The latest public update for The Banner Saga includes a bevy of information. First of all, there's a video update that showcases the first snippet of gameplay, the advancements with the engine, the situation with the prizes that haven't been sent yet and a few more things. Aside from that there's also the announcement of a for-backers-only beta, a new estimate for the release date for the full title, and more.
Here's a snip:
What exactly is in Beta? As we’ve talked about before, we’ve been working on the single player game since our Kickstarter campaign. Specifically, we’ve been building the combat system first. We’ve taken this combat system and broken it out into it’s own standalone release, which we’re calling The Banner Saga: Factions.
In our first beta release we’ll have a small sample of characters available in pre-made teams and you’ll jump right into a fight with a random opponent. We’ll be constantly updating the beta with new content as it gets built.
Why are you making Factions in addition to the single player Saga? As we mentioned in Kickstarter pitch, we’ve always intended to release the combat standalone early (we originally predicted “summer”). This helps us achieve several goals - players can get practice combat before the full game comes out, and get good at it. We hope it generates some interest from people who missed the Kickstarter campaign! And it also gives us a ton of dedicated feedback to help us fine-tune the combat for the single player game. It doesn’t hurt that the multiplayer combat is honestly a lot of fun! We hope you’ll give it a try.
What if I’m only interested in the single player game? It’s ok, we know competitive multiplayer isn’t for everyone. Give it a try, because we think it’s really fun! You won’t miss anything in the Saga if you never touch Factions. As we create content for the single player game we’ll be rolling it into Factions. We plan to support Factions for as long as people are playing it. While the single player game has been our primary focus, Factions helps us develop that while keeping players involved.
When does the single player Saga come out? Our initial pitch had an estimated delivery date of November, and as we mentioned in a couple places, when we got nearly 7x that much it definitely affected the scope of the game. Combat has gotten bigger, single player has gotten bigger, the story is expanded and the game simply has a ton of features that we thought we’d have to cut. I am sad to say that we won’t be able to have a finished product by our original $100k estimate. At this time, Factions is coming out in November. We really want people to have something they can play, and the full Saga is now slated for the first half of 2013. As always, you’ll see every step of our progress along the way and we sincerely hope it’s obvious that we’re working our asses off to make this the best game we can.