The last month of development on Glitch Strikers is the best month the game has ever seen. I've made two huge advancements with the project, and I am more confident than ever that not only will the game get done; it will be great.
1. A New Beautiful, Clean Codebase
I rewrote all the code for the game in a much cleaner, scalable, and maintainable way. I'm very close to being done with the refresh; all I have left to do is the attack system and sound effects. If you're not a programmer, this may not sound like a big deal, but trust me; it is a huge deal, and it accounts for about 75% of my confidence boost for the project.
I had been working with more or less the same codebase for four and a half years, and I accumulated a lot of technical debt, especially in the months leading up to the trailer. In transitioning to the final iteration of the game, I was getting bogged down, so I decided to start fresh and apply everything I've learned since starting the project.
If programmers are curious, I've rewritten everything using dependency injection and reactive programming as a foundation. I'm also now using C# 6, which just became available in the most recent Unity beta.
2. A Game Design Epiphany
Throughout the development of this project, we never had a design that felt "perfect". There aren't many games that let you switch between characters that are very different because it's hard to make every part of the game fun and challenging for each character. The more different the characters, the harder it becomes.
We solved the character switching problem right before the project was put on hold, and I never implemented the solution because I couldn't figure out how to fit it in with the rest of the game.
Then... last month, an answer struck me like a bolt of lightning, and everything made sense. It's a very simple idea, but you probably won't recognize it unless it's directly pointed out. I'm taking a well known game formula and tweaking it. The best thing about it is that the game is now unique. Once people see these mechanics working together, they will no longer say Glitch Strikers is unoriginal.
This epiphany also gives me a very clear way to make a non-episodic game. We will instead make a small game based on this formula. Instead of episodes, we can do sequels, and backers will get sequels for free because you deserve the world for what you've been through.
Next Milestone? Beat the game.
In all this time, we've never actually had a "game." By that, I mean we had gameplay and some fragments of levels, but we never had a game that could be played from start to finish. That's where I'm headed next.
I don't mean the next step is finishing the game. To put it simply, we have a diagram for the flow of the entire game, from title screen to credits. Currently you can start on any level, but there's no beginning or end. So this next step is turning it into a beatable game. Once we have that, it's just a matter of filling in content, and we can also start thinking about early access and private betas.
Video with more Details
I periodically post videos talking about the project on my Youtube channel. I don't usually post them on Kickstarter because they're not very organized. This last one felt a bit different though, and I thought I'd share it. You don't have to watch the whole thing, or you could leave it on in the background while you do other things. The video goes into more detail about things I've written here. In the second half, I talk about the project on a deeper level and also about how it's affected me personally. I think we all know it's been a wild ride!
Once again, thank you for your continued support. You can probably tell that I'm starting to get excited. I plan on posting the next update when I reach the beatable game milestone. See you then!
Great news… Glitch Strikers has been approved for distribution on Steam! This means we can release the game on early access later this year.
Although the greenlight process only lasted a few days, we received a massive amount of feedback, so we will be making some changes based on what we heard.
Many people were concerned that the games shown in the trailer were too similar to existing games, so we are focusing heavily on making them more creative and original. You will see some of these changes in an upcoming gameplay trailer.
Secondly, we’ve decided that instead of releasing separate “games” and later combining them into a story mode, we will make Glitch Strikers an episodic game with the story told along the way. It is very similar to what we already announced, but the overall story of Glitch Strikers will be woven into each episode, and each episode may not necessarily focus on one game world. The episodes will follow the story of Manni and his friends as they travel across games to solve the mystery of the glitches.
Thank you so much to everyone who voted. Stay tuned for the upcoming gameplay trailer of the first episode, Hyper Manni Pals. We expect it to be ready in a few months.
Thanks everyone for sticking with me. We finally made it. We worked really hard to announce the game with a huge bang to put everyone's worries at ease. As you can see, it looks fantastic and it's very far along. We think we can be on Early Access by Summer with Hyper Manni Pals, the first game. I'm sure you'll have a lot of questions. I'll do my best to answer them in the coming days. The most concise info about the game is currently in the press kit.
Please remember to vote on Steam Greenlight so that we can release the game on Steam.
Again, thanks for believing in me and supporting me. I could not have done this without you. Soon we'll all be playing the game! I can't wait!
I understand that this project has been frustrating, as there have been many twists and turns throughout the last 4 years. However, it is my great pleasure to inform you that Super Retro Squad is getting close to a Steam Early Access release. My personal circumstances changed back in July, and I was able to quit my other projects and resume development. I am now working with just one other person who was not part of the team before, and we've been working hard since then. I did not post here because I didn't see the point in posting without showing evidence.
I was going to wait until I had a trailer ready, but I decided to tell you early because I started doing some live streams of development, and I thought you should know, in case you want to follow along. I will probably not live stream much more development until after the trailer is released, just so that I can save time, but we'll see.
In addition to that, I've also started a video series answering questions. You can ask a question for the series by tweeting @ExplodingRabbit with hashtag: #ExplodingQuestions
Lastly, the final name for the game is Super Retro Crossover. We changed the word "Squad" to "Crossover" because the squad is not as big of a focus as was originally planned, and we are focusing more generally on the crossover part.
As soon as our trailer is ready, we will launch it along with a Steam Greenlight Campaign so that we can prepare for early access. We are hoping for 1st quarter 2017 early access release, and the trailer should be ready before the end of the year. I've already begun recording footage for the trailer. I'm just waiting for art & sound before I can record the rest, and then I'll just have to cut it together. It's an ambitious trailer that should get people hyped for the game.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. The end is within sight, but it will really just be another beginning, as there will be much to do after we get on early access.