There are few things scarier to a game developer than the thought of releasing a game that slips under the radar. More and more amazing indie games are coming out every year, making it increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. As we’ve gotten farther in the development process of Chasm, we’ve had to start thinking more seriously about things like marketing, PR, business development, and merchandising. We know that properly handling these aspects is just as important as making a good game, and for this reason we have decided to partner up with Dan Adelman.
As the former head of Nintendo of America’s digital distribution business, Dan helped bring hundreds of titles to Nintendo platforms. Earlier this year he decided to strike out on his own, and began looking for upcoming indie games that could use his expertise. The amazing Metroidvania Axiom Verge was announced as his first project this past fall, and we’re excited to announce that Chasm will be his second. Dan will be helping primarily with business and marketing, allowing us to focus on delivering a quality title to the broadest audience possible. Please join us in welcoming Dan to the team!
I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for playing through the alpha builds of the game – sometimes multiple times – and writing up a ton of constructive feedback. You have made Chasm far better than it would have been if it were developed in a vacuum, and your support has made it possible for us to keep focusing on delivering on that vision we set out to achieve years ago.
We’re strong believers that alpha access should have really clear goals. In our case, it was to foster a community of like-minded gamers who shared our passion for Chasm and to get early feedback on the gameplay to make sure the game is as good as it can be. We feel like we’ve achieved both of these goals. As a result, we don’t want to muddy the waters by adding more people, so we’ve taken down the link to purchase access to the alpha. The next time people will have an opportunity to buy the game is when the game is finished.
Also, as a team, we recently took a step back and asked ourselves how we want to deliver this game to our earliest and most enthusiastic supporters as well as newcomers who may not have even heard of Chasm. Our original plan when we developed the Kickstarter was to hold Alpha Access roughly 6-8 weeks before the final release of the game. At the end of this past summer, we decided it was time to get something out to you all to play, both as a sanity check and for an initial round of feedback. The idea to cut the game up into releasable chunks sounded great (and we liked that it would help keep us on track), but we’ve come to realize that things really aren’t so cut and dry. Everything becomes much more intertwined in the second half of the game, and attempting to separate out content and get things polished enough to release will only slow us down in the long run. Therefore, we believe it is in the project’s best interest for us to churn through the content for the remaining areas before opening things back up. This will allow us to focus on the game as a whole instead of in chunks, and also ensures you have fresh eyes and the excitement to play non-stop when the full game is finally released.
We will have one last alpha build to share with everyone next month. Rather than spoil some of the upcoming secrets, we wanted to show you the impact you had on the game by showing you the two areas you’ve already seen, but modified based on your feedback. Some of the feedback that we’ve implemented includes:
- Gear customization with elemental Gems
- Slot-based Save Game system
- Hanging Lights to break for Gold and Mana
- Sealed Passages for shortcuts inside sub-areas
- New Catacombs Miniboss and Enemies
- Reverted Essence to separate XP and Gold systems
- Reverted to auto-leveling with game determined stat increases
- Removed Auto-Saving and XP drop on death (now reloads last save)
- Improved Enemy behaviors and added respawning over time
- Improved room layouts with less punishing platforming and more combat
- Spells “flattened” so all will stay useful as you progress (collect them all!)
In addition to this last alpha build, we are planning on releasing the final build a few weeks early to our alpha backers as a way of thanking you for your support and enthusiasm. Our current timeline has us shipping sometime around Summer 2015. (Of course, these things are notoriously difficult to predict. Our plan is to ship the game when it is ready.) For those who are interested, we will continue posting about the progress we are making with development so you can stay abreast of any news, and we will of course maintain a presence on our forums.
The end is still a bit of a ways away, but it’s definitely in sight! The game is coming together better than any of us had any right to expect, so we can’t wait to show it to you when it’s good and ready!
Woah – it’s almost that time everyone! We’re super excited to get out the first alpha build of Chasm for everyone to check out. We know there’s a lot of questions, so we’ve tried to compile everything together here for reference. Let’s do it!
Q. When is it coming?!
The keys will be released on your Humble downloads page at 1PM EST on September 18th.
Q. How do I get it?
To get your Steam key, enter your Kickstarter or Humble pre-order email address on the Humble Key Resender. They will send you a link to the page that contains your Chasm downloads.
Q. What’s all included?
The initial release will contain the first two of the game’s six total areas. Our goal is to get out the remaining areas at the pace of around one a month throughout the fall and winter. The initial release includes both Normal and Hardcore game modes (no Leaderboard support yet though).
Q. What platforms is it playable on?
Windows, Mac, Linux, and Steambox should all work just fine.
Q. Is it DRM-free?
No, you will need Steam to participate in the alpha. The final release will however go out as both DRM-Free and Steam.
Q. I didn’t back the Kickstarter, can I still get in on it?
Yep! The Silver pre-order at chasmgame.com will allow you to jump right in on the fun.
Q. Can I livestream/Youtube/podcast/VHS/GIF it?
Yep! We just ask that you please let your audience know what they’re watching is technically pre-alpha, and that there’s probably unfinished stuff that will most likely change at some point.
We’re back! The trip went very well – we met a ton of press, fans, and many Kickstarter backers. A lot of people got their hands on the new demo, and the impressions were very positive! It’s hard to even reflect back on the experience now — it was over in a flash and jam packed with amazing people. A huge thanks goes out to all our friends, fans, and idols we met on the trip, we’ll remember it forever!
Jimi Stevulak (Music/SFX), Tim Dodd (Programming), James Petruzzi (Producer)
We did a bunch of interviews while we were there. Here are the first two we’ve seen posted online, by Kotaku and Destructoid respectively:
Every deep, exploration-based game needs a wiki, which is why we’re happy to announce that we’ve partnered with Gamepedia.com to bring you the Official Chasm Wiki!
We will do our best to find the time to add content, but we would love it if Chasm fans could work together to make it a thorough and comprehensive resource for everyone. The wiki is up and running right now, so please feel free to start adding content to it!