2014 was a boost-phase year. Kronosaur Productions lifted off and started accelerating, but we're not in orbit yet. While in prior years we focused a lot on infrastructure, we spent the majority of 2014 working on new products.
We released new versions of Transcendence and an orchestral soundtrack for the game; Anacreon got prettier and deeper with the addition of nebulae; and we released Eternity Port, a brand new adventure for the Transcendence Universe. We even created a line of T-shirts!
In retrospect, 2014 was a good year for us. If 2015 continues this trend, I will be very happy indeed.
Last year I predicted, based on current trends, that we would sell between 300 and 500 units of Corporate Command (though, of course, I hoped for more). In 2014 we ended up selling around 400 units. Encouragingly, though, we were selling just as many units at the end of the year as the beginning, implying that new players continue to discover the game.
On November 21st we released Eternity Port and by the end of 2014 we'd sold 130 copies, which is about 20% more than Corporate Command sold in a comparable period. Coupled with the fact that Eternity Port is more expensive, this again suggests that the player community is growing.
While the numbers are heading in the right direction, we still have a long way to go to become a sustainable business. In the coming year we plan on increasing our marketing efforts to grow the player community.
In 2015 we will pursue three different paths for growing the community:
Anacreon is going strong. Beta 1, released at the end of April, introduced nebulae, new ship classes, and many bug fixes. The stability of the server greatly improved in 2014, and though there are still many open bugs and balance issues, the game is playable and fun.
The game is still very hard to learn, however, so I'm glad several players have pitched in by writing helpful advice for newbies. The player known as "Watch TV, Do Nothing" offers a great FAQ for Anacreon. Kourtious has started a short blog on starting out. And if you're interested in the current state of the Beta 1 game, you can check out the maps being published in this thread.
The Beta 1 game has been running since April 2014 and usually has around 30 empires. As of January 4th, 2015, the game has proceeded through 350,000 watches (update cycles). The largest empire is currently Dogeland, with over 400 worlds and a population of 3.3 trillion souls. Six other empires have at least 100 worlds each.
Anacreon will continue to improve in 2015. The highest priorities are bug fixing, balance tweaks, and UI improvements (particularly for new players).
In October of 2013, Wolfy asked people to vote on what the next expansion should focus on. The clear winner was the Near Stars: the area including Earth & Sol. When combined with earlier ideas from Atarlost about the CDM, we ended up with the basic setting and premise for Eternity Port.
Eternity Port represents a major expansion of the Transcendence Universe. Not only does it cover a new region of Human Space (Sol and environs) but it introduces several new characters, sovereigns, and situations:
In 2015 we plan on connecting Eternity Port to The Stars of the Pilgrim. There will be a new expansion, available for free to anyone who bought Eternity Port, that adds the systems of the Near Stars to the Pilgrim's story.
Transcendence is our flagship game. It has the largest player community and the most content. In 2014 we worked hard to improve the core engine and experience.
The biggest improvement, I think, was the addition of a full orchestral soundtrack. Michael Tangent's composition adds a new dimension to the experience. Music conveys emotion like no other medium.
Another improvement that I'm happy with is the redesign of the dock services screen. I think the design makes it easier for new players to understand how to upgrade their ship, while also benefiting experienced players. I expect to continue refining this design in 2015.
Making it easier for new players to enjoy the game is one of our most important priorities. In 2014 we introduced the Benedict storyline, which serves as a simple tutorial. We'll continue to help new players to discover the richness of the game.
In 2015 we'll finally leave Human Space and be able to travel to the Galactic Core. We'll post much more about this as we make more progress, but for now I want to tease some of our plans:
In 2015 we'll release a new game set in the Transcendence Universe. CSC America will be a real-time strategy game in which you command the eponymous star carrier.
The resurgent Ares fleet has just destroyed the CSC Europa and the stronghold of Point Pallas. Now they hunt the rest of Admiral Decker's carriers and threaten to reach all the way to Saint Katharine's Star. You and your crew will be pushed to the limit as you struggle to survive the Ares onslaught, all while preparing for the riskiest move of all: a massive coordinated counter-attack in the heart of Ares space.
CSC America will use the basic Transcendence engine and have the familiar top-down view, enhanced to command dozens of ships by pointing and clicking to issue orders. But you will not last long without the loyalty of your crew—a loyalty that will be sorely tested as you attempt to complete the increasingly daring and desperate missions from Admiral Decker.
Our marketing efforts in 2014 were led by Creative Developer Matteson Claus. She's been working with large and small publications to spread the word on Transcendence.
Kronosaur's Music Director, Michael Tangent, composed and recorded the original soundtrack for the game in 2014. Expect new tracks from him in 2015.
Jacco V. (pixelfck) wrote an excellent guide to modding this year. We hope to publish more contributions from him.
Thanks to Ttech for maintaining the servers and running IRC Days. And thanks to Atarlost, digdug, RPC, and Wolfy for moderating the forums and keeping the community going.
This year I'm also grateful to TVR for organizing the successful 7th Transcendence Succession Game.
And of course, thanks to all our players. Our games would be lonely without you.