Ahem…. Check. Check one two. Is this thing on?

Hey! Hi. Hello. We’re pillow castle. Albert Shih, Zhengyi Wang, Yuxi Zhang, Xiao Li and me, your writer for these adventurous adventures, Allen Tingley.

Before we get down to the brass tacks of what these newsletters will be for us (and you. faithful reader and supposed supporter), we wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for the generous response we received last week. We were all on an airplane flying up the California coastline, panicked because not only did we not expect 5,000 views, we certainly didn’t expect 50,000 in the first hour. We landed, gathered our luggage, and sprinted to available WiFi. It’s been a wild ride ever since.


About the team:  Albert Shih  is a genius. He won’t like me saying that, but this whole thing is his idea, so at the end of the day, he only has himself to blame. Albert and the rest of the team are all classmates of mine at the Entertainment Technology Center in Pittsburgh, PA. We all started in the same batch of lost children, and our combined love for weird stuff and making fun of Xiao led us to come together around Albert’s “Museum of Simulation Technology” demo. pillow castle was born. The rest is still history and what not, but it’s going to be a pretty rad history. Our Art Directory is  Zhengyi Wang . He’s a wunderkind out of China who can draw anything you throw at him in style. He spent a while as an architect. He’s 21. Figure that all out. Our Technical Artist is  Yuxi Zhang . She’s a tough character who knows how to get stuff done and persuade the rest of us to come along.  Xiao Li  is the graphics engineer on the team, and he’s usually busy lamenting his fate. Don’t let his self-defeat fool you-he’s a terminal wizard. Those guys have real power. And I’m  Allen Tingley . I’m the team’s producer. I wrangle the whole thing together.

So that’s pillow castle.

Our newsletters will be a collection of art, ideas, and development stories collected from the week before. We hope to leave everyone with an idea of the work we’re doing (without spoilers) and with information about our production process from all fronts: the good, the bad, and the ugly. And it will get ugly with Zhengyi around.

sleep This Week, Week 1  was a little ridiculous. Our demo exploded all over the internet, we were on the west coast, and none of us slept. When Monday came around, half of us had the flu (the other half would later contract it) and none of us had slept. Adrenaline is a hell of a drug. We caught up with each other, set up our development room in the ETC (our new home for 5 months) and met with our faculty advisor, Dave Culyba. Dave rules. More on Dave to come. He’s our honorary sixth team member.

We had to rescope our idea of what the project could (and should) be after the press we received. We now had the awesome opportunity of ATTENTION!! to drive our development, as well as support a longer timeline for our team as a whole. What was once a student project with a semester of life in it has now turned into a multi-year development cycle of a full-fledged retail product. In 72 hours. It’s been a challenge to schedule.

achedStep one: GDC. We’ve been going back and forth about the tight schedule this will put on us, but we’re confident that whatever we accomplish by GDC will be of a high enough quality to show something off. This is a milestone event for us, and it appears that we may have several opportunities to present our ideas. Fear is the mindkiller and all of that. GDC has added the fear. We developed a 60 day schedule (every day til GDC) and began building it out.

On a larger scale, we have to be concerned with our school project requirements, which include several presentations and significant thought and retrospection. We hope to share these materials with everyone as they develop, as it’s a great insight into what happens here at the Entertainment Technology Center as well as what you can do to prepare yourselves for the situations we’re going to end up in (good and bad.)

It’s been a chore as a team to handle press and PR for the project, but things are slowly coming together. It really is a person’s full time job to get press and marketing working to their advantage, but that’s the reality of the marketplace we are entering. Without word of mouth and press appeal, an Indie title like ours has less and less chance of catching eyeballs. A great marketing campaign is the way forward, fortunately or unfortunately. We got suuuuper lucky with ours. Reddit kicked its ass. Thanks r/games!

Our new website was slow in the building but should be launching with this newsletter. It’s a work in progress, but we hope it provides some more information about our project.

After scheduling and dealing with basic PR stuff, we began concept art creation. Zhengyi has been cranking out artwork. Here’s some bits and pieces for you to see:

1_14_concept_2 1_14_concept_5 1_14_concept_6


xiaoconfXiao is deep into solving some technical issues with the perception engine. The words coming out of his mouth aren’t making sense, but that’s okay. His code compiles and stuff is fixing. I think.

albertAlbert is developing the first series of new puzzles for the project. He spends a lot of time staring off into space. I would take a picture of it but it’s not even that interesting. His notebook is, though.

Other than that, we’re just locking ourselves in the room and producing material. We should have some more interviews coming out in the next week or two, so keep an eye out for that. We’ll also be uploading some new content to youtube soon. Our goals for the next two weeks are to get this rocketship aiming in the right direction. pillow castle has the power. we can do it. we just need to do it.

we don’t have a slogan yet. that last one was pretty crap.

pillow castle, for the future.