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  • Current Game Version

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Development Update #5

Mane6Dev

The Powers that Be
Mane6 Developer
Jan 25, 2016
598
2,157
The Hold
mane6.com
Development Update #5 (4/12/21)

Introduction
With the 2.0 update and Shanty finally released, it's time for another development update, where we report the latest news on the project and provide a look into the future of TFH.

In this post we'll be covering merch (including crowdfund rewards), what to expect from the next few game updates, and things we're thinking about that are further out. Let's begin.


Merch News
Physical Crowdfund Rewards
For the past… *checks watch*... several months we've been saying that physical crowdfund rewards are in production, but we've recently hit a setback. The manufacturer we were originally going to work with has flat-out bailed on us. We have to find another one and partially start the process over.

Thankfully, everything is done from our end. We have production-ready materials all set to go (you can see some of the digital mockups here). Now that we're free from 2.0 crunch, we can ramp up our search for a new manufacturer. It's going to take more time, and we thank you all very much for your patience. This is an important order, so we have to make sure everything is right.

To backers getting physical rewards: please check that your shipping address is current by logging into Backerkit. Digital rewards are redeemed on Backerkit as well.

You can check the status of reward production here. With 2.0 out, all that's left are the physical rewards, the digital gallery (which we're discussing how to implement), pixel lobby items (including "shiny" accessories and custom characters), and the Lauren drawings. We also have the referral contest toots, and... we'd like to do more for the Backer Flair Kit. Getting closer to complete here!

If you have questions about crowdfund rewards, email us at contact@mane6.com.

Velvet Statuette
Velvet statuette preorders have exceeded 400 sold, solidifying it as our most popular single item of merch by a large margin. Last week our manufacturer reported that the mold creation step is complete. After some revisions, they can start mass-production.

There are 7 phases of production for this item:
  1. Digital Model
  2. Physical Sample
  3. Mold (Initial)
  4. Mold (Revisions) (CURRENT STEP)
  5. Mass-Production (1 Month Estimate)
  6. Ship to Fulfillment Service (From Factory to Gaming Generations).
  7. Ship to Customers.

As you can see, it's now looking like the statuettes will be shipping in May instead of April, perhaps even later depending on what shipping looks like. More time was spent in the mold step than originally estimated due the manufacturer's stacked production queue and the fact that basically all of China shuts down for the Spring Festival (Lunar New Year) in February.

We'll post an update when more progress is made. And yes, we want to do more characters but we have to make sure Velvet is on track before we'll feel comfortable working on any more.

Notice: If you included other items in the same order as your Velvet statuette, those items will be held until everything can ship together.

FHTNG TH§ ¿NSP§KBL? Huggable Body Pillow Case
For this year's April Fools we offered some limited-edition gag merch to provide release for souls desperate enough to sign their name and give in to temptation.

Rest assured that the production time for pillow cases will be quicker than those of the statuettes. We're working with a manufacturer now and expect those to ship to devotees customers in May.

Merch Questions?
You can purchase the official TFH merch here. There's t-shirts, pins, stickers, and more.

Eighty Sixed also carries an official cast t-shirt. Check it out here.

For questions regarding order status and shipping, please email Gaming Generations at support@gaminggenerations.com

For questions related to the store and items themselves, please email Mane6 at contact@mane6.com.


Development News
2.0 In Retrospect
2.0 and Shanty have been out for a little over two weeks now and from what we're seeing have been met with near universal acclaim, with many players saying that this is the best TFH has felt and looked ever. We couldn't be happier. There are still some tweaks and bugfixes we're working out (so expect more hotpatches in the coming weeks), but on the whole we believe this is our strongest release to date.

Shanty, our first DLC character, is available for purchase on the Humble Store and Steam. The 2.0 update is a free addition to the base game.

Review the 2.0 patch notes here.

In case you missed it, we offered more insight into the reasoning behind the changes during our 2.0 post-patch stream.

Notice: Remember that all crowdfund backers received one Shanty key as a reward for helping us fund her development.

Full HD Upgrade (Version 2.1)
TFH currently operates at a native resolution of 1280x720 and scales up or down from there (something we inherited from the Skullgirls engine). It's about time we modernized and re-exported all art in the game to a native resolution of 1920x1080.

That may not sound like much of a difference, but please keep the math in mind. Going from 720 to 1080 more than doubles the amount of pixels in the art, which will result in smoother, sharper-looking visuals even at resolutions beyond 1080 (since the game will have fewer pixels to interpolate as it scales up).

We don't expect this change to affect performance much on low-power PCs, especially if they keep the resolution lower. We have no plans to do native ultra-HD resolutions like 4K. This should be good enough for now!

Version 2.1 is slated to release during the first half of May. No other updates past 2.1 have announced release windows as of this writing.

Native Mac Support (Version 2.2)
With the Linux port finally released, it's time to direct our attention on Mac. Not much else needs to be done here except navigating the particulars of Apple's walled garden. It's not far ahead, and there's a chance it could be ready for 2.1, but we'll just have to see.

Notice: Mac users can still play TFH now using Wine or the Steam Play feature. Native support improves performance significantly over compatibility programs and emulators.

If you're interested in a technical discussion regarding our implementation of the Mac port, please email contact@mane6.com.

Level 3 Supers (Version 3.0)
Development on level 3s was started long ago but was paused to work on Chapter 1 of Story Mode, then delayed further by a desire to get Shanty out next. Now that both of those are complete, our combat team and animators can shift focus back to finishing level 3s. Check our preview stream here to see where we left off.

Level 3s are powerful cinematic supers that use all 3 bars of meter. They will release for all characters simultaneously. Since this will be an introduction of a major combat mechanic, we'll be bumping up the major version number from 2.0 to 3.0.

Story Mode: Chapter 2 (Version 3.1)
We are actively working on Velvet's chapter now. Production will proceed faster than before now that our tools are already in place from Chapter 1 and we're clear of obligations for 2.0.

When our combat team is finished working on level 3s, they'll join the rest of the Story Mode squad to script out the boss fights and close things out.


Under Consideration
More Characters
Oh sure you bet'cha we want more characters, but not until Chapter 2 is out. Please accept the reassurance that Nappy won't be able to rest until he gets a grappler in the game.

Ranked Play
We know how important ranked mode is to some players and for TFH to feel more like a "full" competitive game, but we just don't think we're ready to do it yet. Possibly for a while.

A worthy ranked mode needs two things: a good ladder system, and players to play with. Even if we were able to implement the best ranked system ever made in video games, we can't do much about TFH's relatively small playerbase at present (compared to AAA titles with legacy IPs).

Players who play ranked modes expect to be able to churn through an abundance of evenly-matched opponents at a rapid pace. As a rising underdog indie title, we don't think we can meet that expectation until the game grows more.

In the meantime we're more likely to look at proper progression systems for single player modes or a redesign of the casual level-up system.

In short, we don't want a ranked mode just to have it. It has to be good, and there has to be a large community to support it. That's just how we feel about it.

Console Ports
We have heard the requests. We very much want to do console ports and have been keeping it in mind as we work on other things, but unfortunately it's not that simple! Console ports are time-consuming, expensive projects, and we currently have no plans for it. We'll let you all know if that ever changes!


Conclusion
Thanks very much for reading this development update! Join the discussion in our Discord server (discord.gg/tfh) and on Twitter (@mane6dev).


Until next time,

Aaron Stavely
President, Mane6
 
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