Hello everyone! Let's kick this off with another beautiful screenshot of one of my favorite locations - the totally revamped Willowpeak. Remember how play-dough this place used to look? I'll refresh your memory:
After three major revision this is what it looks like today:
Ahh. Don't you just want to live there? Here's a hi-res version.
Final Book Kit
If you pledged for a book kit, keep an eye on your Kickstarter inbox. The final kit will be sent out within 24 hours. It's a major step back in terms of complexity (I axed the standalone program thing and went web-based) but a major step forward for flexibility, formatting and (eventually) translation into different languages.
Get this - that's the very last kit. They're all done! Can you believe it's been five months since the first kit was released? I can't. (Seriously it feels like two months tops. It's freaking me out.)
Plans for the beta are firming up. I'm not going to mention any dates or deadlines - I've learned my lesson there - but I will say that a beta release is officially an active goal, not just 'something we'll eventually get to.' I've spent the last two weeks mass-building main quest assets - structures, characters, books, letters, etc. Meanwhile Given is taking everything we've learned about terrain generation and applying that know-how to the creation of our final endgame landmasses. Once that's all wrapped up I'll be releasing one final alpha to stress-test distribution, followed immediately by the long-awaited beta. That's right, you'll get a main quest right out the gate!
Would You Like To Know More?
I consider it my responsibility to keep everyone entertained with info & trivia while you all patiently wait for the final game. Partly because I dislike it when Kickstarter projects vanish into the mists after a few months and partly because I feel it's the least I can do.
But I'll be honest, I'm running out of stuff to say in these updates. That's not because nothing interesting is going on - it's a 24/7 madhouse in here. It's because I'm losing perspective.
What do I mean by that? Imagine that you're a reporter in the middle of a tornado. There's no lack of excitement - you're in a 300mph wind funnel of death! - but you can only relay so many variations of 'STUFF IS FLYING AROUND REALLY FAST AND BOY IS IT LOUD' before it starts to sound boring. On this project it's some variation of 'I BUILT SOME ASSETS AND SOLVED SOME PROBLEMS AND BOY AM I BUSY!' Maybe you find this info riveting - or maybe your eyes are glazing over. I have no way to tell from inside the storm.
So help me out! What are you curious about? What are you NOT curious about? I'll gladly talk your ear off as long as I know someone wants to hear it. Would you like to know how I stay hydrated while I work? (Trickier than you might think!) Or maybe what third party tools I like to use? How many assets I create in a week? How I motivate myself? What Steve likes to eat for lunch? (The fact that I'm only half-joking about that last one should illustrate how out-of-touch I feel.)
Or hey, maybe you're content with no chit-chat at all! Just the facts ma'am and the rest is for the birds - that works too. In any case, I am at your disposal.
Taverns & Shops & Inns & Recipes & Plants...
There's one thing I DO know you'll want to hear about - your in-game assets! Along with the main quest assets, I've also started building everyone's custom content in earnest. Your shops, taverns, inns, engineer structures and so on have been bumped up the priority queue and they're looking fantastic, if I do say so myself. Once again I'd like to thank everyone for taking your submissions seriously and giving them appropriate (and inventive) names & descriptions. I haven't had to ask for a single name or concept to be modified.
I'm also continually reviewing everyone's recipes and plants, and I'm finding those equally fun. I can't promise there won't be revisions there because I haven't processed them all yet, but I'm loving everything I've seen so far.
I was warned repeatedly that giving backers direct input like this was dangerous and potentially a major time sink but so far you've proven the naysayers completely wrong. (They know who they are. Neener neener, told you so! Hehe :D)
Alright that's all for now, catch you next month!