There have been some questions over the upcoming Steam Early Access launch (31 May 2013) and how this is going to affect development and people buying the game. Here is the key information:
STEAM KEYS FOR EXISTING USERS:
- If you have ever pre-ordered Xenonauts at any point prior to the Steam launch, you are entitled to a Steam key for your copy of the game.
- This key will be sent (even if you have never activated the Desura key) within a few days of the Steam release
- If you activated your Desura key, you can claim your Xenonauts Steam key immediately via this method.
- If you did not activate your Desura key for whatever reason, we have your email address on record and will be emailing you a key direct in the next few days. We're just trying to work out the best way to do this.
- If you have pre-ordered the game and have still not received a Steam key by the 3rd June 2013, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with proof of purchase and I'll get you sent a key. Please check your spam filter and old email addresses first though!
- Mac and Linux versions will be arriving on Steam shortly, we've just gotta go through the porting process first.
PREMIUM / STANDARD PRE-ORDERS:
- With the Steam launch, we are discontinuing the Premium Pre-Orders. All copies of the game will now be sold at $19.99 until official release, when the price will climb to $24.99.
- If you are an existing Premium Pre-Orderer, we are working on something to say thankyou for the extra $10 donation, but it's currently a secret.
- Forum medals will be discontinued tomorrow:
- This is because they are integrated with Desura, who will likely only make up a small section of our sales from now on.
- Those with forum medals already will not lose them, but the graphics are likely to be shrunk a little bit and the wording will be changed to read "Founder" (or something to that effect) rather than pre-orderer.
- If you have not already claimed a forum model, post in this thread in the next 24 hours and I'll give you on manually.
- We will be doing direct sales on our website through the Humble Store in future, as we'll get a much larger cut of revenue from them than our current arrangement with Desura.
- You will still be able to buy our game on the Desura site if you so wish.
- Both Desura and the Humble Store will continue to be updated as development continues, but only with the Stable releases (explained in more detail below).
- All future purchases of the game from either our website's Humble Store or Desura should also come with a Steam key.
- The Humble Store is DRM-free, and the DRM-free option will remain on Desura too.
So that's a summary of exactly how things will change as of the Steam release, but there will also be changes moving forwards with development. Good ones.
STABLE VS. EXPERIMENTAL BUILDS:
I have created a new build today called V18 STABLE. This is the same as V18.51 Hotfix 3 and marks the point where we have implemented all the features we wanted to implement in the V18 series of releases, and also fixed all the major stability issues. It is the "finished" version of the V18 builds.
V18 Stable will be the default release build on Steam and will be the build you receive if you buy a copy on the Humble Store. It will also be uploaded to Desura, and we are about to send it off to the porter to port the build to Mac / Linux.
The next build that we upload to any of these places, or port to Mac / Linux, will be V19 Stable. So the vast majority of users won't see any updates for a couple of months but then will get another stable, polished release appear with a bunch of new features.
However, Steam allows users to opt-in to different branches for a game that they own. We will allow users to opt-in to our Experimental branch, which will contain the newer releases that have more features but will be less stable. We can upload, patch and mess around with builds on that branch without ever affecting the stable branch. This is where we will go through the numerous iterations to reach V19 Stable.
This will be the best of both worlds - people who just want to play the game don't have to put up with crashes, and those who want to help us test can access the new features as soon as we release them.
The only disadvantage is that you will need to be on Steam to get access to the experimental builds...but there's no way around that, I'm afraid...
This is the key stuff we want in V19 Stable:
- New UI for the Geoscape and base screens
- Air Combat Autoresolve
- Finished final mission
Only three features, but between them they'll transform the game. No doubt we'll fix a lot of small things too, and we'll be working on the balance the entire time too, but those are the headline features we will be working towards.