Friday, 3 January 2014

A fantastic 2013 and big plans for 2014

It has been an amazing year for Wander and the team. We have been nominated for a number of awards and mentioned as one of the most anticipated MMOs of 2014 by our of our favourite sites, Massively. Most importantly, we now have a fantastic community of Wanderers. All of this before we have released Wander! We're really excited with what 2014 holds and we have some big plans!

Our success this year wouldn't have been possible without all the support we have received. We would like to thank AIE, the GDAA, Sony, MAINGEAR, AMD, GenAudio, Scalify, Oculus, Melbourne Fringe Festival, all our players and the Australian games community. Thanks for believing that a beautiful non-combat, MMO game was something worthwhile and that we were the team to achieve it; This year is the year we will!

We're very happy to have announced last year that we would be coming to PS4. It's exciting that it's now this year! Sony have been lovely to deal with and I recommend any dev who's doing an appropriate game to chat to them. So of course our biggest plan for 2014 is to release Wander. The main areas we're working on are the narrative, tutorial, collaborative mechanics, improved graphics, new cultures, expanding dream weaving, new ways of communicating, new music and improved sound design.

Game play: 

Our primary focus is making a great clear introduction for Wander and implementing all the collaborative ideas we've designed. Feedback on the dream weaving has been great and we're going to continue expanding how the lore unlocks elements in the dream weaving. We're designing interfaces to make this clearer for players while staying beautiful and immersive. We always try and focus on keeping UI out of the way, but we also need to communicate well.

Story: 

We've been recording all the lore with our wonderful voice actors last year and we're going to continue with that. It was great to be nominated for Best Narrative and hopefully this year we can win it. As all the cultures become clear in the narrative we're hoping that the depth and interest of the story draws players in. We're big fans of games with a strong narrative!

Graphics: 

We're currently working hard on the look of Wander focusing on clarifying some of our art direction, implementing all the new cultures and making sure Wander the best looking game that it can be. The water, especially underwater is receiving some much needed attention now. We're going over all our at to improve the look and performance of Wander. As we get closer to release we hope that better lighting, improved shaders and better streaming systems can allow Wander to really look great, while not needing quite as much resources as it needs now. Of course, if you have a next gen system, be it PC or PS4 we're hoping to give a next gen experience. Should we start saying current gen? A new year and a new gen, blog writing is getting confusing!
 

Music: 

One of the things we're fantastically excited about for this year is the new music that we've recorded at the Royal College of Music in London, with a collection of amazingly talented artists. We're very happy to say this music has been mixed and mastered by some of the most talented audio engineers in the world, at Astound Studios in LA. We're very grateful to GenAudio for helping with this. The music, and the rest of the soundscape will be presented using GenAudio's fantastic next gen audio tech called AstoundSound.

AstoundSound: 

As well as wanting Wander to be the best looking game it can be, we also want it to be the best sounding game ever. Game audio hasn't seen the rapid advances that graphics has seen over the last year and there is some great algorithms to improve immersion that aren't widely used yet. We're happy to be on the cutting edge of audio with AstoundSound. We want our rainforest to sound like it's all around you, and the 3D audio technology from GenAudio helps us to achieve that. Our sound designer luckily spent her holiday break recording even more lovely rainforest sounds and getting more reference material. We think that our opera singers, in a detailed rainforest will create a soundscape like no other. We're also planning to allow players to weave there own soundscapes in the dream weaving.

We're really excited about 2014, thanks for supporting Wander so far! Get on the forums, vote on Greenlight and chat to us if you've got any ideas.

Awards:
Nominated for Best Narrative and received an honourable mention for Best Art and Best Design - FreePlay 2013.
Nominated for Best Accessible Game - Australian Game Developer Awards.
Nominated for Best Graphics - hóPLAY 2013.
Selected for PAX Aus Indie Pavilion

Events Exhibited at: PAX Prime, PAX Aus, iFest, FreePlay
Featured Event at: Melbourne Fringe Festival

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