We have some news regarding early access and Astride’s release. While we cannot give exact dates on release still, we have landed on a final countdown towards Astride’s early access (a vertical slice of the full game) release on Steam. For more information about early access, please check out #ea-information channel the Astride Discord server.
The Astride team has had a meeting with the head of the federal funding institution (Norwegian Film Institute) regarding the early access release. In the meeting, we put down all of our cards on the table and asked for an extension of the funding period. With NFI, fundings cover production periods, and with this round of funding, Astride was supposed to end up in early access. The last date of Astride’s funding period was November 28th, which is only a month away and not feasible at this point. But we were granted an extension which will give us up until May 28th to deliver.
What does this mean? This simply means that we get more time to work on the early access release and make it as polished as possible for us to be comfortable to charge money for. There have been raised concerns in the community quite a few times now, and we can’t do anything but agree. We would rather push the dates back than release an unstable version of Astride with lacking features. Although our final date is May 28th, we are looking at a release coming in March or April. May 28th is the last day we can deliver our documentation for the period, so we need time to get them in order and sent in.
How does this affect the funding? Expanding the funding period does not mean we get more funds for the extra months of work we will be putting in. So from November 28th, we have no further funds from NFI to lean on until early access is released and we send in documentation. After this, we can apply for another period of funds from NFI which we will be doing our absolute best to get. Thus, we are reliant on the Patreon funds to keep going the next few months. Thankfully, all of the funds we have gained from Patreon have been put into a savings account which we have kept as a safety net if something were to happen. This will help keep us going and we are eternally grateful for all of the support we have received for developing Astride.
What about a new test version? We’ve got you! There will be a new version of the Astride test coming before we leave for Christmas and New Years. This version will include the start of a brand new horse controller and a limited horse creator. The horses will no longer have the custom generated solid colors (rest in peace, skittles horses), but we will be testing out the custom horse shader and textures that are currently in the works. You will still be playing as the horse, and you will be able to ride around inside an indoor arena.
If you have any further questions about early access, the release time or anything at all, don’t hesitate to ask questions here or over in the #q-and-a channel the Astride Discord server. We will do our best to answer your questions. I would also like to extend a big thank you to our moderators who have been and are so incredibly helpful and kind.
We say it a lot, and we will say it again; Astride wouldn’t have been here without all of you. The engagement, feedback, ideas, support and the most wonderful community we have ever been a part of. Thank you for making this project a reality. We are forever grateful.