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  • Writer's pictureSquidslinger

August 2020 Studio Update

Greetings! We've a lot of big news for the month of August so lets not waste time and get right into it!

Early in the month Ryan and Josh did a little meeting to discuss every aspect of Broken Hammer and the projects in development. Josh had it on his mind to do a early access push but, was reserved on the matter due to the stigma early access games often carry. He wanted to avoid early access and simply deliver the neutral arc portion of Dust and Air in a more complete state so then production could go right towards the story arcs.

After discussing with Ryan and reviewing the work done so far on the neutral arc, the decision was made to bring Dust and Air to Steam Early Access!

So what does our road to early access look like? Well, it's not that long.

The Day One alpha of the story has already been let out in the past either on a demo or a stream play through. It is the most complete portion of the neutral arc and naturally is the most viable candidate to bring to Early Access.

Day two and three are behind that but, not very far behind. With them being very close to asset completion, the time spent in Early Access is expected to be minimal. We will be rolling out a day at a time until the neutral arc is complete.

Currently Ryan and Josh are doing a major polish overhaul on day one. Not only are they going through it to squash bugs and grammar errors but, also re-evaluating the script and applying some recommended updates from recent testers. Because of this, some scenes may appear drastically different than they have before in demos or streams.

There is also a new short sequence that they found was necessary to add to the script. This didn't mean a lot of new assets were needed. Just one major asset and one optional. The major asset actually was completed by Conn by the end of August and is now in engine.

Given the overall completion level of assets in day one, we expect most of our development focus will soon be shifting towards getting the application ready for early access and doing some testing rounds. After this there is just a lot of behind the scenes and work on preparing for the release. We have to build the Steam page profile which includes videos including gameplay and explanation of our early access release plans.

Ultimately, our aim is to get it released before the winter steam sale. Then we'll ride that into the following year and the subsequent updates which will lead up to exit from early access.

A lot can happen before December and we're going to be pressing hard to make it all possible. Valve created Early Access as a means for developers to release a game early and earn some funding while they finish it. This has unfortunately been abused by many small and even big developers who have either kept project perpetually in early access, or simply ditched the project and left gamers stranded. Both Ryan and Josh have strong memories of Landmark and how it fell apart during Early Access.

That said, we are going to be utilizing Early Access as it was intended. Not exploit it. Now as far as pricing and other details related to early access, that will be updated later. We want to make sure our early backers get the better deal. We're also evaluating whether to keep our backer page up while early access is happening. Given the 30% share that Steam gets on every sale, we may keep a site option active for those that really want to make sure all the money goes to development. Not to mention, for those that want to get the complete edition.

August was also busy for team building as we brought in another artist onto the project. Originally we brought her onboard for Project 2. However, her art is on par with what we need for Dust and Air and while Project 2 is still concepting, we'll be working with her on the final work for the Dust and Air's Early Access. So as we do with all those who join the project, we'd like to introduce you to Ingrid (Infinito Arts):

She's 24 and a SoCal native who is an aspiring Christian Illustrator who wants to work in anime, games, books, and more. Check out her Instragram for more of her art!

We're excited for having Ingrid involved with Broken Hammer and we're excited to promote her work. Definitely check out her page and art!

September will be heating up more in our push towards a release. Look for more updates as we go. Sometime this month we do expect to have the polish pass done on day one. That will give us two months to get all the other work done for the release.

Alright, that is it for August! Thank you for joining us on this journey! See you in the skies!

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