Game Over

 Posted by at 12:56 pm
Nov 112018

Due to a severe clash of personalities and wildly divergent goals and priorities for Brackenwood, the working relationship deteriorated beyond repair and I made the decision to end the Dashkin project on Oct 24, 2018.

At its heart, Brackenwood is the story of the last of his kind; a lone dashkin exploring an empty world. Over time, the Dashkin game had become something I never liked and the fans never wanted: a multiplayer football brawler (I know… me too.) This happened gradually at first. I was led to believe the multiplayer was more of a mini game, and that the single player story-driven platformer would be the main game.

One night after a particularly heated email exchange, it became clear to me that the promise of a single player, story-driven game was about to be broken. Story has always been my ultimate goal and Brackenwood has never been about making money. Going through with that Steam launch would have shackled the team together for at least another year, but worse, devastated the Brackenwood story that the fans adore.

In terms of art, it’s been an extremely productive 661 days. To those who joined me on the journey by watching the streams, cheering me on and waiting for more story, I thank you for the past 22 months of love and enthusiasm and hope you’ll join me on the next project.

What’s next?

Almost every live stream, someone mentions how much they loved Brackenwood and ask if there’ll be more Bitey stories when the game is finished. Well I have some very good news.

The game assets have been split and I will be taking the art and animation back to my own Brackenwood projects, beginning with a Prowlies wildlife documentary. Below is a screenshot of work from the past few live Twitch streams. Drop in and watch the progress as I embark on a new animated short in Unreal Engine, combining 2D animation with lush 3D environments.

In game development, it’s necessary to optimise everything for performance on low spec hardware. In other words, to have the most people enjoying your game, it needs to look good and run smoothly on the world’s worst computers.

The great thing about making a movie in Unreal Engine 4 is that it only needs to run smoothly on my own machine. I can go absolutely crazy with materials, lighting, foliage, particles and reflection. The above scene mostly uses optimised assets, but particle numbers, shadow resolution and density of geometry are far higher than it would be in a game.

The main challenge from here will be adding the 2D animation for characters. As you can see, the 2D prowlie in the grass (animated in Toon Boom Harmony 16) fits the scene very nicely. This will be my focus from here on. Join me on Twitch!


  12 Responses to “Game Over”

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  1. While I’m so sad that the game didn’t work out and is no longer going to be a thing, I can’t tell you how PLEASED I am to hear the story is still going to continue!! I’ve been a fan since the very beginning, and truly can’t wait for more!

  2. I just want some lush scenery, soothing environmental effects, and the occasional curiously cute creature, to be honest.

  3. This is all good news on the long run for Brackenwood and your optimism and enthusiasm is inspirational at the very least. I’ve always looked up to you’re patience as an artist and friend.

    Can’t wait to see the progress of the series of stories return!

  4. I was kind of curious during the art streams why the game had took that direction. While a pretty fun idea it didn’t seem to fit together super well with what I like about Brackenwood. It also seemed a little too loose to be a competitive multiplayer game, the movement made sense for Bitey and a story game, but not so much for the football game. I’m glad you made the decision that you did and am looking forward to future projects!

  5. That’s… some good news.
    Looking forward to a new Bitey animation!
    It’s sad, though, that the game is cancelled. A metroidvania would fit Bitey nicely, I think.

  6. That’s sad to hear man. I know how you work, so I have an appreciation for how much effort would have gone into Dashkin. It’s great that you can recover and re-use game assets for your animation though.

    Onward and upward!

    • Thanks man. As it stands, the original BrackenSack you and I made waaay back in the day is still the only official Bitey game that exists! I’m OK with that 😀

  7. If you are ever interested in picking it back up again, hit me up. The art is the hardest part really, and it sounds like you already have that mostly sorted.
    I’m a freelance game programmer.
    I go by PimpDaddyScoot on Twitch

  8. Back to the animation. That’s what we want.

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