In 2011, on July 8th at 1:36 PM, the LockedOn account was created on MIT's Scratch website.
Soon afterwards, the first LockedOn game was released there: Generation Quest. Since then, LockedOn Games has continued to grow and evolve, expanding to new engines and platforms, with games on Steam and itch.io, various comics, novels, and animations.
Let's take a brief look at the past ten years.
Thank you to everyone who has given their thoughtful comments, feedback and reviews over the years. Your input makes every project better and helps fuel development.
If there was ever a time to announce a bunch of exciting projects at once, this tenth anniversary is it.
Please keep in mind that these projects and any deadlines mentioned are liable to change during development.
Without further ado, here is an exclusive first look at what the next ten years have in store.
The next project to be released is based on The Evolving World, an animated series that was started back in 2011. Part 4 was originally meant to be the end of the series, but that was mostly due to the amount of work it would take to animate the entire story.
Reimagining it as a "fully illustrated visual novel" has finally made telling that story possible.
The result is The Evolving World: Catalyst Wake.
Catalyst Wake makes the leap from animation to visual novel format, with hundreds of illustrations bringing the story to life. The "sequels" are fully voiced, with an amazing cast that enriches the experience. This combination brings it as close as possible be to full animation. It's a lot like seeing a polished storyboard.
As of this very moment, a demo of Catalyst Wake has just been released. It's available now to download on the LockedOn itch.io page.
Methods is the most popular LockedOn game. Even more than a full year after its release, the fanbase is still active, with new fan art posted every day. Even though a potential sequel is still a long way off, that doesn't mean something else can't be released in the meantime.
This wouldn't be a proper July without Red July, would it? Methods is updating with extra content! These five new chapters tell an exciting mystery story set in Red July's past that explores the nature of an impossible crime.
And it's available to play right now, in both English and Chinese, on Steam and on itch.io!
Phantom Limb is a short supernatural adventure game about the ties between a man and a mysterious house — and a murder that takes place there.
Explore a creepy 3D environment to discover clues, and solve simple puzzles to proceed in the story. The gameplay experience is a lot like a Telltale game, just more linear.
Phantom Limb is a collaborative effort between LockedOn and DWaM. DWaM writes mystery novellas, fanfiction, and short stories. This is the first major LockedOn collaboration!
Phantom Limb will be released in 2022.
Broken Spirits is the next big project after Catalyst Wake. It's the long-awaited sequel to Broken Minds. The mysterious and sardonic setting of the Yamagata Private Detective Agency will be revisited, and more of its secrets will be revealed.
Broken Spirits dives more into the relationships between the characters. It's a much more personal story than Broken Minds, despite its larger scale, which is reflected in new gameplay that specifically focuses on relationships between the player and various characters. It will be the most ambitious game in the series.
Development will take around two years to complete, given its scope and complexity and will begin in 2022.
Now for something that has never been announced or even mentioned until now. It's actually been in development since 2017. Here's an exclusive first look.
Hovel is a fantasy adventure, but there are no elves, or orcs, or dwarves, or chosen ones, or dark lords, or magic — it brings with it its own unique creatures, cultures, and politics.
Kaybi is a simple villager from the Nira territory, when she stumbles upon a stranger floating in the water — Hesta. Though Kaybi doesn't know it, Hesta's arrival marks the beginning of something wonderful and terrible. Kaybi and Hesta's dynamic is the main focus of the story, as Kaybi's empathetic, intuitive approach clashes with Hesta's apathetic, calculative approach.
The world of Hovel is inspired by ancient civilizations and cultures in Egypt, Mesoamerica, Sumer, Asia, and odd prehistoric creatures and deep sea life, but much of it is pure fantasy. The result is something wholly original, yet at the same time, familiar.
Like Catalyst Wake, Hovel is a "fully illustrated visual novel", creating a cinematic quality without all the work of full animation.
The trailer you just saw showcased Nahavad, the largest territory in Ulnara, the world in which Hovel takes place. However, Nahavad won't be appearing for some time in the story. Hovel's first arc will focus exclusively on Nira.
Chapter One will be released in 2022.
Yes, that's right — Methods 2 is now officially confirmed.
By the way... it's not called Methods 2.
The sequel to Methods is called Motives: The Ultimate Problem. It goes to some wild, controversial, international, and truly unpredictable places. In fact, the very nature of the story itself will change.
There will still be a lot for fans of Methods though. Several characters from Methods will be returning, and the tone will remain fairly lighthearted.
Production will begin on Motives some time within the next few years. As you may have guessed, Red July's story is just the first of a few additional stories in the Methods universe that feature fan-favorite characters — and some not-so-favorite ones. This extra content will hopefully tide everyone over until the sequel begins production.
And so begins the next decade of LockedOn. Thank you for your support over the years. Keep your eyes peeled to this website for more news about these projects!