Development Update (6/16/21)

Production Update (Nathan):

This week, in addition to the usual writing/recording/editing pipeline of the podcast, we got a couple of new projects rolling into place, including some behind-the-scenes content, a test environment for some things we’re experimenting with, and, perhaps most exciting for me, our next project once Shattered Sleep is done! In order to make sure we have the R+D time necessary to make something even better than what we’re putting out now, we need to start prep work right now. A lot of it is going to depend on how the rest of Shattered Sleep goes. There are just some formats that will only work well if we have a certain audience size, and who knows how many people will be participating when the podcast is done? The other big question that we need to have answered is “How is Shattered Sleep going to end?” We’re releasing episode 3 this weekend, and expect the final count to be somewhere between 8 and 10, so we’ve got a while to go before we can know what direction to take the story in. Regardless, we’ve started laying our own internal groundwork for the next project so we can be ready to go with it when the time comes. I have been diving into the weeds trying to figure out what other types of interaction and content we can make with exactly zero dollars in budget. Research topics this week include the differences between the various jihadist movements in the Middle East, Archeology, and the theory of general relativity. As heard in our meetings: “Oh look, a 3D-Printed Piranha Plant can be the trophy!”

Animation Update (Brianne):

This week wasn’t nearly as packed as past weeks. Most of what I did was planning out the next ways to polish our animations and fill out more of the runtime of our podcast with additional unique animations. Aside from that, I’ve also been working on putting together some designs and renders of what our cryopods might look like. The iterative process for those has been a lot of fun, and we’ll have something to share soon. I’m also very excited for the next phases of the project from an animation standpoint. Some aspects of Shattered Sleep’s animation were a little rushed since it wasn’t exactly the first project we had planned, and there’s a whole set of assets that have been in development for much longer. I’m very excited for when we’re ready to show those off.

Technology Update (James):

This week I focused on researching ways to improve our website. When I first set it up, the purpose of the website was to showcase what ideas were going to happen in the future. Now that we are actively producing a podcast our website needs a bit of a change in theme in order to make it more useful for our audience to see what new content we have created. I will be working on some small changes this week with bigger changes coming in the following weeks.

Community Update (Christine):

Hey everyone! This week was really nice in that we are finally getting our releases set up so that they are easy to roll out. This means that I’ve finally been able to focus my attention to other things! My biggest focus of the week has been trying to brainstorm more marketing ideas to help encourage our audience to share Shattered Sleep with their friends. We’ve been getting a lot of feedback from people saying that they are listening to it with friends and that they like to discuss and debate about it in person, so now it’s a matter of figuring out how to help those people transition the things they talk about in person to posting it on the Discord for others to see as well. Another thing I’ve been brainstorming is various ideas to help our audience stay engaged until the next episode comes out. So far with the two episodes, we’ve noticed a trend that we will have a lot of engagement for the first week or so, but the second week it tends to be much quieter. In a perfect world, we would just release our episodes every week instead of every other week. However, doing that sacrifices both the quality of the podcast and a lot of the time that our audience has to interact with the story. So instead, we’ve been looking into other options of things we can do to help keep that engagement high until the next episode. And there’s the highlights for my week! You all are amazing! Thank you so much for all of your support!