Kickstarter Update: Several Things: Testing/Steam/The Last Mile


Wanted to update everyone on what is going on with Empire Deluxe Combined Edition.

Wave Three is now in progress and the testing has gone well. This week has been intense as I have posted several rapid hot fix updates shaping a few odds and ends. With Wave Three the development focus has really shifted from any new feature changes and adds to one of making sure it is stable and does what it is supposed to. The guys in all three waves keep me busy, either by posting and commenting on reports in the tracking system or via email discussions. They are the unsung heroes in this. A lot of good things have happened and I am really happy with where the game I now. I hope you will be too.

EDCE officially now has a Steam presence. You should check the page out at the store page at http://store.steampowered.com/app/742700/Empire_Deluxe_Combined_Edition/. There are some screen shots that might be interesting to look at. The video is a remaster of the Kickstarter video, I don't think it will be any different than the one presented on Kickstarter. Drop by the discussion page and drop a note if you are logged in. Add the game to your wish list!

You will note that the Steam Launch is going to be classified as an Early Access game. There are two reasons for this : Quality and Possible Steam Feature Inclusion.

For Quality, I am satisfied with where the game is now with the dozens of testers from the three waves. However, exposure to Steam will lead to a larger volume of users and it is inevitable that further issues will surface over time. So I wanted to make sure the pure Steam user not associated with the Kickstarter understands this.

Regarding Steam Features, right now I am only going to list them as “possible” as I have not taken steps to write code towards them, and it is important that I maintain focus on quality of the core game at this point in time. However, the two most interesting features to me are the Steam Workshop, for the sharing of map files, scenarios, and Modded Unit sets - I am not going to allow the Steam sharing of DLLs as I believe there is too much security risk in malicious code in this regard on Steam. Do be aware that you should always make sure you trust the source of any DLL you download, and the workshop is just too anonymous for my tastes in this regard. Other features that might prove interesting include their multi-play interfacing, which possibly would allow you to perform network play without having to worry about firewalls and such, thus making network play more hassle free. Beyond that, there is an API for screenshots and achievements as well. They have an in game notification system that may provide some use. So it all sounds exciting but it would involve a Steam-specific build, and that is part of what needs to be evaluated.

There will not be a Wave 4. Instead, I hope to move towards a beta available to all backers. This will be done on Steam if I can figure it out. It would be only open to backers. This does not mean you will not ultimately get the DRM offline version of the game. It simply means the next test, open to all backers, will be conducted on Steam. There are some logistical challenges to this (and one of the reasons why this needs to be tested), but it all could happen very soon. My hope is to include those that have pre-purchased on itch.io as well, as that is another logistical challenge that needs to be met. Though they might join a little later than the KS backers as I get it all worked out. But all of these things are going to happen very soon in this month of November.

For those in the hours play club and beyond, I am now going to start compiling all of that information and getting your hours in the manual and quotes in the game. If I do have some questions about your hours or quotes, I should be emailing you directly very soon. The credit in the manual will be provided at some point for proofing in this regard instead of the silly placeholders I currently have.

So even though there could be some mop up activity in December, this could be the last month of the post-Kickstarter campaign, and the beginning of another 50 years of classic war gaming. My time windows are quickly shrinking, but I am doing my best to get it all out for you. Again I am very satisfied with the game, and I hope you will be too.

--Mark

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Comments

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Mark -

I was kind hoping to avoid a game layer like Steam, since I don't do network play. But I'll be available to test standalone game flow for MacOSX, using 10.11.6 right now.

Best, as always.
Loren S. Miller