We've been quiet lately, putting the final touches on R.A.B.B.i.T., attempting to fix/circumvent some technical issues, as well as revisiting Defendy Rocket. But we wanted to take the time to catch you up on what's been happening lately.
First though, something fun...
R.A.B.B.i.T. Vocal Recording Session
Back in December we announced the voice of the rabbits. But way before that, we actually sat down with James and recorded all of the voices that are currently in the game. Now we'd like to share that recording with you.
Basically this is Dave and I directing James to make various rabbit-y sounding noises. We did have a rough plan in place beforehand, but we mostly made it up as we went along! It's pretty funny in places! We hope you enjoy it :)
A QUICK RECAP
So returning to what we've been up to, here's what happened previously:
- We were hoping to get R.A.B.B.i.T. released at Christmas, but A) We didn't quite make it and B) We found a crash in the engine involving the Android Google Play Services.
- Originally we decided to switch back to Defendy Rocket and get it released (finally!), but it turned out that it also suffers from the same crash (we've been back-and-forth with Epic about this for two months now!).
- With both games 90% complete but neither of them able to ship on Android, we decided to wrap up R.A.B.B.i.T. and focus on getting an iOS version out. We also decided to take some time to improve the game, porting it's core gameplay to native C++ and adding a couple of new features along the way, figuring that a fix for the Android version might hopefully turn up at some point.
END OF r.A.B.B.i.T.'S DEVELOPMENT
Early last week we put the final touches on R.A.B.B.i.T. and started the QA process needed to submit the game to Apple. Originally we were hoping to submit on Wednesday, but a few nasty bugs and other problems eventually pushed it back to Friday morning. Then -- as is par for the course with us -- disaster stuck on Friday afternoon when we found we're not able to sign a release build of an iOS game on PC (this is a new issue with Unreal that crept into version 4.10 where the engine defaults to using the wrong certificate and packages it). With no current solution for this new problem, we gave up and hit the pub.
With both games blocked on all platforms we had to spend some time on Monday deciding what to do next. Luckily Epic actually managed to create a fix for the iOS problem just as we were doing this. But this means we're back to waiting for a new build of the engine to appear.
In the mean time we've been looking at other options for getting the game released on iOS. Firstly we tried (once again) to build the project directly on the Mac. This is a time consuming and frankly horrible process, so we spent a day on it and decided it wasn't worth it (not with an actual fix coming from Epic, anyway). We also looked into using another app to stripe the development certificate that the engine had wrongly embedded into the IPA and replace it with the correct distribution one. Although this appeared to work initially, it caused other, unique problems when trying to upload the re-signed IPA to Apple.
SO, WHAT'S REALLY NEXT?
So -- yet again -- we're stuck, unable to release either game. We're currently revisiting Defendy Rocket and fixing the very few, extremely minor things we left behind the last time, but this is literally a few days worth of work at most. There was some consideration earlier in the year as to whether we should overhaul Defendy Rocket (put in a new tutorial; improve the UI; do another pass over performance etc), but we decided that the game is actually in a very decent state already and we could end up going on like this forever.
A NEW PROJECT
We talked about this for a very long time: Do we continue to improve the previous games? Or do we shift onto something else? With still no games yet to be released, we're making absolutely zero money right now and, after nearly a year of doing this and living off of our own savings, we're going to start running out of funds sooner or later.
In the end we decided that yes, it was time to take a risk and start on something new, shifting back to the previous projects as and when potential fixes become available for them. So we've been spending a couple of hours each day this week developing up a brand new project idea.
We currently have a very strong idea in the works, but we're not quite ready to discuss it yet. We can tell you that it's a bigger project than anything we've done so far; a lot more ambitious; will need to be monetised differently and it will likely be primarily a PC game (with Android/iOS SKUs). Hopefully we'll be ready to start sharing this middle of next week.
R.A.B.B.i.T. OPEN BETA
We'd like to take one final opportunity to remind you that R.A.B.B.i.T. has been in open BETA since it's first week of development. The build currently available to play is the final release candidate. That means it's almost completely identical to the version of the game that you'll play when we release it.
So if you have an Android device and fancy playing it, simply visit: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.TriCatGames.RABBiT
Please note: Due to the Google Play Crash in the current engine, we've disabled automatic sign in. You'll need to manually sign into Google Play (which you can do from R.A.B.B.i.T.'s options screen) if you want to utilise achievements/leaderboards.