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Why No Release Date Yet?


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#1
wes

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As we’ve done with each step of making Friday the 13th: The Game, we’ve tried to lift the veil on how games are designed, developed, marketed and released. So much of this industry is cloaked in secrecy, some of it for good reason (for PR) while others could be blamed for the amount of time it takes to explain to the fans why they are kept in the dark. But we want to change this trend. This entire project has shaken up the industry a little, and we want to keep pushing. The more you are informed, the better. When you start seeing and understanding the process, you will begin to discover the hows and whys certain decisions are made. 
 
The topic I want to demystify today; “Why haven’t you told us the release date?” I don’t want to get too far in the weeds, as it would make this post far too long to read. And in our TL:DR culture, I fear most would see a long post and move on. So I’ll try to keep this brief.
 
The only reason you haven’t seen a release date is because we have to pass console certification. Let me explain what that means. Once we have a candidate (feature and content complete) we have to send a build to Sony and Microsoft. Their internal teams test the game against a very intense checklist to make sure we pass. We have some details on how this process is “graded” but we don’t have everything they check against. Additionally, each territory has different guidelines. Let’s just look at Sony. There’s SCEA, SCEE, SCEJ and Sony Asia. Each of these territories has a different rule book and we don’t have access to all of these. So, to a certain degree, we go at this a little blind. What passes in North America, may not pass in Japan for example. 
 
There are several “levels” to passing certification. The first level is pretty basic; Does it boot and can you start a game? While other levels are far, far more intricate. For example; MS still requires that we support Kinect, yet they no longer sell/bundle this device for XB1. You, as the player, still need to be able to say “Xbox Record That.” You also need to be able to hot swap between apps, while the game is still running in the background. These console features actually use one of the CPU cores, thus taking one of those away from us, the developer. It’s like building a car, only to figure out that the Engine is a V8, but you can only use 7 of the cylinders. Bummer. 
 
Additionally, what happens if a player boots F13, but has a Rockband peripheral plugged in? Well, we have to support that to at least allow the player to navigate around to get back to the home screen so they can swap out for a proper controller. Then there’s the attenuated VOIP system we built. You know, the cool voice system that we integrated that allows you to talk within proximity of other players? Yeah, that’s an instant certification FAIL. So we have to work with Sony and MS to bypass this failure because it’s a cool feature that everyone loves. 
 
OK, I know what you’re thinking; “Yeah I get it, but AAA games like COD, Assassins Creed, etc, can give launch dates 6-9 months in advance, sometimes a full year.” You’re absolutely right. But here’s what they have, that we don’t. Mountains of money. They plan their milestones to account for potentially failing certification a few times. They “bake in” 4-5 months cushion just in case. We don’t have that luxury. You all know how much we raised on KS and Backerkit. I raised more money from investors to assure we could get singleplayer in for everyone...But we simply don’t have enough to create a large cushion like the big guys do. 
 
So all of this to say that we’re not withholding the launch date because we’re a-holes. We don’t think it’s funny to always say “Early 2017”. On the contrary, I wish we could say an exact date. But there are variables with the certification process that our out of our control. The last thing I want to do is give you guys a date, only to find out we failed certification and to actually pass cert, we need 3 more months. That would suck big time. Console players would have a date in mind only to hear it pushed 2-3 more months...that would be devastating, right?
 
There’s also the beta to consider. We learned a lot watching and playing with you guys during the beta. There were things that you struggled with, while other things you picked up naturally. We knew the VOIP feature was pretty cool, but we didn’t realize how much you guys would really love it. And you did, a lot. So much that we had to carve off some time to make that whole system tighter. But it was interesting watching HOW you actually played the beta. Everyone played it much faster than we predicted. This, in turn, pushed us to go back and look at the controls and interactions to make them function faster and smoother. Our biggest takeaway was how severely the game reacted to players with high ping. It’s been a number 1 priority here since the beta to assure there are no more players getting “stuck” while interacting with objects in the game. 
 
So here’s my promise to you. Once we pass certification we are considered “Gold”. The very second that happens, we can release a date. The moment we hit “Gold” it will roughly be 30 days after that when the game is available for sell. So why not go ahead and take pre-orders via PS4, XB1 and Steam? Well, because they don’t allow preorders until we are 30 days from launch. Bigger, AAA, games have some leverage here, which is why you see pre-orders months and months before target launch. They have a relationship with MS, Sony and Valve. We’re the little guys, so we’re treated a little differently. It’s the nature of the beast. Sony has been a little more open to this idea and we’re working with them now to see if we can get a larger pre-order window. 
 
Thanks guys for being patient. I just wanted to take the time to explain this whole process and hopefully assure each of you that we’re not being jerks about this. We just don’t want to let you down. 
 
-Wes Keltner
 

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#2
Gdain

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What you guys have accomplished so far is amazing. Thank you all for this.
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#3
Turtle

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So what your saying is that I can blame this all on the console players  :angry:..

 

No, but, really, what you guys have made so far is pretty nuts. I've never really seen developers communicate with their community so readily before. Warms muh heart. I kind of assumed you guys were just being teases, so this was a sweet read. This in particular has me very excited vvvv!

 

 

So here’s my promise to you. Once we pass certification we are considered “Gold”. The very second that happens, we can release a date. The moment we hit “Gold” it will roughly be 30 days after that when the game is available for sell. 

 

Just curious- if you guys did fail, say, the Sony Asia cert, would it only be the PS3 version that got delayed? Would PC and XBOX be delayed as well? Either way, keep on keepin' on, dudes. We're all looking forward to it.



#4
ZeroCool22

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In other words, game is delayed because "CONSOLES". /Rekt!.


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#5
Pothocket

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Can you elaborate on why the proximity voice chat is an instant fail? This game kinda NEEDS that feature and isn't the same experience at all using an open party chat system.



#6
SexDrugs&Tea

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Thank you very much for this post and I think the majority of people know how much time and effort you're putting into this game, they know you love this project and we trust you to release the game when it's ready, no rush!

 

I only had one question, concerning this part of your post : « The last thing I want to do is give you guys a date, only to find out we failed certification and to actually pass cert, we need 3 more months. That would suck big time. Console players would have a date in mind only to hear it pushed 2-3 more months...that would be devastating, right?»

 

Does that mean that if you don't pass console certification, you intend to release the game for PC players and only delay the console launch? I don't really have an opinion, I just want to make sure I'm understanding correctly.

 

Thank you again for your continued openeness and inclusion with the game's community, it is the first time I see something like it and I am extremely thankful



#7
ZeroCool22

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 Our biggest takeaway was how severely the game reacted to players with high ping. It’s been a number 1 priority here since the beta to assure there are no more players getting “stuck” while interacting with objects in the game. 
 

-Wes Keltner

 

 

Talk me about that, playing with 200+ PING from Argentina, and your game is not "High PING friendly" (not even a little). Got freezed a lot of time just because the HIGH PING. Hope you take seriously and agree that SA need a server or it will be really a mess for the player with high ping and the others too.


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#8
CreepingDeath

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Thank you all for continuing to be as open and honest as you can be with us, it has been refreshing to get as much information as we do about the progress of the game.

 

Unfortunately, there will always be some folks whose expectations cannot be met, hell I know there are some folks that are probably still terribly disappointed that the game has been delayed, but from what I've seen and experienced so far, I think its looking fantastic.

 

I believe I can speak for most people in saying that although we want the game asap, we want it to be the best game it can be. Keep up the great work, and I hope for nothing but quick certifications and fixed bugs:)



#9
PharaohSteve

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Your communication on this matter, and pretty much all matters related to the game have been incredible. Thanks so much.


I'm a partnered YouTube creator, mediocre Twitch streamer, active Twitter user & my Steam profile is pretty cool! TEST GAMING!

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#10
ZeroCool22

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Unfortunately, there will always be some folks whose expectations cannot be met, hell I know there are some folks that are probably still terribly disappointed that the game has been delayed,

And you can't blame them for that, it's the most common reaction when you expect something to happen in a date and later get pushed a lot way later.


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#11
Kalopsia

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I can't believe that proximity chat is an instant failure on consoles. That makes no sense to me. 



#12
The.Dark.God

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Thanks for the update, very cool to keep us in the loop.

 

That said, I guess I'll be "that guy" and ask the question that will inevitably be asked by someone:

 

Why don't you go ahead with the PC release if the holdup is just waiting on console certification, and the consoles can get it whenever the powers that be allow it to be sold?

 

I'm not complaining, I loved the beta so much I'll wait another year if need be, but I'm just curious.  Thanks!


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#13
ZeroCool22

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Thanks for the update, very cool to keep us in the loop.

 

That said, I guess I'll be "that guy" and ask the question that will inevitably be asked by someone:

 

Why don't you go ahead with the PC release if the holdup is just waiting on console certification, and the consoles can get it whenever the powers that be allow it to be sold?

 

I'm not complaining, I loved the beta so much I'll wait another year if need be, but I'm just curious.  Thanks!

This.


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#14
Aksana

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thanks for telling us


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#15
M1ghtyM4x

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So does that mean that it could also be towards the end of the year before we get the game?  I mean your goal is obviously to push for release early but is worst case scenario going to be we dont see the game till christmas?



#16
ZeroCool22

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So does that mean that it could also be towards the end of the year before we get the game?  I mean your goal is obviously to push for release early but is worst case scenario going to be we dont see the game till christmas?

If the game would get sooo much delayed, i say they could give us another BETA then, to see the "new Features/Updates/Test new Servers", to mitigate the BIG wait, and everyone happy. ;)


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#17
wes

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So what your saying is that I can blame this all on the console players  :angry:..

 

No, but, really, what you guys have made so far is pretty nuts. I've never really seen developers communicate with their community so readily before. Warms muh heart. I kind of assumed you guys were just being teases, so this was a sweet read. This in particular has me very excited vvvv!

 

 

Just curious- if you guys did fail, say, the Sony Asia cert, would it only be the PS3 version that got delayed? Would PC and XBOX be delayed as well? Either way, keep on keepin' on, dudes. We're all looking forward to it.

 

 

No. Our primary target is North America and Europe. If we failed in other countries, we would move forward with launch and then work to get fixes for other territories. 


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#18
wes

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Can you elaborate on why the proximity voice chat is an instant fail? This game kinda NEEDS that feature and isn't the same experience at all using an open party chat system.

 

Sure. Because our VOIP system by-passes the consoles built in voice. Basically we turn off XB and PS4 voice and force the console to use ours. That's an instant cert failure. 


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#19
Litheran

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Appreciate the correspondence Wes even though it's not required. Funny thing is my frustration has been due to all the millennial/jackass comments crying about the waiting process. What they need to understand is this game is like trying to prepare a five course meal in a much smaller kitchen. We as the fans gave you money for groceries, you then had to go to the store, buy said groceries, except we only gave you enough cash for the meal and none for dessert; you then had to hit up an ATM and finally come home and cook it. The beta was a success because the games weak points have been established and it drummed up an incredible buzz for release. I truly care only about the quality of the game, which means that if I don't get to play it until Halloween night, I don't care as long as I'm quaking in my boots.


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#20
wes

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Thank you very much for this post and I think the majority of people know how much time and effort you're putting into this game, they know you love this project and we trust you to release the game when it's ready, no rush!

 

I only had one question, concerning this part of your post : « The last thing I want to do is give you guys a date, only to find out we failed certification and to actually pass cert, we need 3 more months. That would suck big time. Console players would have a date in mind only to hear it pushed 2-3 more months...that would be devastating, right?»

 

Does that mean that if you don't pass console certification, you intend to release the game for PC players and only delay the console launch? I don't really have an opinion, I just want to make sure I'm understanding correctly.

 

Thank you again for your continued openeness and inclusion with the game's community, it is the first time I see something like it and I am extremely thankful

 

If we fail console cert, we would more than likely hold the PC launch until console certification has been passed. There would think there would be pitchforks at our doors if we launched on PC and told console players to wait a few months. Right?


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