PAX is coming at lightspeed

We're heading to Boston next week, and it'll be the first time we'll present the beginning of our game in a demo! Wouhou!

This is the most exciting moment for our still very young company!

Nancy, Raphie, Anne and Martin will be the proud reps of Epsilon Games, meeting with all visitors and journalists. It's been AGES that we haven't slept four persons in one room, but on a tight budget, it takes what it takes!

In the meantime, if you've missed it on our social medias, here is the link to a short paper Anne wrote about helping the young ones (and not so youngs) grow in the industry.

Enjoy the read!

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/AnneGibeault/20180326/315819/Helping_the_young_ones_grow.php

Dev Blog #6: Sabrina & Martin

It's been a long week here in Montreal. The snow is piling up, to the point where, apparently, we've run out of places to put the snow (did you know they just... scoop it up and move it? Seems pretty inefficient). But there's light at the end of the winter tunnel. The days are getting longer, slowly, and it might be cold, but that means it's the perfect temperature to eat poutine. 

It's like that when you're working on a game - it can seem like you're endlessly fixing bugs, tweaking animations and deleting line after line of dialogue, especially when you start rapidly approaching the release date - but then, the game is released, and you get to see the happiness of everyone playing. It's like the first flower poking through the snow, and the spring melt that brings life back to the world.

This week's featured Epsilon devs have been in the industry a long time. They know all about what it's like to have that seasonal swing from darkness to light, from coldness to heat - also because they live in Montreal, a city that swings from winter to summer harder than any other.

Sabrina writes the story and the dialogues for Primus Vita, as well as being the director. This week, she's working on cinematics, which means drawing up storyboards for how she pictures the scenarios, which will later be created by the artists, animators and programmers. She's also working on the final script, because the voice actors will be recording next week - and after that, it's a lot harder to make changes!

"Before Epsilon," Sabrina says, "I worked in games for 10+ years and before that, I directed documentaries, corporate videos and TV shows." She's a Quebec native, which means her first language is French - but all the dialogue and writing for Primus Vita is done in English. "Writing in English is the hardest thing about the process," she admits, but it's hard to tell!

"Starting Epsilon Games is the highlight of my career," Sabrina says. She speaks about the characters of Primus Vita as if they're old friends, saying that "getting to know them" is the key to writing each of the episodes. "I want each of them to have a unique voice," she says. "I'm most like Hayao - I like poetry a lot, and most of the time, he doesn't say things straight away, he uses metaphors and analyses a lot."

Martin Paradis, the Technical Director and Lead Programmer at Epsilon, agrees at first. "Hayao is a cerebral guy," he says, comparing himself to the botanist, "and I tend to see myself as cerebral... but maybe I'm more like Austin." Before coming to Epsilon, which he says was the "best moment of his career," Martin was working at Unity and Ubisoft, working on tools that helped the creatives on the team picture what scenarios would look like.

"My next big task is working on graphics - I'm rewriting and finishing a shader for the reveal, so there's more of an effect." Martin works closely with the artists like Nancy, helping them with their ideas. "Sometimes Nancy comes up with an idea and she shows me references, and asks, 'can we do that?'" It's Martin's job to say yes!

"When art falls into the technical world, I'm usually summoned," he admits. "In my career I was tagged as a generalist programmer - I worked on many sides of the game. Sounds, graphics, a little bit of gameplay. Every experience that I've had in my career, all the things I've learned, helps me here."

Martin's one piece of advice - other than being a great generalist - is to leave your comfort zone. "If you want to stay on programming," he says, "learn more than one language!"

"We walk into a unknown land, Martin says of Primus Vita. "It is very exciting, and rewarding." Sabrina agrees. "It’s exhilarating, full of unknowns, and one of the best opportunities to learn I’ve ever had."

<3

 

 

Dev Blog #2: What's Going On?

We're working suuuuper hard this week, polishing up the Primus Vita demo, setting up for events, setting up for our Kickstarter, presenting our demo to the Montreal game developer community at La Guilde and getting things ready for our demo to go up on Steam this weekend!

What are we doing, then? We're doing a second pass on UI, because we felt like it was flat - a 2D layer of text and images over a beautiful 3D environment, set in the future? No way! It just doesn't fit with the game as a whole, so we want to design something more immersive. 

We're also working on our 3D character art. So far we only have Artemis and Coby in 3D, but we're working on getting Austin, the star of our first episode, modelled in 3D as well. Here are some screenshots - don't worry, her head will definitely be on her body in the game!

Austin_Substance3.jpg
AustinHead_Substance1.jpg

And on the lighter side of things, we're also doing a space-themed tournament on Twitter - what's the best sci-fi TV show about space and/or aliens? Will it be Star Trek? Firefly? Battlestar Galactica? Vote now!

So keep looking out for more updates on our demo and our Kickstarter in the coming weeks. Have a good weekend!

Dev Blog #1: Lights, camera, demo

Hello!

Welcome to the world of Primus Vita. We've been working on the game for a few months now, and we're working towards something exciting that we'll be able to tell you about really soon!

In the meantime, please check out our Twitter and Facebook pages to stay on top of all our announcements, our news, and our screenshot Saturdays!

This week we're working on something TOP SECRET, but it involves coming into the office at 7am tomorrow...

...and we're also working on a new version of the demo, which we'll be playtesting this Thursday at Montreal's GamePlaySpace! Here's the Facebook event page if you want to know more details - we'd love to see you there, and you'll get to be one of the first to play Primus Vita's new demo!

Here's a screenshot from the demo, with all-new lighting that we hope makes this scene POP!

  The Puzzle Room from Primus Vita demo 1.5

The Puzzle Room from Primus Vita demo 1.5

Mini-Story: Austin

“Austin, I love you.”

Oh no.

“I can’t think of anyone I’d rather spend the rest of my life with.”

Oh no, oh no.

“Will you… marry me?”

Clarence pulled out a small, black velvet box from the pocket of his lab coat. Austin looked on in open-mouthed shock as he opened it to reveal a modest, glistening diamond set on a rough, hammered band of silver. Clarence smiled up at her. She attempted to rearrange her face into something approximating happy surprise.

“Oh… Clarence…” She paused. Clarence’s face began to fall.

“...Of course, yes, I’ll marry you. Yes!”

Well, that’s it, then. I sort of expected something to happen. Isn’t something supposed to happen? Lightning, butterflies? That’s what Coby said. But maybe this is fine. This is fine. This is normal.

Clarence jumped up and threw his arms around her, nearly dropping the box. “Can I put the ring on your finger? I’ve wanted to do that for so long.” He was positively vibrating with excitement.

“Sure. Yes!”

He slid the ring over her finger, struggling to fit it over her knuckles and laughing nervously.

Is this supposed to feel easy and obvious?

“It looks lovely on you. I was so worried! I looked for rings for ages, and, well, I couldn’t find one that was as unique as you.” He looked up from the ring to her eyes and she could almost feel the love radiating towards her.

I wonder if he feels cold when he looks at me.

“So, here’s the secret… I made this one myself. I know how much you love science - as much as I do! - so I went to the lab, and I asked them if it would be possible to trap a droplet of pure water, somehow. It’s encased in synthetic glass - it’s unbreakable. I wanted some kind of symbol to show you how precious you are to me.”

He really loves me, doesn’t he.

Clarence kissed her lightly on the forehead, then took her face into his hands, gently, and kissed her on the lips. “Austin, I can’t believe we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together. I’m so lucky. I love you, and I can’t wait to call you my wife!” He kissed her again, more passionately this time. She darted her tongue into his mouth. It was like a mechanical reaction now, because she knew he liked it. She didn’t really get it. It was wet, and slimy; like eating a slug. Still, she wanted to make him happy, she just didn’t really know how.

“I should take the ring off, though, while I’m at work,” she said.

I don’t want to get it dirty. Or get it caught. It could rip off my finger.

Clarence looked hurt, but quickly changed his expression to one of understanding. “Yes. Of course!” He laughed nervously. “That’s… that makes sense, yeah. Should I just…?” He gestured to the box.

“Oh. Uh, yes. That’s probably the safest place for it.”

Was she being cold? No. Clarence was a scientist too, experienced in experiments. He knew the lab could be a dangerous place. She shouldn’t keep jewellery on just to save his feelings if it meant potentially losing a finger. That was illogical.

Clarence tugged the ring back off her finger and placed it back in the box. “I hope this doesn’t mean my proposal was a failure,” he laughed. “Engagement duration: five minutes, 23 seconds. Engagement time of death: 3:35pm.” Austin laughed.

He does make me feel good. That’s enough. That’s all I want.

“Do you want to go out? Celebrate? I’ve been saving up rations, actually, and I thought maybe we could go for a picnic, or something, out in the biodome… I asked Hayao, and he said we weren’t really supposed to, but he could look the other way for an hour or so, as long as we don’t hurt the plants!”

This was all buzzing in Austin’s ears. Should I be thinking so hard about what to feel? Should I just let myself… feel? It’s ok that I’m not crying or anything. I’m not a crier. I didn’t even cry when Abril…

“...Austin?”

Maybe I’m no good for him. I’m not what he needs. Can I keep this up for the rest of my life? Letting him down?

“Austin, is everything okay?”

“Oh. Yes. Sorry. I could eat. Let me just finish up my work, and then we can go. Okay?”

Clarence smiled. “I’d love to know what you’re thinking when you go quiet like that. I’ll go wait outside.” He put a hand on her shoulder and kissed her cheek tenderly. “Love you, Droplet.”

She smiled back. “I love you, too.”

Probably.


 

And the Demo is in the oven/La démo est au four !

The last few months were quite intense for us. Last week of September, we had a very important deadline, the submission of our demo (and a lot of documentation regarding the game itself and also the marketing and business plan) to the CMF - Canada Media Funds. Now, everything is submitted and we'll hear from them in the next few months (end of December? January? TBD).

But in the meantime, we won't stay still. We had one big wave of playtest and we have lots of work to do. The dialogue system is currently too heavy, our tutorial is not at its best, and so many other things. So we're working on a 1.5 version of our demo. Aside from that, we're preparing our Kickstarter campaign - we're aiming at November, but it depends honestly at when we'll think our demo will truly represents the game we want to ship.

 Lunch time for Epsilon Games after shipping our demo &amp; docs to the CMF

Lunch time for Epsilon Games after shipping our demo & docs to the CMF

 

Ces derniers mois ont été des mois de fous, de courses. Et on sait bien que les prochains mois seront tout aussi fous. MAIS on AIME ÇA. On en mange. On vient de soumettre une demande pour la production de Destination Primus Vita auprès du Fonds des Médias du Canada (la date butoir était le 26 septembre dernier) et ceux qui sont déjà passés par ce processus savent à quel point c'est exigeant. Et quel sentiment d'accomplissement cela procure aussi, une fois que c'est fait.

Nous avons aussi envoyée notre première itération de démo : on constate maintenant (merci à nos 'essayeurs') les ajustements nécessaires pour rendre notre jeu plus fluide. On procède en ce moment à de beaux changements, tant au niveau design (on allège notre système narratif pour l'utilisateur ou l'utilisatrice) et on améliore notre visuel et UI. Plein de modifications qui vont en faire une expérience beaucoup plus fluide pour tout le monde. On a super hâte de vous montrer ça. On se donne un deux semaines maximums pour être satisfait et on fait une seconde vague de tests, et ensuite hop! KICKSTARTER pour nous ! Je vous indiquerai la date bientôt :) En fait, pour lancer le Kickstarter, on veut s'assurer que notre démo soit vraiment représentative du jeu que nous voulons livrer. On se donne deux semaines pour une version 1.5 !

Comiccon Recap / Retour sur Comiccon 2017

(English will follow)

On plane encore sur le high du Comiccon, mais on s'autorise une petite descente sur Terre pour vous faire un petit retour sur le Comiccon de Montréal 2017 :)

En plus d'élargir notre base de fans et de futurs-fans, nos voisins et autres teneurs de kiosques étaient tous super cool et intéressants. Si l'espace dédiée aux jeux vidéo indépendants était impressionnante, il est bon de se souvenir que c'est une place qui nous est réservée depuis tout récemment. D'après les organisateurs de l'évènement, 50% du Comiccon de Montréal en 2017 était occupée par les jeux vidéo, grâce à l'aide généreuse de Loto-Québec. Si les booths Playstation, Nintendo et WarnerBrothers étaient bien mis en évidence, la section indie était particulièrement bien pensée cette année. Les petits noms ont été souligné en gras :  une section lounge (dont le kiosque de Primus Vita était voisin) accueillait les visiteurs avec une aire de coussins et d'écrans, permettant à tous d'essayer les jeux indépendants disponibles. C'était toute une vitrine pour les studios d'ici !

D'ailleurs, on a fait parlé de nous:

https://geekbecois.com/comiccon-mtl-2017-de-belles-decouvertes-a-la-zone-de-jeux-indie/

https://www.game-focus.com/2017071159076/game-focus/nouvelles/comiccon-montreal-notre-bilan-de-l-edition-2017-59076.php

Nous voici d'ailleurs sur le plateau avec les animateurs (sautez à 35:00) où Anne, Nicolas et Martin vous donnent un aperçu de ce que l'on fait chez Epsilon Games:

We are still running on our Comiccon high, but we allowed ourselves to come back to earth to give you a little post-Comiccon 2017 update :)

While meeting our fans and becoming-fans was thrilling, we would like to say how cool and amazing the whole event was (people and other indie studio included) ! If we were impressed by the space given to independent studios, let's not forget that not so long ago, there wasn't any videogame related corner at Montreal Comiccon up to 2012. According to the organizors, this year's Comiccon had 50% of its space/themed dedicated to videogames' companies: not only the big names (such as Playstation, Warner Brothers and Nintendo) but also a huge area for indie studio that contained a lounge where visitors could play some of the games presented there and a stage where Twitch animators met some of the exhibitors. What a place to be!

By the way, we're the talk of the town:

https://geekbecois.com/comiccon-mtl-2017-de-belles-decouvertes-a-la-zone-de-jeux-indie/

https://www.game-focus.com/2017071159076/game-focus/nouvelles/comiccon-montreal-notre-bilan-de-l-edition-2017-59076.php

And here's the Twitch show we were just telling you about. Check Anne, Nicolas and Martin (jump ahead at 35:00) talking about what we do at Epsilon Studio:

 

Love,

Epsilon Team

 

A BLAST! EXPLOSIF !

(English bellow)

Le weekend du Comiccon est terminé, et déjà on s'ennuie ! Parmi tous les moments mémorables, vous rencontrer, vous parler encore plus de notre univers et de ce qui s'en vient nous a fait tripper - surtout avec la foulée de bons commentaires ! On a eu vraiment beaucoup, beaucoup de plaisir toute la fin de semaine. Les rencontres furent magiques - avec les visiteurs, les autres développeurs qui étaient présents et les organisateurs... Une fin de semaine DE RÊVE !

Voici d'ailleurs en rappel notre petit Teaser-trailer, pour ceux qui voudraient se rincer l'oeil à nouveau :)

On vous redonne des nouvelles bientôt, là on se concentre à intégrer du gameplay à la tonne !

The Comiccon is oveeeeer! Bouhouou! No seriously, we had a real BLAST. We LOVED talking to each one of you, being a visitor, a dev or an organizer. Every minute of it was magic. It was a real pleasure for us to introduce you all to the universe of Primus Vita - especially with all the great feedback.

We are now fully focused on making the gameplay, TONS of gameplay!

Stay tuned, and thanks everyone for your visit!

Montreal Comiccon, here we come! On arrive au Comiccon !

We. Are. So. Excited. WEAREGOINGTOTHEMONTREAL'SCOMICCON!

Ok now, let's breathe: we are going to the Montreal's Comiccon. WOUHOU!!

We'll be there with the first issue of Primus Vita, but we'll also reveal our first TRAILER for our up coming game: Train to Primus Vita! Come and visit!

Non mais, on est TELLEMENT EXCITÉS, LÀ ! ON S'EN VA AU COMICCON, ON S'EN VA AU COMICCON, ON S'EN VA AU COMICCON !

Ouf. Respirons par le nez.

Donc, oui, nous y allons, présenter bien sûr notre B.D. Primus Vita, mais aussi pour vous dévoiler notre toute première bande-annonce sur notre futur jeu, Train vers Primus Vita ! Venez nous visiter !

La fortune sourit à ceux qui se lèvent tôt // Early Bird Gets the Worm

Hey ! Salut !

Guess what ? Devinez quoi ?

The first issue of the comic book has finally been sent to all of those who bought it from our kickstarter campaign! Following the contest previously posted on Facebook, Cover#1 will be the one on it. We are all very grateful and hope you like it! The printed version and all the other goodies will soon follow.

cover1

The Winner

La couverture gagnante.

Le premier numéro de la bande-dessinée a finalement été envoyé à tous ceux qui l'ont acheté lors de la campagne kickstarter ! Suite au concours qui a eut lieu sur Facebook, la couverture #1 sera celle que vous recevrez. Nous sommes tous super reconnaissants et nous espérons que vous l'aimerez ! La version imprimée et tous les autres produits suivront de près.

Epsilon Team, with love.

Comic Book is coming along! La BD arrive bientôt bientôt !

HI! Salut !

Yes, yes, yes, the Comic Book pages are all DONE! We are polishing and tweaking this week and sending it to our printer next week! Wouhou!

Ça y est! On termine les dernières petites touches finales cette semaine, pour pouvoir envoyer le tout à notre imprimeur la semaine prochaine ! YEAH!

 A little tease...  Un petit avant-goût :)

A little tease... Un petit avant-goût :)

On the other side, while Nic is rushing like a mad man on the Comic Book, the rest of us is working hard on the Video Game. We expect to finish Conception in a week or so and start our pre-prod right after. We'll make sure to post some vids of it!

Alors pendant que Nic termine la BD (il bosse comme un malade !) le reste de l'équipe on se concentre sur la conception, qui devrait se terminer d'ici une semaine à peu près. Ensuite, on entre en pré-prod ! Trop excitant, on va vous envoyer des petits vidéos de notre travail bientôt...

 

Espilon Team, with love!