Hacknet's been the last three years of my life, my creativity, and most of my time outside of a day job - and I couldn't have asked for more from the response. Thanks so much to everyone in the community for being so great, and keeping the indie dream alive!
Instead of moving on to new projects, I've decided to dedicate most of this year to supporting and expanding the game.
I've been looking at all my options on what I should be focusing on next, and what the community really wants and in this post I want to give everyone an update on what my plans are, and when you can all expect new stuff. Lets get to it!
Localization and Translations
A lot of people have been requesting localized versions of Hacknet and some eager fans have even started submitting translations. Because Hacknet is such a text-heavy game and has an unusual structure, this isn’t super easy to do but I'm currently working on the technical side and will then be organizing translations for major regions soon. If you are eager to help with translating, please let me know on matt [@] hacknet-os.com!
Multiplayer is another feature that many people in the community have been clamoring for, and I'm still in the process of experimenting with various models for this. I've got some pretty crazy ideas, and this is something that I will be exploring and releasing later this year as a free update.
Education And Training Versions
An unexpected set of requests started cropping up soon after release, with a number of educational establishments, training groups and security companies asking for a training version of Hacknet. Some amazing contacts in the US Department of Defence and cyber warfare groups are helping design special improvements, and mods to the game to be used in their training programs. In parallel, I'm investigating a version of Hacknet that can be deployed to students as a learning tool, and a training tool for companies. Some of this work will hopefully filter back into the main version of the game.
Since day one, mod support has been the number one, most requested feature. The good news is that, yes, I am working on the backbone system that will allow modders to create Hacknet stories easily, and more importantly, a way for players to download them seamlessly via Steam Workshop. Over the next few months I will be seeding these tools to game developer friends and existing Hacknet modders for testing. This will hopefully result in some great mods being available when we release official mod-support later this year as a free update.
Expansion / DLC
Overall, the thing that the community seems to want is just more Hacknet. I definitely want to make a Hacknet 2 but after more than three years working on the game, I feel like I need to work on something different before embarking on a full sequel. As a solution, I'm thinking about creating a premium expansion for Hacknet, to give you all some significant new content but at a scale I can complete this year.
I am aiming for 3-5 hours of gameplay, with a new story, some interesting new programs, tonnes of new computers, servers, contracts, and some hidden surprises along the way. I’m planning to make this a premium piece of DLC with a price of $5 USD and launch it in the back half of the year.
Before embarking on this, however, I wanted to pose the question to you, the community - is this something you would want? If so, I'll add it to the schedule and get to work on these cool ideas I've had since the release. Otherwise, I'll stuff them into a closet and will look at implementing them in a possible sequel later down the track after I've worked on some other projects I have in mind.
How does that sound to everyone? If the community is really against charging for DLC, we'll work out a new plan, but to me, this looks like the best way to get everyone some new Hacknet as soon as possible. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Assuming that the community thinks that DLC should be developed, this is the rough timeline I’ll be aiming for:
- April / May - Translated/Localized Hacknet launches all over the world. Prototype mod tools seeded to developers and community members for feedback
- August/September - DLC + Mod support launch
- October/November - Multiplayer Launch
Thanks again for all your support. I have some pretty crazy ideas for the additions this year - I hope you're ready.