Early access, DRM-free, and update plans

Note: This devlog update has also been posted on the "official" #FaceTheNightmare development blog.


Well, the biggest update is that The Nightmare from Beyond is now out on Early Access, and you can get it on the game website. It’s currently on early access, and there are various reasons for that. I know early access gets a bad rap due to buggy games and “abandonware.” I have a couple of things to say about that…

Since The Nightmare from Beyond is also coming to Vita (and PS4), there’s already a very cool group of Vita fans who are very excited about this game and want to get their hands on it. I know this has nothing to do with early access or the PC in general, but still, it’s yet another reason to finish the game. The following screenshot shows Nightmare running on the Vita:

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Another one. BTW those buttons are used to enable/disable screen effects, to find a balance between performance and cool looks.

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And this is a photo of the Vita devkit running the game:

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Even if the Vita is an old machine with very low specs, the plan is to make the game experience on the Vita resemble the PC and PS4 version, and that includes screen effects, lighting effects, and other stuff. That means a lot of work, but it’s going to be worth it at the end.

The Nightmare from Beyond has been in development for around one year and a half. That year and a half includes a “full game reset” that happened around 10 months ago. The previous version of the game was still Lovecraftian, but it was originally titled “The Nightmare from Outspace,” the story was more similar to the “Alien” movie, it was set in a space station, and featured a human protagonist. The following video shows what that first version of the game was like.

 

As you see, the title changed, the protagonist was completely re-made, the environments were scrapped and so was the story. The only thing that remains is the platforming (though many aspects were re-programmed), and the “metroidvania” design (that game would also feature items that allow you to unlock areas).

So yeah, 18 months in development, one full game reset, and a very enthusiastic Vita fan base, are good reasons to continue the development until it is finished.

So, back to the early access subject… The game is $19.99, and it’s available on Steam, Itch.io and our website. You will notice the game is roughly $2 cheaper on itch.io (with a suggested price of $19.99 to match the other prices). I don’t really like to be all secretive about stuff, so I will simply explain why I did this:

One of the reasons I opted to do this is because Itch.io is DRM-free, and I would like to promote the DRM-free version more, even if I know people like Steam better for various reasons. Obviously this means you don’t get to have your game on Steam, since I haven’t enabled Steam key retrieval for itch.io (that would kinda defeat the whole point of having the DRM-free version).

The other reason is that, since I am from El Salvador, I am subject to double taxation in some storefronts. Long story short, for every Steam copy I sell, I pay taxes twice, and there’s no way for me to “deduct” those taxes (they are simply lost money). With itch.io I don’t have that problem, since I am only taxed once. So even with the lower price, I end up receiving more money from itch.io after store cuts and taxes.

So, if you plan to buy the game but you want to support the development of the game even more, please get it from itch.io.

Continuing with the early access subject. Granted that I don’t know every game out there, but, while there are a lot of games where you hide from monsters, and a lot of Tomb Raider-like platformers, I can’t recall many games that combine both worlds. I think the closest thing is the Dahaka sequence from Prince of Persia. For this reason, as well as general “input-based development” reasons, I opted for this.

The original plan was to just release different versions featuring different gameplay aspects, but after getting some input, I think it’s better to release updates in some sort of “episodes” way, since people have said they want to know what the place is, how the protagonist got there, and all that. This “sort-of-episodic” format would answer such questions, and would also provide more info and story as you play, meaning you’d actually know why you are jumping around and running from monsters.

So, the next update will include a short introduction to the story, and some context. BTW, what’s funny is that the introduction will share a certain similarity with the first version of the game (gameplay video posted above).

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I don’t want to spoil anything, really, so I will add more information in the next update. In the meantime, all I will say is that “you don’t dream in cryo.”

My plan is to provide updates once a week, even if they are short.

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