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 Post subject: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE!
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 5:59 am 
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Hi Everyone,

Richard and I have been busy little beavers since our last Blog post, and I wanted to send along some highlights to keep everyone in the loop.

First off, the Steam Holiday sale was a huge success, and our mega sale day did surprisingly well. We were really thrilled and SPAZ 2 is pretty much a sure thing now as long as a meteor doesn't strike the Earth in 11 months. Our user base doubled in a day if you can believe it, we couldn't.



I have been pretty active monitoring the Steam forums while Richard holds down the fort here. Everything is still being read and is discussed and then prioritized, but a lot of your ideas will become a part of the SPAZ 2 design planning now. We have learned a lot from the community and want to keep hearing ideas. We are committed to making SPAZ 2 amazing and we will need your help to do that. A lot of you have played the game for many more hours than we have and know nuances that we do not. We really appreciate your input.



Over the holidays, I wrote a Story of SPAZ development on the Steam forums. It was a user request that just sort of blossomed. If you are up for a long read, here is a link: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2411076

There are a lot of ups and downs, but the story works out in the end. :)



Another piece of news that you may have noticed is that we won Indie Gaming Magazine's Game of the Year! We also won Computer game of the year, and Editor's pick Game of the Year. So all around that was pretty awesome. The awards are on the home page now.
Here is a link to the competition results: http://www.indiegamemag.com/igm-readers-choice-the-best-indie-games-of-the-year-2011/

Thanks VERY much to everyone who voted for us!



The Mac and Linux porting is progressing well and is being done externally (because it is better to have a paid expert than me fumbling with a new OS) We can't give an exact date on the ports because we do not have total visibility on them, but it should be quite soon.



The up side of me not working on porting is that I have been able to spend time working on Bounty Hunters and Arenas with Richard. Progress there has been brisk now that distractions are becoming less common. There currently are 10 arenas, each with 5 tiers, and 3 challenge levels per tier. They are also deterministic, so everyone's Arena experience will be the same regardless of still level or ship level. Bragging rights need to mean something. The Bounty Hunter ships are also in, and are wonderful, unless one is chasing you. Richard needs to finish tuning the Arenas, and I need to get the Bounty Hunter metagame up and running, and then they will be ready. We will keep you posted as the release date approaches, but it is approaching fast. A matter of weeks now!



Aside from that, we should be on OnLive as of tomorrow, or maybe even midnight tonight PST. OnLive is a kind of cloud computing service where you play a game remotely. If you are at all curious, I suggest checking it out. We set the demo time to 90 mins for SPAZ, so there is lots or time to try the new technology.



Modding also remains a priority although we have not talked about it for a while. The tools have been proven to work and we just need to get this Bounty Hunter expansion out of the way, and then documenting the modding tools will become a priority. That should breathe a lot of new life into the game as well. We are still looking forward to seeing what you all create.



I think that brings us up to date. As always, thanks very much to all of you for your support and telling your friends about SPAZ. MinMax is a successful company because you all talked to your buddies about this cool little indie game that they had never heard of, and we cant thank you enough!


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 6:11 am 
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Grasshopper
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***Is praying a meteor doesn't strike the earth so he can see SPAZ 2 also***

Congrats on the three awards!!! That's just awesome!!!

Yep, always bragging about how cool is the game SPAZ. :)

Thanks for the update, and looking forward to the game updates in the next few weeks....until then I still need to conquor Insane. :)


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 8:22 am 
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OnLive makes all the colors quite hazy. Also the game appears to run poorer... as if its trying to emulate the game (free trial mode).

What makes OnLive special compared to regular SPAZ? Or are you going to post a "beta" for the bounty hunters and such on it?


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 8:31 am 
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Gyro

Joined: Fri 07 Oct, 2011 4:29 am
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How well Onlive plays will have nothing to do with your computer, and everything to do with how they run their service. Because how Onlive works is the game runs on their computers and they stream you video of it, while getting input from you for commands for the game. TB did a WTF is on it explaining the service and testing it a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 9:00 am 
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Yup, it is kind of like watching a video of what your commands did when sent to another computer over the internet. The OnLive is the same 1.016 version everyone else is using. I just gave it a try and it is pretty neat to think about how it all works. This may be how games are delivered in the future, who knows. It was a cool experiment to get involved with it to see how it all worked. Very similar to console development really. Lots of requirements and testing before the game was deployed. Thankfully SPAZ is very stable so we didn't have any blocker bugs.


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 9:12 am 
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Well you might actually be able to create a console port easier with Onlive. As you can apparently play games wherever (dunno about using a PC only game on the Xbox though)


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 9:14 am 
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Also, read your longish post about the SPAZ history + your history. How have things been in the past 4-5 months since v1.0 has been released? Debt free now? Wife no longer anxious? Been able to quit your gas station job (that is if you were working one; was unclear on that point)


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Oh things are much better now. We have dug our selves out of the debt hole and have a small nest egg for SPAZ 2 development. The Gas station job didn't exist, it was just what was in the back of our minds if we failed. Things will hopefully be much much less insane on SPAZ 2 now that we have established ourselves as a company.

There are a surprising amount of distractions though. Opportunities keep coming up that we try to evaluate and seize or avoid. There is a lot of time spent reading the forums and answering mails, dealing with distributors etc. We are probably about 50% as effective as we were before anyone knew we existed :)


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Congrats on the awards! Looking forward to the mini-expansion, or whatever you're going to call the Arenas+Hunters update. :)

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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Gongrats on those awards, once again! Definetly deserved.
Good to hear SPAZ is finally getting you some extra creds too. Would be shame to see you quit due monetary problems after investing so much time and money into making this great game. It would be... unjust in more ways than one. Especially considering todays gaming industry in general.

Can't wait for the hunter/arena mini expansion. Will be getting that long waited new rig next week, so playing SPAZ should more enjoyable than ever.

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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Does this mean that the mac version will be coming to steam soon-ish?
And congrats on the well-deserved awards!


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 24 Jan, 2012 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri 07 Oct, 2011 4:29 am
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Blorfy wrote:
This may be how games are delivered in the future, who knows.


I doubt it would be able to work well with all games, unless somehow network lag could be eliminated. Not to mention you lose the option of being able to play anything if your net connection is down (it happens sometimes, and it's nice to have offline games then). And of course thanks to network lag, the more tight the timing a game requires the worse it'll run. TB had trouble with a Street Fighter game on the service, and I bet a game like Super Meat Boy would be unplayable past the first few levels. On the other hand, something like the Sims or any turn based game would likely run fine. And being able to try a game out for a bit before actually buying it (the time limited demos on their service) is a nice idea.

I'm sure it'll have a place, but it won't be everything.


Oh yeah, have you ditched the thought of working on a paid expansion for SPAZ to work on SPAZ 2 because of engine issues, or still thinking of doing it (the paid expansion)?


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2012 2:02 am 
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Joined: Thu 24 Nov, 2011 10:14 pm
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Its good to hear u guys are still going strong and that the sales went trough the roof :)
once again, congrats with the awards! u guys earned all of it!
i'm also happy to hear that SPAZ 2 is more of a reality then before :)

For the rest, keep on going and get some more ppl to lighten your load at least a little :)

Edit: Read the Story u posted on the Steam forums, it really shows how harsh the gaming industry is, and how mindwracking is has been for u guys.
I'm happy to hear u guys at least are out of the pit :)


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Dart

Joined: Sat 10 Dec, 2011 4:30 pm
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Congrats with the award, glad to hear that everything is working out,

Lets all hope the myans were just trolling us XD


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Thu 26 Jan, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Shortbus

Joined: Thu 26 Jan, 2012 6:35 pm
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Glad to see you all are getting on Onlive! For those of us that already own SPAZ through another means, is there a discount or activation code for onlive, or do we have to get it there for full price? Would love to be able to play it via onlive on my tablet.

Thanks,
Thorgrif


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Mon 30 Jan, 2012 11:19 am 
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Shortbus

Joined: Fri 06 Jan, 2012 4:53 am
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Great to see you guys won those awards. Well deserved and I'm excited to hear that there is already money being set aside to develop SPAZ2. :)


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:39 am 
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Thanks for the well wishes all :)

@thorgrif,
We don't actually have a special arrangement with Onlive to transfer ownership over there. It is an interesting idea though. We made a crazy long demo period on there (90 mins) so at the very least it will let you get your groove on a bit :)


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2012 5:26 am 
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Shortbus

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I have SPAZ on Steam and I tried it on OnLive, and it ran just fine but the resolution was horrible. It was very grainy. Eck, bad quality. But i do love SPAZ and nice job on the award. :)


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 1:04 am 
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Shortbus

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I would just like to say that I recently got into the pc gaming scene with the purchase of a high end gaming pc. I got it during the steam holiday sale and immediately went on a spending spree buying AAA titles and indie games alike. Of all of the games I now own on steam only one of them has 30+ hours of play time, S.P.A.Z. Not only is it the best indie games I've ever played but in my honest opinion it is one of the best games I've played in a long time. I can't even imagine how much work it would take a two man team to develop a game as polished and in-depth as this. Congratz on the success of the game, after reading that lengthy post on the steam forums I can see you deserved it.


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 1:51 am 
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:) Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 2:32 am 
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Congrats on the awards guys. Its always great to hear praise that is justly given to well deserving people.

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serve right and justice one last time, seek one last heart of evil,
still one last life of pain, cut well old friend, and then farewell.


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Would I sound too impatient and rude if I'd ask for an update on the update?

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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Nope, not at all. We are getting closer. The bounty hunter expansion is rater large and touches pretty much everything, so it has been difficult to insert it into a working game. We have a solid design, the ships are done, the arenas are being tuned. We have bounty hunters ambiently showing up and harassing you, but there are still details like getting them to help you, and extort your mothership.

We also really want the patch done as we are in dire need of a vacation and this free expansion has taken a lot longer than expected. But we promised it, we want to deliver it at a high quality, and we will get it done.


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Wed 08 Feb, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Ranger
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Thats good to hear guys,just don't rush it to much for our sake, we will wait no matter what ;)


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 Post subject: Re: About time we write something new! So... PROGRESS UPDATE
PostPosted: Thu 09 Feb, 2012 8:28 am 
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Hatchet
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That's nice to hear. And as Weertangel said, better polished than buggy.

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