Breaking Radio Silence

It’s been a while since we made a post about V.Next, and going quiet for too long can be discouraging and disconcerting to our players, which we of course want to avoid. We still love you!

Thus, we’re sharing a status update so you know where we stand. The TL;DR is this: We’re still making our game, it’s going to be more slim, but less expensive, than our original plan, but we still have a path to deliver on our original goal of 18 episodes of V.Next.

Now for the details. Obviously missing our Kickstarter goal was sad, but hitting our Steam Greenlight goal was great. We can ship on Steam, which is where all the players are, which is great for both them and us. In terms of funding, we’ve had to scale back a bit on our vision, but that’s fine, we expected this as a possible outcome. The obvious question is, what does V.Next look like for you, the player, when it ships?

Our artist, Sebastien, has been cranking away on character animations and settings, and I (Paul) have been coding like mad to get the game moving forward. Right now we have Vivienne walking around what we’re calling “the Hub”, which is a representative part of Seattle, from the Port, through Pioneer Square, up across the highway, to Capital Hill, including some underground sections of a Light Rail station and the Bertha Tunnel. We can enter and exit various locations, like Jackson’s hardware shop, the Metro Noir, and a bar and nightclub where various meetings with some of the more interesting characters in the game take place. We can also stand in front of a workbench, and move to Circuit Mode (where we modify hardware), or a computer and move to Code Mode (where we go online and enter cyberspace). We have achievements, save-games are saving (but not yet loading), we can start a new episode, set our settings, view the credits… a whole bunch of stuff that’s necessary for a game.

We have cut out motorcycle mode, which, based on feedback was one of the least visually appealing parts of our trailer, and in terms of gameplay, was the most superfluous. We’ve also scaled back how our missions work, but we still think they’re going to be great.

Our goal right now is to hit an Alpha (feature complete, testable) version of the game, with a single extended episode, by the end of October. That’s right around the corner, so we have a lot of work to do. Still, this will let us tweak and tune the game until we have something that’s super fun. What we’re planning on releasing will be a single episode of V.Next at a reduced price. The game will be fully playable, with an exciting single episode story, and we’re still planning on random mission generation for when that episode is over.

Here’s where you, the player, come in. If we can hit our goals for numbers of players, we can produce a bunch more episodes for free, and then complete Season 1 as a reduced cost DLC. This means that you’ll probably get about 30% of our original planned Season 1 at a very low price, and can complete all of Season 1 at a 25% discount from our original plan. What a great value! Anonymous would be delighted!

We’re going to get back on schedule for making weekly updates on our status, with some more screenshots and movies to be sure. We know this upcoming week, everyone is focused on PAX, and we really wanted to demo there or at SIX (the Seattle Indie eXpo), but that wasn’t in the cards. Still, if you see us around (we’ll be at PAX on Monday, and around town the rest of the week), say hi, and we may be able to give an in-progress demo for a few people if we have our laptop with us.

Thanks for being fans and supporters, and we’re looking forward to showing you what’s next!

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