First of all, we want to apologize for the blackout over the past month or so. We've been working diligently on development, specifically on addressing many of the architectural issues that revealed performance and stability problems in the demo. To put it simply, we've been waist-deep in redesigning all the boring parts of the game that you don't see, but that make the whole experience possible and reliable.
We also spent a good portion of that time applying to AlphaLab, a startup accelerator here in our hometown of Pittsburgh PA. If our gaming studio is selected for the program, we'll be well on our way to building a sustainable, professional game studio, which has been our dream. We were able to point to our seed funding from Kickstarter in the application, and we think that will factor into helping us stand apart from the competition. Wish us luck!
A New Title and A New Site
Endless Migration 2 was great for a codename, but it sort of wasn't cutting it. Since we are aiming for brand new platforms, there really isn't an Endless Migration 1 on many of them. So, we've changed the name of the game. Introducing Super Endless Migration!!
We also noticed that a lot of AAA games have their own websites, so we decided we needed to follow suit. Below is a link to the new site, dedicated entirely to our game! It's still under construction, but we think it has a cool style and some nifty new content. We'll continue to build this site as we approach launch.
As you all already know, the Backer Surveys were sent out to everyone over the last couple weeks. We're excited to be moving right along, and we are even more excited that so many of you opted into the upcoming Beta tests! We are hoping to have our first round of Beta tests by mid-November. Your feedback and perspective will be invaluable to making this game all it can be.
A dozen or so of you haven't submitted your survey responses. If you are one of these folks, please submit your survey response by the end of this week. This applies especially to backers who will be receiving shirts, because we have to order them in large quantities, and we will be submitting the final tally on Monday. We'll probably have a few extras lying around, but without your survey response, we can't guarantee your first choice on size, color, or design.
Sending rewards will occur in stages, and the preparation is already underway. First, you can expect postcards, which we are in the process of personalizing and will begin to send within a week. Second will be larger reward packages with shirts, posters, and other physical items. The finished game and digital special edition content will be the last rewards we send. We thank everyone for being patient as we continue to trek toward our dream in this mysterious and majestic adventure that is possible because of you.
We Promise Regular Updates From Here On Out
With everything moving so quickly now, we will begin to send updates at least once every week. We want to build excitement and make sure our backers feel like they are part of the process as much as possible. Next Week: We will be unveiling the intro cinematic, which includes a re-imagined Blackhole that we think blows the original away. Chris and Ben composed a wonderful song for it that is one of the best on the soundtrack so far, in our opinion!
What About Development on the Game?
We ran into some delays over the past month or so since PAX. This is our most ambitious project to date, and the sheer size and scope exacerbated some performance-related issues, which we luckily caught when we launched the demo. Since our past games were much smaller and simpler, we never knew how sloppy Jon's code was until recenlty ;-). As a result, we have been doing a ton of research into optimization and redesigning the game from the ground up to handle the robust levels and complex gameplay we so much want to deliver. Although we are sort of upset that we had to spend the last 4 to 5 weeks on redesigning back-end stuff we already thought we had designed, we are happy to say that we are positioned to deliver an amazing game with a solid, stable gaming experience no matter your platform. We've also been running some preliminary tests to make sure the game works properly on iOS 6 and on the new screen resolution (shakes fist at iPhone 5 and iPad Mini). This was ultimately the smartest decision, because we didn't want to feel any limitations as we define, design, and develop imaginatve, immersive content.
Thanks again to everyone and we hope you are as excited as we are to be part of this game!
Hello gracious backers,
Some of you might be wondering what we've been up to over the last few weeks. Well, we've been buried in development, because we will be unveiling the project at PAX Prime in Seattle on August 31st!
Kickstarter's staff was nice enough to invite us to be part of a Kickstarter-backed projects exhibition, so we'll be sharing our current build right next to some other cool gaming projects you might have seen on the site in the last few months.
Stay tuned, because our next update will let you know how we fare. None of us have ever been to a convention like PAX before, so it's going to be an awesome learning experience and a great way to continue to build support for the project.
We'll share some of the latest assets soon and also plan to make some videos and take some photos of our adventures in the northwest.
Now that the campaign is over and all of your generous pledges have been made available to us, we've begun planning the next phase of the EM2 project: hitting the home run. We'll be sharing our development schedule hopefully next week, which will cover the next few months of development, testing, and provide general release dates for alpha, beta, and gold builds of the game. We'll also let everyone know when we plan to ship the different rewards (postcards will be sent out earlier than shirts and finished copies of the game, etc.)
We'll be sending out Backer Surveys soon. Since we are only allowed to do this once, we don't want to mess it up, so we've been taking our time to ensure the surveys cover all of the bases.
Regarding Failed Payments: There are still a few folks whose payments haven't gone through. Please make sure your billing information on Amazon is up to date.
The Kickstarter campaign was one of the best things that's happened over here at HotAirRaccoon Games. Here are some of the things we've acquired so far with the funding:
- A Blue Yeti Microphone - We've done some research and this mic looks like it packs a lot of bang for the buck. At just over $100, this mic will allow us to make field recordings and capture live instruments much more clearly. Hooked up to an iPod Touch or iPhone, it works great as a portable mic as well. Once we get the mic, we're planning a trip to the Pittsburgh Aviary to capture some tweets, honks, caws, coos, whistles, hoots, pipes, calls, songs, screeches, gnatcatches, flaps, pecks, and whatever other sounds birds make! http://www.bluemic.com/yeti/
- A Yiynova 10.1" LCD Pen Tablet - This is very exciting. Jon has been using a Wacom Bamboo tablet and stylus to make much of the art so far, but we've been able to upgrade to a Yiynova LCD tablet which is a huge step up, because it serves as a second monitor, onto which the artist draws directly. It sort of looks like an iPad, but it's bigger and capable of precise, pressure sensitive drawing. Most importantly, you can rest your hand on it without registering a press (you'd be surprised how important that is for an artist) and draw in much finer detail than you can on devices designed for finger swipes. $300 http://www.yiynova.com/En/
We are now officially HotAirRaccoon Games, LLC!
A few weeks back, we took steps to make HotAirRaccoon into a legitimate company, so we are now officially HotAirRaccoon Games, LLC. We feel the same mostly, if you ignore the growing urge to wear neckties.
We're being careful, so that's all we've gotten so far. We'll let all of you know as we continue to make game-changing purchases that totally raise the bar for our game(s)!
There's about 8 hours left in our Kickstarter, which means we are planning on switching gears pretty soon back to focusing on developing a great video game about migratory birds!
We'll also be creating some prototypes of various rewards, which we will share with our backers in the coming weeks.