A Message to Supporters of Cynical 7!

I often feel embarrassed about my lack of decisiveness. This life is short in the grand scale of things and the idea of going to college straight out of high school was way too daunting for me. I didn’t know what I wanted to be, I’d spent the last 4 years of my life just wanting to get out of high school- now I’ve gotta decide something else?

I had always been a gamer, and I remember how often as kids I’d hear, “I wish I could get paid to play video games”. For some reason, that just seemed like a delusional dream, and then I got a little bit older (20) and realized, people actually DO get paid to play games. All the time. That led to my job as a QA Tester for about 2 ½ years. Eventually the company shut down and I found myself drifting for a while.

I finally made it up in my mind that I wanted more and began applying to find a job in the game industry that would give me more knowledge and more responsibility. To no avail. A year went by and I would have never imagined given my drive and initiative that it would take so long, but it would take so much longer. So much longer in fact 4 years later it still hasn’t happened. Eventually it led me down a HUGE stretch of depression of questioning my worth and whether I was good enough and it was during that time I created Cynical 7, a game full of comedy and satire inspired by my own failures. I’m not gonna lie, the game was SUPER dark at first, but I kept pushing through and the days got brighter thanks to a small but sturdy sliver of support.

Showing Cynical 7 at the a convention really lead me to to commit to finishing this game, so many people found it relatable and I knew that even if it isn’t destined to bask in the spotlight this was something I believed in, not just a game but a part of me, soul and heart, and to give on it no matter what the odds, would be in a way saying I give up on myself and that my dream isn’t worth fighting for.

So, even if I complete fail to fund this game, I will have went down with the ship, my ship, standing by my game and not losing faith in it because it doesn’t resonate with the masses. So my mind is made up, I believe in myself, I believe in my game and the story it has to tell, and I look forward to hard 30 days of campaigning!

-Tristan

Cynical 7 Kickstarter November 1st?

To be honest, until a few days I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to do this so soon. To be honest, I’m only trying to make the minimum amount to get the game out there door. But the demo is out in the world now, and I have everything I need to finish the game with the exception of the coding. That means I’m incredibly confident in efficient release and because I’m against spoiling the game any further, the only possible variable is waiting additional months for word about the game to spread, but in my experience, that’s kind of like being struck by lightning. Going viral or blowing up can be very luck based, if I hold out and don’t end up getting any press I risk becoming lost in the endless sea of indies, therefore I believe it’s imperative I strike while the iron is hot!

So the Kickstarter is November first, the goal will be pretty modest for a game of this scope, I need to do a little more budgeting tonight to get the final number, but since I’m leading all of the writing, art, and gameplay design I’m more than confident  in my ability to finish Cynical 7 and turn it into the classic I know it has the potential to be. All of the goal amount will go towards the coding, I’m willing to wait until Cynical 7 is released to hopefully have my work pay off.

Hope to see you there!

-Tristan

Cynical 7 Demo Update 10/23! Read about the fantastic changes!

Now with the convention behind me, I’ve wasted no time putting what I’ve learned from all the people that’s played the game into practice! Here’s a list of the changes so far:

Change made in the last version:

  • read dialogue at your own pace
  • autosave feature
  • bug fix: lavender house leading to tutorial fight will be fixed
  • bug fix: pressing T and then triggering a dialogue locks the TIP phone in place until it’s done
  • removing dialogue of jokes that fell flat and served no purpose ultimately making  dialogues drag
  • tutorial will be a lot more basic
  • ted tantrums will have an additional portrait for after his defeat
  • miscellaneous typos and fixes

There are still more changes to come over the next couple of days, but I wanted to at least get a build out with the new dialogue and allow players who want to play it over or who haven’t played yet to be able to do so with the ability to read text at their own pace! There’s a small glitch at the end during the last part of the game, that’ll be fixed in the next build hopefully with the remaining changes that are left!

The build is live now! 😀

-Tristan

Cynical 7 Demo Version Update Notes

The convention yesterday was a ton of fun and I’m alright putting that feedback and my observations into action! Here is what will be coming in the next and likely final version of the demo! (okay, maybe second to last version.)

  • read dialogue at your own pace
  • autosave feature
  • bug fix: lavender house leading to tutorial fight will be fixed
  • bug fix: pressing T and then triggering a dialogue locks the TIP phone in place until it’s done
  • removing dialogue of jokes that fell flat and served no purpose ultimately making  dialogues drag
  • tutorial will be a lot more basic
  • ted tantrums will have an additional portrait for after his defeat
  • enemies will have giant objects dropped on them at the end of combat
  • the items in tris’s room will be given sassy dialogues
  • money will rain when Tris is given 1000 dollars by Ryne
  • miscellaneous typos and fixes

I hope you guys are super stoked about these changes and a smoother experience!

 

Cynical 7 at the Portland Retro Game Expo!

Yesterday was a long, huge, day for Cynical 7!

For the first time I got to see my labor of love played by random gamers who had no affiliation with me, therefore, no need to go out of there way to spare me harsh critiques.

I’m proud to say that ALL the ground work seems to be there to make this game a success.

Some found it a bit wordy, and I did end up having to use debug mode so they could get through dialogue faster (thank god that option existed) but it was a HUGE learning experience, and as someone who has never written a script before now,  people were impressed and I learned what I needed to know to  take it to the next level.

The combat was  HUGE hit, everyone loved it. A handful of people couldn’t beat the boss in the tutorial and walked away in graceful defeat.

Biggest highlights for me?

  • the 9 year old kid that came back to play twice
  • everyone that played the full hour+ demo through until the end
  • people I got the speak with about games and encourage them about taking a stab at their own ideas

I don’t think I’ve been so amped about working on this game since it’s conception, it was truly amazing to share a space with fellow indie devs treading the same path as me. Until now, since I’ve been working on my own and taking full artistic and design direction of the game my brain is often exhausted and running on E.

I think I’ll start writing out the rest of the script for the game this week to give myself and Idea of how much stuff I still need to make for the game. I did things the opposite way last time and ended with a lot of extra stuff and short on the things I needed basically bottle necking myself.

In any case, I hope you’ve enjoyed the demo if you’ve gotten around to it. I plan on making the next version a bit more light on dialogue and also allow the user to scrub through it!

Until then!

-Tristan

Cynical 7 Demo Goes Live 10/20/2017

Finally got the latest typo free version with a few fixes and I’m super stoked for the release! I know Cynical 7 isn’t the flashiest game even by pixel art standards, but I believe the story and the approach mesh together so well, that it feels perfectly acceptable and appropriate to take a minimalist approach. When I played Undertale and saw how unique and charming it was, it was then that at least in my eyes, I’d decided that what was most important in a game like mine is its charm and ability to tell a story. So I set out to create a game that was within my limits, that I could personally build from the ground up and have control over, and Cynical 7 is the result.

I’m very much clinging to reality, I have no aspirations or expectation of even selling 50,000 copies, but if I can break even, and share the awesomeness of Cynical 7 with a few people that appreciate my labor of love, well, that’ll be more than enough for me 😀

Okay! Gotta finish some last minute stuff!
It’s been a long frustrating, exhausting road!

-Tristan

Cynical 7 Beta Demo Coming Soon!

I just received what should be the latest build this morning! I need to get some rest, but I’ll test it, probably spend the entire day cleaning up my press page and sending it to VIP’s, and then a public release to follow shortly after! It has been a long long exhausting road to get to this point- I know the rest of the game is probably still a steeper incline, but I think of how refined the process has because and feel super stoked and capable of crushing through the rest of the development! I hope you’ll all enjoy the demo 🙂

-Tristan

Cynical 7 Trailer Complete! Reddit Success!

The trailer was finished last night and it’s absolutely awesome! Will be launching it today but wondering what my strategy of attack should be but I suppose I’ll figure that all out later today! I posted a gif on reddit that went pretty viral for a pixel art post, over 600 notes so far. Let me put it like this, I only had 900ish karma after years of reddit and after yesterday alone I now have over 1400! I just wish I’d tacked some social media info on the back of the GIF! Rip!

See you later in Trailer Land!

-Tristan

Cynical 7 Trailer Progress Final Day

After much grappling with After Effects (and it subsequently jumbling around my layers after saving) all the timings and elements are in place. The last step is to tack on some footage from the game at the end, by far the easiest of all the tasks. The most difficult part of this I think was nailing comedic timings and knowing when to cut elements that were too try hard and going back to improve others, affecting the entire flow of the trailer, but it was worth it, and 3 and 1/2 days to put together 2 1/2 minutes of footage, will hopefully pay off!

-Tristan

Cynical 7 Trailer Progress Day 2!

So far I’ve managed to push the trailer of the minute mark. It’s probably 2/3’s done, I think for a first trailer,  2 minutes is pushing the attention span of the average gamer and since it’s a demo, less is more, make it charming and showcase some good scenes, and let the others do the rest. I’m convinced building a fan base is going to come down to finding those die hard fans and connecting with journalists and pro let’s players that already have an affinity for a game like Cynical 7. I should hopefully be done tomorrow tops, but I’m going to get at in some more tonight!

-Tristan