We have some important news that we’d like to reveal to you before the announcement goes out to the press. It’s critical that you know first because it’s you – the Boundless players and community – that have supported us from the beginning and are the core of Boundless.
The news is this: we’ve signed with a publisher – Square Enix Collective – who is investing into the development of the game, helping us get to 1.0 and also supporting with a range of publishing services, including QA, marketing, PR and so on.
Why sign with a publisher?
Good question. The reality is that creating, iterating, growing and maintaining (and then evolving) Boundless is an expensive and challenging process – because of the nature of the game, and the tools that it’s built with. While we had secured funding (including of course the initial Goalfunding) to get us so far, without additional support we would have needed to release the game well before it was ready.
But in addition to development funding, a publisher can also help with a whole range of services that we’d either have to spend a lot of time sourcing and managing ourselves (such as QA), or ones where we don’t really have the expertise or connections to do well (such as PR, marketing, etc). What’s more, they don’t take any rights to the game (including creative control), so it’s still us here at Wonderstruck that will be calling the shots on how the game continues to develop. Their mission is to increase awareness of the game, grow the community, and help us make Boundless amazing.
Who is Square Enix Collective?
Collective is the indie publishing arm of Square Enix. They’ve published a range of games in the past couple of years, across a range of genres, including The Turing Test, Battalion 1944 and Forgotton Anne.
But the real question is: will they understand the game?
Well, we’re pretty confident on that front. The person who heads up Collective is a certain @philelliott – who you may already know from the forums, or in-game. He’s been playing for about a year, since we first started talking to them about the possibility of investing into the game. He was, until recently, the owner of Grump Store. Thankfully he’s been spending more time recently learning how to build more pretty things than just walls made of refined rock…
Phil’s been a very passionate advocate for Boundless, and what makes it unique (HINT: you, the community…) and has been involved in a number of discussions on game design – but only in terms of ideas (some of which he already shared in the forums), not in terms of telling us how it should work…
What will change?
From the community perspective, nothing obvious. The main thing is that we will continue to work towards the 1.0 release – and on that front something I can also reveal is that we’re planning to release later in 2018. The exact timing is dependent on a few things, but I do want to take this opportunity to make it clear that it’s unlikely we will be able to give six months’ notice for this.
So the release date itself will be months, not years… and the announcement of the release date will be in weeks, not months. Sorry to be so cryptic, but there are a few moving parts.
Wait, release might be sooner than we think??
We do indeed expect it to be within six months, so on that basis, probably. And we also want to take this opportunity to explain how the pre-launch process will work – because there will be a full world wipe (as you already know). However, this event will take place several weeks before full launch – and that is so that you, the community, have time to jump into a fresh new universe ahead of everybody else and start building things up from scratch.
Currently we expect to invite press and streamers/YouTubers into the game around a week before full release, so we’re excited to see how far you can create a thriving, fledgling universe for those people to showcase.
We will have more detail on this as we get closer to launch, and we’ll give you plenty of notice on what’s going to happen, when.
Will everything that’s already been created, be lost?
Yes, it will be a full world wipe. We are investigating the possibility of saving the Early Access universe in some form, but we don’t have any clear plans to make it available just yet. If we do, it wouldn’t be a part of the main universe. But that’s pretty much all we can say for now.
So what’s left before launch?
We’re just in the process of finishing up new features (eg Centraforge and new Skill Tree), and then we’ll be focusing on applying final polish and balance, so please do continue your stunning work with feedback and thoughts on the game as it is. Beyond this we won’t be adding any significant new features to the game before launch, since we need to lock content for things like age ratings, QA, submission, etc.
But we do have big plans for what comes after 1.0 launches, and we’ll be sharing an update roadmap for all of that in the coming weeks/months as well.
I think that’s everything for the time being – however, I’m sure there will be plenty of questions to come, so Phil and I will be available on this thread to answer as many questions as possible over the coming days/weeks.
There will be some things we can’t answer right now (such as precise details around release dates, for example), but we’ll give as much insight as we can.
A few links: