We have some big news to release today! I'll give you the short version first, and if you're interested in reading the whole thing you can scroll down and do that.
Beyond the hype and press (see below), our wonderful experience at PAX taught us a lot of things... things we didn't even expect we could learn at an expo. The biggest amongst these things is simple: People. Want. Online. Multiplayer. We knew this, of course, but we didn't realize truly how much more important it was than everything else. After seeing how Rocket League and SpeedRunners have had such success with matchmaking, we realized that we need to put all of our focus on the online multiplayer and on matchmaking (eventually). This means putting the single player experience on the back-burner for now.
You wanted online multiplayer, and we're listening. Beyond that, we came to the realization that what we have is good, and people love it. We should refine what we have and make it accessible for people to play together online, and make sure that we focus 100% of our efforts on the game experience you know and love.
Because of this, we've decided to stop working on the single player mode, despite it being interesting and fun to play. We realized that the experience, while fun, isn't the truest Ultimate Chicken Horse experience and might be included in later patches but shouldn't prevent us from having the time / resources to create the perfect multiplayer experience.
Ultimate Chicken Horse hype?
Pretty sweet to be attracting this attention, and we're thrilled that both the media and non-media PAX goers liked the game. In the next little while I imagine the press will die down, and it'll reignite a month before launch (if our marketing plan is carried out as we're planning).
So what's the plan now?
Well, on the game side, we're doing a few things. We're focusing on online multiplayer, which means Alex is banging his head against network code for a while. It's notoriously tricky and with new updates to the game engine we're using, it means there isn't much help to be found online.
Given that we're putting the single player off for now, it gives Richard time to step away from level design and focus more on business, creating a marketing plan, deal with Kickstarter rewards, sort out fun fun taxes, and work on design.
Above you can see our tree-house lobby, which has served us well so far. What we're aiming for in Ultimate Chicken Horse is a fully playable menu system so that players can choose everything on the menu:
- Local or online
- Choice of character
- Choice of level
- Choice of game mode
- Options within a game mode
Apart from the lobby work, we'll need to work on the Sandbox mode and work on user interface to make everything clear and wonderful. Lots to do before launching in February! We've also been talking to the console folks and discussing our plan for launch on the different consoles... we'll keep you posted!
What about our Kickstarter rewards?
Aha! We haven't forgotten about you. The Beta keys are being sent out today or tomorrow, and the T-shirts are shipping in the next two weeks. I know we wanted to ship the shirts earlier but PAX jumped up in our faces, then Kyler hopped off on vacation and we had too much stuff to do! They're coming though, never fear.
The non-physical rewards, such as the "design-a-block" or "design-a-level" are being fulfilled slowly, but are happening. We would rather talk to one or two people at a time and get it done quickly with them rather than talk to everyone and have people wait months before getting a response. Don't worry though, we're very conscious of our Kickstarter backers and we're going to be contacting you soon, once everyone is back at the office.
How do I stay informed?
We won't likely be making any major marketing pushes in the next little while, but I write articles or development blog updates here on our site every week, so that's a good way to find out what's happening. Alternatively, you can sign up to our development newsletter, which goes out every few weeks and keeps you updates with progress. Not a fan of newsletters? Try our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or just receive an email when the game launches.
Keep in touch! We love to hear from you :)