Hi, storytellers! Nick from the team here with a massive update on all things Raconteur.
It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. In fact, our last real entry on our “Stories” page was about EMBRACE THE VOID which launched almost a year ago to the day!
What have we been up to? Have we disappeared? Did we just attain wild success with Evangeline and abandon all intent to ever return to this wild medium of storytelling?
Not exactly! In fact, we’ve been hard at work on the future.
The future. What a weird, noncommittal, ambiguous term! Hopefully I’ll demystify things a bit in this post. I’ll discuss the three big things on our plate right now.
First: Evangeline has launched on Jump! It’s a really badass indie game subscription service where for $4.99 a month, you gain access to over one hundred really cool indie games. The folks at Jump were kind enough to include Evangeline, and after going through the process of porting to their platform, we’ve successfully launched there!
This version includes new content (!!!!) not currently on Steam. These include wonderful little additions to the world made possible by our artist Emily Hargis (rock on, Emily!). You’ll notice lemonade stands, swing sets, extra foliage, and more throughout the world. It makes it feel a little more lived-in, and Emily did a great job on that.
These features will eventually come to Steam at the same time as our Xbox port. Which leads me into the next thing: Evangeline on Xbox!
It’s still coming. And if we play our cards right, it’ll arrive by the end of 2018. To say that this is an easy endeavor is… incorrect. Jump was our first completed port, but we’ve been working on the Xbox version since before then. Jump taught us some hard lessons about what the reality of the porting process is; things break or don’t work for no reason, new bugs are introduced, performance drops without a cause, etc.
We ended up devoting the majority of our efforts towards the Jump version, which ultimately meant that progress was slower on the Xbox version. But it’s still on the way! Luckily, the work we did on Jump overlaps with things we needed to accomplish in the Xbox version, so things are starting back up again and will go more quickly as a result. Look for that later this year on an Xbox near you.
So, we’ve been riding the Evangeline Wave since December 2016 when our gif of the game went viral… what’s next? Do we have anything left? Are we just the “Evangeline” company at this point?
We’ve been a little quiet as to our next project, but if you’ve paid close attention to my social feeds – and other things the company sent out last year – you may recall something about a puppy.
Project Rose. Ah, Rose, the greatest game that isn’t out yet!
TL;DR: Last year we went on a quest to build it, get funded, and ship an amazing game. That quest failed.
Why? Because it wasn’t the right time.
Ultimately, we made something that we were proud of — a short demonstration of our vision — but it wasn’t appealing to the 10+ groups we showed it to. At the end of the day, we ended up canceling the project to be revisited at a later date and instead focused on bringing Evangeline to more people.
Well, luckily for you, I’m a hopeless romantic, a big ol’ sap, and overall a dude who is easily swayed by “the dream.” As 2017 went on, I just couldn’t stop thinking about this game — this beautiful, wonderful, ambitious tale of a lost dog trying to find her way back home.
It was stuck in my bones. It was tied up in my soul. It was all I could think about. Around the end of 2017, I briefly explored another potential funding route that was at the bottom of my list — it didn’t pan out.
And when it didn’t, I smiled.
Rose was back.
So, I thought: Could I get the team on board? Maybe my delusions are just that, delusions, and no one would want to go back to this game. After all, we burned ourselves out trying to sell it to publishers and funding sources, and it was our most fresh failure.
Everyone signed up without hesitation.
Not only did we get everyone from the Evangeline team back on board, but we brought some old and new friends back into the fray for another big Raconteur roller coaster.
Forgive me if I’m sappy here, but as it turns out, we stand for something here at Raconteur. It’s not about attaining some huge level of success; it’s not about making something for the sake of making something; it’s about making something meaningful that impacts players, and if we’re lucky, leaves the world a better place than we found it.
Evangeline’s bet was not on the color mechanic or the story or anything within the game; the bet was that players would trust us to follow the prompt at the end and decide to connect with a loved one. They did. This was so encouraging to see! Our medium was being used in such a simple yet novel way — to bring people together.
And that’s what we’re about at Raconteur. We tell stories that will hopefully leave the world a better place than we found it.
Anyway, maybe I am delusional, but we’re making Project Rose once again. This time, the project is rebooted with a new vision and a fantastic art style (watch my twitter for sneak peeks!) that blows our 2017 idea out of the water.
We’re pushing on, and that’s our future. We’re daring to make something beautiful and wonderful and heartfelt that will make you think about games differently.
There’s no date on this game yet. I couldn’t even possibly begin to tell you when it’ll be done or if it’ll be funded, but we’re making it.
And that’s it! Evangeline is coming to Xbox later this year, Project Rose will be finished one day, and Raconteur continues our mission of telling stories.
We’ll have more to talk about soon, but for now, we’ve got to get back to the campfire and tell our stories. Speaking of that, we have a new episode of the Campfire Podcast here! (Features Kermit and Gilmore Girls.)
Until next time, friends.
P.S.: Here’s a look at Rose: