Weekly Update #5 - Development Stories

Welcome to the 5th pre-launch weekly AtG update! Every Sunday afternoon a new article will go up, and each week will have its own theme. This past week our theme was development stories, and you can follow along with future (or past) daily updates on Twitter. You can also check out previous weekly updates on the AtG website.

With only a week and a half left before the game's launch it's important that I stay focused on the game itself, so for this week's update I'm going to keep it really simple and just link to the 6 daily project updates posted on Twitter since last Sunday.

Almost there!


I originally came up with the idea for At the Gates while listening to @mikeduncan's amazing History of Rome podcast. I wanted to prototype a new 4X concept with a lot of dynamic energy and a cyclical environment, and the migration period seemed like a perfect fit on both fronts.

Here's a link to the podcast page. It's a long one, but worth every second! Also check out his new podcast, Revolutions, as it's equally exceptional.




The core AtG team was originally based out of Detroit, Michigan but over the years contributors have also come from Maryland, California, Canada, Slovenia, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. The team is small, but diverse!


I've fought through some dark moments between when I started on At the Gates and today, and barely made it. It's a tough story to tell, but one I'm proud of now that the finish line is in sight. Thank you to everyone for all your support over the years.



I now follow a pretty strict daily schedule, starting with coffee, a small breakfast, studying Swedish, gym, and a salad. I don't actually get to my keyboard until 1 pm, then "work" for only 6 hours. And I get far more done now than I did in twice the time earlier in my career.

Multi-post thread continued here.


On a bit of a lighter note, today's update is a look at my current workspace. Dual-wielding elevated laptops, baby! And no, I didn't pick the wallpaper.



The core engine for AtG is named "ElfTools" and was built on XNA by Jon Christ back in 2011-2012. It has a lot of work to do, too, as the game uses several shaders and render target switches to achieve its watercolor look. So why ElfTools? Because Jon likes elves. Yep, that's it!

Next week I'll be talking a bit more about the art and sound of At the Gates. AtG might be a 2D indie game, but a lot of thought and effort has gone into both the look of the game as well as how it sounds. After that we'll start the final countdown clock before everyone can finally play AtG!

You can follow along throughout the week on Twitter, or check back here next week for a new article.

- Jon

Jon ShaferComment