In case the point of that is lost, that means that the very first officially licensed Redwall video-gamish-thing is now out there in the wild. Bam!
If step one of our journey was to Shout It then step 2 was clearly to Ship It. In other words, we needed to come out with a win. When we were working on all the license deal for Redwall we found that the internet was littered with 15 years of false or failed announcements of various shows, movies, games, merchandise…you name it. Some of them were very professional and ‘real’ looking. Others were more plainly false. I can only speculate on the motives of those folks but whatever was intended we saw that the past as preserved on Bing presented us with an uphill PR challenge where fans were likely, and reasonably so, to say “I’ll believe it when I see it!” And while the success of the Kickstarter campaign was a good ‘win’ it ultimately only proved that we could rally some eyeballs and left open the question of whether or not we could build something that respected and embodied the spirit of Redwall.
To those Doubting Thomas’s out there – reach hither thy mouse and behold: Download The Corsair’s Last Treasure now!
For Soma Games, this launch is a critical step along our path. From the purely practical, the project served a handful of purposes that have all worked out just as we’d hoped. We’ve now built a full-scale model if the famous Redwall Abbey: the buildings, the grounds, the walls, and a big chunk of the surrounding countryside. We’ve wrestled with geological details like watersheds and tributaries, aquifers and tree lines. And while certain compromises were necessary – it all works. By ‘works’ I mean that it’s logically consistent and obedient to the laws of physics. That might seem like a gimmie until you look at the various maps that have been published in the books where mountains appear and disappear, rivers change course and roads seem to change like deer tracks (which actually might explain a lot). None of that should sound like a complaint, it’s not, but it was a challenge…one that’s now been overcome.
Also, it’s fun. We had fun building it and it’s fun to play. We did some things that we’re quite proud of. Like scaling the entire world to appear as a child-sized mouse might experience it – namely that everything is BIG. We’ve placed something like 30 secret doors and hidden rooms all throughout the abbey and only a half dozen are part of the adventure while the rest are just easter eggs and rewards for the dedicated fan who will also find hidden treasure, secret locations and devilish parkour tracks. We didn’t stop with building what was strictly required by the Kickstarter, we went over and above and we’re proud of how it all came out.
But for our purposes, there’s a much larger accomplishment that I can’t help but point out – it’s real. I don’t want to overstate a relatively small group of voices but we had more than a few folks respond to our original announcement with skepticism. To those folks, and without even a hint of ‘neener neener’, I’m hope we’ll be able to earn a little of your trust with this delivery. AbbeyCraft is of course only a small step toward The Warrior Reborn…but it’s the first step, an MVP step, and a live step that we shipped on time.
We still have a lot of work to do, including some loose ends from the Kickstarter campaign, so were not slowing down – on the adventure game, the real work is only beginning but we’re so thankful for the folks who payed attention, both the supporters and the skeptics, and we hope you’ll tell us what you think about AbbeyCraft.