Shadows of Doubt - Early Access Launch Success
Shadows of Doubt landed on Early Access on 24th April. Since then the response to the game has been incredible. As of writing it's sitting on 2644 Steam reviews, 92% positive. For a short while it was at number 2 in top selling games on Steam, sitting between Star Wars: Jedi Survivor and the Modern Warfare II remake. Crazy.
Shadows of Doubt is available now on Steam
The success has been a huge relief. I think it's fair to say that there was a pretty significant amount of anxiety in the team going into the Early Access launch. We knew there were bugs (it's early access afterall) but perhaps the greater concern was will people get this and afford us the generosity to overlook the present shortcomings. Will they grasp what we're trying to make and be onboard with it? Thankfully, resoundingly, the answer was yes.
*...a kid who had a photocopied Ultima Underworld manual in his school bag.
Given the team's commitment to the ideas that we've put into the game and the effort it's taken to realise them, the fear was natural. We've released games before, we know how it is, but Shadows-anxiety has been slightly different, ramped-up by the sense of working in a design space that hasn't been fully illuminated yet. There were no direct comparisons or references to grip onto during development. I've played and dissected imsims since I was a kid* but Shadows is fundamentally different to previous approaches. Obviously the steam wishlists and demos had gone well and built confidence, but there's a difference between a one hour time limited demo and The Game. It's a scary moment when people's expectations that may have been building for years finally interface with reality. So far, so good.
There's been a deluge of coverage by streamers and youtubers which have been fun to dip into and watch. 🎬 Insym put together a particularly good series of videos where he does a fine job explaining many of the game mechanics. It's impressive how clearly he navigates and elucidates the game.