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A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4!
A Belly Dancing Hair-Whipping HD adventure from WayForward: makers of Ducktales Remastered, Adventure Time, & Contra 4!
18,558 backers pledged $776,084 to help bring this project to life.

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MEGA UPDATE!

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Hellooooo Backers!

We hope you all had a relaxing summer and are ready to get down to business -- we’ve got a game to launch! There’s a TON of detail in today’s update – don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

Update on Release Date

First things first – we are going to have to adjust our Target Release Date, moving it back from our 9/27 Target Release date by about 6 weeks, give or take. We know this will disappoint some of you, but we feel that it’s necessary to take that extra time for bug fixing and adding additional polish. We know you want the final product to be excellent and so do we! Thanks for your patience and support as we approach the finish line!

The Game is Content Complete!

And here’s the GOOD NEWS! We’re VERY pleased to announce that Half-Genie Hero is now CONTENT COMPLETE!! In other words, the game’s development phase is over. From now through the end, our focus is entirely on fixing BUGS. The steps from this point are all by-the-book:

  • We continue for several weeks of intense testing on all platforms
  • Once verified by our internal Quality Assurance team, it’s off to Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft (the 1st Party Publishers).
  • The 1st Party Publishers will test the game for compliance. In most cases, this is done for each territory.
  • When we get a green light from all 1st Party Publishers, we can build the digital storefronts and, in the case of retail versions, send the game to manufacturing.
  • Finally, we can select a Release Date that works for all groups involved. At that time our “Target Release Date” will be updated again, and will become the actual Release Date.

Thankfully WayForward has shipped well over 200 games. We’ve been through this process a ton of times, and are intimately familiar with the pitfalls. But pitfalls do exist. A persistent crash bug, an unexpected firmware update, rejection at any level from 1st Parties, or long waits due to the pre-holiday season... ANY combination of these things would be enough to cause a delay. If that happens, we’ll turn around a quick fix, test, resubmit, and will update Backers immediately so you know exactly where things stand. Remember that any release date you see or hear is still just a “target date”, or estimated release date, until we clear 1st Party Submissions, and lock down our launch day. It’s going to be a busy month!

Translations!

You didn’t forget that this is a world-wide launch, right? So, we need a bunch of languages! The game’s script has now been translated from English into French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese! As you can probably imagine, not every joke and reference benefits from a direct translation, so we’ve been working with our Localization partners to keep the storyline and offbeat humor intact. We’ll do one more pass at languages as we sort out any text-related bugs, and discover any need to add extra hints or punch up a line of dialogue here or there.

Ratings Boards!

Yup, this update just keeps on coming. This week Half Genie Hero is packing its bags for a trip to the RATINGS BOARDS. And not just ESRB here in North America -- but every ratings board IN THE WORLD!! Well, or at least to the territories we’re shipping to. This is no small task. Every costume and pose, any implied danger, tongue-in-cheek jokes, explosions, monster-bashing, scary imagery, oofs, grunts, screams, hair whipping, belly dancing... ANYTHING that could affect the game’s final rating needs to be called out, documented, and captured in video. Ratings vary significantly from one territory to the next, so a Teen rating in one place might be a Cartoon Mischief rating in another. So don’t be too surprised if the final ratings don’t match exactly. The actual content is all the same! 

Farewell to Xbox 360 and PS3

Some months back we asked you to please confirm your platform of choice, and there was a mass migration from the previous generation of consoles to Xbox One and PS4. Because we’re down to 1% of backers who still prefer Xbox 360 or PS3, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel these versions of the game. We feel that the months it would take for the team to release these versions would be better spent on the game’s DLC, which serves the majority of Backers in the best possible way. We’ve been working through the remaining list of Backers who have no other means of enjoying the game, and are working with them one-on-one to make sure they’re taken care of in light of their very long wait for this product. If you fall into that category and have not heard from us yet, please contact us. Our goal is to make sure you can play the game, and that you are completely satisfied.

DLC Plan!

On the subject of Downloadable Content, what’s included in the “Launch Game” anyway? Answers for you! The first release of the game is what we call “Shantae Mode”. You’ll be able to play the full game, beginning to end as you would with any previous Shantae release. The base game includes all of the Bonus Chapters which were funded as Stretch Goals, nestled right into the main storyline.

 

 

After that we’ll have DLC a-plenty, arriving as quickly as we can finish it. Every DLC character has been in development for several months, and all of them are currently playable in varying stages of completion. This includes Risky Boots, Sky, Bolo, Rottytops, and also Ninja Shantae, Officer Shantae, and Beach Shantae. All “Paid DLC” will be free to Backers, naturally.

 

 

 

Backer Exclusive DLC like Blue Shantae, Classic Risky colors, Drifter Sword, and the Tier-Specific Tinkerbat Transformation are all currently being worked on as well. Once the game has launched, we’ll start having regular updates to detail these game-changing new characters and play styles! 

WHEW!

We’re gearing up for Shantae’s first world-wide multi-console launch, and we couldn’t be more excited! Please bear with us as we wrestle this beast to the ground and try to get all of these dates and platforms to line up! It’s going to be crazy, but we’re glad to have Backers like you cheering us on! See you next update!!

Shantae GO!

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Greetings and Salutations, Backers!

We're back! The weeks leading up to E3 were incredibly busy, and it’s been a maelstrom of activity over here ever since. Let’s dive into this update and fill you in on the many details surrounding the project!

Temmie from Undertale! 

Please welcome to the Shanate dev team, Temmie! You probably already know Temmie from her indie smash hit UNDERTALE. Now she’s lending Shantae her expertise to help bring our massive animation load to a speedy conclusion. Look at the rad animations she's created for our Backer Enemy Slimegal! Thanks for the helping hand, Temmie!

 

 

 

Target Release Date!

The end is nigh! We’ve set a target release date of 9/27/2016. That includes PC, Wii U, PS4, Vita, and Xbox One. Our goal is to launch in all territories and on all platforms at the same time, which we really hope can line up just right in order to get the game in the hands of all backers at the same time, with the full release right afterwards. 

As for the term “target date” – yes, that can shift and is not guaranteed to be the street date. Once we submit the game, we might have to make corrections and resubmit. It could (hypothetically), pass Nintendo of America but have a translation error with Nintendo of Europe. So the date might shift around as we come closer to launch, but that would be purely out of necessity. So mark your calendars, but use a pencil until the date is finalized and locked in.

Xseed brings Physical Copies to the US!

Our friends at Xseed will be publishing Half-Genie Hero at US retail stores! Dubbed the “Risky Beats” edition, this version will come packaged with music from the game. It’s coming to Wii U, PS4, and Vita (pre-orders are live now, so tell your friends!). WayForward is still the primary publisher, so you’ll get Backer Rewards from us as previously planned, and Backer Exclusives are still just as exclusive as ever. In case you have questions, we’ve assembled the following FAQ for you. With this physical release now, Half-Genie Hero can reach even more players than before!

Boxed Copies - Questions and Answers:

Since E3, we’ve received a barrage of letters from folks interested in Xseed’s physical versions. We’ve replied one-one-one via social media and support, but here are answers to the most popular questions as a quick reference:

Q: Can I change my platform preference to a physical copy?

A: We can’t offer that option, because WayForward will not have the ability to distribute physical copies. However, we expect that Backer DLC will be compatible regardless of whether you bought a physical copy or downloaded the game (Example: If you have PS4 digital with Backer DLC, the PS4 disc version would have the same features unlocked). We don’t want Backers locked away from the content they’ve backed.

Q: Will the Physical Game's Soundtrack be the same as the soundtrack backers will be receiving?

A: No. Although many of the songs will be the same, the Backer CD includes backer-exclusive bonus music. Both discs are expected to look somewhat different as well.

Q: Will there be a separate music CD you can purchase for SHGH?

A: Presently there are no plans for a separate music CD.

Q: Will there be physical EU copies? Is it only in the US? Does this effect the EU release date for digital copies?

A: We have not announced a publisher for EU yet! This does not affect the target release date for EU digital. We hope to release all versions at the same time if at all possible.

Q: Is Game Stop the only place you will be able to pre-order the game? Can they be pre-ordered at EB Games in Canada? Can they be pre-ordered on Amazon?

A: No, this is not exclusive to GameStop, and you can find the pre-order on Amazon. More pre-orders should appear at various retailers during the following months.

Q:Will there be an Xbox One physical release?

A: Currently we do not have any announcements regarding Xbox One retail.

Q: Will there be another Early Access Build for backers before the game is released in September?

A: We aren't planning another update for Early Access, as we're busy preparing the final version.

Q: Will there be a Steam pre-order option?

A: Possibly. We are looking into this.

If you have a question that’s not answered here, please check out our Shantae Half Genie Hero FAQ and Support page.

Until Next Time...

We’re working our brains out as we push to the end -- Wish us luck!

Rival Genie Vote is In!

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After a week long debate the ballots have been tabulated and the results are in! Our winner is here in all her snotty glory! Next she's off to the animators and programmers to be brought to life in game. Thank you to the 1,370 backers who participated in our 4th vote! See you next update! 

Promo Art, Voting, & Retail Partners!!

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An Update of Major Proportions!

Hey Backers – We’ve got big, big, BIG surprises for you today! Let’s kick things off with a bang!

Check out our new cool promo art! Up until now, we’ve been using the in-game sprites to represent our cover art, or “key art”. But - just like in Pirate’s Curse, the way our sprites look in the game aren’t exactly how they appear close up. At last year’s Tokyo Game Show, Matt began working with Inti Creates and KOU (the same illustrator from Pirate’s Curse) to come up with a distinct visual style for Half-Genie Hero’s key art, and now it’s ready for you to check out!

This style will be used in close up images like talking portraits, digital cover art, or in advertisements. The new look is designed to be flashy and eye catching, and we hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do! This new “anchor image” will replace the artwork that’s been previously associated with the game, starting with this year’s E3 promotions.

VOTING TIME! A Rival Genie!

It’s time for another vote! Remember that “Fire and Forget” Stretch Goal you all funded into existence? In that storyline, Shantae gets REPLACED as Scuttle Town’s Guardian Genie. To make matter’s worse, her replacement is snotty, stuck up, and none too easy to get along with. So – what’s this new genie going to look like? You can see all three of Matt’s rough sketches above, along with the cleaned up in-game sprite designs below. Which one strikes your fancy? Vote by clicking the link right here, and make your selections by May 13th, 11:59pm PDT. Let’s get voting!

Retail Deals in the Works!

We’ve received a ton of requests for physical versions of Shantae. Thing is, WayForward is a game developer and a digital publisher – but not an authorized retail publisher. In order to make physical copies of our games for stores, or distribute games in certain countries, console manufacturers require us to work with an authorized publishing partner. You’ve seen us do this before; Square Enix published LIT for WiiWare in Japan, Capcom distributed the original Shantae cartridge in the US, and more recently Intergrow released the boxed version of Pirate’s Curse in Japan for Nintendo 3DS.

Due to the success of Half-Genie Hero's Kickstarter campaign - and the positive support from fans and press - we’ve been able to enter into discussions with top tier publishers to do the same for Half-Genie Hero. We’re extremely excited about this, but we also recognize that this might raise some questions from our Backers. So, here’s what you need to know! 

  • WayForward is the game’s primary publisher, same as always. You’ll still receive your download codes from WayForward, along with all of the Backer Exclusive content.
  • The game’s content will not be impacted by this. Partners will be given a license to distribute the finished game as-is.
  • Any extra work required for these ports will be covered by the distribution partners, not taken from your pledges.
  • Please understand that WayForward is not the distributor of the physical versions, so we can't offer backers any boxed copies.

Look forward to more information as E3 draws near! It’s going to be big!

See you next update!

Transformation Update!

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Progress Status!

Good day loyal backers! It’s been a while since our last update. The reason is WORK! It’s been a madhouse over here as we move ahead at a feverish pace towards our Pre-Alpha goal. We’ve enlisted help from several of our go-to partners from all over the globe to help get the job done. Half-Genie Hero is in production 24 hours a day - literally ‘round the clock! It’s awesome and exhausting at the same time.

You might be asking, “is this normal?” Yes! This is often what the end of a major development effort looks like, and we’re no strangers to it. The major risks have been conquered, the fun is firmly in place, and all that remains is to bring each piece of the game to its final version, which takes nothing less than a TON of muscle.

Where that puts us today: We should be content complete in about 2 months, with another month of testing after that. Also expect 3 weeks in there for translations and ratings too, which can only happen once we’re done making content. These things can overlap, but it doesn’t always work out that way which is why we can’t give a firm release date (yet). Our best guess is that we’ll be submitting to 1st parties (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and Valve) in July. We know that it’s been difficult to wait for so long, but ask that you endure with us to the end!

Mythological Transformations!

And now, more details about the game! Half-Genie Hero will feature 5 main “Animal Transformations”, and 3 additional “Mythological Forms”, bringing the grand total up to 8 (Okay, 9 if you backed the Tinkerbat Form Reward Tier, which will be delivered via download code). The first of these mythological forms is the Spider Form! As a spider, Shantae can crawl on ceilings and shoot venom. And unlike the classic Game Boy version, she can also fire webs and climb them. Here are some of her animations for you to enjoy! As for the other transformations, we’d like to keep a few surprises for later. We want you to have something left to discover in the final game and not spoil everything in these updates! 

Idle Animation!!

Walk Animation!!

Ceiling Crawl Animation!!

Crouched Idle Animation!!

Screen Shots!

Our “scary themed” areas are coming along beautifully, as you can see here. And, we’ve got some additional samples of the destruction Risky Boots is delivering on to the kindly people of Scuttle Town. Shantae’s not going to stand for this! We’re currently working on the final area of the game, and the Final Boss. As you’d expect it is EPIC, and nope... it’s not going to appear in a future update (sorry!). Again, our goal is to keep updates as spoiler-free as possible!

PS3 and 360 versions

Backer Surveys are in, and only a handful of backers have selected the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. We’re strongly considering postponing the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. This would remove two sizable obstacles to launch, which already includes submitting PS4, XB1, Wii U, Steam for Windows PC, and Vita to multiple regions. It’s a ton of work, and if we can put off the 360 and PS3 versions, it will help.

Now, we can’t tell how many Backers would be negatively affected by this, as most of the accounts with 360/PS3 preference have been inactive since the campaign ended. But we know that at least a few of you have updated recently and selected 360/PS3. If you are one of these people, and switching to another platform isn’t an option for you, please contact us at support@wayforward.com. This is an ever-changing industry, and our development spans a transitional time for the home console market. 

Thanks! See you next update!