Progress report: June 2021

13/07/2021 07:08
Trailer published, Steam page live, demo almost ready, Kickstarter page is in its second draft! There's just so much to write about, I don't even know where to begin...

I skipped the report about May because I thought there just wasn't enough going on. I was ploughing my way through the remaining animations, but I couldn't showcase anything. And it rained. A lot. That's about all I can remember about May.

In June, however, our trailer was published on YouTube! Have you seen it?

Obviously, right after the trailer was published, I sent it to literally everyone I know and shared it on every possible channel. Mostly Facebook groups and Twitter. Most of the Hungarian audience was delighted. Many people spotted the easter eggs we hid in the video and laughed at my silly jokes. It is such an amazing feeling when you know someone appreciates your work!

We gained a couple of new followers and got loads of encouragement from the Hungarian dev community <3 But ultimately, we want to sell the game to players, not the devs. I was somewhat worried that maybe we are not getting through to the right people. We tested the waters with a short ad campaign on Facebook too, but I can't say if it did any good.

Full Steam ahead!

We always wanted to set up a "coming soon" page on Steam, but I have been putting it off for some time now. After coming across this post about how important it is to have a Steam page as early as possible, we decided that it was time we finished setting it up. So here it is! Is Behind the Beyond on your wishlist yet?

Leading up to our Kickstarter launch I was planning to bombard all groups, news portals, reviewers and streamers with messages about the game (I still kinda plan to do so...) but I wanted to wait until the demo is ready so they can actually try it. Well, slight detour... :D

I think the day after our Steam page was published, I started getting messages from some friends saying 'congratulations on the article'.

...what article?!

So it turned out, that the news about the game has found its way into parts of the Hungarian mainstream media! Whaaaaaat... :O

In just a few days, our wishlist counter on Steam jumped from 60 to 400 and the views counter on YouTube from 300 to 4000.

I was stunned and obviously over the Moon with this development!
It seems like the post I mentioned above was absolutely right.

Big shoes to fill

I was super happy about the news and all the positive comments. But at some point it suddenly dawned on me; the enormous responsibility that I took upon myself with this project. There is a financial aspect, for sure: the game has to be successful. At least successful enough so that it is feasible for me to continue making games, after this one is done. But there is something more. This game is not only representing me, but an entire country. A rich and beautiful cultural heritage that I would like to share with you in an entertaining format. When I thought of all the people reading about the game in these articles, I felt like an entire nation is watching me. I have to get this right.

When it comes to visuals, one of our biggest influences is the work of graphic artist, film director and animator Marcell Jankovics. Sadly he passed away just a few months ago. Our game has already been compared to (and I guess will always be compared to) his work, especially to the animated series called Hungarian Folk Tales (no surprise). It can be a good thing, in the sense that people (and not just Hungarians) know his name and so they might have some idea of what to expect from our game; but it can be a bad thing, if we can't deliver what people expect. We have to find our own voice, building on his legacy, rather than just blindly imitating his style. Being a sort of de-facto art director on the project, I feel that ensuring this falls under my duties too, and it can be a heavy weight to carry sometimes.

Before I sign off, I will leave you with the trailer for one the great works of Marcell Jankovics. So, here it is, the vividly psychadelic, colourful, stunning and sometimes even kinky: Son of the White Mare. Enjoy.