Firstly, thanks in part to both Steam and the PWYW deal on IndieGameStand, “Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” has broken even, recouping it’s development costs, only two months after its release date. Given that those development costs were solely for the soundtrack, perhaps that isn’t a huge feat. After the recent sale (ending in about 10 hours), I can say Steam has also sold over 600 copies of the game so far, which again is small but a good milestone for me (fingers-crossed for 1,000 sold by 2016). I sincerely thank all of you who bought the game, your support and encouragement has been kind. Anyway, I promised an update, and have finally released it. It doesn’t change much, but can still be significant to those who have already played it. The details of what is in the update (and what isn’t) can be seen below.
“Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” (v1.04): new GUI, collectables, and more
“Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” was released about two months ago. I said I planned to release a small update, not to add content, but to improve some of the problems with it. One of the worst bugs is properly game-breaking: if you use an ability to move a box to be able to jump on, there’s a good chance it will wall through the floor or glide through the walls as you move it. This bug is fixed now, and this article is to help explain what I did before, what I did now to fix it, and will hopefully help other developers doing something similar.
If someone asked me whether or not they should sell their game in a bundle, I would be inclined to tell them not to. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been a hypocrite: as we speak, indiegamestand.com has my newest game “Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” in a PWYW deal until September 17, 2015. This is only about 40 days after its release on Steam. All the same, I probably won’t include “Unfinished” in any other game bundles like I did with “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth,” and here’s my reasoning why.
“Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” is officially available now on Steam (and soon other stores)! Hooray!
Buy it here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/388680/
Plus, if you are still unsure, please try the free demo of the game here: http://unfinished.fromdustscratch.com/#system
Plus, see this little launch trailer!
The game is also trying to be on IndieGameStore, MacGameStore and WinGameStore. I should have remembered they need a few weeks to prepare a store page for it, I only submitted the game last week. Hopefully anyone who doesn’t want to use Steam can use other outlets by the end of the month.
I always feel insecure when releasing a new game, or even revealing it for the first time, knowing that this is what it is, and not everyone will like it. A few close friends tried the game for the first time this week, and while they certainly weren’t the intended audience, their appalled reaction when I said I planned to sell it was discouraging. I was tempted to not release the game at all.
Disclaimer: I am the developer of this game. Which makes it a conflict of interest that I would write a review. But with the expected lack of written scored reviews elsewhere, I felt it best to write something as unbiased as possible to make sure people know what they would be getting into should they buy the game. It also acts as a release for me, a psychological exercise after releasing my second game, having doubts about it. In the meantime, there are a variety of preview posts and playthrough videos online that I encourage you to check out.
“Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” starts (after a minute-long cutscene of the main character being drawn) with a stick figure in a white empty level. Rotating the camera, you see a blue pencil drawing, slowly moving away from you. With nothing else to do, you move towards the pencil. As you get closer, the perspective looks odd, especially when you rotate the camera and look at it from a different angle. A thought bubble and audio prompt suggest something about a wall: after moving around the wall you see that the pencil was just a flat texture on a large wall that merged with the rest of the white background, and that the wall hid what looks like a more interesting space of old paper making up a level to explore.
In a way this speaks to what you are getting into with “Unfinished.” There’s worthwhile game and story to find here, but most people would likely give up in frustration before even thinking of going around the wall. Even then, those who stay might be disappointed with their reward.