Hello everybody! Sorry about the quiet, and the lack of forumage - there’s a lot going on backstage right now! Here are some quick hits.
Almost 300 backers, PayPal balance: $21,795.27 USD The pledges have slowed recently, but we understand - you need good news and visible progress to trust us.
It’s been a long, rough road. We had a third-party plugin that did NOT play nice with Amazon’s API and we had to rewrite it from scratch. But we did! Amazon Payments are at last up and running. Btw, we already got 2 pledges per $20 to Amazon, so we can confirm - system is working and you are welcome to pledge through Amazon :))
In the meantime, those of you who have been waiting for Amazon, now’s the time to migrate your pledges! It won’t be too much longer before the early-bird specials go away.
DigiStore link is http://store.digitilus.com
With Amazon out of the way the forums are our next priority. The back end is done, plugins and all; we just have some data massaging to finish up, getting logins tied to pledges and the like. The calendar dartboard says end of Friday to get this sorted out.
This is the other thing that’s kept us busy. Right when the Kickstarter ended, we found out WHO has been watching the campaign, by their messages and inquiries! So there’s been a bunch of boring suit-and-tie stuff happening in the background, the speculation and conversation that comes before hard business offers. This activity takes a lot of time to work on all those presentations, business pitches, budgeting stuff and so on. [p.s. not Origin ;)]
All said above is very important stuff, no doubts, but all of this is not the main activity we do now. Our main work was and is the game itself.
We've created a plugin that converts our existing assets into Unity format, and are working on another converter to skip the middleman and pipeline directly from 3D MAX/Maya. Why all the fuss? We have a lot of unique data (physics mostly) that won't pass over with standard formats such as FBX. These plugins help us convert ALL the juicy bits without running into problems or starting from scratch. We've already hammered out most of the kinks, so there's nothing but good news on this front.
Stress-test for the number of unique objects:
YTG Cargo Ship, completely converted to Unity data format:
Experiments with shading:
Experiments with materials:
Experiment with dynamic lights:
Dynamic light effects stuff:
Object selection shader:
One of Unity’s strong points is browser integration, and to that end, we’ve got a super early testbed up and running. It’s nothing fancy (in fact, there’s no reset key, press F5 to run it again) but it demonstrates asset conversion, complex construction, and a quick stab at new shaders with dynamic lighting and shadows. You can test it HERE This is an example of future content that will only be available to backers pledged to COMMUNITY EDITION and upper tiers - behind-the-scenes, work-in-progress shenanigans - so we’re hoping this tempts a few more of you to join us there!
NEXT KICKSTARTER - As was said before, we are planning to go through several micro-Kickstarters. It's a part of our strategy to continue development and bringing SKYJACKER to the stars despite all circumstances. Our target date for our first micro-Kickstarter is September 15th. We’re planning on having a full-featured test disassembly app in Unity by then. So if you prefer to support us here on Kickstarter (instead to pledge via DigiStore) - this will be your chance to spread your love to SKYJAKCER
NEW PROMO STUFF - we are happy to see that many of our backers still keep our "DESTROY the SILENCE" banners and avatars there on their Facebook pages. We are planning to renew our promo pack, adapting it to the new reality (replacing "Kickstarter" from the logo). Furthermore, we will prepare new promo pack accordingly to the new campaign motto and visual stuff. So please continue to use current banners and avatars for a while, if you like them, and we will give you new ones very soon. We need your help and support in meaning of promotion of the SKYJACKER
DIGI STORE IMPROVEMENTS - the new setup has a lot of extensions available, including DWOLLA (the possibility for US backers to pay us directly by using Credit Card, no PayPal or Amazon commissions and other issues) and several other modules (such as many popular parcel services for accurate calculation of the shipment costs), so we should be able to take care of any future payment needs without much fuss. We will add these modules improving our service there in DigiStore.
SKYJACKER GAME SITE - this was some of our background activity during this time. We improved visual design, some texts and code stuff.
Site as it was before:
Site as it is today:
But we believe it's possible to continue improvements. So you are welcomed to send us your comments and ideas. Furthermore, we have a multilingual module there, which let us localize web-site to other languages. If you have a time and desire to localize SKYJACKER web-site to your language, this would be very helpful for us and for the community.
DIGI STORE TIERS & BOLT-ONS - In respect to the patience of those who waited for Amazon gateway update to pledge through Amazon, we prolong current proposal till the end of August to let all of you, who use Amazon, to occupy the same set of tiers we had during our Kickstarter campaign. In September 1st we close current set, and we'll change set of tiers.
And to everyone who has pledged, thank you. Keep spreading the word, and keep posting in our comments - we’re never too busy to talk shop.