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  • Them's Fightin' Herds

    Current Version: Early Access 13.1: 4.16.2019

Feb 22 - Still release // Unexpected change of plans

ManeSix

The Powers that Be
Mane6 Developer
Jan 25, 2016
500
1,801
The Hold
mane6.com
First off, let's have a note before the wall of text:

Release not delayed. Still happening February 22. With some minor adjustments. Read below for details.

---


Well guys, we have good news and bad news.

The bad news: We have encountered some rather large, unforeseen issues with Story Mode. In addition, key people required to handle these issues haven't been much available in this last month or so, and will continue to be unavailable for the time being due to some rather heavy "Real Life" issues. As much as we absolutely loathe to do this, we're going to have to postpone the release of Story Mode for a bit. Couple weeks?, A month?, bit more?, We do not know, at the moment, as it really depends on said key people being available, and the aforementioned large issues getting dissected and shot down. Probably not in that order.

While we -could- in theory retask people to handle these issues immediately, we do not think this to be the best option, as we'd be delivering a suddenly rushed, lower quality version of the story which wouldn't live up to our standards and which would also tarnish the experience we want to craft for it... Not to mention take these people away from their current tasks and risk creating issues in other modes and features of the game.

The good news is: Every other feature we intended to come with first public release (Namely, local and online PvP multiplayer, quick matches, the first iterations of pixel lobby, arcade mode, target challenges and combo trials, with fully animated and voiced characters) is on track to release with the Public Build; the only major thing that'd be kaput for now, then, would be the story.

We do not feel that taking back an announced release date two days before its arrival is the way to go, but, at the same time, we also do not feel that we're delivering you guys the promised "1.0" experience we were aiming for with this release having the story missing from it. Combined, those two situations put us in a bit of a conundrum, which is a polite way of saying that we're drifting up in places without a paddle at hand.

We've had emergency meetings, we've looked at the cards, and we think the best solution we can go for at this stage is switching the release of the game from a "1.0" finished build and "regular" release to a slightly rolled back "0.95" Steam Early Access version, which will exist for a short period of time before switching to the full release. This 0.95 version will include all of the aforementioned content and features with the exception of the Story Mode (because of the reasons already explained), and achievements, because part of the implementation of those is/will be tied to Story mode actions. We might also need to rollback/reintroduce a couple minor and middle changes made between the currently existing version of Backers' Beta and the Release build candidate, but if or what's not quite clear yet. Since we’re already there, we'll also be taking the opportunity during Early Access to take feebdack on further improving the pixel lobby + Salt Mine gameplay, as Story Mode and Pixel Lobby are partially intertwined and very important to the unique experience we're aiming to provide.

We have just been in contact with Valve, to let them know we want/need to make the switch to Early Access, so the store page might briefly disappear as those changes happen. It's not a reason to panic, just part of the procedure.

In this Early Access build, you will be able to play against other people in local multiplayer, and online in quick match and the pixel lobbies, which also contain the first iteration of the Salt Mines PvE dungeon, as well as against the AI in arcade mode. You will be able to use all six main characters, complete the first batch of target challenges and test yourself in the combo trials. It is, for most intents and purposes, pretty close to the 1.0 iteration we intended to launch, only missing those features associated with the story mode that we're now planning to rollback in the schedule slightly, and a couple other minor things that were placed in close proximity to the underside of the bus at the moment of impact.

As the (next) first step for this, we're making a patch to Backers' Beta available later today introducing most of the changes to come in the Feb 22 release. Then as the step after that we'll be working our collective behind for the next two days to close the gap between the 0.95 and 1.0 versions as much as we can, to hopefully make it a 0.97 or 0.98 just missing the story mode.

Thank you all for understanding, for supporting our project and for continuing to believe and sticking around despite of our screw-ups. We promise we're not narfing up on purpose.​


We love you.

- M6​
 

Redness

The Class Pet
Oct 17, 2016
366
2,232
Fœnum
www.youtube.com
First off, let's have a note before the wall of text:

Release not delayed. Still happening February 22. With some minor adjustments. Read below for details.

---


Well guys, we have good news and bad news.

The bad news: We have encountered some rather large, unforeseen issues with Story Mode. In addition, key people required to handle these issues haven't been much available in this last month or so, and will continue to be unavailable for the time being due to some rather heavy "Real Life" issues. As much as we absolutely loathe to do this, we're going to have to postpone the release of Story Mode for a bit. Couple weeks?, A month?, bit more?, We do not know, at the moment, as it really depends on said key people being available, and the aforementioned large issues getting dissected and shot down. Probably not in that order.

While we -could- in theory retask people to handle these issues immediately, we do not think this to be the best option, as we'd be delivering a suddenly rushed, lower quality version of the story which wouldn't live up to our standards and which would also tarnish the experience we want to craft for it... Not to mention take these people away from their current tasks and risk creating issues in other modes and features of the game.

The good news is: Every other feature we intended to come with first public release (Namely, local and online PvP multiplayer, quick matches, the first iterations of pixel lobby, arcade mode, target challenges and combo trials, with fully animated and voiced characters) is on track to release with the Public Build; the only major thing that'd be kaput for now, then, would be the story.

We do not feel that taking back an announced release date two days before its arrival is the way to go, but, at the same time, we also do not feel that we're delivering you guys the promised "1.0" experience we were aiming for with this release having the story missing from it. Combined, those two situations put us in a bit of a conundrum, which is a polite way of saying that we're drifting up in places without a paddle at hand.

We've had emergency meetings, we've looked at the cards, and we think the best solution we can go for at this stage is switching the release of the game from a "1.0" finished build and "regular" release to a slightly rolled back "0.95" Steam Early Access version, which will exist for a short period of time before switching to the full release. This 0.95 version will include all of the aforementioned content and features with the exception of the Story Mode (because of the reasons already explained), and achievements, because part of the implementation of those is/will be tied to Story mode actions. We might also need to rollback/reintroduce a couple minor and middle changes made between the currently existing version of Backers' Beta and the Release build candidate, but if or what's not quite clear yet. Since we’re already there, we'll also be taking the opportunity during Early Access to take feebdack on further improving the pixel lobby + Salt Mine gameplay, as Story Mode and Pixel Lobby are partially intertwined and very important to the unique experience we're aiming to provide.

We have just been in contact with Valve, to let them know we want/need to make the switch to Early Access, so the store page might briefly disappear as those changes happen. It's not a reason to panic, just part of the procedure.

In this Early Access build, you will be able to play against other people in local multiplayer, and online in quick match and the pixel lobbies, which also contain the first iteration of the Salt Mines PvE dungeon, as well as against the AI in arcade mode. You will be able to use all six main characters, complete the first batch of target challenges and test yourself in the combo trials. It is, for most intents and purposes, pretty close to the 1.0 iteration we intended to launch, only missing those features associated with the story mode that we're now planning to rollback in the schedule slightly, and a couple other minor things that were placed in close proximity to the underside of the bus at the moment of impact.

As the (next) first step for this, we're making a patch to Backers' Beta available later today introducing most of the changes to come in the Feb 22 release. Then as the step after that we'll be working our collective behind for the next two days to close the gap between the 0.95 and 1.0 versions as much as we can, to hopefully make it a 0.97 or 0.98 just missing the story mode.

Thank you all for understanding, for supporting our project and for continuing to believe and sticking around despite of our screw-ups. We promise we're not narfing up on purpose.​


We love you.

- M6​
We understand! Thanks for letting us know!
 

Snivian Moon

How I mine for combo?
Backers' Beta Tester
Extremely reasonable, and very well explained. Thanks for being transparent and forthright about this issue!

Personally, I think it's absolutely the right decision, and if you all think the story mode needs some touching up, I'm more than happy to wait.

I feel like the rest of the features are solid, and deliver a very complete game experience on their own. Getting story mode later will just feel like getting a bit of a treat down the line, added to an already nice game.

Thanks to all the Mane6 devs for all their hard work! You guys are no doubt super busy, but your talent and hard work are extremely appreciated.
 

SunnySideUp64

Wants to hug all the floofy things
Crowdfund Backer
Jan 21, 2017
16
25
No worries. I'd rather you guys take the time you need to make sure the game is good than rush it out and deliver something subpar. And I respect you were forward with this information.

All I need to figure out now is how I get my code for the $15 crowdfunding tier. XD
 

Null Serene

Member
Feb 4, 2018
8
19
I'd be pretty disappointed, and I guess I am, but I guess I don't feel like m6 are the type to be forced into this because of mismanaged time and resources, like a lot of indie devs (and indie fighter devs especially cough cough). As long as it's actual personal stuff preventing content, and not people treating the project like it isn't a job like some devs, then delay away. Heavy irl stuff sounds like something to take on good faith, even if vague, so do what ya can when ya can.
 

Erkicman

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
Feb 3, 2016
96
255
Yeah, it's disappointing to not have Story mode ready at launch. All it really does is it gives the people who want to talk smack on the game some ammunition to work with, but "fully animated and voiced characters, functioning arcade mode, and functioning online play" are what I really care about, so it's all good on my end.

We all saw what happened with SFV where they gave us a story mode without arcade mode for a really long time, and that wasn't great. At all. You guys don't seem to be going that direction.

Good luck.
 

gatorafan

HOLAS: (tm)
Backers' Beta Tester
Feb 3, 2016
222
553
Ship02: Ur
nightarks.enjin.com
I'd be pretty disappointed, and I guess I am, but I guess I don't feel like m6 are the type to be forced into this because of mismanaged time and resources, like a lot of indie devs (and indie fighter devs especially cough cough)
Well... Considering this is like... The fourth? Maybe fifth time this happens?...

Anyway, I'm not really happy about the announcement but I can only hope (if I'm reading this announcement right) that this only means good things for the post-release period. That this rollercoaster of a dev cycle provided enough experience to you guys to help and guide you past 1.0 (and who knows? Maybe future projects) and that this events are only being (and going to be) experienced by the people who have supported you and followed you since the beginning and (excuse me for assuming) were going to get the game anyway.

Better now than to affect the people who are outside this little comfy group, who (again, assuming) are probably less understanding of the situation, right?

Still, a bummer, but I'm actually less upset after writing this than what I was when I started. So back to Grim Dawn I go! \o/
 

Rodya

Perpetually tired
Jul 31, 2017
103
821
21
Coahuila, México
Aaah, real life stuff - my favorite.
Still though, I totally understand, take your time. The guys and gals here seem to be a patient bunch.
The issue here is not whether we are patient and understanding or not, it's whether other people will be. An episodic story mode may already seem sketchy to some, if they find out that the Steam page promised a story mode, and that M6 decided to delay it and sell the game anyways, consumer trust and reputation could both suffer serious blows. We all know how unforgiving the gaming community can be.
 

VendiMANS

Argentine fgs player
Feb 5, 2018
45
62
Buenos Aires
As long as I get to play the game, even without story mode, I'm still excited
And I don't think this is gonna affect the game reception THAT much since fighting games aren't really famous for having a good story or even an actual story at all. At least it will still have more content than SFV on launch
 

Orcool

Loves you to death
Feb 11, 2018
14
23
I almost got a heart attack while reading the title! But yeah it's unfortunate, but understandable. IRL Stuff always comes at the worst time posible. In any case, I'll still be there day 1 (I was planning on focusing on the online aspects of the game more than single player stuff anyways) And I hope that the positive reaction to all the rest of the stuff in the game will outpower the potential negative press from this.
 

edzepp

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
May 26, 2017
27
44
Man, this whole thing has been a ride, no?

I stand by the idea that you wouldn't have promised a story mode in the first place if you didn't think it was ready initially. It must be something bigger than expected.

And thank you for being transparent this whole time. Game dev is never easy. And unlike many a crowdfunding disaster the base game has always looked solid.
 
Last edited:

Stunthead

Springbok when
Backers' Beta Tester
Feb 3, 2016
306
794
New Zealand
Can't say I'm happy about this. I was going to use the story mode as my "way in" to learning this game, so this is really taking the wind out of my sails for launch. Still, do what you think is best, and thank you for the transparency. I have faith that the story content will be of high quality when it eventually drops.
 

Erkicman

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
Feb 3, 2016
96
255
So I actually have a legitimate question. Those character leitmotif songs? The ones where we've heard Velvet's, Tianhuo's and Paprika's songs but we haven't heard Arizona's, Oleander's or Pom's songs? Are those tied to Story Mode at all?
 

Mage

A Normal Person
Feb 26, 2017
121
462
Oblivion
Bummer. I'll skip the early access for now; but I'll stay tuned for the full version.
While I can understand not being interested in an early access, its worth noting that the story mode was always going to be released in episodes as free DLC. This change really only means that the first episode won't be included for the 22nd, and will thus be DLC also.

In fact, I'd say that this was an early access in name only, if not for the fact that the first episode had been planned and marketed to be part of the initial release. Aside from that, everything else marketed for the full release will be there. I honestly can't say that I'll feel like I'm purchasing an early access game.

I suppose I'm a bit biased however, as the story modes were never a strong selling point for me.
 

SmokeRulz

Where there is smoke, there is fire!
Backers' Beta Tester
Feb 3, 2016
325
505
In fact, I'd say that this was an early access in name only, if not for the fact that the first episode had been planned and marketed to be part of the initial release. Aside from that, everything else marketed for the full release will be there. I honestly can't say that I'll feel like I'm purchasing an early access game.
I'm with you there. The game has everything you need to enjoy it, it's just that the initial chapter (or so) of the Story Mode that was gonna be there at launch is gonna have to be delayed. Since they DID intend it to be in at launch, and advertised it as such, they decided to mark the release 0.95 and call it Early Access though, in the interests of transparency. So it's fine by me. Just hopefully it won't cause too much of a stink with the usual Steam whiners, is all. Everyone so far has been very supportive and understanding, though, which is nice!

I personally am eager for the Story Mode, but I'm already going into this knowing it won't be done immediately, so having the first part of it be delayed on top of that isn't really a big deal. It's not quality, and they wanna fix it, so take your time.
 

edzepp

Backers' Beta Tester
Backers' Beta Tester
May 26, 2017
27
44
It's odd to think that, as far as I know, TFH wasn't really crowdfunded on the back of a story mode. I mean, we had some lore, but games like Overwatch have lore without being story-driven at all, so it wouldn't have surprised me. I didn't really consider it at all when i backed it.

Not saying that not having a story mode at the moment is a good thing or ideal, but that's a bit of perspective. Expectations have certainly changed in the face of games like Dragon Ball FighterZ or Injustice having robust story modes (for fighters), but hopefully this isn't too damaging in the long run once people see the game.
 

bibliodragon

Mashing the buttons!
Backers' Beta Tester
Jul 7, 2016
54
184
Admittedly disappointing, but thanks for being open and honest about what's going on. After the cease and desist, your dedication to this thing is not in question. Besides, now I can get more use out of this now the Cardboard Nation has been righteously defeated!
sneksoon.png
Will you guys be doing a postmortem once the game's safely out and you can sleep again? Dev time sound's like it's been quite a ride.
 
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