Starstorm Report #31: Development Update, Design-A-Skin Contest
Hi all! It's been a while since our last update, but we're back and want to let you know how things are going here at Ronimo HQ.
Starstorm and Ted McPain have been out for about 8 weeks now and we're working very hard on the next character that will be joining the ranks of the Awesomenauts! The enigmatic Foxy 'Naut is taking shape, and after a few in-house playtests we can tell you that she's going to be a lot of fun. It's one of the most difficult characters we've done so far, and she has gone through more iterations than most other 'Nauts. There is still a lot of tweaking to do, art to be made, and skills to be fine-tuned, but she's shaping up to be a worthy and versatile contender. More will be revealed Soon™!
Alongside the new Awesomenaut, we are also working on the new map that was unlocked as one of the stretch goals during the campaign. Right now, the map is little more than beige blocks, a few platforms, some turrets, and a Red & Blue base, but it's fun to play. It's turning out to once-again be quite different from all the other maps we've done so far, but we'll need to do more work on it before we begin sharing more details.
The members of the legendary 3-Headed Monkey team visited our office this week to take (romantic) pictures with our designer Fabian and to take Foxy for a test-drive on the new Starstorm prototype map. They enjoyed the new 'Naut and the prototype for the map, and gave us a lot of useful feedback. Thanks KingRichard, Kelficil, MrPow!, and Catgamer - we had a blast! We'll be trying to get both of the new 'Naut and the new map into a public Beta (for all backers in the Iron Tier and above) as soon as possible to get feedback from all other members of our community. Unfortunately, we can't give you an estimate for when these Betas will go live (except that the map will take much longer to get there than the new 'Naut will), but we'll keep you updated!
Work on the replays feature is ongoing, but not going quite as fast as we had hoped. Progress is definitely being made though, and it's slowly taking shape (bullets now no longer fire backwards in replays, YAY!). One of the things we're working on right now is the UI, which has been designed in collaboration with several prominent Awesomenauts streamers and commentators. You'll be able to track all the data you ever wanted (and more)!
I'm sorry that we can't show you anything on all of these features just yet, but rest assured that we're working on everything as hard as we can and are making a lot of progress across the board. Most of these features didn't go into full production until Starstorm was launched on Steam (which isn't that long ago), so they are all still in pre-Alpha or Alpha stage. Once things get closer to the Beta stage, we'll start sharing the details!
Next week, we'll be releasing an update for the game that addresses a lot of bugs, issues, and brings Valentine's Day decorations! Update 2.2 will also include improvements to our anti-cheat system, which will now counter cheating tools more aggressively. This will also have consequences for users that currently use modding tools for their private matches and practice games. For more information on the upcoming changes to our anti-cheat system, please check out this forum post.
Aside from the update on the development, we also have something really cool to announce: the Awesomenauts Design-A-Skin competition! The Awesomenauts have always had a bunch of wacky costumes to choose from, but now it's time for you to show us what you want your favorite Awesomenaut to wear! Start drawing, knitting, painting, or whatever it is you do, and send us an image of what you want us to make before February 27th to enter into the contest. Once all submissions are in, we'll make a pre-selection and let the community decide on the final victor! For more information on how to participate (and some rules) and what you can win, check out this Facebook post.
Season 1 of the Awesomenauts Pro League has concluded and the second season is already well on its way. Team Ronma is still going strong in their quest to be crowned Awesomenauts Champions, with four wins out of four matches (granted, one of those was a forfeit). Like they say in the song: nothing's gonna stop us now! If you're not participating in the APL yet, make sure to round up your friends and sign up for Season 3!
For backers in the Silver tier and above, I'm sorry to tell you that getting the physical rewards manufactured and shipped out is taking much longer than we had anticipated. Many backers didn't fill out their surveys before the end of December, so we had to continue poking them for a little while to gather all the data. By now, the info from almost all backers has been submitted to the manufacturer and production will start soon. We're a little hesitant to give you a solid estimate, but we'll let you know once shipping is about to start! My apologies about the delays, we thoroughly underestimated how much time and effort it would take us to get to get all of this ready :( If you didn't fill out the survey before January 28th, your rewards will be included in a second batch of rewards that will be sent out in a couple of months.
We'll come back to you with another update soon, and I hope I can show you some of the progress we've been making then!