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!
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.
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.
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!
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!!