Thanks a lot Ana for making this thread about Boïnihi!
In fact I was going to contact you in a few days because I have not officially announced the project. I tried to keep some mystery around it, by not showing too many pics and video.
I just teased it and gave some details about the development, but it has been evolving a lot! It's no longer a 1st person adventure like ASA. In the thread of Myha, I briefly talked of Boïnihi and said that not everyone will like the new direction, but I think others will be more curious!
Brief history of the project (a bit of behind-the-scenes for the more curious ones)
Boïnihi was started in 2016 following the Myst Jam (which gave birth to Myha), just after the development of Catyph.
I had a bit of free time before the final release of Catyph, and some ideas that I wanted to explore. At the same period I also discovered the Voynich manuscript and thought it was really a fascinating thing, and started to wonder how I could use this kind of mysterious book in a game.
I first wanted to make a short game for a change, easier than ASA and Catyph to try to make it accessible to more people. I decided to work with the Adventure Maker game engine, in an old-fashioned style ( = low resolution, 256 colors... something like Riven). I used to love the Adventure Maker engine and I really wanted to play with it again (it is still true today but it's become more complicated technically speaking to release a project with it). It was the engine that gave birth to ASA (before ASA Remastered) and without it I wouldn't be here today.
Project Boïnihi was born, and thought as a new 1st-person adventure in the spirit of ASA and Catyph before. Something that I would create for the fun, on a short period of time.
While working on it, I saw that the game had more potential that I first thought, and, as I was trying new techniques to work on making textures on my 3d models, I decided to try to import them into the Unity 3D engine. Boïnihi was, for a while, my first real-time attempt of a full 3D project (long before Myha: Return to the Lost Island).
But I didn't have the skills to program the puzzles in Unity, it's quite complicated if you are not a good programmer (I'm a 3D creator more than a coder/scripter) and I quickly gave up with the idea of using Unity.
I went back to my first idea of a game in 2D (using prerendered 3d graphics as usual), because I master the tools, but with time passing I didn't want to use Adventure Maker anymore: it was more and more abandoned by its developer, unfortunately (today you can't even buy it). So I decided to go back to Visionaire Studio engine (the engine of ASA Remastered and Catyph), knowing however that the development would take much longer and that I was starting a more ambitious project as a result. But I like to experiment, and I know I took the good decision. Perhaps there will be another time in the future for Unity, we will see.
You can read part of this story in an article I made in the end of 2017: https://www.indiedb.com/games/bonihi-the-ki-codex/news/evolution-of-the-project
Project BoÏnihi was progressing slowly but well in 2017 but then 2 major things happened in my life.
First, Denis contacted me to work on a full3D remake of Myha, and it was great, so we did the Kickstarter campaign in November 2017, and we worked on the game until the release in 2019.
And next to this, my father became seriously ill in February 2018 and stayed at the hospital during several weeks, until he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed away in the end of 2018.
2018 has been a very though year, both exciting with Myha, and terrible with the desease of my dad. As a result Boïnihi was paused and I didn't work on it before a long long time. All my plans would be changed again! Fate?
One thing led to another and I went back to work on Boïnihi later in 2019 after the release of Myha. In the meantime I had learned how to use 3D characters in Visionaire Studio (you can see Adventure Jam 2019 on GameJolt with my short game My Village is Magical
). Then another short game, Eoin's Quest
(Icehouse Jam 2019 on itchio), confirmed my interest in games where you can control a character, and I've completely redesigned Boïnihi in the last few months, so that you can finally play with the astronaut.
However, I love Myst-like adventure, and I didn't want to remove the spirit from it. That's how the game became a hybrid project between 1st person (Myst) and 3rd person (Syberia for example). I'm currently quite happy with this result even if the game is not perfect! And I know that some will not like it because playing with the keyboard is mandatory to move the character.
Anyway, that explains the huge development time over 4 years (even if I didn't work on the game during all that time), for a game that is finally less long and less difficult than ASA and Catyph.
However I hope that the result will make you curious!
I will soon publish the Steam page with a new reveal Trailer, showing the new gameplay. I'll let you know.
The game will release for Windows, between the end of May and somewhere in June if everything goes well. It will be available on Steam and itchio.
I'll give more details soon.
You can also take a look at this article, telling how I created the regions of Boïnihi:https://www.indiedb.com/games/bonih...-the-regions-of-my-myst-like-game-bonihi