We thought we'd share some excepts from our latest Kickstarter update - the portions that don't exclusively apply to our awesome backers. But, if you are curious, you can read the entire public Campaign Update here.
Campaign Update #18: May 1st
Hello from Stu:
Hi everyone from around the world who has discovered this strange little project I’ve been building! I’m so delighted to have a curious audience wondering what exactly I’m making here. A few of you have played the Pre-Alpha build we released to gather feedback at a critical juncture, and I want to sincerely thank you for your feedback. To the rest of you, thanks for holding on as we craft this project! It’s continually improving and I won’t release it has become something truly spectacular.
In March I sent out a Pre-Alpha build to some of our close friends and industry allies. Since then we’ve been collecting and reviewing feedback. In response to this feedback, the team and I are implementing changes, driven by the inspiration that comes when you have time to reflect.
Some of the areas we’re concepting now:
- Interacting with a full range of inhabitants. More creatures, and more ways to engage with them. Have you been following the sneak previews on Twitter?
- Ensuring there is always something new and unexpected to discover.
- Balancing the feel of the open world with landmarks to help you find your way
- Finding those special moments for secret surprises for those who venture really far off the path.
Switching Gears: Life & Responsibilities
One of the realities of indie games is that they are often our side passion projects that happen after our nine to five lives. And sometimes nine to five turns into nine to ten or eleven, which leaves little time for development. It’s an unfortunate reality. For the next couple months I will be scaling back my hours on Shape of the World to fulfil my responsibilities at my day job. I will always be present to provide direction, but I will be creating less content. This is only a temporary situation.
Since the start of the Kickstarter campaign, our team of 3 has grown to several people which ensures development can continue even if one team member needs to temporarily scale down. The rest of the team is still hard at work and I’m always there for support. It’s hard for me to take a step back from the thing I feel so passionate about but sometimes responsibility calls.
What Comes After Pre-Alpha? Alpha!
The next step is to complete the Alpha that we can send to fans and industry pros for feedback and further testing. Do you have experience testing video games? Are you interested in literally shaping the game with your feedback via a short survey? If you’d like to take part in our Alpha test group send us an email to email@example.com with the subject line “Alpha” and we’ll be in touch.
So How is the Game Progressing?
Great! I’m really excited where the game is headed. Part of this is directly due to the Pre-Alpha feedback. It’s helping me prioritize what to add and how to refine the game mechanics and landscape. I know now which moments are surprising and captivating, and where I can put the next set of moments which can take your breath away.
Here’s a little look at what things look like behind the scenes. I’m carving out a large forest of huge gullies. But without a player running around, nothing has grown. Instead, you can see all the points where you can change the growth and color recipe.