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The homestretch


It’s been a while since the last update, but rest-assured, the only reason is that I’ve spent almost every waking hour working on Invisigun Heroes. Thanks to all your support, we’re now in the homestretch together, and I wanted to outline what’s in store for the next few weeks!

Launch Trailer

Most of the time at the moment is being spent on any remaining bugs, general game polish, the final content, and of course – the launch trailer! I think we have something special in store here – it’s part bananas, and part amazing, and I think that’s a good combo. Stay tuned to the usual channels (YouTube, Twitter, Steam, Itch, or these updates) for its release.

Release Date

The actual public release date is still TBD, but I’m doing my best to make sure it’s this month. There are a couple of online play / network issues being sorted out, but it’s to ensure that the launch goes smoothly. For everyone that has participated in the alpha – you have my utmost gratitude! If you’ve already redeemed your alpha copies on Steam and/or Itch, you won’t need to do anything – it will simply auto-update to the final release. Also – if anyone knows of any streamers or journalists that may be interested in covering Invisigun, just let me know or point them to the Press Kit where they can get general information, media assets, and request press copies.

This also means that the public alpha on Itch.io will end, so the free Steam key offer only has about a week left. If you know anyone interested in the game, now’s the time to get the best deal!

Post-Launch Content & Cartographers

The first big update to the game will come post-launch, and will focus on a new hero and the custom maps from the Cartographer-tier Kickstarter backers. If you are one of the Cartographers – please keep an eye on your inbox for info about this. I’ll be setting up a bunch of Skype time slots that we can use to meet, screen-share, and collaborate on your custom maps. In the meantime, make sure you play the latest version of the game so you can get an idea of everything available to you. The Cartographer maps won’t have any planet-restrictions, so you can mix and match set pieces as you please. :)

It’s a really exciting moment – and really nerve-wracking as well. Thanks for joining me on this adventure… madness awaits!

Most of the launch maps – only a few remain!

Upcoming Invisigun events


This is just a quick update to let you know that Invisigun Heroes will be at three events within the next week, so if you’re in the area or know anyone who’d be interested in checking it out, it would be great to see you there!

badge_artcadeconny2016 This Friday and Saturday, Oct 28th – 29th
CultureHub: 2016 ArtCade Con
La Mama, New York
* I won’t be attending this one :(
badge_unitela2016 November 1st – 3rd
Unity Unite 2016
Loews Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles
badge_playcraftingla2016 November 5th
Playcrafting LA – Inaugural Expo
Microsoft, Los Angeles

Also, thanks to all who have been testing out the online alpha and jumping in the Discord channel to discuss it and arrange matches. Your bug reporting has been tremendously helpful and I’m squashing them as fast as I can. Happy Halloween, and see you at the next update!

Online multiplayer is live!


xpo1

Hi everyone! September was by far the busiest and most productive month for Invisigun Heroes so far. We had a booth at both PAX West in Seattle and the XPO Game Festival in Tulsa, and both were amazing! It was a pleasure to meet a bunch of you out there in person – including some familiar faces from PAX South and the Kickstarter earlier this year, and some new friends as well. The booth was packed for both shows, and it was so satisfying to see groups of friends come back again and again to get some more matches in.

xpo2

Thanks to all who stopped by, all who picked up the current alpha on itch.io, all who helped spread the word, and my friends who worked tirelessly to keep the booth running smoothly. James took a lot of photos, videos, and timelapses at XPO, so enjoy this quick montage!

Development on the game obviously slowed a bit during the conventions out of necessity, but I actually managed to fix a lot of issues during PAX West. Some of them were fundamental things that have been bugging me for a long time (pun intended). I’d like to especially thank Derek of Game Introspection. As a fellow developer, we had lengthy technical chats at the booth in Seattle and talked through possible solutions to some of the bugs and network timing issues.

Online Buttons

I’ve been focused almost 100% on online functionality for quite a while. Although I had hoped to have basic online play ready for backers and alpha testers by the end of July, it has taken a little longer than anticipated. After a bunch of technical hurdles, the last few weeks have been spent wrapping up some final testing, and I’m super excited to say that the first drop with online multiplayer is now live! Check your Steam and/or Itch library for the update, and be sure to read the alpha notes regarding the first phase of online play in the game or on the forum. Once again, the entire changelog is always available to view here (and within the game), and you can see how lengthy the list is for the latest patch.

If you don’t have the alpha, just a reminder that it’s available for $14.99. This technically gets you two copies right now, since you’ll receive the DRM-free version on itch.io, as well as a bonus Steam key. You can keep both copies, or give one to a friend if you’d like. Once the game has officially launched, itch.io purchases will no longer come with an extra Steam key and they’ll be sold separately.

As a quick rundown of the roadmap leading up to launch, the game is pretty much locked down in feature-set, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I’ll be working around the clock until the end of this year, primarily focused on:

  • Public match listing & joining for online games
  • Network latency improvements
  • 2 new heroes
  • The new planet, Craterus
  • Rounding out the official map count to 50
  • Contacting Cartographer backers to schedule Skype sessions to design ~25 extra maps

Unite Los Angeles 2016

One last thing – I’m super proud to announce that Invisigun Heroes has been selected as part of the Made With Unity showcase for Unite Los Angeles 2016, running from November 1st – 3rd at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. This will be a great opportunity to meet other developer teams, some of the Unity staff, and other game industry professionals.

Invisigun at XPO Game Festival this weekend!


ih_xpo

Just a quick reminder to come check out and play Invisigun Heroes at the XPO Game Festival this weekend, September 23rd – 25th, 2016! We’ll be at the booth all weekend and would love to meet some of you there. :)

Deadlines are a good thing


PAX West 2016Alpha Access

PAX West is nearly upon us, and there’s absolutely nothing better than an external deadline to help turn on the afterburners. I’ve been working at a feverish pace for the past few weeks, adding a ton of new content, refinements, and going on a bug-squashing rampage. I’m relieved to see that some of my development lists are actually shrinking for the first time. I’ll be in Seattle for the week surrounding PAX, so updates will be slower (or nonexistent) for a short period of time. If you’re going to be attending the expo, please stop by booth 6014 and say hello!

In other big news, alpha access to Invisigun Heroes is now open to the public! This is sort of a trial run to see how this goes, but it should at least be available through September. If all goes smoothly, alpha and beta access will be open to the public until release. The game is purchasable through itch.io, with some very clear alpha disclaimers (not feature complete, online coming soon, etc). If you know anyone that missed out on the Kickstarter and is interested, please let them know!

spriteUpdates

I was never fully satisfied with placeholder sprites and aesthetics for some of the newer worlds, so I took some time to give them a much-needed facelift. In particular, Arx-515 has updated boundaries that fall more in line with the cute-cyberpunk feel that was originally intended, and pulls some of the distracting neon signs out of the levels where they were seemingly important. Glaciarii also has reskinned boundaries, and players finally look appropriately frozen by the Yeti. Arenae has some global value adjustments so that objects (rugs, shifting walls, etc) don’t stand out so much and feel more at home within the temple walls.

newMaps

Much of the focus for the past few weeks was trying to get as much of the planned final content in. This means the latest update has tons of new maps (and refinements to existing ones), new and exciting powerups (Ability Recharge, Split Shot, Diagonal Shot), a handy Field Guide to serve as in-game reference for new and studious cadets, mastered music tracks, and most importantly – a fundamental gameplay adjustment with ability cool downs. If you don’t spam your abilities, you shouldn’t notice that last one. If you DO, you’ll find that constantly activating your ability will incur longer and longer cool down periods (during which you are visible). It is very easy to stay away from this, but this solves a number of situations where abilities could be abused, and also creates an extremely useful tool for balancing them.

I know that a lot of you are eagerly anticipating online-play, and it’s still a top development priority. I’ve made a lot of headway and am constantly chipping away at edge cases and synchronization issues. From a development perspective, the annoying thing is that I can’t release it for testing until all the loose ends that I’m aware of are cleared up. You can’t play a networked game if it only partially works, like you can with a local game; if something is broken locally, everyone is at least still on the same page. I just want to let everyone know that online play is moving along, even though it’s taking longer than expected. Thanks for your patience, and see you at PAX West!

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