Hi folks, I thought it was the time we posted an update to let you know what has actually been happening with Dream & HyperSloth.
Quite a few of you have been mentioning that I am active on Social Media which is true, but not on the HyperSloth page or forums. The reason for this is that we purely don't check those pages as much as we should do; same with the contact email.
I do most of my main admin work via my own email/twitter etc and it took us a while to realise that in fact if we had looked at these more often that you folks were calling out to us.
I’ll be working on keeping a closer eye on social media.
Lack of Updates
This somewhat correlated to the section above in that we were browsing the steam forums but there was very little we could actually do about it.
A few months before Dream was officially released we all moved out of the office back to our homes for many reasons as explained later. Doing this broke our SVN (we used a local SVN network with Lewis' machine as the host) and I did the last sprint on Dream to release (Which is probably why the launch was so rocky too!)
Because of our incompetence in backing up the source, lack of funds and experience, most of the source code was now all over the place. (Garys machine, Sams work machine, Lewis' work machine, mine and my home machine) These machines have been broken / wiped since so we no longer have the source code.
Publisher and QA
Our publisher was great to us personally and especially because we were all fresh 20-year-old faces with no experience. They really helped us get off the ground running with Dream and provided help and funds to get us out of our rough patch starting out (I have written about this area many times in previous blogs).
Unfortunately what we didn't realise is that there were some serious money problems within the publisher which only became clearer down the line and resulted them failing to pay dev fees on time & failure to deliver us some of our royalties.
Then the costs for QA and Localisation alone were insane. About 40K. We unfortunately had no choice in the matter as this was paid and recouped before we even knew about it.
I had a friend play through an early build and found more bugs than the QA company did. You folks and Greenlight also found most of the bugs!
Eventually after much stress(on both parts I'm sure), the publisher went bust which unfortunately really did a number on us as they owed quite a hefty amount of 1) 'Sales' and 2) 'Development costs' - Development costs which were already recouped long before paid.
As a team of 3 who had opened personal loans and invested our small savings, it hurt us quite a bit. We also had lots of overhead going on (Software, Outsourcing work, Engine Fees to name a few).
We lost around £40,000.
All in all, we had seen a profit of around £70,000, before tax, which was poured into wages, clearing our starting debt, trips, marketing and other bits and bats throughout the 3-4 year dev cycle; but in return we gained a ton of experience.
Even though we were quite on the Dream forums we were actively looking at porting and releasing free DLC.
Dream is built with UDK which is now an old engine. Many of the bugs in engine directly correlate to the bugs in Dream so the plan was to try and get funding to port Dream to UE4.
UE4 offers VR support as well, which was the main reason we ventured on the development of Dream. (VR was initially supported with UDK but epic dropped all support and went onto UE4 More here http://www.ashstancill.net/?p=36 )
The funding would be to let a publisher outsource the porting work / data mine the game in order to port due to the lack of source code, rebuild in UE4 and release for free with VR and free DLC. We even offered 80% revenue to the publishers because it was a big job.
Again, unfortunately, we missed out on a few publishing deals by a hair! We are still actively looking, however.
We can't port Dream ourselves due to new commitments and lack of funding for it ( We've been quoted around 80,000 ).
Team now and Personal Notes.
Which brings us to now.
HyperSloth is currently running by Myself and Lewis now. We do have a new IP in the works which is funded by another party.
It really does upset me that we failed to make the game we wanted to make and the way we handled post-launch.
I was unsure whether to write this too; it's been so long it might mainly come across as being rude and looking for an excuse but that really isn't the case. I thought we should explain ourselves.
I think we handled Greenlight quite well, in fact, I was told a few teams had used us as a base example of how to Greenlight, but post-release has been an embarrassment by the lack of communication and respect to you.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I hope one day we can deliver an iterated version of Dream. Dream was our first game and it was very difficult to get as far as we did with it and we know it has been left in a less than ideal state.
Thanks, and Sorry
TL:DR - With Dream our publisher went out of business whilst holding a large cut of the games sales which impacted the amount of time and effort we could spend on post release updates before money ran out. Their financial situation is also what pushed us to release earlier than intended and why the initial version had as many bugs as it did have.
Firstly, sorry for the bugs you have experienced since launch. We are deeply upset that launch did not go as smoothly as the 3 of us anticipated, especially after doing in house testing!
We are working fast to fix the issues you are all seeing and to iterate on a post I mentioned earlier, this is our first game and we wish to carry on making games so it is in nobody best interest to leave the game in this state or mislead you.
As always we appreciate the support and comments. This is the first bug patch of the week. Another one will be rolling out soon to address a few more issues and keybindings, but while these ones were fixed we thought it best to roll out instead of waiting, especially as they are effecting some of your experiences.
Fixed the inconsistent VO.
Changing VO slider no longer removes VO.
Fixed an issue with collision around the Sauna area in Act I.
Removed floating item in Act I.
Fixed Sprite Item not showing in Act II.
Fixed an error causing Act II "Cleaner" achievement to not load.
Fixed Paper not loading right images.
Fixed Achievement sometimes skipping Finish Act- Re enter the hubworld to unlock.
Rebuilt Act II Sidedream 2 Lighting.
Portal in Act III now works.
Fixed French, German and Russian Start Menu being shown when paused.
Fixed French, German and Russian PC's sometimes not loading.
Game now correctly pauses.
Items now correctly get added to the inventory.
Invert Mouse now works.
Menu sliders work as intended.
Menu recognises correct language.
Fixed being able to control the character in the options page.
Game now defaults to English.
It seems those experiencing more issues with the inventory&keybindings than others is because files are being left behind from the Early Access version and not getting replace. I have made the game generate new files so things should work as intended.
Settings and VSYNC
The games default settings have too been replaced. Please make sure to set them again.
In regards to VSYNC, it seems NVIDIA control panel takes precedence of this. Try enabling VSYNC via this - If your Drivers are not taking priority Dream requires a restart after turning VSYNC on. - I have enabled it to be on by default.
The next patch will focus on the other bugs as well as the keybingings displaying the correct key.
We’re all very excited to say that Dream is now officially released. It’s been a long journey for us and for those that stuck with us along the way we thank you sincerely for your loyalty. For those just joining us we hope you have fun and enjoy what we’ve created over the past few years.
Changes from Early Access
Now filled with brand new dialogue throughout, full narrative and multiple endings. The Final Side Dream, New usable items and Collectables are all hidden inside Howard’s dreams for you to find.
With 30 integrated Steam Achievements there is even more reason to explore all of Howard’s Dreams. Fully localised into French, German and Russian.
Small thank you!
Finally we would like to announce the soundtrack by Norman Legies is for sale on Steam now! Currently 50% off for a limited time to those who backed us with Early Access.
Thank you for helping shape Dream to what it is today.
Thanks for your patience with the launch build. Could have gone smoother right!
Here are the patch notes for. Fixed instantly unlocking items. (If this happened we recommend starting a new) Fixed instantly unlocking all maps. Fixed the Audio Options 'Subtitle' and 'Audio' Stepper from showing 
Thank you. Thank you to all that have helped shape Dream to be what it is.
We are thrilled to announce that the full game will release on 31st July.This is so odd, to tell you a date! - No more excuses of university holding it back.
It's been a great pleasure to interact with you all during it's course of Early Access and as always, thank you for your patience and support through the years it has been on Early Access. We have been very fortunate to be one of the games that got not just praise but critical support throughout its development with some very dedicated people and fans.
If you own Dream right now?
Again, Thanks! For those of you that currently have the game on Steam it is worth mentioning that your version won't update until July 31st. Once it does update however you can find lots of changes and the story finally implemented such as the final side dream, 3 endings as well as up to 15 different story segments depending on how you play! New voice work, Inventory, Collectables and Localisation as well as the many bug fixes and improvements.
For those that have supported Dream in it's Early Access there will be a small token of appreciation on the Launch Date, so if you haven't already, there is still time to pick up Dream to benefit from this.
It is crazy to think that 4 years ago the 3 of us met at university.
It’s honestly shocking to me how fast things moved, we struggled very much for a year to support ourselves when we started this venture.
I'll keep it short here and go into more depth in another post, but where we are now is all thanks to the community behind Dream, especially from it's very early days of donations to play rubbish builds after our failed kickstarter as well as personal letters to us which helped us push through the 'Valley of Death' fundimentally leading to us being able to suspend our studies for a year to crack on with Dream; and here we are now, the final hurdle, studies complete and a new horizon in sight.
Getting to meet you folks at events has also been one of the highlights, we never thought we would get such an opportunity.
Just wanted to post an update on how the Dream development is going on the current schedule. I noticed some of you were getting a little concerned and frustrated about the lack of update since February and hopefully this post will clear up as much as possible.
Since the middle of March we really haven’t done much work on Dream and for that I can only apologise and assure you we are back to full time work on Dream from today. We recently had gotten swamped with Final Year University work piling up due to working on Dream and as the May deadlines for university creeped up we had to get it finished.
So now we are all done with University and the 3 of us are back to work!
Many of you saw in the forums that I said we were looking to be done around May with Dream. This still stands true in some manner. We plan on getting the English beta done around the end of May with the final endings, inventory, levels and collectables in. We are actually not far off delivering the final side dream.
So what’s left to do? Other than the bug fixes right now (especially on the Bora Puzzle) and adding a flush to Howard’s toilet, the levels are pretty much done. We have one last level we are touching up before releasing. Each level still has NOT got the final script and Voice Over in, this will be added last to avoid spoilers so hopefully the levels will feel more richer and explain a lot more to you.
The inventory and items are being done by me at the moment. We have the final list of the items and are working on getting them in, working and interacting with the new inventory menu. There are 13 items that will aid Howard and we have gotten 7 of them done at the moment. Hopefully this should take no more than 2 weeks.
The collectables are also being added at some point after the next update. This will let you unlock hidden items to view from Howard’s life and count towards the games final ending as well as unlocking the soundtrack to listen to in the Hub world.
The final side dream should be done soon so hopefully we can get that out to you in the next two weeks. It’s quite a heavily narrative side dream so unfortunately until the voice over goes in it might not be fully satisfying to some of you.
So I mentioned the English Beta will be done around May which means that the final gold version with the following languages should go gold around July/August time and be fully released out of Early Access with the full story.
English French German Russian
Mac and Rift. It’s hard to say but this one doesn’t look good. As said before on the rift version the issues still stand the same. Mac doesn’t looks promising either. It is hard to get working and when it does most of the effects and post processing do not work. When we originally said we would be on Mac and PC we knew that UDK had a compiler that let you export to mac but it is very broken and other companies have the same issue, in fact the only successful UDK game running on a mac from what we can see is Dungeon Defenders.
We do however hope to port to UE4 sometime in the future but this is a big job and our main focus is getting Dream finished first. UE4 can port to Oculus DK2 and has a better relationship with Mac.
Hopefully this clears up most issues in the most honest way.