posted June 11th, 2017
Howdy folks, and good evening.
Got a lot of updates for you on the horizon, but since E3 is (more-or-less) underway, I figured maybe it’d be better to just pop in and do a quick bit of housekeeping & catch-ups until the onslaught of news has passed. You’ll probably even miss this because of E3, probably, but that’s okay! There will be much more soon enough.
We seem to have been on a bit of an arcadey “space” kick lately, with Panic on Party Planet releasing back in February, and Star Phantom at the tail-end of last month. We’ve got at least one more space-faring-adventure cooking up for you on the horizon, so, I wouldn’t anticipate a return-trip to earth any time soon.
We also can’t go and forget about Block Dude X and The Amazing Launchman celebrating their birthdays last month! It’s hard to believe that these puzzle-pals have been boppin’ around for as long as they have, turning 6 and 7 respectively, but what can you do? It’d be a bit belated, but perhaps we might just go ahead and do something small to celebrate. Stay tuned for those. Maybe.
Beyond that, I’m also looking to do a little bit of rejiggering on the website front, primarily on the games page. I’d expect more games and more patches to start coming with an increased regularity, so, I want to make changes to reflect a more-frequently updated release schedule. Nothing toooooo major, just a more flexible presentation. I feel like some of our current categories are a bit arbitrary, and I’d like to surface some of our personal favorite works a bit better. But now i’m just talking out loud! (Or, is it typing out loud?)
I’ve also been working very hard behind the scenes to bring you a formal update on the “large terrifying elephants in the room”. You know what I’m talking about; The Legend of Doodle and Collectems. I’m preparing a big video to breakdown all the specifics (with an accompanying blog post for those that’d rather read than watch), but for now, let me at least tell you what to expect:
- Status of The Legend Of Doodle.
- What’s going on with Collectems.
- Other projects in the works.
- Our output going forward.
These are all things you will be updated on soon. How soon? Next week soon. There’s way too much to cover here, but rest assured that I will be getting into specifics. Some specifics more specific than others, but specifics nonetheless. But, I’m afraid that’s it for today’s housekeeping. Looking forward to sharing more with you very, very soon. Until then!
For this week’s Monday Method, we’ve got another musical preview from The Legend Of Doodle. This track’s a real oldie. Just how old? Well, maybe this additional video will give you some idea:
The Monday Method returns with a new musical preview for The Legend Of Doodle!
(For those not in the know, the Monday Method is where we share WIP development snippets from our current projects, sometimes exploring the changes or thought process behind the items in question.)
posted February 8th, 2016
Hello all! it’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Just a quick update today - some months back I spoke with The Vita Lounge about both The Legend Of Doodle and Collectems, and you can now go read the full 3-page interview in the latest issue of their magazine (for free!). It was a lovely chat, and I hope you find the discussion entertaining and enlightening.
I’m afraid that’s all for now, but we’ll be back soon with more to share.
Stay gold, everyone.
posted May 2nd, 2015
We’re not quite ready to provide a look at how the game’s level design has changed throughout development, so I figured we’d switch gears and explore a different area instead. We’ve shared a decent selection of Doodle’s soundtrack already, but we haven’t really gone much further than that. So, this week, I’d like to take a brief look at the evolutionary process for the game’s music.
The vast majority of Doodle’s soundtrack was actually created before the game was even started, and even predates The Layabouts. We’ll probably get into the general history of The Legend Of Doodle at a later date, but to make a long story short: our friend Fidget created a large collection of MIDI tracks back in the day for a number of other projects that never quite got off the ground. We couldn’t be more thankful to have access to those tracks, especially in the early stages of production, and his music has gone a long way in helping us find the overall mood and texture of the game. We’ve taken great care to preserve the feeling of these original midi tracks in our ‘higher quality’ updates, and will be including a MIDI soundtrack option for those interested in hearing the originals.
Usually, the updating process goes fairly smoothly. Sometimes it can take a few tweaks to get right. Sometimes, well, take the music from World 3 for example. The updated version of this track has been set for quite some time, but a few months ago we actually unearthed a much older attempt Zach made at updating the track that none of us even remember existing! Here, take a listen:
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) most of our updates don’t result in multiple distinct takes like this, so I’m glad this didn’t stay lost forever. Who knows, maybe there’s something else out there, waiting to be rediscovered?
Anyway, that’s enough out of me for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief musical excursion, and I’ll see you folks next time.
posted April 22nd, 2015
Hello all! Joe here once again with your semi-monthly Layabouts check in!
Man, If 2015 has taught me anything so far, it’s that I should expect bad and expect bad often. Without going into detail, I’ve been dealing with a lot of issues in my personal life that have left me anywhere from distracted to horribly, thoroughly, exhausted. It’s prevented me from talking about work as openly as I would have liked, and for that I apologize. Despite this, work has been going very well, if quietly, and with the worst (hopefully) behind me, I fully intend on opening up the proverbial Pandora’s box.
Let’s go ahead and open that thing!
It’s been over a year now since we originally announced the The Legend Of Doodle for PlayStation Vita. To celebrate, we released a video of the game’s full opening cutscene. Hidden in there at the end was the announcement (one which I’d like to now make formally), that we’re also bringing the title to PlayStation 4! We’re very excited to share this news with everyone, and fully intend on supporting features like Cross-Buy and Cross-Save.
But the completed in-game intro is also a huge milestone for us personally. Everything’s really starting to come together on all sides, and while we’ve taken much longer than we intended to get the game finished and out the door, I can say with confidence that it’s been worth the time and effort. To illustrate what I mean, we’ve gone ahead and made a new comparison video for the game’s first boss battle.
Hopefully you can see how much good another year can do for something like this. And it’s not just Bobby boy either - over the past several months we’ve been making smart changes to pretty much every boss fight in the game. Cutting down on needless complexity, building on the strengths of each fight, and trying our best to to do something unique with each new encounter. Next week I’d like to showcase how the game’s level design has been similarly improved thanks to this extra time.
For now though, I must bid you farewell. There’s still plenty to do, so I should quit jawing and get back to it. Until we meet aggaaaaaaiiiiinnnn!~
In case you missed it buried down in our birthday post, we released a brand new trailer for The Legend Of Doodle on Monday!
posted February 16th, 2015
It’s true! Today is our 5th anniversary here at The Layabouts. Happy birthday, everyone!
Every new year, I more or less have the same things to say: “Wow, it sure has been a wild ride for us!” “Has it really been that long?!” “The future sure is looking bright!” I think I’ll spare you this time - not because I disagree with any of those statements, but because they’d just be redundant at this point! Instead, I’m happy to announce that we’re doing something a bit more special this year.
(Wait for it!)
Now, you might be asking yourself, what the heck is Festabouts? Those of you that have known us since our early days will remember Festabouts as our whenever-ly event to celebrate something. Usually our birthday, except for when it was late. Or when we just felt like it. And the first one was on Halloween for some reason. Okay it was weird - and It’s back! Well, kinda.
You see, Festabouts would usually mean tons of new content, silly events, and major updates. But we’re not reeeaaallllyyyy that kind of site anymore. We don’t have a dozen folks screeching into microphones or slapping their art programs anymore, so where’s all that content going to come from? It’s not going to come from me, I can say that much. I guess it can’t be an honest-to-goodness real Festabouts, can it? Well, if that’s the case:
FESTABOUTS 2015! (Sort Of)
We’ve got 3 big things to share with you all for Kind-Of-Sort-Of Festabouts 2015 this year.
First, remember those screeching children I was just talking about? Well now you can relive all the sights and sounds of Layabout’s past for yourself! 5 years is a long time to be doing anything, and until today we’ve had most of our history hidden away on Zach’s hard drive, but no more! Introducing the Layabouts Archive! We’ve gone ahead and recreated the old Layabouts website, and all of our old content is up for viewing. So if you’d like to see what we were doing when we were still figuring ourselves out, now you can. My personal recommendation: the We Lay About Podcast. There’s an episode where I not only fail to properly explain what a Skinner Box is, but also refer to it by no less than 2 million incorrect titles. It’s wonderful - go on and and enjoy yourselves!
Next up, it’s time to bring down the lights, because we’ve got our first new trailer of 2015 for The Legend of Doodle.
In addition to that, there’s a handful of new screenshots and promotional artworks over on the Doodle website, which you can check out right now courtesy of this handy dandy little link.
You may have noticed the updated logo for The Legend of Doodle in the new trailer or on the site. Well, I think it’s only fair that Collectems receives the same treatment, wouldn’t you agree? As our final item for Kind-Of-Sort-Of Festabouts 2015, I present to you:
The new logo for Collectems!
The logo that had been on the Collectems website up to this point was a holdover from a simpler time. Very rough, very basic, and not really in line with the direction we’ve really been taking the game conceptually. We put a lot of time and energy into this new logo, agonizing over the details, and now that we’re finally finished we couldn’t be happier with the results. Let this be a sign of more Collectems news to come, and I promise you that more is indeed coming soon!
And thus, we reach the end of our Kind-Of-Sort-Of Festabouts 2015 event! Thank you all for your time, and a special thank you to Ted Hubish and ringor mortis for their help with this kind-of-sort-of event. Good day, good night, and happy Festabouts, everyone!
posted February 14th, 2015
Hey there everyone!
We’ve been hard at work getting The Legend Of Doodle to the playtesting stage. We’re nearly there, which means that very soon we’ll be able to start sharing details about the game again - fewer crunch-related headaches and whatnot. This also means that I’ll be getting the free time to start talking about Collectems again as well, so we’re pretty happy all around.
So, as I’m sure you’ve read in the title, I’m here with a very specific question: what would you like to learn about next? What sorts of future blog posts would you like to see from us? That goes for both The Legend of Doodle and Collectems (though do keep in mind that development is still very early on the latter). Are you interested in hearing about story details? Game structure? Mechanics? Characters? Let us know! Leave us a message here in the box below, or if you’d prefer - send us an email, or write a post over at our community forums. Help us figure out what we should be talking about, and then, well, we’ll start talking. Thanks!
posted January 10th, 2015
2014 - what a year. As the night grew colder and the calendar finally rolled over, my mind kept coming back to the same thought: this has been an incredibly strange 12 months for us here at The Layabouts.