Oh boy, where to even start.
First of all, the game! Trans Neuronica is a puzzle game I am working on. Cool story, unique gameplay, amazing music approachable difficulty — it’s designed to be liked by both casual and hardcore puzzle solvers. Watch the trailer, slam the wish list button and get excited, for there are only 12 more days ’till release (from the day this was written).
And now for the news I want to share about the project.
I am happy to say Trans Neuronica has a publisher! Hyperstrange has reached out to me, I liked their offer, I knew another deveveloper who was working with them and was happy with the relationship. At the same time I knew that on my own especially with such a close release date I can’t hope for big sales (more on that later), I know how bad I am at marketing. And even if money is not the issue and my only goal was getting my work in front of more people, partnering is the way to achieve that.
Changed release date
I originally intended to release the game on 5th of May. The reason for pushing it back to 22nd was to have the time to get all the paperwork done, QA, marketing — all the Publisher stuff. It also ties neatly to the next point.
Trans Neuronica will release initially as an Early Access game. I am aware EA games get a lot of flak and there are reasons to be suspicious of them. But it makes sense from the pragmatic perspective — EA release gives us the time to build an audience and allows to better utilize the way Steam works to increase the exposure.
So what will you get in the EA release?
- About 60%-70% of the levels from the full game as it is right now — one whole mechanic will be completely unavailable and there will be only the first boss pair playable. Depending on your skill level it should still be 2-6 hours of fun.
- Its own canonical mini-story.
- Windows and Linux releases.
What will be available in the full game?
- Level editor, the same one that’s used for developing the campaign.
- All the levels with all mechanics and bosses, rebalanced for difficulty and most likely at least a few of them will be replaced or added.
- Ability to play custom levels.
- Full story with multiple endings (you can still play the game without the story if you want!)
- At least one custom levelset.
- The Prelude’s levelset playable in the main game.
- Mini-story from EA also available as an option.
Some things I am not guaranteeing will be in the full game but I’d like to have them is possible:
- Steam Workshop integration though that depends on certain factors.
- Additional mechanics if the muses are kind (which will translate into more levels).
- Steam achievements.
- Mac build.
- 👾S E C R E T S👻
I want to take a moment to explain why I made the decision to set the release date to be less than a month from the day it appeared on Steam.
I’ve been working on and off on this game for 8 years, blocking me completely from working on any other game project (why I couldn’t is another story). It was suffocating, which was doubly difficult to deal with because I always felt the project has a lot of promise. So during the last burst of inspiration and nagging from the musician I made the decision to finish the game. Get it out, polish the final bits, release it even if it means it’s not up to the insanely perfect standard I held myself to.
The tight deadline was a way to force myself to not lose interest or give up.
And then all the shenanigans brought back the biggest excitement I had with the project in years. Which is why I am looking looking forward with optimism to the imminent early access release.