Saturday, May 31, 2014

Backstage Pass Weekly Update 04

Great news, gang! Backstage Pass is now available for Early Access on Steam. We've been working really hard to get here, and and we couldn't have done it without all the incredible support from all of you. Thank you!

Click here to visit the official Steam Store page.

For those of you who pre-ordered Backstage Pass, fill out this handy form for your free Steam Key!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Backstage Pass Weekly Update 03


If you've been following us on twitter, you already knew this was coming. It's the packaging for the standard edition and it's super pretty!

A few other news items for you: A game update should be coming soon. I've got a couple days of uninterrupted work coming up (fingers crossed), so I'm hoping to finally catch up on stuff. Our Steam early access is also prepped and waiting for Valve to approve it. I don't know how long that will take, but hopefully it'll be soon!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Backstage Pass Weekly Update 02


Not much news this week, but we've got some good things to cover, including an important question.

First off, the life situation is starting to get a little better. It still hasn't left me with much time to work on Backstage Pass, but it looks like things are starting to work out. Fingers crossed. Backstage Pass is now running fine on Steam. Early Access should start soon.

AND, physical editions are currently being worked on. Hopefully by next week I'll be able to give you a preview of the standard edition featuring new original artwork by tooaya.

We're also working on the special edition right now, and this is where I need feedback from you guys. Right now, the special edition includes the following:
- The game (duh)
- CD of the OST
- CD of Adam Eaton's EP, "Island Heart"
- Companion book with designs, sketches, info, and other stuff
- Five character postcards
- Codes for Steam and Desura

As it stands, I'm not sure how many copies I should have made, so I need a show of hands to get an idea of how many people are interested in having a special edition. Right now I'm being told the final price will be around $70 each, but if we get a lot of people interested, they can lower the price, and I think we would all really like that.

Edit: Anyone who pre-orders will have the option to upgrade for the price difference. You won't be required to buy the entire thing again.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Backstage Pass Weekly Update 01


Spent most of this week working on the hidden routes, so not too many screencaps to share. Except the above one, which means exactly what you think it means. The original plan was to release an update with all the routes at the same time, but chances are we'll do one at a time. Also managed to hunt down a few bugs. Fixes will go up with the next beta update.

Also did a little bit of work on our Steam port. If we're lucky, we can get Early Access up for you cool people too. We've got some fun achievements lined up (that may or may not include cupcakes), and I'm trying to figure out trading cards - if anyone has any requests or ideas for trading cards, feel free to leave a comment.

All in all, didn't get as much work done as I had hoped this week, but we look set to have a new route available soon!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Backstage Pass Updates


Alright, gang. It's the start of May, the latest beta update still isn't out, and I'm sure most of you are wondering what's up with Backstage Pass. Well, this is the post I hoped I wouldn't have to make, but  it's an important one. First off, don't panic, everything's going to be okay. It's just going to take a little longer than we had hoped.

So where are we when it comes to finishing Backstage Pass? Pretty darn far, actually. Our talented team members have all finished their respective jobs - be sure to thank Lulin, Graeme, and Marc. I've also clocked in 15+ hours in the studio and online with the voice actors (with many more to come). So what does that leave? It leaves putting it all together, fixing bugs, and adding extra content in places that all you excellent beta testers have found to drag on too much. A big task, but a doable one, and two weeks ago, one I was on track to finish by today.

These past two weeks have been very unexpected weeks.

When people ask for advice on making visual novels, I generally suggest padding the schedule to make sure you've got emergency time for unexpected events. What if a relative dies? What if work suddenly adds more hours to your schedule? What if you get sick? However, it never occurred to me to plan for what to do if every emergency happens at the same time. That's kind of where I am right now.

At the moment, I can't share details, since other people are involved who might want to be more private, but I'm juggling several work and personal things.Things are mostly under control now, which is why I've finally found time to sit down and write this post. However, the temporary solution has cut down the amount of time I have to work on Backstage Pass. In the past, I was able to get close to a full work day in every day. Right now, I'm getting 1-2 hours a day if I'm lucky.

What does that mean for Backstage Pass? It means we'll get it done, but the schedule's going to change a bit. We could probably slap a little plaster on it and release it now, but everyone on the team wants this to be a game you guys will love for years to come, so we're not going to take that path. I'll be posting weekly updates to keep you guys in the loop, so please look forward to those.

In the meantime, a huge thanks to all of you guys for supporting us so far. Your words of encouragement and enthusiasm have been amazing. Thanks to the beta testers for being so thorough in helping us make this game great. Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered (because of you, I was able to divert an especially nasty crisis). And thanks to anyone reading this. You guys all rock, and we're going to make sure this game rocks too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We're Doing Edutainment!


I'm super excited to announce that our next major project will be an edutainment (educational entertainment) visual novel. We're hoping to reach pre-school audiences with lessons in things like shapes, colors, and numbers. But for our normal fanbase, worry not! Our trademark storytelling with deep plots and suspenseful twists is still here, so you can still enjoy the story! I can't wait to reveal more details, but I'm sure you guys will love this new direction we're taking, and we're hoping our games will be played in every classroom across the world!

Sprite: Deji
Background: JakeBowkett

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Backstage Pass 0.4a Beta Up


The Backstage Pass beta has been given a content update, so if you're currently testing the beta with us, please re-download the file from your confirmation email.

Important: Due to the extra content, old saves are not compatible with the new version. To delete a save file, hover your mouse over the save thumbnail (in the game) and press the 'delete' key on your keyboard.

This update includes:
-Opening video animation
-Bug fixes
-Typo fixes
-Additional scenes for each of the main four guys and the alone path
-Updated GUI
-Updated extras: Endings list and media gallery (music room/video player)

Bugs we're still chasing:
-Quickmenu still works during the scheduler portion
-CG gallery crashes on certain CGs
-Keyboard functions don't work on certain screens (like wardrobe)

Any bug reports (including typos) should be posted on our official forum here.

Many thanks to all of you guys for your hard work so far. We're really excited about how great everything is looking already!