The Final Phase Has Begun!
Hello backers! Its about time we came up for air to update you on our progress on Ray's the Dead, no? Lets jump right in!
We started 2017 adding the last bit of new features and major content into the final chapter of Ray's the Dead. That was a huge milestone we wrapped up in late March.
With that behind us, we have started the final phase of production! We are now in a final polish / bug fixing phase. This phase gives us the chance to revisit all of our previous levels and make them shine. From now until launch, we'll be plowing through bugs, tuning gameplay, and basically doing everything involved in bringing the game to a final state.
One major component of this phase is putting the game through a lot of playtesting. We are not too far off from getting in touch with those of you that backed our campaign at the Alpha level and asking you to play a slice of the game and politely request that you send us your thoughts and feedback. We don't have a specific date for this yet, but hopefully it won't be too much longer.
We are VERY happy to be at this point. As all of you know it has been a very long road and the light at the end of the tunnel is coming into focus. Just to manage expectations, this does not mean we are days or even weeks away from release. This is still a significant undertaking, but we will work to get through it as quickly as we can.
Some nifty new stuff has shown up in the game recently. Lets take a look!
Ray and crew have a slick new Swarm Effect! One of the zombie group abilities allows the group to huddle up in a tight formation and increase their speed. This is useful for both navigating treacherous terrain, as well as dodging out of the way of dangerous situations. The new effect looks much cooler and leaves a nice trail behind.
Another zombie group effect we haven't shown much of is the Zombie Shield. The zombies can huddle up in a wedge formation to block many oncoming attacks. In the gif above, a wild animal runs full speed into the Zombie Shield and pays the price.
Our conversation system continues to improve! In the last update we introduced the new UI and character portraits. Now those elements are fully animated! The elements transition on and off the screen, and the character portraits play an animation of the character that will represent his/her/its mood. We aren't clear on how much variety we will be able to add with the portrait animations yet, but the functionality is there so its just a matter of priority.
Our UI bars continue to see upgrades as well. In the gifs above and below you can see the snazzy animated fill our UI artist has added. It isn't shown, but the UI bars also now transition on and off the screen, and have a variety of effects that help convey Ray's status more clearly.
We continue to get questions about various platforms so I wanted to answer that here. At the moment we have committed to all of the platforms that we can. Right now those are Steam, PS4, and Vita. We won't have any new information regarding the release of Ray's the Dead on additional platforms until we have released the game.
We would love to release Ray's the Dead on both the Switch and the Xbox, but we won't be able to think seriously about that until we have completed our current commitments.
Whether or not we release on other platforms will depend heavily on how well Ray's the Dead does when it is released. It if makes financial sense for us to release the game on other platforms, we will certainly do that! We want to see it on all the platforms as much as many of you do.
We have mostly been keeping our heads down and avoiding the temptation of showing the game at conventions so we can focus on getting the game done. But our very own Aenne did show the game this past weekend at the Betacon convention in Portland. I know she had a great time and made many new friends. So thanks to any of you that checked it out!
We might show the game at another convention in early June. Stay tuned to our twitter account for info on that.
Ray's Easter Egg
If you grab the game and can keep it together well enough to remain an eagle-eyed observer, you may notice an easter egg or two related to Ray's the Dead! They dropped in a couple of references to the game, one of which you can see in the screen below. Super cool of them! Support the game if its of interest to you!
That's a Wrap
That's all we have for this update. We will leave you with a dumb picture of one of our Skype meetings where we all wore red. Shawn was very proud of this. :)
Till next time!