As it has been a while since our last update we have lots to share, including some exciting news, progress updates, and addressing some questions that we've been getting. We thought it only appropriate to update you around Ray's very favorite holiday - Halloween! (Naturally!)
Kids with candy bags in hand!
We have been hard at work at getting a chunk of the game ready for release, and we are happy to announce that those of you that backed the Ray's the Dead campaign at the Alpha level or higher will be able to play that chunk.... TODAY!
Alpha backers will receive a separate email with a Steam Key as well as some additional information regarding this release. We are super excited / nervous to finally put some of the game into your hands. We hope you'll let us know what you think!
If any of you that believe you should be receiving an Alpha Key don't receive it by the end of the day, please let us know and we'll get you taken care of.
We have added some new features, but for the most part we have been in a polish phase. On the code side we have added analytics tracking, and an easy to use bug reporting tool. The player just has to hit F12 and a screenshot and bug report are uploaded to us. Cool stuff!
Lets check out some visuals!
We have a new Main Menu implemented. It isn't complete but the frame work and functionality are there.
The camera swings around to reveal different views of the graveyard as the different options are selected.
Ray has several new animations. This is the third time we've revised his walk cycle.
Ray has a variety of animations that play both in the dialogue UI, as well as in game. Here he his pondering the meaning of life...
...and here he is having a sad moment.
Ray can use his zombies to burrow underground and flip large obstacles over and out of the way.
We have a set of Halloween themed levels, one in the present and one flashback. In the flashback, you roam around the neighborhood trick or treating and saving the neighborhood kids from bullies.
In the present, you must avoid the trick-or-treaters by turning off the lights in the neighborhood so the kids will run away!
All the kids heed the warnings of their neighborhood mother!
Another aspect of the game that is nearly complete is the soundtrack. Ray's the Dead's 80's themed soundtrack will be epic. It will include a mixture of original compositions as well as a variety of licenced tracks from some incredible musicians. We have recently reached agreements with four new musicians who will have their music featured in Ray's the Dead. We'll profile one in each of the next few updates. Starting with.....
Hailing from Roma Italy, Alessandro Strickner is A Space Love Adventure. Alessandro's incredible music blew us away with the feeling it inspires and the emotions it stirs, as all good 80's music must. It was immediately clear that his music was a perfect fit with the world we are creating.
He is a great guy and has enthusiastically agreed to let us feature FIVE of his tracks in our game. We are going to remain tight lipped about exactly which tracks are in the game, but you can hear (and purchase!) his stuff on his Bandcamp page.
Love this Logo!
Lets dig into a few questions that may be burning in your brains:
Q: When will Ray's the Dead release?
A: While we still don't have a release date set, we can confirm that the game will not be releasing this year. However, the release of this Alpha Build represents a big milestone for us as well as a large leap of progress. We are doing everything we can to get the game into your hands as quickly as possible. Your patience and support is greatly appreciated.
Q: What is the status of the different platforms? What will RTD release on?
PS4 and Steam: We are focused on bringing the Steam and PS4 versions to release first.
PS Vita - The Vita version is being maintained but will not be actively worked on until after Ray's the Dead's initial release. At the moment we have every intention of releasing on the Vita, but I feel it would be irresponsible to pretend that this is inevitable. As you have surely seen with many other games, it can be difficult to bring certain games to this aging system. As Ray's the Dead has increased in size and complexity, this concern has increased. Nonetheless, our first order of business after releasing the PS4 and Steam versions will be to do our best to release a Vita version that meets our quality standards.
Xbox One and Switch - We have had lots of questions asking about Xbox One and Switch. We would love to release on both platforms. However, there are going to be two hurdles to overcome.
1) We have agreed to a short period of exclusivity with Sony. We have to let this time period pass before we can release on other platforms.
2) It has to make financial sense for us to release on additional platforms. Simply put, if Ray's the Dead sells well and we have good reason to believe it will continue to sell well on additional platforms, we are very likely to make it happen. If it doesn't sell well, it is still possible but we cannot make any promises.
The development team are big fans of both the Xbox One and the Switch so we would like very much to make this happen.
Q: How long will the game be?
A: The Alpha Build that we are releasing contains 6 levels. In our playtests, it has been taking players about 3 - 4 hours to finish these levels. As those 6 levels represent less than 20% of the game, we could be looking at a game in the 8 - 12 hr range.
Now, there are a lot of factors to consider. Some people play differently. If you mainline the game you will likely get through it much faster. Our playtests tend to go slow as there is some talking and bug tracking along the way. Also, the first 6 levels are on average a bit larger than some of the later levels.
Our programmer Shawn completed a speed run of these levels in 1hr 15min.
But any way you slice it, the playtime is coming in much longer than we had originally anticipated. In the past we'd been of the opinion that the whole game would be between 3 - 6 hours, but now we are convinced that the game is more than double that length.
We have never been particularly concerned with game length. From the start it has been our intention to create a focused experience with no filler gameplay. I can say with confidence that we have stuck with that goal. The game has no filler and lots of twists and turns along the way.
Lets Wrap This Up
That's it for now! We thank you for your continued support and hope you have the happiest of Halloweens!
As always, feel free to post questions and comments down below, or hit me up directly at chris (at) ragtagstudio (dot) com.