Project HEBorn, Phoebe and 2017
Hello everyone! Just wanted to give you an update on how things have been developing, as well as some news. I've been postponing this announcement since our last one for a good reason, explained below. I'll try to be brief.
Recently I've announced at HE1 forum the development of project HEBorn. This is good news for HE2, so let me explain why and what is it.
As you all know, HE2 is a more modern and better version of HE1. HE1 has a huge set of problems, mostly due to its bad codebase. As development of HE2 progressed, we realized that much of what we are making for HE2 could be used at HE1. In fact, with simple adaptations, we could reuse most of HE2 codebase to rewrite HE1 completely, and that's the core idea of the project.
With project HEBorn, we plan to create a new version of HE1 as well, reusing the codebase of HE2. Now let me explain why this is good news for HE2 players. First, this extra work won't slow us down on HE2 (in fact it's the contrary). During the week we work on HE2 as usual, and on the weekends Charlotte and I work on adapting HE2 code into HE1, as well as creating HE1's web interface.
The main benefit is that using HE2 code in HE1 allows us to test the robustness of HE2 code before HE2 is released. Bug fixes and improvements we work on the new HE1 will directly benefit HE2, and vice-versa. Also, having a separate codebase allow us to experiment with different environment settings and variables on HE1, without impacting HE2. The experiment results on HE1 also apply to HE2, and allow us to fine-tune the HE2 gameplay environment.
In short, with HEBorn we have much more data regarding the codebase, the gameplay environment and even cheaters, and that's a huge benefit to HE2.
Finally, HEBorn will work as a guide for us to focus on the MVP release of HE2 (the BETA you are anxiously waiting for). That's why not only HEBorn won't impair our progress on HE2, it will actually help it.
The new HE1 will be forever free, without any sort of ads. We'll let you know when it gets released, so hopefully this can help you cope with the wait for HE2. In fact, you'd be playing a game run mostly by HE2 code, but presented in a simpler way.
One of the perks we'd send on Indiegogo was a "photo of Phoebe". This is a ridiculously simple perk to deliver, right? Well, not so much. Phoebe is so cute I can't possibly pick one photo of her. Plus, it's such a simple perk that you'd receive it, view it and forget. We want to create a much deeper connection with all of you. We want something memorable.
That's why I gave a role to Phoebe on our team, and a website to her. Phoebe is our long-awaited CEO. She'll be the one heading the direction of the game, making sure it has a solid revenue model that can keep our team running for the foreseeable future. There is a rumor that she wants to add balls and a fetch mini game to Hacker Experience 2, but that's just a rumor!
I also created a website to her, which is our "photo of Phoebe" perk being delivered to you. We hope it's something better than you've been expecting. In fact, if there is one thing we are aiming at, it's to under-promise and over-deliver. We hope HE2 is delivered in such a manner to exceed your expectations of it. We know what you want to hear about is HE2, so keep reading.
2017 is here. On behalf of the entire HE2 staff, I'd like to wish you all a great year. And I mean it! 2016 was a tough year for us, with a lot of hard work, overtime, difficulties (mostly financial) and no releases. We hope 2017 can be better: the same amount of work, but with results to show you all.
The reason I've been delaying this next announcement is that I wanted to make it after we managed to bring the money raised on Indiegogo to Brazil. I'm finally happy to say that we did it! All legal and tax-related steps were respected (AFAIK), and even though Brazilian m̶o̶b̶government ate most of it, we are happy to have financial security for the next few months.
The best of all is that now we are able to bring two new developers who will be working full-time on the desktop client interface. And even though it's late, we are happy that it's happening. As I've been saying, our core team has been focusing on the backend, which amounts for about 70% of the game. We believe that even though we are only now being able to start working on the client, it won't be a huge problem for our schedule.
On the last post I announced that we'd like to deliver the beta by March. This had one assumption: we'd be able to bring the Indiegogo money by November, 1st. We managed to do it only yesterday, so about 2 months late.
BUT, even though this broke our main assumption, I'll stay with March being the expected release date for the BETA. We'll work twice as hard to make it happen, but we don't want to delay it even further.
And once again, let me make this clear: if you feel the game is taking too long to release, or you simply changed your mind, you can ask for a refund at anytime. You'll be able to get a refund until you have actually played the 1.0 version of the game (the one after the BETA). If you want a refund, please email me at email@example.com.
Finally, I'd like to further commit to my promise on our last post: we'll make up for the delay, no matter which tier you are on. I won't say exactly what we'll give/reward you because 1) that's a surprise 2) it depends on how long the game is delayed and 3) I really don't know. But I do know that it will make up for the delay.
Oh, and as long as I'm here, let me share you photos from our office that I took last month for our AmA. The focus here being our brand new sexy air conditioning unit <3 (Brazilian summer is really, really hot). See them here: http://imgur.com/a/kaoSh
 - I'm just being a drama queen. It's not really overtime when you love your work. I think I can say for everyone working on HE2, we are more than happy to spend way more than 8 hours a day on it.