This is Sean again, dropping a quick note to let you know what we've been up to.
Coasters and Shirts
Packing party! I took a break from adding new content to the game to pack up coasters into sets of 4 to ship off tomorrow to our t shirt printers, Teelaunch. They'll put the packs in with your t shirt shipments so you get both at the same time. Those of you with just coaster packs will be getting a mailing from Bit By Bit instead. The coasters look and feel great and we were able to afford some extra with the extra funding we raised -- we'll use them as promotional material once the game launches. I'll post again once we've gotten shipping details from Teelaunch.
Some people still haven't answered our surveys requesting your address and shirt information. I'll order extras for those people in hopes they get in touch with me later, but I'm just going to have to guess on size and color. You still have time to send me your info before I send out the order to our printers tomorrow afternoon.
So, if you're supposed to get a shirt and haven't answered the survey, please do so before tomorrow afternoon Pacific time.
Our internal schedule matches our Kickstarter expected delivery date of June for the game. Both art and feature work is 95% complete, so I think that date is still reachable, but at the same time I can imagine the game being delayed past June if it seems worth it. I've read about 80% of (a sample of) Kickstarter projects shipping late and vowed not to be one of them, but when it comes down to spending an extra 10% of overall project time to make the project 25% better, it's hard to turn that down. On the other hand, I think it's important for the business to be able to estimate projects and ship on time. If this were a larger company, we would not be able to slip the date a month -- we'd cut features until we hit our ship date. We're not a large company though, and my gut feeling tells me we should play to that strength and release the best game possible.
I haven't agonized over it since June is still very attainable, but I would like to get a reading from all of you. How much would it upset you, the backers, if the game arrived in July instead of June?
I bring it up now because I don't want it to be a surprise in case it ends up happening in a month. Right now things are on track, but I've been responding to beta tester input and have been trying to add more of the types of things players like. Specifically, I'm adding a lot more "Challenges" (the game's term for a hybrid between "goals" and "achievements" / "trophies"), and a lot more "Events" (the quest-like narrative elements of the game that break up the Lemonade Stand gameplay). These have been a big hit with testers thus far and I personally find them to add a lot of fun and charm to the game, so I'm happy to add more than were originally planned for.
Speaking of testers, beta has been going very well. The game has been running well for nearly all players, and most people have spent several hours playing. Feedback from the testers has been largely positive and extremely constructive. Last week, we reached out via Facebook and Twitter to let people know we were looking for additional beta testers, and many of our backers took notice and signed up. We're now at the point where we're able to accept 5 or so additional testers to play the beta, and this time we're soliciting from here on Kickstarter.
So, if you have 2 or 3 hours a week to play Fiz and offer your feedback, please post here in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for beta testing. You need an iOS 4.0 or higher iPod touch or iPhone. I'll make a separate announcement once we're looking for testers for the Android version.
Back to Work
That's all I have for now! I'm off to continue adding new content for this next beta release. Thank you for reading and for all of the support.