Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We're Getting There with Unia!

“Kiana, this is not a hunt.. this is a GAME!” said an excited person (that I will leave nameless for now) as she was getting a grand tour of Unia. I nodded my head excitedly.. “Yesh, yesh.. this is what I’ve been trying to tell everyone.”

“But Kiana, you really have created a GAME! You must show the Lindens this. They won’t even know something like this is possible in Second Life!”

“Wow, this is groundbreaking. I’ve never seen anything like this in SL before.” Said a 10-year-old avatar and an owner of a popular sim. “Yeah, I’m speechless just trying to take it all in.” Said his friend and I was grinning from ear to ear. 

Currently, it takes two hours to go through the game flow and show the game areas to people new to Unia concept and I don’t do tours easily.. only for the special ones, who win the VIP ticket.

Comments like these however are something that push me harder to get Unia finished and launched. Sometimes I lose my faith as it’s coming closer to a year soon that we have been developing this game. “What if people will hate it?” “What if no one wants to even play it.” For hunts we work for a month or two and bring it out and get the feedback immediately. This is something we have never done and all I’m going by are my own gut feelings on how it should feel, look and work. Fingers crossed!

People have been coming to me asking if they missed Unia. I keep assuring them that there is no way they can miss Unia. Once it’s launched, we’re going to scream about it so loud that everyone knows it’s out. Then we will probably collapse and hibernate for weeks to get our energy back while you play. And no, you won’t do it within 48 minutes like the fastest player for the Lost Mine hunt. I would expect it to take at least a few days for the first one to finish… that is if you don’t sleep.

One of the biggest setbacks in the development has been something I wasn’t prepared for. It is Second Life after all and people sadly come and go. We have had a lot of people wanting to join such a cool project and due to their real life commitments or the fact that the project is taking so long to finish, they have decided to leave. It’s challenging to keep people motivated and enjoying their work in SL. It is also very tiring to welcome a new team member with open arms and get them into the project and explain everything from scratch just to see them walk out weeks of months later.

That just makes me appreciate our hardworking builders and scripters even more, if that’s possible. They keep going and keep pushing to make sure that we can truly bring out the best experience ever. They are putting all of them into this and have my uttermost respect.

However, the biggest setback has been the fact that we lost our sim sponsor just after we had began the building. This means that for a year we have had to come up with money to pay for two full islands (730USD) monthly when there is nothing happening on the sims apart from development. We have had to join gacha events and arrange hunts in order to get money in to finance ourselves, but that becomes soon a vicious circle. To create gachas and hunts is time away from Unia development. It truly has cost a lot in money and many work hours and hopefully it will be all worth it in the end. 

Currently all game areas are mapped based on the game flow and most builds are done. The skeleton of the HUD and functions are ready and being implemented throughout the game. For me a really fun part begins as we’re starting with the character dialogues and I can get our voice actors immersed into the game. The boys are lost in making creepy things that I won’t talk more about…

There are only 7 VIP Tickets left to be won that will give you FREE access (all included) to Unia 24 hours before anyone else as well as a guided tour by me. Follow our in-world group and Facebook to be able to have this unique opportunity!

Stay tuned... We're getting there! 

                                                                            <3, Kiana

Unia photos by Electronic Mode & Chloe Seljan

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