First of all, apologies for the lack of updates here. We’ve actually got plenty of news to announce, so without too much babbling:
Thea is now available on Humble Store and Greenman Gaming (also on Steam, but that’s hardly news). GoG, even though many people asked for it, declined having the game on their store. It is a bit sad, but there’s not much we can do. Still, we want to make the game DRM-free after 1.0 release, so you’ll be able to play it on any PC, without Steam client or Internet connection.
Another thing is that we have started cooperation with IMGN.PRO, who will be coordinating sales of PC version on all platforms not mentioned above. More news relating to this will be revealed in the near future, but we’re very excited about this!
And the last, but not least – we have set a date of release from Early Access! Those of you who spend a lot of time on our Community Hub on Steam may already now it’s happening this month. We’ll be announcing the date on 13th Nov with some pretty artwork, but hopefully Yuuki doesn’t kill me if I spill the beans that it’s 20 November 😀
I would also mention all the improvements and updates for Thea that were added in the last weeks, but the list would get too long for its own good. So in short – new map navigation, improved UI navigation and panel accessibility, new card game backgrounds, tons of fixes and tweaks in every aspect of the game. If you really want to read the whole thing – head over to Steam forums and News section.
A week has passed since we launched Thea so I though I’d write a short summary.
When launching, we really had no idea what to expect. We’re a small team with no previous Steam releases. We’ve got small (but fantastic) community following the production, but our social reach is quite limited. Thea is an innovative game but it does need some work in many areas – UI, balance, help system – to name a few. There are bugs and spiders and other nasties lurking in many places we had no idea existed.
So when we hit the Publish button and all the positive reviews started coming in, it really put a big smile on our faces. At the time of writing this post, we’ve got 78 reviews and 76 of them are positive (so 97%). I spent the entire week replying to requests from youtubers and review sites. We’ve pushed 8 updates fixing stuff (also managed to break the game for a couple hours :P). We’ve got lots of feedback and requests from the community, and the community we’ve got is absolutely fantastic!
Right now we’re preparing a new update, that, among other things, adds the ability to reshuffle cards before a challenge.
Also, a number of people asked us when will they be able to buy Thea on GOG.com. For the game to be considered by their marketing department, they need to see there is a demand for it. So if you’d rather buy the game there – please support us by leaving your vote on their website.
Our friends at eXplorminate have just finished their first series about Thea. Currently there are five 15-20 min episodes covering basics of gathering, crafting, research, combat (card game) and a couple events. Available from their YouTube channel:
All players wondering if Thea is something they might like – check this out.
Thanks to Troy Costisick for this awesome material, hope to see more!
Just a quick, but a very important note – Thea: The Awakening will be released on Steam Early Access on Monday, 28th September! We all can’t wait to show to game to you, although we are aware there still may be bugs and things missing a layer of polish. We hope that the community will provide some much needed feedback and help us improve the game. For 7 days after the release there will be a 10% discount on the game price too!
Also remember to visit our booth if you’re on EGX 24-27 September in Birmingham! We’ll be giving out game codes and other goodies and presenting the beta of course.
So we’ve had a couple reports from our beta testers that sometimes the terrain on the map is all black with only 3D models and trees visible. We were familiar with the issue but ignored it until recently, simply because we though “naah, who still uses those old DX 9 cards anyway”. Indeed, most of the users now have at least DX11 cards, it’s been around for a good while now and most of the players bough a new hardware in the meantime. But, to our surprise, some DX10 cards reported they are DX11, but didn’t quite support the things required to render our terrain. This was a serious issue, as according to Steam, there are some 20% of players still on DX10. All these players wouldn’t be able to play Thea, and would probably ask for a refund and/or post a negative review. Unacceptable, even for Early Access.
So, Khash did some coding magic (checking Shader Model version, among other things) and now we have a fully functional game on older cards. Well, almost, he still needs to fix the map markers that don’t appear. But that’s 5 minutes work at most 😉 Here’s a screenshot comparing both modes:
Another thing – Thea was selected, as 1 of 17 finalists, for Pixel.Awards as part of Pixel Heaven 2015, happening 25-27th September in Warsaw. We are thrilled, as the competition this year is world class. So – for those who won’t attend EGX in Birmingham, Pixel Heaven will be another chance to try Thea out before release. Keep your fingers crossed too, as there are awards given in 6 categories!
You may have noticed lack of updates over the last month. This is due to holidays the person making updates was on (and also the fact that she has forgotten to write an update before she left). Now the holidays are over and me and Khash are back to work. And there’s lots to work on too. Next week we want to make a very serious decision regarding a publisher. We have narrowed down our options but there are still a couple things to discuss and we are still not sure if having one is the best idea. On one hand – the publisher takes care of many things and some can provide access to high visibility areas. On the other hand – saying goodbye to a big chunk of your income for possible, but not guaranteed results is a leap of faith that may or may not end up well for us. Each approach has its own pros and cons but we could certainly use some help with getting to the players our there.
Last month we also started some bigger scale user testing to get that valuable feedback regarding many aspects of gameplay. The feedback is coming in now, so the last four weeks before releasing on Steam Early Access on 28th of September will be spent on eliminating as many bugs as possible, adding interface tweaks and balancing gameplay.
If you follow our facebook page, we have announced our presence on EGX Rezzed Zone in Birmingham, UK, from 24 to 27 September. We will show off a playable game and you’ll have a chance to grab some nice giveaways, including Steam keys of Thea! Visit our boot in the Rezzed Zone if you’ll there.
Ladies and gentleman, Thea: The Awakening has been selected as one of the finalists of Indie Game Contest 2015 (part of Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival). The game will be presented on the festival which will take place in Strasbourg between 18 and 27 September. The winner will be announced on the last day, keep your fingers crossed for Thea!
We’ve got a good one for you today. It’s one of those bugs, that we’ll remember and mention as an anecdote for the next year.
So, our testers noticed that some certain buildings sometimes disappear. They build it one day, and then sometime later – gone. Khash tracked it today and turned out these buildings were built from “Food” as one of the ingredients and so, as our mechanics normally does, were attached a “Food” tag to them. This way, such building turned up on the villagers’ menu along with other food items and the first fellow that fancied a fresh Pasture sandwich just chomped on it, removing it from the buildings list.
Unfortunately, this “feature” was removed, the villager told off and buildings taken off the menu.
Among other things, we’ve added a screen, where the player can restrict usage of certain food or fuel items if they need to save it for another purpose.
Before I start with anything else, just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the deadline for sending your entries for our Short Slavic Story Competition so be quick! Prizes are waiting!
Now for a a quick summary of what our team has been up to over the last 2 weeks:
Music and some sounds are finally in! I must admit, that even though it’s far from being complete, it has improved the overall feel greatly. Many thanks to Nik from murmur for providing fantastic music!
Navigation has been re-designed. Initially we were after the same mechanics that was done for Civilization V but once we almost had it done, it turned out it doesn’t really work too well in our game. Thea is a different game after all. We borrowed some solutions though and visual feedback is a lot better than before. Have a look:
Resource icons – we have added the option to preview all resources on scouted hexes, so it’s easier to look for a specific resource
Card Minigame has received a new and improved AI so it uses its Tactical hand more often and more sensibly (but not only that)
Many other minor tweaks, changes and bugfixes.
So yes, we’re being busy. And today we’re submitting the game to Indie Game Contest 2015, so keep your fingers crossed 🙂