Next Stop, Steam
I don’t know how long or coherent this week’s newsletter will be as we’re all in Early Access crunch mode, and I can barely focus on anything other than the Steam launch checklist. There is a ton of writing and doc creation that Eric and I are largely handling while Kola and Mike are neck deep in game development and progressing very nicely.
I can’t tell you how wonderful it is for me that those two guys can get together without me and get great work done. Someday I’ll have to show you the development progress videos Mike was sending us as he worked on pinning. Started off as the most hilarious mess of body parts flying everywhere through the mat and endless kickout attempts with the helpless defender hopelessly stuck to the mat unless we hit the ESC key. Just a few hours later Mike had things looking like a wrestling game again and once Kola jumped in with animation help we had pinning “working” that day.
But I’ve really been a hard ass about what we’re shipping with Early Access. On one hand we naturally want to show everything we’ve got and make the best first impression in terms of content depth. But on the other hairy hand I want to make sure that all of you joining us for Early Access can truly help shape the core feel of the game that exists with just the basic movement, striking, and grappling.
So I’ve made the call that we strip absolutely everything out of the initial Early Access build that isn’t essential to testing those mechanics. No cages, scaffolds, crowds (we have one, just haven’t shown it yet), or more than one strike and grapple move. I didn’t even want them to spend time making the credits page.
I made sure we have a development build to launch on Early Access that starts with the most important basic movement, striking, grappling, and a grapple move. The essential heart of any great wrestling game. THIS is where the fun of any good wrestling game lives. THIS is where we are developing right now. THIS is where any wrestling gamer wants to start having input on development. The timing, the pacing, the feel.
Once you guys dig in with us and this core is solid we can add all the other content back in. And with our Steam updating mechanism already working perfectly for us you can expect the updates to begin rolling out sooner than most games on Steam ever update.
So if you’re expecting a Steam key because of the Kickstarter tier you backed, you’re on the Hero List, etc. please don’t feel you need to purchase our Early Access release. A key will be coming to you! We just don’t know how quickly the key gen process works with Steam.
If you’d like to get instant access and pay the $9.99 instead of waiting THANK YOU, but please make sure you let us know. We keep a running tally of how much money everyone has ever given us via pre orders, donations, even old t-shirt orders. Someday we’d like to send special gifts to those who have been especially generous over the years.
So, please, let us know if you go above and beyond by purchasing the Early Access release. Steam keys will be posted to the Hero Website as soon as things are ready to roll. Likely starting with a small test group and then adding more and more as we become confident that the process works and the game itself isn’t suffering from some exotic new bug stew. Better to screw up in front of 50 people than 500.
One last time, DON’T BUY PWX EARLY ACCESS if you are looking for a complete game. Our initial Early Access game will be a teeny weeny little experience on day one with perhaps all sorts of untold bugs and horrific Botchamania level glitches (We’ll hold a glitch video contest! With prizes! And booze!) and is only meant for people who truly want to see a wrestling game get developed and have their voices heard.
At any rate, FINALLY wrestling is coming to Steam! And to think, it was done NOT by a big publisher with millions of dollars and a WWE license. Rather, it was done by YOU. One vote at a time on Greenlight, no front page headlines or retweeting favors from celebrities. And all in support of some big mouthed ding-dong Canadian and a crew of rebels with nothing but a collective middle finger for the status quo and a dream to rattle the cage door.
Thank you. Thank all of you. If you know me, you know you can trust me to never quit. Never give up. Pro Wrestling X may have made a healthy batch of mistakes over the years but that’s because we never stopped trying to DO THINGS in SPITE of those mistakes. I’ve learned more than I thought there was to learn. Thank you for trusting Pro Wrestling X. We won’t let you down…not forever, anyway 😉
Here we go!
In the meantime and in between time, that’s it, another edition of Wrestling Gamers United.