will have one less episode, the fact that we can crank up the gameplay to 3 hours per chapter will result in almost 5 hours of additional content. This will give us the opportunity to tell the story in a more thrilling way and additionally reduces the time until the full game is released (meaning all episodes). With the current development plan, Episode 1 will hopefully launch early to mid May.

New Features


You want to know what will be new in the Episode 1? No problem, we'll tell you right away:

Utilities: You can find utility software on computers and download them to your systems. You can also install them on different computers and use them to help you solve puzzles.

Network Jammer (Utility): Install Network Jammers on computers to help you during Man-in-the-Middle Attacks (Hacking Game). Deploy them to stun a security node for a short time. Knowing the map and where computers are is even more important, now!

Brute Force: Your new Intelligence App will gather contextual data about various persons of interest and store it. You can always look up what you have found out about a person, like their date of birth or names of family members. Use this data to generate possible passwords through a Brute Force Attack.

Network Movement: You can access the Network and freely move between connected computers or other hardware. Forgot to get a software on a computer you have passed earlier? Move back over the network and get it from there, or reach systems that are locked behind doors.

Advanced Feedback: We worked on giving the player more feedback about what options are immediately available. The portrait will now show the number of available places, inspectable objects, and dialogue lines.

We have compiled a little sneak peek video of the current version, so you can get a glimpse on how things are evolving. Enjoy here, or watch it on Youtube.





What are your thoughts about the episode changes? And what are you looking forward to most? Tell us your thoughts and as always, thank you for your support!





Samstag, 31. Dezember 2016

Devlog #11: End of the Year

Hello, everyone!
It's been a while since our last update. It has happened so much this year and we needed time to process everything, plan the next steps and set the development of Episode 1 in motion.

I hope you all had wonderful holidays. We'd like to share the Adventure Gamer's Christmas Greetings video, which we have been part of. Find us at 03:56, right after Double Fine!




Current Development


We are working on Episode 1: Threading right now and plan to have a roughly playable version in January. There will be new mechanics, like the Brute Force Hack. You'll have to find key words from a person's identity (e.g. through dialogues, e-mails, etc.) and feed it to the hacking program in order to generate the password. But also the Man-In-The-Middle method will be more complex, adding files that you can find during your explorations, which you then can use in the hacking game.

One Part of the Three-Dome Station of Episode 1. What secrets will you find?

The commands NETWORK and HARDWARE that have been teased in Episode 0 will now have functions. You will be able to move through the network and access computers and their hardware, like for example a microphone or a printer.




The story continues, as you find yourself stranded on Mars trying to install an anti-virus before Code 7 reaches Earth. Team up with Zoya to reach your goal and struggle to solve a conflict that takes over the station and catches everyone by surprise. There will be choices that you'll have to make!

Twine Dialogue of the beginning

Kickstarter Rewards

We have also send out the first rewards to our backers, namely the soundtrack / song of Episode 0 and the developer channel access, which nobody has claimed so far, so please do so! You find the access link in our Kickstarter message to you :)

The rest of the rewards will follow in April, because we have to produce them first. We're working hard to make everything on time!!

Player Feedback


Your opinion matters!


In case you have missed it: We're doing a survey to find out who our players are and what you all like about Episode 0, so we can make the next one even better. If you have played Episode 0 and didn't fill out the feedback form yet, please do so. You'd help us a lot and it takes only a couple of minutes.

Find the survey here!


Upcoming events


Next year will start very promising. We'll be showing Code 7 at the Casual Connect Europe in Berlin, which will take place February 7-9 2017. Hope to see you there!
Additionally, if all goes well, we'll be able to show parts of Episode 1 at the Pax East in March.




Thank you for reading! What parts of Episode 1 are you looking forward to most? Will you be at one of the events? Feel free to answer in the comment section!

Your
Zein & Kevin





Sonntag, 25. September 2016

Devlog #10: Code 7 is on Kickstarter and Episode 0 is released!



Dear friends,

We've finally launched the Kickstarter Campaign for Code 7 and are already 18% funded! If you haven't, please check it out and support us. Every pledge and share helps us getting closer to the goal of creating the next 5 episodes.

We have also released Episode 0: Allocation for free. So you can just download and play it right now and let us know what you think. You can find it here.