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Postponement of the release date for COYOTE

Hello there,

We are pleased to announce that we will be postponing the release date for COYOTE until further notice. "So why are they happy?" you might ask yourself. Because we have a great luxury problem.

The number of ongoing and upcoming projects provides a very nice picture for the year 2022, because it is quite complete. This gives us the opportunity to take our foot off the accelerator and take a step back. In short: We are not forced to finish COYOTE as soon as possible and want to use this opportunity to talk to publishers about the release of COYOTE. In addition, we are considering the acquisition of funding to publish COYOTE as we believe it should be published.

If you feel like taking part in the development of our little darling, come to our Discord server and join the testing community. We look forward to outside input!

We'll see what happens and we'll get back to you when there are updates for COYOTE.

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Coyote devlog #4 the Poznań Game Arena

The decision to go to a trade fair would have been harder for us as a young indie studio if it hadn't been for the PGA. It was affordable (although all in all it cost us quite some money), the journey wasn't far and when André Bernhard aka "The Indie Advisor" gives his recommendation, there are no more reasonable arguments not to go. The crux: we needed a presentable Coyote version. It took a lot of work, nerves and torn deadlines to be satisfied enough. Zenker, freshly returned from his holiday/ business trip, fired up his delusion mode and cobbled together the fattest stand scenery just one night before our departure. The preparation had actually worked and yes Richard, I hear your admonishing "nyaaaaa....". All right, could have been smoother, next time. Micha, who stayed in Leipzig, didn't stop programming until the start of the fair to make the version nice and smooth.

So three loaded up and went by rented bus (storm, hour-long traffic jam shortly before Halle caused by a truck lying across, chilling on the side of the motorway) and three by train (storm, tree in the lines shortly after Berlin, return journey, took long-distance bus).

to ride or not to ride

We arrived late in Poznań, but everything was fine. When Harry, Liv and I arrived by train, Zenker, Richard and Götz had already set up everything. Our stand was right next to the main stage, a location that would give us a decent crowd of interested people and abraded larynxes for the rest of the PGA (the stage was loud). On arrival, the fair presented itself primarily as a stretched out area with two large stages and colourful squares arranged at right angles to each other. There were highlights in the form of a truck, an off-road vehicle and a small yacht. These would have seemed more exciting, though, if they hadn't already been kind of expected. It was late, people were only present in the low double digits. They were unpacking fresh computers and typing things into already unpacked ones. The amount of stalls lined up, the wide space between them and the present silence already created an atmosphere of expectation. It was as if the hall had taken a deep breath before our arrival and was now waiting until the next morning to hyperventilate.

a game-fair without peopl

Fortunately for us, Richard had found accommodation that was only a fifteen minute walk from the venue. When I had seen the pictures of the accommodation beforehand, I was, to be honest, not very enthusiastic. I'm a left-wing compost heap and there was too much tile and not enough wood in the website photos for me. My mood didn't really improve much when the place turned out to be part of a high-rise complex, nestled in a carrée of functional traffic elements and uncharming botanical shaving.

However, my inner shame softened for the first time when we got into the lift and Götz pressed "14". All right, if it's a high-rise, let's get it right, fine. We opened the door to the flat and were pleasantly surprised. If a German public broadcaster would have produced "Wolf of Wallstreet", this would have been the setting. It had a window front, that is, the wall was a window. Poznań proved to be very handsome from above. The obvious fact that the small, but very chic place was now filled with a bunch of slobs, who first turned on the huge TV for a classical concert, completely pacified me. We had something to eat, did NOT drink another beer (the place hadn't sold any after ten) and slumbered blissfully.

The next day, Zenker, Götz and I took the first shift. I was getting nervous. I had been testing the game for the last few days and was unsure how it would be received. The hall had visibly changed. The first guests splashed into the hall and developers scurried around at all the stands. We were still setting up the technology, testing the game and I calmed down a bit. The build that Micha had finished the day before seemed to work well. When the first person came to our stand to play in the next breath, I didn't have much time to express my amazement about the suddenness of the start, because soon the next one came and we had a lot to do.

our beautiful booth in action!

Finding design flaws in your own game at a trade fair reveals an advantage: you get the irrepressible will to eliminate them. Because ("no sorry, can not jump...") you find yourself in the hopeless situation ("if you want, you can skip this") of having to repeat every inconsistency and inconvenience ("you see, you FIRST have to choose the action like this and THEN choose your target like THIS") every time and with every new person ("you can find the goal of the mission if you follow the animation. The goal is written down there."). It was like a verbal assembly line work, if there were always unexpected things on the assembly line, or if the assembly line decided to change its pace from time to time.

The heterogeneous feedback from the players made us excited. It worked. There were people who were able to play through it almost without any hint, many enjoyed it and almost all found it innovative and new. We already knew it wasn't perfect yet, but how much potential it actually had was beginning to unfold in front of us. It was a good feeling.

In the early afternoon Liv, Harry and Richard came over to relieve us from our shift, they had already cooked. Our mashed brains reached the information with glee and our stiff limbs made it back to our flat for a rest. The quiet made me like the apartement even more and when I turned the lock in the loo and with a hearty crash it turned 45° more to the left than its blueprint intended, something like a gentle affection filled me. I know this kind of thing, yes it is as it should be, I can handle this, this really could make a home for the next 60 hours.

a game-fair with people

As we learned beforehand from a neighbouring booth, we should lock up all the technology in the evening after the end of the fair, because people will be drunk. So the three of us were motivated to get over with our meal and rest and walk back to the fair.

The composition of people had changed. There were no more guests, instead participants of the Game Industry Conference filled the hall, a conference which took place in another separate hall. We used the early time to drink free beer and make friends with the Studio Mooneye Indies from Hamburg by tapping into their wisdom. The stage was now used to proudly present the CEEGA or Central And Eastern European Game Awards (just roles of the tongue). As we weren't nominated our attention was eager, Cyberpunk won two of eight awards which seems fair. The point of the free beer first became clear when I met a couple of friendly developers from the Baltics in the queue and we spent the next half hour laughing. The meaning of the free beer reached its Olympus when the stage was unceremoniously transformed into a YouTube karaoke party. We dispersed into the mix and when we came back to the stage half an hour (an hour, two hours, I don't know) later, it was full of people singing their inner pop stars out of their limbs alongside the original performers who had enjoyed the grace of the microphone. The other half of the developers quoted their efforts with jubilant applause. We went blissfully to bed that night.

And woke up more or less blissfully, depending on how blissfully the person in question had spent the evening before. The hall had changed a bit towards Saturday. The amount of SWAT teams and soldiers, as well as elves, heroes and ninjas had increased strikingly. People were constantly posing everywhere. Our stand was well received. People who liked to cover themselves in fur or to shoot in the air with styrofoam guns seemed to find our stand congenial, we had something in common there. In the meantime, the work proved to get easier and more routine. We won some people for our game (greetings go out to YamishoWolf, Sanrokero and RedSkittleFox).

What we did NOT win, however, was one of the Indie Awards. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. We thought the party was the night before, but we found out to be totally wrong. The actual party took place on Saturday evening. We didn't really feel like partying any more. But the atmosphere at the beginning was relaxed, there was good food and free long drinks, the DJ turned out to be amazing. The conversations that evening were even better than the ones the night before, but I personally remembered fewer of them. I didn't know much about the developer community until then, but I am really beginning to like them. They proved to be interesting conversationalists with very diverse stories and a good dose of humour and a fable for clever things.

Oh yes, and there were the Indie Awards. We didn't get the award for best booth. Let's not talk about it. If we were talking about it, though, I'd say that decision was completely inane, but really, lets don't talk about it. Not at all. In fact, I'd say in my whole life I've never talked about any thing less than this one. Never.

Sunday had something peaceful and relaxed about it. The previously anonymous crowd had gained some confidentiality, the fear of sudden bugs had faded, we were no longer beginners and had gained more confidence in Coyote. The uncertainties around our game had been replaced by clear missions of what to change and to improve. During the time in Leipzig, Micha had contacted publishers from afar and we had also had corresponding conversations at the fair. We came back home with a bit more confidence and a lot of work. We are looking forward to chopping up the harvested fruits of knowledge and arranging them on our rolled out coyote dough. Gladly more of this.

last breakfast
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COYOTE devlog #3

The past two weeks have been wild ones thats for sure.

As our Project Manager Zenker packed his things for his very certainly earned holidays we, who have been left, needed to get our things together by ourselves. The PGA is ahead, our first fair and we want to look as good and professional as it suits us.

Part of our schedule was to adjust our plans again. One of our internships (Sir Harry) turned out to be a little bit too professional for the internship-standard which led to some surprising new tasks concerning Blender-3D-modelling and the implementation of those models in Godot.

At the same time we had to cut some design features like sequences. But we are lucky to have Liv here our second intern. She and Sir Harry and myself, are now working on an, lets say, a surrogate which shows the idea of the sequences in a cool fashion. Btw: If someone asks you for an internship and you have none: Take them! It loosens up the atmosphere every once in a while and supports your development. (Of course treat them nicely, be supportive and for once prefer people who are not white and male)

Me myself I was balancing and doing some small stuff, like revising texts, fixed some bugs concerning the grasses, adjusting the controls and make small missions to play through.

It is really not easy to have a ecosystem-model which runs on its own and design some missions in there. The most difficult part for me personally is to balance the power of the player and the autonomy of the world. On the one hand site we want the player not to be overpowered so he feels part of the world and that was our main goal: make the players feel to be more part of something rather having power over it. But guess what happens, if I watch people play it…. They do not pay attention to our ecosystem very much. They want to manipulate the whole time, they want action.

There was barely anyone who did not say: ‘Can I jump?’ I would love to scream: ‘That makes no sense in this game! And there is no necessity for this mechanic!!’ Why don’t they clap??? They could! Its fun as well to make beats, I do it all the time while playing. Is that simply because they are not used to do so? Sometimes it is hard to see people wanna play an Action-Jump-And-Run-Shooter. It is a game about patience and watching. Seems like nobody get this intuitively.

I remember the first scenes of ‘Below’. Its a beautiful Indie-Rogue-Like. The intro-sequence starts extraordinarily slow and makes you wait. The pace of the first playing minutes holds back as well. It gives you immediately the feeling: Okay, there is no room to rush here.

Maybe we should try something like that too…

Below gives you the feeling of starting calmly

On the other hand: An ecosystem gets out of control pretty easily. And you may have to react fast. Also our characters are a bunch of hasty Tricksters. There are many things to perfect.

Oh man and the UI.

You see I started talking about the PGA and ended somewhere totally else. This is how game-development feels to me sometimes. There are so many things to be aware of and everything is entwined and when you think, that may be fine now, SOMEONE PLAYS IT AND HAS ISSUES!!!!!

While we are at it: Thank you for testing (you sweet, marvelous nags)

COYOTE devlog #2

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Last week we completed all main features for our Audio Manager. It's not a performance dangerous area of the game, so we did it completely in GDScript. Godot has a nice audio mixer so we used that and only wrote some code to make it easier for us to interact with Godot's systems. COYOTE has 4 main areas we use audio in:

  • Normal sound effects. Those get prioritized, so sounds of agents attacking the player will be louder than gameplay unrelated sounds.
  • Round robin sound effects. A script layer that chooses different sounds automatically, so they don't sound too repetitive.
  • Soundtrack themes. Mainly used in cutscenes and when talking to the "gods" of a species in the soulworld. Each species has it's own theme
  • Ecosystem feedback layers. Each species is one instrument in a song. When the player is in the soulworld (and no sountrack theme is playing) we mix the volume of each instrument depending on how dominant the species is in the ecosystem. The idea is that the soundtrack gives the player a (sub-)conscious feedback about the state of the system.
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COYOTE devlog #1

AND it´s our first devlog eeEEEeEEvVVEVEVREEERRRR!!!!

Yeha! Hi Howdy,

Do you know what we are creating here? Till Q1 2022 we will releasing Coyote – a tactical adventure game where you play a kid which gets superpowers to communicate with a ecosystem. You will be able to rise this ecosystem as a Tamagotchi in the 90s - but with the side-task to balance the inhabitants of the ecosystem. And that’s very challenging!

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