Where are we at?
Meeting all the gamers and press at the show was exhilarating - we got a huge amount of positive feedback from everyone who played the build! We've put two different runs of our PAX build up on Youtube for everyone to check out:
With PAX behind us now, we are able to once again shift to a development focus. Our priority is on creating a meaningful progression as you attempt to rebuild your Estate lands. That is, medium term goals that keep you engaged and provide interesting rewards as you work towards building a party tough enough to endure the Darkest Dungeon. And, as always, we're flooding the game with more monsters, items, animations, quirks and environment art!
PAX Plague Roundup
At PAX Prime, we gave out Plague Doctor masks, and encouraged people to take pictures of themselves and their friends. Our top 5 picks would win free Steam keys, and first place would get an artbook as well! Check out the winners:
If you are one of the winners, we'll be in touch soon!
Early Access: Doing it Right
We know there's been increasing interest around our Early Access release date, and we wanted to give you backers a heads up regarding our plans. The most important thing to us is validating your support and enthusiasm for the project by launching with a great game. We know that Early Access has a mixed reputation, so we want to do it right.
Early Access should be a fun experience for those involved. Regular content and feature drops make the process exciting and allow us to collect valuable feedback as we drive toward our 1.0 release.
Our vision for Darkest Dungeon's Early Access is a high quality (re)playable experience. There will certainly be bugs, balance hiccups, and some areas of the game will be less polished than others...but we want our core loop to really shine.
Early Access scope will be announced closer to the launch window. This will give you guys a clear look at what to expect from a feature and content standpoint when the first build goes live.
Also just prior to launch, we will release an Early Access roadmap. This will provide a high level look at when new content and features will be added to the game.
New heroes, environments, trinkets, and enemies will all be streaming into the build regularly, meaning there will always be a reason to grab the latest update and take it for a spin.
You can expect Early Access to hit Steam around mid-Feb of 2015.
It might move a couple weeks in either direction depending on release calendars of other games (e.g. we don't want to launch the same day as Bloodborne), but it won't change too much. We are on the home stretch!
No "Early" Early Access is Planned
At this point.
We are not planning on an "extra-early" Early Access for backers only. We may do some very restricted closed alpha testing (for machine compatibility bugs), in which case we will make an announcement regarding any opportunities to join that closed test. However, in general you should expect to gain access to the Early Access when we deploy that publicly on Steam.
Full Release Timeframe
Throughout Early Access, we will be adding new features and content to get the game to full "final" release. We are confident that full release will take place during Summer 2015. We know that this is a bit later than some of you are expecting, but just like with Early Access, we would rather deliver something that meets our own internal standards rather than rush out something that isn't ready. Rest assured that we are working hard to move that timeframe up as much as possible without sacrificing the quality of the game! A successful Early Access is the first step.
Pre-Orders are Ending Oct 1st
Also a heads up: we'll be taking the remaining preorder packages off of darkestdungeon.com on Oct 1st. People will still be able to purchase early access when the game goes live, but the bundled Deluxe and Ultimate packs will no longer be available. So tell those fence-sitting friends to come down of that lofty perch!
If you're reading this after Oct 1st and you haven't backed the game, don't worry--you can still get it as soon as it launches on Steam!
Sneakypie, Cadogan & co. have been doing an exceptional job running www.darkerdungeon.com. The site has everything: press coverage links, archived twitch streams, FAQs, and forums! Go check it out, and make a post while you're at it! It's a great and growing community of fans like yourselves.
Dark, unsettling and enjoying a great deal of Kickstarter love - Pathologic! Let's hear it for Plague Doctors! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1535515364/pathologic
Check out the impressive scope and charming nostalgia of Blossom Tales! That little knight is too adorable... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1441844041/blossom-tales-the-sleeping-king
Battle Brothers is a tactical fantasy game that evokes the feeling of some great games from ages past. This one needs some Steam Greenlight love! Check it out and give a thumbs up if you like it!
Full Speed Ahead
We have a lot of work to do over the next few months. But we love what we're doing, and really think you will, too. Thanks, as always, for supporting us and giving us the ability to create this game!
--The Darkest Dungeon Team