Launch date! (and a new map)

By April 7, 2017Uncategorized

Antihero finally has an official launch date! We’ll ship on Steam on July 12. This is, honestly, a bit later than I expected — by about two years. I’ve written before about the willful naivety that I think is necessary to undertake a large personal project; when I started work on Antihero, I made an arbitrary guess that it would take about two years to finish. And this was a silly estimate, and I knew it was silly at the time, but I didn’t know quite how badly I’d miss the mark.

Antihero has 4 game modes; two multiplayer servers (written in two different languages!); an AI; a story-driven singleplayer campaign; a series of multiplayer maps, each with its own gameplay twist; support for desktops, phones, and tablets; and an original design that has diverged from its primary gameplay influences (Hero Academy and Civilization) far more than I initially expected. It’s not an objectively big game, but it’s bigger than I should’ve undertaken as a solo designer/programmer on my first indie outing. (Is that a humble-brag? I guess it’s kind of a humble-brag. But still!)

Here’s some boring inside-baseball stuff: the game will (hopefully) be finished about a month before it launches. But because E3 lands in the middle of June, and E3-related news sucks all the air out of the room starting several weeks before it even happens, launching Antihero in late May/early June would be tactically… unwise. (That said, you can still, of course, buy and play Antihero NOW, at!) My biggest fear is that the game goes unnoticed by players and the press – and while that may of course still happen, shifting the launch date to a post-E3 week increases our chances at visibility a bit.

Anyway! There’s lots left to do, but my task list has finally started shrinking. The other day, we released “The Palace”, a new multiplayer map, to the early access community.

This map continues our tradition of introducing new gameplay twists alongside content drops. (I’ve been really impressed and inspired by Heroes of the Storm’s similar approach to map design.) One of the things I like most about a new map release is that I have about 5 minutes where I actually stand a chance against the game’s best players. From a designer’s perspective, I’m pleased that players have discovered all sort of strategies I didn’t anticipate. But as a player, I’d really like to win a game every now and then…