Salutations faithful backers!
It's been a while, but don't think even for a second that'd we forget about the users who helped start it all! We were blown away by the tremendous support we received from Kickstarter, and we've been able to achieve so much with the significant following you backers helped cultivate!
First off, if you haven't yet claimed your Kickstarter rewards on http://www.identityrpg.com/shop/, there's no better time to do so than now! Make an Identity account on the website (which is different from a forum account) and simply enter the email you used for the kickstarter pledge after you click the green "claim your rewards" button!
Secondly, we've been keeping users up to date with Identity progress through several of our social media outlets!
We host developer streams on twitch that showcase some of our talented animators and 3D artists on a fairly regular basis! We're typically live from 4PM - 5PM EST on Tuesdays and Thursdays at https://go.twitch.tv/identityrpg. Even when we're not live, our channel is set to host other members of Asylum Entertainment. You might be pleasantly surprised to walk in on additional Identity streams if you check back from time to time outside of our regular streaming hours!
We also post tweets fairly regularly to our twitter at https://twitter.com/Identityrpg! We typically tweet out when we're live on twitch, but you'll also find other goodies there too!
Our facebook can be reached at https://www.facebook.com/identityrpg/. More lengthy posts will appear here regarding general Identity news, and you'll also find quick summarizes from development streams via twitch clips! They help give fans an opportunity to quickly skim through the topics discussed in past development streams.
Lastly, we have the forums! The best way to keep up to date with Identity is through the official site, where John (Paratus) posts development blogs about the game! Check out the "Announcements" section of the Identity forums for access to such posts, with his most recent being accessible here: http://www.identityrpg.com/community/topic/10072-dev-blog-011-town-square-release-date-and-more/?tab=comments#comment-71684.
March 21st marks the date we'll finally have the Town Square Module out! This gives players access to apartment customization, karaoke, the cinema, library, art gallery, and more! It's to give players a chance to see what sort of social interactions Identity has to offer between players!
Not your cup of tea? Fret not, because Module One's release will effectively denote the point at which the fundamental systems required for the game to run properly will be ready. This means that the second module will take far less time to develop than what was necessary for first one! (As a quick reminder, Module Two will feature weapon combat, while Module Three will emphasize our driving/racing mechanics!)
Thank you all for sharing our vision with Identity, and for continuing to stick with us through and through. We're not going to deny that it's been a slow process, as the game started development with merely a handful of workers. As talented as the founders of Identity are, it was simply not enough to deliver a consistent flow of progress updates...
...Which is why we've invested in an office to station the Identity team, and have brought aboard some talented new programmers and artists! Asylum Entertainment is only gaining in strength, and we're super excited to finally be able to showcase gameplay within the coming months! We're going to do everything we possibly can to make sure that your patience pays off! This game is our passion, and now it's time to see it through as reality!
PS: We also have a discord where fans may interact with each other and discuss all things Identity! It's far more casual than the other forms of social media, come check it out here at https://discord.gg/9QbESJ9 if you're interested!
Salutations faithful backers!
Today we wanted to send all of our pledgers like yourself, those who are making Identity a reality, a quick message concerning our latest media release.
Yesterday afternoon, for another Identity Insider, we've released a video detailing the workings of player housing in Identity and what it has to offer at our present point in development. This gives you a good idea of the level of fidelity we're going for in all of our key systems, and more videos will follow as we continue. Housing was chosen for our first video as our initial focus in development is for features present in the upcoming Town Square module.
If you haven't already seen the video, check it out above. If you cannot see the video in this message you can find it on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRNcFpad9hU.
Housing as you've seen in the video is an excellent place to hang out with friends, but it has a lot of good practical uses, too! First, housing is the primary storage location for items you've collected. Whether it's a bookshelf full of books, a gunrack with wall-mounted guns, or a crate full of junk, it's sort of like a bank for tangible stuff.
Housing is also valuable for moderate crafting, too. Some advanced recipes might require a factory, but a lot of stuff can be created at your home using special crafting tables. A hydroponics table can even be used to grow small-scale plants, legal or otherwise!
We hope you're as excited to play Identity as we are making it!
It's been too long since our last developer blog entry, so I wanted to take the time today to fill all of our backers in on Identity's current state of development, as well as give a little more understanding of the processes behind the scenes.
For regular updates and information on Identity, keep an eye on IdentityRPG.com. We also respond to almost all questions asked to us on Twitter; check the Tweets and Replies tab on our Twitter page at www.twitter.com/identityrpg.
During the first year and a bit of development, most of the time was spent developing key back-end systems. Networking for mass-scale player interactions, weapon physics, character customization, voice communication and so on. That's all behind us now, and I'm happy to say it's gone as well as we could have hoped. Now and for the past couple of months we've moved on to gameplay development, making those back-end features do the fun stuff.
This Month in Development
In this last month our lead character artist, Miroslav, has finished up everything we need for your characters going into the Town Square release. We're always going to be adding more character customization over time, but to start you'll have the choice between 4 male and 5 female race options. After selecting your base race you can customize further with skin tones, blemishes, scars, eye color, hair styles and colors, and tweaks to facial features. Identity is expanding on the usual character customization, though, as some of the options available can only be gotten through achievements. Prison tattoos are an example; if you see someone with such a tattoo you know they've done something to earn it.
A lot of work this month has also gone into the player housing systems. In following our previous messages, our home customization system has been in place for some months although we've been expanding the floor-plans in preparation for the Town Square module release. Sean, or Motown as you may know him, has prepared the various apartments you will have in the Town Square if you've pledged for an appropriate package. If you have made a smaller pledge to Identity and do not have an apartment yet, we're going to be giving you access to a temporary (small) home in the Town Square so that you can play with the customization features. If you've pledged for a package containing an apartment, Town Square will show what you'll have in the full Identity game upon release.
Just this morning our lead programmer, Henrik (AKA Mathalion), finished up the karaoke systems. It's a minor feature for Identity as a whole, but it's going to be loads of fun in the Town Square module! Just off the lobby of the hotel is a slick little bar, complete with a karaoke stage. You'll be able to queue up your favorite songs on the karaoke machine and see the lyrics on one of the monitors around the stage. The microphone on the stage really works, too, amplifying your voice out of the speakers so that your singing can be heard by everyone there! Most of us are terrible singers, so karaoke is going to have a lot of hilarious moments. If you're just there to watch, the restaurant by the stage is fully functional, too!
It's Been Too Long
I'll just come right out and say it: we at Asylum Entertainment have really had poor PR these last months, and you guys deserve better. You deserve much more frequent updates, and we're committing to give you that moving forward.
We're a relatively small development team today. Currently a core staff of 5 incredibly talented full-time developers, I'm amazed every day with what this team can accomplish. Outside of our core we have a handful of part-time workers, mostly artists, who are also very skilled. Because we're a small team, many of us have to wear several hats. For example, Sean is our community manager but also a 3D artist. I myself am the project manager, a programmer and interface developer. This leads to few resources to dedicate towards PR as there's so much work to be done on the game itself. This is something we knew though, and we're going to set some time aside regularly to keep you in the loop.
Our team is small due to a relatively tiny budget, as is the plan. While we've been approached by publishers promising a good chunk of development money, we set them aside so that we can maintain total control over Identity. We want to make sure that you get the game you're dreaming of, with no compromises put in place by publishers in order to push something out the door. This is a labor of passion for the development team. Following the release of the Town Square module we'll be expanding our funding in a very, very big way. This will lead to faster development going forward and will ensure that you can get your hands on the other modules and the full game as soon as possible.
The Town Square module is coming soon. We're in the final months of 2016 now, and you'll finally be inside the first piece of the Identity world in early 2017. It's a little later than we originally hoped since we're dedicated to making sure everything is smooth and stable from the first moments. Identity is an enormous undertaking, but the most difficult bits are behind us and we're drawing near!
What to Expect
The first stage of game development is always very boring to talk about, and also doesn't give us much to show you! Creating those back-end systems that drive the game behind the scenes is one of the very most important phases, but it's not very glamorous! It's for this reason that most games aren't announced until they're a couple years into development. Now that we're past that point, we're going to be able to start showing you real Identity gameplay.
The first gameplay video you'll see is going to be in November and will show you just how detailed and in-depth Identity is becoming! You'll see a walkthrough of our housing system, showing just how far it can be customized and some of the cool fun features you'll find in there. Following that video we'll give you a glimpse of the Town Square features, leading up to its release.
It's been a ton of work and a long time coming, but we're moving forward at a great pace and everything is about to get very exciting over here.
Happy new year, backers! I hope by now everyone is sobered up and ready to go.
I'm happy to announce that a new Identity website was launched early this morning, not only giving you more information but also regular updates from the developers. Be sure to check it out at www.IdentityRPG.com. As an Identity backer, you can now visit the website at any time from now till after release in order to create your game account and claim your pledge. This will bind all of your rewards to that game account for the day Identity hits the virtual shelves.
Those rewards will come in handy sooner than you think, too, as we've announced today that Identity will be releasing gameplay modules prior to the full game release. This will allow all backers with beta access to play pieces of the game before it's finished. If you haven't pledged enough to Identity to secure a place in beta testing, you still can using the new website.
The first module you'll get your hands on is called the Town Square, and we're already quite far along in its development. You'll find a bunch more information on what's in the Town Square, as well as a progress update for it's development, on the new website.
If you're itching for the latest information, keep an eye on our Dev Tracker page. We communicate with the community often and usually answer every question we're asked. There is loads of information to be found there for those who do check it out.
Once again, I want to thank you for pledging to Identity. It's because of you that Identity will become a reality, and that game we've all been waiting for (Identity developers included) will finally be here.
Have a great 2016!
As the day comes to a close, we at Asylum Entertainment wanted to wish all of our supporters a happy holiday. It's been over 10 months since Identity was successfully backed here on Kickstarter and, with the incredible support of people like you, development has been progressing very well.
We will be launching a new website with the new year. In addition to providing more frequent updates on our progress (there's a lot of activity on our social media sites, especially Twitter where we respond to many questions daily) you'll also be able to create your game accounts and claim all of your pledge rewards. A new forum will also keep you in touch with one-on-one conversations with the development team and other fans.
Most exciting of all, though, is that this new website will show you how, as backers of the project, you will be able to get into the game sooner than you think! Keep a close eye on www.IdentityRPG.com over the next several days for the new website and announcements.
We thank you again for being a direct part of making a game like Identity a reality. We can't wait to show you how incredible Identity is becoming.
Sincerely, John VanderZwet and all of us at Asylum Entertainment!