Hi backers! A quick update on the Ice-Bound project.
Printing Woes: Resolved!
In our last update, we mentioned the trouble we were having with the Compendium proofs from the printer being too shiny. We finally have gotten this resolved, in part by overnighting them some example books to help close the communication gap, and it turns out the secret is something called “wood-free paper,” which, weirdly enough, is made from wood. (It’s wood that’s been processed differently from normal paper in such a way that it’s no longer technically considered wood. Hey, they can call it whatever they like, as long as it works…)
In the picture you can really see the tremendous difference this paper makes. Even at an angle where normal “matte” (let alone glossy) printing would bounce back way too much light, disrupting the camera’s view of the image, it’s almost impossible to hold the wood-free version such that the camera can’t clearly recognize the image. It looks good to humans, but to the AR algorithm it’s night and day: the final proof works like a hot damn with the game, which, especially after all this time, is a huge relief.
So we’ve signed off on the books and they’re being printed up as you read these words! More on expected release date below, but before too much longer they should finally be in your hands.
We should also mention that our printer has been extremely patient with us through this process: even though it took a while for us to figure out this unusual job, they stuck with it and got us a proof that made us happy. We’d recommend them to anyone else looking to do a book project.
The Ice-Bound Concordance has been in “in-person testing” for about a week now. This is where we watch people play the game over their shoulder, looking for points of confusion and how the experience feels overall. It’s also a great way to find and nail down bugs that come from the idiosyncratic ways people might drag controls on an iPad or hold a book up to a camera on PC. In consequence, most of our game time recently has been spent fixing annoying issues on our target platforms: iPad memory leaks, audio engine crashes in the PC build, UI glitches, and other soul-crushing but vital stuff.
This weekend, we’re jamming on the last of the “overlays” (the images that appear when you show the book to the game), bringing us ever closer to final content lockdown. There’s still some music, a few KRIS conversations, some editing and rewrites, and a few other things here and there to go, but we’re getting really close, which feels great after all this time.
The digital Concordance will go live on our website and the iOS app store by December 15th, which is mandated by our declining AR software. The printed Compendium is expected to be at our distributor a few weeks later, in early January. All the Kickstarter and Backerkit pre-orders will be the first things shipped, and then the book will go on sale to the general public.
So effectively the full game will be available in mid-December, but you won’t be able to complete the experience until mid-January, when the book is finally available.
Of course, if you want to play even earlier…
We’ll be sending out a link later this week with instructions for participating in the beta. Stay tuned!
Thanks as always for your support. Happy Halloween, and talk soon!