As mentioned last week there will be no weekly recap today, but we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Hope you have a wonderful time out there <3

See you next week for the usual recap! Until then~

Hey guys!

This week has been all over the place. Vilya and Teddy have been out of commission the entire week due to one of their cats becoming sick. They had to leave Gotland and travel to an animal hospital in Stockholm. Vilya’s written a lengthy post about it over at her personal blog, be sure to send her some love.

Because of this we don’t have that much to showcase this week. Fred has been staying behind, acting cat sitter to Vilya and Teddys other cat, while continuing to work on NPCs for Tai Ming.

Besides interacting with the NPCs through out the dungeon, Tai Ming features a pretty hefty amount of cutscenes as well. Below are some animations from one of the scenes we are working on at the moment!

Combo

Walk

Sword

 

The past couple of weeks have been spent with friends and family, but as of yesterday we are all gathered back on the island again! Today we had a customary work meeting at a local hamburger joint, where we discussed the last stretch of the temple, including the main boss.

frassepåfrasses

Another thing we talked about was the state of the beta update cycles, where we feel we’ve fallen into a pattern of using Frontline as a Stable and Stable as some kind of Super Stable. Thus, we’re going to attempt increasing the update frequency of the Frontline beta, as well as the Stable beta.

The point of the Frontline beta was, after all, to allow users to test things as they were implemented. As a first step towards going back to this, we’re going to patch in the first and second part of the Season Temple sometime during the coming couple of weeks, including the Season Hydra miniboss.

We’ll get back to the proper Weekly Recap format next Monday, when we’ve gotten proper new material to show!

Wow, it’s actually out there! Still far from finished, of course, but out in the garden interacting with the real world (under close supervision).

The impressions have generally been favorable! We’ve gotten some big mentions from streamers and from video game news sites like PC Gamer and Giant Bomb, but what’s making us most happy is the great response from individual fans, and the activity over at the forums! People are reporting bugs in style (good labels, screens/videos) and providing feedback, and also helping each other out which is great to see.

One big worry was that people wouldn’t read up on the game beforehand, and get angry when the Story Mode didn’t have that much content, but you’ve all been very cool about that and spent time doing all the other stuff!

Speaking of other stuff, the Arcade Mode seems to bring a lot of grief and anger, which is great since our Black Ferret Doomsday Device is fueled by our player’s tears! Thanks bees!

In all seriousness, though, Arcade Mode seems to be a very appreciated feature while also being the target of many frustrated tweets and forum posts. So far, though, we’ve found that the difficulty of the mode has a net positive effect on how it’s ultimately perceived! The high difficulty improves the replay value, the satisfaction of getting better and also something for people to talk about. How to beat the Story Mode isn’t exactly something that needs to be explained (for the most part), but the community has yet to defeat Oldman’s Furious Giga Slime!

So, a question that’s come up a few times and we’re sure is on many people’s mind is: how did it all go?

Honestly, we don’t really know as we don’t have any data to compare it to, but we feel it’s gone pretty well so far! We’ve decided to provide full transparency, so here’s some insight into how the sales have been, and what that actually means in terms of paying rent and buying things to eat:

We’ve currently sold 2954 copies of the game over all tiers (4 packs counting as 4 games, of course). Most are simply copies of the game, but quite a lot have been chipping in with some extra funds for the higher tiers. We even have a master collector and a legendary blacksmith lurking about in the forums!

Of these, 2000 were sold the first two days, after which the sales have been slowing down considerably, but we’re still doing fine at roughly 10-15 sales per hour.

Despite the slowdown, we’ve had noticeable bumps when popular streamers or sites have featured us, such as ZiggyD’s stream and a post by PC Gamer. When we simultaneously got featured on Giant Bomb and by this Brazilian dude (you don’t need to know Portuguese to get hyped by this guy), our website went down for an hour. :(

So let’s do some number crunching, giving you insight into what’s actually involved when calculating profits on game sales! We don’t think many people are aware of how this process looks, but it’s actually pretty good to know if you’re interested in how much money people are actually bringing in from their Kickstarters, pre-orders or just sales in general.

We’ve sold for $50,260 before VAT, payment processing and Humble Bundle’s share. VAT differs from place to place. In Sweden, 20 % of the total amount is paid in VAT. Payment processing (Paypal or Amazon) is ~5 % off the transaction. Humble Bundle then takes the very humble cut of 5 % (source). What’s left after this is then wired to our bank.

So, the $50,260 in sales becomes $36,287 paid out. Now, the Swedish state takes over and wants some return on investment for all the free education it’s handed out over the years. On all money we earn to the company, we’ll have to pay employer fees and taxes, which is about 31 % and 33 % respectively. That brings it down to $16775, but we are three people, so in the end, we get $5,592 each. (Formula is SALES * 0,8 * 0,95 * 0,95 * 0,69 * 0,67)

We’re not rich (yet!!) but we’re very happy with those results! Many years as students have taught us how to survive on a low income so that’s quite a bit of money to us.

A handy formula for people who don’t like math is this:

For every copy we sell we’ll all be able to survive for one more hour.

So here’s to hoping the sales stay above one copy per hour! :D

Okay, so it’s not “the date”, but it’s one of them! Namely, the date we’ll open up for pre-orders!

Ready? Ok, here it is:

Wednesday, April 16th

And there you have it! This Wednesday, on April 16th, we’ll open up for pre-orders! More specifically, we’ll open them up sometime in the Swedish afternoon of April 16th, which means in the morning for Americans, and night for Aussies.

In preparation for that, we’ll share some specific information regarding the pre-orders.

First, let’s talk about updates! We’ve decided to split the beta into two branches: Stable and Frontline. You’ll automatically have access to both with your Steam key.

The Stable Beta will be updated episodically. Updates can take everything between 1-3 months. The Stable Beta is for people who want an absolute minimum of bugs. It’s mostly recommended for streamers and YouTubers, or if you don’t really care about update frequency.

The Frontline Beta is, essentially, a beta of the beta. This will be updated whenever we damn well please, which probably means around every 1-2 weeks, like the Steam beta up until this point. People who play this version will help us out a lot by testing and giving feedback on new features and balance.

When enough content and features have been amassed in the Frontline version, we will feature freeze and bug fix for a week or so, and then do a new Stable build. So, in short, if stability is more important to you than update frequency and helping us with bugs and feedback, keep it at Stable.

Second, we’d like to remind everyone that this is in fact only a beta, and that you should think twice before purchasing. If you want to support us, then it’s an easy choice, but if you only want to pre-order to play the game, please be aware of the state of the game: it’s not finished!

And finally, we’ve gotten a lot of requests regarding the purchase tiers! We’ll have something for poor students and rich philanthropists both. Below is a full list of all the tiers we’ll have available:

$15 – Slime Tier
* Full game on release (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Instant beta access (Steam key + DRM-free version).
Also available as 4-pack for $45.

$20 – Rabby Tier
* Full game on release (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Instant beta access (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Unique hat only available through pre-orders (Picture | GIF).
Also available as 4-pack for $60.

$30 – Jumpkin Tier
* Full game on release (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Instant beta access (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Unique hat only available through pre-orders (Picture | GIF).
* Full Soundtrack by Andrew Riley of Lucky Lion Studios on release.

$50 – Snowbacca Tier
* Full game on release (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Instant beta access (Steam key + DRM-free version).
* Unique hat only available through pre-orders (Picture | GIF).
* Full Soundtrack by Andrew Riley of Lucky Lion Studios on release.
* Digital Production Booklet (.pdf) with behind the scenes design decisions, step-by-step art, early concepts and much more! Available on release.

$100 – Bottomless Bag Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Design an equipable item (not visible) that can be found in the game!

$200 – Carpenter Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Design a furniture item for the housing part of the game!

$300 – Fabulous Hatter Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Design a hat or facegear that can be equipped in the game!

$500 – Master Sculptor Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* A statue in the game will be made to your likeness (or the likeness of whoever you chose)!

$750 – Legendary Blacksmith Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Design a weapon that can be equipped in the game!

$1000 – Collector Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Become or design an NPC found in the game!

$2000 – Master Collector Tier
* Full Snowbacca Tier.
* Become or design an NPC found in the game!
* Design a sidequest for the game!

That’s all for now! See you on Wednesday~

This week we have so many announcements to make that there’s not even room for game progress to be shown! So let’s dive right into it.

First off, after over two years of development we’ve finally opened up an official forum. Yes, it’s true! We’re using the XenForo forum software, and so far everything is working really well!

Forumscreen

The forum is all-compassing and have sections for both general discussion and feedback from all our followers, beta testers or not! Get over there, register and hang out!

Even more exciting – and who thought something could be more exciting than a forum – is that our plans for Early Access have finally taken enough form to be shared!

We’ll be taking pre-orders through the Humble Widget, which means everyone who pre-orders the game will get both a DRM-free copy and a Steam key.

There won’t be a separate beta tier. Instead we include instant beta access in the base price of $15 (about €11/£9). In traditional crowd funding fashion, we’ll also have several reward tiers if anyone feels more money needs to be thrown around!

preorderpreview2No, you’re not dreaming. We have a hat as a reward!

Our hopes with this funding drive is to get enough income to replace our student loans, letting us entirely focus on the game 100 % without having to (barely) pass courses! There’s also been a huge community demand to open up the gates to the beta. There are over 3500 posts in the beta application thread, and it’s still growing faster than we require new testers!

Now, people will be able to try out a demo to get a feel if this is a game for them, and then decide whether they want to support the development to get beta access or not!

The exact date for the opening of this pre-order is not set in stone, but it will happen in the next 2-3 weeks!

And so the last piece of news is that we’ll invite 40 new testers later this week! There are some adjustments to the story mode we want some fresh insights on before the Early Access goes live.

The testers will be, like always, selected at random form the IndieDB thread. You’ll receive a message asking if you’re still interested in beta access, and if you are, we’ll send you a Steam beta key!

Hopefully, you’re as excited about all this as we are!

PS: Check out the forum!

Although we have gotten some work done this week, there won’t be a regular recap! Instead, we’ll just leave five beta keys lying around!

US680-8BL1X-J9SUF-CU0QH-INFD3
H4MS0-Q173B-F8HRD-FQ5GE-9BDY1
V1OKC-W9NAM-VE26C-47BCE-8LU74
P6H5H-FU063-7C66G-SUC4X-OS2PO
WUJYZ-ZT7YY-UAHPQ-R388Y-J8X6V

If you have a Desura account, you can redeem a key here~

Even though this handout is kind of random, we’d love it if you still treated it as a regular beta invite (that means giving us some feedback)!

Within 24 hours of redeeming the key, you’ll receive a message on Desura with some information about the beta, as well as an invite to a hidden forum on IndieDB where you can give us feedback or bug reports :)

Best of luck, and Happy Holidays!

Starting tomorrow (Thursday), and for four days straight, Secrets of Grindea will be shown on Gamex, a Swedish video game trade fair taking place in Kista, Stockholm!

The game will be running all days, in the HGO Game monter (E34).

On Thursday, Teddy will be there, and on Saturday both Teddy and Fred will man the booth (when they’re not shredding GuitarSmith or blowing up scrubs in Mario Kart). On Friday and Sunday, our good pals from the school will keep an eye on things!

If you’re in town and going to Gamex, don’t hesitate to stop by and try it out!

More information on Gamex can be found here

 

It’s been a long time coming, but the beta is finally in sight!

The post below should straighten some things out regarding the scope and how it’s all going to work!

What the beta is

It’s a way for you to help us make a better game, by finding bugs, annoyances, and sharing your thoughts on what can be improved upon (and the things we’ve got right).

What the beta isn’t

The Minecraft Alpha, where you could already do a ton of stuff, and where its open ended nature meant that the alpha version was pretty much a complete game in a sense. So, if what you’re yearning for is the final product, a beta might not be for you!

How long is the beta?

For the average player, a playthrough where you disregard everything but the main quest would probably take about 30 minutes.

If you complete the side quests, around 60 minutes.

Getting 100 % completion (side quests, rare drops, cards, crafting, fishing, challenges, etc) would likely take a few hours.

The game isn’t very long yet, as we’re still in a phase where we add new features, and we want to be somewhat done with the basic framework before going into full content crunch.

How many people will be invited?

In two weeks, we’ll invite 5-6 people, mainly to test out the system. A week after that we’ll send out more invites. How many sort of depends on the amount of interest shown, but a majority will probably get in. Since we want new ”first impressions” between each major update, we want to keep a portion of potential beta users on standby.

After the beta has begun, older applications will be picked first, so if you post before the start of the beta, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get access within the first few updates.

Do I need Desura?

Yes, you’ll need Desura. For those not sure what it is, it’s basically like Steam (but more lightweight). We use this platform because it makes it very easy for us to gather the community and manage invites etc, as well as providing some convenient features like auto updating.

Enough with the info! Where do I sign up?

We’ve created a forum over at IndieDB with a registration thread! Log in with your Desura/IndieDB account and post whatever. If you’re someone we might know from the blog/Facebook/Reddit etc, feel free to mention that in the post! You absolutely don’t need to write a pitch or anything – apart from some veterans the picks will be random.

When you get invited to the beta, you’ll also be invited to a top secret forum where you can discuss the game with us and other users!

You might’ve seen us mention the Swedish Game Awards quite a few times already, and here’s the closing chapter of that story:

We won Game of the Year!

The trophy above, which to the uninitiated looks like an ice cube with limes, is actually a hand made glass decoration inspired by the Swedish Game Awards-logo. It weighs enough to kill a bear with, which is great since bears drop high quality fur you can use to craft sweet hats!

While many of you loyal fans believed we’d enjoy an easy win and a free meal, we can assure you it wasn’t a dominating victory by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the more games we tested on the show floor, the less certain we felt of victory — after all, the only way we could win was that nobody else would, and that seemed downright unlikely. Now don’t get us wrong here, we have the utmost faith in Grindea and certainly feel it deserved to win, but so did all the other games!

You guys already know pretty much all there is to know about Grindea, so here are a few shoutouts to some games we adored:

Build & Break won Gamer’s Choice, which in our eyes might as well be a second ‘Game of the Year’. It’s sort of a multiplayer, 3D Angry Birds where players build their own forts and try to demolish the other player. It’s great fun, looks awesome and plays very well. Since it’s made in Unity3D, it could end up on pretty much every platform if the developers decide to continue development (which you should!!)

Forlorn is an amazing iPhone game that not only conquered Best Mobile, but also became nominated for Game of the Year! Its core mechanic is an Ikaruga/Outland-inspired elemental switch, with which you change your element in order to pass obstacles (become fire to resist fire) or kill certain enemies (burning enemies can only be harmed by ice). When this bad boy becomes a fully fledged game it’s going to be one of the highest quality mobile games out there.

Runners Grinders is a cool Android game designed to trick your mind into exercising by turning jogging into an exploration Action/RPG! Pretty genius idea if you ask us, and since it won the Serious Game-award, the judges seemingly agreed :)

A Story About My Uncle was our showfloor neighbor and they were nominated to Game of the Year as well. It’s a gorgeous 3D skill jump platformer, where you’re equipped with a special suit that lets you traverse large gaps by pulling its wearer towards objects. Due to a prize deficit rather than a lack of quality, it didn’t win an official reward, but it certainly deserves an honorable mention.

Honestly, all nominees were amazing, so do check them out!

All in all, the Swedish Game Awards show was great fun, had lovely games (arguably best lineup in an SGA yet) and was an amazing experience. Apart from the prize, we also got a lot of great feedback from people playing it on the floor. The whole event has left us greatly revitalized and optimistic! A huge thanks to everyone who attended the event, and a super special hug to the organizers for the truckloads of blood, sweat and tears that went into making SGA the awesome thing it is.

Long live the pixels!