Havoc Studios Q3 2021 Newsletter
Q3 2021 Newsletter
We’re Still Here!
Pardon our dust! The last few months may have gone without a newsletter, but rest assured we have been hard at work on Havoc Fox the entire time! In the meantime, we hope you have had a Happy Halloween and are ready to move into the holiday season!
(Artwork by @Levie)
With the Kickstarter out of the way, we have been able to shift all of our focus back into Havoc Fox’s development. The funding from the Kickstarter has allowed us to expand our crew with vital work done in the realms of sound design, background art, and casting direction (though we won’t name any names for now). This new talent has been very helpful in both refining existing assets within Havoc Fox as well as the development of newer content.
SAGE 2021 also happened earlier this quarter. Havoc Fox appeared once again at the expo with a new demo featuring the return of Aqua Rocket Base, a stage that was absent during the Kickstarter. Further testing was done, additional feedback was gathered, and we have been able to use the experience as a whole to further improve the game! Next year for SAGE 2022, however, you can expect to see something new and different from us. We won’t reveal anything more than that, so be sure to check it out when the time comes!
Development of Havoc Fox is still going strong! The “Current Development Update” segment of the newsletter will dig deeper into this, but know that we have since mostly finished up Ethereal Express, have made some gameplay and quality-of-life changes to earlier stages, and have begun development of the next stage! We’ll give you a hint: it’s well suited for the coming season.
Lastly, I (Austin) just wanted to formally apologize for the lack of updates, both through the newsletter and through our social media channels. The time following the Kickstarter campaign has left me mentally exhausted and I’ve fallen behind in a lot of areas. I have still been working on the game (the main scripts are finished and going through their final revisions at the moment), but with the lack of updates outside of our community Discord server, I understand that the opposite may look true. Rest assured, I am ready to get back into action and will return to our regular posting of the newsletter each month, as well as more frequent updates on social media. Thank you so much for your understanding and continued support of Havoc Studios!
Current Development Update
This quarter, we’ve powered through the express and have begun working on the following stage.
Ethereal Express is nearly complete! The stage is built, the boss working, and we are polishing it up while working on the following level. The cutscenes taking place before Ethereal Express have been implemented as well, designed without the larger talk sprites to keep all of the focus on the main scene. This is a new cutscene style which we are testing out to see how it compares with the scenes of the past.
Following Ethereal Express, our heroes will find their way to the remote, snowy village of Cerice! Despite being far away from the king’s influence, the small town has its own set of perils. We won’t dig too deep into the stage’s story or layout, but come prepared to endure a series of trials!
Finally, aside from the new stages, changes have been made to the existing levels to help liven them up. New enemies can be found and extra puzzles have been placed into Moonlit Cove, Autumn Entropy, and more!
Who might these two be? A side project is currently in the works which we intend to showcase at SAGE 2022 next year! Do not worry; this project is largely being used as a tool to keep our minds fresh and prepared when it comes time to work on Havoc Fox and will not interfere with its development in any way. We are still maintaining our production goals and hope to keep powering through development at an efficient rate!
Q3 Fan Art Gallery
Plenty of time has passed since our last newsletter, which also means that we have plenty of fan art to show off! The following works have been submitted to us through our community Discord server. Check ‘em out!
Antarc by Cas Chronon on Discord
Extreme Venice by VAdaPEGA on Discord
Fortuna by Glover on Discord
Havoc Fox Movie Poster by LillyDragon on Discord
Jim and Venice by TheToppingKing on Discord
Riken by Levie on Discord
Venice by Celabeat on Discord
Venice at SAGE 2021 by Rilao on Discord
Venice Kart by Plom510 on Discord
FNF Grey by SamuraiOfSecrets on Discord
Witchy Venice by EventHorizon on Discord
Community Spotlight - LillyDragon!
In each edition of the Havoc Studios monthly newsletter, we will highlight the works and/or relations of a member from the community or studio. We are grateful for everyone within the community and would like to recognize those of you who help bring life to the community. Our Q3 community spotlight features LillyDragon, developer of the Freedom Planet fan game “Shang Mu Architect” among others!
How did you first discover Havoc Fox?
“I first saw HavocFox because Dusky posting it in #dev-lab on the GalaxyTrail server, what feels like half a decade ago? It's powerful to realize how much the game has changed in that time, as well as the people behind it! I knew I had to be a beta backer when y'all launched the (now successful) Kickstarter, and I can't wait to see where things go from here.”
How long have you been working with game development?
“I've been learning how to make games since I was a 14 year old teen in-front of a Windows 98 computer, snacking away at craisins into the wee hours of the night while mangling Game Maker's Pacman example into a half-functioning platformer. I had always wanted to make video games since I was old enough to hold a controller, so I was happily bumbling my way through those beginning phases. After 40+ shelved 2D and 3D fan game prototypes, and many periods of life dragging me around, at the ripe age of 32, I'm nearing the final stages of finishing what will be my first proper fan game with Shang Mu Architect!”
Your Freedom Planet fan game, Shang Mu Architect, is doing quite well in the community. How has its development helped you as a creator?
“Shang Mu Architect has taught me every painful lesson about game development that every prior prototype didn't! Freedom Planet is a more difficult beast to recreate from scratch than most 2D platformers are. The sheer scope of working backwards to rebuild Lilac, Carol, Milla, 12 of FP's most iconic enemies, and almost all of FP's items, puts the complexity of any Sonic fan game I've ever tried to make to shame. Getting all of those countless thousands of pieces feature-complete and working in unison took a full three years! But I don't regret a moment of it. When I first played Freedom Planet in the Christmas of 2014, I was trying not to cry, it made me so happy. It wasn't just a video game to me, it was an event that changed the course of my life. I knew I wanted to make games before, but it was like my eyes opened when Freedom Planet released. It was that inspiring, and I'm not alone in the GalaxyTrail community when I say that! No matter how hard it was, that driving force of passion kept me going. Shang Mu Architect is above and beyond everything I had ever dreamed of doing with my cancelled Blaze fan game. It is a marriage of ideas from two lost level editors that never came to be: My Blaze fan game's level editor, and Sabrina's stage editor that was intended to ship with FP1, but never made the final cut. SMA is a revival of the content lost on FP1's cutting room floor, as well as mine. It's so surreal when I'm testing and debugging things in SMA, sometimes, to realize how much I have changed since I first started working on it, and how much the game has changed with me. And it's also funny to realize that, when I first started working on SMA, I had no intention of ever making another game like it, if not joking about that harshly absolute statement multiple times. But it's because of working on that fan game, I now have a mountain of ideas for a Sonic clone of my own, which I will be working on after SMA is done! Creativity begets more creativity, who'd have thought? Not me in 2017!”
Would you care to share a bit about your other projects?
“I would like to share more about my next projects, but they still need more time in the oven; SMA's development has kept them on the backburner, unfortunately. But the concept art, bibles, and design docs have been piling up! There's a lot of wonderful people from the GalaxyTrail community behind them, too; you'll know who they are soon enough!”
Anything else you’d like to add?
“I am really happy for Dusky and all of the people behind Havoc Fox, it was wonderful to see the Kickstarter succeed, and it felt great to have given all I could towards the game. Y'all had to work so hard to get this far; it melts my heart to see that many, many others also wanted to see your game become a reality. It's always delightful to see more about Havoc Fox! You have my support all the way!”
Show Lilly some love! Follow her on Twitter or say hi to her on the Discord server!
That's all for now!
Pardon our dust! The past few months may have been silent, but they’ve been quite productive! If you haven't already, be sure to follow us on Twitter @havocfoxgame. Join the conversation on the official Discord server. Support us on Patreon! Check out the original soundtrack and development live streams on our YouTube channel! Like us on Facebook and Instagram!
Thank you for reading the Q3 edition of the Havoc Fox Newsletter. Stay safe, stay healthy, and we hope to see you again in November as we return to our regular posting schedule!