The v1.67.3 update went live on all servers earlier today. This patch added a couple cool features (overworld hotkeys!) and streamlined the game’s interface a bit. All of these changes are related to NEStalgia’s upcoming launch on Steam as we scramble to get the game ready for wide-scale distribution.
About that Steam launch… Here is a small taste of what’s been going on behind the scenes for the past couple months:
- Spiff (tenkuu) addressed a mountain of backlogged NEStalgia bug reports (among lots of other things).
- Tom and Lummox JR of BYOND have been working to integrate the Steam API into the BYOND engine, and to provide us with some new features to aid in the release.
- Mikau has been helping to code a new version of the standalone client that will allow players to filter and search the potentially large lists of diverse servers that we might see.
- Balzack has completely taken over community management and customer service duties (emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org now actually get replied to!), and has been recruiting and training a bunch of new moderators to handle the influx from the Steam launch.
- We’ve had composers both new and old working on composing many new original music tracks for the game. Every single piece of music in the game has been remixed, and many of the less impressive tracks have been outright replaced. I can’t wait for all of you to hear the new music (it should be going live within a week).
- I’ve been managing all of this stuff and working on small updates like v1.67.3 as well as the Key of the Exiles expansion content.
I know that many of you aren’t planning to return until the Key of the Exiles expansion releases (which is exactly what I’d be waiting for as well). Although Key of the Exiles will not be finished in time for the initial Steam launch, it will be posted as a free update to the game as soon as it is ready. What will be happening, however, are some major changes to our distribution model. As I mentioned in the last blog post, players are going to be able to host their own private single player or multiplayer servers, as well as their own large-scale dedicated servers. All of that will be on top of a large line up of “Official” dedicated servers hosted and maintained by Silk Games.
One big change that is going to take effect today is that subscriptions are now $15 flat. We’re doing away with the term “subscription” in general – from this point forward you’ve either purchased the game, or you haven’t. Anyone who has a previous time-based subscription (6 months or 1 year) that had time left on it as of the date of this post has had their subscription automatically upgraded.
Our hope is to release the new standalone version of the game that players can host themselves within a week. That will give us a bit of time to test it and get your feedback before we launch on Steam. As far as the Steam launch itself goes, we don’t yet have a specific date nailed down. We’re pushing hard for early December, so we’ll see if the Valve Gods smile favorably upon us.
Tomorrow I’ll be back with another blog post to talk about something big that all of you can help us with as we ramp up for the Steam release. Thank you so much for all of your support so far – we’ll continue working hard to deliver.