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Messages - Philo

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Announcements / Update Preview 0.5.5 - Release preview
« on: August 23, 2017, 10:32:35 AM »
Things are getting serious.
We decided on a launch date: Thursday, September 21st 2017.
That is just four weeks from now! Until then all new versions will remain on their separate branches. On launch day they will be pushed on to the main branch. Now we need all the help we can get to make sure the release version runs like a charm, so all new pack members discovering the game on launch have a great time experiencing it for the first time ^^

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.

Please help us test this version and report feedback here:http://steamcommunity.com/app/440650/discussions/1/1471969431578238854/
In case you speak German, French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian, please play the game in your language and report translation issues :)

The launch will be an extremly important event for Niche and our studio. We would love to keep adding more features to the game and really hope it will sell well enough to enable us to do so. All infos about Niche’s future here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/440650/discussions/1/1368380934282493056/


What is new?
- Distinction between story and sandbox mode
+ selectable start islands in sandbox mode
- Tutorial (finally!)
- Steam achievements
- 5 available save slots
- Polishing and bug fixes
- Ui is completly reworked (It took me a while to get used to it xD)
- Localisation to French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian
(a huge thanks to our translators <3)

The tutorial includes a few references to the intro video (which is currently in production and looks awesome :D) which are probably a but confusing.


How to get the update:
> right click on Niche in your library
> click on properties
> select the beta tab
> select the dropdown and choose “release_preview"
> the game will update, please wait (restart Steam if the game is not updating)
> play :D
> report bugs and leave feedback here:

If you are a Youtuber/Streamer:
Please inform your viewers how to access the update and let them know it is a preview version.

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):
- Some animal textures (mainly for right paws) are misplaced
- Blue bird fly around weirdly
- Title screen not fit for all screen resolutions

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

Stray Fawn Studio

Announcements / Nimbatus - Project Introduction
« on: August 09, 2017, 02:38:18 PM »
Hi Fawns :)

Some of you might have already heard of our project Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor. I'd like to give you a quick intro what the game is about and what the next development steps are.

Nimbatus is a procedurally generated action simulation game. You can build space drones out of hundreds of different parts and explore a galaxy with countless fully destructible planets. On your journey you will face deadly challenges on exotic planets and research new technology. There will be various missions to test your drone engineer skills. We also plan to add a story to the game where you fight an intergalactic evil corporation.

Nimbatus was originally designed by my Stray Fawn Studio founding partner, Micha Stettler. Micha worked on Nimbatus during his free time and weekends while having a full time day job for three years. He then decided to quit his (increadibly well payed, we'll probably never earn that much again lol) job and start a game studio to finish Nimbatus which had grown very dear to him. Now we are 5 people, working on both Nimbatus and our other project Niche.

We are currently working towards a playable alpha version of Nimbatus. In order to finance the further development we will run a Kickstarter campaign in November. Shortly after the game will be released on Steam Early Access.

We'll keep you up to date with all Nimbatus news here :)
If you'd like to receive important project updates (such as Kickstarter or Early Access launch) you can sign up for the newsletter:

We also recently set up a Steam page, in case you'd like to wishlist Nimbatus: http://store.steampowered.com/app/383840/Nimbatus__The_Space_Drone_Constructor/

We are looking forward to your inputs and comments :D

Give Aways / Re: Give Away to celebrate forum opening!
« on: August 09, 2017, 01:56:46 PM »
@ cole3050
Yeah right we were super happy that the post got so much attention :D
I'm about to post some infos in the Nimbatus -> Announcements section. The next step will be a Kickstarter campaign in November.

@Core Deep
Yes, that actually is a great idea, we'll do that soon xD
I'll send you a key via email!

Discussion / Cool Nimbatus GIFs
« on: August 07, 2017, 03:07:56 PM »
Hi fawns :)

We'll be posting some cool Nimbatus gifs in this thread.

Bugs / Re: Minor bug with the leeches.
« on: August 07, 2017, 02:53:48 PM »
Fixed, will be in the next update.
Thanks again!

Give Aways / Re: Give Away to celebrate forum opening!
« on: August 07, 2017, 02:49:47 PM »
Yes, I'll send you a key for your friend :)
I'm not sure about the difficulty settings yet. After the release of the game in September we'll have to see how well the game sells.
If sales go well we want to let the community vote on what features they'd like to see added to the game. Diffulty setting sound like an option for that :)
I wrote down some stuff about Niche's release and future here: http://strayfawnstudio.com/forum/index.php?topic=508.0

I'll send you a key ^^

One key is still available :)

Discussion / Re: Favorite Niche Fanart
« on: August 07, 2017, 02:24:19 PM »

by RCris123

OffTopic / Re: Your favorite games
« on: August 03, 2017, 10:38:57 AM »
~Kingdom New Lands

Oh yes, I love Kindom! Met the dev recently, he is a very nice guy :D

Give Aways / Re: Give Away to celebrate forum opening!
« on: August 02, 2017, 09:18:33 PM »
The forum is still very new :)
I hope with a bit of time and effort we can build it up ^^
Posting here qualifies you for a free Niche Steam key. Would you like one?

Give Aways / Re: Give Away to celebrate forum opening!
« on: July 30, 2017, 07:38:21 PM »
Yes and since you are the first to actually discover this, I'll send you a key right away ^^

Bugs / Re: Minor bug with the leeches.
« on: July 28, 2017, 11:16:14 AM »
Hi Kittyhawkgo

Thanks for reporting, we'll make sure to fix it :)

OffTopic / Your favorite games
« on: July 27, 2017, 02:16:12 PM »
Hi fellow Fawns ^^

I would be very interested to hear what your favorite games are.
Mine are: Digimon World (New Order is also pretty cool), Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem and Moster Rancher.

Give Aways / Give Away to celebrate forum opening!
« on: July 27, 2017, 02:07:13 PM »
Hmm what should I call people who are active in this forum...
I think I'll go with Fawns :D

Hi Fawns and welcome!

To celebrate the opening of our new forum, we are doing a little give away ^^
Comment here for a chance to win one out of 5 Niche Steam Keys.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 :)

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