The future of Idol Manager (previews for upcoming updates)
Where we are now
It's been five months since we first launched our alpha for Kickstarter backers, and last month we entered beta, opening the gates to the many of you who backed the game after our Kickstarter completed. The response we've gotten from our community during that time has been tremendously encouraging: we're glad to know that people are already enjoying the game, and your feedback and suggestions have already played an important role in helping us add many improvements to the game.
During the Kickstarter campaign, we listed "December 2018" as our expected ship date. While we're pleased with the pace we've been making progress on the game, we don't feel that the game is in a finished state yet -- there's lots more that we're planning to add in terms of new features and content. One of the huge benefits of your Kickstarter support has been the fact that we're now able to include more content than originally planned -- in addition to the stretch goals we met during the campaign to add new features to the game, there's also the simple fact that having a larger budget allows us to create more events and scenarios, add more music tracks, and have more graphics and illustrations to accompany random events in the game. The volume of feedback we're getting from testers is also allowing us to fine-tune the gameplay systems to make the game a smoother and more well-balanced experienced. We're obviously thrilled about having the time and budget to create a better and more polished game, but creating more content also takes more time, and it's just not possible for us to make the game bigger and better while also meeting our original release date.
We want to take the extra time and effort to make the game as good as it can be, rather than rushing it out to make a 2018 release date. The feedback from we've gotten from backers so far tells us that you feel the same way. While we're a bit disappointed we won't be releasing the full game this year, we believe that the improvements and additions we're making to the game will be worth the wait, and we're excited to share some of the features that we have planned coming up.
We've been updating the game every month since the original release of the alpha back in July, and we plan to continue a monthly update schedule until the game is complete. Here's what we have planned for the coming months:
- Dating scandals: The December adds countless new ways for your idols to get into trouble with dating scandals. The methods you have for dealing with these scandals -- apology, denial, paying hush money, or finding some other way to cover up the incident -- will depend on the circumstances of the scandal.
- A new special event type: elections
- New systems: injuries, depression, and hiatuses. All of these systems are related to stamina: physical injuries can result from low physical stamina, depression can result from low mental stamina, and putting an idol on hiatus gives her a chance to recuperate and recover stamina
- New staffers: doctor and stylist (and new rooms to accompany them)
- Various improvements for pixel art assets, e.g. all sprites will have faces now. For examples of some of the updated visuals, see the header on the itch.io page here
- Playable female manager
New rooms: cafe and theater. The cafe can be used as a passive income source, and idols can work there (at the cost of stamina) to earn more money.
Additionally, we're currently working on the following features, which will come some time during the coming months (shipping with one of the updates for December, January, or February):
- Updated save system, including new options for manual saves
- Sales charts, showing where your singles rank
- Award ceremonies
- Graduations: a way to fire idols with a forced early graduation, or a way for idols who have aged out of the program to leave on their own. Depending on her relationship with the organization (and the player), graduating idols may be able to recruit successors with similar stats.
Further on the horizon
In addition to the major features for each of these updates, we'll also be continually adding new content to the game with more substories, more random events, and more custom illustrations and graphics.
For the longer term, we're continuing to work on the relationships system, as well as balancing the gameplay for the late-game and finding effective ways to bridge the gap between the early game and late game.
We'll also begin adding events and substories designed in partnership with our Producer and CEO tier backers. If you fall into one of these groups, you should have already received an email about this. (If you didn't receive this email, be sure to check your spam filter, or message us directly.)
We'll have more details to share in the coming months as we continue to work on the game. Thank you for supporting Idol Manager!