It's finally here. 12 team members, 6.5 years of development, 4,174 Kickstarter backers, many many Steam Early Access players, dozens of patches, 2,500 workshop levels, 12 conventions, and probably around 10,000 cups of coffee have resulted in Distance v1.0!
Plenty of mixed emotions at Refract today as we say goodbye to Distance Beta and hello to v1.0. Something definitely feels strange about not seeing that beta watermark in the upper right corner.
Distance was our first project outside the safety net of academia and I think it's safe to say that for most of us at Refract it was an incredible (and intense) learning experience. While we did our best to stay true to what we outlined in our Kickstarter, this project has continually evolved due to our skills improving, our tastes expanding, and our players' continually fantastic feedback.
We have the most patient and supportive backers, and the coolest player community on Earth. Thank you for believing in us to create something new and interesting in the racing genre! Your continued energy, excitement, support, and thoughtful feedback have kept this project going strong.
Speaking of which, remember that community press release we mentioned? It's going out to reviewers and content creators today! Thank you to anyone who took time to contribute. Out of the hundreds of responses here are a few of the quotes we included in the release:
What Players Had to Say about the Distance Experience
“Distance is practically the only game to tell a mysterious story with a very deep plot through racing, adrenaline-filled survival racing that can actually induce emotions totally outside the genre.” -Mad Max
- “No other game captures to feeling of high speed driving quite the way Distance does. Turning a game about driving into, essentially, a puzzle game is maddeningly brilliant” -Jacob Odom
- “The atmosphere makes this game more than just about racing. Some of the environments can bring out a range of emotions from sadness to joyfulness.” -Deumfides
What Players Had to Say about Distance’s Gameplay
“Burnout-boosting down a glass and neon highway that flips upside down while you ceiling-ride past hell's own road works equipment through an impossible cyberpunk nightmare city to a pounding electronic soundtrack.” -Jonas Emmett
- “It's a game where your car can jump onto walls after getting cut in half by a laser, but actually keep going. Like yeah find me another game that has that and I'll eat my jorts.” -Chris
- “The racing game where the map itself is trying to kill you with saws and lasers.” -Aida
What Players Had to Say about Distance’s Community
“If the vision of the creators of Distance is the heart of this game, the community certainly is its blood.” -João Felipe Brandão Jatobá
- “It's not just a game anymore, it's something personal. The community is genuine, and all very active. It's got this kind of vibrancy and life to it, that never quite goes away. It's been going on long before the game ever officially reached Alpha, with the creation of the gem Nitronic Rush. Even then people knew there was something going on. It's not just the sum of its' mechanics, but something more. This game is alive.” -Nicholas
- “The game is packed with kinetic excitement that makes it an exhilarating game to watch or play, with hours of replayability due to one of the most in-depth mapmakers I've ever seen and oodles of fan-made racetracks at your fingertips.” -Lukas P-Stylianides
To access Distance v1.0 simply update your build on Steam, or download the latest DRM-free build from your Humble library. You can also access the art book right now from Humble!
The soundtrack will be available in your Humble library later today, and the backer car will be distributed by Steam DLC keys that we need to send to applicable backers. Today will be a long day of rolling things out and it's mostly down to me getting that stuff finalized so please be patient while I work through it all.
Physical rewards are also going really well with many packages days away from shipment. I'm planning to give another physical rewards update as soon as things cool down from the launch.
Also, on a personal note I have to mention that Boombox Mode and custom MP3 support are indeed temporarily unavailable in v1.0. This is due to a tech limitation when upgrading our audio backend before launch. I do plan to re-integrate these features as soon as I can, so thanks for your patience while I figure it out.
We are looking to v1.1 and beyond, but for now I think we're going to take a bit of a break. Thanks again to our Kickstarter backers and Early Access players for being a crucial part of this development. Also thanks to my amazing teammates for inspiring me daily and pushing me to be my best. We all can't wait to see what you think of v1.0!
- Jordan (@torcht)