We would like to announce that the Early Access launch is coming soon. But first, let's talk about the beta program and the supporting campaign.
The Beta Program Exploded! What happened?
For those that have not followed the game updates, here is a small summary. We first announced the game in July 2017. Since then, we published updates periodically revealing more info about the game. Over time, interest and popularity grew for They Are Billions. Initially, we announced Early Access would be released in Fall 2017 with only the Survival mode. Then in Spring 2018, we'd release the campaign. But after we thought about it for awhile, we thought perhaps that the Survival mode would not be enough content to justify the Early Access launch. Therefore, we decided to delay the launch and only release it when both modes were ready in 2018.
Over time, the hype grew and we received a lot of emails from people that wanted to pre-order to back the game because they loved the art, gameplay, theme... So we thought it would be a nice idea to launch a crowdfunding campaign as we did with Lords of Xulima, which worked very well.
In Update #5, we asked the players for feedback on what we should do because we weren't sure if we should run a Kickstarter campaign or just create a place to support us directly from our website at Numantian Games. We all agreed that the second option was the best, so we worked on setting up a page for players to back us directly. Additionally, we thought that it would be a great idea to let the backers play the Survival mode as beta testers to give us feedback to improve and polish the game. This is exactly what we did for Lords of Xulima. Everything sounded perfect :)
So we did it all on Halloween. We asked for a pack of beta keys from Steam and launched the supporting web. In the beginning, we temporarily restricted the Ranger Edition to avoid having too many players for the very first version of the game because of all the possible bugs. However, many fans voiced their opinion that they felt betrayed for having the Ranger edition locked. It was then that we enabled the Ranger Edition.
This is when everything really began to snowball. People started to play it, upload videos on Youtube, and spread the word. Some big Youtubers even joined the party, building even more hype and expectations for They Are Billions. In less than two weeks, the Ranger keys sold out. A few days later...the Soldier Edition, two days after that...the Sniper Edition... What?????
And during all this debacle, we, the developers were working day and night fixing all the problems and solving lots of issues with hardware compatibility. As we created a custom engine for They Are Billions, it had only been tested on a few dozen different PCs. Now we suddenly had 10K players testing it at the same time! And during the development, we also had to attend to thousands of forum posts with bugs, feedback, and thousands of emails with crash reports that the game sends automatically. We also received hundreds of emails every day of people complaining because they wanted to play the game but didn’t receive a key, or that they did not know that it was a pre-order, or that we were the most greedy company in the world for selling a game for $250 (the Lucifer Edition)... !!!
We would have loved to have the ability to save the game before the launch of the pre-order web so we could return to that point and do things differently, but the real life, as in They Are Billions, works in Ironman mode.
The Good News
First, a big thank you for all that have backed They Are Billions. We are very, very happy and appreciative. That extra income will be so helpful for creating a great campaign that They Are Billions and its players deserve. THANK YOU!!
Second, the game reception has been extremely positive from the beta players, Youtubers, and all the non-buyers that write to us just to say that they love the game and want to play it now. And this is just the Survival Mode! Wait until you see the campaign, which is the main mode that conceived They Are Billions!
Third, during these last three weeks, we have been able to polish a lot the game, solving many issues, bugs, and exploits. We now feel that it is in very good shape. But of course, we will continue the process of fixing and polishing. So, in order to allow everybody to play the game, especially the ones that have pre-ordered it, we will try to release the game on Steam Early Access as soon as possible. We expect to release it in a few weeks. We will add some additional features to the Survival Mode (as you can see in the What's Next post on the forum). Also, we will add Achievements and Steam cards. A basic tutorial for new players will also be implemented.
Initially, the game will have only the Survival Mode during the Early Access phase. We will continue to expand and improve this mode while we work on the campaign. We expect the campaign to be ready Spring 2018.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts!
See you soon!