The end of the beginning is nigh! We are only hours away from the first major SolForge release in almost a year! We are all excited to finally get the new client into your hands, and we’ve been hyping up the new cards, new ranked mode, and upgraded interface all week. We are all incredibly proud of the work we’ve done and humbled by the great community that has grown around this game and supported us throughout the beta.
But building SolForge has not been all sunshine and roses. Being an indie developer is never easy, and our path was no different. Today I want to give you more of an inside look into the challenges we faced during development and to give you some updates on what is still being worked on for after this release.
When we started working on this project in 2011, I had no idea how hard it was going to be. Our team has decades of experience making and playing trading card games- how hard could a digital game be?
We made quick progress on the game engine and began coding soon after. By the Summer of 2012, we felt pretty good about what we had created and we went to Kickstarter to help us finish the job. Our target was $250K and we nearly doubled it during those 30 days. As you might expect, we were thrilled.
Little did we know, the development cost of SolForge would cost more than 5 times what we raised. I borrowed money from friends and family, our team took reduced salaries, and we worked our butts off for the nearly 4 years since the Kickstarter closed to get us where we are today.
We made mistakes. Lots of them. But when we did, we dusted ourselves off and worked hard to correct them and communicate honestly with our players. When you are trying to develop a product as robust as SolForge with a single digit sized team, you have to make difficult trade-off decisions, and this release is no different. While this release will be a huge improvement over the currently available beta, there are still some things being worked on.
Skins and Animated Cards
We had hoped to get playfield skins and animated cards into this release, but unfortunately those will have to wait for a future update. For those of you that purchased skins in the past, you will be refunded your in-game currency so you can use it for what you like until skins are re-introduced to the game. Animated cards are high on our priority list (you can see some of the animations on the home screen menus) and we are excited to get them into the game as soon as possible.
We’ve done our best to catch all of the bugs with this release. In fact, this has been the main reason for the last additional few months of delay. We owe a lot of thanks to our very talented QA volunteer team for helping us along this path. The truth of the matter is, though, no team of this size can catch everything, so there will inevitably be issues that slip through. We will keep working hard to correct them, if you find an issue go here for information on how to properly report it.
We will also be working to continual improve the new player experience and interface for small screen devices. Your support during these first few weeks after launch are incredibly valuable to help us get this release.
Even with the above issues, there is much to love about this release and we hope you will all agree it’s worth the wait. We are going to keep working hard to make this game more and more awesome so long as you keep playing it. I can’t wait to jump into the queue against all of you soon!