Author Topic: Time for some straight talk: Release Raptor is being pulled and refunded.  (Read 4057 times)

Offline kasnavada

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@Chris
First of all... as always, great customer service, and great communication skills. But, ouch, and sorry for the next lines.

::) :-\

That "raptor thingy" outcome was sadly kind of predictable. I had a small discussion with Misery on the steam forums a few months back. Said nothing, after all the (lost) work done on SBR... I thought that maybe you could pull it off. Also I moved back a bit from the forums because of the feedback I, among other, gave you here. I among other dropped a few comments, the game got remade, and delayed and little progress was made. Not that I think it would have helped much.

When I saw SBR released by you, my first thought was that it was going to be a failure because:
- you tried to do the impossible: make a real diplomatic AI.
- make a complete 4X game by an indy team of less than 10 people in about 6-10 months.

Next you went on the "raptor" thingy because... dunno. It was completely doomed to be a failure IMO. Dinosaurs are extremely popular and the dinosaur market is over-saturated especially since ARK went out. Also Arcen has no experience in 3D gaming that I know of. It's not "just" a matter of "people expect strategy games"... it's that you're somehow have been able to make very good strategy games, asymetric with "simplified" AI and reasonable AI and diplomacy options (in AI war & the last federation). Other types... less good.

Also, something that always bothered me, but you seem to believe that every game can and / or will pay itself back. Maybe it's time to change that point of view. Do what the other do. Create a few cash cow games that earn more than they cost, so you can afford to fail.



I'm getting confused, but... what I want to say is that while I'm a small-time supporter of your firm, and a very small cog in this forum... Sorry. I think that I and others on the forum share the blame, for encouraging you on paths that don't have an end.



On the other subject at hand... I do think though that getting a kickstarter & making something you intimately know is a good idea. Especialy with the... stress issues you've shown at the end of SBR. You'd be "free" of the "if it fails I'm out of money" stress source. Which is good.


However... this time I'll dare and ask. Do you completely know what you're doing when doing this sequel ?
People will probably expect the WHOLE of AI war (that's including the expansions) in the base game, but (somehow) better. Do you somehow have a working plan for that ?

I certainly hope it's doable, but I'm not sure you're not setting yourself an impossible goal again. Then again the kickstarter may succeed beyond expectations... still I'm getting worried, as Arcen's been among the few developpers I'm following actively.



...
I hate to be the voice of doubt. You certainly don't need that. Still. I hope it gets better. I loved AI war, the last federation and basically what you've managed to accomplish on this forum here.
...
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 04:57:48 PM by kasnavada »

Offline chemical_art

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However... this time I'll dare and ask. Do you completely know what you're doing when doing this sequel ?
People will probably expect the WHOLE of AI war (that's including the expansions) in the base game, but (somehow) better. Do you somehow have a working plan for that ?


I will say that is a very good point. The long term benefits of a proper sequel are great. But the costs are also substantial given the risks any "new" game does. For example, there is talk of making all the ships 3D. Is that really necessary or wise? I would think that 2D ships are of more value since the ship types are already in place. If not of financial value then of graphical value [takes less resources on gpu].

There will also need to be an honest discussion of what features are cut for the first sequel. It is not feasible to ask for several expansions worth of work in the very first game. The sunk costs are high and in both money and time. Better to leave some things aside so they can be tackled after the initial game is out. It leaves a safer revenue stream and allows time to work on bugs. My first thought is to focus on the "standard" AI War and have the substantial campaigns (Spire, doomsday devices, champions, etc) come out as expansions. They will not be direct copy pastes of the original expansions either: With fresh eyes they can be refined and the lore fleshed out as well and as a paid expansion allows a higher quality on amount of time spent.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 05:46:36 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline kop9000

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I am a bit do not understand. Game Updates will be no more?  >:(

Offline FroBodine

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I'm very sorry you are having to do this, Chris, but you know what you're doing.  I never played Raptor, but it sure seemed like it could have been a blast for $5.00 when it was final and everything was in and balanced.

But, what do I know . . . my favorite game of yours is still Shattered Haven.  How about Shattered Haven 2?  It could be a cash cow . . . maybe . . . probably not.

Best of luck to you and your team.

-=Jeff

Offline TheVampire100

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I'm very sorry you are having to do this, Chris, but you know what you're doing.  I never played Raptor, but it sure seemed like it could have been a blast for $5.00 when it was final and everything was in and balanced.

But, what do I know . . . my favorite game of yours is still Shattered Haven.  How about Shattered Haven 2?  It could be a cash cow . . . maybe . . . probably not.

Best of luck to you and your team.

-=Jeff
I doubt Shattered Haven 2 would succeed. It might be your favourite game but it seems it was one of the worst if not the worst received game of Arcen games. People didn't liek it at all, neither as horror game or as puzzle game. To be honest, when i first saw it it looked to me like a RPGMaker type of game. It surprised me that it wasn't made with RPGMaker.

Offline FroBodine

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Yeah, I know.  I was being sort of sarcastical.  I thought it was a wonderfully fun and challenging puzzly adventure game.  Some other folks also thought it was wonderful.

But, most people ignored it, sadly.  Who cares if anything is made with RPGMaker.  If it's fun, that's all that matters.

Offline eRe4s3r

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The joke being you could have made that game with RPGMaker

Anyway.. I just wanted to say.. this entire string of news just leaves me baffled. It reminds me of how Hollywood (the movie industry) does business.... On the other hand, a raptor fps game was doomed (economically) from the start.  So I guess you had no choice but to face reality here. No Indy game of this type ever made any tangible sales and seems like this won't change either.

Still, lessons learned here... they need no repeating. Seeing the steam post x4000 already realized mistakes were made ;)


Now this really begs more questions though.. refunds ok.. but does this mean the game is no longer developed?

What about SBR?

How exactly is AI War 2 gonna be financed? You have zero KS experience and I feel like this 30 day crunch would incite you to promise crazy things (in terms of features, content and such)


What I still don't get is why you refund and pull the game though. It makes no sense. And in none of your posts you yet said *why* you did that. Is it merely an issue of me not understand the reason? Why you refund people who don't want to be refunded... that's.. absurd.

And to explain how absurd, in all my time in gaming I never seen a developer willingly refund. Publishers sometimes gave you poisoned offers (Paradox -> SOTS 2) but refunding people who never asked for it? That never happened before. It also makes me worry you will feel repercussions for that from Steam.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 10:07:16 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Cinth

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I'm not Chris but I can answer some of these.

Now this really begs more questions though.. refunds ok.. but does this mean the game is no longer developed?

For now, ICoE,RR is on the shelf. 

Quote
What about SBR?

Keith has been working on that.  I don't know much else about it.

Quote
What I still don't get is why you refund and pull the game though. It makes no sense. And in none of your posts you yet said *why* you did that. Is it merely an issue of me not understand the reason? Why you refund people who don't want to be refunded... that's.. absurd.

Short version:
Not wanting to leave the game hanging in an unfinished state when it isn't going to get the attention it deserves.  Being upfront with the customers about it and doing things how he feels it should be done.

Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline kasnavada

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However... this time I'll dare and ask. Do you completely know what you're doing when doing this sequel ?
People will probably expect the WHOLE of AI war (that's including the expansions) in the base game, but (somehow) better. Do you somehow have a working plan for that ?


I will say that is a very good point. The long term benefits of a proper sequel are great. But the costs are also substantial given the risks any "new" game does. For example, there is talk of making all the ships 3D. Is that really necessary or wise? I would think that 2D ships are of more value since the ship types are already in place. If not of financial value then of graphical value [takes less resources on gpu].

There will also need to be an honest discussion of what features are cut for the first sequel. It is not feasible to ask for several expansions worth of work in the very first game. The sunk costs are high and in both money and time. Better to leave some things aside so they can be tackled after the initial game is out. It leaves a safer revenue stream and allows time to work on bugs. My first thought is to focus on the "standard" AI War and have the substantial campaigns (Spire, doomsday devices, champions, etc) come out as expansions. They will not be direct copy pastes of the original expansions either: With fresh eyes they can be refined and the lore fleshed out as well and as a paid expansion allows a higher quality on amount of time spent.

Even if I agree with the "have to cut feature else there is too much to code" part... Cutting features... didn't work that well with civ5 after civ4. Or the sims 3 after the sims 2.
Well. We'll see I suppose.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 08:10:50 AM by kasnavada »

Offline wwwhhattt

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 :(
Hope the next game is successful enough for you to make the stuff you want to regularly enough.
Good luck/????/etc.!

Offline steelwing

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 :'(
I doubt I would have bought RR (having no interest in playing it), but I truly hope you get to finish and release it eventually, having put in so much work already.
Hopefully when the Kickstarter (or whatever) campaign for the new AIW launches, I'll be in a position to contribute!
How is Keith doing on SBR, though?  Any chances of that seeing the light of day any time soon?

Offline crazyroosterman

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 :'(
I doubt I would have bought RR (having no interest in playing it), but I truly hope you get to finish and release it eventually, having put in so much work already.
Hopefully when the Kickstarter (or whatever) campaign for the new AIW launches, I'll be in a position to contribute!
How is Keith doing on SBR, though?  Any chances of that seeing the light of day any time soon?
same here even though I'm not as hyped as a lot of other people for it(I still need to dive into ai war but between time constraints and the constant distractions of other games I haven't been able to) Id be happy to help support the games development.

 but about stars? I doubt its going to get going again any time soon particularly with the financial situation which Chris has right now
it would be nice to see it blossom though especially with the problems you could argue its caused.
c.r

Offline tadrinth

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Well, in the interest of providing customer data, I own most of Arcen's games.  I've played 300 hours of AI War and not more than an hour of the others.  I think if I got into Last Fed I'd like it, just haven't gotten into it. 

Could y'all set up a Patreon that includes all new games you put out?  I feel like the enormous level of ongoing support put into your games would be a good fit for a subscription model.  I'd pay a couple bucks a month if it meant more regular ongoing AI War updates or support for fan-contributed content in a sequel or remake. 

I just ran numbers and so far as I can tell, if I backdate a $1 a month subscription to when I first got AI war, and subtract the cost of the Arcen games I've bought, I owe y'all $24.  If I can find a Donate button, I'll donate that much immediately. 

EDIT: Found the donate button! It's on the main site's navbar under 'About Us'.  Donation made.  And there's an option for a recurring donation, but I'll see what happens in this thread before I set that up, just in case.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 02:41:55 PM by tadrinth »

Offline Dominus Arbitrationis

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If I can find a Donate button, I'll donate that much immediately.
https://arcengames.com/tips/ :)
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Offline crazyroosterman

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If I can find a Donate button, I'll donate that much immediately.
https://arcengames.com/tips/ :)
to be honest I should probably give a donation considering the 2 free games(starward rogue and stars for what its worth and yes it know its for testing purposes but I've had a tone of fun with both of those games so its only fair)
edit o that's right I forgot it uses pay pal which would be fine if the stupid thing would actually work like ever.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 02:49:12 PM by crazyroosterman »
c.r