Arcen Games

Games => Stars Beyond Reach... This World Is Mine => Topic started by: x4000 on August 18, 2015, 09:07:00 PM

Title: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 18, 2015, 09:07:00 PM
Wow lots of things!  I am really tired and only have so much time/energy to devote to this particular topic, but here goes:

The Release Date Has Been Pushed Back... Again
Wondering if we'll ever finish the game?  This is one of the reasons I'm not too keen on doing a kickstarter.  The answer of "it's done when it's done" is the best sort of answer you really want to hear for a game that will be any good, but it's not the sort of thing that people who have already paid you want to hear.  Neither is the fact that substantial revisions are incoming.

But I digress.  The new release date is the 21st of October, and I think we can actually hit this one based on how things are shaping up.  Is the new amount of time enough?  I don't know the answer.  I'd love to be the experienced designer/producer/project admin that just goes "oh yeah, that's totally enough, well done."  It bothers me immensely that I can't do that.  I know that I have a propensity for optimism that can be destructive, and correcting for that is an ongoing process that is one of my greatest challenges.  Not over-engineering game systems is a very-related challenge that I'm also tackling, and hopefully one helps the other.

Anyway, analysis of the current schedule and the things that need to be done in that timeframe seem possible, so I guess I'll leave it at that.

There Really Will Be Another Beta Wave!
Just not yet.  Basically in my mind the game went through an early "phase 1" beta that was very rough, and then entered a whole new "phase 2" beta with territories and a whole bunch of other stuff that really changed how the game plays and feels.  We are now coming up on a "phase 3" beta with the new events, revisions to the military, no more social progress, no more meals, revisions to scouting, and a whole host of other things.  Bringing in new testers right before all these changes hit seems like it would be super counterproductive.  So that's my target: getting to phase 3 within the next 2-3 weeks ideally, and then hitting new waves of testers hard.

YES I totally want more testers!  It bugs me a lot that I can't bring you guys in sooner, trust me.  I know some of you are really chomping at the bit, too, and I appreciate that.  But the game that you'll see in phase 3 is going to be a much sleeker, more refined version of what is there now.  What is there right NOW, as in today as of this writing, is actually kind of a mess anyway: the various systems are halfway between phase 2 and 3.  So that's something useful for us to have our existing testers prod at a tiny bit, but for the most part all testing is waiting for phase 3 to really resume in a hardcore fashion.

"Streamlined" Does Not Mean Dumbed Down
What I'm going for is complexity that doesn't trip you up.  In other words, the sort of complexity where an expert just flies through things and makes it look really easy.  But where you start out doing it and are feeling competent...ish... but aren't flying through things remotely.  And would be absolutely destroyed by an expert.

That's a big difference from a scenario where even the experts get tripped up on small nits routinely, or where new players are absolutely lost and feel like they have nothing to grasp at.  The difference between those two things is what I mean by streamlining.

In a lot of cases that is meaning subtractive design: there are certain game mechanics that I myself avoid because they are too fiddly or complex to be fun.  It's not that I'm averse to complexity, but I have enough other complexity in the game to focus on, and so things like the atmospheric composition are just things that I ignore.  And anyway, that's just moving numbers around, so it's not exactly an exciting thing to do.  It's not just tedious, it doesn't even have any sort of satisfying payoff!!  That's an example of a mechanic that has to either die or be majorly revised.  In that particular case, it dies for the player and is revised for the AI.

In other cases, such as with the military, it actually means making it so that there are fewer steps to things.  That does mean taking some of the individual legwork out of certain short-term decisions... but it places the emphasis back on long-term thinking and planning ahead, and then those short-term situations are the result of at least medium-term thinking.  That's a goal I've always had for the game, anyhow: not having a bunch of military micro.  Right now there is a bit much of that, and there is just something a bit "off" with it.  It's not a terminal case, so it's something that needs some notable revisions but not a wholesale reimagining from the ground up.

Part of the reason that I want new testers only once phase 3 is started is because you have to really see the whole picture to get a feel for what I'm trying to do here.  Yes in some cases mechanic X might become simpler or go away, but mechanic Y is added and overall there's a shift in where the focus of your attention is.  Your motivations for doing (to existing players) familiar actions change.  The strategies become more complex and varied, even as individual actions become simpler.

That's the goal, anyhow.  I've been absolutely ripping through design after design, just tearing things apart and rebuilding them and killing all my darlings.  I'm still not done yet with that on a design level, and Keith of course then has to actually code each thing after I get that bit of design down on the page, so the process is ongoing.  But I expect that phase 3 within 2-3 weeks.  That is my extremely focused goal.

Anyway -- thanks for your continued support!
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Captain Jack on August 18, 2015, 10:24:49 PM
I can only imagine how this has to feel for you since there's both time and money on the line. Really curious to see what you have in mind for streamlining the military options. Best of luck.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 19, 2015, 10:03:06 AM
I really appreciate it, very much so.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Tolc on August 19, 2015, 02:59:40 PM
I can only agree with Watashiwa...Hope you get to take a breather every now and then. Wish you all the best!
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 19, 2015, 03:19:15 PM
Thank you very much!  And we are having a better work/life balance than in past projects, at least.  So that's a big plus.  Design-wise in particular, I don't do my best work when redlining it.  I always thought I did just fine, but looking back historically... no.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Traveller on August 19, 2015, 05:17:19 PM
I wish more devs (and managers...) did that kind of self-assessment.  Health, sanity and work-life balance are really the foundations of productivity.

Looking forward to how this all turns out, good luck!
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: derhamster on August 20, 2015, 10:57:22 AM
I really hope the game will be a huge success for you. It's obvious that you put a lot of effort into it. I always wondered what "real" Arcen 4X game would look like. And I'm still curious and will buy the game. Don't care if I have to wait another month or two. On the other hand, delaying the game by another month must be quite expensive for you, money wise.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 20, 2015, 11:01:35 AM
I really appreciate it, both of you.

The self-assessment kind of cuts both ways.  It's good to do, but it can also lead to paralysis sometimes.  Sometimes I am doing too much assessment, other times too little.  One of the hardest things about my job is that there's nothing I can look to and go "ah yes, that's the established way to do that thing."  Each time we do a new game, we're doing something that doesn't follow the patterns of other games, and so I have to make up a lot of it fresh as I go.

In terms of the expense of the delay, yep, it definitely does stretch things.  We're okay, but I don't like running the bank account so low -- in particular after past events, I really value having a rainy day fun.  Heck, it's that sort of rainy day fund that has let us do all these delays in the first place.  Otherwise it would have been either layoffs or just rushing the game out anyway, or who knows.  Options go away fast, then.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Shrugging Khan on August 20, 2015, 01:00:39 PM
Spoilered: Negativity and subjectivity.
Avoidance is advised.
It seems to me this tendency towards subtractive design is not so much an actual design choice but an emergency measure to get the game into playable shape ASAP, by cutting off all the troublesome bits and limiting it to those parts that already mostly work (with the one addition of the new event system). Certainly simplified, and I honestly doubt that there isn't some dumbing down done here. At least I recall the original idea of SBR being various complex systems interacting, not just a stack of premade events being ticked off with a fairly limited city-building affair around it. The game seems to generally become more and more game-y (has anyone found a better term for this yet?) lately. There's plenty of people who like that, of course - smooth, simple gameplay is appreciated by many. But I'm reading less and less about the natural systems that originally sounded good about SBR (climate, geography, diplomacy), while seeing an increase in abstract systems that seem to be there just to make the game playable (territories, events, removal of various systems). Playability is somewhat important, yes, of course. And it's my particular preferences that make these changes seem so bad, while most players will welcome them. But still - it feels to me that this is increasingly a rush job with much of the original vision being dropped. Still better than an unfinished, unplayable game and Arcen with a tarnished reputation and more layoffs, absolutely. But gah! What a waste of potential!
Negativity has been vented. Proceed.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 20, 2015, 02:08:24 PM
I definitely can say that this isn't a rush job at all.  If anything it's the opposite.  Look at how long it has been since the last round of beta players: two months or so!  Goodness that is a huge gap for us.  It's because I've been taking an enormous amount of time and care with this.

One thing that probably bites me in the butt to some extent in terms of things seeming like they are changing super rapidly is that I don't tend to talk about things I'm not sure about.  A lot of what is happening now has been under consideration since early July.  But if I had said that then, then people freak out about the potential changes. 

I also considered many MANY other models in that same timeframe, so it's not like I would have picked this one in particular to tell you about had I been more chatty at the time.  And this model itself has evolved a whole lot over time, too.  For a long period, there were a lot of ideas evolving in parallel, and many of them were then getting constantly thrown out and redone, partly because of how they interact with other systems.

So in some senses, there is a flurry of new design now, in the short term -- becasuse all of the individual systems have evolved enough that I can actually put final-ish designs down for each one.  Until that point is reached, then for a game of this complexity it's really hard to balance stuff against other stuff because all the variables are changing all the time.  So finding 90% of my favorite approach to each system that didn't seem to clash with other systems has been my task since July.  And then more recently my task has been to then turn those into actual specs, and finish up those critical last 10%s on each aspect so that each thing properly integrates.


In terms of the events system, I don't think you really understand that yet, which is quite reasonable.  I think you'll find it very interesting, though, and that it gives a lot more to diplomacy than has been had in the past.  And in a much more interesting way.  The proof is in the pudding with that one, so mainly I'd just wait a few weeks and see what you think then.  But it's definitely not a simpler approach than the stuff we started with.  It's actually substantially more complex, BUT it is way simpler per unit of output we get from it.  So we're able to get a lot more output, which was part of the original goal.  These events actually play into things and create way more emergence than was ever possible before.

As far as the climate stuff, that was just a mechanic I didn't like.  Simple as that.  I've been keeping that for months and months, but I knew as far back as April that I didn't like it.  I was keeping it to basically have it as a tick mark on the back of the box, so to speak.  I'm not a fan of just doing things for that reason, though, and so finally after a long time hating that feature I had enough.  I've made the mistake in the past of trying to make games be all things to all people, and thus having them sometimes come out too watered down in each specific area.  This game engine just isn't oriented around geographical manipulation on the scale that would be interesting (aka the very granular grids of land that you get in SimCity 4 that you can raise and lower, etc), so that's just not something that works well here.  That's my opinion, anyhow.

As far as territories go, those were in the original design specs for Cretaceous, back before Bionic Dues, which was my first move toward citybuilding/4X.  And then they were in the early drafts of this game, too.  But I moved away from that for a variety of reasons, mainly not knowing how to visually represent them.  Once I finally figured out a way to bring those back, and saw the problems that the game had when it did NOT have them, I was really overjoyed to be able to bring back that original idea and get back to what I wanted in the first place as well as solve the problems with things like city borders, attack ranges, etc, all in one.

I can tell you unequivocably that the game is closer now to the original vision than it ever has been before.  And the next wave of changes brings it even closer there.  I wanted something that was like SimCity meets Risk meets Dwarf Fortress, certainly with a number of Civilization influences as well.  That's what is able to come about thanks to this in a lot of respects.

By the way: the quickest way to explain events is basically that they are a way of modeling social interactions/happenings.  It's able to feed off of the citybuilding stuff, and then it also feeds back into it as well as itself in various ways.  For instance now you have the concept of expatriates and prisoners being added to the game.  And if you run low on prisons, then various things happen, etc.  All of that stuff is events.  But rather than just having really static things, or really numerical-only things happen as a result of (for instance) prison capacity being too low, this lets us have unbridled creativity with whatever we want to model as a result of that.  Not only that, but it makes it so that your methods of dealing with the problem are a lot more interesting and complex than just "suffer or build more prisons."  What are your methods of dealing with it?  Well that depends partly on which "prison problem" events are arriving based on the context of what is going on.

In other words, this just got incredibly, vastly more emergent.  Way more than ever before.  We already have a city services level of emergence, but now there's a social layer as well that's being added on.

And the relationship you have with the planet is becoming similarly more complex: rather than just the "number goes up or down" relationship of planet rage and appeasement, you get something that has more character and complexity.  And which has a numeric underpinning, sure, but still way more involved and interesting.

All this part is actually drifting from the original vision in that it's way more complex of a system than I ever thought I'd be able to have.  Or that I'd be able to manage.  I did for a while consider a sort of halfway solution with the "storylines," where your criticisms would have been a lot more valid.  But as it stands things are actually better than ever here.

Cheers.  ;D
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Misery on August 21, 2015, 02:23:20 AM
Huh, I'm not sure what to think of this delay.

On one hand, I like the sounds of all of the changes you've come up with, even if it does seem to require that you tear the whole thing apart and then piece it back together.  Particularly as previous iterations just werent holding my attention... not too important in an overall sense here, but still.

But, that amount of time....  Isnt it a bit risky?  I find it kinda worrying, myself.  I mean, there had been problems with length of time taken with a couple of the other games if I recall correctly, but this is surely the longest one yet.  Granted, TLF seemed to do pretty darn good, and the expansion.... I have no idea, but still, a bit worrying indeed.

Or I'm just paranoid, that is often the case.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2015, 07:18:27 AM
Valley 1 actually took longer than this, not that that was a poster child for success. ;) In the case here, the biggest risk is making a huge investment (done) and then having a game that doesn't hold up. This particular delay doesn't push us over any financial cliffs, but we can't really afford another one.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Misery on August 21, 2015, 08:23:41 AM
Valley 1 actually took longer than this, not that that was a poster child for success. ;) In the case here, the biggest risk is making a huge investment (done) and then having a game that doesn't hold up. This particular delay doesn't push us over any financial cliffs, but we can't really afford another one.

Wow, did it really?   Huh.  didn't know that.  Though, now that I think about it... I do remember those early videos where it was an overhead game instead of a platformer.... yeah, I can see how that'd end up taking such an amount of time.  I dont think I showed up here till near the end of that, if I recall correctly.

For what it's worth *I* thought that game came out pretty darn well.  I always think more people should give it a try. 

Well, I know one thing at least:  You guys certainly have the dedication to pull this off pretty darned well.


I'll ask though, any ETA on some of these major changes? I coulda sworn this was mentioned elsewhere but heck if I can remember where.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2015, 11:18:13 AM
I appreciate the kind words. :)

In terms of an ETA here, some of that is still vague.  But the bulk of the new combat model will be in next week, and is all defined here if you are interested in it: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14XQ61PpOfTHiusfdy0D6Vjq2OjNN04GkKddpYV7ZrJE

For the events stuff, that's going to be an ongoing thing with more stuff coming in.  Within 2 weeks we should have a super hefty amount of it done.  Ideally another big bulk of that next week.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: nas1m on August 21, 2015, 11:41:26 AM
I appreciate the kind words. :)

In terms of an ETA here, some of that is still vague.  But the bulk of the new combat model will be in next week, and is all defined here if you are interested in it: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14XQ61PpOfTHiusfdy0D6Vjq2OjNN04GkKddpYV7ZrJE

For the events stuff, that's going to be an ongoing thing with more stuff coming in.  Within 2 weeks we should have a super hefty amount of it done.  Ideally another big bulk of that next week.
Speaking of events: Can you give a quick outline which ones are already present in .906? Just asking because I am past turn 50 and yet have to see one...

PS: Incoming stuff sounds very good in my book. Looking forward to it!
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2015, 12:03:11 PM
It should be popping up periodic events allowing you to choose market items, but for some reason seems not to be.  The one with the enterprising Burlust prison guard (you have to be playing as Burlusts) is definitely something I've seen pop up multiple times.

There may be a bug at present in the current version, I'm not sure.  Have been very distracted with the new combat stuff.  Glad that looks good. :)
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Captain Jack on August 21, 2015, 12:17:09 PM
I appreciate the kind words. :)

In terms of an ETA here, some of that is still vague.  But the bulk of the new combat model will be in next week, and is all defined here if you are interested in it: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14XQ61PpOfTHiusfdy0D6Vjq2OjNN04GkKddpYV7ZrJE

For the events stuff, that's going to be an ongoing thing with more stuff coming in.  Within 2 weeks we should have a super hefty amount of it done.  Ideally another big bulk of that next week.
"Battle mode" sounds a lot more cohesive a system for combat than what's in game now. Seems like you found a pretty good answer to the problem.  :)
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2015, 12:34:57 PM
Thanks!

Yeah, it actually gets back a bit to what I originally wanted to do:
1. Have Risk-like encounters between territories.
2. Have the bubble-wrap-popping-fun of clicking something and watching an attack happen right after I do.
3. Not have to fiddle around with units (that was a key point from early on in).
4. Not have to stare at a bunch of stats trying to figure out how to micro what I'm doing (that was never explicitly stated, but was kind of an implied goal from various things).

And most recently of all, I was kind of realizing that I enjoyed those sort of "Rampart" like volleys of fighting back and forth.  But the problem came when just I was allowed to do it, and the AI couldn't hit back.  Interceptors were originally added to address this; in Risk, you have the potential to lose anything you attack with, but I never could come up with anything that I felt comfortable with for here that met with that on a building level.  So instead there were interceptors, and that dealt with population death and reduced damage in.

Getting excited about a combined-arms approach was something that happened later based on interceptors being a thing.  And of course I like for there to be a reason for players to use one type of attacker versus another, and if there's just numerical differences in stats that doesn't work.  Anyway.

Territories also solved the original Risk-style combat problem I had of attack ranges and gaps between buildings.  This has been solved for a while, but what I didn't realize until recently was that this would also allow Risk-style full encounters (which is what this new battle mode stuff is).

I also hadn't realized until recently just how annoying it was to have to hit end turn a ton in order to keep doing attacks.  With this sort of model there's a limit to how much damage the AIs can do to each other and you in a given interturn, but during a battle you can string that out as long as you and the AI have buildings and staff to throw at it.  So that makes again for that style of Risk-like engagement where you go "do I press my luck and keep attacking here?  What happens next turn?" etc.

People have been bringing up things like plundering for quite a while, and that sort of thing will help to differentiate various attack types quite well right there.  As one of several things that will need to be done.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: nas1m on August 21, 2015, 02:43:51 PM
It should be popping up periodic events allowing you to choose market items, but for some reason seems not to be.  The one with the enterprising Burlust prison guard (you have to be playing as Burlusts) is definitely something I've seen pop up multiple times.

There may be a bug at present in the current version, I'm not sure.  Have been very distracted with the new combat stuff.  Glad that looks good. :)
Cool, thanks!
I just started a fresh Burlust game - should I have seen an event at turn 88 110?
Just 'cause these little buggers still evade me ;)...
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2015, 02:58:54 PM
It's hard to say for sure.  I am absolutely flooded with events to an inappropriate degree in my burlust and skylaxian games, I will say that.

In the attached 3.save, you should get a Skylaxian stockbroker bothering you pretty fast.  And then she comes back waaaay too frequently (oops).
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: nas1m on August 21, 2015, 03:01:54 PM
It's hard to say for sure.  I am absolutely flooded with events to an inappropriate degree in my burlust and skylaxian games, I will say that.

In the attached 3.save, you should get a Skylaxian stockbroker bothering you pretty fast.  And then she comes back waaaay too frequently (oops).
Weird. I am in turn 131 and still nothing.
I put a save up here (https://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=17423) in case you want to have a look.

I will try your save now ;).

EDIT: Your save worked in terms of triggering an actutian stock broker handbook event. I am intrigued ;). Still nothing in 250 turns in my game, though.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: crazyroosterman on August 21, 2015, 07:04:38 PM
okay so 2 points I want to make here 1 your pushing the release date........AGAIN?! I have a strong feeling that that amount of months this game have been pushed roughly equate to a year 2 I don't really have an opinion on weather the game is going in the right direction since only Chris truly knows what the end product of this is going to be heck with all the changes this game has gone through I wouldn't put it past Chris to decide hug it! I'm not going to make a 4x after all I'm going to make a cat collecting exploration game!.(not that I would ever expect Chris to terrify everyone and abandon all this work)
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2015, 07:44:50 PM
It's been about half a year of delays, yep -- lenthening the entire dev cycle to about 14 months instead of 8ish.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: crazyroosterman on August 23, 2015, 11:13:06 AM
hey so the news feed on steam says this game is due to release in September is that true? or is steam being silly?.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Captain Jack on August 23, 2015, 01:25:44 PM
I bet it's the RPS thing from last month. Steam builds its news stream from the devs and from specific websites that it scrapes. It's literally old, out of date news.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Tridus on August 23, 2015, 04:59:19 PM
Wow this seems like it's been a tough project. Hopefully it gets easier soon!
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 23, 2015, 09:10:22 PM
Yep, that's the old RPS article.  I haven't wanted to post anything too noticeable yet because I want to get things in a better shape where I can start doing LPs and thus be saying more than just "delays again!  changes again!" to the news.

I'm feeling really positive about the new combat model, so we'll see how that shakes out.  Some of the biggest challenges with events are now behind us, too, so that's also really exciting.  Fingers crossed it get smoother from here on out...
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Sounds on August 24, 2015, 08:15:11 PM
I just got back from O/S and was about to resume testing today when I saw this post. This news is giving me flashbacks to my own project crunch times and the alarm bells are going off in my head making me want to go into a fetal position. :)

Not sure I should open the new version now. My plan was to wait until the last month prior to release. Should I wait a little longer?

Please take care of yourselves and don't push the envelope with doing too many insane hours a day - that is unless pain == fun. :D

Also I see you haven't yet changed the new release date on your homepage, you might want to look at updating that for those who don't visit (or in my case lurk ;) ) your forums.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 24, 2015, 08:29:04 PM
Yep, I'd hold off for now.

The good news is that the new combat model is everything I'd hoped it would be, so that is a big relief for me. :)  There is still lots more interface polish that needs to go into it in the short term before it feels completely correct, but it's the sort of thing where all the solutions to me feel obvious rather than like stumpers.  So that's a nice change of pace, heh.

On the release date, I've been kind of keeping that away from a big blog post and whatnot, because news outlets tend to pick those up and I'd rather have something positive like some new video or something they can show with it.  I'll definitely update on that before too long, though.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: crazyroosterman on August 24, 2015, 08:35:04 PM
Yep, I'd hold off for now.

The good news is that the new combat model is everything I'd hoped it would be, so that is a big relief for me. :)  There is still lots more interface polish that needs to go into it in the short term before it feels completely correct, but it's the sort of thing where all the solutions to me feel obvious rather than like stumpers.  So that's a nice change of pace, heh.

On the release date, I've been kind of keeping that away from a big blog post and whatnot, because news outlets tend to pick those up and I'd rather have something positive like some new video or something they can show with it.  I'll definitely update on that before too long, though.
you know considering how many times this games release dates been pushed I personally at this point would stop saying .its being released at such and such a time. and just set a deadline for its release when I would think it to actually be .finished.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 24, 2015, 08:40:22 PM
Typically people want to know what our best estimate is.  And this time it will pretty definitely stick or we're going to be in trouble with the AAA holiday rush.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Captain Jack on August 25, 2015, 12:22:38 AM
Yep, I'd hold off for now.

The good news is that the new combat model is everything I'd hoped it would be, so that is a big relief for me. :)  There is still lots more interface polish that needs to go into it in the short term before it feels completely correct, but it's the sort of thing where all the solutions to me feel obvious rather than like stumpers.  So that's a nice change of pace, heh.

On the release date, I've been kind of keeping that away from a big blog post and whatnot, because news outlets tend to pick those up and I'd rather have something positive like some new video or something they can show with it.  I'll definitely update on that before too long, though.
you know considering how many times this games release dates been pushed I personally at this point would stop saying .its being released at such and such a time. and just set a deadline for its release when I would think it to actually be .finished.
That's kind of hard for an Arcen game. AI War's still seeing game changing patches, and Keith's apparently interested in doing more work on Bionic Dues (btw Keith if you ever read this that's SUPER cool of you :D). Arcen's games hit release states, not complete states. If anything we should be glad that Chris is willing to kill his darlings to make the best game possible.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Sounds on August 26, 2015, 02:03:27 AM
Yep, I'd hold off for now.

The good news is that the new combat model is everything I'd hoped it would be, so that is a big relief for me. :)  There is still lots more interface polish that needs to go into it in the short term before it feels completely correct, but it's the sort of thing where all the solutions to me feel obvious rather than like stumpers.  So that's a nice change of pace, heh.

On the release date, I've been kind of keeping that away from a big blog post and whatnot, because news outlets tend to pick those up and I'd rather have something positive like some new video or something they can show with it.  I'll definitely update on that before too long, though.

Sure thing. I'll hold off for now. I won't have a free window for at least a week or two now, so this works for me too. :D
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 26, 2015, 09:56:07 AM
Works out well then!
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: zespri on August 27, 2015, 05:39:05 AM
Is the new amount of time enough?  I don't know the answer.  I'd love to be the experienced designer/producer/project admin that just goes "oh yeah, that's totally enough, well done."  It bothers me immensely that I can't do that.
I do not think this is possible. I've been estimating software development my whole professional live (not game development though) and the only reason I'm getting better at that is because of this (http://scifi.stackexchange.com/a/99117/28660). Funny that it is, I think this is the truth. I've never seen a miracle estimator in my life. I have not even seen a decent one. All I've seen are wild guesses that in most cases are hit or miss. You have the luxury of taking your time. In corporate software world in year 2015 it's a rare luxury. You are expected to provide fixed price upfront and then you'll be held up to it. Rare customer agrees to "time and material" which is paying for time actually spend creating software and I cannot blame them. So you put in a healthy margin, and you take a risk. That's the best one can do. Experience in your subject domain of course also helps.

So while I understand while this is bothersome - I know it is, I'm trying not to let it bother me because I do not believe that the ultimate solution to it exists.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on August 27, 2015, 11:15:25 AM
Heh, very true.  Well put.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: estyles on September 11, 2015, 04:05:56 PM
To be honest, everytime I hear of a delay in this game, I get MORE excited for its release and become more determined to buy on release rather than wait for a steam sale like I do for 90% of more of my game purchases, even for games I am excited about.  (FWIW, TLF was another that I bought on sight, and Bionic Dues would have been except that I missed it at release and ended up buying it at full price anyway  as penance - and a Bionic Dues expansion, I'd probably buy 10 copies of at full price if it would convince you to make it...  too bad I'd probably have to up that number a few orders of magnitude to have much effect...)

Honestly, I have plenty of games in the backlog, good ones even, way too many to get to in any reasonable time frame.  But SBR is sounding like it will be amazing.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on September 11, 2015, 04:16:29 PM
It's definitely coming along really well!  We are ripping out guts like nobody's business at the moment, and replumbing them, but it's really a big step up.  There's more interesting complexity for the player now, but less fiddly complexity.  Some of the more daunting things we'll probably gate behind higher difficulty levels, which really will just be macros that you can use to customize your settings if you don't like our defaults. 

Anyhow, I'm not a fan of what has been happening to the schedule of late, and we really can't afford another delay, but we've taken the ball from the earlier playtesters and run waaay downfield with it.  So that's super exciting.  Hopefully next week we can get them looking at it again with the new stuff, and then the next wave of beta players.  Knock on wood!
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: ptarth on September 11, 2015, 04:49:36 PM
but we've taken the ball from the earlier playtesters and run waaay downfield with it.
and built another stadium in Canada for it.

 :P
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on September 11, 2015, 04:58:38 PM
Also an accurate analogy.  ;D
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 11, 2015, 06:06:18 PM
but we've taken the ball from the earlier playtesters and run waaay downfield with it.
and built another stadium in Canada for it.
an underground launch facility to send it to the moon.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Cinth on September 11, 2015, 07:11:05 PM
but we've taken the ball from the earlier playtesters and run waaay downfield with it.
and built another stadium in Canada for it.
an underground launch facility to send it to the moon.

Mars
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: crazyroosterman on September 11, 2015, 07:12:29 PM
but we've taken the ball from the earlier playtesters and run waaay downfield with it.
and built another stadium in Canada for it.
an underground launch facility to send it to the moon.

Mars
roosterville
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Teal_Blue on September 11, 2015, 09:35:16 PM
but we've taken the ball from the earlier playtesters and run waaay downfield with it.
and built another stadium in Canada for it.
an underground launch facility to send it to the moon.

Mars
roosterville

Teal's House, three blocks from the Serenity Canal
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on September 12, 2015, 10:48:55 AM
but we've taken the ball from the earlier playtesters and run waaay downfield with it.
and built another stadium in Canada for it.
an underground launch facility to send it to the moon.

Mars
roosterville

Teal's House, three blocks from the Serenity Canal

Hahaha, I like that one the best. :)
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Teal_Blue on September 14, 2015, 02:12:52 PM
but we've taken the ball from the earlier playtesters and run waaay downfield with it.
and built another stadium in Canada for it.
an underground launch facility to send it to the moon.

Mars
roosterville

Teal's House, three blocks from the Serenity Canal

Hahaha, I like that one the best. :)



Just logged back in and saw your response.  :)  Hope all is well with the game. Looks like it is getting close. Hoping it will be a smash hit. 

-Teal

Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: mattymuc on September 21, 2015, 03:57:56 PM
Take as much time as it needs!
Your games are awesome! And the support for your games is outstanding!

And by the way... If you ever do a kickstarter, I'm in :-)
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on September 21, 2015, 04:28:41 PM
Thanks very much for the kind words!  The next version for beta players is coming in the next few days.  I think people won't even recognize it, haha.  It's incredibly better.
Title: Database corrupt?
Post by: tbrass on September 21, 2015, 11:33:50 PM
Can't read messages on the forums, see a 'database error' response almost every time. Tried to report on mantis & received an error suggesting that I was double-posting or had a certificate problem.

That said, looking forward to the new version, take the time you need.
Title: Re: Database corrupt?
Post by: crazyroosterman on September 22, 2015, 11:51:19 AM
Can't read messages on the forums, see a 'database error' response almost every time. Tried to report on mantis & received an error suggesting that I was double-posting or had a certificate problem.

That said, looking forward to the new version, take the time you need.
I had a similar problem yesterday although it was the home page rather than my messages.(which worked fine)
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Taikei no Yuurei on September 22, 2015, 03:52:07 PM
The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

I had the homepage problem too.  Messages seem to work fine, though I don't have any.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Castruccio on September 23, 2015, 09:42:12 PM
FYI You guys are now launching against Rebel Galaxy, the new space game from the former Torchlight Devs:

http://rebel-galaxy.com/

Totally different game from SBR, but there could be some indie space audience overlap. 
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Captain Jack on September 23, 2015, 09:49:09 PM
FYI You guys are now launching against Rebel Galaxy, the new space game from the former Torchlight Devs:

http://rebel-galaxy.com/

Totally different game from SBR, but there could be some indie space audience overlap.
Oof. Hate to say it, but better this than getting near Starcraft, Battlefront or Fallout. Or god forbid, December anything.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on September 23, 2015, 09:52:44 PM
Blah.  Well, that looks like a pretty interesting game, but yeah pretty different at least.  There's a lot of things vaguely like that game, but not so much with this one at least.

The new Anno game is in November and that's one that bothers me more.  I can't recall Starcraft or Battlefront dates, but it seems like those are further out.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Captain Jack on September 23, 2015, 09:57:07 PM
Anno's the 3rd. Starcraft and Fallout are the 10th, Battlefront is the 17th.

 :o
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Aklyon on September 23, 2015, 10:09:17 PM
Whats the new anno going to be like? Kinda hoping for less onlineness than I'd seen of 2070 being played.
Also yikes, that november. Anno just barely missed being clobbered by that cluster of release.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on September 24, 2015, 08:40:17 AM
Yeah, it's a scary month there for sure.  And wow on those later dates.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Omgaar on October 02, 2015, 11:07:46 AM
FYI You guys are now launching against Rebel Galaxy, the new space game from the former Torchlight Devs:

http://rebel-galaxy.com/

Totally different game from SBR, but there could be some indie space audience overlap.

Space sim with a only a 2D plane?
Arcen games has nothing to worry about.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on October 02, 2015, 11:19:51 AM
FYI You guys are now launching against Rebel Galaxy, the new space game from the former Torchlight Devs:

http://rebel-galaxy.com/

Totally different game from SBR, but there could be some indie space audience overlap.

Space sim with a only a 2D plane?
Arcen games has nothing to worry about.

Can't tell if sarcasm.  ;)
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Bambusek on October 02, 2015, 05:06:36 PM
So, is game still scheduled for October? :) It actually may be hard to compete with all this games that are going to be released on November.

Rebel Galaxy? Well, may be interesting, but:

1. I trust Arcen more
2. I have my doubts anytime I see "space sim" and "coming for consoles" and trailer shows there will be much more space than sim.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on October 02, 2015, 05:08:19 PM
At the moment the plan is still October!  Crazy as we are.  Hopefully we can come in before the wire in terms of all those November heavy-hitters.
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: Bambusek on October 03, 2015, 02:55:22 PM
Nice, hope you will make it, guys :) Will this game come to GOG as well?
Title: Re: Release Date now Oct 21st, next beta wave later, subtractive design.
Post by: x4000 on October 07, 2015, 09:59:10 AM
It will be coming to gog!  Though the release date is now under question in terms of what date we do, and if we do Early Access first, or what: https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,18036.0.html

I'll go ahead and lock this thread and let the discussion fully move over to there so it's all in one place.  But we mainly want to try to make this the best game we can at launch while also not completely gutting ourselves financially (more than already has happened).