Friday, July 7, 2017

In Regards To Community Outreach and XING’s Progress

Hello! My name is Marcus Wong and I’ll be joining the XING team to help with community management! Some quick fun facts about me: I am an incoming Computer Science freshman at the University of California, Irvine, who is striving to become a game developer or software engineer in the future. I’m a huge PC and VR enthusiast; I built my first PC when I was 10 and I’ve been using it ever since. My hobbies are video gaming (of course), drawing, game development, and watching anime. Some of my favorite games are Final Fantasy XIV, Super Smash Bros Melee, NieR: Automata, and Persona 5, and I like almost all genres of games.

Hi, Marcus here!

Anyways, that’s enough about me. Starting today, I'll be helping with XING's community management and making sure that you, the player, know what's happening!

To start off, let’s discuss XING’s progress. I know some of you may be having doubts about XING’s development progress, given the time it’s taken, and I do agree that your doubts are not unjustified. However, from the time I’ve spent with them, I can assure you that the team members are not just dilly-dallying around every day, but are working hard to make XING a flawless, polished experience for every single platform on which XING has been announced.

In addition, the team realizes that the amount of community interaction they have had in the past was not sufficient, so their goal with adding me to be part of community management is to help bridge that gap. Together, we will now do our absolute best to update you regularly on the game's progress as we get closer to launch!

Our goal is to provide the same amount of accessibility to all platforms.

One of the largest parts of XING’s development is building it for the many platforms it’ll be available on. We must individually test each new build on PC, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PS4, and PS VR to make sure there are no sudden bugs or gameplay issues popping up for one or more platforms. For example, one problem that sprang up recently was that the save feature was malfunctioning in only the VR versions of the game, and so we had to continuously debug to find out and fix the issue. On top of that, we are also making sure that the non-VR experience isn’t any worse than the VR experience, and vice versa. Despite these challenges, we are firmly committed to emphasize both quantity and quality with XING’s platforms.

Many aspects of the game must be created multiple times to support each of the platforms.

This is just one of the tasks of XING’s development that we must perform to make sure XING is an excellent experience for you, the player. Some others include: making sure the puzzles are accessible, challenging, and fun, creating immersion in the worlds of XING, and optimizing the game so you don’t need a top-of-the-line PC to run it.

We hope you understand the work that we are putting into XING and trust us to deliver to you a stellar experience!

Thank you for reading and supporting XING!

Marcus

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

21 Mixed Reality Photos

Hey guys!

Just checking in. We are busy developing, polishing, fixing bugs etc.

Here are all of the Mixed Reality photos we've released so far! Feel free to share this post, or any of the photos you like! :D

XING is turning out to be quite the adventure!

Photo 1: "Lost in the Jungle"

Photo 2: "The Flaming Durian"

Photo 3: "Crouching Lilypad, Hidden Rainforest"

Photo 4: "Virtually Snowing"

Photo 5: "Tablet on the Beach"

Photo 6: "A Flurry of Petals"

Photo 7: "Moon Path"

Photo 8: "The Hungry Tadpole"

Photo 9: "Pinecone Pickup"

Photo 10: "Desert(ed) Towers"

Photo 11: "Sakura"

Photo 12: "No Sunscreen Required"

Photo 13: "Night Shower"

Photo 14: "The Explorer"

Photo 15: "Fireworks"

Photo 16: "The New Frontier"

Photo 17: "Enter the Jungle"

Photo 18: "Moon Stone"

Photo 19: "Onward"

Photo 20: "Spirits"

Photo 21: "Time is Relative"

Thursday, April 13, 2017

XING Trailer at PlayStation Kiosks


So we definitely should have mentioned this earlier, seeing as how the kiosks will be changing out content soon - but for the past 3 months XING: The Land Beyond has been featured under the PlayStation VR section of the PlayStation Kiosks in retail stores all over the US (like Best Buy, GameStop etc.)

The first time we saw XING there was an awesome experience!


Or Click here to see it on YouTube






Wednesday, April 12, 2017

GDC + Beta Testing Going Well!

Hi everyone!

We attended GDC at the end of February, but not before getting out the Beta build via Steam to all of our Kickstarter Beta Backers!

Private Beta

It was a fun crunch to get it all working for testing (lots of late nights), and since then we've made a new build update for beta testers to play every Friday. It's quite a schedule to keep up with - but it's also great for getting a lot done.

We not have the final "glue" that ties the whole game together, so our main questions for people who play the game are:
  1. Is it fun?
  2. Do you feel like you want to continue?
    1. If yes, why?
    2. If no, what would make you want to continue?
We've kept the Beta small, so we will probably be looking for people to test in the future in exchange for feedback as well, as we get closer to launch. Especially if someone has an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive setup! Those are definitely the least tested!




GDC

We had a good trip for the Game Developer's Conference. Here are some of the photos from GDC:


There were some crazy games in the Alt-Controller section!

Koriel won the bar games at a party!

Up and down the escalators we go!

Team photo

Always great to eat dinner with friends, especially when  we only see each other once or twice a year!

Griswold sitting on a chair, watching James try our VR games one of the nights after the conference. 









Friday, February 24, 2017

Steam Store Page!

Today we are excited to announce the “Coming Soon” status of our new Steam Store page!



With the opening the Steam Store page also comes the Steam Community Hub, where you’ll be able to participate in discussions, as well as post screenshots and other media. We’ll be using a private discussion page for our beta, which will be starting very soon!

Something like this might not seem like a major deal, but as a three person development AND publishing team, it falls on us to do everything related to getting this game into people's hands, including managing everything that goes into making an awesome storefront for XING.




We’ve also come up with our final “box art” design for the game, which you’ll see in many forms and formats labeling our game, including on Steam and the Oculus store, as well as the PlayStation Store. It’s taken us some time to come up with a graphic that captures both the art and feeling of our game without being just an out of context screenshot background, and we hope this new logo will pique the curiosity of new players.



Speaking of progress, we are currently finishing up some nuts and bolts to get our first official beta out and ready for those generous kickstarter backers who earned the beta backer reward years ago. Since starting this beta build push we’ve finally had the opportunity to really look at the game as a whole, and wow, it’s taken a form that we never would have dreamed of back in 2013. The game is significantly larger and more content rich than we initially set out to achieve, and so more than ever we need help to make sure everything can be experienced in a silky smooth fashion. There are still plenty of bugs, features, quality of life improvements, performance optimizations, and overall quality assurance issues to be addressed in the coming months, but with the help of some of our backers as well as friends and family, we look forward to taking on the challenge of the polish phase of development.

YEAH!

For those who have been following us since our beginnings, we can’t thank you all enough for your support and continued enthusiasm. We think XING will find a happy home on Steam, alongside all of our other platforms and distribution methods, and we are eager to see what the Steam community will make of our game.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kickstarter Backer Beta and Oculus Touch Announcement

Hi! Koriel here. Just thought we should check in to let everyone know what we've been up to for the past month. If you have been following our updates, then you know that answer is probably something like "working for days on end trying to finish XING." And you wouldn't be wrong.

We did end up taking a week and a half off for a winter break this year, which was much needed time for relaxing and resetting. Since then, we've been hard at work fixing bugs and polishing the game.

We have two announcements today that should make some people smile. 


Our first announcement will be nice to hear, especially for our Kickstarter Beta backers. YES! The time has finally come!

Kickstarter Backer Beta

In about 6 weeks from now, our Beta Backers will gain access to the playable Beta of the game on Steam. We look forward to hearing the responses, comments and criticisms from our awesome community, in order to make the game the best it can be!

Testing is a critical part in ensuring a polished gaming experience for all of our future players. 

This is a big step for us in bringing us closer to the game's release.



We will be paying thoughtful attention to the Beta to gauge how close we are to release, so stay tuned.



The second one is something some of you have asked about and suspected for a while now, and that is that XING: The Land Beyond will officially be playable on Oculus Touch controllers.

Oculus Touch


That's right! We will be releasing XING: The Land Beyond with Oculus Touch support, as well as gamepad support for the Rift too. You can check out our previous blog post on our Vive support to see what kind of locomotion options will be available.



I created this handy little infographic showing all of the hardware XING will be supporting on its PC and PS4 launches:



And yes, you caught that right. We will have two separate launches for PC and PlayStation 4. This has mostly to do with a lot of back end work involved in both launches, and the reality of the manpower that we currently possess.

With just 3 of us working on the project, our main focus has been on the game itself. That's not to say we haven't been working on platform support - far from it. But it's just a fact that we would be spread way too thin trying to do one big simultaneous release on all platforms.


Since we are self-publishing on the PlayStation store, it's more practical and realistic for us to release on PC first, and then go through all the steps necessary to get an even more polished version of the game on the PS4, while also working any PS4 and PSVR-specific features.

Plus, while we are working on our PlayStation 4 release, we can be updating our PC release with any patches necessary, since it is easier to update PC builds.


Whether this is your first time reading one of our updates or you are a long-time follower, thanks so much for reading!