Hi everyone – hope Summer is treating you well so far!
If you have filled out your Kickstarter survey before April 25th, your physical rewards should have been shipped and delivered by this point (including international orders). If you believe you should have received your art prints and buttons but haven't yet, please contact me and I'll get it sorted out. For everyone who filled out their survey after April 25th, those are being processed now and will be shipping soon! I see people posting some tweets about receiving them, and those are always very happy moments. :)
As always, those who care about details can view the ongoing development changelog here, but I'll summarize the noteworthy stuff. I've basically completed laying the foundation for localization, so every bit of text in the entire game is now pulled from easily editable external files. This means that making it support other languages in the future will be very simple and just a matter of contracting out the translations. The June update has tons of bug fixes, improvements, and performance optimizations, as well as a lot of work on online play connectivity. Most of the past month has been spent on the new network manager, which unfortunately means there isn't a lot of new visuals to show off. However I am pleased to say that it is going well, and at the moment I can successfully connect to a remote host, and properly synchronize player selections and match settings. I've also resumed work on the AI for the bots, slowly but surely making them more intelligent and giving them motivations for their actions.
On the music front, Ali and I still have weekly production sessions and all the alternate planet tracks are very close to being complete. Here's a sample of the secondary Glaciarii track (though please note that none of the tracks have gone through their final mixing and mastering phase yet), and also a little screenshot of what one of the production sessions looks like.
I'm also in the planning stages of having a presence at upcoming conventions later this year. The current alpha has been submitted to the Indie Megabooth, and I really hope it gets accepted for PAX West in Seattle! While I applied last year, it was a very early prototype and was before the Kickstarter campaign, PAX South, the positive press, being greenlit on Steam, and polish – so I hope my chances are much higher this year. The judging won't be complete until July, so keep your fingers crossed!
In other convention news, I'm happy to say that Invisigun Heroes will also have a booth at the XPO Gaming Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma (September 23-25, 2016). I met the organizers at PAX South, and they have been extremely accommodating, generous, and supportive – looking forward to it!
I'll be heading out to E3 next week to check out the madness, and hope to see and meet some of you there. If you'll be there, drop me a note!
My goal was to get the alpha version of Invisigun Heroes in the hands of the backers in early Summer, and I still stand by that. I'm working on making sure the current build is ultra stable, and I've already generated a couple thousand keys for you guys. The first drop will still be local-multiplayer only, but once it's in your hands, there will be very frequent incremental updates with new features and systems being "turned on" all the time – including online play. I want to make sure everyone gets their copies first, and the basics of the game are working for everyone, then move onto all the new features, testing, and feedback. Following the distribution, it will also be time to start working on the new heroes and maps in collaboration with you guys!
Speaking of the alpha, I've decided to give all the Kickstarter backers both DRM-Free and Steam keys. I've been integrating the development tools provided by itch.io in my build pipeline, and I love their platform's simplicity and everything their developers stand for. This means that when you get your copy, it will be a key you can redeem at itch.io, but Itch will also provide you with a Steam key as well. It's the best of both worlds, and you aren't forced to choose one over the other, and makes distribution logistically more simple on my end. Note that this is only for the backers, and all purchases post-launch will just be single keys from whichever site they buy it from.
This also means that once it's in your hands, I can explore adding a purchase widget to the website, which many of you have recommended. Itch has an interesting new Refinery program to solve the problems that plague Steam's early access system, and some developers are giving it a go – including Finji's new title Overland. In fact, I believe Finji chose to publish Overland exclusively on Itch, which is a pretty big vote of confidence.
In other gaming news, Paper Unicorn has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for their awesome-looking sci-fi game, Transmission. I've met up with the art/creative director Nathaniel West several times, and there is nothing but passion and hard work poured into this project so far. The aesthetics and design are fantastic, and reminiscent of the tones from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien/Prometheus, and Blade Runner. Check it out and show them your support!