With Lightning Round out of the gate, this is the perfect opportunity to update you with what’s going on in the world of The Culling in Early Access, as well as share some of our big plans moving forward and invite you to share your opinions and ideas.
First off, Early Access has been a wild and exciting roller coaster ride for our small and passionate team here at Xaviant.
Since our launch at the beginning of March, The Culling has been updated, patched, and hotfixed 18 times. That’s an average of nearly once a week over the course of the first five months of Early Access!
Those are some serious changes!
While we’ve introduced several new features (Trials, Showdown, and Lightning Rounds to name a few), our efforts have focused primarily on the core gameplay experience: combat mechanics, game balance, bug fixes, optimization, and finalizing artwork.
As we’ve worked furiously to improve the fundamentals of the game, we’ve also been looking at the bigger picture.
What does The Culling need to transition from its current Alpha state to Beta? What is the next big step towards a full release of the game? We think we have some answers to that question and in the coming weeks we’ll be sharing those answers with you to gauge your feedback and generate input.
In general, we believe that The Culling needs to offer compelling reasons to keep players engaged and returning to the game. This applies to newly recruited contestants and grizzled veterans alike.
Here are some of the systems we’re currently developing to support that goal:
Seasonal Ranked Play: Offer a higher level of competition for players who want to see how they stack up against other psychopa...err..contestants, while also letting new players get their knives wet.
Challenge System: Deliver fresh in-match objectives that extend beyond simply winning, provide accomplishment and progression that isn’t exclusively linked to wins, and encourage players to experiment with a variety of play styles.
Player XP and Leveling: By playing matches, players earn XP and Levels, unlocking rewards and bragging rights along the way. You hear that Frank, we’re better than you!
Player-Facing Stats: Allow players to see their stats. How many matches have they won? How many kills have they gotten? How many times have they accidentally slipped off a cliff and ruined an amazing win streak?
New Cosmetics: Our contestants are characters and need to express themselves. Look for some unlockable Taunts, Weapon Skins, Victory Animations, and Culling Cards.
Match Events: The Culling is a murderously hilarious game show, and what are game shows without wacky gimmicks?! Adding to the likes of Loot Pinata, it’s time to add some more spice to this meatball.
Revised Rewards System: A whole new scheme for rewarding match performance that, among other things, converts duplicate cosmetic items into currency that can be spent to unlock the items of your choice. Basically, no more sloppy seconds.
Optimization: You SHOULD be aware that The Culling will be entering the Xbox One Preview program soon. One benefit this offers for Early Access players is that graphics and memory optimizations for the Xbox One will have immediate benefits for PC players. Yes, you just read that, a console version will actually help the PC version. Mind. Blown.
In the coming weeks we’ll be drilling down on each of these features and sharing more about the philosophy behind them and the details of their design.
These are big new features, bigger than anything we’ve added to the game so far.
Big features like these are difficult to segregate from the rest of the game while they’re in development, which means the pace of our updates will slow while we focus on getting them ready for you to try.
In the meantime, we will continue to address critical bugs and make adjustments to balance of weapons, perks, and the FUNC economy.
While the next couple of months will be a bit lighter on game updates than usual, we will take extra measures to keep you informed.
We assure you the wait will be well worth it.
See you on the island!