A demo of Vacant Sky Awakening will be playable this weekend at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival! This is the first time the game will be seen in a playable state since the Kickstarter. Stop by and check it out!
Sorry for the long wait, but this year’s preparations took a lot longer than we expected. Today, we celebrate five years since the release of Vacant Sky Act I. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since then. Since Act I, Project BC has:
- Released several more games, including Act II, Act III, Act I+, Act II+, The Vestibule, Finding Eden, and Encarmine
- Funded the development of Vacant Sky Awakening Act I through Kickstarter
- Expanded to nearly every platform under the sun with the Awakening project
- Incorporated as a proper business
- Quadrupled (!) in staff size
Today, we celebrate not only five years of Vacant Sky, but five years of Project BC. Before we dive into today’s Contention announcements, let’s take a look at what to expect from us going forward.
New products in 2014
2014 will be the first year that we offer products other than just games. We’ll also be offering middleware for other game developers, both technical and graphical. The Metis RPG framework that underpins Vacant Sky Awakening is currently the largest middleware product we’re working on, but it will probably not be ready for market until well after VSA Act I is out. In the very near future, you should expect some art assets, both 2D and 3D, to hit the Unity Asset Store.
Status of the Complete Edition
The Day of Contention is a time of endings and beginnings. Five years ago today, we saw the cessation of Auria’s old life and the beginning of a new one. The Vacant Sky Complete Edition is an extension of her journey, in higher quality and better continuity with the rest of the series. Currently, two of the three episodes have been released.
For those looking forward to the end of the Complete Edition, I have good news and other news.
The good news is that Act III CE will be released before this time next year, and the Complete Edition will finally be finished for good.
The other news is that the form it’s going to be released in might not be what you expect. Due to technical issues with the project, we’ll be overhauling the format of Act III CE. In order to give closure to the story and to make good on our word to finish the Complete Edition, the updated story will still be intact as well as all of the choices and endings, but the battles and exploration are being removed from the final episode. It was a difficult decision to make, but due to the enormous amount of technical debt the project has accumulated over the years, it is the only way we’ll be able to finish it this year.
Hopefully, our final announcement of the day will make up for any disappointment this may cause.
Death & Rebirth
For the past few years, I’ve always been personally involved in directing two projects at a time: a main project (VS1, and now VSA) and a secondary project in preproduction. With the conclusion of the Complete Edition, I’ll be bumping up a new project into preproduction. Although I typically don’t like to announce a project so early into development, it would have to be either today or next year’s Day of Contention, and I figured the five year anniversary of Contention would be the perfect opportunity.
Since the inception of Vacant Sky, we’ve come a long way, both technically and artistically. Although originally, the plan was for Awakening to be a stepping stone into the rest of the series, it seems I was (as always) naive in thinking it would be a project that would be over quickly. Awakening is eight (or is it nine?) acts to Contention’s three, each much more in-depth than the entire Contention project combined. Vacant Sky Awakening is a series unto itself, and it would be a shame for it to put the original series on pause for years when it was originally conceived of as a way to bring in more fans to it. And, as many questions as Awakening raises, it also brings answers. Many answers. Answers a lot sooner than I intended to give them.
Having had time to reflect on this, I’ve revised my vision of Awakening’s role in the future of Project BC. Instead of delaying the original series until its completion, I intend to alternate between volumes of Awakening and of the original Vacant Sky. This way, answers in Awakening will properly coincide with the questions posed by the story of the present era.
Following the conclusion of the Complete Edition, we will be relaunching the present era series in full 3D.
I’m excited to show the new design of Auria Edith, which will be debuting in Death & Rebirth, the first installment of Vacant Sky Quickening.
Thanks so much to everyone who has stood with us over the years and helped us become the company we are today. I hope you’re as excited about the future as we are. Look forward to another awesome year with us.
Miss the Kickstarter? You can now preorder Vacant Sky Awakening from itch.io! You can also preorder the Paradox Prince Bundle, which includes all three episodes as well as their corresponding soundtrack.
It’s been a while since we’ve had any news. Sorry for the lack of updates, but everything we’ve been working on has been kind of coming to a head at the same time, so expect us to make up for it in the coming weeks. We have one big VSA-related surprise coming up and after we finally unveil it, we should have a lot more to say about behind the scenes stuff going forward.
Today, I’m going to provide some more concrete news about the next release from Project BC. This project in particular is very exciting as it marks our first major non-game product and our first foray into expanding the Vacant Sky universe into more media.
Vacant Sky Awakening: Overture of Innocence is a collection of three short stories written by Kim Dyer which provide insight into various characters, both peripheral and primary, in the Age of Antiquity. Two take place in the distant past and one runs parallel to the events of Episode 1.
- First Light of Summer is a vignette from Sarian’s childhood and tells of the aftermath of her struggle with the illness that nearly claimed her life.
- Waltz Through Ashes chronicles the journey of a young Kortas Maladorr and Vaius Monarim, fathers of Dakura and Sarian respectively. When Kortas is sent by his father to investigate a missing emissary, he brings along his grief-stricken friend Vaius to aid him.
- An Innocent Madness follows one of the most notorious bounty hunters in the city of Acacia on a job that will drag her deep into the teeming underworld of Orkan politics. Her latest hunt will test her moral fiber as she navigates the powderkeg of intrigue which threatens to ignite the whole city.
These stories will be available for free to Kickstarter backers who pledged for them. A short while later, they will be available for sale as an ebook. The collection is currently expected to retail at $4.99.
It occurred to me that I never announced the release of the first soundtrack here. Whoops!
The A-Side soundtrack contains music from episodes 1 and 2 and can be found here on Bandcamp: http://vacantsky.bandcamp.com/album/vacant-sky-awakening-ost-a-side
The B-Side soundtrack has just been released! It contains music from episodes 3, 4, and 5 and can be found here: http://vacantsky.bandcamp.com/album/vacant-sky-awakening-ost-b-side Kickstarter backers who pledged for the complete soundtrack should have received their copies already.
The Vestibule is now available as one of the OUYA’s launch titles! Pick it up for free on the OUYA store! On top of being one of the console’s launch titles, it is the first visual novel to be released on the OUYA.
This release is very exciting as the rerelease of The Vestibule is the first game to be released on our new Metis engine and it marks a significant milestone on our path forward with Vacant Sky: Awakening.
On this day, four years ago, the original version of Vacant Sky Act I was released. In those four years, we’ve come a long way, with the subsequent releases of Acts II and III as well as the recent Complete Edition releases of Acts I+ and II+. 2012 was a good year for us, with two major releases and the release of our first (small) commercial game,Encarmine. In this past year, we brought the community together with the launch and wild success of the Vacant Sky: Awakening Kickstarter.
But 2013 is going to be our best year yet. Let’s take a look at what’s in store.
To facilitate the development of Vacant Sky: Awakening, we’ve been hard at work on developing our own game engine, (tentatively) called Metis2D. As we near completion of the engine’s core features and continue our testing of it, we’re happy to announce the first game to be released with the new engine.
One of our earlier microgames, The Vestibule, has been successfully ported to Metis and runs like a charm. We expect to rerelease The Vestibule on new platforms, namely the Ouya. The Vestibule will be available for free as one of the Ouya’s launch titles.
Vacant Sky: Awakening
Unsurprisingly, the majority of our efforts right now are concentrated on VSA. Work has been coming along at a steady pace. It’s still a little early to show anything new from the game yet, but we’re still hoping to manage a release before the summer. But although there’s nothing to see, there is plenty to listen to:
The soundtrack for episodes 1 and 2 of Vacant Sky: Awakening is now available for purchase! Kickstarter backers who pledged at least $25 will shortly be receiving download codes via email.
Thanks for being patient with us as we go through the roughest part of the development cycle. Please look forward to a release of Episode 1: Journey of the Black Knight in the coming months.
Those of you who were following the Vacant Sky companion story, Ars Harmonia, have probably been wondering about the status and future of the series. For the foreseeable future, our efforts remain primarily concerned with the development of Awakening, which resulted in it being pushed to the backburner.
However, a chance encounter with some old friends has brought about a change in fortune for Ars Harmonia. Ardent Blue Productions expressed interest in doing a game adaptation of the story and I’m excited to say that we’ve entrusted it into their capable hands. Although we’re not directly involved in the game’s production, I’m confident in their ability to bring the story to life.
It’s still too early to estimate a release, but look forward to more news in the latter half of the year. You can check out the RMN profile for the game here:http://rpgmaker.net/games/4926/
Thanks for sticking with us for another year! We’re hoping to make this the best yet and we hope you’re as excited about it as we are!