This week we’re releasing a rather important news update, so the regularly scheduled dev blog will be released next week. We will be discussing how our release plans have changed and what it means for the project and what it means for you, our backers and fans.
Planning for the Future
First off, we would like to thank all those of you who have been following our progress throughout the development of Project Orion. Everything we’re announcing today is intended to be in the best interest of the game and all those who want it to be the best it possibly can.
Previously, we had planned to release Project Orion this December, a goal we thought we could meet if we worked as hard as possible and dedicated every minute possible to the game. Since our Kickstarter finished we’ve done just that, and have been working non-stop to meet that deadline. Even after all the progress we’ve made the reality is we haven’t come far enough. After a long and hard discussion about the slim possibility of completing Project Orion by December, especially with the the level of quality we want, it was clear that we needed to modify our plans.
So, what were we going to do? Pushing the release date wasn’t an option as we’d already done it once, twice was unacceptable. Cutting missions and reducing the scope of the project was immediately dismissed. We know what we want the game to be, and we were not going to release what would be a shadow of our original vision. We considered several other options that could allow us to release by December, but when it came down to it none of us were willing to sacrifice any amount of quality or to compromise the scope and ambitions of the game.
We finally settled for the only plan we could agree on : a two part release.
Two Part Release
We realized the one thing that was stopping us from finishing in December was also the one thing we could sacrifice to keep the project on track – time. As long as we were willing to keep working beyond December we could maintain the scope and quality we wanted for the game. This means Project Orion is still going gold this December, just not all of it. We will instead be releasing Project Orion – Part One.
Part One will contain all of the gameplay features we’ve announced thus far including all combat systems, character interaction, and ship customization. However, the campaign of Part One will consist of the first six missions covering the initial months of the Arckin war, with the remaining missions and conclusion to be released in Part Two. This means the full story of Project Orion will be split between two releases, but there will still be plenty of content for you to play through come January 8th.
Yes, Part One has an official release date of January 8th, 2016, launching on Steam and DRM free!
Project Orion – Part One will release January 8th 2016!
We realize that this may raise some questions and concerns, so we’ll try to clarify a few things right away:
For those of you who contributed to Project Orion on Kickstarter and are looking forward to your physical rewards, such as the Collector’s Edition of the game, we will be reaching out to you in the near future regarding when and how you would like those rewards to be distributed.
a new approach
There are a number of reasons why we think these changes are the best way to move forward. We know Project Orion has to be all that we promised, and it has to live up to our own expectations as well as yours. Releasing in two parts allows us to ensure the quality is not compromised, while still keeping all the features and missions we had planned.
We’ll also be making some internal changes to accommodate our new deadlines. We are planning on expanding our programming team, as we feel the amount of hours going to game programming currently is our biggest roadblock to releasing on schedule. Everyone currently on the team will continue to put 110% into the project. Because all the development of Project Orion takes place on our own time, everyone has different limits as to just how much work they can contribute. Some of us are working full time to bring the game to life but the majority of us are working at least one other job to make ends meet, while using all our free time to develop the game. 16 hour work days aren’t easy, but we wouldn’t be very good game developers if we let a lack of sleep stop us.
Finally, our development roadmap will be rearranged to display our new release targets so you can see how our overall schedule will be affected.
With the rescheduling that has taken place we’ve pushed the upcoming Alpha into a new time frame starting October 19th. This way the test will be far more worthwhile, for us and for our testers. We can’t thank them enough for taking the time to help us make the game that much better.
Another small thing we’d like to announce is the start of the backer weapon design process! We will be reaching out to all our Weapon Designer’s this coming week with the details. We’re really looking forward to hearing what crazy and interesting ideas you guys come up with.
That’s all for this update. It was a big one, and we hope it explained our reasons for this new release schedule and maybe gave you a bit of an idea of what goes on behind the scenes. Look forward to the return of our bi-weekly Dev Blog next week; we’ve got some really cool things to show you!