Well 2020 was certainly a thing.
Thankfully I was not too badly affected by anything, as I was already working from home and managed to avoid catching the virus so far. I have been knuckling down to ensure Tattered Sails is ready to swing into the final stages of production as of next week. And while that is going on, Wight Chapel Dreams will also be moving headlong towards completion. This will mean we should be well on track for another Halloween release, and finishing 2021 with Wight Chapel Dreams ready for the last steps, and Return to Wight Chapel at least critical path complete.
So, here's to 2021, and hopefully a less hectic and stressful time for everybody!
Game Keys have released their list of Top Steam Games to Look Out for in November, and have added The Hunter's Journals – Red Ripper to that list! I am very happy to see that it is being picked up on by various websites, including Lovecraftian Games and The Steampunk Explorer. Getting into a top list is also very gratifying.
Thank you very much for picking Red Ripper! To see the list of other games which were included please click the following link.
The Hunter's Journals – Red Ripper is now available on Steam, and is going though the final checks for launch on Android. Hopefully it will be available soon on that platform, preferably by the end of today. If not, it will at least be coming sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, you can enjoy the hardest, most challenging hunt to date on PC. And, during this Halloween Sale, all of the other Grindwheel Games titles are 50% off. Have a great weekend and a fun, spooky Halloween!
With a little under a week to go until the release of Red Ripper, Shark Robot now stocks the front cover of the latest book alongside other Grindwheel Games pictures. The Forgotten Victim, another enemy to be encountered in your exploration of the cursed city, is front and centre in this high-quality print. The other front covers are also still available for purchase.
The lack of news from Grindwheel Games has not been due to anything bad happening, but actually reflects how busy I have been in the past few months. So, here are the major updates:
Tattered Sails has been completed and checked over. It is now ready for editing, which is will enter next year at around the same time Red Ripper went in. That means we are very likely to hit another Halloween deadline for that title too.
Wight Chapel Dreams has been started, with a good chunk of the critical path mapped out already. That has gone on pause for a short while to let me handle things like the release of Red Ripper, along with real-life things like submitting my taxes for the year and other such issues. I have every confidence I'll have the game's core down before the end of the year, letting me finish it off and get it to the same state as Tattered Sails while that game is in full production.
The Harrow Run has come on in leaps and bounds! I have been fixing up things like a UI and finding out the maximum size of mazes will load comfortably in the engine. That has also been paused as I will need to look into getting 3D art for it at some point.
And finally, Red Ripper is still set for release on Halloween! However, some rebalancing has been done to it based on feedback. This includes changing some particularly tough achievements. A number of bugs were also found by the same player who discovered the issues with Blissful Ignorance, and these have been corrected. Hopefully this will make the whole thing a lot smoother on launch day!
I will try and keep up with posting news more often, but overall with things as they stand we're set for a nice, quiet couple of months over Christmas, before we get back to fully bashing away at Tattered Sails. Stay tuned for the Red Ripper release, and any other announcements as they happen!
The full trailer for Red Ripper is here! Please check it out on the Our Games page. I have submitted it for approval to Steam along with the build of Red Ripper, so hopefully it will be appearing on the store page soon.
Tattered Sails has also been brought up to speed, with all of the pages I had written so far plugged in. That means I will be able to finish the end game of the book and know where all of the side paths currently lead to. The page count stands at around 500, so it looks like we will end up somewhere close to Blissful Ignorance and Red Ripper in size.
The new teaser trailer for Red Ripper is here! It will be featured on this website until the full one is available, and should still be available on the Steam page should it be approved.
On that note, there are just four voice clips waiting on being redone before I can send a build to Steam for approval. Once that is done hopefully the build and teaser will be added to the store page while I work on the full trailer.
In any case, for those who have not checked out the Steam Summer Sale, all of the released Hunter's Journals games are currently available at 50% off. Now is a great time to pick them up if you have not done so already!
With all of the art needed for the store page completed, I have been able to put Red Ripper live wall before the Halloween launch. I am going to make a 'teaser trailer' to add to the page sometime in the coming weeks to get used to the new video editing software I will be using to make the main trailer as well, while I work on finishing off the build.
On that note, the VO has completed the first pass, and I am working through the files polishing and plugging them in. At this rate I expect to be done in a week or two. After that the game will basically be ready for uploading to Steam for them to approve, but I will likely wait for the redone pages first, so I do not have to keep updating the build once it is up.
In any case we are trundling steadily towards a less hectic pace for the Halloween launch, followed by working on Tattered Sails to get it written and checked by the end of the year. This will then leave more time for me to work on the Harrow Run side project, as well as Apple releases.
To check out the new store page and add it to your wishlist, follow this link!
Good afternoon! Today I can reveal the front cover for Red Ripper, the fourth book in The Hunter's Journals series. All of the art pages are finished and plugged in, which just means that the voice over for the PC build is the last job left to do, along with a few bits of polish and the store pages. Over 200 of the lines have been edited so far, so we are well on the way to hitting the Halloween launch date.
In addition, I have also decided on the next game in the series, following Tattered Sails. The Crawling Horror of Wight Chapel has been mentioned in every game so far, and now you will get a chance to see what, exactly, this is. In Wight Chapel Dreams, you will flash back to the case which made you famous, and in the sequel you will...well, let's leave that for later.
With everything moving smoothly so far, I have every confidence that I will have the latter half of this year to finish Tattered Sails to the same point that Red Ripper was in 2019. Then, I will be able to spend the remaining time working on things like Apple builds, and side projects like The Harrow Run.
Have a great weekend, and I will let people know when the game is completely finished!
Good morning! So, things have been a little hectic here due to various factors, which means I have not had much of a chance to share updates. First, and most importantly, the book covers for Pale Harbour, Vile Philosophy and Blissful Ignorance have all been made into posters! These are exclusively available through Shark Robot. You can find our store page on the site here, or by clicking the new merchandise link in the header.
Hopefully we will be able to add to this collection over time, depending on demand. At the very least we should see the new front covers being uploaded every time a book goes live.
Speaking of which...Red Ripper has been chugging along in the background. As it was effectively finished at the end of last year, it has been through the editing process and is now with art and audio. Cryo Chamber have delivered another haunting soundtrack, and I am working through voice over files as they come in. At this rate, barring some major incident, we are looking at being ready for another Halloween launch. Fingers crossed!
Book 5 is also well ahead of the curve, with the core story written and 400+ pages completed so far. I have every confidence that it will be in the same state Red Ripper was by the end of this year, which should leave me more time to work on things like Apple builds and the Vile Runner project.
So, despite all the chaos going on around the world, we are still moving ahead! Please check out the Shark Robot store if you get the chance, and keep safe!
Happy new year from Grindwheel Games!
So it has been an eventful 2019. I started the year in Krakow, moved back to the UK when my position was made redundant, set up my own company, released three games, completed my fourth book, and then started my freelance work with Quarter Circle Games. All of the projects I have released have been relatively successful and are slowly growing in popularity as time goes on. Compared to some of the high-profile gaming disasters of 2019, Grindwheel Games has had a lot of success, all without working anyone to the bone or charging premium prices for broken content!
2020 is looking a little more sedate by comparison right now. With Red Ripper written and ready for editing, I should be able to get it completed alongside my regular job, and write Tattered Sails to boot. I have already begun designing the Traits system and laying out the critical path of that title, so we're looking good to have it in the same place as Red Ripper by the end of this year. And, as always, any spare time in the schedule will go towards building the Vile Philosophy maze side game.
In any case I look forward to keeping you all appraised of progress as the year rolls on. Happy new year and hope you all had a great holiday period!
Good morning! Over the weekend I finished the plug in and QA pass for The Hunter's Journals - Red Ripper. This puts me in a great position to begin work on editing, voice over and art in 2020. For reference, Blissful Ignorance was roughly 50% written this time last year, and I was finishing off the Vile Philosophy voice over at the same time. So we really are steaming ahead on book 4 of the series!
I am also proud to announce that I have taken a position at Quarter Circle Games. While I cannot go into exactly what I am doing, I have joined this exciting first-person horror project as a game designer on Once Upon a Time in Roswell. Please check out the website and Steam store page for more details.
What does this mean for Red Ripper? As has been noted previously, The Hunter's Journals is a series I built to be worked on outside of my regular hours. And, as Quarter Circle Games are fine with me publishing my own work as a side project, there is likely to be little to no impact on a delivery date of 2020 for book 4. Especially given that we are so far ahead in development at this point! So overall this is very much a win-win situation for fans of the series so far.
Have a great week, and I will let you all know when Red Ripper hits editing!
Happy Halloween! It was very nearly a close-run thing, but Blissful Ignorance has hit the Halloween release date I was aiming for. If things go well then we should see a similar time frame for Red Ripper, which is steaming ahead through the review and editing process.
You can find Blissful Ignorance here on the Steam store, and here on Goggle Play. The Google Play link might take a little while to show up, but it has been reviewed and launched, so it will be available sometime today.
I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween, and I hope you all enjoy our latest game!
The new trailer has arrived! This means that the game will be going for the final review on the Steam system shortly, which means we'll be entirely set for the Halloween launch, as promised. You can check it out, and enjoy a sneak preview of the amazing soundtrack by Cryo Chamber on the Our Games page now.
Update - It turns out that the new trailer is too huge for the internet! We did use a new program this time around, and it has saved the final file as over 300MB. This is obviously a bit too large, and a smaller version should be available soon. When it is, I will let you know. The trailer can still be viewed on Facebook and hopefully on our Steam page as well. Sorry!
Update - Fixed! The trailer should be working fine now. Please enjoy it!
Blissful Ignorance now as its store page on Steam! The trailer is still in production, but rather than let things drag on and possibly risk a delay in release, I have gone ahead and published the page. For those who don't know, the store has to be live for 2 weeks before a game can be released. With the trailer still in production, and the game build needing a few working days for Valve to approve it, it makes more sense to put the page live and allow those things to take place in the background. That means we're almost certain to hit the Halloween deadline unless the game requires major revisions and multiple rounds of feedback.
In any case, the trailer will be added to the store and website when it becomes available. In the meantime, check out this link to wishlist the game and take a look at the screenshots!
The cover for Blissful Ignorance has finally arrived! I have plugged this into the builds of the game and moved ahead with all of the work that it was needed for, including getting things ready for the Steam page and trailer. This means that, once we have the trailer, the Steam page can go live, and then we should be on for the Halloween release as planned.
The current plan is that I will always have two books teased on the 'Our Games' page, adding in the details of the next book as the first approaches completion. This is why I am announcing today that the next book in the series will be Tattered Sails!
As a bonus, I have been working on a small side project currently titled The Harrow Run. This is going to be a puzzle game set in the Hunter's Journals world but not part of the core series. Please check out the Our Games page for more details.
This is just a quick update on the progress of Blissful Ignorance. Yesterday I finished the first pass of all the voice clips, which means that now I just need to polish and plug them in for the PC build to be ready for release. The art is also coming through in a steady stream, and I should have the front cover to share with you in the next few days.
Things are moving forward steadily, and there have been more curator reviews added to both Vile Philosophy and Pale Harbour on Steam. There has even been a 50 minute playthrough of Pale Harbour posted on Youtube! Hopefully this will help getting the games out there for more people to experience and enjoy.
With everything set for Halloween, I will update everyone once the Steam page for Blissful Ignorance is up and running, or if we hit another milestone.
Well, it has taken a while, but Vile Philosophy has been released onto the Google Play store. You can find it at this link or in the 'Our Games' page. Things were a little delayed because I am currently working through the voice clips for book 3. We have up to page 360 recorded, and I have just finished editing page 150. I have plenty of saved entries to review when I have a chance, and work is continuing apace.
In the meantime, the first user review for Vile Philosophy came in on Steam. It was pretty positive, and really made my day when I saw it. The test is included below.
“A wonderfully complex story that really does take me back to the choose-your-own-adventure books. Even after completing it, I'm sure there are more story lines to explore and other options I could have selected. I might even have been able to get a better ending. This idea of nontraditional storytelling is spectacular and I would love to see more of it. The only criticism I can think of is that it would be more engaging if the player were actually able to roll the dice during combat, rather than the game doing it automatically. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed playing this and will likely go through it again.”
Thank you for your kind words! I am glad you enjoyed the game, and I hope you enjoy the next when it is ready.
Shortly after the release of Pale Harbour, I was approached by the SWW Podcast crew regarding an interview for the 'Special Report' feature they have been doing. This is a series of discussions with independent developers, regarding their experiences as well as the products they are making. Sadly, due to scheduling issues, we were not able to sit down and talk until shortly after the release of Vile Philosophy. But, that interview is now live!
Please follow this link to hear me discussing the games and my experiences in the industry.
However, given how suddenly it was taken down before, there is always a chance it will go down again. Hopefully not! But a company that will tell you 'your game fails our tests and we won't tell you how to fix it' could take it down for anything.
Speaking of crazy company policies, I now have to deal with the way that Google Play won't let me switch bank accounts without first deleting my old developer account and making a new one. Fun times! Once that has been taken care of, I will get Vile Philosophy onto the store asap.
The Hunters Journals; Vile Philosophy is now available for purchase on Steam! Re-enter a world of dark fantasy horror and battle against a new foe in another deadly adventure. With an expanded page count, more unique artwork, and a chilling soundtrack by Cryo Chamber, Vile Philosophy is the first sequel to Pale Harbour to be released this year. Hopefully it will be followed soon by Blissful Ignorance, which is currently having art, music and voice over worked on as we speak.
In slightly less happy news, still zero word from Google about when the games can get back on Android. I will be speaking with them again today to lodge a complaint about this poor support, which should help things get moving. Then I will get back to working on Red Ripper, which is currently undergoing construction of the critical path now that the engine updates for that build have been completed.
Overall things are still moving forward on all games, and I will post updates as they come in!
Pale Harbour is now available to purchase in the Steam store! Unfortunately I still have no idea when it can be brought out on Android, as they have still not got back to me. I will chase them up on that ASAP, or just see if I can switch to Apple instead.
In the meantime, please enjoy the first outing into a world of bleak, steampunk horror! I will be monitoring the release all day, although hopefully things should be pretty smooth. This has been a long time coming, and hopefully will lead to more such titles down the road. Thanks to everyone who has made it possible to get here, and to everyone who purchases a copy.
Happy release day!
Good afternoon! Due to computer issues yesterday, I was unable to get Vile Philosophy into the Steam Store. Rather than disrupt launch day with the news, I have chose to put I live today. As you can see, the currently planned release date is 15/07/2019. Please check the link in the 'Our Games' page!
There is just one week to go before Pale Harbour is released onto the Steam store for people to enjoy. With everything seemingly in place for a smooth, orderly launch, I and the rest of the team are really looking forward to this! The daily countdown, along with the page art releases on social media, seem to be generating a little more buzz, which is always good.
Speaking of buzz...the trailer for Vile Philosophy is here! Featuring the haunting soundtrack by Cryo Chamber, it accurately reflects the dark places the hunter must go to complete this new quest. Obviously this also means that the store page and build are now under review at Steam, so hopefully I will be able to bring you release date information very shortly as well.
All in all this is starting out as a very good Monday! I hope all of you out there are having as good a start to your week.
The build has been approved by Steam, so I have set the store to live. You can wishlist the game now and keep an eye out for the launch on 24/06/2019!
In other news, Carlos has been helping me test a few resolution and build issues, so I am hoping and praying that things are now fixed up and ready for when the game goes live. I will be keeping a close eye on it until then, while also working to get Vile Philosophy ready at the same time.
The trailer for Pale Harbour is complete! The Vile Philosophy trailer is in the works too. I am launching it here on the 'Our Games' page while I wait for it to get approval through the Steam website. Once that is done, you will be able to see the 'coming soon' page.
The current plan for release will be on the page when it goes live. I don't want to spoiler the exact date just yet, but it will be before the end of the month, barring any major issues raising their heads. The Vile Philosophy launch will come shortly after, again barring any major problems.
I think I can speak for everyone here at Grindwheel Games when I say that seeing the games finished and being able to test them through Steam has been a huge thrill. The Android launch was a great milestone, but having them on PC is going to open them up to such a wider audience.
But, on a positive note, things are really moving forward now! Book 3 is in editing and should be pretty quick to launch once it has been corrected and through the art and music pipelines. Onward and upward!
The new Grindwheel Games website is live! News and updates will soon follow regarding the status of our two complete products; Pale Harbour and Vile Philosophy. I hope to get both of them out on Steam and Android platforms as soon as possible. In the meantime the third book, Blissful Ignorance, is going to start the editing process so it can be ready for release later this year.
Due to the small team size and work involved, there will be updates whenever something of significance can be added. For the majority of the time these will be major milestones, such as finishing voice over for the PC builds. You can be sure that if there is something worth your attention, you will hear it here first! For some smaller updates you can also check Facebook and Twitter.