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FJRD Shep

Epic Exclusive: Early Access Summer 2020

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Dear Pre-Alpha testers! 

Thank you for your dedication and trust in Among Trees! The last year has been a wild ride. Thank you for testing the game and giving us the feedback we needed to fix bugs, and make the game better! It has been so important and rewarding in the development process.

As you may have heard or read on social media, we are thrilled to announce that we will be releasing the Early Access version of Among Trees on the Epic Games Store this summer.

The game will be Epic exclusive for 15 months, meaning that the game simply won’t be available for purchase on other platforms on PC.

However, Epic knows how valuable your support has been for the project and here’s how we’re suggesting we move forward from here. 
 

What does it mean for you?

At the time you bought a key, Epic wasn't a mentioned platform. Now two options are open for you regarding that matter:

-Get a free Epic Games Store key: We will be sending out directly to all of you a free EGS key for you to be able to play the game on Epic on the day of the Early Access.

-Keep playing the game on Itch.io: Keep playing Among Trees on Itch.io ! Epic and their team have agreed that if you wish, you can still play the game on the Itch.io platform. We will be updating the build of the game there which means that it will be the exact same game in term of content and quality as what will be available on the Epic Games Store!

Regardless of the option you choose now, we do not forget that when the Pre-Alpha keys were made available, we informed you that you will also receive a Steam Key, it will still be the case.

When the 15 months exclusivity deal with Epic has run its course, the game will be available on Steam, you will therefore receive a Key for that platform as well.

We know that such news raises questions and reactions! We are of course here and available to answer any questions you have on contact@fjrdinteractive.com

This is very exciting news for us and we hope you will share the sentiment! 

Thank you for your support! 

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Thank you for the good news!

I am interested in the following question: Why can't you give the owners of the closed alpha version keys for Steam immediately after the release of the project , and not after 15 months, as You plan?

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Why do you promise a Steam key, even put the game on Steam (it even has a Steam page), and then sign an exclusivity contract with Epic for 15 months? It's not a few months like most games. It's more than a year!

I think that's actually false promises for the backers that you have.

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It kinda sucks that it's Epic Exclusive. At least there's Itch.io but without a way to download updates within the game itself it might as well have not existed. I learned about this game through steam. My entire library of games is on Steam. Why do I have to wait a year and a half to enjoy concurrent updates? Why fracture your player base in this way?

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11 hours ago, The Riddler said:
Can we get two keys? 
One key for Epic a second key for Steam? 
 
 

 

11 hours ago, fgrjeiwgjrep said:

epic exclusive, 15 month. no update for months. rip

Have you read the first post guys? 🤨

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12 hours ago, The Riddler said:


 
Can we get two keys? 
One key for Epic a second key for Steam? 
 
 

You will get two keys yes! One for Epic on day one of the early access. 
And one for Steam as soon as it will be made available (15 months after release on Epic)
You also have the possibility to continue playing on Itch if you wish! 

 

11 hours ago, Thundersized said:

Why do you promise a Steam key, even put the game on Steam (it even has a Steam page), and then sign an exclusivity contract with Epic for 15 months? It's not a few months like most games. It's more than a year!

I think that's actually false promises for the backers that you have.

It was the plan at the time! It is still something we are going to honor regarding Steam, with new circumstances this has however been delayed.
We understand if it is how you feel regarding the news but we hope you can believe that back in 2018/2019 there was absolutely no intentions to be misleading or even lie to people.The deal offered by Epic came after all this and after the Pre-Alpha keys were sold. Not prior to.

We are still going to honor the deal we made, you will get a Steam key as soon as it is made available on the platform.

 

12 hours ago, fgrjeiwgjrep said:

epic exclusive, 15 month. no update for months. rip

Our team has grown over the past months, due to this partnership, but the team is still not the likes, in terms of numbers, as a AAA studio.
We still aim to write an update post here and on the newsletter before the end of the month to show you what the team has been working on and that we in fact, listened to many of the suggestions you guys made here on the forum! 

We hope you will find it satisfactory! 

 

11 hours ago, Faithful Cartographer said:

Thank you for the good news!

I am interested in the following question: Why can't you give the owners of the closed alpha version keys for Steam immediately after the release of the project , and not after 15 months, as You plan?

We entered a partnership with Epic Games Store, without going into so much details, it gave us the support we needed and still need to be able to put all of our time and ressources into Among Trees, which is making the release of the game possible in Summer 2020.
Such a partnership comes with agreements from both side of the spectrum.
One of them is that the game is Epic exclusives for a period of 15 months.
Therefore it won't be playable on other PC platforms (unless you are an Alpha Testers and you get to keep playing the game on Itch.io) 
The game will be available on Steam 15 months after release on the EGS (Epic Games Store) and as soon as it is made available, we will send you all a key.

 

9 hours ago, TechPlasma said:

It kinda sucks that it's Epic Exclusive. At least there's Itch.io but without a way to download updates within the game itself it might as well have not existed. I learned about this game through steam. My entire library of games is on Steam. Why do I have to wait a year and a half to enjoy concurrent updates? Why fracture your player base in this way?


To keep the build on Itch.io to not force any of our backers "out" was something we made sure will be possible and to what the team at Epic also agreed on.
Without going into details in the partnership we have with Epic, without it, the game would simply not be able to be released in Summer 2020 at all.
Much time, ressources and work goes into the development of a game, it is also an exciting but tedious and bumpy road. 
Our intentions were never to fracture or upset our base player.

 

1 hour ago, fgrjeiwgjrep said:

Will the steam key for the pre-alpha guys be delivered after 15 month or at "release"?

The game is Epic exclusive for a period of 15 months after release. 
Therefore it won't be possible to play the game on any other PC platform  (unless you are an Alpha Testers and you get to keep playing the game on Itch.io) 
After the 15 months exclusivity deal has run its course, all of our Pre-Alpha testers will receive a Steam key as well.

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Good afternoon!

And I am sincerely happy for our project! And it is very good that FJRD decided to cooperate with EGS.

Everyone says that they don't like when exclusivity in EGS, but everyone loves Sony's exclusivity on PS4. Why such hypocrisy?!

First of all, this is support! If the game is released in EGS, it means that it really has potential and will be noticed.

On Steam, thousands of games are gathering dust in the Early acces stage, dozens of new ones are released every day, and they will be there forever!

Steam fanatics give arguments sucked out of thin air: lack of progress in the cloud, lack of game reviews and ratings, and other garbage.

In the end , it's just a program that we use to launch our favorite game!

And our favorite game doesn't get any worse! I will love Among trees as before!

Personally, I am sincerely happy for the developers that they were awarded such an honor!

Good luck! Do what you must, and we will support you!

Dmitry is from a distant cold Russia.

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4 hours ago, Restless_dream said:

Everyone says that they don't like when exclusivity in EGS, but everyone loves Sony's exclusivity on PS4. Why such hypocrisy?!

I don't love both, but that's not the main aspect. The main aspect in such argument is that Sony develops its own games. It gives money to studios that are developing their new products from scratch and they say at the very beginning "it will be the PlayStation exclusive". Okay, guys, I'm unhappy because I can't play this game on PC, but it's completely your product, so you have a right to decide what to do with your game. I can say the same about Blizzard and their own launcher, Rockstar and their launcher, Ubisoft, developers of Tarkov, Bethesda and their launcher for Fallout 76, and so on.

Speaking about EGS in the vast majority of cases we have another situation. Developers are saying that the game will be available in Steam as soon as possible, and they take money from users with these promises. They are breaking promises, so that's completely different situation.

5 hours ago, Restless_dream said:

If the game is released in EGS, it means that it really has potential and will be noticed.

A lot of games in EGS don't get much attention and have very small sales just because there are not so many users, who can pay attention to this games in the EGS market. You can find and read their 2019 financial statement, it's really curious.

 

Anthony from a distant cold Russia.

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7 hours ago, Restless_dream said:

Good afternoon!

And I am sincerely happy for our project! And it is very good that FJRD decided to cooperate with EGS.

(...)

Personally, I am sincerely happy for the developers that they were awarded such an honor!

Good luck! Do what you must, and we will support you!

Thank you for your words of support! 

 

1 hour ago, Kycko said:

Speaking about EGS in the vast majority of cases we have another situation. Developers are saying that the game will be available in Steam as soon as possible, and they take money from users with these promises. They are breaking promises, so that's completely different situation.

We hope it is not the sentiment and feeling we left you with! As said previously it was never our intentions to be misleading or even break promises. We have worked for a solution for our backers not to "force them" unto Epic if they did not wish to, to keep playing on Itch.io and as what was said at the time, receive a key for Steam as soon as made available.

It was not considered or even thought (before and when we sold the Pre-Alpha keys) that we would be offered a deal by Epic Games Store. 
It would have been known at the time, things would have been different.

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On 3/23/2020 at 8:47 PM, FJRD Shep said:

Dear Pre-Alpha testers! 

Thank you for your dedication and trust in Among Trees! The last year has been a wild ride. Thank you for testing the game and giving us the feedback we needed to fix bugs, and make the game better! It has been so important and rewarding in the development process.

As you may have heard or read on social media, we are thrilled to announce that we will be releasing the Early Access version of Among Trees on the Epic Games Store this summer.

The game will be Epic exclusive for 15 months, meaning that the game simply won’t be available for purchase on other platforms on PC.

However, Epic knows how valuable your support has been for the project and here’s how we’re suggesting we move forward from here. 
 

What does it mean for you?

At the time you bought a key, Epic wasn't a mentioned platform. Now two options are open for you regarding that matter:

-Get a free Epic Games Store key: We will be sending out directly to all of you a free EGS key for you to be able to play the game on Epic on the day of the Early Access.

-Keep playing the game on Itch.io: Keep playing Among Trees on Itch.io ! Epic and their team have agreed that if you wish, you can still play the game on the Itch.io platform. We will be updating the build of the game there which means that it will be the exact same game in term of content and quality as what will be available on the Epic Games Store!

Regardless of the option you choose now, we do not forget that when the Pre-Alpha keys were made available, we informed you that you will also receive a Steam Key, it will still be the case.

When the 15 months exclusivity deal with Epic has run its course, the game will be available on Steam, you will therefore receive a Key for that platform as well.

We know that such news raises questions and reactions! We are of course here and available to answer any questions you have on contact@fjrdinteractive.com

This is very exciting news for us and we hope you will share the sentiment! 

Thank you for your support! 

I have been following this project for a while now and have always loved it. But I am really dissapointed that you have decided to move your project onto the Epic Games Store. Im sure the money Epic Games gave you is a lot and helps not only you but the game too, this though has a very negative effect on us early access players but also on future players. Epic Games Store is an untrust-worthy Chinese platform which I have never used to ensure I protect my data. I was promised a steam key and therefore will unfortunately have to wait another 2 years or so before finally playing the fully released version. I love Among Tree's but the fact that you have betrayed the community and put your own money in front of the playerbase upsets me very much. I will continue to play it on itch.io until I recieve a steam key

Good luck with the Epic games store

-Mango

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Posted (edited)

If I already paid for the game as a backer, why should it matter where I play the game, on Steam as promised or on EGS? Epic won't make any money from me, therefore I should be able to play the game where I want and where I was promised I should play it. 

Edited by Thundersized
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On 3/25/2020 at 1:35 PM, Mangoeater69 said:

I have been following this project for a while now and have always loved it. But I am really dissapointed that you have decided to move your project onto the Epic Games Store. Im sure the money Epic Games gave you is a lot and helps not only you but the game too, this though has a very negative effect on us early access players but also on future players. Epic Games Store is an untrust-worthy Chinese platform which I have never used to ensure I protect my data. I was promised a steam key and therefore will unfortunately have to wait another 2 years or so before finally playing the fully released version. I love Among Tree's but the fact that you have betrayed the community and put your own money in front of the playerbase upsets me very much. I will continue to play it on itch.io until I recieve a steam key

Good luck with the Epic games store

-Mango

This partnership has ensured the release of the game. For an indie studio and developers it is never a given that a game will actually be released. This partnership gave us that security.

We are very sorry to see that this is the feeling you have now towards Among Trees and the game. But as said the game might have never been release at all without this partnership, we did ensure a safe future for Among Trees and a certainty of release, which at the end also ensure a Steam release. Even if it will then come after the exclusivity with the Epic Games Store has run its course.

We do understand the frustration of course, that is why we tried our best to come up with an alternative so that nobody feels forced unto a platform they do not wish to play on, as Epic at the time we sold the Pre-Alpha keys were not mentioned.

We will never pretend to even tell you how to feel about the entire situation but the only thing the team at Among Trees ever wanted to do from the start is to make this game a reality. For us but also for the players and the people who have been supporting us. It is now possible. There was never any intention of "betraying" anybody. 

But we are glad that regardless of the situation, you still want to play the game. This is really all that matter for us at the end. And we thank you for it! 

 

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I support your decision and thank you from the bottom of my heart for keep developing the game.
I think being able to keep playing on Itch, receive a free Epic key + a very delayed Steam key is great no matter what.
I'm already used to playing it on Itch so Epic exclusive is not a big deal to me... and anyway  I'll play this game for more than 15 months so I'll probably reinstall it on Steam again and have a fresh replay 😄

Thanks again and good luck with everything!

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3 hours ago, jokreg said:

I support your decision and thank you from the bottom of my heart for keep developing the game.
I think being able to keep playing on Itch, receive a free Epic key + a very delayed Steam key is great no matter what.
I'm already used to playing it on Itch so Epic exclusive is not a big deal to me... and anyway  I'll play this game for more than 15 months so I'll probably reinstall it on Steam again and have a fresh replay 😄

Thanks again and good luck with everything!

Thank you for your words of support! We sure hope you will keep on playing for years to come yes! 

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On 3/24/2020 at 10:29 AM, FJRD Shep said:

We still aim to write an update post here and on the newsletter before the end of the month to show you what the team has been working on and that we in fact, listened to many of the suggestions you guys made here on the forum! 

I'm happy you could make that deal - if it ensures the future development of the game, I'm all for it. What worries me is the lack of updates in the recent months and how you guys are keeping us, the people the most enthusiastic about the game who bought it in this early state of development, in the dark. I had seriously feared development on Among Trees had stopped, and I'm incredibly happy that that isn't the case, but please, please do a better job communicating the state of the game at least to us here - even if it's just a little something here and there to let us know the game is still alive.

I'm really looking forward to the update post and hope it's still coming, all the best to you guys!

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Posted (edited)
On 4/13/2020 at 2:08 AM, Rineux said:

I'm happy you could make that deal - if it ensures the future development of the game, I'm all for it. What worries me is the lack of updates in the recent months and how you guys are keeping us, the people the most enthusiastic about the game who bought it in this early state of development, in the dark. I had seriously feared development on Among Trees had stopped, and I'm incredibly happy that that isn't the case, but please, please do a better job communicating the state of the game at least to us here - even if it's just a little something here and there to let us know the game is still alive.

I'm really looking forward to the update post and hope it's still coming, all the best to you guys!

Yea, right, updates. Nothing for months except the "awesome" epic deal. The new month is also already half gone, still nothing.

EDIT: Thanks for the downvotes, yet still no update. Forum seems dead too, bearly a hand full of active members. I really do hope, even with all that epic stuff, this game won't be D O A.

Edited by fgrjeiwgjrep
downvote yes!
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I'm also frustrated with the lack of communication here, outside the Epic deal, no real word has been made on overall development since November of last year.

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Posted (edited)

The lack of transparency is not on the developers but most likely do to the contractually agreement with Epic Games. Epic Games is publisher that now ultimately directs FJRD Interactive studio.  The studio works under Epic Games guidelines. FJRD Interactive process of operation is over seen and dictated by Epic Games.  What I just stated is just speculation as I am not privy to the deal between with Epic Games and FJRD Interactive Studios however speculation is not without some merit. In the history many can facts to show  the negative influences Publishing companies have on Game Developing Studios and that has shown to undermined what developers and fans want. I would like everyone to please give FJRD Interactive Studio the benefit of the doubt and just be patient. 

Edited by allsmilesb
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On 4/19/2020 at 2:04 AM, allsmilesb said:

The lack of transparency is not on the developers but most likely do to the contractually agreement with Epic Games. Epic Games is publisher that now ultimately directs FJRD Interactive studio.  The studio works under Epic Games guidelines. FJRD Interactive process of operation is over seen and dictated by Epic Games.  What I just stated is just speculation as I am not privy to the deal between with Epic Games and FJRD Interactive Studios however speculation is not without some merit. In the history many can facts to show  the negative influences Publishing companies have on Game Developing Studios and that has shown to undermined what developers and fans want. I would like everyone to please give FJRD Interactive Studio the benefit of the doubt and just be patient. 

So they are now hostages who cannot even give the usual bullshit excuses anymore, nicely done epic.

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The communication team takes full responsibility for the inconsistent informations you guys got and we apologized for that.

As you can see the dev' team worked hard on the newest updates, listening and taking into account your feedbacks! 
We're also very grateful for all the bug and crash reports you keep on providing us and sending out! 

Our goal was to provide a more consistent and overall better communication but the situation in the world is also affecting us, and we overall agreed on the team that we rather focus our energy/budget on the actual development of the game. So that if something have to "suffer" it will be communication
(unfortunately, but we feel its the best "sacrifice" option we can make)

We sincerely apologies for that and we hope you feel it's all worth it with the latest update and all the ones to come! 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, FJRD Shep said:

So that if something have to "suffer" it will be communication (unfortunately, but we feel its the best "sacrifice" option we can make)

Well, I sincerely and vehemently disagree about that.
I really, really don't see how a small post here and there takes energy and focus away from the project itself - if you have a "communication team" how exactly is it too much for said team to make a little post once in a while, show some sketches, some art, some screenshots, maybe even say a small word about what tools you're using - anything. It's interesting and we care. We don't need a new build every two weeks, but it would show us, who've paid for the game at its earliest stage, that the project is still alive and well, and most of all, it shows some respect and appreciation for its earliest investors (even if that, all in all, is just a tiny fraction of the project's budget - I'm sure for some of us it's not a negligible amount of money that we spent on AT. If you're bringing up the current situation of the world, I myself would not say no to an extra $20 in my pocket for the bare necessities right now). Killing communication is the worst sacrifice you can make.

If you're now contractually restricted to show us stuff that you're working on, tell us.

I know we're not entitled to a regular dev diary or anything, but going silent for months on end can't be it and I don't think it's a sign of a healthy project. That's what got me worried, and I'm glad I was wrong there. That said, I'm super happy and excited about today's patch and I can't wait to give it a go and see what's new, so thank you! This is great!

Edited by Rineux
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(We somehow missed your answer, apologies for that)

We're very sorry for the way the communication/marketing team handled it! As gamers too we totally understand your observations and frustrations.

We'll definitively work on that and hope you'll feel like it has improved in the coming future! 

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