Predecessor Report - August 2023
Greetings Champions, and welcome back for another exciting edition of the Predecessor Report!
This month we’re focusing on the transition from Season 2 to Season 3; what we’ve learned and where we’re going from here. Crucially we’ve got some great news for those of you keen to see the new UI for yourselves, as well as an update on what’s going on with console.
That’s not all though! Have you ever wondered what Zarus would look like with axolotl-like features or with leopard spots? Want to get to know our new Community Manager, Steggs?
All this and more in this month’s Predecessor Report! Let’s go!
Let’s talk about Early Access Season 2.
It’s one of the hottest topics in the community so let’s start with Season 2.
While we’ve made significant progress towards our overall business goals during Season 2, we understand that we’ve had to sacrifice a number of promised features to get there.
Fundamentally we overpromised. We listed a bunch of exciting features that we thought we could deliver and ended up having to push back and push back in order to address more foundational infrastructure improvements that blocked many of them, such as the development of a new UI, improvements to matchmaking and the implementation of smart toxicity tools.
Features that many of you were looking forward to such as the addition of a Ranked game mode, an overhaul of the store and a new Hero acquisition model, have all been delayed to focus on bigger tech investments.
And what were those business goals? Well there’s two key priorities we’ve focused on. Establishing a new technical and visual game identity with the new User Interface, and getting the game ready for a console release. We’re thrilled to say that both of these goals have nearly been met, but more on those later on in this blog.
We understand that this season hasn’t been perfect. Our pivot halfway through to focus on those bigger goals combined with the extension of the season to ensure Zarus got the attention he deserved, caused understandable frustration within the community. We’ve done our best of course to maintain some enthusiasm for what’s felt like a fairly long and content-light season, by offering, for example, more Heroes for free than we originally promised and by stepping up the level of communication with blogs like this one, but even with all this we know it can be hard to sit through a season like Season 2.
We’re extremely grateful for your continued patience and support. Moving forward we’ll be taking what we’ve learned from this season to ensure that future seasons, starting with Season 3, continue our mission to deliver you the best possible future for Predecessor.
Let's talk about Early Access Season 3.
With the curtain coming down on Season 2 it’s finally time to talk about Season 3!
Season 3 officially starts September 12th, 2023. It’ll begin as soon as we deploy the V0.11 Game Update.
What you can expect from Early Access Season 3
Well (and as we’ve already touched on) we’ve learned a lot from Season 2 and will be focusing on a more streamlined list of features that we’re much more confident that we can deliver. Put simply our goal is to underpromise and overdeliver.
Although it may be a smaller list than before, we’ve picked features that we believe will have the biggest and best impact on the Predecessor community and long-term health of the game, with a focus on delivering two or three substantial features alongside other, slightly smaller but still important, features. All the while we’ll continue releasing new Heroes with every major game update and ending the season with our third Omeda Studios-original Hero.
Oh, there's something else too.
Console is coming early in Early Access Season 3
You read that right - it is our intention to launch Predecessor on console early on in Season 3.
This is another reason why the Season 3 feature list might feel small at first, because we're keen to set aside time and resources to do our initial console launch right. Game development is a complicated process and we expect many new hurdles to overcome as we transition to support these additional platforms, so it's important to us that we bake in a bit of extra breathing room to meet these new challenges.
As a reminder, when Predecessor arrives on PlayStation and Xbox it will also be in paid Early Access until we officially launch as a Free-to-Play (F2P) game on all platforms at a later point in time.
Keep your eyes glued to our website and socials for more news, coming very soon!
We’re in the process of finalising the Season 3 roadmap this week and hope to share it with you shortly before the V0.11 Game Update which officially launches Season 3.
Season 3 name reveal
To tide you over until we release the full Season 3 roadmap, here's the name and theme reveal of Season 3!
Check back soon for the dedicated Season 3 roadmap blog and until then, let the theories begin!
So Season 3 and V0.11 are both now coming out on September 12th and not September 5th?
Honestly? We want a healthy work environment for the team where work isn't rushed and no one needs to crunch. Rushed content also isn’t fun for our players, as it can lead to more bugs slipping through the net that will slow us down later on.
We have a lot we want to deliver right at the start of Season 3 and that extra week will make all the difference in making sure that we start things off with a bang!
So let's talk a little more about what we'll be using that extra week to deliver...
New UI? Hype!
Last month we went into a good amount of detail discussing the new User Interface (UI), showing off some early development screenshots and discussing why it was such a big deal for us to prioritise.
A month later and we’re practically there. The finish line is at last in sight!
The long-anticipated new UI will be the first new feature added to Predecessor in Early Access Season 3, currently slated for September 12th, 2023.
After many months of work, this new UI has been a labour of love and its release represents a significant milestone in Predecessor’s development.
We hope you enjoy Predecessor’s slick new look and thank you as always for your patience and support!
The seraphic soldier of justice is back, determined to cleanse the battlefield of evil while keeping her own dark side in check. Luckily for lovers of her Ultimate ability, that’s easier said than done!
Serath returns as the first new Hero of Season 3, joining the fight on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023. Look out for a video covering her abilities and the full V0.11 Patch Notes, next week!
To protect the servers from Serath’s iminent Heresy and to ensure a smooth transition to the new UI, there will be another short period of downtime during the V0.11 game update on September 12th, 2023.
We expect this downtime to last roughly an hour.
Once the downtime is over V0.11 will be available, Early Access Season 3 will have started and you will be able to update your game client and rejoin the battle.
Making a Hero.
Earlier in the month you might have spotted our video about how Nibori got into character to bring life to Zarus on the battlefield, but how did we get to Zarus in the first place?
All new Heroes (Kira, Zarus and more to come) start life as a concept - a sketch on a page. Luckily we have some incredibly talented Concept Artists on the team!
Lucas was the Concept Artist tasked with designing Zarus’s appearance, and as you can see from the published concept art below, there were a number of directions our Lizard friend could have gone in!
It’s not just the Hero design however, we also needed to sketch out how Zarus’s abilities might look before we start developing him!
Once we’re happy with the Hero’s look and the general direction we’re going with them, the concept art team could start on one of the most fun parts - skin designs!
Below is some unreleased artwork that shows a number of potential skins that Lucas designed for Zarus. At this time we can’t say for sure how many of these (if any) will ever become skins in-game, but it’s always fun to experiment! Which is your favourite?
It takes a team to make a Hero, and after concept art (eventually) comes character art!
It’s a Character Artists job to take a piece of concept art and visualise it for Predecessor.
With that in mind, here’s what Zarus looked like once Yogi (Senior Character Artist) took over!
You can really see it coming together can’t you?
But it’s not just the base models for a Hero - each skin needs to be modelled too!
Here’s Kira’s Occult skin after Luc (Character Artist) had finished working on it!
Creating a new Hero takes time, resources and a whole lot of dedication from start to finish. We’re excited to share more new Heroes as time goes on so watch this space for more!
Omeda Asks - Steggs!
Earlier this month we welcomed a new addition to the Predecessor Community Team, Steggs!
With a rich pedigree across the games industry we thought we’d sit down with him to get to know him a little better.
Welcome to the team Steggs! What brings you to Omeda Studios?
Thanks, Kari! I'm sooooo happy to be here!
I'd say originally, it was all about the game. I played it before my first interview to see if I enjoyed it and accidentally stayed up until 3am... that was a difficult day at work the next day!
Then as I went through the interview process it became very clear how passionate the team are about the game. I was already sold because I love Predecessor so much, but to have a team who love the project so much as well was huge! So both the game and the team, coupled with how dedicated the community are already, I just had to get in on it.
Having previously worked at companies like SEGA and Frontier you’re no stranger to building and engaging with communities. What are you most excited about bringing with you here?
Oooh there's a lot to be excited for. I'd say getting our livestreams up and running again is probably one of the most exciting things for me, but there's loads of other things too. I did a lot of streams for my previous companies and always had a lot of fun with it. But to be able to stream a game like Pred is a whole new level of awesomeness.
I've always felt streaming is such a great way to connect with your community. You can have great discussions about the game and really get to know each other well. It's nice for players to be able to put a face to the person they're chatting to on Discord and Reddit.
However I will say... expect food talk! I wanna know what everyone's favourite dish is!
When it comes to effectively managing communities, what do you think are some of the most important principles?
Communication and transparency! One of the many reasons I wanted to join was because I saw how Omeda communicate already, and it fits very well with how I like to manage communities as well - lots of communication and being as transparent as possible. I think having the open and honest discussions with players ultimately builds trust, and that's such a key ingredient to developing a healthy community.
We do so much of this already and I think we step it up with each new season. The Pred Reports, regular and detailed blog posts, our lovely devs jumping on the Predcast and PCC's new Cutting to the Core series etc. So I'm excited to continue to help step things up!
What’s one of your big community goals for your time here at Omeda Studios?
There's a lot of them! One of my biggest focuses at the moment is our content creation, from videos to livestreams and anything in between. So I really want to get regular livestreams up and running, ideally streams that add real value for our community. It's always good fun just jumping in and doing a Let's Play, but I'd love to start getting more content creators involved with it, as well as having our own devs on the show as much as possible too.
So keep an eye out on our Twitch channel soon, things might be happening!
What’s something you think the community needs to know about you?
I wanted to put some kind of fun fact about me here, but I think if I could get one thing across to the community today it'd just be how much I LOVE Predecessor. I've not stopped playing since my first interview here and I know a lot of our team are the same. That's the one thing we know we all have in common right? All of us are here because we love this game and I'm really excited to see what the future holds!
Aaaand fun fact... I ALMOST got Joey with a Dekker ball last week and it would've been the highlight of my life. Sad? Maybe... but you can't deny how cool that would've been!
That’s all we could get from Steggs for now, but you can get to know him over on Discord, Reddit or by watching our YouTube and Twitch channels in the coming weeks and months!
COMMUNITY ROUND UP
A devastating doodle.
How cool is this awesome doodle of Zarus by @Shoshin_Arts?!
Even cooler is that this was shared with us only 3 hours after we revealed Zarus for the first time! Wow!
The Fearsome Five.
A Hero team-up featuring Zarus, Kira, Greystone, Narbash and Grux? Count us in u/Comfortable-Role-703!
Great work on this awesome pencil sketch of our mighty Heroes!
As always there’s heaps of amazing screenshots shared each week in our Discord server. Here’s a few of our recent favourites!
Prime Championship Circuit 5
It’s time. The final of the PCC 5 tournament is upon us!
Tune in this weekend to catch the biggest matches, enjoy expert casting and analysis, and see some of the highest skilled players in Predecessor battling it out to take home a huge cash prize!
Watch the action LIVE over on the official PCC Twitch channel, kicking off at 11am EST on both Saturday and Sunday (2nd and 3rd of September)!
Fangbooth is back, baby!
After a short break over the Summer, one of Predecessor’s biggest community tournaments is back for it’s 5th edition!
There’s plenty of time to get involved, so head over to the For The Core community Discord server to sign your team up to take on some of Predecessor’s most talented players!
That’s all we’ve got time for this month, Champions. What was your favourite part? Let me know over on Discord!
Until the next time!
~ Kari, Senior Community Manager