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Dev Diaries #12 - Heart of the Cards

October 5th 2021 11:53am — Fred Toms, Programmer / Project Manager - @Tommy2Doors

It’s funny how my natural rhythm for writing these development logs is almost always smack-on-the-nose 1 month apart. The last time I wrote, only a month ago, Spectre’s landscape had evolved tremendously whether anybody knew it or not. IGN has brought a lot of new people to the server. It has afforded us numerous new "Steam Wishlists". It has also opened a few doors that we had not really prepared ourselves for. More on that in a little bit.

As your Spectre developers, we have two main responsibilities in the forefronts of our minds at all times. These include - #1 - developing a quality product that will exceed our community’s expectations, and - #2 - to ensure the financial success of Spectre. The first responsibility without the second would mean a great game that is not supported after day one, and would eventually lose its lustre. The second responsibility without the first means a mediocre game that makes a lot of money. Both are required and essential. Relating to the latter responsibility, this becomes coupled with a lot of difficult decisions, many of which are beyond our direct control. For those who have been following us closely, you may have been able to deduce that we have been engaging in conversations with publishers. This is accurate. Although we cannot speak about any of those details, it's been the reason for our series of all-night work sessions.

What does a publisher mean for Spectre? It means additional content and polish that we would have not otherwise been able to include in the game’s launch for budgetary reasons. It means increasing the chance of a console release. It means access to resources that will only help Spectre. For anyone who may not know, Spectre has been financed by our personal savings up until this point. Spectre is ready - right now - to be play tested by our community. Sure, there are bugs. Each day we spend developing, we squash several ranging in severity and significance. With the possibility of a publisher on the horizon, the release of an alpha/beta/gameplay-trailer may very well be better placed in the hands of that publisher. By not considering the publisher’s role and ability, it may sour negotiations and decision making. By releasing things early, we would be betraying, potentially, both of our main responsibilities to Spectre. By holding off, and waiting to see what our negotiations produce, it means that people may have to wait a little bit longer — but for a better experience. In a world where we could put everything into this game that we wanted to, without any budgetary constraints, I’m confident we’d be in the middle of beta right now and we’d be working through all sorts of QA improvements. That’s not the reality, however.

A publisher will give us the ability to produce the game that YOU have all been dying for, and deserving-of, for years. It also may mean that some of the great milestones along the way may come a little later. We are still on pace for a PC 2021 release. A console release, as exciting as an opportunity that may be, may change this timeline slightly as we move forward, if that even becomes a consideration. Have confidence that, as your developers, we take our responsibilities towards Spectre exceptionally seriously, and as our community, we feel honoured to keep you all informed as much as we can.

One direction or another, hear this: Spectre is here, it’s a ton of fun to play and it feels great.

We did it!

We simply have to play our cards right to make sure our next few steps produce the best outcome for everybody.

- Fred Toms — Programmer / Project Manager

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