Creatalsoft 4th Anniversary Celebration

Hello everybody!

It is my pleasure to say that Creatalsoftware and the debut game, It Is Too Dark, are both now four years old! We've come a long way since then, and have plenty more planned and being worked on! To celebrate, we have a few things here below that are certainly exciting.

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Garenburg Woods All You Need to Know Update

Unfortunately, these two projects are continuing to have slow development due to less time to work on them and a greater focus on a new project. There is more information later in this post, but that is the truth. Both projects could easily be rushed and completed as a result, especially with how Garenburg Woods has several key parts developed, but we wish for the quality to be much better which is why it has not been finished. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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The Development of It Is Too Dark, Unicode, and All You Need to Know

It Is Too Dark was a project that stemmed from a prototype of Twisted Mirror. Twisted Mirror had been a remake of two, much older versions of the same idea that predate Creatalsoft, and one of the versions had the same light feature of using it to see your location. From there, while trying to become more skilled with the game engine (being GDevelop 4), the plan to create the game was formed.

The character design was made using an online pixel art program, but as it was a very limited and simple program, it was only used for this game as well as a few assets of Unicode. The main character of the game was made with the program and wasn't done based off anything, but a year later, one of the testers for the sequel noted that the player looks similar to the character from the game Limbo. This was purely coincidental, but somewhat humorous as well. No music was composed for the game, which would be a change in all future projects to feature original tracks.

Throughout the game, due to a lack of experience in programming the project, progress would only be saved for the player every five levels. This of course was less than ideal, but since then the issue has been fixed with newer projects. Unfortunately, it would effect Unicode as well.

Overall, the project was not incredibly complex but it was a fun and experimental game. An initial demo was made in early January, featuring a few levels, and later, on January 26th, the full version was released with twenty levels.

While later experimenting with GDevelop, there was a test to see if regular platforming traits could be applied to text objects. It was successful, and from there a joke and test with a level made of words was done. The level was unintentionally difficult, and afterwards Unicode was born and it would become a game that is intentionally hard to defeat.

A running joke between the main developer, Merso, and an important tester, Emrys, was about how every fifth level of the projects would be an incredibly difficulty spike. This remained true to Unicode, and the fifth level, being Level 2-1, continues to be one of the most frustrating parts of the game that is (luckily) able to be skipped if the player performed a puzzle at the end of World 1 correctly.

In regards to the puzzle itself, bonus and optional levels were planned for the end of each world to give the player a small advantage and intermission between worlds. Unfortunately, it was cut due to a lack of time to implement it as a 1.0 copy of the game would be created with these features planned to be added only for the computer with all the data to be wiped. It was a painful reminder to always backup files, but it is why the bonus level only exists in World 1 and no bug patches were released.

Unicode had the same saving issue as It Is Too Dark, except the saves would be once a world as each world is four levels and a boss. However, some details such as the ability to collect five hidden stars for game completion would be added in still, but unfortunately the saving problem still plagued the game.

There was also a wall-climb glitch where the player can climb the wall if moving right but not left, and this was not initially planned but because it was an issue with using text objects it became a feature. It solved the problem... in a way.

The final boss of the first playthrough of the game remains the most broken part of the game because of a game engine issue where the boss graphics were glitched. Unfortunately, it takes away a large part of the atmosphere, but there was little that could be done about it since it was a problem with the engine. This luckily was the only recorded case.

Ironically, the Mother's Day DLC, which features four levels, would not in fact be part of the game but a separate download, on top of being released before the actual game. There were plans to do similar releases as level packs but with the lost data it became impossible to do.

There's also a self-insert of the name of the main developer of the game, being Merso Aweheo, but since then it's been somewhat of a regret having that in. It just feels too egotistical to have it in there.

At the same time as this game was developed, All You Need to Know was being made. That game begun development after Unicode had started, so some major programming flaws in Unicode were eliminated in All You Need to Know. With the original plan of having both Unicode and All You Need to Know being released closely together, Unicode served as a spinoff in plot to It Is Too Dark and All You Need to Know and the story became linked. Some changes have been made to the plot of All You Need to Know to better improve the project, but the overall premise and ending remain the same.

With Unicode released on July 9th, 2016, All You Need to Know remains in development. The project reached seventeen levels being slowly created before having a complete scrap and rewrite of many mechanics to create a much more fluid game and revamp, but this revamp has not had much development since the release of the older seventeen levels and has no plan of being released soon. There is even the chance that the revamp would mean changing game engines as well, which would cause a longer time before the project is finally finished.

Over the years, assets such as graphics and music have been released for free for Unicode and the two projects were key in the origin of Creatalsoft, and in the future we plan to finally complete and revisit the series with the sequel to It Is Too Dark. While we cannot promise when anything will be close to being finished, we're doing our best to ensure that the project is a vast increase in quality from the previous games and will be enjoyable and fun to play.

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The Future of Creatalsoft

Garenburg Woods and All You Need to Know will still be released and finished in the near future. We are aiming to complete Garenburg Woods by the end of this year, but have no time estimate for All You Need to Know. Twisted Mirror will receive more levels and some bug fixes fairly soon, although we have not decided on a time for it either.

However, we have been planning and preparing a new project that is planned for a release this year as well. The game is to be entered in a small competition similarly to The Möbius Strip, but will be a much more complete game and is a project that is very meaningful.

While I cannot give much further details, what can be said is that it will be named The Riflebird and has been an idea that has existed for years. The game will be incredibly focused on story, but the actual story will be completely optional. Stay tuned for more details!

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I would like to thank everybody so much for everything and the encouragement that has led me here, with all these projects and this website and just everything. These works have been a huge passion project, and they are incredibly important to me and I'm just so happy to share them with everyone. I am excited to spend the next years continuing to work on developing new things and telling new stories, and I just want to thank everybody for all of this.

So thank you, thank you for reading. I appreciate it more than you can imagine and can't wait for the future. That's all for now, so farewell and once again... thank you.

~Merso Aweheo

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