Closed beta test in Steam, integrating Steamworks
It's official! We're on Steam. Our page isn't publicly accessible yet. We need to make a new trailer and take some screenshots before making Himeko Sutori's page publicly accessible. We can do that any time, but we'd like to hold off until we have more content to show.
We're also starting to incorporate some of Steamworks' many features to help you get the most enjoyment out of Himeko Sutori. The first feature that we looked into was Steam Workshop to give you a place to share, vote on, and discuss all of the campaigns you're just waiting to make.
The Workshop integration is going to require a little more work. While we finish that up, ModDB is probably going to be the best place to host user-generated content for Himeko Sutori.
But for now there are already a few features of Steam that we are taking full advantage of: Steam gives us a place for users to download the game. Steam lets us set a password on our beta test. And Steam automatically pushes updates to our players. By taking advantage of those features, we were able to save a lot of time getting our game out to our testers, then quickly patch the game when they report bugs.
And while we are fixing bugs (and our testers found a lot!) we are also paying close attention to their general feedback about playing the game. Several of our testers mentioned that Himeko Sutori is pretty complicated and it's in need of some tutorials. So we started making tutorials, starting with how to create a new lance:
As you probably already know, your heroes don't go into battle alone. You organize them into lances of up to ten heroes, and you send up to 20 lances into battle at once. The lance size depends on the lance captain's leadership score, the elemental affinities of the other heroes in the lance, and some other factors. It is a little complicated, and the tutorial definitely helps. And we probably would not have made the tutorial if not for tester feedback.
And of course, beyond fixing bugs and prepping the game for launch, we are constantly adding more content and the occasional new feature. One neat little feature we added this past month is temporary landmarks.
Landmarks are usually permanent, like towns that you can visit at any time. But we decided that temporary landmarks would be an important addition to Himeko Sutori. Temporary landmarks could be a randomly spawned bandit camp for you to attack or a story-driven meeting at a previously unremarkable spot on the world map.
Besides that, we are still making beautiful new sprite sheets for all of the weapons in the game. We are also adding new resources for the caves, deserts, and mountains that you're going to explore.
It looks like development is still going according to plan. We're going to give our initial testers a little more time with the game and we're going to flesh out the test campaign a little more. There won't be any story to this test campaign, but we would like to fill it out enough for it to showcase all of what will be in the real campaign. When we have enough to show off, we'll release it to you (with the campaign builder) and you can help us out with all your feedback and bug reports while we finish up the main campaign and you get started on making your own stories.
Thank you again everyone for your continuing interest in and support for Himeko Sutori. We are very glad to be working on it for you. And we'll see you again next month with more updates.