Dev Update #8: 4 Months and 10 Versions Later, or: I'm So So So Tired

Oh, wow. Where do I even begin? The last time I updated the website was April 30. I remember that a week earlier, we came to the decision to release on Steam Early Access, mostly because we needed a community that could guide the development of the game, but also because the revenue was something that would really help with its completion. I had planned on providing regular updates to the website as we went through Early Access. I could never have imagined how much a release - even though it wasn't a full release yet - would change everything. My god, it changed everything.

The biggest thing was shock of beating expectations. We had very modest EA sales expectations. We were nobodies with a half-finished game. Terroir became available for purchase on Steam on the 17th of May, and in the 2 weeks that followed, instead of the 500-800 copies we think we'd sell, we sold almost 2,000. Reviews were, and have remained, mostly positive. It's a blessing to see those words in blue next to our rating on Steam, and one can't help but feel extra thankful after seeing other EA titles get Mixed and Mostly Negative reviews shortly after release. I guess we were doing one or two things right, and for that, I am eternally grateful to the team for giving it their all. They really worked their asses off these past 4 months. I can honestly, I have never felt so tired and happy as I do now. Doing this isn't easy when you've got a full-time job and a 9-month old baby daughter that demands your constant attention (which I am always happy to give her because no one and nothing matters more than the ones you love). But it is extremely rewarding, and I have never ever felt so fulfilled in my entire life.

Speaking of people I love: one of the best parts about being in EA is the community we've built - man, I love our players. They are equal parts supportive, enthusiastic, overly negative, demanding, reasonable and extremely helpful towards each other. It takes all kinds to make a world, they say, and Terroir's community is a world all on its own. The feedback and suggestions that we received from our players have been instrumental in making Terroir what it is today. I believe Early Access' value lies in its ability to provide developers and designers insights that they are either completely blind to or simply failed to acknowledge. Things like improvements to balance, quality of life and UI, as well as bigger things like new mechanics and content were created thanks to the input of our Steam community. Bless 'em, we wouldn't be here without them.

So what has all that feedback resulted in? Well, how about 10 major updates in a period of less than 16 weeks? And I'm talking major changes - the current version, 1.10, is a world away from the 1.0 EA release version. I mean just look at the main game screen comparison between version 1.02 and 1.10:

 

Version 1.02: notice only 3 icons at the top (version 1.0 had just one)

Version 1.02: notice only 3 icons at the top (version 1.0 had just one)

Version 1.10 has a whole lot more...

Version 1.10 has a whole lot more...

Those icons aren't just for show. In the past 4 months, Terroir has seen new additions that we never planned on, like a Bank, ambient customization items and Wine Awards. We've also introduced an in-game tutorial, and a much more detailed text tutorial. The soundtrack is finally complete, and players now enjoy the entire 4 parts of the Seasons of Bordeaux series in its entirety. We even have a mission system now!

CandC1.png

I mean, we even have VO for the missions and the in-game tutorial. Here's a sample:

It's been incredibly hectic, but we're here now. And to anyone who's been following our progress so far, I've got an announcement to make: we're confident that we're ready for a full release. So we're doing a full release on Steam on the 15th of September. Terroir has come a long way, it's much more balanced, it's much more engaging, and it's ready to be shared to a wider audience.

But -- that's not it for Terroir. We have so much more in store for the game, and we plan on continuing development on more content (and potentially even DLC content) for the forseeable future. We love this game and want to bring it to life as much as we can. And hopefully, in the process, our players will enjoy it as much as we do.

So, now that another milestone is upon us, it might be time to say goodbye for a little while again as I focus on getting this right. You can always get in touch with us via our email (just send us a message through the Contact Us page), or through our discussion boards on Steam.

For now, I bid you farewell. Wish us luck!

MARK