Oh, hey! Did you enjoy your yearly dose of a few boring days over Christmas, with too much food, and yet another Call of Duty salvaged from under a rotting tree? Good for you.
Now get up and make this your best year yet! Get in shape! Swing that Ring Fit! Carry massive studio speakers to the sixth floor! Warm up those thumbs! Do drugs! Transcend! Wish-list Resolutiion on Steam!
In just a few weeks, we want you to meet God. Be prepared.
Now, with our megalomania out of the way, let us use this first 2020 newsletter to share where we’ve been and where we are going.
Since we began working with our publisher, Deck13, in November, we’ve been on a weird, wild trip. We’ve given interviews; received plenty of love (and hate) from internet strangers; visited Nintendo where we complained about their lack of Donkey Kong costumes; learned about devkits and other singularities; and saw our friends go mad on Twitter. If this is your first newsletter from the Monolith, thank you for signing up. It’s honestly a great feeling to have so many new faces around.
Amid our jaunts into promotional-identity-search, we had a game to finish. And finish we did — n’t. Almost! As January flew by, we crushed our last known bugs and polished the remaining rough spaces to a sparkle. The Fallen City’s gore got more disgusting, skyscrapers more devastated, and elevators more elevating.
While we placed our final touches to the art and mechanics, our good friend Jared wrapped his edit of Resolutiion’s thousand-plus lines of dialogue, spewed by every animal, cowboy, and Mushroom King in the realm. That lovely banter is now in the hands of our amazing partners in China, Korea, Japan and Russia, who will work their magic, translating fish-gods and mechanical heralds, safe in the knowledge that we’ll never personally be able to access the quality of their work.
(Jared, by the way, is also in the process of releasing an absolutely unique card game called Orendao made from locally sourced wooden tiles. Please give him some well-earned attention.)
Resolutiion is filled with many fourth-wall-breaking moments: quotes from, and homages to, other video games are all over the place, and reality-shifting events are deeply woven into the world’s lore. While working out our rhythm with the guys at Deck13, this topic came up multiple times: wouldn’t it be interesting, if we could motivate some digital interactions with the in-game-world from the outside?
The catch was, at no point did we want to break the narrative experience of Valor’s journey. So we ended up tapping into the Twitch API, using Valor’s sidekick Alibii as a conduit. She’s an AI capable of hacking any network she comes in contact with — including that of certain popular streaming services.
We had to come up with fun ideas and moments that would trigger such a Twitch interaction, write a bunch of new lines for the characters, and test it all in a super-secret lab under the streets of Frankfurt. But it worked and was honestly much easier to implement than expected. We’re looking forward to witnessing your inner sadist, as you use these tools to wreak havoc upon your favorite streamer.
Polychromatic in Progress
The public release of Resolutiion will certainly not be the end of our work on this project, but it will define a new chapter. These last five years have left their mark on us here at Monolith of Minds — every day has been a Resolutiion day in some shape or form. The world we’ve built inside our minds and computers, through chunks of code and pixels, has inundated our mental capacities, and it’s time we flushed our systems to make space for new ideas. I decided to do that by collecting together all the work we’ve done, used and unused, vital and tangental, to create an all-encompassing art-book. Spanning our earliest concepts from 2015 to the final screenshots of 2020: Polychromatic — The Art of Resolutiion.
What started as a simple 40-something-page idea exploded in late December — I hadn’t realised how much work we had accumulated throughout all those years. But walking back the journey one art-piece at a time turned out to be exactly the closure I was looking for.
So while this thing is far from done, you can expect much more rehashed snippets of Resolutiion’s progress in upcoming newsletters and elsewhere on the web. We’ll keep you in the loop.
I write these lines as Richi compiles the most recent code into the latest build, setting up the long and painful grind of our next few weeks. We will test, break, and fix Resolutiion over and over and over and over.
To keep you from boredom in the meantime, we have more to offer for your reading pleasures: the PlayStation Official Magazine interviewed us in late 2019 and published a sweet excerpt in its February issue. Unfortunately, it is only available in the UK, and only in print, so we published the full interview on our developer-blog. Head over and read up on our adventures in indie-land.
Do more drugs.
See you soon.