Glorious Ashes Community,
Hello! I am sorry that the Lord and Sandal Steven has not had time in his business schedule to write the Quarter Three Creative Director’s Letter. It has absolutely nothing to do with me, but since we are now 35% of the way through Q4, I figured I better jump in here and put something out so people can calm down or so that the Lord and Sandal can smite me with righteous judgement in the form of the actual authentic letter. Either way, let us talk about all things Intrepid Studios and Ashes of Creation.
To start, let’s talk about the fact that Intrepid Studios continues to grow, even though they are over the maximum capacity for fire safety standards in their San Diego office. Yes, Intrepid has planned on being at 100 staff in-house no later than December 2018, and yes that deadline came and went. Yes, Intrepid wanted to be filled up by June 2019, but again that deadline came and went. These things are not Intrepid’s fault, they are due to the fact that two previous studio spaces have become unavailable at the last minute and that has left Intrepid scrambling to find a home big enough to accommodate all of their employees. Anyone who knows anything about real estate knows you can’t just jump into a new space, it has to be a space that actually works for your needs. With that said, Intrepid is slated to move into their new studio at the end of November 2019. That will be something worth seeing. We’ve already seen some pictures of what the space should look like, and it should give Intrepid all the space they need to be at roughly 140 in-house staff.
Speaking of staff, Intrepid has added on several new staff members,and while I am not privy to all the new hire nor are they on the website yet, I can tell you from personal experience that Franz (GM Flea) and Kory (QuaternionSlerp) have been busy handling Customer Service tickets in the months since APOC came out. We also say goodbye to Kevin Zhen who had been the build engineer and wish him well in all his future endeavors.
If you live in the San Diego area and you want to join the Intrepid Team, make sure to check out their careers page at https://intrepidstudios.com/careers. They are currently looking for several positions including: Gameplay Engineer Generalist, Associate Producer, Game Network Software Programmer, DevOps Engineer, Senior Environment Artist, Pipeline Tool Developer, Technical Animator, FX Artist, Senior Material Artist
Back in March, Steven set up several expectations for what we would start to see each week and month as we moved forward. Some of the items on that list have been delivered, while others are still pending.
I am happy to report that the forum migration is complete with the forums up and operational. Additionally, for the most part it appears as if account services are working, although there are the occasional hiccups, however, that is just par for the course when it comes to technology. So, in these two regards Intrepid has delivered on their word.
The referral system is also back and working as of 28 September 2019, however, not at the same level as it was working before. Both referral codes and referral links are functional, however, the old tracking data and metrics, along with the increased functionality that was promised has yet to be delivered.
In March we were promised weekly updates, monthly live-streams, monthly recap letters, and monthly dev diaries. I’m actually surprised at this level of commitment as this is a lot of moving parts and constant deliverables to meet in addition to actually having time to make the game. Below is a quick snapshot of how the team did in making those deliverables.
As you can see, they have been fully committed to their live-streams hosting one every month, however they have only been on the expected date three of the eight times for 38% They have also been mostly committed to their monthly recap letters delivering on seven of the eight for an 88% rate. After that the numbers fall off pretty sharply.
With 34 expected weekly updates and only 11 deliverables, that leaves Intrepid at a whopping 32%, what’s been more frustrating with the weekly updates is that while we received the Economic and Scientific Node blogs, we were left with the Divine Blog pending approval and the Military blog nowhere to be found. Additionally, while Intrepid came out of the gate strong with the Dev Diaries, in August they cancelled the Dev Diary in order to push out the Gamescom Teaser video and then we went 0 for 2 in September and October, leaving them at an overall 63% on Monthly Video delivery.
If you want to see these deliverables tracked week to week you can find my tracker here: https://www.paradoxgaming.net/aocdeliverables which will also include links to each of the deliverables for ease of reference.
Finally, the Xsolla Change-out that was promised in the 7 March 2019 Creative Director’s letter has not yet been realized. Part of this was how Intrepid Studios had integrated the Xsolla payment model into their web-page. The most recent update for this was on 9 October 2019 when Steven said the Xsolla switch was in QA. Hopefully more to come on this in the genuine Creative Director’s letter.
Before moving on to the new stuff, I wanted to include a shout-out to both the Intrepid Studios team and the Ashes of Creation community for raising $21,131 for the Children’s Miracle Network through Extra Life.
Apocalypse - Battle Royale on Steam
So let’s be honest here, putting the battle royale on Steam was probably a mistake for Intrepid Studios. The all-time peak for players via steam capped out at 572 and it has already been several weeks since the concurrent player base via Steam has been over 100. Combine that with the game being review bombed and having only a 35% positive review, Intrepid has a rough up-hill climb with the other two modes to get APOC even to the 50% mark.
Steven has hinted very strongly on several occasions that Castle Siege mode will be out before the end of the year. The current season in APOC - Chapter 1 “The Exodus” is scheduled to end at 2359 on 15 December 2019. Will Intrepid have Castle Siege ready for Chapter 2? As it stands right now we have no dates for release, or even for the one month in advance Alpha 1 backer testing to begin. You can be sure once we have those, I will be putting a video out on that subject.
Horde Mode and Alpha 1
Back in 2018 there was a very linear path of BR, Castle Siege, Horde Mode and then Alpha 1. In several statements in the past quarter Steven has hinted that Alpha 1 may come before Horde Mode. While we have no dates for these modes wither, the community waits with anticipation for them to be announced.
For now, we can only sit idly by waiting for the monthly livestreams, monthly cosmetic store updates, monthly recap letters, and hope that Intrepid turns on the flow of information again through the weekly updates, blogs, articles, Dev Diaries. If they can’t meet these obligations, then hopefully they sit down with the community and realign the expectations so that people aren’t waiting for things that are never going to come.
Hopefully this has slaked your thirst for the written word until you can get the official delivery of a Creative Director’s letter from Steven.
I look forward to seeing you in a game mode that isn’t BR Soon,