Holodrive has now been on Steam for over a month, and this is a new big era for us in BitCake Studio! We’re enjoying it a lot, hope you guys are as well 🙂
Steam has always been our goal and a dream, and the web was an AWESOME way of getting there and building a community at the same time. With the web version we gathered more than 800k player accounts, LOTS of player feedback, made the game change so much for the better, and made lots of friends. The best about developing a game in the open like that was that we could see people’s reactions to what we were building, and it actually mattered for some of them. That’s the best thing ever!
That being said, we always loved having the game on the web – even though there’s a LOT of prejudice around it – and we would keep it there for as long as possible if we could. But circumstances aren’t always what we want, and the events of the past year have made it pretty unpractical for us to keep the web version going.
First, Google Chrome blocked some plugins, including the Unity Webplayer.
If you started playing Project Tilt a while ago, you probably remember that around April last year, it started getting really hard to play the game on Chrome. Until in September it wasn’t possible anymore. A lot of our players moved to Firefox and loyally kept playing, but that stroke us pretty hard. Even so, we took our time and launched on Steam only when we were ready, and I believe it was the right choice.
Unity offers a solution, and that is porting the game to WebGL, a new technology that runs on a browser without the needs of a plugin. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t work for us.
WebGL has been around for a while and it got a LOT better in the next few versions. Still, from what we tested so far it’s still not enough to run Holodrive. The development process is not so smooth, the build sizes are much bigger, and overall the technology still has some limitations that we can’t overcome right now. Maybe in the future we will be able to make a WebGL build and publish it, but for now it’s not possible, and the tendency is actually that Holodrive will become more and more complex with time – we’re adding more art with modern graphics, more game modes, etc – and it might not be possible at all.
Lastly, Unity has announced that it won’t support the Unity WebPlayer anymore, starting on its next update.
So, if we want to keep using the most updated Unity version, we can’t export to the web. That’s a big blow, too. We would love to keep publishing to the web, but giving up updates on the software we use is very hard – we use a lot of features in Unity and every new version brings fixes and improvements to the tools we use daily. In the short-term it’s not a big problem, but in the long-run, for a game that is still in development, and in Early Access, it’s terrible.
So, after a lot of thought, we decided we’ll have to step away from the web sometime soon.
We’re doing it slowly, though, and we’re gonna wait until the game is bigger on Steam before we do that. A lot of people are still getting the Steam version through the waitlist and we’re working on some major changes for the future. A lot is still to come!
Our first step will be to close the www.ProjectTilt.com website, and this will happen in about two weeks, on June 14. A lot less people play on Projecttilt.com than on the facebook version, and even the name of the game is not right on this website anymore. Closing the site will also make it easier for the team to release newer versions, since making builds for many different websites + Steam takes a lot of time. The Facebook version will still be live and updated for a while, at least until we have made the game bigger on Steam.
We hope you guys understand the change and why it’s important for the future of the game, and don’t be mad at us. As always, we just want to make Holodrive bigger and better, and we’re working hard for that. The Steam version is where the real action is happening right now, and we want all of you there, together with us <3
The BitCake Studio Team
See you guys in game!