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Chris

Release Date & Work Tracker

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V21 Stable marks entry into the polishing phase of development. We believe the game is good enough to kick out the door right now, but we're planning to spend the next ten weeks on improving the game further. On the 30th May we're going to lock down the game and cease development (after the best part of five years spent on the project).

Release Date: Depending on how smoothly those ten weeks go, the game may launch on the 30th May. However it is more likely we'll spend another few weeks working on publicity, getting reviews and coverage of the game ready for the big day. So we're not sure what the exact day of release will be, but the final product will be ready on 30th May (on PC, at least - it'll take a few days to port to Mac / Linux etc).

I've chosen that date because I believe ten weeks of polishing should see off most of the major issues in the game, and because it makes the most sense financially. The Kickstarter and pre-order money has kept us going for a long time and will see us through another three months, but beyond that I think we'll need to turn our attentions to another project on a full-time basis if Goldhawk is to have a long-term future.

Work Tracker: Our new public work tracker can be found here: https://trello.com/b/kxjRG3md/xenonauts-work-tracker

That tracker will be updated by me to capture every remaining issue we see with the game, whether it be a bug or a usability issue or even a small feature request we think would add to the game. It is roughly prioritised, and we will be working on fixing the Critical (red) and Important (orange) issues before anything else.

We will also have standard (unmarked) and Low (blue) priority issues. These issues will only be fixed if we make our way that far down the work list, so it is quite possible that they may not ever be fixed. The reason they are included on the list is because it stops people reporting the same issue repeatedly - they know that the issue is on our radar, even if we have not prioritised it very highly.

It is of course unfortunate that our game will ship with bugs / issues in it, but we'd be here forever if we tried to fix everything - almost no software is shipped bug-free, even from rich AAA studios. So we're simply working to ensure that the remaining bugs / issues are as minor as possible when we do ship.

Assume that if an issue is not on our work tracker, we don't know about it. You're free to report any issue with the game at all, from the smallest graphical bug to desktop crashes, broken animations or even typos in the Xenopedia. Anything that you think needs our attention, even if you've reported it before (this includes stuff I've previously said I'd do in the "polishing" phase).

Work Reporting: I will be replacing the existing Experimental Bug Forums with a specific Work List forums. These will contain sticky threads you can use to report specific issues as well as an explanation of common bug types.

This special forum can be found here: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/forumdisplay.php/22-Work-List-Management

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Good plan to hold of a little after you class it as complete.

If nothing else it will allow you to launch with linux, mac, and windows simultaneously.

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Hype!

Take all the time you need to finish it properly. You're working for years on the game and there's no reason to rush it now, assuming there aren't any money issues.

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Just think this could all have been finished two years ago using unity ;)
I just wish we could rotate the map instead using transparencies only. I have no idea how much pain the engine has caused poor Goldhawk in terms of workaround, extra work, and crazy programming, but my personal experience with inadequate off the shelf software is that it's incredibly frustrating to work with. Everyday I work with an app that cannot be recompiled, so I have to do data fixes and database procedures to do things that would easily fixable if I had the compiler and source code.

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Holy damn, i am impressed. I didn't expect there to be a public bug tracker ever, despite my ranting to that effect and you actually did it. I'm sadly hard-pressed for time due to a conference i'm co-organizing next week, but after that i'll be sure to help add to it. :D

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Just realised I posted my thoughts on the wrong thread -moving here to tidy up my own mind.

A full frontal media campaign will need several parts.

I would do 2 videos - 1 explosive trailer 40secs and 1 kickstarter style exposition looking at the project in 5 mins with cuts to you saying thank you to the community for years of support. A polite gesture goes a long way to drumming up support.

I would then sort out a range of new screenshots. Maybe have a best screenshot competition on the forums to help you now attachments are working. Just limit the tech level of the screenies if you want to prevent spoilers.

Finally I would have 3 versions of the press releases to go out. Long form, short form and kickstarter. Email out a steamcode with every press release and if you are mates with any developers get them to chip in with some quotes. "The most authentic XCOM game since XCOM" i would also post the kickstarter version on the steam forums- to show you care about them.

Obviously an update to the website is on your to do list as this will be the first port of call for many undecided people as well as reviewers.

Also remember that you have 4668 backers. Even just posting out 1000 physical items could take you two weeks unless you use a fulfillment centre. Make sure your ready for it with tape, box cutters pre-printed labels with itemised requirements attached for every backer to save you a headache. Organise all the items to be posted by size, clearly mark the size/item on the box for when you are damn bloody tired. Have plenty of plasters on hand, moisturizer and never ever lick an envelope. That is why you have wet sponges.

Edited by flashman

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Thanks for the post flashman. Yeah, I'll post this on Kickstarter once we have the Mac / Linux ports ready to go.

Also, the big Kickstarter mail-out will happen after development ends. We can't burn the physical copies until we have the final version of the game ready to go on the discs!

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Chris if it is in your power on Earth, prioritise the posting of the burnt DVD's. This way you can keep the good mojo flowing and avoid kickstarter reacting against you. I can guarantee someone will make a storm in a teacup if the game is 'officially' released before the backers DVD's ship.

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Remember all the backers have a Steam key, so they can play the game immediately on release if they want to irrespective of where their DVD is.

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Feels like the baby is almost ready to be born... I've stopped playing a while ago in anticipation of the big release and am soooo excited to see date or two (ok, I ignored the Christmas of 2013 date ... hehe). I can't wait to see what you have next in the pipeline!

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I had one tip I wanted to mention to devs.

I hope you prioritize the shield animations, since they are still missing :/

It might sound like small thing but getting close to releasing I believe alot of people will cover the game.

Including myself. Already in the early gameplay, if you equip shield the animations are not working for wielding a shield.

For me playing the game, I don't mind that animations are not working but I assume some people could think soldiers with no weapons running around might look silly. I did notice that you guys have combat shield in the todo list but decided to mention this one particulary.

Visual eye candy is important especially when we are telling people that the game is out soon.

Just my thoughts anyway. Thanks for all the hard work guys! Goodluck with the launch!

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