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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 Update

40 likes

Greetings Backers,

The Twilight Struggle Digital Team is back again with a hefty Digital Update for you all. This update goes over what we have been up to since out last update, and where we are headed over the upcoming weeks. So keep reading--

With the build at the end of November, we felt we'd reached a stable platform for online play, including many of the features that were requested after our initial release. All of the known rules bugs had been addressed and it was possible to participate in both real-time and asynchronous games. There are still many areas that need to be addressed in the interface, but we decided we needed to shift focus to the next phase.

Outside of a break for the holidays, we've been hard at work to get offline play up and running. There are two majors components that we feel are necessary to get this ready for release in the beta: tutorial and AI opponent.

We have a tutorial script provided by Ananda Gupta that has now been added to our internal build. We already had a solid tutorial framework from our previous games, but this had to converted to work within Unity, and we've put some additional time into extending this so we can support the various learning scenarios that were promised in the Kickstarter campaign. The visual display of the tutorial is still rough, but it is now possible to take a guided example through the first turn of a Twilight Struggle game.

The AI opponent is obviously the critical piece in getting offline play released. On previous games, we've had some success with creating a system where the AI player would play thousands of games against itself and learn to improve its play based the results of the decisions it made. We've taken this same approach with Twilight Struggle, but it has proceeded at a slower pace than we anticipated. Where our previous titles could complete a head to head in a couple of minutes, a 10 turn game of Twilight would take over half an hour (and the games lasted longer as the AI learned to play better and avoid DEFCON suicide and early victory point track results). The strength in this approach comes from playing a large number of games, so we've put a great deal of effort into optimization and distributed processing to hasten the process. In addition, we've been monitoring the results that come back from this and adjust what factors the AI will consider in its decision making process. We also undertook an effort to improve the presentation of gameplay in the interface. We have a system in place now to announce and animate cards when they are played, similar to our previous titles. There are still a number of bugs in this work, though, some of which will cause a game to lockup and not be able to proceed any further, so we need some more time to test and address those issues before this can be included in a beta build.

We haven't forgotten the other promised platforms, either. We have a Mac build that is close to ready for release to Steam. Several programmers have been working entirely in a Mac environment, so we have some confidence that the game is stable and we are starting to work through the Steam release process on Mac. We've had the game running on the iPad for awhile now as well. As we close in on finishing off the PC interface we'll start to devote more resources to the touch interface that is necessary to get iOS and Android builds.   

We expect a new build will be ready sometime next week, possibly with a Mac version available at that time.

Thank you for reading, and we'll be back later with another update soon. If you have any comments or questions for us, please leave them in the comment section below.

Cheers,

Twilight Struggle Digital Team

CE Shipping Update

19 likes

Hi everyone!

I hope your New Year is off to a good start!

Well, it took us a lot longer than we anticipated to replace, inspect, and pack all those Collector's Editions on our 2nd Assembly Line, but we have finished at last. We began shipping yesterday. We got about 200 sets shipped yesterday and it looks like about the same number today, so at this rate we should have them all finished shipping by mid-week next week.

If you have any questions about your shipment, please just let our office ladies know, either by chat (www.gmtgames.com - click chat button at top right) or e-mail and they'll help you.

Enjoy the games!

Gene

Physical Rewards Update

20 likes

Hi again everyone!

Here's a further update on where we are with shipping:

We are finishing today the last of the $65 tier shipments - if you'll recall, that was the 2nd of three waves of shipping that we're doing. So now both the $35 tier and the $65 tier shipments are finished.

I should note that there are still a small number of T-shirts and about 100 extra card deck orders that haven't yet shipped. We'll be working on those next week.

On Monday, we will start on job 3 of 3 - the Collector's Edition. As I mentioned before, we'll be pulling out the old map and replacing, and dropping in the new dice as well. It's hard to know for sure yet, but I imagine we'll take a few days to get a bunch of the replacements made, then we'll start shipping. For the backers in Europe, we are sending one big pallet to a distributor in Europe to try to help you guys out with the customs charges. I'll let you guys all know when we've finished shipping everything.

I mentioned last time that I'd try to get some dice and take a pic for this update. I actually have two pics to share this time - one of the custom dice, and one of the fixed game board - East Germany has now reverted to the Soviet bloc.

Custom Dice
Custom Dice
Corrected Map Board
Corrected Map Board

Last thing is several have asked what to do if you had a bad or missing component in your rewards package. Please let our office ladies know, in that event, and they'll get you a replacement. The best way to reach them is via online chat at www.gmtgames.com (chat button is at upper right on any page), via phone at 800-523-6111, or via email to gmtoffice@gmtgames.com.

Best wishes to all of you for a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday Season. 

Gene

Shipping Update

23 likes

Hi everyone!

I told you in the last update that I would give you progress reports on our building and shipping operation. So here's where we are so far:

We started the 2nd warehouse build line early last week as planned. We have now shipped about 1800 copies of the Promo Pack tri-packs for those of you in the $30/$35 tier. We hope to finish this tier by Wednesday - we still have some overseas plus the rewards than include T-shirt orders to do over the next couple days.

We hope to begin Thursday with the $65 tier, which will be either TS Deluxe or 1989, plus the Promo pack, and possibly a T-Shirt. I'll let you know how we're doing on that one with an update early next week.

After that will be the Collector's Edition. We did just receive the replacement maps late last week, so as soon as we finish the $65 tier build/ship, we'll have everything we need to start the open/replace/collate/ship process for the $150 tier.

Thanks again for your patience as we get all the physical rewards out to you. 

Enjoy the games!

Gene

Physical Rewards Update

26 likes

Hi everyone!

I sent out a GMT Customer e-mail update today that all of you should have received. It contains details of the challenges we've faced in the past couple months. To make sure everyone knows the short and sweet of it, though, here's a brief update on the parts that affect the Kickstarter Physical Rewards:

- A massive response to our fall sale, a fulfillment center backing out on us, and some problems with a P500 game really bogged us down for a little over a month.

- We survived, despite a pretty massive logjam, and as of CoB tomorrow will be completely "caught up" on sale orders.

- We have hired additional people and built a completely new assembly/fulfillment line in our second warehouse, (run and monitored by some of our veteran workers, so QC stays high) that is dedicated solely to assembling, labelling, and shipping the Kickstarter items.

- We will open that line and begin filling and shipping Kickstarter rewards next Tuesday, December 1.

- We'll start with the $35 tier, which will be the 3 Expansions, with some of those folks getting T-Shirts. We'll ship all of those before we move on to the $65 Tier.

- Next up to ship will be the $65 Tier, which will be the 3 Expansions + choice of 1989 or Twilight Struggle Deluxe, and possibly a T-Shirt.

- We still haven't received the updated maps for the Collector's Edition, but we expect those in our warehouse in about two weeks. Our hope is that we can have most of the $65 Tier shipped by that point. Then it's a bit more difficult process, as we have to open each box and replace the map, then pack and ship. So it could slow down a bit at that point, but we still think we have enough people involved to get a couple hundred done each day.

- Our goal is to finish all 4800 or so orders in December. I'll update you guys, once we get going, as to progress.

Last thing is I want to apologize for the overly long silence. The truth is we were a bit overwhelmed and when the fulfillment center option closed for us in the midst of everything else, we weren't sure WHAT we were going to do.  So I didn't know what to tell you. Now that we have people, products, an assembly line, and a plan in place, I feel comfortable that I'm telling you something we can actually DO. But I'm sorry it took so long to figure it out and get it in place. 

I'll get you another update next week, once we have started shipping and have a sense of how quickly it's all going.

Enjoy the games!

Gene