– September Developer update

This is our first development update ever and we approaching this topic slowly. We are currently looking for new opportunities to communicate with our community – besides our social media accounts – in a proper but exciting way. So we start with old but gold monthly blog posts.

First of all: Thanks for everyone who is supporting us by following our journey. We love reading your comments and getting your feedback. This is helping us making the game even better.

Our beginnings

Since we started IKOUYO in late 2021 as a marketing agency for indie game developer studios, we changed to a game development studio ourselves. Our now game director Tom (also founder & managing director of IKOU GmbH) is developing games since forever and wanted to bring his passion into our company for years. And this year it felt it’s about time. But at core, we are still an advertising agency (presentation design, ~10 employees) building a new game dev department besides our main business. This also means we are very creative people working together anyway but there is no chance to do this full time.

When we started to realize that we want to develop games by ourselves around March, we knew we had to begin with a minor project. There was no money and no experience to develop a full fleshed AAA-title. Some of us spend their own money and time to work on this projecft: It’s a very passionate one.

There were so many game ideas flying around in our office. For example we thought about a single player adventure-tarot-card-game. But even that was to big of a project to realistically work on part time and with little to zero budget. There are nothing more than a few concept arts left.

However, we ended up with the idea of ‚Gaze Into Fate‘ which is a story driven single player-puzzler where we can work through all the different tasks a game development projects comes along with. Concept phase, prototyping, sfx, narrative development, programming, voice acting, translations, … For us, this project is our proof of concept: Can we actually develop games? During the development we learned so many new things and we got a completely new understanding on how to work together on a project such like a game.

Our game director started with some very rough sketches of the trailer (which we planned very early in development and worked on besides the actual game itself as a separate project. Shoutout to Philipp Spaans who helped us a lot to make the cinematic trailer that good looking!) and the game itself including the game mechanics. He also created the world, the characters and so on. Our artists then transferred the sketches into amazing concept arts and we also started to work with Sarah Weinmann, a freelance game writer around this time. It was just a joy to see everything comes together and we made some quick progress. We also started building a community on twitter, instragram and tiktok back then.

Our main goal was and is to tell a meaningful story which a wide audience can enjoy. We really set our focus on a good look & feel. The sounds are very polished, the visual feedback for the players are top notch. Yes, it’s a short game without deep systems and stuff like this, butr we are very proud of what we achieved in just a couple of months. We can’t say it often enough: For us, this game is just the beginning of something big!

Where we at

With this day, we are leaving the alpha stage and entering the beta phase which is obviously a huge step forward for us and the game. This means we feel more confident to share more details and footage of our game in the near future. We will add a lot of content in September to the game and we hope it’s fully playable from start to finish by the end of the month.

Things included in the new build:

  • chapter two is now fully playble
  • the first intermediate chapter is playable
  • added many more voice overs
  • a ton of new ambient sound effects added
  • two new soundtracks added
  • rethought the tracking shots between the riddles
  • improved overall game speed
  • cinematic trailer added
  • credit menu added
  • many bugs fixed

We can’t wait to show you actual gameplay footage. We are so excited and we hope you will follow us to the things what is to come.

We want to encourage you to share our project, out tweets and trailers with your friends & family. This is by far the best way to support us as an indie game development studio at this stage of development. We need you to have at least a chance to stand out. Thank you very much!

– The whole IKOUYO development team