August Acceleration – The Road to September 23rd
Hi Backer Team,
As you may know Defense Grid 2 now has a street date and that date is Tuesday September 23rd. Looking at the calendar, that’s just one short month away from today. That game is not yet “done,” but it is very close. This week we’ll be submitting our builds to Sony and Xbox One with the goal of passing their certification processes and being ready for download on the ship date.
It is always possible that we’ll have updates for those builds as well, but right now, we’re going into the certification process with the expectation that those updates won‘t be needed early.
The Steam builds are behind the console builds a bit (because the console builds need the lead time of submission), but they will catch up over the following week and take all the fixes and updates that have been going into the console builds. We get to directly push the game out live ourselves on Steam, so we’ll be able to test and update right until launch. We also have a few Steam-only features – such as the in-game Store for player levels – that need to be finished, so we’ll be working on that too.
The beta will likely get updated as well and we will pull over many fixes from other testing we’ve done, other improvements we’ve made and other bugs we’ve fixed. We’ll see how compatibility and minimum system performance is, and likely do some additional multiplayer testing with the beta participants. We likely will turn off the Steam beta a week or more just before launch. Before that happens, we’ll send out new final codes to you that will be the retail Steam Special Edition codes for the game at that time.
Pre-sales trends are good and we expect to cross into Tier 2 for the preorder campaign sometime this week if things continue as they have been on Steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/221540/ . It is going to be close on whether pre-orders include the Matter of Endurance audio book in the end or not. We believe we will cross that threshold based on extrapolations the 505 Games folks have done, so we already got to work on it, and are about half-way done with its development. You as backers will definitely get it, but we’ll see what happens on the pre-order side of things.
A Matter of Endurance author Mary Robinette Kowal just won her SECOND Hugo award for Sci-Fi writing last week in London, and we couldn’t be more happy for her (She won for the Novelette “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” which you can read, right now, right here: http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/the-lady-astronaut-of-mars ) . It’s been amazing to collaborate with her on A Matter of Endurance as well as the backstory world-building elements and the parallel out-of-game story for Defense Grid 2.
Overall, It is a busy and intense time here at the studio – every day we think we may have “the build” and then many hours of testing later, we find that “that issue” may be enough for us to correct it and make another “the build.” We also just got back from Gamescom promotional meetings showing the PC game and editor to the press (mostly the same editor and build of the beta that you have), and then this upcoming week is PAX Prime in Seattle, and we plan to have Xbox One, PS4, and PC builds on the floor to play for those who visit.
You’ve been hugely supportive of us, and many thousands of hours of beta playing has helped us tremendously as we work to balance, adjust, and touch up the different elements of the game. You’ll see a ton of small changes and fixes when we are able to focus back on the beta and get that last update to you before we head for the final ship.
Thanks so much for your support. Defense Grid 2 is coming to you soon – and we’re so excited about it. People who test and play it are having a lot of fun, so we’re cautiously optimistic that you’ll love it too.
Protect the Cores!
The Hidden Path Team