It has been a long time coming, but all for a good reason. Today we've finished putting together an announcement trailer for The Banner Saga. What are we announcing? A release date!
I'd love to give you an update on everything going on at this point. We finally feel comfortable with giving a release date for one very big reason: we are essentially content complete. This means the game is playable from front to back, the combats are in place, the characters are all hooked up and every conversation throughout the game is ready to go. In essence: we're almost done with the game. This is a huge milestone because we've been working nearly every waking hour since Factions released to get to this point.
We've partnered with a new marketing and distribution team called Versus Evil who have taken a lot of work off our plate and help us put together new promotions so that we didn't take away from production time. They've done an amazing job on the new website (http://stoicstudio.com/) and will be helping to make sure we get seen by as many people as possible at launch.
What's left to do? We'll be spending an appropriate amount of time on playtesting, polish and balance. We've been getting help from a QA house to help us find and write bugs because the game has become both long and complex at this point. What we originally envisioned as a 6 hour game is probably closer to 15+ hours on the first playthrough, and all the branching variables and additional systems are time-consuming to test. We'll also be playing through the game a lot to get combat balance in as good a state as we can. Lastly, you may have heard this before, but polish is the difference between a good game and a great game in our minds. Personal touches, transitions and making sure that everything is finely polished is really important to us. For example, we've added procedural snow, random events in travel, items in combat, an interactive world map, every godstone in the game and tons of new characters and classes.
This week we also had Austin Wintory in the office to walk through the game and hook up each piece of music for the game. He's gone back to his studio with a list of things he wants to add, and we've got an insanely high-quality, huge score now in place for this game. He's been swamped lately with this work but is still raring to go on a music update for you coming up.
We also want to quickly mention guild crests here. We'll be having another update in the immediate future, because we've done what we think is the right thing and made sure that guild crests as closely matched the original intent as possible. We had gotten feedback on many different ways people wanted guild crests inserted in the game and got a little sidetracked by this, but have returned to the original idea: you upload them to us and we'll make them all available to anyone who plays the game, so everyone will see your contribution. We will need guild crest donators to upload their designs and we'll have an update about how very, very soon.
Thanks again for all your support... we are very nearly there and it's because of each of you.
Alex, Arnie and John
Greetings backers, we have for you the final installment of The Banner Saga demo. In this one we throw a fight to show off a feature we haven't talked about much...
This playthrough represents a small fraction of the full game (it didn't even include travel!). Hopefully it gave you a good idea of the kind of decisions and gameplay you'll see at major locations along the way and just how varied your story can be.
Next time: we'll be back to more in-depth content updates as usual. Hope you've enjoyed the demo and see you next time!
Ready to see the result of your decisions? Thanks for your patience! We're still working on getting the website back on its feet, but we're going to keep the demo going. After this I expect there will be one more video.
A quick report: we're making ridiculous progress on the game. All the major cities in the game are done. We've got items up and working (many of which are submissions from backers), and we're starting to get final music in as well. Austin will be doing a music update in the near future. At this point the majority of what we're doing is adding the remaining content. Then it's on to polish.
We worked over the weekend to get a build done for Fantastic Arcade here in Austin. Drop by if you're in town and try the demo yourself! Regretfully, we (again) won't be able to personally attend, since we're heads down on production from now until the game comes out.
Something of note- based on feedback we got on conversation, we've already made changes to the game that we think help significantly. Check it out in the video!