I'm sure that those who have been following the project for a while would have spotted that the old site was down for a week or so, and has now been replaced by a shiny new one. Additionally, those of you tracking us on ModDB might have been wondering why we've been quiet for so long. Basically, back then the project wasn't advanced enough to sustain the level of hype we wanted until release date. We now believe that it is.
This marks a major turning point for the project, as we're now ready to show off in-game media and able to accept pre-orders on our website. The game design plans have solidified significantly over the last six months as the coding has progressed and we know what we're capable of; all pages on the site have been reviewed to ensure they are up to date and reflect our current aims.
So, a quick run-down of what's changed:
1) The site has been updated, as mentioned above. Thankfully, we've upgraded the forum rather than replaced it. This means we've not wiped the old posts, although we've removed some of the Announcement posts as the previous Sitreps have been incorporated into the site information. That's why we're starting the Sitreps from #1 again.
2) You are able to pre-order the game. Full details are available on the pre-order page, but in short a pre-order costs $29.99 and will give you Early Access to the game, allowing you to playtest various elements of the game as we develop it so you can offer your feedback - for instance, the air combat, or the full beta of the game. As stated on the pre-order page, getting the money in now will lead to Xenonauts both arriving more quickly and being a higher-quality product when it does so.
3) We'll be doing more promotional work. Previously, we were a bit reticent about doing a lot of promotional work because we simply didn't have that much to show off except concepts. Now the game is in a good enough state that we can show off elements of it without scaring people away, we'll no longer be turning away offers for interviews and coverage and will be actively seeking it. We will also be setting up a Facebook page and keeping our ModDB account up to date now, so you can track us there through the new Broadcasts element of our page.
4) There's a Project Status page; we'll update it on a monthly basis and it'll give you a detailed rundown of where the project stands in terms of implementation.
I'll admit that there was a certain amount of smoke and mirrors when we announced the project; a lot of people seem to assume that games in development look pretty much the same as they do when they are finished, and we were concerned that showing the WIP shots of the project would lead to us being immediately dismissed as a bunch of amateurs. The publicity we received opened a lot of doors for us and helped us to reach the position we are in today, so at the end of the day the announcement served its purpose.
However, now that the community are able to pre-order the game, this phase has come to an end - it would be wrong to mislead anyone where money is concerned. We think the project is big and strong enough to stand on its own two feet now; you can see where we stand on the Project Status page and future updates will contain in-game screenshots and hopefully videos. There's plenty more polishing to be done and functionality to be added, but the hardest yards are behind us now and due to a couple of significant additions to the team I've absolutely no doubt at all that this game will be completed and released.
We're aiming for it to be ready for release in the next six months, and to have a playable beta by March. We are making no firm commitment on this, but that's what we're shooting for. And remember, the more pre-orders we receive, the more likely we are to be able to hit it!
The first of our screenshots and videos should start appearing in the next two weeks, so you can finally get a taste of how the game looks and feels!
Oh, and remember to vote for us in the Indie Game of The Year competition!