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Now is your chance to help GMT bring Twilight Struggle out for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android!
Now is your chance to help GMT bring Twilight Struggle out for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android!
6,566 backers pledged $391,047 to help bring this project to life.

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Digital Version and BackerKit Development Update: June 30

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Hi everyone!

Today we have a digitial development update from Playdek as well as some details for all of you backers on what we're doing with BackerKit. I'll have another update for you on the Collector's Edition and the GMT side of the physical rewards within a few days. I hope you find this information helpful. - Gene

Development on Twilight Struggle has been steadily progressing and we have gotten to a point where we now know that beta access for PC will be available to backers as early as this August with Android beta access to follow shortly thereafter. Beta access will be released through Steam for PC, so if you wish to participate in this beta you will need to have a Steam account ready if you do not already have one. 

Programming has been moving along with some exciting developments to the AI that we are sure all of you will appreciate, and our artists have been busy designing some of the game features that will be new for the digital version of the game. Below is the first look at the “Action Banner” design. This is still a work in progress as the “Coup” section has not been added in yet, however our artists were very excited to be able to share this asset with all of you and are looking forward to sharing more in the weeks to come. 

On the Support front, BackerKit is almost ready to send out, we are just waiting for the final approval. If all goes well we will be able to send out invitations later this week. This tool will allow you to update your shipping address, select the different reward options your tier may offer you, and allow you to share information with us that we need in order to fulfill your rewards. 

Unfortunately due to physical item limitations (we set aside enough copies of the Twilight Struggle boardgame and 1989 to fulfill original backer orders, but have since sold out of both in our warehouse), we will not be able to allow backers to jump into the $65+ tiers. The tiers below the $30 tier will be allowed to move up should they wish to do so, but the highest tier available to upgrade to will be the $30 tier. 

The last thing for today is about the $15 coupon code that we sent out late last year. The expiration on those coupons is today. However, we have decided to extend the coupon expiration until July 30. I hope this is helpful.

Thank you, and we will be back soon with another update.

April 21 Update

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Hi Everyone!
 

This update is to let you guys know that we are making good progress on both the digital and the physical rewards for our Twilight Struggle project! I know last month's update might have been a bit of a downer, as you read about delays on both the digital and physical fronts. So I'm happy to report this month that we're going full steam ahead again! 

Here are a few specifics, to give you a sense of what we've accomplished of late:  

Digital Version  

The team at Playdek has finished with the engine architecture work that Gary wrote about last time, and are back to working on the game itself. Here's a list of recent improvements:  

  • Updated upper HUD with graphics for player avatars, hand details, DEFCON track, space race track, and turn track 
  • Fixed numerous issues with cards in play, including tap/mouse over to view card (instead of double tap to zoom) 
  • Sorted discard tray and removed trays for easier identification of specific card types 
  • Map now wraps around when scrolled horizontally 
  • Identified major issue that was causing incorrect AI module to be used in Unity builds 
  • Reworked most of the in-game UI to be device friendly (for different aspect ratio devices) 
  • Updated and added HUD artwork to current mock-ups  

We're looking for a new version shortly, with our first look at the upgraded AI. As a player, I can't wait - this game is fun!  

Physical Version 

We're starting to see some better throughput at the ports, and several of the items for the Collector's Edition have now been manufactured and proofs sent to us. The only issue Tony has run into in terms of getting the higher-quality components made is that he was unable to get metal miniatures for the tracks that had good definition. So, price being about the same, he got us some nice Resin Miniatures for the CE. There's not much else to tell you guys right now, but I thought you might like to see some pictures of a few of the CE components, so here you go:

The Collector's Edition Game Box
The Collector's Edition Game Box
Inside the Game Box. Naturally, your versions will have some cool components inside!
Inside the Game Box. Naturally, your versions will have some cool components inside!
Resin miniatures for the DEFCON, Military, and Space Race Tracks.
Resin miniatures for the DEFCON, Military, and Space Race Tracks.

Tony says we still look good for a July release on the CE and other physical components. I hope you guys like these samples. We'll show you more - and get you details on how to modify your KS pledge - next month! 

 Gene

March 14 Update

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Hi everyone!

I got a physical production update from Tony yesterday and a digital update from Playdek about half an hour ago, so I wanted you guys to have this information as quickly as possible. It’s not great news in terms of timing, but overall I’m still really happy that the quality of these products is going to be outstanding. Thanks for your patience and support as we finish the production and digital development processes.

- Gene

Physical Production

Those of you who have followed our GMT Customer Updates over the past few months know that the west coast port issues have caused delays across almost our entire production schedule and near-term product line. The hopeful note is that it looks like management and labor have to come to some agreements and we should see a return to normalcy over the coming months. The bad news is all the port backlogs (and the ensuing failure to even ship on the part of some of our print suppliers – something we just became aware of) and delivery delays have just shredded our 1st Quarter Production schedule. 

The biggest bad news to come out of all this, in my view, is that all of the physical reward items for our Twilight Struggle Kickstarter backers are still stuck somewhere in the printing process (we only usually get updates when they are ready to send us samples, and apparently they're not at that point yet) and probably won't be shipped to us anywhere near the time-frame that we were initially promised. Tony is uncertain on timing, as they did not respond to his request for an update yet this week, but he said "tell the customers July for delivery, to be safe." That's a disappointing answer, and we'll see, it could get better, but for now, that's where the production delays have left us. I'm really sorry about the wait, guys. 

Tony tells me that we should have physical samples of some of the really cool stuff (miniatures, wooden box, etc) sometime in April. As soon as we have those, we’ll take some pics and make sure you guys get to see them right away. And of course, we’ll keep you updated here as we get more information from our printers.

Digital Update  

One of the decisions we made when we started on Twilight Struggle was to use the Unity engine. This choice would give us the easiest path to supporting as many platforms as possible, while giving the artists full 3D capabilities. In doing so, we had to make code integration decisions for our game engine that was right for a board/card game. In addition, Unity has recently released a native UI solution that we have decided to migrate our UI design to. So we are now able to play Twilight Struggle in Unity on several different platforms, and going forward this architecture decision will make it easier for us to maintain a multi-platform game after it is released.

In addition, we are working on the online game system for Twilight Struggle. This will eventually give Twilight Struggle friends lists, chat, and matchmaking for online games. While this doesn't have significant impact on the client side code for Twilight Struggle, the UI for it will be written to run within Unity, and that work coincides with switching to Unity's native UI solution. We're currently working towards a plan for releasing an online-only beta so we can start to receive backer feedback on the interface and game play sooner than later. That will be followed with a beta version with AI.  

With the programming team making these architecture changes to our engine for Twilight Struggle, our artists are designing the User Interface, the iconography for the game, and implementing the card art. They are also iterating on the board game map, and while that is still a work in progress, we want to share this with you so you can see how the digital board is shaping up.  

While development is steadily progressing on the game, at this time we do not expect to have the game ready to ship until Summer 2015. We want to be able to give this game the polish and detail it truly deserves, as it is an amazing board game with an incredibly dedicated fan base, and we believe you and GMT deserve nothing less. So we had to make the difficult decision to push back the release in order to deliver a high-quality game to play over and over again with your family and friends.  

On another note, we are currently working with GMT to introduce a pledge-managing tool that will grant everyone the ability to make any last-minute updates to their pledge and reward information. This toll will allow you to make changes to your reward selections and your shipping address in case this has changed. When we have this tool in place, we will invite everyone to it so you can log in and alter any information you may need to before rewards start shipping out.  

Thank you for your understanding and patience, and we will be sure to update everyone again soon!

Twilight Struggle Digital Version Update

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Hi everyone!

Here's a new update on the Twilight Struggle Digital Version from Randy at Playdek. Enjoy!

Gene

----------------

Greetings, Backers! 

I'd like to give you a quick update on how development of Twilight Struggle: Digital Edition is going. Online multiplayer is pretty solid now. Gary & I have asynchronous games going all the time. Although the game also runs as a standalone application on both PC and Mac, we mainly play on our iPads so we can continue to take our turns after work hours. We haven't found any serious bugs for a couple of months, so our games almost always reach a conclusion. As a result, games have gotten very competitive. Now and then we must make a change to the game server that invalidates the current games. When this happens, we are usually in the middle of an intense game and always try to quickly finish it rather than abandon it.  

The UI is gradually improving. Our artist, Ron, has developed some visual prototypes and elements from these have been plugged into the game's UI. We have a proper map now, with improved country graphics to replace the programmer art that you saw in the last update. The deluxe edition cards have been implemented. We have an interface in place for designating how you play your cards that feels intuitive. We are currently trying out a new game log that operates like a news ticker - items (each one an action round) scrolling across the bottom of the screen. So far it feels good and it doesn't take up too much screen space. Making the best use of screen space is always the biggest challenge in implementing a digital board game interface. 

Our AI development is well underway now. An initial framework is coming together that will allow the AI to think about the possibility that its opponent holds certain game-changing cards (like, say, Blockade or Decolonization). At the same time, it will also consider what plays its opponent is likely to make using Ops. Of course, AI development will be ongoing from now until the end of the project. Like an artist's painting, an AI is never truly finished. Our current goal is to get the UI polished enough so that we can release an online-play-only PC build to our backers. We're excited to get it into backers' hands as soon as we can.

- Randy

Quick Update on the Physical Rewards Status

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Hi Everyone!

I sent out a GMT mass customer e-mail update today and included a brief update on the physical rewards, so I wanted to make sure to post it here so everyone sees it. Here it is:

Mark Simonitch just let us know that ALL the physical fulfillment items (TS Collector's Edition + Various expansions) went to the printers yesterday (Jan. 8), so at this point we look to be in pretty good shape to ship in late March. We'll keep you updated as the printing/collating process moves forward.

Well, that's it - brief, but definitely progress, so we wanted you to know.

Enjoy the games!

Gene