Wow wow wow! Two hundred THOUSAND downloads, just from Apple device owners!
Now taking bets on how long it takes Android/Google Play to catch up!
If you’ve already subscribed to the newsletter, you’ve probably already seen all of this! But for the rest of you…
Xin and I have been working on defining the different people and cultures of the Moon Hunters world, starting with the mountains, deserts, and forests.
The desert tribes are some of the friendliest, relying heavily on Blood magics to detect water beneath the surface, digging incredibly deep wells as needed. Even the smallest children of the tribe can usually recite basic Blood prayers, giving the desert folk a reputation for quick healing and practical wisdom.
Desert priestesses speak of an ancient thirst that draws all of humanity down into the cavernous flesh of the earth, safe from the evil sun. However, two storytellers rarely agree on what happens down there, for those that answer the call and indulge their thirst.
Here’s an assortment of villagers drawn from a few different tribes, side-by-side for comparison with the heroes. The differences can be rather subtle, but you can learn the style and customs of each tribe after spending more time with them.
The people of the wind-chapped mountains are hunters, not farmers, as there’s neither enough fertile soil nor sunlight to sustain most vegetables. Even in mid-summer, the evil Sun is a distant, pearly figure, not so much brighter than the Moon. Of all environments, the peaks may be the most similar in night and day, seemingly trapped in a constant dusk.
(The beetle in the gif probably isn’t native to that climate, but it sure does look happy about its travels! We’re not sure whether it’s dancing to impress its reflection or it’s just trying to keep warm. Either way, dance, beetle, dance!)
Most tribes prefer to build in wood, mud, or grass, but the High Tribes legends say they moved to a higher elevation to test their strength and self-discipline. They revel in the challenging permanence of stone and metal, with artisans excelling in Bronze magics and careful stonework. As a result, the finest jewelry, metal blades, and architectural advances tend to come from the mountain folk. In addition to hunting for meat and skins, they supplement their supplies with trading.
The High Tribes’ most profitable export is in weaponry. The Spellblade wields weapons forged by High Tribes on the jagged peaks of the Zaragos Mountains, where winds ceaselessly dig ore out of the very stone. After many years of hermetic study, training, and meditation, a Spellblade fuses his or her own will into the very metal, until the blade can anticipate its master’s whims.
(Note for the detail-oriented: it’s not a scabbard, the wrappings hold together multiple layers of leather.)
Unfortunately, looking down on the world from their elevated viewpoint, the High Tribes tell themselves that they are closest to the Moon and most deserving of Her power. Most of its leadership are arrogant, possessing very little respect for those with more compassion. There are always exceptions, of course, particularly among merchants and rebellious youth, but the High Tribe culture is dominated by a sense of prideful superiority, valuing strength, purity, and loyalty over other, “lesser” virtues.
A few people have asked whether we’ll crowdfund using the Square Enix Collective, but the honest answer is that we don’t know! Maybe! We haven’t decided yet what the best course of action is. For now, we’re keeping our heads down and working on the game.
At this point, we’re hoping to be ready for crowdfunding in July or August. We want to make sure we put our best foot forward and offer as much gameplay footage as possible. In the meantime, we’re glad to have you along for the journey!
Shattered Planet is coming to Steam! Plus, we’re going to be adding three new features, unique to the premium version:
Plus, of course, any content updates we make to the mobile version will also be in the PC version. The PC version will essentially be prettier, more complex, and require paying up-front rather than making in-game purchases.
We need your votes! If you can share, tweet, and otherwise badger your friends into voting, so much the better!
Q: When will it be ready? Why isn’t it done yet?
A: Well, those are some pretty serious features we want to add! It’ll take a little while to get those working and bug-free. If you’re interested in being a beta tester or Let’s Play Youtuber, you should tell us you want a beta copy and we’ll hook you up!
Q: Can I monetise my Let’s Play video?
A: YUP. Make money!
Q: What will the price be?
A: It’s still up for debate, but a similar price to similar-scope projects.
Q: Why did you make the free to play mobile version?
A: We felt it was the best way to get the word out about the game, and get people excited about Shattered Planet! We’re very grateful to our investors, Execution Labs, for believing in us, and it’s only because of them that we were able to afford to make both versions of the game.
Q: How much money did the free version make?
A: So far it’s made about 10% of the amount we spent to make it. So, no, not enough to live on or make another game, basically. But we’re confident it’s an awesome game and more players just need to hear about it!
Q: Will you be updating the mobile versions at all?
A: Yep! You’ll still get new items and enemies and challenges, just not the shiny premium features.
Well, we’ve been putting our heads down and fixing bugs while we launch to iOS and Android (by the way, Android users will have a new update today! Yay!), but we thought we’d take a second to talk about the characters and world of Shattered Planet. More specifically, those adorable amphibians that call themselves the Gekkians.
If you pay attention all the way till the end, you’ll get a preview of our next content update!
When humans first reached beyond the Sol system, they were able to communicate with a few different intelligent species in our universe. However, the only one close enough, in location and in biology, to befriend (or even really understand) were the Gekkians. They share many human-friendly characteristics, including intellectual interests, expressive features, a sense of humor, and relatively similar digestive tracks. Although humans can’t really enjoy Gekkian sports without scuba gear, they share a love of sushi and sitcoms. Gekkians and humans can even breathe the atmospheres of each others’ home planets, though each says the other’s “smells terrible”.
In historical terms, humans and Gekkians became fast allies. The crucial divergence between the two species’ cultures, and the cause of more than one skirmish, is the human obsession with ‘ethics’ and ‘morality’. Humans concern themselves with right and wrong very often, and perhaps more worryingly for the Galactic Union, they expect all other species to do the same.
Gekkians find un-measurable phenomena generally less interesting, and very few claim they experience emotions similar to guilt or shame. This includes worrying over whether something or someone is “good” or “bad”, but also concern for clothing or gender, both of which are more fluid among Gekkians.
Although their personalities range across a broad spectrum, Gekkians are generally neither cruel nor self-sacrificing. Gekkian religions (such as they are) tend towards constant learning and living in the moment, seeking joy from small pleasures, with their cultural heroes often taking the form of either charismatic, serene leaders or brilliant, manic scientists. Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, and Buddha have all found fan followings on Gekk Prime.
For their part, Gekkians say that humans are generally fun at parties, but lacking in [SYMBOL NOT FOUND], which translates roughly to “attention span for details”, or “brain-flexible”, depending on how it’s inflected. Dr. Zek is an accomplished Gekkian scientist and much more reclusive and emotionally detached than most, especially compared to the Gekkian you’ll meet next.
In our next content update, we’ll introduce a second Gekkian, who actually wears clothes for the fun of it. Meet Dinaxi, intergalactic trader extraordinaire.
But the trader is too impatient to stay in any one place very long, so you’ll have to keep an eye out to catch the visit! We’ll let you know when we have the docking schedule ironed out.
Everyone can also preview the OST and download it for only $3 directly from the talented composer, Ryan Roth. With 12 tracks, it’s a seriously great deal.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in helping us translate our silly jokes into other languages, let us know. We have some French fixes underway, and one brave soul has volunteered to help with Russian, but I’m sure they’d appreciate your help… not to mention the other thousand languages on the planet.
For the Kitfox team, now the hard part begins — juggling bugfixes, updates for the mobile versions and working on the premium PC version for this summer. We have a huge backlog of items and challenges and monsters and features, and we’ll be sure to let you know when we release our next dozen!
Maybe just let us take one minute to drink this one little glass of champagne… cheers!
* We’re not releasing in Japan, Korea, or China Google Play stores until we can localise for those countries.
We’re pleased to announce we’re working on porting Shattered Planet to Sony’s next-next-gen console.
The PS5 is perfectly suited to the game’s dark, mature tone. Shattered Planet will sit comfortably next to similar titles like the similarly-difficult Dark Souls 4 and the lesser-known science fiction series Mass Effect Z.
Look for it on store shelves too! (Closed Captioning for the Humor-Impaired: That’s the joke. Store shelves! Haha!)
Well, we were nervous about how things would turn out, but due to various factors (amazing fans, Apple featuring, whims of Fate), Shattered Planet‘s launch has gone better than we dared dream was possible!
We hit 100k in only 4 days!?!? What the crab-biscuits?!
Party time …? Nope! We’re focusing on a few reported crash bugs and save-file corruption issues. Thankfully, these improvements will also benefit our Android build, which is nearing release.
For now, our best advice to those of you on lower-end devices is to reboot the system before playing and close all other apps while running Shattered Planet. We will unfortunately have to disable downloads to iPod Touches and the original iPad, as they do not have enough memory or processing power.
We apologise if you downloaded it and were disappointed to find it couldn’t run. We hope you remember us, if/when you upgrade in the future.
Of course, we’re only halfway to 200,000…
In Shattered Planet you’re a clone sent to explore a dangerous, ever-changing planet in the name of science. You’ll want to explore and experiment to find as many new species and technologies as you can before you (inevitably) die a horrible death.
It was just released today globally on iOS, and is scheduled for Android release by April 10th.
In some ways it’s traditional — it’s turn-based, you kill monsters for treasure, the world is procedurally generated, and you lose your items when you die. However, it also includes modern sensibilities including intuitive, responsive controls and constant character progression, as you slowly grow stronger between expeditions. Plus, it has a light-hearted sense of humor that sets it apart.
Shiny new gameplay trailer:
Be sure to let us know if you want to get in touch. For science!
If you’ve been reading our newsletter, you’ll know that Xin has been painting up a storm, taking references from every which way to inform our ancient world.
Moon Hunters is set in an age when gods walked the earth, when the tribes of mortals were still finding their purpose in the world, and defining what it meant to be human. The spirit of every creature and object is fresh and alive, newly captured by the hands of its creators.
With this vivacity in mind, we enlisted the help of the amazing G.P. Lackey, a talented artist you may recognise from such excellent games as Fez, Skipping Stones, Death Road to Canada, Fallen City, Frobisher Says, and others. Xin and G.P. have really been pushing the pixels to bring even more personality to the characters. Here’s how the Druid has evolved:
As a master of Wild magics, the Druid can speak in tongues older than apes and war. Druids are only partially human after becoming attuned to the green of leaf and red of tooth. Some prefer to run in packs or herds, delighting in the company of others and entertaining friends with tales of what happens in the light of the full Moon. Others prefer the quiet companionship of trees and flora, shunning other humans as noisy, impatient animals, rushing around too quickly to absorb the wisdom that comes from roots sunk down deep into the soil.
Ancient myth tells us that when the Sun tried to slay the Moon and take Her power the first time, the earth and everything on it were formed from the flesh of the goddess’s body, and the rivers from Her blood. Druids are grateful to the Moon for Her sacrifice, so that all creatures may live and grow from Her gift.
Moon Hunters will allow you to customise your character in color palette and head. Here’s an example alternate color that G.P.’s been working on:
Gameplay-wise, we’re thinking the Druid can help the party explore by persuading stubborn brambles and beasts to step out of the way. We’re toying with a few different ideas for the Druid — does the Druid summon Wild creatures to help in battle, or transform into different creatures? Or both? We’re honestly not sure yet, but we’ll let you know when the prototype is ready to show.
And a few character customisation head concepts from Xin are below. Some are funny, others inscrutable. We’re hoping to keep the ‘weird’ tone, when they’re translated into pixel art.
Feel free to comment in the forums if you want to pressure Xin and G.P. to turn concepts and characters into wallpapers, or suggest a particular creature/character design.
Mark your calendars! Your planet’s about to get shattered.
If you are in or around the Montreal area and you’re excited for Shattered Planet, then you’re invited!
Where: Execution Labs, 3863 St Laurent Suite 206 (Google Maps)
When: March 28th, from 8pm onwards
The event is sponsored by Unity Technologies, who made the excellent engine that made Kitfox Games possible – Unity! We’re grateful for all the ways Unity improves Shattered Planet and Moon Hunters. If you want to give it a try, download a free 30-day trial of Unity Pro!