November round-up: everything's coming up Kunio!
With November just behind us now, we wanted to touch base to fill you in on the first two months of development and logistics for RCRU.
We've pushed through a mountain of source code and Bannon and Justin have cranked out an alarming number of cells for the "vertical slice", our first milestone that tries to cram all of the core aspects, albeit in rough form, for a few areas of the game. Dustin completed the first draft of our game design document and is putting the finishing touches on it now. From this baseline we can build, add content, and polish until the finish line. This is one of the most difficult times for a game as it's both important psychologically and technically to prove all of the approaches used to create it.
Because we're so hard at work trying to reach that fateful milestone as early in the production as possible, we have slipped a bit in our communication both here, socially, and in the forums. Like many successful Kickstarters, the initial kickoff is jam packed with logistics for getting everyone set up for reward fulfillment, getting vendor commitments to create those rewards, completing the game design document, and starting multiple initiatives for everything surrounding the game. Backers who have special design rewards may have noticed our drop-off in communciation, but rest assured we'll be switching back to your unique rewards when we can give you dedicated focus.
We're not exactly on our scheduled trajectory, mainly due to some challenges in planning out physics. This is no surprise to us. While our project is slightly "anachronistic" technically, the most interesting and challenging piece involves making good decisions about when to use physics simulation and when not. Physics exists in games as a separate, hidden universe underneath game objects, and we want to preserve some of the classic ways platform games are created, tapping into physics where it makes sense. In a cartoon world, too much of a good thing can really produce the wrong effect. We have some good ideas we're pursuing to make this something we don't have to think about too much, and we are getting closer every day.
Roll call: BackerKit and private forums
Several weeks ago we completed importing all PayPal backers into both the private forums and BackerKit, our fulfillment system that lets you select your rewards and keep your shipping info up to date. If you didn't get invite emails for either one, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we'll get you sorted out. In addition, you make invite yourself to BackerKit by following instructions on the landing page for our project.
Status: Reward roll-out
Our goal is to have the final shirt and poster designs in your hands before 2014, and we won't close BackerKit orders until you have had a chance to see the final versions of both the T-shirt and posters. This means we can start manufacturing and shipping these rewards early in 2014.
Thinking outside, inside, and about the box
We are excited about the boxed copy reward and have everything lined up to make these a reality. We could theoretically start working on shipping these at the same time as the shirts and posters, had we not decided to put a physical game disc in the box as well. We may put out a survey shortly for your opinion on whether we should ship the boxes earlier and send the physical game disks out in a separate mailing, or stay the course. We have had some top secret developments lately that make us feel like you would really love to get these boxed games well before next summer. Let us know in the comments or forums what you'd like to see happen when it comes to shipping these out.
A good time for beat'em ups
November was a banner month for beat'em up announcements. First Kunio-kun is getting his own tower defense game! Of course, like many amazing things, this one is for Japan only at the moment, but we're hoping projects like this one are already helping pave the way for more imported titles.
River City Ransom on 3DS eShop in North America!
While 'Street Gangs' was already available for our PAL friends, November unlocked the original River City Ransom on the Nintendo 3DS in North America. Perfect timing! And now we finally have a way to use our 3DS for "research".
Double Dragon Trilogy
If that wasn't enough great news in November, Double Dragon is getting an iOS and Android overhaul with a reportedly faithful arcade reproduction. We're interested to see how the traditional control overlay will respond to touch on this title, and are anxiously anticipating its release.
Our friends at Snowed In Studios, a local Ottawa-based game studio that has worked on big titles like Deus Ex: Human Revolutions, is currently in their final week on Kickstarter to fund their nearly complete, steampunk-infused labour of love, Windforge. It's Contra meets Minecraft with sky whales! We'd love to see these great people cross the finish line.
That's all for now. We're going to keep pushing to hit our targets and get 2014 off to an amazing start with rewards shipped and milestones reached. We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season, and hope to keep seeing you in the forums.