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.


Ashley Avery said...

Your real life is more important then my game life. Thanks for being dedicated to quality!

I hope things work out well for you and I will look forward to the game when you have it ready.

Love you guys!

Michael said...

I hope everything works out for you, the team and the family and friends involved soon. Take as much time as you need, wishing you all the best.

Although I agree the beta is in pretty good shape right now, I also agree that the best route is to take the time to make the game you really wanted to make up to the standards you want.

With this being your first Steam game, and by extension your first game getting put out to a potentially mass audience, I think it's especially important to make the absolute best game you can make.

When some of my Steam friends play some of the visual novels that are getting released there and are just sort of bleh about it (not naming names!) I always tell them not to judge the genre by those and that Sakevisual games are the best. They're highly polished, professionally voice acted, have lots of choice and are fun. I try to hype you guys up when I can.

Anyhow, again wishing you the best. Do what you can. Make lemonade out of life and all that stuff.