The world looks much different from fifty days ago. Lots of big things have happened. We celebrated the holidays, ushered in a new year, and sat glued to twitter as we watched the tumultuous transition of our world into this terrifying new post-Brangelina era! I’m still a little bit numb from that. I think someone closed a sale on some historic house, and oh, we launched the early access version of Astroneer. Right. You’re probably wondering how that went.
Hello — Adam here from the team.
Recently we announced details for the launch of Astroneer and that’s something we’re super proud of. Now that the information is out, there’s been two important topics that come up in discussion amongst the team. How will our game be perceived and are we setting the correct expectations?
I don’t enjoy writing about the missteps of other developers, but in the name of transparency I think this is an important point to make: The controversial release of No Man’s Sky fuels a lot of discussions about the development and marketing of Astroneer and more importantly the reaction the gaming community had to it. A lot of the press coverage about Astroneer links the two games together and we’ve seen a lot of talk amongst our community about those connections.
I’m not going to comment on one specific aspect of the game or the people behind it. This blog post isn’t about that. I want to take this opportunity to put into practice the most important thing we’ve learned from witnessing No Man’s Sky: Know what you are saying, but understand what is heard.
While at PAX West this year, the folks at Indie Obscura joined us for the weekend as we prepared, worked, and closed down our booth for the show. In their first ever “IN_DEPTH” series, Indie Obscura writes about System Era and what events like PAX West means to a team like ours, with our game on the brink of release.
Future Astroneers! We have two pieces of news to share with you. On October 7th 2015, when we launched our website and released our first trailer, our team was in a very tight financial situation. We had no external funding, and had made plans to have only three full time partners on the project, living from savings and bearing all development costs out of pocket. Given that unsustainable situation, we had made a deliberate choice to rush the game, in a very early state, to an Early Access launch in late March or early April, because without the early revenue to fund further development, we would be unable to continue.
The last two weeks have been incredible for us. We certainly did not expect the kind of positive reaction to Astroneer that we saw in hundreds of comments, tweets, and emails. The day we revealed the trailer, website, and blog was one of our best (if not the best) days as game developers. We always felt Astroneer was special, but now we really feel like we’re working on something that will be special for a lot of people.