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!
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!
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!
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!
Ceiling Crawl Animation!!
Crouched Idle Animation!!
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 email@example.com. This is an ever-changing industry, and our development spans a transitional time for the home console market.
Thanks! See you next update!
The Last Backer Enemy is in Captivity… the Galaxy is at Peace.
This is it! The final Backer Enemy to appear in Half-Genie Hero! Say hello to Tuki, the sneaky, snakey seller of magical secrets by Backer Matt B! Matt B worked with our Matt B on several designs, and eventually landed on this devious shop keeper rather than a traditional combat enemy. Tuki will appear at various points throughout the game to offer the player new dances in exchange for old ones. What could go wrong? Traditional enemy? - No. Interesting choice? Abso-slither-lutely!"
The Road to Pre-Alpha
So you ask yourself, when is this crazy game going to be done, anyway? I backed this when I was a child, now I’m a full grown adult with chest hair! As with most game development, we carve the game into sections and work on them one by one. Our goal right now is to get the game to Pre-Alpha status. Pre-Alpha means that a person could experience the entire game from beginning to end, with a few temp objects here and there.
Today our Quality Assurance Team did a full play-through, debugging occasionally to bypass the incomplete portions of Chapter 5 and 6 (the Final Chapter), and a few rough spots that need extra love, namely boss battles. We expect that it will take a couple of months to finish those chapters, and declare the game a Pre-Alpha. From there we will adjust and fine tune the storyline and quest -- all that “meta” stuff -- to reach Alpha. Then we’ll bug fix and polish our way to Beta, and finally 1st Party Submission. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s going to take a big push to reach the end!
Did You Buy a New Console?
If you recently traded in that PS3 for a PS4, or got a Wii U or Xbox One over the holidays, we’d encourage you to update your Backer Rewards to reflect this! Since Backer Kit is now closed, you can do this by contacting our Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. They'll be happy to help you switch your “platform of choice” to that shiny, new console.
Risky’s Revenge for Wii U
Breaking news today for Shantae fans! Shantae: Risky’s Revenge Director’s Cut is moving into submissions at Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe. Now Wii U owners will be able to play the most popular Shantae game on the planet, with all of those fancy bonus features like the new Warp System, improved balancing, HD illustrations, and the infamous Magic Mode Costume!
Even Breaking-er News!
The team handling the ports of Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse to PS4 and Xbox One are in the final stretch, and expect the game to reach North America and Europe sometime in March. We don’t have an exact release date yet, so just smear some Elmer’s glue all over late March and maybe early April, and cover it in purple hair so you don’t forget. 2016 is going to be a great year for Shantae fans! Tons to do, back to work! Thanks for reading and see you next time!
Shantae Joins the Cast of Indivisible!
Last week, Skullgirls developer Lab Zero announced the inclusion of Shantae in their newest game, Indivisible! The game looks amazing, and we’re pleased as punch to have Shantae battling alongside Ajna and the rest of this truly inspired cast of heroes! Above you can see an awesome Shantae concept by Lab Zero’ Mariel Cartwright, who you might remember as the animator behind Shantae's Half-Genie Hero move set way back at the start of our campaign!
Today, the Indivisible crowd-funding campaign is only $100,000 away from reaching their goal, and there are only a few days left!
We know there are a bunch of Shantae fans over there helping out, but if you're hearing about the game for the first time, or just want to know more about Shantae’s cameo, please follow the link below and consider helping them out!
Here’s that link!
This month we’re continuing to work on Chapter 5, which is our haunted locale. We don’t want to give away too much, since we’re dealing mostly with content that appears in the back-half of the game. But with all of the skeletons, spiders, slime girls, and ghosts, you might guess that there’s a sinister force behind the scenes. The Hypno Baron made his debut in Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, and he was nowhere to be found in Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse. But he’s back now, and is holding a sizable grudge against our hero! With his powers of hypnotism in full effect, Shantae is going to have a tough time dealing with this powerful foe!
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Finally, here is a first look at the Tinker Factory – a punishing gauntlet of volcanic-themed challenges which will bring Shantae Mode to its conclusion, and just might bring a few players to their knees. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the volcano! At this point in the game, completionists will want to fill out their player arsenal, new players might find help by buying out the store’s inventory, and hard core players will put their hot-dogging mettle on full display by taking the challenge head-on!
We’re not done making the game (there is still a ways to go!), but this Final Chapter will mark the end of the concept art and character design phase! It's been a long road, but we're almost finished with this massive part of of the game development process! Go Team!!
See you next update!!