We’re excited beyond human comprehension to tell you the news... Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is done! Did you hear that correctly?! We know, right? It’s crazy! Wow!!!
What an incredible experience this has been! As you know, this was a very long development cycle, and we’re grateful for your support and patience. This project was always about working together to create a product that was shaped by fans, for fans, and now that work is complete! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!
Choosing a Release Date!
The game has been submitted to Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Steam, and digital storefronts are being created. Because this is a global release, we’re working with teams in each territory to establish a unified release date. We’ll let you know the INSTANT we find out when the game will be live! And this probably goes without saying, but of course we’ll do everything in our power to get the game released to backers early.
This is the LAST CALL for platform changes! If you’re thinking about changing which platform you want your download code for, here’s what you need to know:
If for whatever reason you’ve never made a selection, immediate action is required! (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
You have until Nov 29th (one week!) to make your final selection.
If you do not choose a platform by Nov 29th, your reward will automatically be set to Steam for Windows PC.
Once again, this is locked down on Nov 29th! Last chance, final warning, speak now or forever hold your peace!
We’re excited and hope you are, too! It’s almost time to play Shantae: Half-Genie Hero!
Thanks! See you next update!
This month marks the 3rd year since we embarked on this epic adventure together! The game is almost done, but the fun doesn't end there! We still have plenty of post-launch content to develop, which will be loaded with fun surprises and brand new gameplay styles for you to explore and enjoy. We haven’t gone into a ton of detail about this, but we will once the game is live! We hope you have a ton of fun at launch, and look forward to some really amazing features which will continue to redefine the game with each content update.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is still in testing. We’re clearing out bugs on Wii U, PS4, XB1, Win Steam PC, and Vita, and this is happening quickly and making excellent progress. However, since we haven’t submitted the game to Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft yet, that means we still don’t have a reliable release date. We’ll submit as soon as we have a clean, polished version for all platforms. For now, we’re telling our partners (Xseed, GameStop, Amazon, etc.) to look for a 4th quarter release. Because of this, you’ll see dates posted “in the wild” that range from November 1 to December 15, but none of these is an official release date. When we pass First Party Submissions, the date will become real and we’ll let you know the moment we do.
More Product Features Revealed!
If you’ve been following our updates since the beginning, you know that we’ve been very up front about what we’re not being up front about. That’s because we’ve wanted to keep some content a surprise. Now it’s time to reveal some of the features you’ll get when the game launches! Don’t worry... this is still spoiler free!
New Game Plus! We’ve added a bonus mode which will unlock when you clear the game for the first time! Speed runners and sequence breakers – this feature is for you. Expect some kind of treat for completing the game quickly!
Transformations! The game contains five chapters, two of which were stretch goals. As with all previous games, this means 1 transformation per chapter for a total of FIVE, right? NO! This time, Shantae will transform into a whopping 10 forms - 11 if you include the Tinkerbat Form. A few of these forms are very unusual... hmm.
Magical Attacks and Upgrades. We’ve added upgrades for many of the most popular Shantae powers from the past. Storm Puff, Bubble Shield, Pike Ball, and Fireball are back. But this time you can upgrade all of them through multiple stages, with some devastatingly powerful final forms. For example, you can upgrade Pikeball into the “SCIMITAR”, which will cut any foe down to size in seconds. There are other upgrades too, but we’ll let you find those for yourself!
GIGA WRENCH and Warp Dance! New to Half-Genie Hero is the Warp Dance. Get this dance, and you can zip around the stages within a given world with ease. To travel between worlds, you can catch a ride on Giga Wrench! Whenever you need a lift, blow Sky’s Bird-Whistle for a quick lift!
Expanded Art Gallery: As planned, the Scuttle Town Art Gallery will house the 50+ images created by Backers. Now we’ve expanded that feature to include additional artwork created by our concept artists, animators, and friends at Inti Creates. Look for over 100 pieces of original artwork to unlock! If you unlock all of the images, you might get a special reward from the Mayor.
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse at retail!
For fans who like physical versions of games, this month is loaded! First, our friends at Rising Star Games are set to launch a new version of Pirate’s Curse for Nintendo 3DS. This version contains a never-before-seen mini game “Super Shantae Nab!!” which will allow players to accrue Gems in Scuttle Town via a special arcade cabinet. It's out in North America today and will be releasing in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Middle East on Oct 21st. Exciting!
Shantae at LIMITED RUN GAMES
Next, Limited Run Games will be launching Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, and Shantae: Risky’s Revenge for PS4. Both games include an exclusive reversible cover, region free. It will be available at 10AM Eastern Time on Friday, October 28th. A second batch will be available on the same day at 6PM ET. These are limited to only 6,000 copies worldwide. You’ve been warned! Watch their website (https://limitedrungames.com/products/limited-run-25-shantae-and-the-pirates-curse-ps4) for more details!
That’s all the update for now! Believe it or not, we still have even more surprises waiting to be revealed! Look for that, and more launch details in our next update!
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!!
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!
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!