So as some of you may have noticed, the next update "M4" has taken a bit longer than expected. The main reason behind this is that we originally planned M4 as the official Alpha release of the game. By Alpha, we mean that the game should have a first implementation of all core features. These are the following features we expect our Alpha build to contain:
- Free Roam and Event gameplay
- Accurate scoring for tricks
- Near-final physics implementation
- Near-final core gameplay (riding, in-air, grinding)
- Replay system
- New areas of the mountain with "proper" art style
- Free-to-Play backend
This list is what we have been working towards since launching on Early Access, and we're unfortunately not quite there yet. Some features have taken longer than expected due to their complexity or us wanting to make sure they are future-proof and not implemented in a rush (and therefore requiring reworking in the future).
So we have decided to hold off any big content updates until after the summer. We want to spend this extra time making sure we're happy with all the features and that the release feels more complete. We don't have an exact date for the release, but we do know that we will be attending Gamescom in August and will want to show press the latest update there.
To provide you with a little more transparency, here's a brief update on what we're working on at this moment.
Filip has been working hard on getting physicalized skis implemented, which hasn't been easy at all. While doing this he has also been overlooking, reworking and polishing the entire movement and grinding systems to make them more physically dynamic and overall much better than they were before.
Marek has been working on a replay system for both internal use, but also for the end-user. For you, this will mean being able to rewind gameplay after crashing or after completing a line down the mountain or terrain park and watching a replay of it.
Marek has also been spending time implementing the sounds we have had recorded specifically for us. We have an working build internally and can already see the difference it makes to the experience.
Stjepan has been working hard for the last few months on the event backend for our designers. This will allow us to easily and efficiently create events all over the mountain. We also then have the ability to let users create their own events in the future.
Andreas has begun connecting our item server to the Steam API. In the near future this will allow us to give each user a proper inventory and allow users to buy items from the store. You might even notice that SNOW now appears in your Steam Inventory - this is all part of Andreas' work.
Art + Level Design
The art team (Jake, Markus and Lilja) have been hard at work building assets to fill up our new areas on Sialia. Meanwhile, Tobias (our Level Designer) has been planning the areas, making sure they are fun and unique. The 4 areas we are working on are:
Frozen River - this area features a long and winding frozen river with bridges, walking paths and camp sites
Rock Piles - this area contains lots of dangerous paths with many rock obstacles and cliffs for the player to navigate around
Lake Town - the Lake Town is a small village on the edge of a frozen lake
Quarry - it's still early in development, but this area will contain lots of narrow rock passes winding down the mountainside
Lo2 Park - the Lo2 Park is being completely rebuilt. We've been working with a professional park designer to make sure it's awesome