We haven’t heard much about the progress of interactive novel The Seed since its successful Kickstarter campaign in April. So, we asked Misery Development CEO and creative director Nicolai Aaroe about the progress of the game and whether or not it’s on schedule.
It looks like The Seed is going to hit its planned beta release of Act 1 in August, according to Aaroe. But he’s less sure about the September release date for the final version.
“We are doing good progress on an August beta release, but at the moment, even though it looks promising, we can’t say with high certainty that September will be the release date,” he said. “The official release date can and will be heavily influenced by our BETA phase of development,” he added. “For this reason and with several features still left to be done it is hard to calculate a release date.
“When we release the beta, you guys will find out why, and I bet be pleasantly surprised.”
What progress has been made?
First of all, here’s Misery Development’s approach to backer updates: “We don’t want to spam our backers with just about any detail, when we have juicy bits that we think they’d be interested, we pack up and release an update. In the meanwhile, we don’t like reminding backers that we exist, by publishing updates with half meaningless details or forced content.”
Because of that stance, we don’t know a whole lot about how development is going.
Here’s what we’ve gathered so far.
- In March , with the help of its international team, Misery Development captured several photos of different countries, including Russia, Poland, Macedonia, Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, Morocco, and Kosovo, to use as the post-apocalyptic backdrops to its interactive story.
- In May, the developer worked with high-pledging backers to design characters in the game while it continued work on writing the story.
- In June, the game’s inventory system was redesigned “with a very creative and immersive interactivity that surprised the whole team,” but the developer said it was too “unique” to make public.
- This month, Aaroe told us that the writing process continues along with work on the story branches, sound effects, user interface, and interactions. He also said it created a “very nice” main menu.
The last footage of the game was released in the form of a teaser trailer in April, so it’s tough to actually see what has been added to the game. The beta next month should tell us a lot, although it will only be available to backers of the game. Aaroe said a Steam release “wouldn’t benefit anyone too much, but the option is considered.”
What is The Seed?
The Seed is a post-apocalyptic interactive novel for PC, Mac, Linux, and iPad 2 or newer. The game takes inspiration from the Stalker series, which is not surprising considering Misery Development previously worked on a popular mod for the game.
You play as a survivor after a catastropic event actually called “The Event”. The game is mostly about reading text like a book, but you will meet characters along the way and will have to make moral decisions like whether to form a group or to stick it out alone. Those choices will heavily affect the outcome of the game. Misery Development said you’ll want to play it several times to get the most enjoyment out of it.
The game will have some traditional game elements, like an inventory, crafting, and a map.
After exceeding its $25,608 goal by raising 36,564 from Kickstarter and PayPal, the developer was able to hire another graphic artist to work on more and better in-game artwork.
The game will be released in three acts, with Act 1 hopefully coming this year, Act 2 scheduled for Q2 2015, and Act 3 scheduled for Q4 2015.
Who is Misery Development?
Before The Seed, Misery Development created the Stalker: Call of Pripyat Misery Mod, which is known for adding complexity and extreme difficulty to the game. In 2013, the team moved to full game development and started the international, independent developer Misery Development. The developer consists of eight members.