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TL:DR: PAX East was awesome. We're redoing all the levels in the game. We ported Hidden Folks to Apple TV during Unite Europe. And did anyone say Linux?!
'Sup! It's been a while! How are you?
Two months have passed since PAX East, but its not too late to tell you what an amazing show it was! Hundreds of people played and loved Hidden Folks, we met a few of you there, and even spoke to a few journalists and business people! I wrote a lenghty post-mortem on the organisational aspects of running a minibooth at the IndieMEGABOOTH here, a good read if you'd interested in what a show like PAX East is like from the perspective of a game developer.
Even though PAX East was our biggest playtest yet and we found many little things that really didn't work the way we intended, Sylvain and I feel really confident about the direction we are taking the game into. We're starting to understand the 'language' by which people want to interact with the game, and so our level creation process slowly takes shape - rather than just throwing things together, we now model the level based on the interactions that will be present and the hidden folks we have in mind. For more smiles, surprises, tiny puzzles, and less frustration.
That said, all existing levels were tests more then anything else, so we've decided to throw them all away. All of them. Because making a good level starts with level design at its core, not wil level design slapped on top of it. It's a lot of work, but it will definitely be worth it.
Anyway - two weeks ago, we showcased Hidden Folks at Unite Europe and as the event itself is a bit weird to showcase at - developers only, talks-oriented, no press, barely any business - we decided to go into FUCK IT mode and do the impossible: to port the game to Apple TV and implement heat map analytics during the show, in three days. And we did it! Apple TV is a weird platform, but it's a nice step up to controller-based platforms (this is not an announcement, I think). Heat maps will be SUPER useful once we go into beta and need some data on what works and what doesn't.
Also; some of you asked for a linux version of the game, and I think I can safely say that I will try to make that happen. I'll need some help from you people running linux to make that happen, though. Alright? Alright!
Can't wait to give you all more and more sneak previews of the new levels!!!
TLDR; Awesome press coverage in The Verge and Polygon, play Hidden Folks at Now Play This in London, and development is going well!
After working our asses off to make a presentable version of Hidden Folks, we flew across the ocean to show the game to a few selected journalists at GDC (San Francisco). Among others, The Verge and Polygon loved it. Read their articles full of here and here.
April 1st to 3rd, an early version of Hidden Folks will be playable at Now Play This in London. It's a fantastic event with an amazing line-up of games and we're very happy to be part of it - and obviously, we hope to see you there if you happen to be around.
We are constantly learning new things about the game, how people play it, and improve based on that. Currently, we are focussing nearly all our effort at creating some sort of visual language so that players are guided even more to know which objects are interactable and which aren't - without spoiling the fun of discovering them. Another thing that's eating up a lot of our time is the games interface; we're now in the 4th iteration and it's still not as good as we want it to be. Conclusion: things are being improved a LOT and development is going great!
We'll have some sweet announcements next month. Stay tuned.
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