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Messages - Philo

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16
Support / Re: [Forum] Bug on forum profile
« on: July 27, 2017, 12:22:30 PM »
Thanks SpaceLapin and welcome :)

17
Announcements / Niche's release and future
« on: July 27, 2017, 10:53:41 AM »
I'm really happy to see that many of us love Niche :)
The first prototype was created in early 2014 and I never would have believed that people would care. This game means so much to me. Niche allowed me and my team to become fulltime game developers and found our own studio. This is a dream come true ^_^
You were with us all this time and helped us achieve our goals over and over. That's why I want to give you a detailed insight about Niche's future.

Ok, here goes:
We are preparing the full release of Niche, currently planned for September 2017.
What will be added until then?
- A proper tutorial
- A new gene unlocking system (no more epigenetics for now ;))
- A longterm goal through a story (+ intro animation)
- More islands
- Translation to multiple languages
- Procedural patterns (soo many combinations for breeders)
- Steam achievements
- Maybe trading cards
- UI rework
- Maybe a few more genes or small features but not sure
- Bug fixes, polishing

This is a HUGE todo list, so please forgive us if we are a bit late with regular updates >_<

Some (mostly small) features promised in the Kickstarter won't make it into the release version. We are not exactly sure which ones yet, but I want to appologize already.

Why did this happen?
Some of the blame goes to really slow communication, but for the most part I failed to manage features correctly. This is our first "big" game and it was really overwhelming to add features the team wanted to add, the community wanted and things we promised in the Kickstarter. We usually just priorized whichever features we thought would have the best impact on the game at that time. I want to personally appologize for this and will soon publish a list of all missing Kickstarter features. However! All features we promised will be added in updates over the course of the next months :)


Why release now and not stay in Early Access longer?
Niche's development was first started by me. A team started to grow around the game and we called ourselves "Team Niche". We agreed to work together on this game and then go our separate ways again. The lead programmer of "Team Niche" (Micha Stettler) and me however found that we greatly enjoyed working together and decided to start a game studio together. This was the birth of Stray Fawn Studio. Stray Fawn Studio hired the rest of "Team Niche" in order to finish the game.

Reason1:
Our super loyal team members promised to stay until release. After delaying the release twice! already I'm starting to feel uncomfortable with this situation. It's time that we release the game and enter a new phase where everyone can stay or go without breaking their promise.

Reason2:
My Stray Fawn Studio business parter and Niche's lead developer Micha has been working on his own game (Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor) in the past three years. Micha quit his day job to finish his game Nimbatus. When we founded the studio together we agreed that we would release both game in 2017 (Niche full release and Nimbatus Early Access). Because we delayed Niche's release, Nimbatus may not be released in Early Access this year. However we at least want to finish the Kickstarter for Nimbatus this year which is planned for October. Micha did so so so much for Niche, handling most of the programing work. Now it's my turn to help him run the Nimbatus Kickstarter! Please note that after Niche is released, our studio will have a strong focus on Nimbatus during October/November to run the Kickstarter and prepare the Early Access launch. However one day per week is reserved for Niche Kickstarter fulfillments.

Reason3:
Niche has sold about 36'000 copies so far. If you take away Steam's share and insurances etc this gives our studio about $360'000 so far. This is really amazing! Since we worked mostly for free or for a veery low payment this gives us quite a bit of profit :)
But, if you calculate how much money Niche really costs to make (note that we live in Switzerland), it has not covered it's development costs yet. The step to becoming a real company with employees, studio rent, software cost etc means you can't calculate with free time or veery low payment anymore. We want to hire great people to make great games and pay them properly! So, how much did Niche actually cost to make calculating with all these costs? About $500'000. Crazy right? I'm not used to such high numbers yet at all @_@
For the future of our studio I have to make sure our games operate at break even at least. If we can't make back the money we invest, our studio will have to close down. This brings me to the final question:

What happens after Niche's release:
Niche now has to prove it can make back its costs. If we manage to sell at least 14'000 copies until November 2017 (in total 50'000 copies) this counts as a success and means we can keep investing money in updates. If the pack works together and spreads the word this is very much achieveable I think :D!
I'll post infos about how to support the release soon. Please note: All Kickstarter features will be added anyways, no conditions attached to that. Also, nothing can keep me to mess around with Niche in my free time ;)

Again, thank you for all your support!
This has become a reeeal wall of text. Let me know if you have any questions :)

18
Announcements / Update 0.5 Preview - Feedback and Bug Reports
« on: July 27, 2017, 09:31:33 AM »
Finally the update is on the preview branch :)
Pretty much the WHOLE dev team was sick during the last weeks, so please excuse the delay! As usual this version is not quite finished and still rather buggy, that's why we uploaded it on a separate branch.

Please note: If you just want to play and enjoy the game DON'T play this version. This version is for bug testing and feedback. Your game will automatically update itself as soon as the update runs well and is pushed to the main branch.

What is new?
- Lots of new island + special challenge islands
- More content for swamp and savanna biomes
- New dynamic pattern system
- New gene unlocking/ mutation system
- Interspecies breeding with Bearyenas
- New textures
- Small adjustments and fixes
(Sickness lasts only 2 days, healing plants cures sickness, ...)
- Lots of new bugs xD

This update features a lot of new content and we had to rebuild the game quite a bit. Because of this older save files will unfortunately not be compatible with this update. We are really curious to hear if the game runs well on your computers now since we hope to have fixed some of the performance issues.

Known issues (currently fixing):
- Animals don't have textures currently (noses etc are missing)
- Animal patterns sometimes don't match with portrait and family tree image

The full release of the game in September is coming closer and closer!
This will be the last "update" before release. However we will keep pushing new builds to the preview branch every few weeks until launch.
All infos about Niche's future can be found here:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/440650/discussions/1/1368380934282493056/

How to get the update on Steam:
> open Steam
> right click on Niche in your library
> click on properties
> select the beta tab
> select the dropdown and choose “buggy_0.5_preview"
> the game will update, please wait (restart Steam if the game is not updating)
> play :D
> report bugs and leave feedback here:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/440650/discussions/1/1457328927835841598/

Thank you all very much for your time and support :)



19
Bugs / First Aid if the game won't run properly
« on: May 30, 2017, 04:11:24 PM »
Hi :)

Please read this first!
Niche is in Early Access. Bugs and crashes might occur and we we hope to fix them as fast as possible.

Please check if your computer fulfills our minimal system requirements. You need at least:
- 1GB free disk space
- 4GB of memory
- a 2GHz dual core processor
- a nVidia 8800 GT / AMD 4670 or faster graphics

If you are not familiar with system requirements, feel free to send us an email (support@strayfawnstudio.com) including the information above.
You can find this information by clicking Help / System Information in your Steam client.

Also:
- Make sure your Graphics Card Drivers are updated
- Make sure you have the most recent version of DirectX installed (Windows only)

If your computer does not fulfill these requirements and the game does not run even though you updated your graphics card driver and downloaded the most recent version of DirectX (Windows only):
Please get a refund on Steam. You can do this until two weeks after buying the game: http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds/

If your computer fulfills all the above requirements, your graphics card driver is up to date, the most recent version of DirectX is installed (Windows only) and the game still does not run:
Please send us an email (support@strayfawnstudio.com) which includes your system specification. (You can find it by clicking Help / System Information in your Steam client.)
There is also a log file which could help us greatly to find the cause of the problem if you attach it to your email. You can find it at the following locations:

- Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Niche\Windows\Niche_Data\output_log.txt
- Mac: ~/Library/Logs/Unity/Player.log
- Linux: ~/.config/unity3d/Team Niche/Niche _ a genetics survival game/Player.log

Thanks!

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