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2015 Retrospective

What a year it has been! A lot of exciting things happened over the course of 2015, and I feel the first of the new year is a good time to look back to where the game has been and what is yet to come.

In late March, after much stress and contemplation, I finally settled on a title for my as-yet announced project, along with a name for my fledgeling studio, and thus 100 Stones Interactive was born! Skip forward a few weeks into April and the website was launched, announcing The Eyes of Ara to the world. Finally after years of work, my game was out there for the world to see.

From the outset the reception to the game was really positive, and it was great to have that early support leading onto the Kickstarter campaign that would launched a couple of months later in June. I cannot begin to express just how exciting and exhilarating - and stressful and a difficult - running a Kickstarter campaign is. The support of all of my backers, friends and family cannot be understated. The Eyes of Ara is the game it is today because of everyone that supported myself and the game during that time, making June by far the most significant month of the year for my new studio.

And just when I thought the pressure has subsided for a time, along came the game’s first public showing at #GO423 in August. This was a huge moment for myself and my game: the first time The Eyes of Ara had been playable by the general public. I went in not knowing if a slow, contemplative game would even demo in a busy expo environment, and of course fretting “what if no-one likes the game?”. Thankfully though, the reception was again really positive, and I returned home with renewed enthusiasm for the project.

From then on it was down to business. With no major milestones on the horizon I could dedicate the next few months purely to working on the game. A pleasant change of pace from the previous few months! I have tried to post updates and screenshots at least semi-regularly, and I apologize for the occasional portion of radio silence. Making a game on your own is busy work, and sometimes I need to remind myself to come up for air and let people know I’m still alive - supporters, friends and family included ;)

In late October I attended the Melbourne International Games Week, to soak up the wisdom and experience of other devs from around Australia and the world who had congregated at the Melbourne Convention Centre for Unite, GCAP, and PAX Aus. I returned to Brisbane armed with a wealth of invaluable advice and knowledge that will no doubt make The Eyes of Ara an even greater experience.

In December I was invited to show The Eyes of Ara at another local Brisbane games expo named Brass Razoo! It was good to again see how the public took to the game, especially so long after the first showing in August. A lot of changes and improvements had been made to the game since the first demo, so it was valuable to see that they were indeed working.

Which brings us finally to today, January 1st, 2016. This year is going to be an even bigger year than the one just passed. So keep a look out here and on the Facebook page for:

More playable demos at expos and conventions, including GX Australia in February (more on that soon).

The call for submissions for art content and puzzle designs from backers who pledged to the relevant tiers. It’s time to start getting your ideas into the game! I will be contacting everyone about this before January is out.

The public Alpha and Beta, available to backers of the relevant tiers. Your first chance to get your hands on the latest build of the game, playable in your own home without me scrutinizing your every move from behind your back at a convention ;) (If you’re not a Alpha or Beta backer, remember you can still pledge for access through the online store).

And of course the biggest event of all: The Eyes of Ara’s launch! There is no public release date as yet (I have a target in mind though), but rest assured it will be available this year.

So thank you all for your support over the past year, and here’s to an awesome 2016!

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Continue Support via the Web Store

The Store page on the 100 Stones Interactive website is now live. If you missed out on the Kickstarter, you can use the Store to pledge for many of the same rewards that were available during the Kickstarter.

Find it via the link on the top menu bar or at this link: http://www.100stonesinteractive.com/store

The Store lists information about the various rewards available and links to the purchase page. The actual purchasing is handled via Backerkit. Click for a direct link.

If you or anyone you know is interested in The Eyes of Ara but may have missed out on the Kickstarter, please share the link with them. All money raised via the Store will go towards the Stretch Goals.

Thanks everyone, with the Forums and Store now online it's back to full time development on The Eyes of Ara! Updates from now on will be less frequent, but I hope to be able to post something at least once per month. Whether that be a new Dev Diary or some other form of update. Otherwise, be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter, where I continue to post smaller, more frequent updates like Screenshot Saturday images. And don't forget to check in with the game's Forums as well.

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The Eyes of Ara Successfully Funded!

The Eyes of Ara Kickstarter has finished successfully, achieving 114% of its goal at $17170 with 508 backers. I would like to send out a big thank you to all of my supporters. The response has been both amazing and humbling. I am inspired by your confidence in the game, and I will not rest until I have produced a game worthy of the trust you have shown me (well, maybe I’ll rest a little, I have to sleep occasionally).

Now that the Kickstarter is over, the next phases begins. The first job is to get the forums up and running. The website has already had a little bit of a makeover (the initial launch was a bit of a rush job due to a tight deadline) and the forums are the next thing on the list. I will be posting weekly screenshots and regular updates during production of the game, and the forums will be the ideal place to discuss them.

I’m also working on getting a store set up so that latecomers and those wishing to pledge via PayPal will be able to do so. I’m aiming to use Backerkit for this, as it will allow me to integrate it into the Kickstarter pledge data and keep everything neat and tidy in one place. It will take a few weeks to go through the setup process, and I will post an announcement when it’s ready to go. When it is complete you will be able to access it from the link on the top menu bar.

And of course, it’s back to full time production on The Eyes of Ara. After more than two solid months preparing for and running the Kickstarter, it will be nice to get back into full time game development again.

Thank you all once again for your amazing support, it's time to celebrate! Cheers!

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The Eyes of Ara Is Live On Kickstarter!

Freeplay

It’s been a lot of work and a long time coming, but I’m pleased to announce that The Eyes of Ara Kickstarter campaign is now live!

When I started work on this game back in late 2013 it was not only with the dream of forming my own games studio, but also of delivering a game that I could be proud of. A game worth playing. From the video and screenshots released so far I hope you will agree that I’m on track to meeting that goal, but in order to compete it I’m going to need your support.

My ambition for The Eyes of Ara is large, and with your help we can make it a reality. So if you like what you have seen here so far, and you are a fan of puzzle-adventure games, please consider clicking through and backing The Eyes of Ara.

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