Silent, but Busy!
It's hard to believe that we haven't posted an update since mid-August! We've made a lot of progress since then. So it's time to keep everyone in the loop.
We have sent reward surveys out to all backers who pledged less than $100. We hope to start sending out those Thank You tweets and Cavorite download codes soon. Why have we been so slow? Because, you guessed it, we've been busy! Once some of the key issues are out of the way (hardware supplier, software partners, distribution partners, etc), we'll be able to focus on getting those rewards out. The good news is that a lot of progress has been made.
The GameDock will get its first public debut at the Retro Gaming Expo here in Portland on September 29th and 30th. We're still working on the exact booth plans. But expect to see at least two prototype GameDocks demoed, with one hooked up to an HDTV and the other on a "new" iPad. A prototype of the dashboard app, an early build of Wacky Wheels, and updated versions of Cavorite should be playable. We're also hoping to get a few other games on-hand to play.
We are currently on version 2 of the GameDock motherboard. (For those curious, version 3 of the motherboard will likely be the one used for our first production run.) It has some nice features, including a daughtercard for the male phone connector. This enables us to quickly update the design if / when Lightning compatible parts become available. In the meantime, we learned today that Apple will be releasing Lightning HDMI adapters later this year. So if you're getting an iPhone 5 and want to play GameDock games on your TV, you will be able to.
Note that your phone does not have to be plugged into the dock in order to play. It can be connected to your TV and your dock can at the other side of the room, wirelessly connected to your phone. We designed the GameDock to be flexible and we think that decision will pay off during this time of connector transition.
Currently, we're selecting our production hardware component providers. A big concern was finding those pricey HDMI adapters in the right quantities at the right price. But we're happy to announce that we've found a brand of 30-pin HDMI adapter that we've tested and are excited about. Additionally, we're closing in on a board assembly provider (courtesy of friend-of-Cascadia, FunGizmos). We are actively evaluating several options for the other parts.
We've delivered an early version of the GameDock API to a few key game developers. It includes code for integrating our controllers, TV output, and interaction with our dashboard app. Among the early recipients of the API is kode80, who intends to update their simul80 software. This will allow game developers to prepare their games in advance of the GameDock's arrival. Once we've vetted the API with our partners, we'll release it to the public for everyone to get cracking. In the meantime, we recommend using Stuart Carnie's iCade API, as ours is based off his.
In addition, we are making progress dashboard app. It can now launch our next game, Wacky Wheels, and in turn the game can exit back to the dashboard. Just to be clear, this does not require jail-breaking. Everything about the GameDock has been designed to be compatible with standard phones.
Wacky Wheels itself is proving to be a great first project for the GameDock. The game now runs full-screen at 720p or 1080p on HDTVs. It will soon feature split-screen two player mode and the ability to unplug the phone mid-game and continue playing (in single player mode). The goal is simply to make Wacky Wheels a shining example of what a great GameDock game can be. In fact, it will be making its first public debut at the Retro Gaming Expo as well!
The GameDock has a new brand! Courtesy of none other than the amazing Fully Illustrated, the fine creator of the Cascadia Games logo (and, incidentally, a huuuuuge reason why this campaign was a success). And... we're not sharing... not just yet. We're saving that one for another update, after we've updated the website, crossed our T's, and dotted our i's.
That's it for now! The next time you hear from one of us will be at the end of September, as we will share pictures from the expo event.
Thank you again everyone for your contributions, your faith in our abilities, and your patience.