If you've been following along you know about our focus on building a living game - one that we continually update and add features as long as there is a continued interest in the game. The key to this strategy is building a strong community around the game, and building it early on. So we have come up with this plan of action to achieve that goal...
- We develop what we call a Minimum Viable Product. Basically it's an Alpha version that has the minimum content needed to allow people to play in online matches and give us feedback.
- We release this Alpha version on PC...possibly Steam but could be a website download.
- The Alpha will be FREE because we want to encourage a large community.
- We take your feedback into account and start making updates, adding features as fast as we can build them.
The reason for PC is that we can make updates whenever we want (consoles require a costly certification step). This DOES NOT mean it won't be on console eventually but games are developed on PC first anyway and consoles don't support Alpha release programs. I can confirm that we are NOT going to be a launch title for PS4 though.
Ok, so now on to the really fun stuff. Here are some of the major features we have in the pipe...
* Dedicated server support: This will remove any host advantage and improve lag, matchmaking, and stat tracking
* Mutators: This is a very cool system designed to allow alteration the normal game in a lot of ways. For instance there might be a whole set of Ball Mutators such as "Cube Ball" or "Big Ball" and other sets that allow things like "Large Goals" or changing the scoring mechanic. We have tons of ideas for these.
* Vastly improved matchmaking system: Given the mutator system we need a robust matchmaking system that makes it easy to find games but also to filter out mutated games you may or may not want to play. You will ALWAYS be able to play pure Battle-Cars however.
* Car customization: I can't say much about this yet but you will be able to customize your car.
* In-Game Tournament support: The game will support tournaments natively. Psyonix can define these but we may be able to add support for players to create them as well.
As always, Psyonix is a bootstrapped company. We try to fund our own projects by doing work-for-hire. A lot of the effort so far has been in people's free time. The good news is we may be getting to a point where we have more free resources available and the even bigger news is that the game is already very playable. We've still got plenty of work to do to get an Alpha candidate ready however. I'll be updating you as soon as we have some idea of when it will be released.