THE UNIVERSIM E3 REPORT
A few months ago, we decided to go to E3 for the first time ever. It was an opportunity that we just couldn’t miss. It offered us a great way to interact with the larger gaming community and really pushed us to bring some of the elements we had been working on since the Kickstarter together for the first time. Everything started when we reserved a small booth in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. You can probably only imagine the excitement and stress we went through. We knew that time wasn’t on our side, but we decided to give it a try anyway. This proved to be an absolutely fantastic decision, as due dates and deadlines challenged us dramatically, in the best of ways. The sense of urgency pushed us to work at an entirely different level. Within a few short months, we had succeeded in completing work that would normally take three times longer to accomplish. A few of our team members decided to fly over to L.A. to support our efforts at E3, which definitely helped us a lot. - Teamwork!
We were really excited to see E3 for the first time, but we could never have expected the sheer amount of traffic at our booth during our time there. So, unfortunately we missed most of it. Don’t get us wrong, it was all for greater good! We were able to properly share our vision with the people that stopped by our booth. We also got some amazing feedback from those who tried their hands at the playable demo of The Universim. The very first thing they noticed was the complete redesign of our camera controls. Never before has The Universim been so comfortable to control. Remember the prototype? Yeah, we fixed some stuff. Lots of stuff, actually. We spent a lot of sleepless nights designing and getting the camera just right. Making everything move smoothly around a spherical object with dynamic time of day and proper transition between atmosphere and space is a lot more difficult than it sounds. We wanted to ensure that it would not only be responsive, but also very smooth and fluid. After all, it is the main tool with which you fly around the world. We worked hard to ensure you will get the full National Geographic experience in our game. It’s like flying an airplane around with your own television crew while observing life on the planet, only much simpler and with less catering costs.Check Out More Photos on Facebook, click here
This showcase really helped us to identify some of the game workflows that will need to be tweaked in the future. Overall, we honestly wouldn’t be afraid to say that all of the people that tried The Universim really liked it and wanted to see more. We engaged directly with each person as soon as they placed their hand on the mouse. We were happy to explain the game’s mechanics and collect valuable feedback from them. However, we realized pretty quickly that we definitely need to add some detailed tutorials for newcomers, mainly because we implemented some unique features that might be little unfamiliar to everyone.See more HD Screenshots here
Representatives from many major companies stopped by our booth as well, such as Xbox, Sony Playstation, Namco Bandai, Asus, Corsair, Google, Blizzard, and much, much more. We received a few pounds of business cards, and exchanged even more of our own. We met a lot of other great development teams of varying sizes. Like your favourite soft drinks, they come in small, medium, and large. We even had a chance to demonstrate our game to KEEN SWH, the guys that brought you Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers. They were really excited to try our game, and even left us with some very positive feedback.
“This is the game that everyone will remember for long time.”
- Marek Rosa
Unfortunately, we had absolutely no press on our side. For some reason, not a single press representative passed our booth. Darn you, AAA market. You beautiful, cruel creature. We really wish we could share more stuff with the public on your favourite news websites, but we just do not seem to be getting lucky with the big dogs. We will figure out a way to get their attention beyond throwing pebbles at their office windows, we assure you. The mold shall be broken! If you want to help out with this, please send some news tips to some of your favorite sites.Check Out More Photos on Facebook, click here
Right now, we’re planning to tweak the build that we were showing at E3 based on feedback we received before sharing it with you guys. We know you really want to try the game, but we just don’t feel comfortable releasing something that we know isn’t quite ready yet, even if it’s “just a pre-alpha”. Call us OCD, if you will. We want a really smooth launch, a great foundation upon which to build the game alongside you. We also need to implement a remote game patcher that will allow us to update your game whenever a new patch becomes available, since we’re planning to continue working on it all the time.See more HD Screenshots here
Please give us month or two to prepare things properly and ensure that everything is stable. Before long, we will officially start our Pre-Alpha phase. Get excited! Please keep in mind that the primary function of the first release is to collect feedback from you guys on on how stable the build is, how it performs, and so on. Do not expect too much from the gameplay aspects, since we’re still tweaking and balancing a lot of stuff and implementing new features. The pre-alpha will be limited to the Stone Age only. Future patches will add more eras.
In order to get the most crucial feedback from you guys, we have decided to release the Pre-Alpha/ Alpha in waves. The first wave includes those who supported us on Kickstarter (PayPal included) for the alpha tier or higher and everyone that purchases the alpha tier or higher through our website before June 30. People who back the game at the applicable levels after this date will get access to the build during the second wave. We will announce the official release dates at a later time. This way we can maintain a better relationship with our earlier backers and gather as much feedback as possible from the people who have been with us from the start. We also do not want to stress our systems too much by releasing the game in too large a wave.
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Thanks for everything!
All the best,