After nearly 3 years of development Book of Demons finally has a Steam Early Access release date! It will launch on the 28th of July and we’re incredibly hyped about it, because it will probably be the most important day in the history of our studio yet.
You can add Book of Demons to your Steam wishlist so you will be notified when it launches, or you can take advantage of our pre-Early Access discount and buy it directly on our website. If you’re still not sure about buying the game in Early Access, read our blog post below about what features will be available during the beta-testing period and why we have decided to release the game in Early Access in the first place.
Why Early Access?
In the recent weeks, we have showcased Book of Demons a lot – we visited Digital Dragons and participated in the Indie Showcase competition (where we won an award!), we organized playtest sessions in our office, and finally, we presented the game as the Pixel Awards finalist at Pixel Heaven. During these events we received tons of positive feedback, we heard many suggestions on how to improve the game, and we gained knowledge on what aspects of the game we need to focus on. However, our main conclusion was that the game is already polished enough to share it with the public and that we definitely need to test it on a broader audience. A larger audience will hopefully help us adjust something that’s super important to us and all the aRPG genre fans – the game balance.
What is game balance, anyway?
Games in general, especially RPGs, are about making choices and deciding what’s the most viable strategy at the time being. When a game is unbalanced some of the strategies can be too powerful, thus allowing players to tackle all gameplay challenges in exactly the same way, over and over. This obviously makes some actions and game features ineffective or even useless, and that’s definitely something every game developer wants to avoid. Imagine a fighting game where mashing the “B” button and constantly kicking the opponent will almost always grant you victory. Not much of a fighting game, huh?
Ok, but why do you need to test it on a larger audience?
The above example is obviously a bit blunt and something like this would definitely have been caught by internal testers, but there are many things that are hard or even impossible to notice during in-house tests. Especially when you’re making a game like Book of Demons – a hack and slash of a size of Diablo 1, with semi-randomized bosses, procedurally generated dungeons, tons of enemies and dozens of cards with completely different gameplay mechanics. It’s not that we’re lazy or unwilling to see bugs or our game’s imperfections. It’s just that we have spent the last few years developing it and we’re subconsciously choosing strategies that we planned and designed ourselves. It’s really difficult to assume the role of a tester, when you’re making a game, and it’s always a better idea to let others be the testers. That’s why we decided to launch the game in Early Access.
What features will be available during Early Access and how long will it last?
The day one features of the Early Access version will include all the core mechanics, the whole single-player campaign, and the Freeplay mode, but will lack some of the content like additional character classes, skill cards or enemy types. We plan to add these features gradually during the Early Access period and release the final version of Book of Demons in Fall 2016.
What will be the price during the Early Access period?
Book of Demons is available on our website in three options:
- Early Access – Receive the Early Access version AND the full game – regular price: $19.99. Discounted for the next 5 days to $17.99!
- Pre-Purchase – Receive JUST the full game (most probably sometime in the Fall of 2016), without the Early Access version. This way you can support our team and the development of the game, even if you’re not interested in Early Access and beta testing. Price: $14.99.
- Supporter’s Bundle – Receive all the games we will ever release in the Return 2 Games series (INCLUDING Book of Demons), all additional content ever created for any of the games, gain preview access to all current and future games (INCLUDING Book of Demons Early Access) and get mentioned in the credits section in the game. Current price: $59.95
To sum up – Book of Demons will launch on Steam Early Access on the 28th of July, the Early Access version will be fully functional but it won’t be the final form of Book of Demons. If you would like to help us improve the game, you can buy and play the Early Access version when it launches (add it to your wishlist, so you won’t forget it!) or get the game now, through our website, and benefit from our timed discount. Thanks for reading and see you next time!
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