So this is a post to go up at the same time as the Rayman Alive event, explaining a bit more about the project and what to expect, as I'm sure you're probably left with many questions given the teaser was a bit more vague than intended.
So, let's get this Q&A going!
What the heck is Tonic Detox?
Tonic Detox is a fan-game being worked on by myself, that's heavily inspired by Tonic Trouble, specifically the special edition. If you're not familiar with Tonic Trouble, then no worries, it wasn't exactly plot heavy and Detox will reintroduce any elements that return from the previous game.
Being that it's inspired by Tonic Trouble, you can expect an open third-person adventure, with, you guessed it, Ed!
So, Ed is back. This time to finish the job for good. He has new gadgets, more experience, new moves, and the world is more dangerous than ever before! There are even some returning characters from the first game, but entirely new locations...or are they? Heh, heh... 😏
One of Ed's main gadgets is a backpack that also serves as a portable computer, providing him with contextual information, his status and also, amazingly, a place to store his other gadgets. Technology is truly wondrous.
You can see some great concept art produced by Payo showing our brave hero as he'll appear in Detox, below.
Why the Special Edition?
Well (adjusts glasses), in that version of the game it's not explicitly stated that everything is solved at the end and, to be quite honest, that actually makes more sense because it's stated in the intro cinematic that an antidote needs to be produced, so it gives a great opportunity to continue on from that.
So as far as Detox is concerned, the other versions have been retconned. You're welcome.
Why are you working on a Tonic Trouble fan-game?
I'd been flailing around with the idea of creating a platformer for a while (meaning, a few years).
It seemed a little unfair for ol' Ed that there's so much love out there for Rayman and quite a few things already in the works there, especially within the community, so I felt it time to give Ed a bit of love with his own new adventure.
How far along is it?
It's still in quite an early stage of development. And right now it's just myself working on the game, so it's a little embarrassing showing the more rough elements of development at the moment.
If you're wondering why so little was shown in the teaser (and this blog post), well, I'll be showing more behind-the-scenes in a follow-up piece that I'll release shortly after this one, but as I'll explain a little later - there was an engine switch after some initial prototyping, and I feel like showing anything created prior to that needs more context before I just splodge it all out (such as the image below).
What you saw in the teaser was essentially part of an art test rendered in engine to experiment with how the game may look, and how the content pipeline should work. There were many lessons learned too, and let's just say when you see the project again it may look a bit different, but I'm also waiting to see what the response is like.
It's also worth mentioning that the game is using my own custom 3D game engine written from scratch that I've dubbed 'APE Tech'. As I'm sure you can imagine, there's a lot of work that goes into creating a 3D engine.
Why are you writing your own engine?
I've been working on my own engine for about three years now but had been flapping around with a game concept that seemed to change every five minutes, which slowed things down, because my brain is literally that meme... You know the one.
Originally, Tonic Detox was being developed using the C4 Engine, while my endeavours with my own engine were dedicated towards whatever that earlier mentioned concept was going to turn into in the end.
This didn't work out so well because I'd ended up wrestling with issues that were caused by the core design of the C4 Engine, and ended up spending more of my time changing parts of that engine to work how I needed them to than actually developing much towards the game itself.
Of course, if I'm going to put that much effort into updating the C4 Engine to work how I need it to, why am I even using it in the first place when I've got my own engine I'm already working on that does much of what I already need? So the switch became rather obvious.
But I guess the core question is, why my own engine? Why not Unreal Engine, or Unity, or Godot, or whatever. A lot of that is somewhat political and mostly derived from my own experience/views, so I'm not going to get into any of that, but there are a number of benefits.
- If there's any interest in modding the game once it's out, this engine is going to make that much easier, plus the intention is to eventually make the entire source code available a year following release as I've done for prior projects I've worked on.
- Because I've written the engine myself, I know all the ins and outs of it, which makes it easier to optimize, tweak and extend it as needed.
- The engine is generally pretty lightweight, which in theory should make it very easy to port to many platforms down the line, such as Android. As a matter of fact, the rendering is all abstracted out to a GL-like API, which should make it possible to port to more niche platforms too.
- There are some technical requirements I'm after that other engines don't appear to provide out the box, and certainly not in the quality I'd like to aim for.
And it's fun! Sometimes.
I'd mentioned in a previous post here as well, but the teaser was actually created with an older branch of the engine. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I'll go over the process of creating the whole thing in another post at some point.
WHEN IS IT COMING OUT!?
Uh oh! So right now I can't give you an exact timeframe but what I will say is that the plan is to actually make prototypes of the project publicly available as progress is made, so I can gather feedback, make improvements and so on.
And so we can essentially go on this journey together! 💖
I've always enjoyed the principle of openly developing a project, so going forward, now that it's announced, I'm going to be able to do that. So, uh, stay tuned!
How can I help out?
So if you're really interested in helping out, feel free to contact me either via Discord through @hogsy or just throw me an email (hogsy AT snortysoft DOT net). I'm looking for extra hands on the art side of things and programming.