Absent Life Announcement

In parallel to the 3D horror game "Duty Bound" that I had been working on, I started a new project. This new game, called "Absent Life" has now become my current focus. It's a 2D horror-themed card game, where rogue-like card combat aspects are inspired by the well-known game Slay The Spire. For now, the development for Duty Bound is on hold.

Absent Life's lore will be parallel to the one that I have been constructing for a while, which I used in one of my previous games, Heroes After The Fall. It will be set in a post-apocalyptic universe. I will be explaining more of the story later on -when I add the game page to the website- but I can say that a lot of the setting and enemies etc. will be very similar to Heroes After The Fall. Of course, that game will look very basic compared to what Absent Life will be.

The game will consist of attempting runs to make progress, fail and start again, until it is completed. The runs will start with selecting a hero, constructing the hero's starting deck and jumping into the exploration phase of the game. In the exploration phase, the player will control the hero in the dark corridors and streets of different areas. There will be various events that they will come across, which will help them construct their decks, recruit companions and improve their equipment. There will also be enemies, who will start the encounter phase of the game. In the encounter phase, the player will use hero and companion decks in a turn based manner to defeat the enemies.

Exploration phase of Absent Life

Screenshot showing the current exploration phase of the game. 

While the development process was very bumpy, I can say that it's been approximately one month's work done on the game. Last week I started working in a more organized way. I created a short term plan of the tasks that need to be completed. This week, I started making daily devlogs through monday to thursday, going over the current tasks and recording a timelapse of the progress. Even if nobody watches the videos, recording the screen motivates me to stay away from distractions and focus on the work.

Unfortunately, I could not leave my habits and heavily focused on the mechanics/UI implementations of the game. As a result, there is only one hero, two cards, one half-assed enemy, one area... in short, minimal content developed for it. This means I could not really show any content of the game, since it was almost nonexistent. I think as a game developer, I sometimes don't know how to have fun with my own games. Nevertheless, after this point in time, I will be starting the content implementations such as cards, characters, enemies, areas; and posting tweets showing these things.

Decision Event Example

An example decision event. The player is presented with different choices with possibly good or bad outcomes.

I set the date for the Alpha v0.1 release as November 15. This release will include the unpolished game with little content -basically demonstrating the game loop- and it will not be open to public. I will be doing closed testing among friends and family, but the main Alpha test release will be v0.2, including the polish and main content of the game. This will not be complete until at least January, since I will be doing my military service in December. My ultimate goal is to release the game in Q1 2020.

For now, my weekly schedule will be doing the daily devlogs in Monday to Thursday and posting blog / sending progress e-mail to the mail list in the weekend. In the blogs like this, I will be posting the weekly development stuff, showing the current state of the game. If you are interested, feel free to join our Discord, join the mailing list and follow me on Twitter. Take care and see you next week!