Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Insider news

Hello friends of Pier Solar.

This is Tulio speaking with some cool news. Finally, 1 year after a big punch when we lost much of our pixel art, we finished the development of all critical pixel art and move on to final graphical touches. Also, after 1 month confined with Fonzie in a "bootcamp" experience I'm very happy to say that the main game programming (so called game scripting) has been completed. With those two steps, the game now moves on to the phase of internal testing, or as I'll call it, final beta stage.

That's a very important mark as it means that the game scope is closed to additions and improvements (oh my God, there were so many). We implemented all the new features that will bring Pier Solar to excellence both as Software and as a game.

First fast run on the game took us more than 10 hours to complete. Mind you, a fast run means game without enemies, without ambient NPCs, without extra chests, just what you need to travel between all cities and all dungeons to complete the game without stopping to learn the story, explore for treasures, etc. We're positive that the game will render at least 30 hours of game play considering the rich environment that has been created on every town and the complexity of the dungeons as the game advances.

Next phases on Pier Solar development will go as follow:

- Play test
- Final Pixel Art insertion
- Bug fixing
- Monster/items/magic calibration
- Bug fixing
- Translated texts input
- Bug fixing
- Battle frequency and difficulty calibration
- Bug fixing
- Items price calibration
- Bug Fixing
- More beta tests
- Bug fixing
- Proof reading of all languages
- Bug fixing
- Bug fixing
- Bug fixing
- Bug fixing
- Bug fixing
- Bug fixing
- Bug fixing
- Bug fixing
- Bug fixing
- Bug fixing
- And maybe more bug fixing.
- Release to manufacture
- Shipping

This doesn't mean that the game is full of bugs, on the contrary, it's playing clean from beginning to end. However, players often do the most unexpected actions and that's what we must cover for. We just want to be sure that we'll test the game as much as it takes to get it on commercial grade bug free status. It's really annoying having to wait a little longer for the game to be completed because there is so many tests and re-tests going on, but hey, it's even more annoying to think of the possibility of the player doing something he's not supposed to then save the game and get it locked forever.

We don't want to allow such thing to happen with Pier Solar so we're insisting on this once more: There will be no rush on the release, it must be perfect. This is not like PS3 games that you can release with minor bugs then update it later... once it's written to the ROM chip it's written forever, so we must be sure that it will be perfect. I know it's boring to wait but trust me: You'll thank me later.

Best regards!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Help Wanted

Lots of goings on in the Pier Solar world today. Our venerable coding team have been officially locked in a single room and won't be let out until the game's done.

I know I've said that before in jest, but now I jest not. I am presently jest-less.

The Fonz and Tully have officially gone underground and are working day and night (in the same room no less!) to complete the game. I've been privy to their progress and the game is looking rock solid.


As you know, we're offering the game in multiple languages and our translators have been tireless in their attempts to encompass the whole of the linguistic spectrum (or at least five languages) but our Japanese translation is in need of a helping hand. Our current Japanese translator is feeling the language's might and is in need of a knight in shining armor. Or at least someone to hold aggro.

So! If you're up for the challenge and are fluent in Japanese drop us a line on the boards or through the contact form in the About section of the site. All translation work is volunteer but you will be compensated with a free copy of the game, a credit and a reference if you happen to have chosen this as your likely career path.

You'll mainly be doing proofreading - a simple but never the less time consuming and important task.

Oh and before anyone asks: No. The Japanese language option is not going to be cut.

Also: It looks likes like the final chunk of enemy assets are about to be polished and we can finally finishing implementing and tuning the battle system. Then we can start breaking it. Ah, game design is so much fun.

Take care all!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thanks for your Support!

A quick post today but we thought we'd drop official word that the European version of Pier Solar has SOLD OUT. That's fantastic news for us, and it's all thanks to your unending support for this project.

For those of you who are disappointed that the European version is no longer available remember you can still pre-order the US and JPN versions. They're region free so they should still work on your console but some language options will be different. (Sadly we can't fit all languages on to one cart).

So again, thank you! We're continuing to work hard to deliver the game to you all as soon as possible and we look forward to your feedback once the game is placed (gently!) into your Genesis. Unless of course you don't like it. Then you can keep your fool mouth shut.


- WM

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Something out of the Ordinary

A little unorthodox, but I figured this would strike a chord with you all.

Check out the rest of the GFGames vids, they're delightful.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Warm Wind Blows

Welcome, friends, to the heat-stroke inducing days of summer. Gather round and I'll tell ye a story.

A legend, passed down in vessels of poesy and prose, tells of a group of hardy men and women whose daily struggles were said to produce a video game of such profound quality that old school gamers wept openly upon its arrival. Grizzled and jaded veterans of the Last Great Console War emerged from their dank hovels, shook off their nightmares, and once again plunged into the great black sea of the Sega Genesis.

At first, all was quiet. But soon bubbles could be seen rising from the darkness and the old school gamers burst forth breaking the surface of the long dormant seas. They marched ever forward, bundles cradled in their arms, eyes fixed on the horizon. Their weary feet carried them... onwards to one final quest.

Some say the bundles were weapons. Others say jewels. But the wisest among the witnesses knew the truth. They carried light itself.

That's kind of how we picture the launch of Pier Solar. It may seem like hyperbole but you know what they say, "If you want to hit the target, aim a little higher."

With aim like this - that target is getting pwnd.

We thought it was about time we let you know that progress on the game continues. As you can see, the weekly updates will be scrapped for a more sporadic update schedule. There's really only two options for us if we insist on weekly updates. We can ruin 90% of the game by showing it to you before the release date, or we can bore you with weekly updates consisting of, "Yup, still working on it."

I don't think either of those is an entertaining option.

In case you're wondering, "WHAT'S TAKING SO LONG?!" we have this to say. First, stop yelling, it's rude. And secondly, what's left of the game is simply down to pure construction and it's a matter of man hours. And, sadly, when you're doing the work normally reserved for a 100 person full-time team, with six people who are working whenever they get a free hour things progress slowly.

Though they do progress.

I got a chance to look at a new build of the game recently (complete with some of the more complex bug fixes). It's looking fantastic. We're still in the production phase of things but it's good to catch some of the bigger issues early. That way we don't have to intentionally ship bugs and kill whoever finds them before word gets out.

Though the latter sounds like an awful lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

Apologies for the lack of updates, our efforts to get Pier Solar out the door are making anything else WM related take a back seat. We're still working hard and a lot of things are beginning to wrap up. Our NPC dialogues are now officially done - and that's about doubled the size of our script. A quick once over for editing purposes and then off to the translators.

In the meantime, and while we're all toiling away under hot, hot sun, make sure to enjoy the first weekend of July. Happy Canada Day to all our exceedingly polite fans and Happy Independence Day to all you guys just south of them.

Oh and happy National Sovereignty Day to Iraq!

We just tried four times to come up with something witty to say that wasn't politically incorrect.

We got nothing.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Here's the plan!

When you have your nose to the grindstone for so long, sometimes you lose sight of just how much progress you've been making. A recent conversation with THE FONZ has shone a light on just how far we've come. We made a checklist of everything that was yet to be completed and that list just seems to keep getting shorter everyday.

We won't announce a release date, but we can give you a run down of what's going to happen after the game is complete.

After the last line of code is written, we'll begin our QA testing. The process should be pretty laborious but luckily the game isn't as complex as, say, a 3D action game, so organizing the process and narrowing down every little bug should be a fairly simple task. We're committed to providing at least a full month of QA testing but, depending on how broken our Beta Candidate is we may devote more time to it.

Rest assured we haven't put this much effort into building a game that will crash on boot.

Once the QA testing is done and we're confident that the game is clean we'll begin the manufacturing process. Since we're a small venture this process will take a little bit of time. We'll be shipping each game in order - so if you've ordered later expect the game to take some time to get to your door. We'll let everyone know how the manufacturing process is going as it happens so hopefully you all won't be left wondering where your game is.

On the Dev side we're kicking it up a notch to get things out the door as quickly as possible. You've all been waiting for a very long time but we're almost at the end of the road.

Thank god. Because I want to play this thing as much as you all do.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Words.... so many words...

We've mentioned on the forums that our script is unusually large for a Genesis RPG and a lot of that has very little to do with the core script. We've taken care to populate each city and town with lots of NPCs and unlike most 16-bit RPGs what they have to say is actually (GASP!) interesting.

We've treated each of the little guys as mini-stories. Stories that are unrelated to the core plot, but will nevertheless evolve with the main game. Most of them have multiple lines of dialogue in each "chapter" and then as events progress those lines change.

Usually there are a, b, and c sets of lines. So on average, we'd guess that each NPC has around 7 - 10 lines throughout the plot. We haven't looked at the NPC script as a collected whole, but I imagine it's almost as big as the core script.

You better actually talk to them or all that work will be for naught!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My brain is no work good.




Hi everybody! I forgot about this for the second week in a row. That's embarrassing. But here we are! Humbled and ready to provide you with more weekly snippets of the development process.

There are a couple of reasons we've missed these though. First, we're all still working hard on the game but more importantly there have been some exciting developments in the world of Pier Solar and Watermelon. We can't discuss details but rest assured that they are exciting enough to be keeping us up at night.

Here's a hint: We may all be knighted because of it.

Is that a real hint?

Here's a hint: No.

We've also been pretty distracted by E3. Or at least I have. I don't normally discuss non-WM related stuff here but Fumito Ueda's latest is worthy of these hallowed halls. If you don't go out and buy The Last Guardian the moment it comes out I'm going to take you all outside individually and slap you in the teeth.

Slapped. In. The. Teeth.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Project Status: FTW

One of the most complex tasks in creating a game is simply organizing and keeping track of all the little (and occasionally gargantuan) pieces that at some point in time are all supposed to come together. In last week or so we've made this task considerably easier by employing some great project tracking software. After we completed the task and crunched all the numbers we're quite happy to report that the game is inching ever so closer to that wonderful 100% complete number. We're not there yet, but the digits we did see were certainly comforting.

Never underestimate the power of forms and numbers and spreadsheets. They may look complicated but they are oh-so-comforting. Like a fuzzy blanket, a warm fireplace and a goblet overflowing with the blood of our enemies.

The basics are all moving forward as usual. Scripting is going ahead and we're beginning to officially lock down content. We've put a halt on any new content and are now satisfied with simply building the rest of the game. Basically, everything we want to go in has been designed and is being implemented as we speak.

So no pulling a Peter Molyneux and delaying the game for three more years because we want to make trees grow in real time.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To Work! Again!

Phew! Well that was a fun little treat, no? Our little preview video garnered some very positive response and we're glad you all are still as excited about the game as we are.

Getting it out the door, though, was like fighting three dragons with our hands tied behind our backs. Weaponless. Underwater. And having to listen to a Paris Hilton interview.

Horrifying, as you can imagine.

We do have plans for another video but it will be further down the line. Since our resources are stretched to their max any time spent doing a video ultimately means time spent NOT doing the game (quiet you grammar Nazis). Just know that another audio visual treat is on the way.

On the translation side things are looking sharp. We've sicked [sic?] our translators on the latest batch of NPC dialogues and as always they're plowing ahead at a speed previously unknown to man.

The speed of AWESOME.

But, we are out of time! And I must venture forth and join the fray once again. Later all.

Pray for us!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Time to show some progress

Hello friends of Pier Solar.

As we advance through the year, I've been inquired about the game development state on a frequent basis.

As I usually answer, "We're doing a lot of improvements, and working hard to assure the best quality on the game". I'm sure you like to hear this and to view the game shots we've been bringing on the weekly news, but wouldn't it be better to see it in motion?

Well then let's do it! I hope you enjoy! Just beware of spoilers!

Thanks and seeya soon!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We Hear Voices

Pier Solar's presence on YouTube has been growing recently, and rather than bore you all with our numerous witticisms about dialogue implementation and if/else statements we thought we'd spotlight some of the kind folks who've posted about our game.

Without further ado...

And in case you're interested in a video play through of our demo, check this out:

Until next week!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


We know many of you are wondering where all the juicy updates are. Screenshots, videos, concept art, news of a film adaptation courtesy of Uwe Boll - you want something! Anything!

As development has gone on we've been ultra secretive, not wanting to ruin any surprises for you. That said, we're now close and complete enough to start showing some pretty cool stuff and frankly we're just too plum darn-iddily excited to keep that from you.

Well actually, we're keeping it from you for another week or so.

We'll be putting together a shiny new gameplay video over the next few days so you can see the evolution... no revolution of the game and where we stand.

Look forward to it!

In the meantime our wonderful translators are pumping out their work at a rate of... something extremely rapid. Our German translation is officially finished. On top of that our soundtrack is complete and soon you shall hear each finely woven note drift lightly upon your ears.

Except for that one death metal track with beatboxing thrown in. Don't blame us, we were all really drunk.

Also, if you happen to pick up Game Developer Magazine keep an eye out for this month's issue as our lovely little RPG is featured on page five. Page five motherf*****!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cutscenes a-plenty!

Our resident music maestro Mr. Zable Fahr has been handed the task of cutscene construction - building the lovely little still hand-drawn images that will accompany our more dramatic moments.

You've seen a few in the demo, but the new ones look fantastic. Of course, in our rush to give you all the cinematic bad-assery the Genesis is capable of we gave our man roughly one billion cutscenes to put together. He hasn't seen his family for months and we've been feeding him nothing but imitation gruel for about as long.

The upside is you all will have plenty of eye candy to look forward to.

The downside is he might be dead in a few weeks.

Free game to anyone who's willing to move the body!

Edit - Thanks to my incredible writing skills there has been some confusion as to what I mean by "construction". Our boy Zable is putting the final touches (coloring, etc) on the scenes whilst we owe our thanks to the much talented Armen for the gorgeous looking art that that shall permeate the awesomeness that is Pier Solar. You heard me, permeate the awesomeness. Our game is too good for grammar.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We remain holed up in our underground prison - left to toil away while friends, family members, and lo, even sunlight becomes a long distant memory. We had long since resigned ourselves to our fate, our only consolation being the enjoyment that will fill your hearts upon the game's arrival.

But - ! Could there be a way to speak to the outside world? A way our daily comings and goings could be broadcast to Earth civilization? Or at least shouted into the empty unfeeling vacuum that is the internet?

There is! All hail Watermelon's Twitter page!

Can't get enough of our updates? Want more?! Do you have a bizarre fear of Tuesday, thus rendering you incapable of checking the website when it updates? Do you actually venture outdoors occasionally and are (GASP!) sometimes not near a computer?!

Our Twitter page has the answer! Head on over to http://www.twitter.com/watermelongames and become a follower.

Yes. It is vaguely cultish.

What will you get?

-A daily (and possibly more!) update on the team's comings and goings.
-Early announcements
-Exclusive information
-And other goodies and fun stuff we haven't come up with yet.

Join us. Until next time Watermelon fans.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Around the World in Forty Builds

One of the cool things about working on Pier Solar is the increasingly global nature of the project. It was obvious at the beginning, with team members hailing from the US, Sweden, France and even the cold desolate landscape of Canada - where the polar bears roam free and some consider the CBC worth watching. As more members jumped on and the game finally began to take shape we began to realize how much our networked existence is beginning to change things.

None of us have ever met, and most of us have only heard each others' voices on rare occasions. Yet here we are, with an almost complete video game produced at cost, with no development house, no round table meetings, not even a hand shake between members.

Pier Solar, along with other indie titles, might be among the first wave of nation-neutral entertainment. Final Fantasy belongs to Japan. Fable belongs to Ireland. Mass Effect to Canada.

Us? We're international baby. Pier Solar could actually be a catalyst for world peace.

Maybe not.

Speaking of being international, I don't think the heartless slave drivers at Watermelon have formally thanked our small army of volunteer translators. Also hailing from everywhere, these guys have been working incredibly hard to bring you the game in as many languages as possible.

And truthfully? They're doing an INCREDIBLE job. They all have great turn around rates and always deal with the myriad of changes we dump on them with incredible professionalism.

That is of course, assuming that they're translating everything accurately. If any Japanese players notice that the game's plot seems to be about the joyful mass extermination of a major ethnicity drop us a line. It may be a localization bug.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Web Master talks Pier Solar

Hi there folks,
It's not often as the web and PR bloke that I get to speak about Pier Solar to its fans. Unlike the rest of the team, I'm not directly involved in development but I do have the perk of seeing inside game progress!

As an insider, I thought I'd give a bit of a fan based prospective of my experiences playing a recent build of the game.

The games initial opening sequences are something you rarely see in Sega Mega Drive / Genesis games in terms of movement. The logos, introduction and title screen sequences have fluid animation and effects that I personally only associate with very late SNES and post 16-bit games.

The game menu has many options and customisations to choose from and by the looks of it a lot of un-lockable items, I'm presently unaware of what these are or how they will be unlocked but it looks like playing hard will reward you with a lot of extra content!

The game itself has come on in leaps and bounds since the initial demo. The demo pales in comparison to what I'm playing on now. Just from walking around in the game, you can really see how the team took every bad word spoken of graphics and really turned it around! Some of the maps are huge! And have puzzles, chests and keys scattered all over the place this game isn't going to be a breeze to complete like the demo!

Battles have some massive sprites for a Mega Drive / Genesis, great monsters with very nice frame rates, magic, weather, some very interesting other graphical feats that I can't really speak about. Pushing hardware was definitely on Fonzie's cards when he was programming!

I'm going to leave my comments there and say I'm glad I pre-ordered before I became a member of the team! I'm extremely confident that this game will certainly make a big mark for itself in the retro community.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The NPC Uprising is at Hand!

Our mission continues this week and the final maps are being prepared with diligence and speed never before seen among mere mortals. We've still got a few to go, but thankfully the quality isn't being sacrificed to the great Crunch Gods and everything from user path to chest placement is being crafted with the utmost care.

We're also putting together some more subquests. The first round has been designed and is ready for scripting and design of the second round has begun. We've got your standard item fetch quests that are the bread and butter of role playing games, but others are much more involved - often revealing elements of the story you'll miss out on if you let the game lead you by the hand. Our advice? Have a little look around before you jump to the next section of the game - you'll be pleasantly surprised.

When you think of the story in an RPG (or any game really) you'd think the bulk of the writing difficulties come from crafting the actual... you know... story. Not so! It's the pesky NPC dialogue that populates towns and villages that is the real irritant of narrative design. Why? Usually you have one option when writing NPC scripts - and that's to make them completely utilitarian. Using them to give clues to hopelessly lost players, reducing your digital denizens to mere information conduits - their lives losing all meaning the moment their hints are internalized by the player, leaving them to wallow in seas of despair when the game's code no longer calls to them. We actually lost our entire first batch of NPCs to mass suicide. They formed a little pixelated Heaven's Gate cult and did themselves in during one of our play tests.

Keep that in mind the next time you heartless fiends pass by Old Woman #6 in the latest next gen RPG. She's been waiting for you her whole life! Talk to her! Let her feel loved and important at least once during her miserable existence.

You. Owe. Her.

Heedless of our NPCs' quality of life we've begun filling the game with their endless chatter, if only to give you the illusion that the towns you venture to are inhabited by delightful and interesting people and not slaves chained to a single line of script, forced to do nothing but address the fleeting interests of cold, unfeeling RPG fans.

You people make me sick! Get out!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Polishing continues in the world of Pier Solar, with the results visible below:

Our to do list is quickly diminishing with only a few assets still hanging on the wrong side of "complete". A few more maps, some sound effects, and NPC dialogue implementation is all that stands between us and capital-V-Victory! Oh, and scripting, gotta keep up with the scripting.

After that it's bug test city and our strongest members will be placed in a room with two items and two items only: a copy of Pier Solar and a large steel bat.

Assuming the tester emerges victorious we'll be ready to kick that sucker out the door. The tunnel is still long, but the light at the end just keeps getting brighter.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Little Quests

Now that Pier Solar is moving toward that illustrious homestretch, we've been considering additional content to make the game even better. Side quests and other bonuses will await those of you who brave the majority of the game. Some will be standard side quest fare while others... not so much.

One of the challenges in creating any game (let alone an indie project of this magnitude) is the issue of "crunch time". That moment in a project when the deadline suddenly emerges from the mystic realm of Later and becomes a cold hard fact. We've reached that moment.

And we're so very, very tired.

But strangely, truly debilitating fatigue has yet to set in. We're still coming up with cool additions for you, still polishing things that don't look quite right, and still smoothing out dialogue. Frankly, we still enjoy making this game. This, of course, means that you'll get a better product and - most importantly - that those of us at WaterMelon will refrain from murdering each other. At least, for a time.

In case you missed the announcement on the boards, another publication has pinned us down and had words with us. You can read the resultant chaos here and here.

Until next week, ladies and gents.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Screenshot... of JUSTICE

Most of the weekly treats we've presented in these updates have been in the form of assets. Be they random monsters, map shots, or concept sketches, each and every glimpse of the game thus far has been somewhat intangible and we're certain we've left many of you wondering if these disparate elements will ever coalesce to form an actual product.

Well wonder no more! Feast your eyes on the following in-game shot of Pier Solar in action.


Ok, so it's not much, but what do you expect? We're busy. :)


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Praise be to the Fonz

Fonz our graphics designer that is, not THE Fonz. Then again, I suppose the illustrious Happy Days character deserves some praise - if only for the thousands of research hours he saved by collecting the rarest of STDs.

Um... where was I going with this?

Oh! Right! Our Fonz! The adorable Frenchman whom you will know from the credits as Gwénaël Godde. Why is he the titular character of this post? You shall be informed! You see, on top of slaving away on the actual game part of Pier Solar, Fonz is the man responsible for the glorious packaging we introduced to you weeks ago. Most of us, however, had only pictures to partake in, but lately we've been tossing the complete boxes back and forth - checking for sturdiness, style, and gently caressing them as we fall asleep. While the pictures are lovely, they really don't do the boxes justice. I was shocked at their quality and, not to put too fine a point on it, amazed at how much better they are than most professional game boxes. I estimate that when the product arrives in your hot little hands, you'll spend just as much time with the box as you will with the game. It's really damn, damn, DAMN sexy.

Now that the script is finished, our translators are diligently working away so those of you not blessed with speaking "da english" will be able to enjoy the finely crafted narrative within.

In the coding department Tulio has been chained to his desk for days, busily scripting the remainder of the game. Every time he slows down we have him whipped. Or, at least, we did until he started to like it. More info than you needed I'm sure, but it wigged us out too.

Finally, I know I said I'd try to get some in-game music for your listening pleasure but I just couldn't track down our composer in time to get the files. My bad.

I might need to be whipped.



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

And the winner is...

Ladies and gentlemen, our winning wallpaper courtesy of Jonathan J. Our budding artist will be receiving a free copy of Pier Solar and some serious kudos in the mail.

*Kudos may not be honored.

Back in our little cave of development he--aven, things have hit a BLISTERING pace. That's right, BLISTERING. In capital letters! The script is now finished entirely. A little bit of proofreading to correct minor grammatical errors and spelling mistakes will be on-going throughout the project but what's in it's pages will be what you'll be reading come launch. And for the record, the thing went through six separate drafts so if you don't like it you can just **** right off.


Composition of the game's delicious music tracks are going strong and hopefully we'll have some new samples for you guys to listen to soon. Trust us, even without the enhanced soundtrack, you're in for a treat. With the enhanced soundtrack your mind will be blown. Like in Pulp Fiction. Ker-SPLAT!

We've also got good news on the publicity front. German game mag extraordinaire, M! will be covering us in an upcoming issue. So if you speaks the lingo, go buy a few copies (or a hundred!) and lay upon them, basking in their warm previewiness. We plan on doing it, possibly nekkid.

Off in the distance the whips are a-crackin' so it's time to get back to work. Thanks again to all those who submitted wallpapers and congratulations to our winner! Cheers kids!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Mini-Update

Well gang, we're sad to report that today's update will be brief. Brief like the torrid love affairs in early 40s french cinema. The good news is that our collective game design might has come to together to form MelonTron (like Voltron only... juicier... and not part of early french cinema). That being said are just too busy for a normal update.

Fear not, for the blog is merely bowing to progress itself and Pier Solar's pieces are merging together to form... Pier Solar...tron...


Anyway, our programming lead is currently being hurled across continents to Brazil, where more work on the game will commence and, for those of you itching for some release date action you'll be pleased to know that internal deadlines have been set and we should be ready to announce an official date in the coming weeks. Maybe.

Keep in mind, the final deadline for our WP contest is January 30th, so now is your last chance to send in a Pier Solar themed wall paper. The best one will win a free copy of the game. Check out our forums for more info.

And here are some spiffied up comparison shots of the forest you guys played in the demo.

See you guys next week for a bigger, badder update and the winner of our Pier Solar WP Contest!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ha-Ha! ....Serious....

Whilst I would normally start our weekly news updates with pseudo-witty ruminations on Pier Solar's development process, I think now is the time to pause and deliver some much needed thanks.

Danger abounds in any development project. From the little guys in the indie-scene all the way up to the grandmasters at Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Capcom, SquareEnix, et cetera, the process of putting a game together always comes with the knowledge that catastrophic failure will be constantly nipping at your heels.

When you're a relatively new group with plans to release a JRPG on a long dead console and then sell it for real money... well, lets just say risk is as prevalent as skepticism.

Or at least, it should be.

But that's the thing. Instead of leaving Pier Solar to rot away in the dank caverns of internet obscurity Sega fans, indie fans, RPG fans, and just general all around gamers have championed our little project. From raving about the game in message boards to covering it on websites you guys have guaranteed this project's success. Even after receiving a pretty devastating blow last year - one that would have killed most indie projects - you guys stuck by us. We received countless letters of encouragement after announcing the delay and some outright threats to our person that let us know that Pier Solar had to be completed and released. Either that, or we may not live to see the light of another day.

And here we stand. One area of the game's development is completely finished and another is set to finalize at the end of the month. All the pieces are coming together and before long you'll be placing that brand spanking new game in your long neglected Genesis - which will gasp to life and you'll feel the same way you did when you were ten years old and just finished unwrapping that much hyped game you blew your paper route money on (much to the chagrin of your parents).

When will that day be?

Ha-Ha! Soonish...

The purpose of this post is really to thank you guys for your support, your patience and your sheer bat-shit insane excitement for Pier Solar. And no matter how much coverage we get we're still shocked when people go out of their way to spotlight our game. People like PeteDorr, a YouTuber who did an entire five minute preview of our game (which lead directly to an increase in sales), are the kind people who keep us motivated. Check out his video below:

Now that's just awesome. You all should subscribe to his YouTube channel as well, because his videos are pretty entertaining.

Alas, it's time to cut this short and return to the salt mines. But before we do one more thank you is in order: for all your support, patience, and hard earned money. We aim to please.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Little Bit O' Spit and Polish

Greetings boys and girls. Come, sit 'round the fire, pin your ears back and partake in our previous week's adventures.

The last seven days has seen a steady stream of work being done on all fronts: Monsters being molded from our collective creative power (and in defiance of God's will!), new cities emerging, and changes a-plenty being implemented to the script. Story wise we're on the third of five planned drafts, the entirety of which will be completed by the end of the month. After that our translators will emerge from their cages and begin their dark work - allowing us to not only wreak havoc in one language, but several.

We've begun the polishing process on some of our older areas, including the ones you've played in the demo. Check it out below.

Here's the starting town from the demo:

And here's what it looks like now:

Subtle changes to be sure, but an increase in quality nevertheless.

Finally, here's an early sketch of one of our monsters. Until next week!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Our Influence Spreads...

A'hoy me mateys! Welcome back to another week of exciting, scrumptious and tantalizing Pier Solar previews. While we're sure you all spent the holidays consumed by drunken merriment we've continued to toil away. For you! Then again, most of our days are spent in an inebriated stupor anyway so we didn't miss anything.

The last couple of days have been exciting on the publicity side as interest from the press has begun to grow. We've got new mentions in CVG and Develop and further upcoming coverage in a magazine that will remain nameless until the details are finalized.

Needless to say, we feel watched. All the time. It's kind of creepy.

Heebie-jeebies aside we've got some new shots for you, but in order to prevent spoilers they're going to be displayed completely without context. Mysterious!

That's it for now and remember, our contest is still ongoing. The final deadline is January 31st so get those WPs in ASAP. Dismissed!