I am well aware that just recently our contributions to keeping you all up-to-date have been thin on the ground – borderline non-existent (compounded by the - temporary - suspension of our Twitch output)... Apologies for this. So, it’s about time I gave you all some insight into what’s currently occurring here in Carma central.
Over the past couple of months, what's previously just been a very highly pressured dev timetable for the studio has reached yet another level of high pressure, as the team strove to hit our internally set Alpha date (which we've now done - but not made any announcement about, the reasons for which I will come to shortly). Hitting Alpha has also relied on some MAJOR code re-writes, which have all been part of the push to improve performance. Included in this is some deep work on the shaders, which then knocks on to all the materials that are in the game, which then need to be modified, and so on, and the knock-on of this is that we spend yet more significant time with a game that, while progressing, is either performing or looking worse than it did the day before and continues to do so for an extended period.
And so it remains the case that the single most difficult aspect of this development has been that we all agreed, way back when, to re-write Beelzebub (our own all-singing all-dancing engine tech) at the same time as developing the game. Would we make that decision if we were starting again now? Almost certainly not. But at the time, there was no middleware solution(s) out there that were good enough to achieve what we wanted (I'm pretty sure I've said most of this before - so, apologies for repeating myself).
So as I said, we hit the internal Alpha date and have given ourselves another compressed timescale to get to Beta. But the work leading to a successful Alpha has still left the game currently needing a whole stack of data changes to make it all come together and finally work as designed. And that's why we haven't made any big noise about it.
Meanwhile, our lead programmer - having finally got a window to work on it - is flat out improving the AI, and a group of us (me and Patrick included) has moved on to the small matter of gameplay balancing (for instance, I'm about to get on with the final placement of all the PowerUps in all the events, and by that I mean actually doing it, not pointing at a map and giving orders!).
So, that's a bit of summary of where we're at, and as you've all been speculating, we're now looking at "in the New Year" as our new completion date. But this also means we're currently in busy discussion on the publishing side of the fence too (self-publishing still being a relatively new role for us, one which we are still gaining experience in and so to a certain extent making up as we go along!). So, right now I'm not in a position to make any firm pronouncement on the new release date - and to be completely honest, I don't see that announcement actually coming until early next year.
I’d like to end by reiterating our truly massive lurve for you all, and our appreciation for all the support we get from you guys – because even when there’s grumbling going on it’s clearly just born out of your frustration at wanting to see something new and actually get to play the finished game, and I’m with you 100% on that sentiment, as is the whole team!
Anyway, we’re committed to reinstating the Streams as soon as the builds allow, so we can start to tease you all with the large amount of new content that’s now in the game and reinvigorate anticipation for the game! Plus we’ll have new comps coming along, and a programme of new tasters and so on into the New Year.