Friday, May 11, 2012

Update: Change of plans (and what it means)

I've tried.  I've really tried.  But for this game Cyka, the Unity Engine's just not working out.  Simply said, PolyKhrome just needs a better game engine for this game.  We need a better toolset with more options like better texturing options, tessellation and advanced lighting features and a far more memory-efficient terrain system.  We like the Unity Engine and really would like to use it, but PolyKhrome would rather have a successful game than an abandoned project due to us wasting time trying to find ways past Unity's technical limitations.  So now Cyka is being developed with the Unreal Development Kit, and really, we probably should've gone with this from the beginning.
Ah, the relief!
Now, with this change does come some changes in our plans as well.  The immediate change is that the targeted platform is reduced, because UDK currently only supports development for PC, Mac, and iOS.  So Cyka development will focus on those platforms.  The iOS version will still play cross-platform with the PC and Mac version.  We're losing a couple platforms here, but we're going with what's going to help make this project successful with completion, and that's UDK.

Another change with this switch, though for the better, is that Cyka is going to get a major graphical boost now--something closer to the original vision for Cyka, in fact.  In fact, thanks to UDK's memory-efficient terrain system, we can make the world of Rhye in the game feel bigger and livelier than ever.  In fact, that's largely part of why we're switching.

The biggest reason why we're switching is simple: Unity currently makes it quite difficult to create a game of Cyka's scale for both desktop and mobile platforms.  While we could just make the 100+ explorable regions in Cyka as meshes, the process would take just way too long to do, and we want to get something playable pretty soon.  Trying to work around the technical limitations of Unity's terrain system would cost us too much time and effort, and we've got a goal to meet.

As usual, this effects our plans with our upcoming Kickstarter soon, as well (which has been in planning for about three months now).  It takes time to set up a Kickstarter, because you have to do a lot of planning (and re-planning).  Believe it or not, we'd only see about 50% of any Kickstarter funds going towards the actual game development, due to various costs.  Kickstarter wants 5% and Amazon would take 3-5% for credit card processing fees, and then there's applicable taxes, pledge offering production costs, shipping costs, 5% going towards KickItForward, and now a 20% royalty to give to Epic Games to figure into the costs (they consider such efforts as Kickstarter as applicable for royalties).  But we'll get to that pretty soon.  In fact, we really need to get our Kickstarter started by this month.

Before we can start talking about Kickstarter and go through with raising financial support, we have to show them something with promise, and UDK's definitely going to help us there.  I want people to totally love this game as much as I love it.  We have to sell this game just right.  We want to make sure that perfect is what folks will get.  UDK will help PolyKhrome do this.

- Brian

By the way, this effectively ends our platform poll.  Thanks to those who participated.

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