VOD with timestamps below: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/521442816
(02:50) Since the team has not delivered the game in the expected time and there are changes in what the team will be doing, the Kickstarter backers will be able to request refunds if they so desire via private message to the creator on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/84288219...-gd-studio underneath "Created by" click on "The GD Studio" and then click contact), the refunds might take some time to go through, will go out next year.
(07:19) Longevity of the game is an important aspect for James, he wanted it to be free-to-play, to have money for esports, help with promotion. The team approached Epic Games with the game, the studio told Epic that they wanted the game to be free-to-play to have a healthier community and better matchmaking which Epic thought was good and have some experience that they can share. With Epic's help it allows the servers to scale up for free-to-play, finances the team to keep working on the game for 2 years after release, possibly 3 years (he later says that 3 years would be possible but would be stretching thin), which is important, there have been times when the studio had funding problems and that has put additional stress on people.
(16:29) the Epic Games Store is being improved with more features, however the team is already doing some things by themselves like matchmaking, netcode and infrastructure to connect the servers. When it comes to uploading maps and submitting content there will be a section on the official Diabotical website for that and in the future we will see what Epic creates. (possibly this: https://trello.com/c/xqnzVcZz/27-mod-support-for-games)
(18:07) Kickstarter backers will get the battlepass for free.
(19:25) There will not be a Steam release, the game will be kept on the Epic Games Store.
(22:04) For 2020, 250,000 USD will be put aside for esports, with 100k for an esports preseason, 150k post the pre season. It will be spread thin across multiple communities around the world and the project will be worked on together with the community: House of Quake in Europe, 4SG in Australia, not sure about America yet, James says he should reach out to Jehar.
(24:03) Now that the team is not in a financially stressful time meaning that there isn't as much pressure to get as much of a big impact on first release as it would otherwise need to succeed, James asks the chat their thoughts about two release options:
-Option 1 (GDC polished release): Polishing the game the best the team can to release at GDC possibly with some exposure there with Epic's help, however there's the risk of this being another deadline that could be missed if something ends up not being done in time.
-Option 2 (Testing weekends): Ripping off the band-aid and launch as soon as possible on the Epic Games Store, without some features and game modes, and first make it available during a weekend just for Kickstarter backers (under NDA) from Friday to Monday with the modes Wipeout, Instagib and Arena, and from Monday to Friday the team will work on the new patch for the next weekend, with different content to get feedback from players and improve the game while getting it out more publicly after the initial NDA weekend(s). Something similar was done with Bloodline Champions when James was working there, which worked well there as the matchmaking was very good with people all playing during that weekend and got people excited to play.
-With the weekends option something it might still be possible to launch at GDC. A lot of games are coming out around the time of GDC
-After getting the chat's response, James says that he thinks the weekends option will be the way to go.
(35:25) About Asia-Pacific esport plans and if Epic exclusivity will affect them - James says he's not sure yet, communities around the world that he knows will be active will be supported in the esports preseason which will be a kind of test season, but activity in other regions around the world will be analyzed to hopefully support them as well. These tournaments will not happen immediately, there will be a time between the game being available and competitions starting so that people have time to play the game like some testers have had.
(36:53) It might be possible to change nicknames in-game, we will have to see.
(37:39) Kickstarter backers will get access the initial closed weekend (at least 1, might be more) which will be under NDA, and if things go well then for other weekends keys will be distributed to more people via methods like the Diabotical website, discord and/or others.
(38:40) Kickstarter backers are still meant to get in-game items for their tiers, but this might not be for the weekends period
(39:40) Even if the community is small the game will be supported since there are things that the team want to do on the Diabotical universe, with arena fps, modding and spin-offs
(41:41) Kickstarter backers will have access to the first closed weekend, might not have ranked matches, might not have finished statistics, might not have some things, will have access to awesome game modes, make maps, make custom games, it will be somewhere after new year, hopefully in February. There will be a way for people to report bugs and give feedback on the game, the first closed weekend under NDA will probably have an in-game form and on weekends in the future that are not under NDA people will be able to use other methods.
(44:00) Thank you to everyone who has followed the game, the people who have supported the game on Kickstarter have helped us a lot to continue developing the game, thank you to Epic for supporting the team, the game and the community. THE STUDIO IS IN FULL CONTROL OF THE GAME.