Hey folks, let’s talk about publishing in 2020!
First of all, oof, what a year. 2020 has thrown so many curveballs and challenges… but we’ve almost made it through! Development and publishing during a global pandemic has certainly been interesting. This moment has impacted everyone, no matter how large the project or how small the company; everybody has had to overcome challenges both personally and professionally. That being said, we’re very lucky to have a supportive and understanding community.
But it’s not all doom n’ gloom, and is why we want to take the time to recognise the sheer amount of hard work, love and determination that our teams and developers have shown over the past several months. So without further ado!
Eastward, Pixpil Games
The wonderful folks at Pixpil Games, based in Shanghai, were impacted by the global pandemic before the rest of the world. During their lockdown, not only were they unable to work collectively in their office space, but also had the power supply cut off to their office resulting in a lack of access to their servers. Sadly this had a lasting impact on development and will mean that Eastward will not be available until 2021. As a no-crunch studio ourselves, we extend this ethos to our development partners meaning that we still do not have an exact date, but rest assured, as soon as we have one, we will share it with you.
Though even through challenges this team has endured, they never faltered, complained or showed signs of giving up. In the face of everything, the team has taken it in their stride, and stayed focused on their goal of making beautiful art and sharing it with the world. We’ll be sharing more Eastward updates when the team is ready! Until then, please send them your love and support over on twitter, we’re sure they’ll appreciate it, and check out our latest blog with all-new screenshots!
Starmancer, Ominux Games
Fun fact: the Ominux Games team have worked as a team remotely for over 8 years, and met in person for the first time after we brought them together for an EGX event! It was an exciting moment to bring such close friends and colleagues together finally! That being said, the two-man team is very much used to working from home and are still on track to share Starmancer with the world very soon.
The steam demo event earlier in Summer was a great success, and resulted in a bunch of helpful feedback from players – the community are a big part of the development process and we’re so glad to have had the opportunity to gather all your thoughts!
Starmancer is currently in closed alpha for Kickstarter backers to play, and will roll into a closed beta followed by a public release sometime soon – we’ll know more as we come into 2021. Until then, Tyler and Victor will be still working on making Starmancer a fun and chaotic experience for you to enjoy.
INMOST, Hidden Layer Games
We also published INMOST on PC and Switch this year *cheering*. After a warm reception on Apple Arcade, we were so pleased to hear PC and Switch players have enjoyed the game too! Between the reviews, the fan art, speedrunning and content creators opening up about their own experiences with mental health, we’ve been overwhelmed by how supportive and sweet the community has been. We couldn’t have asked for a better reception – from ourselves, and Andriy and Alexey at Hidden Layer Games, thank you!
If you’ve been living under a monochrome rock and haven’t been able to check out INMOST yet, you can check it out here on Steam or Nintendo.
In case you missed it we gave an update on news with Starbound this past week. We’re excited to be bringing Starbound to Xbox Games Pass for PC as of December 8th – if you’ve been waiting to play Starbound now is a great time to give it a try! The value of Games Pass is fantastic – for a very low monthly fee you can get access to Starbound and over 100 other amazing titles!
Finally, Witchbrook development is still in full swing! We’re working hard and hope to be able to share more work-in-progress blogs, streams, videos and such in the future. Until then, we’d like to say that the support the community has shown us since we launched the website back in June has been so lovely and we’re keen to spill the beans!
Black Lives Matter
We are still offering support for Black game developers and upcoming talent in the community! Our advice and support comes judgement-free and is an open space to ask questions about development, career and all things gaming. Our offer has no time limit on it, so please take the time if you need it. Blog here and form here.
The health and safety of our development teams has been the most important thing to us this year, and we’re very lucky to work with teams who have not only managed to tackle lockdown professionally, but have also taken the time to support and check in on each other. They’re honestly such good eggs and we couldn’t ask for better colleagues and partners.
We’re all working from home for the foreseeable future, taking extra time to look after ourselves physically and mentally. And even though we have a strict no-crunch policy, it’s still important to recognise and reiterate to people that in these unprecedented times, our mental capacity can be delicate, imbalanced and a bit all over the place, making it that much more important to enforce time off and away from desks. We’re human after all.
Until next time!