Welcome to the dev blog for Greetings From Krampus – Here you can get a window into the dev process for our game. I will try and update this as often as I can with relevant information.

December 24, 2019

As much as it pains me to do, I’m going to try and force myself from taking a break from development on the game.  There’s so much I want to fix and add to the game, but I know it will take time, and it will benefit me in the long run to take a week or two off from working on the game to enjoy the holidays. The first thing I want to add is more props. I’m not happy with the current selection and I want to really have a wider array of props for people to choose from. The more options, the better and more creative things people can make, and this game is all about creativity. I may try and squeeze out a mini update to the game before taking a break. A little prop pack and some minor fixes to the game.

The second is more Krampus voice lines. The Krampus aspect of the game is planned, and kind of in the game currently, but I know it’s a bit confusing for people right now since we don’t have a lot of it added to the game just yet. I really want him to feel more like a living character responding to what you do and create. Also story. Story elements are going to be a big focus in 2020, to give the player things to explore/unlock/and unravel. We have an outline for it currently, and a list of things we’d like to add along with it. Hopefully we can provide something fun and engaging for people to do, outside of the sandbox aspect of the game.

So that’s the currently plan. Hope you all have a great holiday and I’ll see you in the new year!

Beginning

It all started November 2018 – Our first VR project was dead in the water – our scope for the first game had gone way beyond what was capable between three guys working in their free time.

Martin and I had a conversation trying to figure out what we could reasonably do in a year, working in our free time. Something simple, fun, and with a controllable scope. I came up with the idea for a simple snowman building VR game. Something festive and fun, that most people know how to do.

We set to work building the framework in December 2018 and worked a full year till we ended up where we are currently, which is launched early access in 2019. One of the original team members became too busy to have a side project, so we were down to a two man team (much to my dismay, because he is an insanely talented artist).

The scope did change, but it was always manageable – things we liked, but weren’t essential for the core snowman building experience were added to the list of “would be nice to have someday.” 

This let us focus on building tools that catered to letting the users creativity run wild – to let them really explore and figure out ways to do “unintended” things with the game. One of these intended-but-not-indented features is the ability to place props pretty much anywhere you want in the world, and not just on the snowman. Floating props was a bug-turned-feature pretty early on. We really didn’t want to limit the user’s creativity if we could help it. Our goal was to provide a set of simple tools to really enable the creation of whatever you could imagine .Game-play elements changed and evolved for the better. I had builds for my family to beta test (my mother being our best tester) to make sure it was easy to understand and play.

That was the fun part.

The other things you need to do when starting a studio – business things – lawyers – documents – licenses – hardware – applying to dev programs – getting denied to dev programs – ect. This was all new ground for us (as were most of the things we built in the game, being a couple of artist and not engineers). Then comes figuring out builds, partnering with store-fronts, building websites, youtube videos, capturing screenshots, building store-front art and information, trying to hit performance metrics, and money. All kinds of things you don’t really think about when you come up with the idea of making a video game. Finding a musician to compose a soundtrack for the game (netiher of us make music). We really lucked out on that front finding JerryPlays – a very talented artist who worked with us on our very limited budget for music. That piled on top of actually working on the game and getting it into a better state. Oh, and this isn’t a full time job – this is in your free time after work and on weekends. You still have you “real” job to worry about.

Then you get to release and have to worry about marketing – how do you let the right people know your game exists when you have no idea about marketing? We’re still trying to figure this one out. All that work of the last year building something – you have no idea how it will be received. If people will like it or not. You’re not guaranteed praise just because you worked hard on something – it could still be a terrible game at the end of the day. So you press that launch button and wait, hoping people play and enjoy something you’ve made. You send out some keys for people to try your game – hope they like it and provide feedback on how to make it better, ect.

And that’s where we currently stand.

It’s out there, in the world now, playable and hopefully enjoyable. There’s still a long list of bugs/features/content/story to add, and we’re giving ourselves another year to finish it! Our goal is a complete game by Winter 2020 where we will hopefully have a game we are proud of, that people like playing.

I’ll try and update the process here, what bugs I fix, what features and content we add in 2020, so stop by from time to time and see what changes.