All posts by mgarcia_tgk

Preproduction of the new episode already started

Pre-production of the new episode already started

After a few days of well-deserved rest, we already got our hands dirty with the development of the new episode. In this new stage, considering our new and promising working pipeline, we’ve set ourselves the goal of mastering the production process.

We want to avoid at all costs unnecessary delays in the development of the new episode, like the ones we suffered during the making of “The Playwright”. We always wanted to achieve a 3 month per episode development cycle, but never before had all the ingredients to achieve it. So this time, a big part of the plan is to walk towards this goal.

Production schedule

The first step was to make a deep analysis of the production process of S02E01, identifying major milestones along the way. Each one of these milestones, is basically defined by the ‘outcome’ expected at that particular point of the development process. First, in pre-production, these ‘outcomes’ would be in form of design documents. Soon after, the main ‘outcome’ would become playable builds of the episode, which deliver a particular set of the expected features.

Once we put together the list of milestones, we hang those in the office’s wall in the form a calendar, placing each one in the expected delivery date. From now, if we miss a date, we’ll know something is going on, and would react sooner, adapting whatever is needed to ensure the project as a whole continues on track.

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Wall poster made with post-its, with ‘milestones’ in their expected dates. All these dates are obviously estimations, subject to changes due to production circumstances.

Pre-Production milestones:

  • 7 Nov 2014: Episode Synopsis
  • 22 Nov 2014: List of puzzles, List of scenes, List of scary situations
  • 28 Nov 2014: Map of rooms, Placeholder room’s backgrounds, Second iteration of production lists.
  • 5 Dic 2014: End of pre-production: Screenplay (walkthough) document. Script document. First episode build (#1) (includes all rooms in navigable state, with placeholder backgrounds).

Production milestones:

  • 19 Dic 2014: Build (#2) with first iteration of all puzzles implemented, but still with placeholder art. Must be playable from first to last room.
  • Now come 4 weekly iterations of the episode: planning each Monday, new builds each Friday (builds #3 to #6). Last build (#6) is published as the Episode Beta for Premium users.
  • 23 Jan 2015: Texts for beta are “locked” and sent to reviewers.
  • 30 Jan 2015: Reviewed texts are imported back into the game.
  • 12 Feb 2015: Texts for final version are “locked” and sent to reviewers.
  • 17 Feb 2015: Reviewed final texts are imported back into the game.
  • 20 Feb 2015: Final episode target date. We’d do our best to publish this day, but please note that unexpected events will occur during development 😉

Hope you guys like this insight in our production process, we plan to continue offering you interesting details on how the new episode is being made. Please use the comment section if you want to ask us something, we’ll be happy to answer 😉

cheers.

Such a great week! :)

Hiya mates,

Last fortnight was absolutely crazy for any spanish video games developer. It was very important because in the period of five days, three important appointments were held in Barcelona:

– PAD Congress (spanish professional associated developers summit)
– Gamelab 2014 (the national games and entertainment conference and awards)
– The Burger Developer Central (the spanish Indie developer community meeting and awards)

It was a really important engagement for “The Game Kitchen” and as such, we had to be there. Additionally, we were nominated for some industry awards 😀 .Thus, Mateo and Carlos headed to Barcelona to represent both The Game Kitchen and our flagship game: The Last Door.

1) First stop was on Tuesday, in the PAD congress where more than 36 indie companies exhibited their games. The event took place in a really cool old brewery where our teammates engaged in many networking activities and strengthening relationships with other spanish industry actors.

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2) Gamelab started on Wednesday June 25th, and we took part in the Indie Showcase where we had the chance to show “The Last Door” to everyone involved in the gaming industry (other friend studios, publishers, game platforms and portals, etc.). Additionally, we were nominated in the Gamelab awards as “the best OST” and “best game for PC”. We didn’t win anything but we didn’t mind because while the event was being carried out, a great surprise was waiting for us… Tim Schafer was there! He was holding a conference in the summit and he also took some advantage of his spare time to try some of the latest spanish video games.

So yes, the master creator of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango tried out “The Last Door” and he really enjoyed it! He played our first episode and he got really impressed by our opening sequence and he praised our work, so that was.. amazing. Like a dream come true! 😀

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We were so excited that we barely could say a word, so it’s better you just watch the video…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHiz0mKjGIs

3) Finally, the following day, we attended the Indie Burger Awards, presented by Burger Developer Central, a group of indie game developers and burger lovers, who reward the best independent games on the national scene. And we were all the rage! We won two of the most important prizes (“We want a sequel” and “The most whizzbang game”). And that was our moment and we burst with joy!

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Have a look to the pictures.. it was a memorable moment.. and we wanted to share it with you all. Thanks mates, this great news are also yours..  😀

Cheers,

RD

The Last Door Collector’s Edition Released!!

Hi Folks,

This is probably the greatest post I have ever writen in this forum..

Why? Because the day finally arrived.. The Last Door Collector’s Edition has already come to Steam, GOG, Phoenix Online Studios Stores and other major online retailers for PC, Mac and Linux!!! 😀

We can’t find the words to express our excitement, mates!! 😀

With the launch of the Collector’s Edition, “The Last Door” has become of age and we -as fathers of the baby- are absolutely touched. This is the fruit of more than a year of hard work and efforts, and we owe you all. Thank you very very much, without your support this would had been impossible.

So yes! Hurry up and don’t miss the best piece of “The Last Door” ever made! Find the game on:

Steam
GOG
GamersGate
POS Store
GreenMan Gaming
Gamefly

Enjoy mates!

RD

THE LAST DOOR at the GDC 2014

Hiya mates.

It’s been a while since we haven’t updated you regarding what’s going on here. Well, no big changes.. We’re (still) working like slaves in order to be on time for the Collector’s Edition release.

In this sense and to warm up our great brand new edition, we’re working hand in glove with Phoenix Online Studios in order to promote it.

One of these promotion activities (as you probably have seen somewhere else) it has been the officially presentation of “The Last Door” at the GDC by the hand of POS.

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The GDC gathered together more than 24,000 industry professionals in San Francisco’s Moscone Center where some of the industry’s 350 top companies offered product demonstrations and networking.

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In that setting, within the Phoenix loft, “The Last Door” CE Demo was showed off to key distributors, journalists and game enthusiasts, receiving a great and positive feedback.

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This Game Developers Conference has been a great time for our beloved game and we want to thank Phoenixs to show up there and to publicly introduce and present “The Last Door” at GDC.

We also want to acknowledge all the promotion efforts they’re doing through their blog, posting many entries detailing specific information about our game.

If you feel like reading a different approach to the game, hereunder you are some of the entries

The Last Door Collector’s Edition: Introduction.

The Last Door Collector’s Edition: The Atmosphere of Horror.

The Last Door Collector’s Edition: A love letter to Lovecraft.

The Last Door Collector’s Edition: Remnants of a Tortured Past.

The Last Door Collector’s Edition: The Sound of Fear

Appreciate it!

TGK

Important Awesome News!

Hi Pals,

As many of you have probably read somewhere else, we have really good news to announce: we’ve reached an agreement with the recently funded Phoenix Online Publishing to publish The Last Door: Collector’s Edition.

It’s such an honour to work together with the award-winning developers (Cognition, The Silver Lining) who have decided now to increase their influence on the indie game market by introducing this new publishing label in which The Last Door takes part now.

This new venture started while we were looking for a publisher in order to help us bringing The Last Door to the App Store and Google Play the way you guys deserved. And it was love at first sight. After some initial contacts, we rapidly agreed that our game deserved to be published everywhere, hence “The Last Door Collector’s Edition” was born, a product that comprises the first four episodes of The Last Door plus extras.

And we are really happy about the soft unfolding of events. We feel ourselves really lucky to partner with a publisher like POS that seeks to bring indie-developed games that focus on rich storytelling and atmosphere to the worldwide market, and this philosophy perfectly matches the one behind our beloved game. Don’t you think? :)

But.. Does this agreement mean any change in the way we’re working so far? Not at all. Phoenix Online Publishing respects and admires our business model and they’re more than willing to allow us continue with it. So, no big changes, and no harm to our current players. On the contrary, we think that it will benefit the series in many ways.

Actually, this is a great opportunity to get “The Last Door” to every corner on the world, rolling out the red carpet the way all of you deserve. And to do that, we need “The Last Door” to dress for a gala so we’ll create a special edition: The Last Door Collector’s Edition.

This edition includes the first four episodes (first season) and will feature more than four hours of playable content (with exclusive new locations, scenes and puzzles) as well as enhanced graphics and visuals, new playable side-stories, new opening sequences, remastered soundtrack, achievements and unlockable content and much more. In addition, it will be also available for PC, OSX, Linux, App Store y Google Play platforms. Amazing, isn’t it?

That’s it for now! We will update you with new and further details! And the final release date will be announced very soon, so we’ll keep you posted!

* YES! Today, together with Phoenix Online Publishing we have announced that “The Last Door Collector’s Edition” will be released worldwide on May 20th, 2014! Hurray! 😀

The Game Kitchen

Introducing ‘The Last Door: Season Two’

This time around, we’re not ready to start working on the next episode right away. We feel that you guys deserve a detailed explanation of why we took this decision. So here we go:

For starters, as you may know, our team recently lost one of the main programmers, this mean we are no longer able to create new chapters as fast as we used to. At least, not until we expend some time optimizing our creative process to be more efficient. So we have made that our new ‘top priority’: we need time to analyze all the processes involved in the creation of a chapter, and find valid optimizations that finally enable us to achieve the ‘two month’ per episode development cycle we’ve looking after all this time.

Secondly, we’ve been running late on delivery some the things we’ve promised you guys in the past, so we time to focus on these (and try to solve what caused the delay in the first time, so that won’t happen again). In talking mostly about the ‘Hall of Fame’ which we’ll be finally updating in the upcoming weeks to reflect the contributors from the two past campaigns.

Finally, after four episodes published and a bit more than a year working in ‘The Last Door’ it feel like the right moment to make a brief pause to take reflexive decisions in terms of story, and game design and features. Going into production of a new episode right after the previous one, leaves you with only so much room for improvement. We tried our best to include new features and little design improvements with each new episode, but this time around it feels like we can achieve a so much more if only we could have some pre-production time before going deep into production of episode 5.

In summary, we’ve decided to wait until all the funds for the next chapter are collected, just like in a regular crowdfunding campaign. We estimate that, at the current donation rate, we’ll have around two months to focus on these open fronts, and we’ll be ready to start working in chapter 5 by the end of April, therefore aiming for a grand return during summer. We will be disclosing exact dates as we approach these milestones. As usually, we will be reporting every step in the way there, through the forums.

We’ll do our best to make the wait worth it, so the first episode of Season Two feel really fresh and meet all your expectations.

A note on the conclusion of the funding campaign of ‘Ancient Shadows’

You guys are amazing! We’re sincerely humbled by the amount of support we’ve been getting through this tough times! As you probably know, the funding campaign of ‘Ancient Shadows’ has been the most successful one so far, we collected the amazing sum of 13305.8 € (at the time of writing this article) which feels like a world record for us. Thank you!!

Also, we’ve been a lot of fun the last couple of weeks with the Stretch Goals. You guys managed to unlock a few of them:

– Pilot Chapter OST free for everybody: which is already available in the soundtrack section of the website.
– Download & play offline for Premiums: Episodes One and Two already there. Episode Three will be up in a couple of days.
– Server upgrade: We didn’t have the time yet to do it, but we will soon.

Unfortunately we didn’t achieved the last of stretch goals: ‘Open source the game engine and assets’ so we will save that for the next campaign, in the meantime we will figure out the best way to do it.

‘Ancient Shadows’ finally available!

Despite all the issues we endured while creating the fourth chapter, we’re proud to announce the immediate availability of the fourth chapter, ‘Ancient Shadows’. We apologize for running a little behind schedule with this last episode, but as we explained we wanted this episode to be as good, or even better, than all of its predecessors. One more time, thank to our helpful legion of beta players who flooded us with their awesome feedback and suggestions, we believed we managed to outdone ourselves once again.

Hope you guys like the result, we are really proud of how it turned out. What are you waiting for, ‘Ancient Shadows’ is now waiting for you to play!

NOTE: Soundtrack of ‘Ancient Shadows’, as well as the Spanish translation, will be available early next week.

‘The Four Witnesses’ now free to play

As in all previous occasions, with the release of the new chapter, the previous one becomes free for everybody. If you haven’t yet, you can play it now.

Also, we’ll be pushing this episode to kongregate, armorgames and all other major free flash game sites in the upcoming week.

About the mobile version of ‘The Last Door’

Some time ago, we launched episode 1 and 2 of ‘The Last Door’ in the App Store. It was an experiment: we invest just the right amount of effort to port the game to the iPad and launched it, to determine if it would work in this platform as well as the browser version does.

The experiment was not a huge success, to say the least. On one side, we hit a few technical issues that revealed that the way the game is made for the browser, is not immediately compatible with the mobile platforms, and thou further R&D would be required to decently port the game and deliver an experience as good as the one’s present in the browser version.

Despite all that, we were able to achieve some really impressing good reviews in the App Store: mostly plain 5 out of 5 stars in almost all countries, for both episodes. Woah! Definitely players using the iPad loved the game as much as the browser version. But, in the other hand, the attention the game was getting but way lower!

The browser version of Episode 1 for instance has found more than one million plays (combining the ones from thelastdoor.com, kongregate, armorgames, and other sites). The iPad version fall nowhere near this numbers, despite being a free app. Episode 2, as a paid app sold very modestly. In summary, it proved for us that the same business model we we’re using for the browser version doesn’t work for the mobile version.

We know, because many of you told us, that you guys want to play The Last Door in your mobile devices, and believe me when I say that we want you to. It just didn’t make sense, from a business perspective, to continue to do so on our own. So, to that end, we decided that we need to team up with a publisher in order to bring The Last Door to the App Store and Google Play the way you guys deserve.

For the time being, for pulled the iOS version of episode 1 and 2 out of the App Store, and we’re focusing on solving the technical issues we know of. Let’s hope we have exciting news to share with you soon, regarding the mobile version.

We’re nominated to be the Best Game of 2013 in Kongregate!

Hi Mates,.

This is absolutely awesome, we don’t stop receiving good news. Now, we’ve been nominated (both first and second chapter) as best game of 2013 by Kongregate, the free games hosting website. So please help us and vote for “The Last Door”. The more recognitions we get, the greater the opportunities to go on.  😀

Just click here and go to the thread to vote for us.

You can choose between the first (“The Letter”) and the second (“Memories”) chapter.. so just think over it and make your decision! 😉

Let’s get another recognition for our beloved game!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOLKS!

TGK!

Great news to close 2013 and start 2014 full of energy

Hey Mates,

As you already probably know.. the last weeks have been great in terms of media recognition and notoriety.
In scarcely two weeks, we’ve been featured and highlighted in several important video games websites as a one of the best games in different categories.

In order to raise our self-esteem a little bit, we wanted to summarize all of them right here:

1) Gamezebo, one of the best Video Games-related websites featured “The Last Door” among its selection of the best games of 2013.

Ready the full article here: +13 TLD Among the best games selection made by Gamezebo

2) Indie Games: The Weblog. One of the reference websites for the independent industry, featured “The Last Door” among the Top 10 indie horror games of 2013

Ready the full article here: Top 10 indie horror games of 2013

3) Mash those buttons: Our great friend and unrivalled game writer specialist Joel Couture, decided to write a series of “Must Plays of 2013”, and “The Last Door” was honoured to be in that list.

Don’t miss out the great article: Must Plays of 2013: The Last Door

4) Rock, Paper, Shotgun: The extremely well-known gaming website, also included our beloved game as one of the selected games to be monitored during 2014.

You can have a look here: The Spectacular 2014 Preview Spectacular (Part Two)

5) Armor Games: Finally, and thanks to your help, “Memories” ended up winning the award as “The Best Adventure game of 2013” in one of the most important free online flash game publishers globally. Thank you.

See the contest results here: Best Adventure game 2013.

So yes, this is an exciting and promising start for the new year that we hope it will bring great news and tailwind for our beloved project: The Last Door.

Thank you very much folks, without you.. all this wouldn’t be possible.  😀

TGK

Hurray! We’ve been Greenlit!!

Get Our Best Landing Page Optimization Tips for FREE:

YES!

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We did it mates!! Actually, YOU did it! 😀

Thanks to ALL of YOU for making it possible! This is awesome.. Every vote has been like a small precious.. THANKS, THANKS.. you’re the greatest community on earth! 😀

Well.. We’re still shocked but we will try to keep you posted here regarding any news of the first season release on Steam..

That’s it! Did we say “Thanks” already? 😉 THANKS!

Hugs!
RD