Many of you have been frustrated by the recent string of delays; not only for the DLC, but for seemingly simple bug fixes, and for other miscellaneous updates. We understand this is especially frustrating since in the past we had been putting out updates bi-weekly (some with significant changes!), and for this we sincerely apologize. With things finally back on track we felt it important to be a bit more transparent, and to that end we will shed some light on the reasons behind the delays and as well as share details on future updates (WHICH ARE STILL FREE TO ALL THOSE WHO OWN CONTAGION!). We are excited for the coming weeks and months and you should be too!
In case anyone is unfamiliar, the last update for the game was on October 10th, while our first Free DLC Bundle was planned for a Q4 2014 release. Unfortunately, behind the scenes we were dealing with a severe breakdown in communication and morale, fueled largely by exhaustion.
We're not a large team, and no one wishes to express their frustration or admit feeling burned-out to friends and this is especially true when their friend is also their "boss". When these situations arise they tend to boil-over quickly, so when a well loved member of the team abruptly left to pursue other interests, we had a bit of an avalanche effect. By the end of the week we lost half our team, including Dec Doyle, our Lead and only programmer at the time. While losing Dec did set us back, I have to add that he did an exceptional job of sticking around to make sure ZombieFest went off without a hitch and is still a well respected and loved friend. Shortly after that, one of the partners and our only Composer & Sound Designer departed (Will get into more later to explain the OST).
Fortunately, experience has taught us to be prepared and so we had the resources to replace many of the vacant positions, with the exception of a reliable Programmer and Composer & Sound Designer though the latter not being as urgent as we had most of the sound work completed. Frustratingly this was not the case for programmer position, and as luck would have it we ended up spending months bleeding money, hiring several individuals in a row who did not work out. It was at this point that our luck started to turn around, and we came into contact with Robert Gatson, a 20+ year Industry veteran. With a great knowledge of software development, designing Engines, excellent team building skills, and a strong interest in our current and future titles, he was/is a perfect fit.
With everything looking as good as it does, I'd love to give you a date for the Free DLC Bundle. In the spirit of not creating any more false hopes however, we can't give a solid date. We can say that we have every intention and reason to believe it will be out before the end of February. Following the DLC, we fully expect to be able to pump out bug fixes and updates at the pace many of you have come to enjoy in the past.
While Both Alex and I take full responsibility for having let you guys down, I can't express how happy we are to have the team we currently have, and especially to the community who has believed in us and showed us great patience. Thank you all, and hope you all will forgive us and join us as we move forward!
The Original Soundtrack
There were once three "Members/Partners/Owners" of Monochrome, LLC (now Monochrome, Inc as we became a S-Corp) Alex Wright, Ulrich Gollick, and myself. In the months leading up to his departure, Ulrich had seemed distracted but he always kept up with his audio work. As part of the team disintegrated, it became clear that Ulrich was also feeling displeased with the way things were going (not just with the team, but several other factors as well). Shortly thereafter things finally came to a head, and Ulrich resigned. Ulrich was still in sole possession of the audio source files and projects neglecting to provide them for months with repeated requests but we put too much trust into his integrity.
A month later we were contacted by a legal representative on behalf of our former partner, demanding a sum of money that would have not only left the company in such state as unable to move forward, but was foremost based off such an insane understanding of our partners agreement that it might as well have been based on a complete work of fiction. Later on, It came to be understood that he was effectively holding the audio files hostage in return for his demanded payout.
At the time, Alex and I were amazed and blown away, never expecting this from someone we very recently called a friend. The best we could do was offer to hear him out and try to understand where he was coming from or why he believed he should be paid for what he had no claim or legal right to, and if possible come to some sort of reasonable terms and get our files back. Sadly he responded stubbornly with "all or nothing". As suggested by our General Counsel we are no longer able to communicate until all assets have been reacquired in their original state (not a huge concern, see below) and it's been made clear that we are open to discussion but do not admit to his nonsensical claims. Good news is, we still have the MP3's and will likely have our current Composer & Sound Designer pull the rest and provide a quality OST for the fans.
There was no way to hide this members name based off his former status and work but again we strongly believe it's important that you guys know the facts and what we've had to do to deliver what you guys deserve. There will be an Official OST release at some point!
Free DLC Bundle
While we're very confident with February some of you have been eagerly waiting for a good while and so we'd like to share with you some media that is intentional set at 620 width so that you can truly appreciate it more so in-game. We have so much to show you that we wouldn't to fit in on a dozen posts but hope you appreciate this little bit!
4 New Characters
4 New Weapons
2 New Maps
1 New Game-Mode
CF_ (Flatline Game-Mode) is a cooperative survival wave-based mode where your goal is to survive as long as possible (with a potential final fight). Unlike the other game modes, you do not return as a zombie when you die. When you get got, you end up in a unique "Medical Triage" location that zombies can only enter if all players perish, thus losing the round. However as long as there is one 1 living survivor at the end of a wave, all players will spawn outside the Triage and can then prepare for the next wave. Each successive wave becomes more and more difficult, and as waves come to pass, access to new area opens up. This gives the horde new ways to reach you, as well as a chance to rescue AI survivors (they must survive the wave as well!) who will provide a cache of helpful items for the upcoming wave. Ultimately we are still striving for a unique game each and every time without any predictable patterns or spawns while also allowing for the environments to change as well.
Some other things to prepare for
-The Contagion Team
Contagion - Steam Store
Contagion - Humble Bundle Store[www.humblebundle.com]