Lots of exciting stuff happening at Burrito Studio this month!
First of all we'd like to introduce our brand new web-site for Highlands (http://www.highlandsvideogame.com/), make sure to follow us there or on Facebook or Twitter to get the latest news as we are getting closer to the release!
Next in line: BurritoJo just released a new gameplay video, we invite you to watch Part 3 of our dev coverage here!
But the biggest news of all is that we will brave the snow and present Highlands at PAX East Boston on the weekend of March 6-to-8! Come have fun and play the game if you are in the area, we'll even have a few surprises in store! More info here.
And if you are in the Montreal area, come visit us at cinema Excentris next Saturday during the Nuit Blanche, where we will showcase the game on the big screen!
Some of our Kickstarter backers had an early Christmas present last year with our release of Highlands beta 1 access! This has been sent to more than 160 backers, thank you all for the feedback! After a first week back from the holidays we are now working hard on beta 2 that will be released January 19th. Also with most of the core mechanics and gameplay aspects of the game integrated, we are now ready to go full steam finishing all the in-game content we need.
Creating New Maps!
Since Monday, BurritoLo and BurritoFrank have been working full time on the production of new maps for Highlands. We brainstormed multiple ideas for the specific types of maps we want to develop and came up with several interesting designs:
By playing with the placement of the sectors, the number of enemies and the abundance of resources, we are able to make really cool scenarios. For example, some maps will encourage the player to make full scale assaults while others will force him to stretch his forces and defend multiple sectors. We’re also having great fun designing maps that force a player to rethink his strategy and his play style. Scenarios where recruitment will be limited and you will lead only a small squad and others where your forces will be separated at the beginning of the game and you will try to reunite them are challenges that awaits you in the game.
Those are only examples within the myriad of scenarios we thought of. There’s more where that came from!
Wokshop and Items
BurritoAl has been working feverishly into programming what will become the crafting system that will be available in private beta 2. This addition to the game will give the player an extra layer of strategy and complexity when it comes to managing his characters.
you will be able to craft your own items, find new blueprints, unlocking new
items and assign them to your characters.
Polishing What We Have
Along with all those tasks, we are still going to work on all the elements we already have in our game and polish them as much as we can. With the last beta release we have been gaining valuable feedback from different players to make the most kickass game possible!
As always, thanks everyone and stay tuned: 2015 will be the year of Highlands!
everyone! Last month's Kickstarter was a resounding success due in no small
part to our amazing community! In the spirit of self-improvement and to give
everyone feedback on our experience, we decided to organize a little post-mortem of our Kickstarter adventure. It's our way of showing more of the inner workings that are going
into making Highlands, and hopefully this will help other indie developers go through the challenges of a Kickstarter campaign.
How did we live through the
Kickstarter experience is quite an ordeal. As a whole, we lived in a constant
state of love/hate with it. Not only is it wholly invasive in everyone's life,
but it's also incredibly rewarding. Allow me to clarify. On one side, when we
got into the crowdfunding process, we had no idea how much work it was going to
be. It's non-stop action. The back and forth with the community, the promotion
and the constant checking and refreshing of the main page to see new stats and backers! It followed us
everywhere and for a whole month we were on edge. At the same time, it
is one of the most rewarding things we could've done! Every pledge we received
was met with cheers and when we hit the goal, it was such a relief! When you get in a
crowdfunding process, you have to adapt and learn new skills very quickly.
It was, overall, a very positive learning experience for everyone involved on
What did we do good?
Kickstarter went through, so obviously we did something good. But what? On the
whole, the preparation we put into it was satisfying for a first experience. We have spent about 2 weeks of half-time research from a single team member, reading articles such as the one I'm posting and gathering various facts and best-practices on Kickstarter. Then at the beginning of September when we decided to go for it, there was about 3 weeks of full preparation from the whole team. The Kickstarter page and the image of the game were quite strong. We had many
positive comments about our page, that it looked professionnal and had a good
direction. We had a great message we wanted to send about the game, and with the help of the community we managed to narrow the description enough so that it was clear what players would be getting into.
Speaking of players, we feel like we handled the community quite well, trying
to answer everyone quickly and giving as much information and feedback as
possible. Of course, you are all in a better position to judge that!
What did we do that wasn't so
we can't do everything right. While the preparation time we had was satisfying,
you can never have too much prep time. Seriously, be like batman, plan for the
impossible. We also didn't expect the level of time and efforts it took us to
run this successful campaign. We planned a lot of production time during the
campaign but it took us so much efforts, we couldn't put more than 30-40% of
our time into actual game production, at best. Of course, without funding, we
simply couldn't go on with the game, so it was a good trade-off. In the
research we did, we found out that there was a lull in the middle of the
campaign, which we expected. But when faced with that downtime, we were
actually panicking. Even if we knew that it would shoot back up, we had all
hands on deck trying to reverse the direction.
What if we had to do it again?
plenty of things that we could've done better and that we'd do differently if
we were to do it again. The marketing strategy would be one of those. While we
had plenty of luck with the marketing we had, it could've been more
thought-out. The reception we had from the media was great but if we planned it
better? We're confident that it could have been glorious. One of the things
that caused us pain was the pledges and stretch goals. The pledges were good,
but the description wasn't as good as it could've been, same thing with the
stretch goals. While we had good ideas for the goals, the money objective now
seems too high. It looked logical at the time, but not so much now. Of
course, they say hindsight is 20/20 but
it still is something that bears some thought. One last thing, we mentioned
earlier that the message we tried to give of the game was good. It was, but looking back there was a lot that we needed to clarify mid-campaign. The community feedback helped us a lot to refine our branding and better express our gameplay ideas and we could probably have planned it a little better.
And now, a word of advice!
an indie studio and we feel like the world of gaming could benefit from more
indie games. Often, the step to take is a big one and that's why everyone at
Burrito Studio has a little advice for every developer out there:
sure your branding is rock-solid yet stay flexible and refine it on the way. " -BurritoJo
underestimate the workload!" -BurritoFrank
think Kickstarter will bring you views, you will bring views to
yourself in advance, learn to use self-promotion tools, learn from others, more
Thank you all again for all the love and support during the Kickstarter campaign. We've been hard at work for more than three weeks now and we'll keep on working until the game is ready in all its glory. Beta is still on track for this December so stay tuned! In the meantime, you are all awesome!
If you feel curious and want more insights on the Kickstarter experience, please feel free to comment and ask away!