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“Proving Grounds” delayed until early 2014

Hello Descent fans!

Unfortunately we have to tell you today that we will not make our initial Christmas release date. Instead, we are now targeting a release in February-March 2014. We are very sorry that we can’t give you better news, but we have good reasons for the delay:

As we were developing the promised preview build “Proving Grounds”, we realized that we needed to go further than we had anticipated to give players a substantially enjoyable (and hassle-free) playing experience. We want you to enjoy the game even if it’s just a preview of the full version, but too many systems and assets are still in development, preventing us from actually putting together a game that looks good and feels fluid. In a nutshell, the game is not ready yet, even for a very hacky “tech preview” version.
With that said, we have now agreed to take this first release a bit further and not only complete what we promised, but put an extra layer of polish on top of it. That means the maps will look more refined, there will be a kick-ass model of the Pyro-GX in the game, we will have some great visual effects done by our newest team member and the game will also feature an easy-to-use interface and HUD system – all of which are things that would have been impossible if we had indeed shot for a Christmas release until the very end. It also gives us more time to develop a solid technical base for the multiplayer side of the game, making later updates simple with additions such as new game types, maps and other features. We do plan to support this first build with such updates to evolve it into a fully-featured multiplayer client which will be free for anyone to play.

However, we are still also facing a lot of work to complete the meat of the game – the single-player campaign. With the content made for Proving Grounds, we can produce the first episode using existing work while adding new stuff as needed. Still, we are a small team making a game by huge demand, all on our free time. We are concerned that the delay we announce today may not remain the only one when we continue with the single-player missions. To create content for a modern game like Sol Contingency, we need a lot of time to produce assets, and manpower only gets us so far. Ever since we started more than a year ago, we have refined our team and come to the conclusion that a well-organized small group of developers works better for us than a large amount of freelancers. This means we need *even more* time to complete the game, and making it on a reasonable schedule will probably require more than what our spare time (next to our jobs and other obligations) offers.
For this reason we are considering to make Sol Contingency an officially funded game, hopefully using a license to keep the Descent references. Many of you have been asking for a Kickstarter campaign to speed up development and we were overwhelmed by your support, but legal concerns always kept us from pursuing a funding campaign. We will try and look into the legal matter after we have released Proving Grounds – as the title suggests, we want to prove to you first that we can make this game and do it right. We hope for your continued support and will leave you with a few new shots of some of the cool work currently in progress at the Sol Contingency Development Center ;)

Merry Christmas and have a great new year

- the SolC team

6 responses to ““Proving Grounds” delayed until early 2014”

  1. Kevin commented:

    Was looking forward to testing it out, but I completely understand. I’d rather have a more polished and stable game then something rushed and buggy. I love what you guys are doing, keep up the amazing work. Happy Holidays to all of your team, and loved ones!

  2. David commented:

    Don’t care, still looking forward to it! Echoing Kevin, I have no problem waiting longer. :D Haven’t had a good 6DoF game in so long, I’ll wait as long as is necessary for a solid product. Good luck, and Happy Holidays! > :D

  3. elmo commented:

    Had a feeling. That’s the norm for this stuff – always delays.

    It looks great though and will be in the future. Keep at it.

  4. Battlebengt commented:

    I agree, no point in releasing an unfinished version. Just keep up the good work!!

  5. rms commented:

    No worries, team! Take your time until you’re satisfied! Best wishes!

  6. 0zero0 commented:

    excited to see this
    miss my spaceorb