There's a reason you don't hear much about witches, which is that they're not real. There's a separate reason why you haven't heard much about Witchfire's witches since The Astronauts announced their first-person occultist bosher last year - the devs are only eight in number, and they have all been very busy.
In a recent blogpost, The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter devs announced they're about to get a bit more chatty. Weekly dev updates are due to start this Wednesday, while the announcement itself gives an overview of progress so far. It's looking very pretty, quite swish, and rather creepy.
That's the teaser from last year. Pretty swish and creepy, yeah?
As detailed in the blogpost, Witchfire "is not a story-based game". There are no cutscenes, and "the heart of the game is somewhere else", they say, in enigmatic bold font. It's "focused on challenge and mastery", though there is also nice sightseeing. Like so.
Here's where the devs are up to:
"A lot of asset work has been done. We have dozens of guns ready, they’re being animated at this very moment. We have enough modelled and animated enemy models to make a significant portion of the game, and one of us is currently finishing the work on the core AI that will govern them all. For two years now, the graphic artists have been working on the map assets mostly using the photogrammetry tech. The actual levels are being meshed. The main features have all been designed and just wait until their implementation time comes."
That fancy photogrammetry tech is what made Ethan's Carter's rocks look so good. Like, this good.
Witchfire Wednesdays, which they say we can call the dev updates if we want to and I do, "will reveal something new about the game, show behind the scenes stuff showing how games are made (so expect a lot of crude assets, basic animations and other dirty things), or explain the design ideas. For example, we will talk why it took us a day to have a functional gun, but three months to have a great feeling one, and we will show at how we arrived at the final form of a creepy monster after the first sketch that just made us laugh."
I don't think I actually want to go poking around behind the monster-concealing curtain. Even the amount I've found out for this news post is regrettable, when I'd rather the first time I met these fellas be when they're a few inches away and trying to carve out my eyeballs.
The Astronauts don't think their game will be ready until 2019, but "2020 sounds reasonable".