The time has come! The Wizard is finally live in Early Access! That took only 6 years! So let’s talk a bit about what that means, what we have done and what we plan to do:
State of Affairs
As you maybe saw in the Early Access notes, the game as it is right now is pretty much the original Wizard, with major visual upgrades, a remastered soundtrack, and a lot of small improvements that we’ll keep on rolling out continuously. That includes the beginning stages of a new leveling system (instead of collecting XP, spells will now upgrade with use) and, of course, the checkpoints so many of you have asked for – nay, demanded! – for years.
So the game is fully playable and we’ve tried our best to catch the most egregious bugs and mechanical inconveniences. But of course, the game is in active development, so things might not work as intended now and then. Such is the nature of the beast. But fear not! We tend to work quickly, so any bugs or requests you have should be swiftly taken care of.
If you want to report a bug, talk features, or just hang out and follow the development, the easiest way to that is our Discord server. You can join us here: https://discord.gg/qfyND9D
Aside from improving and expanding the base game, we of course have grand plans for the future!
This one has been on Hackenstein’s bucket list from pretty much the first prototype. An endless Roguelike Mode, where you can wizard away to your heart’s content, and Daily Challenges to measure yourself against your classmates!
This will likely be the first major addition we’ll tackle, and as it grows, we might also incorporate the new features, spells, enemies and the like, into the main campaign as it fits. There are a lot of cool ideas floating around already, and we’d really love to get your input and feedback!
If you follow our weekly Hootouts, you’ve heard us go on about how level editors are often our favorite part of a game, so naturally we want to include one for The Wizard as well! We’re thinking of a Mario Maker-type approach, where you can build levels and have to be able to complete them yourself before submitting them to be played by others. Should be exciting to see what everyone will come up with!
Customization and Accessibility
Lastly, we really want to give players as much control over the game as reasonably possible. Especially when it comes to the Roguelike Mode, we know that everybody has a preferred way of playing, and we’d like to allow you to customize it just to your liking! Our goal is to expose a lot of settings, but offer setting templates, as not to overwhelm players who just want to get on with it. So instead of fixed difficulty modes, you’d have difficulty templates, and we’ll also let the community help us determine what those templates should be.
We’d also like to make the game as accessible as possible, so in addition to gameplay settings, we want to be sure to cover visual, control, and other settings that will help everyone have the best possible time with the game. Here, too, we’d really love to hear from you if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see in the game.
We still have a bunch of things we want to add, tweak, and improve in the base game, and there’ll probably be more as more people play it. We also need to recover a bit from pre-release crunch and enjoy the holidays with the few loved ones we’re allowed to see.
So serious work on the big new features will likely begin January, and we would estimate that it might take us around 6 months to implement them. We also know that we’re consistently wrong in our overly-optimistic estimates, so it’ll probably be in development for a year or more. But as mentioned before, we always aim to not have Early Access mean a husk of game, but a fully enjoyable experience that we will continuously improve and update along the way.
We sure hope you enjoy it, and if you want to join our wholesome little community, here’s the link again: https://discord.gg/qfyND9D
Stay safe and Happy Wizarding everyone!
<3 Your Hypnotic Owl Team