Here is the last video update of 2016. Nic and Thomas discuss 2016, what happened with the publisher talks, and rough plan for 2017.
Build 9: Oops.
- I'm sorry we put out a bad build: there are problems with saving and loading. We've hotfixed it twice and need to rewrite the inventory management system to be sure it saves correctly. That hotfix is coming in days.
- We are now going to be more professional about the build testing, having a battery of test cases we run through testing specific functionality. This will minimize the chance of making a bad build again.
Release Date: Q1 2017?
- We know we won't hit that and have moved the release date to Q2. But we don't know yet if that is realistic. We're still planning out 2017.
- We lost about 3 months near the end of 2016.
- Lost time after GenCon due to burn out.
- Lost time negotiating with publisher.
- Took at least 1 month too long on Mage Tower feature. It's a better feature now, but we can't get that time back.
- We've been negotiating with a major publisher from about May to Sep. A great tier 1 publisher who would be the perfect one to work with. There was great alignment between us with a similar vision for the game.
- In the end they offered to buy out Archmage Rises IP and everything. We determined a number internally, gave it to them, and awaited their top executive meeting for a result.
- While they really like and believe in the game, they determined Archmage Rises won't sell millions of units. Given the size of their business now they need to focus only on those kinds of titles. But it was real close, one of the VP's contacted me separately afterwards to say how much he believes in the game and encouraging us to keep going!
- We won't be talking with any more publishers, that was the right one for us and this game. We will continue on the more free, more lucrative, more risky path of self-publishing.
- We appreciate everyone who has pre-ordered, it makes a big difference!
- Nic likes to make small changes, play test and literate on them, and push out lots of real-world releases.
- Thomas likes to make big sweeping changes, test balance, and release only when they are all perfected.
- Needless to say there is a healthy tension on how to approach 2017.
- Currently it is costing about 2 person weeks to create, release, and support a build. This cost is too high to do it frequently, like monthly.
- To address the two competing goals of making releases to support existing customers and to finish the game for all customers, we've decided to do builds every other month: Feb, Apr, Jun.
- Video Updates every week of what we're working on. We think over time these will be a cool "behind the scenes" view of indie game dev.
- Economy - fleshed out with AI traders and geography based production
- Better map - better performance, better layout and roads, larger
- Better Dungeons - better generation, more history and character to each
Something Special is Coming
Vaelun, the continent the game takes place in, has a deep rich history behind it. It partly comes from the D&D campaign Thomas has been running for years. This drives many of the features, choices, and player goals within the game. Knowing the lore of the world will result in a richer more rewarding game experience.
Unlike other sandbox games, Archmage Rises is chock full of player goals.
Who is the Conclave and why are they in power over the mages? What does it mean to be a renegade? Should the player join the conclave and rise in ranks, or seek out the renegades? All these are meaningful choices in this open world simulator based on the campaign setting.
We'll be sharing the campaign setting and world history as a special thank you for being on the newsletter. Not sure on the date right now, it's a lot of work, but we're close to the end.
We read,discuss, and respond to all your feedback. Thanks for those that comment on youtube, facebook, steam, and this website. We appreciate it!
That's it for now. Happy New Year!