Winter Night Games Newsletter: 2017 Edition

Hello there!!

We have released the latest issue of the WNG Newsletter!  There are a number of important tidbits in there that you can read up on including: new key artwork for both projects, a re-branding of the tabletop game (it is now simply called, The Great Nameless), a release date window for Arkhangel: The House of the Seven Stars, and more!

To read it in full, point your browsers here:

Winter Night Games Newsletter: 2017 Edition


PRETTY PICTURES

We have released new key artwork for both projects!  I have attached higher resolution versions in this post for your downloading pleasure.


Key art for “The Great Nameless”


WHEW.

2017 is going to be INSANE but we are super stoked.  We hope you enjoy and please feel free to share!  🙂

A pivotal milestone

Hello all,

I had an odd moment last night and I wanted to share.  I reached the moment in the development for our point & click adventure game, Arkhangel: The House of the Seven Stars where I could see the finish line…albeit briefly:

Just three little words (well…two words and an acronym).  I had just wired up the three different endings and triggered the final (and temporary) dialogue call.  Then I played through the three different endings and IT WORKED.

Like…whoah, dude.

I realized that this has been a journey that started about five (!) years ago (a bit more if you count the initial short story idea that I had in 2003).  It was a little emotional/overwhelming/exciting/terrifying.

That’s great!  So does that mean you’re done?

Oh god!  OH GOD!!  No, not yet.  There’s still a ton to do…but this is one of those *big* milestones in a project.

What’s next then?

Alpha!!

What the F is Alpha?!

Good question!  Alpha basically means that the game is there.  All of the pieces and systems are in place, the full flow of the game is represented, and I can basically play the game from start to finish in a very rough fashion.

There are still placeholder/missing assets, some puzzles aren’t finalized, cinematics are basically just text explanations or rough animatics, etc…Basically, all of the BIG stuff is done. Now it’s about making it pretty.

Now…I am incredibly close to reaching Alpha.  All of the systems and scenes are there.  I basically need to do a huge consistency pass on the entire game to make sure everything is operating in a stable manner across the board, that all logic is in place to make sure that the game progresses in an expected manner, and that nothing critically breaks on me.  It’s basically going to mean I will be playing the game even more than I already am.

Just in terms of visibility; the upcoming milestones for AA:THotSS (still the most ridiculous abbreviation ever) are as follows:

  • Hitting Alpha — 1/31/2017!
  • Gameplay Trailer!
  • Setting up Steam Greenlight Page!
  • Finalize dialogue script!
  • Begin work on Cinematics!
  • Working with composer Chad Seiter on the musical score!
  • Finalize non-critical systems and puzzle design!

Sooooooo…still so much to do, but it seems as though we’re getting closer and closer!  That’s exciting!  I’m super pumped to be able to start sharing more progress with you all in the coming weeks/months.

Happy new year, everyone!

Winter Night Games: An Update

Wait…we haven’t updated this page for almost A YEAR?!?!

For shame, Quarles-Brothers…For shame.

The fact that we haven’t updated this site shouldn’t allude to the idea that things are going slowly or that we are resting on our laurels.  Quite the opposite!  We just tend to update our social media channels a bit more frequently than this page (so you should all follow us on Twitter and on Facebook).  We are making an effort to change that particular behavior as of RIGHT NOW!

OKAY!  Here’s a quick update on all things WNG:

Arkhangel: The House of the Seven Stars – I (Zack) have been cranking away on systems, puzzle design, characters, animations, textures, 3d models, and everything else you might think of.  My friend Chad Seiter and I have been discussing what we are going to do with the musical score (Chad recently composed the score for ReCore…It’s awesome) and we are geeking out about what we are going to do with the music for this game.

As a special treat, Chad has provided the isolated music track from our announce teaser from last year.  Here it is for your listening pleasure:

God, I love that theme.  Just wait.  He’s got so many goodies waiting for you all.  🙂

In terms of an all-up status for AA:HotSS (that’s the most ridiculous abbreviation ever), we are getting *dangerously* close to a fully first playable game!  My goal is to get to that point by the new year and then spend 2017 polishing everything up, recording the music, and push forward with a hopeful release date in Q4 2017!  Now, it’s always tricky to put a date on something that significant simply because this isn’t my day job.  I don’t always get a chance to sit down and work on this as much as I would like and real life can sometimes get in the way…but I’m trying to put this goal in front of myself, so you all can actually play this thing.

Arkhangel: The Great Nameless – Josh has been doing a ton of playtesting with AA:TGN (another amazing abbreviation) and made the trip to GenCon again this year!  We’ve been getting a ton of great feedback from all of these playtests and have been really encouraged by the warm reception that we get when people see the artwork, read the mythology, and play the game.  One thing that Josh has really been focusing on recently is making the rulebook very accessible to new players.  The thing about working on these games for so long is that we know them inside and out; so we need to make sure that everything makes perfect sense when someone sits down for the first time and doesn’t get overwhelmed and/or frustrated.  I might try and con Josh into writing a full blog post about his adventures in writing the rulebook.

WNG – In terms of what we are up to as a company at large, both Josh and I have moved into new residences and have coordinated a lot more mythology/fiction writing over the last few months for both games (and for future project ideas).  We have been doing a lot of research when it comes to Kickstarter (stay tuned on that front for Arkhangel: The Great Nameless), and we just got an internal Perforce server setup.  It’s like we are a real game developer!

Well…sort of.  Let’s not go crazy.

BUT LOOK.  IT’S A BEAUTIFUL SERVER (well, it’s a RAID modified desktop, but who’s really counting):

Server of Dooooooooooom
Ready to do all sorts of evil.

OKAY.  That’s it from me today.  Everyone have a great weekend.  Josh and I will try our damnedest to be better about updating this page!

Arkhangel: The House of the Seven Stars – an original point & click adventure

HotSS_Logo

We are incredibly excited to announce our first point & click adventure game, Arkhangel: The House of the Seven Stars!

Teaser Trailer:

Arkhangel: The House of the Seven Stars Announce Trailer from Zachary Quarles on Vimeo.

About the Game:

Arkhangel: The House of the Seven Stars is a point & click adventure horror game told through the eyes of a family that has recently moved to an isolated town in the frozen lands to the north. Explore, research, uncover mysteries, solve puzzles, and interact with a large cast of characters in this rich and layered story.

Michael, Lily, and Gabrielle have recently moved to the frigid town of Haven under tragic circumstances. As they begin to rebuild their lives in this new home and meet the townsfolk of Haven, they quickly discover that not everything is what it appears to be. Michael struggles with dreams of dark waters and an unknown ancient evil resting beneath the cold waves. Are these simply dreams or are they a premonition of things to come?

Key Features:

  • Third-person 3D Point & Click-style adventure game
  • Play as two different characters throughout the game
  • Deep narrative with abundant lore to discover and absorb
  • Large cast of characters to speak and interact with
  • Cinematic musical score by Chad Seiter (chadseiter.com)
  • Direct tie-in to the tabletop game, Arkhangel: The Great Nameless – also by Winter Night Games (winternightgames.com)

Release Date:

TBD – Currently in production

Screenshots:

Below are some in-process screenshots taken from development builds

Arkhangel_ScreenShot_15 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_14 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_16 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_13 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_12 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_11 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_10 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_9 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_8 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_7 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_6 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_5 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_4 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_3 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_2 Arkhangel_ScreenShot_1

Arkhangel: the Great Nameless – “The Black Gate”

There are places out there, in the deep crevices of the various planes of existence, where the barriers between Realms are weak. This is most concerning when it’s a barrier to Primo Regni, and truly dangerous when there are those that actively work to open these doors.

We knew this card would be a visual representation of our Big Nasty, Z’xhuul. And we knew we wanted to get it right, so we turned toward an artist that we really admire: Torren Thomas (seriously, check out his caricature work, it’ll blow your mind).  It was a shot in the dark, really, we didn’t know if he’d be into it, but we lucked out and he was! And we are absolutely stoked about the final product.  In fact, you’ll be seeing this piece show up all over the place as we get closer to ready for the crowdfunding campaign!

 

™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC
™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC

Arkhangel: the Great Nameless – “Feral Goblins”

An example of the roaming, uncontrolled beings present in the dead Puer Hostiæ’s Umbra. While not the most powerful beings in the Realm, they have been noted, on several occasions, to be suicidally aggressive. They appear seemingly from out of nowhere, and never stop attacking until they are all dead, or the explorers are.

© and ™ 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC
© and ™ 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC

Arkhangel: the Great Nameless – “Defenders of the Realm”

An army of peacekeepers engineered and grown for the express purpose of keeping Sceptrum impregnable.  They are not known for their sense of humor, their observance of social niceties or their tolerance of civil disobedience.  This can sometimes lead to friction among the population of the outer rings, but when it comes to performing their duty, the competence of these shock troops is never questioned.

 

We’re big fans of Kasey Fleming.
So when we knew we were going to need some sci-fi themed artwork, we immediately knew we wanted him to do a piece for us. So we hit him up and, fortunately, he graciously accepted.  He chose the Defenders as the piece he wanted to do, and we couldn’t be happier with the result.  Thanks again, Kasey!

™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC.
™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC.

Arkhangel: the Great Nameless – “Howling Rage”

Carnifice’s defining characteristic is His fury. He is so saturated with anger, it permeates His entire Realm, and all of those who exist within it. While this makes Lacerandam an exceedingly unpleasant place to live, it serves its denizens well in times of war.

™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC.
™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC.

Arkhangel: the Great Nameless – “The Familiar One”

In a dimension defined by change, this being has held its shape since time out of mind. Though none understand its motives and it does not appear to communicate, it is usually described as carrying itself with a certain melancholy.
It is also a very large part of the reason the Infinite Sea is reputed to be unassailable – it is merciless in the defense of its home and its kin.

™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC.
™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC.

Arkhangel: the Great Nameless – “Grigori”

Earthbound cultists who worship The Great Nameless. Though they live in Aurae, they are unwitting cogs in Lilith’s grand design. Believing Jehovah is a scourge on the rest of existence, they are willing to sacrifice themselves for what they see as the greater good – they intend to open the door to let in The Great Nameless, who will destroy Jehovah and all of Aurae, allowing the other Realms to flourish.

™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC.
™ and © 2015 Winter Night Games, LLC.