First, let me start off by saying that I never expected to be writing an update in April that preceded GameDocks shipping out. It has been a long, winding journey and I want to thank everyone for their patience. Since February we've simply hit delay after delay, thanks to a combination of slow communication, vendor problems, and "real world" issues that had to take precedence over project work.
Everything critical is complete with exception to the circuit board assembly. Our partners FunGizmos and Autosports Labs are putting in the final due-diligence needed before we can greenlight production on those. We should know by early next week if everything is ready there. This is about two weeks behind schedule of where I thought we'd be, given the other issues we had to overcome. Otherwise, we are effectively ready to go.
The added time hasn't gone to waste. We have put a good bit of work into optimizing the firmware for better game performance. Our original beta firmware was too slow for high speed games like Super Mega Worm and League of Evil. It now plays those games perfectly. (More on that below.)
We are also putting together the required specifications for volume production aka the "big" run of GameDocks.
Because of the delays, we're going to roll out rewards a little differently than planned. The game download codes for the $150-tier backers will be emailed as soon as possible. For non-US backers, we will be mailing out Cascadia Games $20 Visa Gift cards in place of codes due to unexpected restrictions with iTunes gifting that prevented us from buying codes for international backers.
If you haven't seen the games on list on GameDock.tv, I recommend you check it out. We're at over 60 games compatible and over 20 integrated into the dashboard app. Many games like League of Evil and Cavorite have been updated for GameDock compatibility, some games have launched GameDock-ready (like Gunslugs), and our critical developer partners like (the always awesome) OrangePixel are working hard to get their entire libraries ready. There are over 100 iCade games we have queued up to test in the near future as well. Oh, and Cascadia Games is co-developing an as yet unannounced two-player game with Fully Illustrated!
Beta Dashboard App
We also have a version of the GameDock dashboard app nearing beta. If anyone has an interest in testing, either now with compatible accessories, or after GameDocks arrive, please send your info to support (at) cascadiagames (dot) com.
Cowlitz Gamers for Kids Video Game Expo
I had the pleasure last weekend of taking a couple of GameDocks on the road to a retro gaming expo in Kelso, Washington. The event, now having run for four years, is an annual fundraiser for the Children's Justice & Advocacy Center, which provides assistance for abused children. It was a fun experience and perhaps a little humbling and embarrassing about how seriously I take making toys and games when there are truly serious concerns that need attention. With that said, I hope to make it a tradition to attend. Here are some pics from the event.
A boy playing Super Mega Worm. Many folks stopped by to ask "what that worm game was called."
Another young fellow playing the same game:
A couple of boys playing Gunslugs, which was referred to as "awesome" and "radical" throughout the day.
So that's it for now! The next update will be about when the GameDocks ship -- it really is down to a matter of weeks, not months, at this point. I fully expect to have news before April ends.
Chris, Team GameDock