I will freely admit that I had not heard of Senscape or its critically acclaimed first person horror adventure game Scratches until the Asylum Kickstarter. Of course, I quickly remedied that during the campaign and I have since fallen in love not just with their previous outing but with the company as a whole. I’ve gotten to know Agustin Cordes quite well both during and after the initial run and despite certain setbacks (more on those in a bit) I have every faith that they’ll deliver on the promises made during the funding period. And I’m not just saying that as a friend but also as a backer.
It appears that many people are starting to think that development of Asylum is dead in the water. Sure, the lack of assets doesn’t help much and the delays are less than encouraging to those of us who aren’t well versed in the way crowdfunding is usually handled in regards to gaming, but the fact that news and screenshots are slowly trickling down to us backers should be some indication that Agustin and company didn’t just take the money and run off to R’leyh to wake up Cthulhu. In fact, there’s reason for his madness. Usually.
For those, like myself and most of the other “Krazies”, who’ve been following the development of Asylum closely from its inception should know that there have been some somewhat substantial delays. These have been covered in previous updates, so the latest backer only update just barely touches this subject and Agustin urges those with concerns to check these older updates out. The most notable reason for this pushback is in the change to using a Dagon/Unity hybrid, not unlock those sired by the Deep Ones.
Dagon was Senscape’s in-house engine that was created specifically for Asylum but they found that porting it to Unity helped immensely. This switch caused the focus to move to reworking this engine. Which, based on the video assets shown in the past looks like a leap forward in what they were doing with Dagon alone. They did use the old engine in a short game a couple years ago called Serena (play it if you haven’t…it’s so worth it) but while it works just fine with a one room game it became too daunting of a task for one with the scope promised here. Or at least that’s what I got from the explanations.
Asylum‘s been in development for nearly three years now and of course there’ll be people wondering just what the hell is going on with it. The truth of the matter is that it’s not unusual for games to get delayed for months or even years for one reason or another. The fact that we’re still seeing assets every now and then proves that they haven’t given up. And, in the update, Agustin goes on to say that one way or another this will see the light of day.
I can’t stress how important this project is for us, especially on a personal level — you keep hearing scary stories of Kickstarter creators running away with money from backers, suddenly stopping all communication and disappearing from the face of the planet, but I’m really, truly, extremely serious when I tell you that we need to finish Asylum. Just think about all the years, money and sweat that we invested on this game. It represents a big chunk of our lives and we won’t feel complete until all of our backers and fans are playing it.
And if that’s not dedication to the backers I don’t know what is.