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Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with unknown dangers and lost technologies. Inspired by nightmares and dreams alike.
24,150 backers pledged $645,158 to help bring this project to life.

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April Update Time!

Posted by Heart Machine (Creator)
70 likes

Drifters! The game has been out almost a whole month now, and we're still alive.

Co-op!

We've been working diligently addressing any issues users have been experiencing since launch, patching builds across all three platforms rapidly. We want the best experience for all our players, so fixing major and minor bugs as quickly as we're able has been an intense, nerve-racking and rewarding process. The majority of issues (especially the odd game-breakers/progression stoppers/key mixups) have been addressed, with a few system-specific and mystery bugs still being worked through. Our QA did a great job during our sprint before launch, but can only do so much when considering the sheer number of configurations out there with machines and the quirks of GameMaker at times.

In addition to that, we also have had a deep desire to get co-op back in (an important feature we just didn't have time for leading up to launch), thus a beta has just gone live!

We have a beta running now on Steam. A new build with the mode fully baked will be up soon after we address bugs and feedback for this beta, available on Steam, GOG and Humble:

http://steamcommunity.com/games/257850/announcements/detail/590346047941793062

Rewards Update

The art book is nearly done and ready to go to print. We had to get some final approvals for fan art in and cleanup a few odds and ends. I'm super excited about this thing - it's over 200 pages with a massive amount of art from throughout the entire production process.

The PDF manual, wall papers and special treat are also wrapping up, and should be sent off via BackerKit in the coming weeks.

Prints are getting processed this summer, and you'll be notified once those start shipping.

The SNES style box and printed manual will have an announcement soon.

OST keys were sent to users via Backerkit a while back, which went far smoother than our Humble Bundle code distribution at launch (again, apologies for that unfortunate mess). Moving forward, we'll be sticking to BackerKit for any future digital code and asset distribution for backers to avoid any further mess, including game codes for other platforms.

If you have any remaining questions or issues, please email support@heart-machine.com, instead of going through the KS message box, as it's easier and quicker to manage and tag emails than the clunky KS backend.

Final Bits

In many ways, the project only became MORE intense after launch. Patching the game up has allowed a bit of breathing room, though with console ports just around the corner, so the intensity isn't over yet.

I'm looking forward to some restful days soon, as this entire process has been incredibly challenging, nearly as much as it has been rewarding.

See you next month, Drifters.

The game is out! Lots of info within.

Posted by Heart Machine (Creator)
163 likes

Drifters! It's been a hell of a week! Thank you all so much for your support and kindness. Below is a fair amount of information on launch, rewards, and other game-related bits.

Keys + Add ons

We had some issues with our key/digital download distribution partner, Humble Bundle on the 30th, right before launch. It was a rough and tense launch evening. They have been rock solid in the past, but due to the complex nature and number of backers and rewards, they had some issues getting everything sorted properly and in time. Regardless of the errors, I want to thank them for staying up and getting it together in the end.

We apologize for anyone who got their keys late (or worse, have not received them yet), had any mixups on DLC or the like. It was frustrating for us, so I imagine everyone else was frustrated as well. We want to do right by all of you who supported us since the beginning. 

Humble should have straightened everything out now and sent proper keys for your tier + add ons. If you have issues on this front, PLEASE reach out to them via support@humblebundle.com and they will fix it ASAP. They have excellent support staff.

Digital Rewards

We have a number of digital rewards that are going out POST launch: the PDF booklet, Bonus Wallpapers, and the OST. 

These things take a bit of time, and we have been prioritizing the game first and foremost. We'll have an email going out to fulfill these, so be on the look out in the coming weeks.

Physical Rewards

As mentioned in another post, the physical art book, prints, and physical box +manual will be going out through the year. Prints and SNES style box and manual are first up, coming in the next couple of months. The Art book takes the most time, as it's big and full of tons of pages, so that's going to be closer to the end of the year. Any further questions, please avoid messaging us on KS, as the system here is clunky and offers little in the way of organizational tools: email is FAR better, so support@heart-machine.com is your best venue to get our attention.

Crashes + Bugs

We're working very hard to fix bugs, crashes and everything in between with the game. We fixed (hopefully! mostly confirmed in the beta channels on Steam) the controller issues, and a lot of other minor to large hitches and death loops that people found. We have put up several updated builds already, and plan to push another this evening with further fixes to some oddities and busted interactions.

This is not a reflection on QA, as they did a wonderful job, and helped find MANY bugs before we launched during the weeks they had the game.  We simply are a small team with a big game, and it takes time for all the little bits we missed to find their way to us to fix.

We want everyone to be able to experience the game in the best possible way. Thank you to everyone who continues to provide feedback (and screenshots + video); it has been enormously helpful! If you have further issues, please email support@heart-machine.com (not info@, please).

We're aware that a small percentage of users cannot boot the game on their system, which is unfortunate. The realities of PC hardware and configs is that their are thousands of different setups, so testing them all is impossible. We're doing our best to address these crashes as soon as possible, as we hate for anyone who supported us to be unable to play. Again, the best thing to do is email us at support@heart-machine.com with screenshots (even video!) and details on your system on any crashes, as this helps immensely when trying to identify the root cause in these cases. The Steam forums also have some helpful tricks for specific situations.

DLC

Golden DLC - comes as a DLC key, and redeemable on Steam (or ps4/xbox/vita/wii u if you chose one of those as your first platform). Simply enter the code, and they will be activated from the start.

Alt Drifter - You must redeem the DLC on Steam (and play your copy there) in order to activate her. Once you beat the game as the main drifter, there will be a message that you unlocked the character, and you will get a new menu option. This is not a simple reskin, as the character has several key differences.

Exclusivity on the Alt Drifter - back in the campaign, we promised this character as a KS exclusive, with some posts following up on this after. We had internal discussion on this throughout the process, thought about offering it as an unlock reward for 100%ing the game, but ended up leaving it as DLC to keep it fair for backers who paid for her. The character will remain exclusive to backers for a while yet, though sometime in the later months of this year we plan to open the DLC option up to everyone else. We hope you enjoy this extra character.

Stretch Goals

I've had a few questions about content and stretch goals.

First: I feel we have done our very best to fulfill as much as we could humanly produce during the cycle. We got the challenge mode in, all of the levels we really wanted, a massive amount of music and sound and art, hired the people we needed. We even added a bonus soccer mini game! We made a huge game with a very small core team. We worked our bodies and souls and hearts out. We're satisfied with the end result, even if it is imperfect.

Second: Things change during productions. Ideas that seemed great at the time two and half years ago, become moot. Enemy designs changed, bosses changed, level layouts changed massively as we learned, grew as a team, skills become honed and everything is the better for it. We improved on every aspect each week. So, things like the shield, the crummy old UI, some bosses we ended up disliking (or morphed into something much better) changed over the course of two years. Again, this is part of the creative, iterative process, (especially when it's years of production) where we figure out what works and what doesn't; what we really like; what really fits with our game world.

Third: some of these goals are still in the works, such as the art book with featured artists, the b-sides album (Disasterpeace is just finishing his pass on the actual OST to be released SOON).

We did miss some things, for different reasons: 

  • Coop: we made a hard decision very late in production that it was just too unstable to ship with this feature. We plan to tackle this soon, and if we do end up with a great version of it, will release it down the line as a free patch for everyone. It requires a fair amount of play testing and bug fixing that just wasn't possible within our timeline.
  • Online Challenge mode: this is nightmare feature to implement. We decided to avoid delaying the game any further and drop any network integration. We feel it was the best call, as we have seen other games get delayed by months for a feature that is not vital to the core experience.

Performance

We absolutely value performance on as many systems as possible. We have done everything we could to test on a multitude of systems, but of course there are configurations and outliers that we could not account for.

There's a contentious debate about frame rate these days. I think it comes down to personal opinion and preference on many different games. As a gamer, I very much enjoy games at 60, of course, and feel that some games NEED it to be at their best - modern shooters as the prime example.

I've never had much issue with games at 30, and in fact many of my favorites are locked at that rate: Bloodbourne, Nuclear Throne, Souls games, many Zelda games, Mario 64, Undertale, etc.

Hyper Light plays as intended at 30fps locked, and we feel confident, great about the end result. We realize some may not agree, and some refuse to play games at 30 these days.

We have investigated the possibility of a 60fps option. This is a HUGE endeavor, and would take months (three at minimum) of labour to retool all the systems that are dependent on frame timing, to make major optimizations to the game so it runs on all the same machines it does now. This is no small task for us.

Difficulty

I've seen some comments about difficulty in our game recently. I feel we have been fairly up front about challenge in games over the past two years in interviews, at shows, talking to fans, in videos and streams, and of course with the playable preview (you could even fall off cliffs very easily in that version). We enjoy the exhilaration of overcoming an almost overwhelming challenge, and the immense satisfaction that comes with it. 

That being said, we do pay attention and listen, and we do understand. Our decisions are made with great care, after much iteration and testing. We will continue evaluating all the responses that come in as more people play.

I won't undermine our intent of the challenge, and it will never be anything but a hard game, but I will always push to make things better if it is agreeable, reasonable and feasible.

Console Versions

PS4 and Xbox One are actively being worked on by the fantastic Aaron Melcher. These will be out as soon as possible (likely this summer). We want to make sure they're in great working shape, and timing on release is dependent upon how quickly any kinks can be ironed out between the different hardware and the more ambiguous submission process with Sony and MS.

Vita is also being worked on, though this is a platform that requires a fair amount of optimization; it has a tiny sliver of memory to work with and a slow proc. This port is also likely the most costly, since we have to get extensive outside help. It won't be cross-buy due to how much later it'll be out than the PS4 version, though we are looking into cross-save.

Wii U is still in limbo, though we are getting closer to a resolution on this. I will keep everyone posted as we know more.

Final Bits

I'd like to reiterate how crazy and incredible the past few years have been, leading up to and in production with the game. Right now I feel relieved in some ways, but tense as much remains to be done to wrap this whole production up and fulfill our remaining rewards. 

I want to specifically thank the rest of the team: Beau, Teddy, Casey, Sean, Rich, Akash, Lisa, Cosimo, Aaron and everyone else who has been such a massive help and endured my madness.

I'm glad people have been enjoying the game. I'm glad KS has been kind to us. I've always tried to be as transparent as possible about our process, and even our emotional state. Thanks again. I'll see you next month, kind Drifters.

Humble Bundle Key error

Posted by Heart Machine (Creator)
110 Comments
51 likes

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Notes on release and Surveys!

Posted by Heart Machine (Creator)
58 Comments
155 likes

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Final Trailer, Release date, Survey News!

Posted by Heart Machine (Creator)
187 likes

Drifters! I come to you bearing the biggest gifts yet: a final trailer, a release date, and some information on Surveys and rewards.

Trailer 3 + Release date

March 31st. Frighteningly close!

Our Steam page is up, in case you'd also like to check that out:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/257850/

Linux

I'm sure we'll get this question, so I'll head it off at the pass: we are still working out some final kinks on the Linux build; we still plan to launch it at the same time as PC and Mac, though there's the possibility of needing a bit of extra time. So far it's looking good, and like it'll be out in time. We'll keep everyone posted on this subject.

Surveys

Our BackerKit surveys went out last week. Wow, what a difference! It has saved me MANY headaches and so much precious time. 

If you have yet to answer yours, please do so ASAP in order for us to get you your extra digital rewards + name in the credits on time! We have a hard cutoff of the 25th of this week. The surveys are super straightforward and smooth now, so it only takes a few minutes to answer them.

If you have not received an email for the survey, first check your spam folder. If nothing is there, please visit this link and your problems should be solved:

hyper-light-drifter.backerkit.com

If you still have an issue that the Backerkit folk can't help with, please email me at info@heart-machine.com and I'll do my best to respond quickly with the proper information.

Rewards

We have a variety of rewards going out to backers over the course of this year. Digital rewards will go out with the game launch (on your platform of choice). Physical rewards will be distributed throughout the remaining part of this year as they take time to print all the orders, process, package and ship. Remaining t-shirts will be going out first; expect the print and box sometime in the summer; the art book closer to Fall, as that's the heftiest beast to edit, print and ship. We may even have a few surprises in those items for backers.

If there are any specific questions on the rewards, again, please hit me up at info@heart-machine.com and I'll do my best to answer within a reasonable amount of time.

Final Bits

It's been an incredible adventure leading up to launch. I deeply appreciate everyone who has backed us, had faith in us, had patience through this process. You have all been wonderfully supportive and kind.

We've put together an experience we are deeply proud of, pouring ourselves into it entirely, and we hope you love it. 

See you on the other end of launch, Drifters.