In 2083 Neo Hong Kong, a young woman named Mei Lin Mak is dragged into a maelstrom of supernatural horror. As she peers deeper into the century old mystery, Mei will be forced to question her perception of reality and her trust of her cybernetic eyes. Under the neon lights of a cyperpunk dystopia, the ruins of the 'Chong Sing Apartments' hides a bloody mystery illuminated by both the traditions of Chinese folklore and the innovations of the industrial future. If there is any hope of escaping this nightmare, Mei-Lin must explore this complex, piecing together the stories of 14 lost souls, and discover the truth of her own family curse.
#22 - Backerkit/Pre-order store live, design/narrative progress!
9 days ago
– Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 10:25:49 PM
Please note, most of the below concerns those who missed pledging. If you already pledged, we have more backerkit information for EXISTING BACKERS under this section.
Good news after a relatively quiet last week. Mainly, we finally have the backer kit store launched and ready! If you missed out on any individual add-ons or (some) of the tier rewards we have them up for you at this link;
With this pre-order store, we wanted to maintain a certain level of exclusivity for existing backers while also offering ways to get the game and merchandise in the hands of late-comers, so with that in mind we have a few points of interest:
- The Collector's Edition package includes the physical copy of the game, the physical soundtrack, and the physical hardcover art book, all wrapped in a unique casing with special art. This will be priced at $200 in order to account for the costs of production, costs of the items themselves, and also to remain fair to the higher tier backers who locked theirs in during the campaign, since it will not contain the extras that come with the higher tier that backers pledged toward.
- You may notice that the physical versions for Switch, Vita, and PS4, cannot be selected at the moment. These will be added in the future once we can confirm physicals for PS4/Switch and once we can coordinate minimum order production batches. For existing backers, this does not effect you, you will still receive the vita physicals you pledged for.
And now for information concerning existing backers;
- Backer surveys are ready, but will not go out for a few more months, while we confirm get some production kinks and specifics worked out. If you're interested in changing your pledge level, you'll be able to do so through the survey, so existing pledgers do not need to use the pre-order store unless they want extras.
-On a transparency note, we want to note that the money made from the backer kit sales will NOT go towards the animated cutscenes stretch goal; instead it will go towards paying our current contractors a bit more, improving over-all quality of the game where ever we can allocate funds, and used for potential trips to conventions in 2019, to market and show off the game as well as meeting fans. To be clear, every penny will be used for development-related expenses though, no superfluous things unrelated to making Sense the best game it can be.
With all that out of the way I also wanted to update you all on the current writing progress.
Things are moving a bit slow, but still rather smoothly. I am taking the time to find inspiration and compare the narrative to other games, movies, and books in order to guarantee a level of originality and freshness for genre fans. I don't want Sense to give you much familiarity while playing, so while very little of the script has been hammered out, the notes, sketches, and iterations have already filled TWO full sketchbooks.
Once again thank you all as always for following along and being patient in these early days. Once Kay and I are all settled in to our temporary home, I will have a lot more to show and tell you all about! For now, make sure to tell all your friends about the backer kit and share it around! Thank you again for your continued support.
#21 - Funds deposited! Executing the Plan!
18 days ago
– Tue, Jul 03, 2018 at 12:02:47 AM
We are FINALLY here! Kickstarter has deposited the funds into my account, and we're getting everything paid and further setup on our end.
Over the past 2 weeks we've been very quiet while waiting on the funds, but that doesn't mean we stopped working! Among other things, we've been polishing the backerkit and making sure that things are ready. With that said, there's still a few things to do, so the backerkit will be going live later this week. We'll post an update about it here and on social media when it does.
On backerkit, if you missed the kickstarter, you'll be able to order individual items such as copies of the game or soundtrack, or if you're an existing pledger, you'll be able to do a few things, including up your pledge to higher pledges if you feel inclined, or allocate funds to add-ons. There will be more information about this in the post coming up later this week, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask them ahead of time!
We've started working out our forums too, and actually have completed most of the setup process. We're getting the design and other specifics setup right now. When it's fully functional we'll be sending backers links to come on in and start chatting!
Most importantly, the game's core narrative is being written and polished. In fact, an entirely new interaction chain is being developed for the first area of the game, one major piece of which has quite a cool surprise which we'll reveal closer to launch.
With that in mind we wanted to go over our plan for the next year and a half. We made a quick info graphic to showcase our plans;
This is obviously not super concrete, BUT we intend to stick to this timeline as much as possible. Gamedev is tough and can be pretty hard to schedule, but that said we aren't too worried about hitting our Q3 release for consoles and Physicals. The goal for a full release is Halloween Eve 2019!
To break this down, let's go over the individual phases, along with short explanations for each one;
Core Dev - This is the time needed to develop the core game. During this time we'll be working hard on overall development, as well as posting development updates appropriately and keeping everyone informed about progress.
PC/Mac Launch - Around Q2 of 2019, we plan to launch the base game on PC & Mac, and possibly Linux if we can get that working as well. This will not initially include the first two DLCs, but the base game.
PC/Mac Fulfillment - Digital copies for those who ordered on PC/Mac/Linux (again if applicable) will receive their copies. The digital OST will also be fulfilled during this time.
DLC 1 & DLC 2 - We'll be rolling out the 2 DLCs in succession after the initial release as they become available. We can't give specific dates for these yet but with an estimated Q2 launch, they would be launched between Q2 and Q3.
Physical Production - Before DLC 2 is done, we'll be starting physical production for all items other than physical copies (Soundtracks, Posters, Etc). Once DLC 2 is done, we will immediately start physical production for all other physicals (PC & Applicable Console ones), that way all DLC is included on the disc, something which was requested by backers.
Physical Release & Console Release - The game will release on all consoles, with all DLC included. Physical copies will also be available, since we will have extras made due to minimum orders. More information about this in the future! This should be around Q3 in 2019.
Physical Fulfillment - Physical rewards will be shipped out!
Since this may be slightly confusing, here is a quick FAQ about our plan;
Why are physical rewards being shipped out so late in the development cycle?
Because it's been requested that we place both DLCs on the game disc, we need to wait until all content is developed & live before shipping physical game copies. In order to avoid confusion and in order to keep the fulfillment process as simple as we can, we will be sending out all physical rewards at once, so all physical rewards need to wait until game copies are produced.
Why are the DLCs & Base Game being released separately?
While we're certainly excited as ever to work on the stretch goal content, we still want to make sure the base game, which contains the most content, is as polished as possible. Because of that priority, we need to section off development time as much as we can, especially in order to meet our planned schedule. That said, we are not launching in early access. Once the base game is finished, it will be as polished as we can possibly make it, and the DLC will be released successively as actual DLC content which just happens to be free. This gives our schedule a lot more flexibility for things like testing, porting, & reward production/fulfillment.
Why is the console release so far after the initial release?
While we will do early tests to assure the compatibility of the base engine and all content with consoles, the actual porting process is quite long, and bugs can sometimes differ on console hardware than on PC. Because of this, we need separate time for porting & testing. Because we already need to wait until we have all the DLC to make the physicals, the base game would just be sitting around completely finished for what could be months on ends regardless, so we feel it would make more sense to simply release the game so backers won't need to wait.
Is it possible to do a digital console release without the DLC, and update date in succession like the PC version?
Yes and no. As we said above, we need the extra time for porting and testing regardless, so this would push back the PC version's launch as well if we wanted to dual launch. However, while we can technically launch the digital base game on consoles, the issue becomes reward fulfillment, as the majority of console storefronts are regional, so we may have trouble delivering redemption codes to backers in varying regions. Again, we want to make sure the fulfillment process is as clean and trouble-free as possible, so we are doing this type of research and taking these precautions as far ahead of time as we can to make sure there are 0 issues in making sure you get exactly what you backed on time.
With all of that said, we will have another update for you very soon! We thank all of you again for your continued support. ----------------------------------------------------------
On another note, the now infamous Ron Z of Olympus comics was kind enough to back us, and as a fan of his work I wanted to point everyone to his current Kickstarter for Valkyrie Saviors 2, which looks like a fantastic continuation of the first issue. Olympus is doing fantastic work bringing sexy back to American comics, and I'm happy to give my seal of approval! Check out their campaign here if it strikes your interest:
Update #19 - 600% Funded + Campaign Analysis
about 1 month ago
– Sat, Jun 16, 2018 at 08:44:22 PM
And that's that. As we crossed the finish line, a stunning final rally saw us reach to just over the 600% funding mark, with a total of 1,083 backers. We must thank each and every one of you for believing in our vision, and for standing beside us as we make it a reality. This is a dream come true, and we're honoured you've all decided to be part of it.
Now that we're here, we'd like to take a few moments to look back on the campaign, and have a think its course. As some of you may already know, Sense had a previous attempt on Kickstarter which unfortunately, didn't gain any traction, hence cancelling it and re-running it now. Why the major difference? Well, for the previous attempt, we think it came down to basically 3 factors: Underdeveloped, bare-bones basic demo with little functionality or depth; practically 0 lead time between demo release, press response and Kickstarter launch, and a campaign running between 2 major US holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also feel the kickstarter campaign was heavily underdeveloped both structurally and update-wise, likely a result of our stressed timeframe and short notice.
With these in mind, the basic steps to ensure a greater chance of success became obvious. Most of you here have played the current demo, which contains significantly more content than the previous one; we had a buffer zone of several weeks to allow it to proliferate and word to spread; and this time, we launched in the middle of the Kickstarter "hot-spot".
That's not all, however. We also communicated much more clearly the intention to bring the game to Switch, PS Vita and PS4 if we could, and it's no secret that we captured the attention of console game collectors because of this - ho provided a massive boost to the campaign, as well as extra media coverage from console-gaming orientated press. In particular, our ability to make an agreement with EastAsiaSoft for the production of physical copies had a great effect on the confidence of backers. Looking over our analytics, a substantial portion of pledges were redirected to the campaign through Twitter and Facebook, indicating that the more focused social media campaign helped our significantly, as well as the following broughton by high-profile social media stars who lent their interest to the project.
Of course, the most important key to our success was YOU! Each and every one of you that shared, retweeted, talked about, and supported us over the past 30 days. No matter how good our pitch or demo was, we could not have gotten here without your enthusiasm and excitement. I look forward to having all (almost) 1100 of you help us build a community!
Believe it or not, the "hard" part is done. Now is dev time! I have a ton of document work to get done at this point so unfortunately we will not have any real art updates or anything of that sort for about 2 months. Also, Kay and my move to Hong Kong is closing in, so there will be a short period of transit and settling in. Don't worry though, we will all be on twitter, discord, and here to talk to you all and answer anyone who may have questions.
Meanwhile, we are working out a good schedule for posting, blogging, and updating too. We know that the absolute minimum we want is monthly update posts, and we hope that our forums or discord, and our youtube channel will help keep the excitement alive and grow the community. Although for obvious reasons, we can't talk about everything in development because that'd spoil... well, everything!
When we decide how best to do all of these things the next week or two, we will make sure to make a lot of noise! In the coming week or so, we'll also launch the project's Backerkit, so you'll be able to pick up extra items, upgrade pledges, or if you missed the campaign outright, can get onboard!
With that in mind, here are the next steps once we receive the project's funds;
- Finish the script, Game document, and other misc documents (already underway! delivery estimate - early/mid August) - Create a deliverable table/schedule (ASAP)
- complete a "post mortem" on the current build and art assets to determine what kind of changes need to be made for overall quality improvement. (delivery - next week)
- Start searching for an animator, translators, and a Hong Kong native graphic designer to contract.
- Move to Hong Kong - (this is a personal happenings as mentioned above, it isn't related to development but since it'll affect my ability to work on the project in the meanwhile, I've decided to list it here. It'll be happening sometime between either July or November)
- Core Development ( from August 2018 )
- Testing and polish (last 2-3 months before launch )
- Launch Q2-3 2019!
I know this is pretty vague and loose-ended, but it is still early in development and a lot of work needs to be done in order for us to be able to start showing significant progress! As always, we will be very transparent as we do so and will have plenty to share with you soon. Once again, thank you all so much for your generosity and enthusiasm!
Now, on to making Sense!!!!
500% FUNDED - THANK YOU! - THE FINAL DAY
about 1 month ago
– Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 11:23:22 PM
With 18 hours left as of the time of writing this post, we are sitting comfortably over $50k in funding and nearly 900 backers.
The idea that we have now exceeded over 500% funding, will most likely end just under 1000 backers, and have a full day to go is the most humbling and encouraging experience of my life. I've said it again and again, but I really cannot say it enough - I am so thankful to each and every one of you who are helping me, Kay, Top Hat, Andi, and Al achieve our goal, and my dream. I have one final request as we move forward with development - keep your feedback with us both honest and transparent. Ask questions, be vocal, and hold our feet to the fire EVERY TIME. Some companies can say things like; "If you don't like it, don't buy it" after making unwelcome changes or decisions. We are only here because of you and your generosity, excitement, and hype. Don't ever let us forget that.
We will be setting up our backer forums soon, and our small team will be a ready and excited to talk with each of you, show art, builds, and ideas, and create a community of fans and customers for the future of SUZAKU. While we're still deciding where our forum will be and what form it will take (traditional or discord? Don't worry though, we won't need additional funding for a discord server :P) but as soon as it is ready we will be sending out an update to backers to invite them.
The Last Few Hours
Over the next day, we will be very active both on social media and on here to answer last minute questions and help drive us as far past 50k as possible. We opted to roll the last few days of updates into this one so that we could focus on a few behind the scenes things. So please feel free to comment on twitter, facebook, or right here! We'll get back to you as quickly as we can.
BackerKit + Post-Campaign Pledges
We are setting up our backer kit now, it should be up within 1-2 weeks! We will be offering all physical and digital goods. That said, we have still not decided if or how we will offer the Collectors Edition set. For transparency, our worry is pricing it fairly for those that bought in at the higher tiers, while also pricing it reasonably given that those tiers include a lot of extra stuff. We have decided, that the CE will include the physical game, physical soundtrack, physical art book, and a special box/case with unique art. Let us know what you think about what a fair price would be, ESPECIALLY, if you backed a higher tier for the CE box. Right now we're hovering around $150 or so, but it's not a finalized price.
A lot of people have also been asking about whether they will be able to update their pledges to higher tiers through backerkit once the campaign has ended. Rest assured this is something we're looking into getting setup now, However, this specific facet will likely run for a shorter amount of time than the overall backerkit storefront for individual item preorders, that was backer surveys do not get confused.
As I'm sure everyone is excited to hear, we have some more details from the game (and development) to elaborate on!
Release Date - With both expansion chapters funded, we will be necessarily pushing back the release date of the game so that it ships both physically and digitally as a complete product world wide. We are now anticipating a late Q2- Q3 release next year. Perhaps Halloween will be extra spooky in 2019? Along the way we will post consistent updates for backers so you can all track development progress.
After Image - We have funded the 2nd expansion chapter! As detailed in a previous post, Sense: After Image will take place several weeks after the events of the main game, and will follow Maiko entering the Chong Sing building in search of answers.
NG+ and NG++ - The New Game Plus modes will both have unique content, ghosts, and Shinrei Shashin, giving the game extra replayability. Some elements, lore, unlockables, and secrets will only be found by playing through the game all 3 times! One other thing I am very seriously hoping to work on is having certain content effect subsequent playthroughs in different ways. Maybe unlocking a certain door in play through one will make opening it again impossible? The core idea is interconnected playthroughs and extra replayability. Obviously I cannot tell you too much yet, because it's still something we're conceptualized. However, this is the idea i am focusing on while writing that content!
Unlockables - My favorite part of any game is unlockable costumes, characters, and weapons. Sense's content will mainly be costumes, but I am interested to hear what YOU would like to see. There will be secret and hidden content that you will only have access to in NG+/NG++, but I consider those separate from the idea of a cosmetic change or overpowered weapon. What types of unlockables are you favorites?
With all that out there and said, The last thing I want to say is, again, thank you all so much! I am preparing a special piece of art to celebrate, which will be done soon
Update #18 - Arenus Feature
about 1 month ago
– Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 10:36:49 PM
Hi all! We're coming up on the final 2/3 days for our Kickstarter, and it's all hands on deck. Thank you to everyone who's supported us so far, and we're looking forward to how far we can push towards the end! Today, we have a special announcement to make. We're doing a cross-promotion and feature with the developers of Arenus over at Arvus Games!
Andi, who you all know well as the audio director and composer here at Suzaku for Sense, is also the sound artist and composer for Arenus. He brought our respective games to each other's attention, and it became clear we all share a passion for well developed, aesthetic settings. With this in mind, we thought it'd be a great opportunity to boost both games, and also add a pretty cool feature!
In Arenus, you, The Warden, will choose to team up with one of three selectable gladiators and fight through to the top ranks of the Arena, in a quest for glory, riches, and justice. You'll be able to find Mei hanging around in Arenus, and Geyna, one of the main characters from Arenus, can be found lingering the streets of Neo Hong Kong.