Monday, 5 January 2015

2015 here we come!

Well, everyone, a new year has dawned, and if movies are anything to be believed then hoverboards are on their way to us as we speak. Failing that, I guess we’ll just have to make due with the tiny computers that we all carry around in our pockets. Hopefully everyone had a bitchin’ (religious or non-religious holiday of your choice), and a totally radical New Year. Personally, I frittered away the majority of my holidays playing Dragon Age: Inquisition.

It was a pretty amazing year for us, we were invited to the very first Playstation Experience ever, in Las Vegas (strange city, great event), we attended Gamescom in Germany, and Pax Prime in America. We also won some awards! Thanks to everyone who came, played the game and chatted with us. It was fantastic getting feedback and ideas from all of you. Another cool thing is that we had a number of articles written about us, at least one of which quoted me specifically (using my full name as well… weird, but anyway).

In other news, we’ve been working on lots more great stuff for the game, including a very cool idea for managing the map, any lore that you’ve found, and changing into other forms. I’ll give you one big hint: this cool idea doesn’t involve a menu at all, so there will be no interruptions to your experience exploring the world. Okay, I’ll give you ONE more hint: it’s going to look freaking awesome too, so prepare your eyeballs accordingly.


As far as my favorite topic is concerned (art and architecture, of course), there’s quite a bit going on. Our Azertash cities are really coming together; in addition to fantastical shapes we now have fantastical textures as well. For example: imagine a massive tower made of mother-of-pearl jutting majestically out of the ocean. Now, wouldn’t that just look resplendent shining in the sun? Honestly, we’re really just planning on going all out with these underwater cities and incorporating as many cool materials and design elements as we can. Some of our artists have been working hard on the underwater environments, including coral reefs, so you can expect to see some of that incorporated into the underwater cities in some manner or another (but how, you ask? WAIT AND SEE).

Speaking of Azertashes, the final design for those rad dudes is coming ever closer to fruition. Every time I see a new incarnation I’m exponentially more impressed, so I’m expecting the final version to blow the top right off my head. Yours, too, if you like beautiful looking fantastical creatures.

So, as you may or may not be aware, release date is coming up fast! I’m having a panic attack just thinking about it! However, release is only the start of the live play period of Wander. We are eagerly looking forward to continuing to add heaps of content and new features. Believe me, we’ve got ideas coming out of our ears, so there’ll be new updates on the regular for you guys to sink your teeth into. How far can this go, you may ask? To this I answer: the possibilities are limitless!


Crystal Flinn

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Wander: Season 1, Episode 1 this Wednesday 19th, 4pm PST

I'm very excited that the first episode of our live streamed drama will be starting this week. Episode 1 will be live this Wednesday 19th of November, 4pm PST (7pm EST, 20th 12am GMT and 11am AEST)

Watch live video from Wander on
In Season 1 we're going to be following Sylvania, a young Oren, as she explores her dream of flying and realises that what she is, isn't all she can be. The series features a talented cast of actors and Qiao Li as the Director Of Photography. Live machinima hasn't been tried much before (or even at all on Twitch that we know about!) so we're pretty excited to be breaking some new ground. 

As well as getting much deeper into the narrative of Wander, we're also going to be showing off a lot of new content and features. 

We're also excited (we are a lot at the moment!) to announce that we will be in Las Vegas next month for PlayStation Experience. Come check out Wander there! 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Weather, new cultures, new Azertash city concepts!

Good evening, cats and kittens (and griffins)! Crystal here comin’ at ya with the latest from the Wander headquarters.

First off, I’d like to give a shout-out to the two newest members of the team: Tejay and Criss. Tejay is from the illustrious capital of our nation, Canberra and is doing modelling and texturing. Criss is based in Boston, USA and is helping with PR.  Also, the addition of Criss means that I am no longer the only North American on the team. *Cries* I’m slightly less special and interesting!!!

Next, our level and character designs are still progressing as awesomely as ever. We’ve got several new types of griffins, and I must say they look amazing. This has been an idea a long time in the making and I’m super excited to see these designs finally coming together.

We’ve also got some new mossy texture for our Oren, and as we all know it’s the little touches like these that really make a world feel alive.

In addition, our azertash design is coming along nicely. This is a character design with a ton of potential to look completely stunning, and we can’t wait until the finished product is ready to reveal to you all!

Speaking of azertashes, we’ve got some magnificent new concept art for some of our planned Azertash cities. These are looking pretty fantastic, and I just can’t wait until you guys can dive right in (pun intended) and start exploring these babies.

Another super cool feature we’re working on is - and stay with me now, folks - the weather. We're working on real-time weather systems for Wander which will have rain, clouds, storms, but most importantly, wind. Wind will be used for soaring flight, including the two major mechanics of soaring flight: thermals and ridge lift. Weather is modeled to have seasons, day/night cycles and cold fronts/storm systems, all of which combine to make flying different from day to day. To fly from point A to point B players will need to learn how to best use current weather conditions. This will add a totally new and challenging element to playing as a griffin, and those who assumed that flying would automatically be the quickest and easiest way of getting around may be in for a shock!

We’ve got some other exciting things in the pipeline; one of these things is so exciting that I can’t actually tell you what it is! All I’ll say is that it involves me, personally, working harder than ever before in a format I’m not familiar with (“I just assumed you could do everything!” - Actual quote from Loki), and some professional actors hanging around the offices. Was that vague enough? I promise you’ll be delightfully entertained once the big secret is revealed!

Finally, one last thing: those of you who have purchased the alpha will soon be getting steam keys for the alpha version; we’re just releasing them in a few waves so not everyone has to deal with the first few bugs, because how irritating are those, right guys? I mean, we’ve all played Bethesda games, amirite? (Just kidding! ILY Bethesda 5EVA!)

Anyway, that’s all from me! Time to get back to doing (SUPER SECRET PROJECT). Until next time!


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

PAX Prime, Gamescom wrap up!

Hi All, Loki here. We're back in Australia after PAX Prime and Gamescom. We had an amazing time. It was the first time people played the PS4 version of Wander and we enjoyed showing off the all the changes we've made this year. Thanks to everyone who played the game, supported us and helped out with getting things to run so smoothly.

We're really happy with the response, thanks to MMOGames for awarding us Best Indie MMO at Gamescom

and to for Honorable Mention for Most Innovative Game. It's fantastic to be discussed amongst games we have so much respect for. If anyone has photos of the booth, we'd love to see them!

We did plenty of interviews at Gamescom and PAX Prime. Thanks to everyone who interviewed us and shared our excitement for Wander. if you'd like to watch any of them on YouTube, here are two to get started with:

 We're very happy that Massively mentioned us in the Best Of PAX Prime 2014, "still on track to be something special. I called it the biggest surprise at PAX Prime 2013, and I'm pleased to see it's still happening and still weird and wonderful." Thanks Bree!

At both events we talked about some of the new stuff coming to Wander in the next few months. We've got some new art (from the amazing Ned Rodgers) to show, here's a new one of our Azertash

The underwater world of Wander is getting more detailed, and we're making progress with the underwater cities built by Azertash and Sea Hira. Here's the first glimpse of what is to come on those, we're still trying different things but hopefully this gives a good idea of what it will look like!

Cave cities deep in the ocean:
Hira / Azertash underwater and above water buildings:

That's it for me for the moment. Thanks again to everyone who helped out. It was great meeting so many amazing people who made Elaine, Sarah and myself feel so welcome. A special thanks goes to the team from Dragon Fin Soup for taking care of us and helping move our gear. Time for us to sleep a little and then get back to work.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wander to be at Gamecom 2014 in the Indie Megabooth

Just a quick update, we're excited that Wander will be at Gamescom as part of the Indie Megabooth and we made a new (updated) trailer for the event. We look forward to seeing anyone going to Gamescom at our booth in Hall 10.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

New Screenshots, New Concept Art and Gamescom!

Hello, everyone! This is Crystal here bringing you your latest Wander update. Those of you who've been on the edge of their seats now have my permission to relax.
First of all, we have here for you some amazing new screenshots, and I'll be honest with you guys, this is some awesome stuff.

Here we have our very first newly updated character, the Oren! Yes, she is a walking tree, and all those branches and leaves look pretty darn impressive in motion, if I do say so myself.

Next we have our second character, my personal favorite (so far): the griffin! Those of you who are familiar with the original design will undoubtedly notice that this one is a massive improvement.

Last but not least we have the griffin in flight. I won't spoil this moment for you with mere words; just take it all in.

Speaking of flying, our programmers have been hard at work hammering out the flight mechanics, and their efforts have paid off with a flight simulation that feels uncannily realistic. We're using the motion control features of the DualShock4 on PS4 and we're really happy with it.

In addition to this, there's just been a general massive improvement to overall performance, and as someone who only goes in to the office on a semi-regular basis I've noticed EVERYTHING about the game improving by leaps and bounds each time I see it. We're also pretty stoked that the Oculus DK2 is being shipped, though ours isn't here yet! Wander is practically tailor-made for VR and this newfangled "low-persistence" thing that all the cool kids are talking about means that people like me (AKA the most motion-sickness prone person alive) will actually be able to enjoy the experience for longer than twenty seconds at a time! Positional tracking is also great for that.

Now, some of you might be aware of a little thing called Gamescom that is happening this August in Cologne, Germany. Now, our very own Loki happens to have spent some time in Germany back in his wild younger days, and it looks like he'll be returning with Elaine and Seraphim to bring Wander to the European audience. So, those of you who plan on attending should make sure to drop by and see us, or contact Loki if you'd like to do an interview.

Finally, I've got a few more pieces of art to show you, and that is some very early concept art of our third character redesign: the Azertash! You may remember the original design, and if you do you'll notice that we're taking the character in a bit of a new direction. Still a lot of work to be done but we're all looking forward to getting another amazing looking character into the game!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Steam Support, Voice Actors and Screen Australia Support

Hey all, this is Crystal here to update you on what’s been happening around the Wander offices (my house *does* count as an office, right? And my cat counts as my assistant?).
First of all, I’m very pleased to report that we’ve been chosen to receive funding from Screen Australia, and I’m sure I speak for the entire team when I tell you how excited we are about this. Money (a loan) is great and useful when you want to make stuff good! Sadly, it appears that this type of funding is soon to be a thing of the past, so we’ll be sure to put it to good use. In other news… We’re on Steam, huzzah! We've got Steam support working, voice chat is getting there and everyone who's supported Wander so far will be getting Steam keys.
Now on to the really interesting stuff! Well, interesting to ME, at least. First of all, fireflies! What do fireflies have to do with anything, you’re no doubt saying to yourselves? Well, I’m glad you asked. You can find these little guys in the world of Wander, and once you’ve befriended them they can be enlisted to light your way at night, point things out to other players, or you can just make them fly around in circles for your own amusement! You can see these little dudes in action by checking out the video below, featuring me (Canadian accent included) and Loki, the god of mischief himself, showing us how to direct fireflies like a boss.

You may also notice, during your travels through the rainforest, that sometimes you walk past a rock with some glowy symbols and it starts talking to you. No, you haven’t been inhaling too much spice, it’s all due to the excellent efforts of our fantabulous voice actors and our splendiferous sound designer/voice-over director/voice actor, Elaine. I honestly don’t think I could ask for a more talented and hard working group of people to bring my words to life. Everyone’s working super hard to fill Wander up with more lore and dialogue than you can shake a stick at, and this includes sitting in a stuffy tent covered in a blanket for hours in order to get the best possible sound quality. Believe me, it’s a VERY professional setup, and I’ve no doubt that you’d all be very impressed.

Speaking of sound, we’ve also got some pretty rad sound effects happening in our menus, It’s a little thing, but it’s one of those nice touches that picky people like me notice and appreciate. You might also notice something new on this site, a link to the wiki Gamepedia / Curse are now hosting the official Wander wiki. As a narrative focused game we're going to have a lot of spoiler warnings but we're excited to have a place where fans can formulate ideas. Of course, it's a wiki so it might just one more exciting way for Wander myths to spread.
Another thing we’ve been busting our humps over lately is the intro cutscene to the game. I remember a time, not so long ago, when we thought that cutscenes were a thing we could only dream about and long for wistfully. However, now that we’ve switched over to the better-in-all-possible-ways-engine, Cryengine, cutscenes are now a very real part of our lives. Particularly in the past couple of weeks, when we’ve spent a lot of time perfecting exactly what it is that happens during those first few minutes of the game. I’m sure Loki is sick to death of hearing me say “I want the tree big! I mean, really big! BIGGER!” But all in all it’s coming along well and starting to look pretty amazing, all thanks to our fantastic level designers, Aaron and Sarah. Loki and I *may* have had a childish argument or two over the amount of camera spinning we want to include in the intro (let’s just say, one of us watched a LOT of Sailor Moon as a teen. And that person is me.); however we’re pretty confident that it’s going to end up looking awesome.

Of particular relevance to me has been the progress of our new character designs. Our art director Garth and his team have been doing a bang-up job translating my concepts and notes into some pretty sweet-looking characters. They’re still in the preliminary stages at this point, but I have to say I’m blown away by their work, and I can’t wait until we can all see the finished products. To be honest, when I saw the first griffin model, I was so excited that *redacted by Loki*.
Anyway, I better sign off before this gets *really* uncomfortable! Until next time!