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 firstname.lastname@example.org and they will fix it ASAP. They have excellent support staff.
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.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.