Just a quick check-in here from the ever-so-diliquant HotAirRaccoon Games. We're heads down right now pushing toward the May 8th deadline for submitting to Pax Prime Indie MegaBooth. We took the prototype of Super Endless Migration to prime when this whole thing started, so it shall be a fitting and epic return if accepted!
We're pretty much the Aragorn of indie developers, and if you think about Aragorn he sort of caused a lot of problems by being so indesicive and generally non-communicative, now didn't he? I mean a lot of Rohirrim died because he didn't go see the ghosts in the second book.
We'll also be submitting to IndieCade in June if all goes well.
It's been incredibly long since our last update. We went through some ups and downs over the past months. There have been month-long periods where we get nothing done, and there have been weeklong spurts of unbounded progress and creativity.
We went through a couple ordeals too. We didn't get accepted for the incubator funding we pursued. Then, Mochi Media went out of business kind of suddenly, which used to be one of our main outlets in the heyday of Flash games on the web. A stolen version of our demo even showed up on the iTunes App Store for a while (poetic justice?). With new jobs, living in new places, and not getting together as a team as much as we used to, it's been easy to feel too busy, too uncertain, or too discouraged to put some time into the project.
We've been trying to figure out how to make a big dazzling comeback with an update to end all updates, and then it dawned on us, that our entire approach to Kickstarter updates has been egregiously wrong - to the very core - from the beginning. There's a reason why I've gotten almost a hundred updates from other Kickstarter projects I've backed, and yet have only posted a dozen or so updates for our own project in a comparable timeframe. It's one thing to be delayed, it's another thing to go dark. It's not about waiting for huge milestones to post an update or feeling sorry for ourselves if we feel like we haven't been able to reach such a milestone; the Kickstarter update is about fostering good communication. That's what we haven't lived up to. We might be the worst ever actually.
We're shooting for hitting the floor running by bringing the game to PAX East. We're submitting our game to the Indie Megabooth (probably the Minibooth actually), and hope to use the March dates for PAX as a solid deadline for the core game experience. Even if we don't get accepted to the Megabooth, we are going to hold true to this as a deadline and begin the process of finding awesome venues like PAX to showcase the game.
The first version of Super Endless Migration will be released on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux. We are starting with Steam instead of iOS for a number of reasons. For one, we are excited to leverage Steam Early Access to get the game in front of users during the fast approaching public beta phase. And yes, we still owe a bunch of backers access to a private beta. Don't worry. We have not forgotten about you!
After a release on Steam, our next focus will be iOS. Since the timing has changed so drastically, it's hard to say at this point, which versions or types of devices we'll be optimizing for, but it's safe to assume that we'll be shooting for whatever the current iPhone might be and a few generations back from that. I get the feeling that you need to go back at least two years, but we have some research to do to figure this out.
Additional platforms is still very much up for debate. We have ruled nothing out! We want the game to reach as many people as possible, so we're excited to get to the point of making these decisions and phasing in additional mobile devices, consoles, etc.
Over the past year or so, we have been behind the curve when it comes to our approach. The first game and the demo were built in Flash, and I guess we were afraid to change. We explored native iOS development and using Starling and ActionScript and tried to convince ourselves that Flash was still a good option for browser or desktop gaming. But, most people are realizing that there are better, more modern options out there. While we were too afraid to leave our Flash gaming roots behind, the industry was shifting to Unity, Unreal, and some other gaming specific solutions that are free, relatively easy to learn, and cross-platform compatible.
With the evolution of Unity2D, we think Unity is going to be a really good engine for our game. Over the past 3 or 4 months, we've been teaching ourselves how to use it and have been tediously transitioning existing assets from Flash into gameObjects for Unity, and rewriting ActionScript code in C#.
We're thinking of clever ways to improve the rewards (as a kind of penance, I guess), since we've been taking so long on this project. Our first move in this direction was getting a local Pittsburgh printmaker (who happens to be Jon's uncle, who happens to be younger than Jon) to make limited edition prints for all backers who will receive postcards. There will be an entire update devoted to rewards soon!
We'll start shooting for weekly updates and will promise to never go more than 2 weeks without at least a quick hello. We're not crying wolf this time. The next update will be in a week and will cover the topic of Art. We'll show how much the visuals have improved over the hiatus and showcase some new level assets.
After that, we plan on frequent updates covering one or two themes, which will help us keep up the tempo of communication and engage with you guys more often like we know we should.
Future update topics may include: Why we think the music is going to win awards The new Endless Migration website (coming soon) Check out how we prototype gameplay Backer-produced content Considering open sourcing our codebase Hey what happened to the damn rewards? Playtesting the prototype Level spotlights
Let us know if there are other topics you'd like to hear about in future updates!
We also maintain the following channels, so please stop by if you're on: