Drifters! We have a fair amount of exciting items to cover. Thank you for waiting.
First item to share: a first peek at an animated sequence we're supremely excited about.
Sean W. has been taking this beastly thing to task. Eventually it will be stuffed with flashy color and effects. Note: these types of scenes won't be in-game, though will be featured in other ways!
A few new images
A preview sprite for your enjoyment:
Entrance for the Winding Ridge (still rough):
Tower that a dangerous cult of automatons has occupied:
Schedule: keeping everyone as informed as we can
After heavy development, much discussion and examination, the team and I have decided that we will not rush the project. There's an intense desire to create a polished, beautiful experience and we need more time to do so. We plan for the closed beta to come out near June, so you'll still savage hordes of beasts and explore a section of the world in due time. The Steam + PC release are first, as they were the initial platform; we have our sights set on the end of the year holiday season. Other platform releases are planned to follow shortly thereafter.
We've spent these past months working incredibly hard - on weekends and beyond - scheduling, planning and budgeting how we can best utilize the resources you, the backers, have so graciously given us to create the game everyone deserves. The original approximation of a June release was for a game developed with just myself and Beau Blyth, something much smaller; I would have been creating art for the next six months, with much rougher edges and animation. Since we have been given this remarkable opportunity, the project has evolved, requires polish and finesse that I was not originally afforded. We are able to make the experience whole, into the full vision I had wanted it to be.
The other major factor is health: I can't physically push myself to the brink; I live with limitations that most do not. The amazing thing now, after the success of this campaign, is that I have a team to support this project, to support me. This means that I'll have to pace myself to avoid crashing, a fact I was reminded of just this week. We're all working as hard as we can within reason.
I know some will be disappointed about a delay. For us it means creating as great and polished an experience as is possible. I remember yelling at Nintendo Power whenever Zelda: OoT was delayed, and now I fully understand why they did it and how it paid off in the end. In Miyamoto's words: "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."
To give more context and connect with you fancy backers as much as possible, we'll answer questions via a livestream for an hour starting Monday Feb 3rd, 7pm PST at http://www.twitch.tv/heartmachinez.
We've come up with some extra bits for everyone at the $75 tier and above: you'll be able to customize your in-game Companion (colors, body type) plus you'll receive a digital high res version of the world map!
Here's the final revision (save for one spot) of the plushy:
Rita Hunt is going to produce a limited run of 50, which will then be purchasable on her storefront. Depending on interest we may continue to produce more plushies, and use them for special give-aways and events. We'll have links and details on pricing once she has produced the first run.
I have been itching to hold a proper contest. As to not overwhelm everyone, we'll post details on the DevLog as soon as it comes together. The basics: it'll be an art contest, we'll feature all submissions plus choose the top group of work on a future update for everyone to see, and we'll have several prizes available, including the Drifter plushy, a print, and more secrets!
Sound designer Akash
Introducing the talented Akash Thakkar. Check out his first video over here:
After such a large update, I'll leave you with a these few words; you're all incredible. Have an excellent weekend, Drifters.