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February 4 - Tinabeans
AND WE'RE LIVE! grin emoticon Click the link below to purchase our Early Access alpha on Steam now.
January 25 - Tinabeans
As I mentioned recently in a quick progress update on the blog, the Early Access Alpha version of Predestination is now complete. We were stumped for some time by some unexpected bugs, such as the Galaxy AI not colonising planets, some AI races not leaving their home planets or building defenses, and a bug that let you ignore ships and starbases in orbit of a planet and bomb it anyway.
We’ve even had the planet suddenly taking off and chasing ships around the map in fleet combat and user interface elements flying off the screen! Suffice to say, squashing bugs has been priority number one in the studio: we know you are patiently waiting to get your hands on the game.
We’re happy to report that Predestination’s alpha build is now all fixed and ready to go!
As promised, everyone who has pre-ordered the game or pledged to the pre-order tier or above on Kickstarter will be offered access to the Early Access before it’s launched to the public. We’ll be rolling out the Early Access release later this week, starting with emailing everyone a link to a web-installer you can launch from our own webservers.
Our beta backers ($40+) will automatically be sent a Steam download key shortly thereafter, but if you are a different kind of backer and want your copy to be delivered via Steam, please fill out the Steam Key request form. There’s some red tape to cut through before we can release on Steam and generate keys, but we’ll aim to get your keys to you by the start of next week.
Below is an updated FAQ on the rollout process, but if anyone has any other questions or concerns, please email email@example.com and let us know!
Q. What features will be in the Early Access?
A. The Early Access release is the first fully playable vertical slice of Predestination’s sandbox game mode with all of the major gameplay elements (Galaxy Management, Planetary Colonisation and Fleet Combat) tied together. You may have played the modular beta tests of each of those parts individually, but this is the first time they’re fully integrated. We’re calling this an Alpha release as it’s still missing major features, optimisations, and models. It’s also not polished and you may not necessarily find it very fun to play at this stage, and it may still contain some bugs that prevent play on some computer systems.
We’re releasing it as an Early Access release now because it’s ready for feedback from all of our supporters and to begin the iteration process. In the next few days, we’ll be starting a live updated development thread including a report of all the features that are in the early access version and those that are still to be added at a later date. The thread will help everyone keep track of development progress and what’s coming in the next big version update so that we’re 100% transparent and keep fans informed.
Q. How much will the Early Access cost?
A. In order to be fair to our existing backers who have supported us so kindly at such as early development stage, we’ve decided to make the Early Access version and the final release price higher than the Kickstarter pre-order tier and price. We’re considering a price point of £25 GBP or $30 USD, which matches up with other indie space 4X launch prices and works out to 50-60% more than Kickstarter backers paid after tax. This will also ensure that previous backers will have paid less for the game even if we go on sale up to 33% off. As we’ve previously promised, the Free DLC For Life offer that most existing backers bought into will not be offered again as this was an exclusive bonus only offered while we were on Kickstarter and at QCon. Paypal pre-orders were also stopped this month.
Q. Do Beta backers get anything extra now that we’re entering Early Access?
A. Beta backers will continue to get access to major updates shortly before anyone else, including beta access to all DLC packs, the 3D Ship Designer tool, and any modding and mission designer tools we create. In order to make sure all Beta tier backers from our Kickstarter campaigns got good value for money, we deliberately added a second bonus pre-order copy of the game to that tier. As we recently announced, we’re also upgrading that copy to a full free-dlc-for-life copy as our way of saying thank-you for helping us refine the gameplay up to this point.
Thanks once again for all of your support! If you’re a backer, keep an eye out for our email later in the week for your link to the Early Access and instructions on getting started!
— Tina, Co-Director @ Brain and Nerd
January 30, 2014 - Tinabeans
Join Brendan Drain and I live in 2 minutes as we see in the final hours of the Predestination 3D ship designer Kickstarter!
It's not too late to pledge, but time is quickly running out! Help us hit our $20k stretch goal: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nyphur/predestination-3d-ship-designer-a-turn-based-space
December 20, 2013 - Tinabeans
Our second Kickstarter, this time to raise funds for our 3D ship designer, is now live!
In our recent one-year catchup interview with sci-fi game site SpaceSector, we revealed that work had begun on a new 3D Ship Designer for Predestination. The ship designer was one of the big unrevealed stretch goals in our original Kickstarter campaign that we didn't reach, and we've been looking for a way to make it happen ever since. We're happy to announce that this feature has now been made possible thanks to a £10,000 grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland! Lorraine McDowell, Director of Operations at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, had this to say about the project:
“At the Arts Council we want to put our support firmly behind local businesses and to help them develop and transform their creative ideas into commercial success. The source of our wealth, job creation and economic competitiveness here in Northern Ireland is shifting to our burgeoning creative sector and we need to make businesses such as Brain and Nerd as well equipped as possible to compete at the forefront of the global market. As such, we were delighted to have the opportunity to support this 3D ship designer project that will help take the already successful Predestination sci-fi game to a whole new level.”
A quick Q&A on the ship designer and how it relates to Predestination as a whole:
Q. Will work on the 3D Ship Designer slow down progress on Predestination?
A. No, it shouldn't! We have hired an additional developer named Lugh who is currently dedicated to working on the 3D Ship Designer. I am still laser-focused on the core Predestination game and work is progressing on the galaxy-level gameplay.
Q. When will Predestination launch?
A. Last year we set a tentative launch window for digital delivery to backers of the end of 2013 or Q1 2014. We've since made a ton of progress and we believe can now more accurately pin down a release date. We're now aiming to release the first combined beta (all the core gameplay together) to backers by the end of January 2014, and launch the finished game in March 2014. We are of course dedicated to making sure the game is solid and polished before release, and will delay launch if backers don't think it's ready for the general public at that time.
Q. Why is the 3D Ship Designer project's goal so low?
A. We've only asked for $3,500 for the ship designer because the project is already funded, so our first goal is basically the first stretch goal. You've already funded Predestination and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has provided the £10,000 we needed to produce a basic ship designer. The kickstarter is to add some new features, and to give more people the opportunity to pre-order the game if they missed it last year. If it doesn't get funded, we'll still have the 3D ship designer in the game, but it won't be quite so flashy.
Q. What can I do to help?
A. The most important thing for us right now is to just get the word out there. It's been a year since you helped us succeed in the original Kickstarter campaign, and there are plenty of fresh-faced 4X fans out there who would love to hear about Predestination. This is their last chance to become a kickstarter backer before the game is released. You can help by posting links to the kickstarter on any forums or gaming communities you frequent, sharing the project on social media platforms.
Perhaps more importantly, you can help by sending tips on the game to any gaming news sites and blogs you read. We've mostly been covered by small indie blogs so far, and a few minutes of your time sending tips to the larger gaming media sites could make all the difference in the world and help us bring Predestination to a much larger audience.
November 1, 2013 - Tinabeans
Another hundred games were Greenlit yesterday, which means we’re now about 96% of the way into the top 100 remaining projects. Valve seems to be greenlighting games in large batches, so we need your help to push us as far up the list as possible before the next batch hits. You can help by sharing the Greenlight link on your social networks and sending gaming news sites tips on Predestination and why you think it deserves coverage.
Predestination will be sold by direct download with no DRM as promised, but getting greenlit would let us also release on Steam and access a huge market, giving us the funds to continue developing and produce free updates as well as DLC and expansions.
A huge thank-you from Brain and Nerd to everyone who has supported us so far!