Author Topic: Is there an exact release date yet?  (Read 5918 times)

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2016, 07:58:07 PM »
I'm still fascinated about how this game plays. I'm probably one of few who have not tested it yet ^^

Which allows you to have a proper first impression when/if you become tester ;P
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2016, 10:03:25 AM »
I'm still fascinated about how this game plays. I'm probably one of few who have not tested it yet ^^

Which allows you to have a proper first impression when/if you become tester ;P
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2016, 03:39:30 AM »
I saw the exchange in the comments section of Chris' first Release Raptor blog post. That guy was awfully rude so kudos to you for responding to him in such a polite and honest way.

Tbh, I didn't really expect this game to potentially never be released either. It held so much promise for you guys, and the "Let's Play Blogs" from last Winter made it seem like it was coming along so smoothly, even if it did have a few rough edges to iron out.

I guess my question is, what happened? It seems like you guys hit a giant obstacle and it threw the entire project off track. I know one obstacle was the release date, which you were afraid the game wouldn't be polished enough for. But now it sounds like it was more than just a polish problem, it's as if there were certain mechanics that were so problematic they were preventing the game from being enjoyable. Last thing I remember you guys working on before the break was the diplomacy thing, and maybe that's where everything got stuffed up? I had mentioned before in the forums that I've never seen a 4X handle diplomacy in an interesting or satisfactory way, so if that were a major barrier, I guess I would understand.

Anyway, I don't mean to pry I just want to understand why the project went from nearly completed last year to a future of uncertainty today. I say this as a person who never actually got to test the game myself, I think I signed up just days before the next wave of beta keys were about to go out. From what I remember most the beta testers were really enjoying it at the time and I was excited to try it.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 03:42:03 AM by Wingflier »
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2016, 04:06:24 AM »
I didn't see the blog's reply before I read your post, Wingflier. I never go back to a blog post to see if there's answers, because there's no "new" tag like in the forum.

I'd like to hear Keith on how he's doing with SBR. If Arcen now has two pipelines, it would be a bit confusing to have two lines of updates/devblog, but I bet it would be interesting nonetheless.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2016, 11:34:18 PM »
I saw the exchange in the comments section of Chris' first Release Raptor blog post. That guy was awfully rude so kudos to you for responding to him in such a polite and honest way.

Tbh, I didn't really expect this game to potentially never be released either. It held so much promise for you guys, and the "Let's Play Blogs" from last Winter made it seem like it was coming along so smoothly, even if it did have a few rough edges to iron out.

I guess my question is, what happened? It seems like you guys hit a giant obstacle and it threw the entire project off track. I know one obstacle was the release date, which you were afraid the game wouldn't be polished enough for. But now it sounds like it was more than just a polish problem, it's as if there were certain mechanics that were so problematic they were preventing the game from being enjoyable. Last thing I remember you guys working on before the break was the diplomacy thing, and maybe that's where everything got stuffed up? I had mentioned before in the forums that I've never seen a 4X handle diplomacy in an interesting or satisfactory way, so if that were a major barrier, I guess I would understand.

Anyway, I don't mean to pry I just want to understand why the project went from nearly completed last year to a future of uncertainty today. I say this as a person who never actually got to test the game myself, I think I signed up just days before the next wave of beta keys were about to go out. From what I remember most the beta testers were really enjoying it at the time and I was excited to try it.

I certainly cant speak for the devs, but.... to me, it wasn't so much the release date, it's moreso that the gameplay just.... wasn't working out.

It's very hard to explain, but it reminds me of TLF's original combat model.   When it was RTS-ish space fights, instead of the turn-based shmup thing it later became.  On paper, the RTS bit sounded bloody perfect.  But in the end, it just... didn't... work.  I still remember doing a long ranty post about my impressions of that during development.

With that game, of course, the combat model was later changed (twice).  And it worked out really well in the end.  I seem to recall that being tried with Stars Beyond Reach, but the new stuff STILL just didn't work.  And it was kinda hard to fully grasp why that was (and I'm having trouble remembering the details).

I'd really, really like to see the project to succeed.  So many 4X games always seem so interesting to me, but then they get a lot of things wrong and... I dunno, they don't end up being what I'd hoped.  But a 4X from Arcen, now THAT could be different.   Was the same way with the RTS genre for me, a lot of the games in that genre seriously never seem to be about strategy but moreso about micro and clicking fast.  And then I found AI War, and THAT did the trick and is one I keep coming back to.

So it's certainly a bit frustrating to see what's happening with this game.  I'm hoping it works out in the end, I think there's a lot of potential here.   

I will say one thing though:  Kudos to Chris & Keith for NOT releasing it in that state.  Many other developers would have just done it ANYWAY (even if it wasn't cost reasons pushing them to do so).  As opposed to making sure that it's fun first.

Offline x4000

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2016, 09:47:40 AM »
There's a further discussion here as of this morning: http://arcengames.com/announcing-in-case-of-emergency-release-raptor/#comment-2389

Quote from: gnodab
You know, I never thought I’d say it, but maybe Early Access/an open beta would benefit SBR?
As much as I liked SR and am looking forward to Raptor, I can’t help but feel they are mere distractions, while we wait for SBR. I wasn’t this excited for a game in a long time. Maybe your perception of the game is just so tainted by burning out on it that you exaggerate its flaws and getting a lot of outside perspectives could recalibrate your own? Or maybe I am just unwilling to accept that the stars are beyond reach? :(

Me: Cheers — it’s a possibility. The main thing is that the game has never been in a finished, “able to really play all the way through” state. We’ve had the military and citybuilding aspects there, but getting in fun and engaging trade and politics or whatnot for non-military interactions has never passed the prototype stage. Each version of that we did was always underwhelming enough that people just kept staying military.

There’s a lot about the game I love, but I’m not the one to work on it anymore. If Keith feels like he can make it work, then we’ll go ahead with it. If not… then perhaps there’s someone else who might want to take up the mantle of this particular game, we’ll see. Either way, though I’ve contributed a lot to this game (as have a lot of other people), I can’t think of anything more to add to it at this point from my perspective. Someone else would look at it a different way, I’m sure.

The problem with Early Access is that once we do that sort of thing, we’ve taken your money and are committed to it. So we can’t go “oh, nevermind, that actually was a bad idea and we’ll stop development now to avoid bleeding money while we finish something unsatisfactory.” We just have to instead rush it out as fast as possible to get it to a state that we can call done, to cut our losses while at the same time hopefully minimizing fallout in our reputation with you. You’ve seen other developers do this, and it’s not because they are bad people — it’s the situation they put themselves in, accidentally. I don’t want to put myself in that situation.

Quote
elevator music

There were a couple of other posts on there, too, so feel free to scroll up in that comment chain, which is all about SBR.

I'd like to hear Keith on how he's doing with SBR. If Arcen now has two pipelines, it would be a bit confusing to have two lines of updates/devblog, but I bet it would be interesting nonetheless.

We will probably have two or three lines of devblog coming up before too long.  The Starward Rogue crew of Freaking Volunteers(tm) (Misery included) will likely be writing some stuff about the work they're doing there.  Keith is not the long public writing sort, so we'll see on that.  I've had periodic updates from him, basically every time something major changes or a model fails or succeeds.

Right now there's basically two more subsystems to be coded out, and if they work then the project probably goes ahead, and if not then the project probably gets iced.  Or turned over to someone else if someone else has ideas that I like the sound of, and we can come to some sort of arrangement.  I agree that I don't want to see this project die.  But I'd rather us all have fond wistful memories of what it could have been rather than a putrid stink of "oh gosh that's what it was and it was not good."

In terms of Keith, he's currently out of the office on family matters (all good things), and so won't be around much at all for... a few weeks at least, I'd guess, but it's hard to say exactly.

I saw the exchange in the comments section of Chris' first Release Raptor blog post. That guy was awfully rude so kudos to you for responding to him in such a polite and honest way.

I appreciate it.  That was a frustrating comment, yeah.

Tbh, I didn't really expect this game to potentially never be released either. It held so much promise for you guys, and the "Let's Play Blogs" from last Winter made it seem like it was coming along so smoothly, even if it did have a few rough edges to iron out.

I guess my question is, what happened? It seems like you guys hit a giant obstacle and it threw the entire project off track. I know one obstacle was the release date, which you were afraid the game wouldn't be polished enough for. But now it sounds like it was more than just a polish problem, it's as if there were certain mechanics that were so problematic they were preventing the game from being enjoyable. Last thing I remember you guys working on before the break was the diplomacy thing, and maybe that's where everything got stuffed up? I had mentioned before in the forums that I've never seen a 4X handle diplomacy in an interesting or satisfactory way, so if that were a major barrier, I guess I would understand.

You pretty much nailed it right there.  I think that the citybuilding and combat came a long way since Misery looked at it last (so far as I know), and I was pretty happy with that in the main.  Even so, there were some unintuitive things about it that bugged me with the combat in particular.

The diplomacy and so forth was really the big sticking point, and just kept dragging out.  I thought that I'd figured out a solution to that back in the time period of those blog posts, and I was really pleased with how that bit was shaping up.  I felt like it needed more meat on its bones to not be so repetitive, but that otherwise it was creating a feeling of a living world.

Turns out that was... sort of true.  Even with a lot of content, there was still a ton of stuff happening ALL THE TIME.  And each turn it was like "I have to read these 12 new messages, ugh."  That surprised me.  Not that other people had that reaction, but that I personally did.  The information overload of stuff I had to wade through in order to make it feel thematic really just didn't work for me.  Being ABLE to dig into that sort of thing is great, and I love that about Dwarf Fortress, but the way this design panned out it made you HAVE to do that.  Blah.

Anyway, I don't mean to pry I just want to understand why the project went from nearly completed last year to a future of uncertainty today. I say this as a person who never actually got to test the game myself, I think I signed up just days before the next wave of beta keys were about to go out. From what I remember most the beta testers were really enjoying it at the time and I was excited to try it.

I think a lot of the testers were enjoying what it could be, and what it almost was.  The problem was, I was hitting a brick wall that was kind of fatal.  I think the testers were being more forgiving than they otherwise would because they had faith I would overcome that wall.  I tried a number of things for months, and it just was not a wall I could get past.

Keith and I have very different approaches to the same concept, and so back in February after Starward Rogue came out he moved on to a heavy reworking of SBR.  He basically gutted the entire game and started over from scratch in terms of mechanics, simply keeping the graphics but making all the things even mean completely different things.  What the game was before and what it is now are radically different to the point that it would be like saying Settlers is the same as Civilization.  The premise is the same in the main, yeah, but how you go about everything is different.

His earliest designs were based on ideas from Colonization, whereas I was drawing more from SimCity and Civilization.  He quickly found out that wasn't working out so hot, though, so he's gone through some complete revisions of his complete revisions.  Originally he was only going to spend about a month and a half to find out for sure if this was a viable product he could make, but instead it's been three.  A few more weeks after he's back around, and there will be the do-or-die point, given that this is already 2x over budget in the yet-again-rework phase.

And from there, if that happens... I don't know.  A couple of weeks ago he was still really undecided, but basically was giving it 50/50 odds of going either way.

I will say one thing though:  Kudos to Chris & Keith for NOT releasing it in that state.  Many other developers would have just done it ANYWAY (even if it wasn't cost reasons pushing them to do so).  As opposed to making sure that it's fun first.

I do appreciate it, thanks for that.  If Keith can't make this work, then I hope to find someone else who can in some way.  I'd ultimately rather have some form of game result from this and be a fun thing, and maybe start to recoup at least some of the $420k+ I spent on this, than just mothball it forever.  But I also can't just fling more and more money at this forever, and from a personal stance I'm out of ideas on this particular game.
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2016, 05:37:41 PM »
lots o' stuff
1 if it does end up coming to that stars gets to a point were its open for testers again I think it would be fascinating to see how its changed

2 what is this rude comment that keeps getting referred to? I Most Certainly Have looked in the dev blogs and I cant find anything that even remotely references stars unless it was deleted of course

3 in the worst case scenario that this game is simply never finished what's going to happen to the lore that was planned for it? will it be injected in to a future title?.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 06:46:27 PM by x4000 »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2016, 07:09:30 PM »
1 if it does end up coming to that stars gets to a point were its open for testers again I think it would be fascinating to see how its changed

For sure.  Even I haven't seen it in over a month!  Ptarth and a few others know now, I think, but I'm not sure who all.

2 what is this rude comment that keeps getting referred to? I Most Certainly Have looked in the dev blogs and I cant find anything that even remotely references stars unless it was deleted of course

Not a big thing. Just someone's response to the raptor game announcement basically being "why don't you finish SBR first" in kind of a rude-sounding wording.

3 in the worst case scenario that this game is simply never finished what's going to happen to the lore that was planned for it? will it be injected in to a future title?.

That will be considered canonical either way.  Of course you have no idea what it is, but it's super cool.  So... we'll work it into some other games somehow or other.
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2016, 07:16:46 PM »
1 if it does end up coming to that stars gets to a point were its open for testers again I think it would be fascinating to see how its changed

For sure.  Even I haven't seen it in over a month!  Ptarth and a few others know now, I think, but I'm not sure who all.

2 what is this rude comment that keeps getting referred to? I Most Certainly Have looked in the dev blogs and I cant find anything that even remotely references stars unless it was deleted of course

Not a big thing. Just someone's response to the raptor game announcement basically being "why don't you finish SBR first" in kind of a rude-sounding wording.

3 in the worst case scenario that this game is simply never finished what's going to happen to the lore that was planned for it? will it be injected in to a future title?.

That will be considered canonical either way.  Of course you have no idea what it is, but it's super cool.  So... we'll work it into some other games somehow or other.
1 doesn't surprise ptarth seems to know everything.

2 really? I thought it was blatantly obvious why but I guess some people are just silly

3 awesome!.
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Offline ptarth

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2016, 02:23:44 AM »
Writing documents for public consumption is a time consuming process that requires delicacy, effort, and skill. It's a lot like teaching, business presentations, and public speaking all combined into one. Internal construction documents and discussions, on the other hand, are not for the faint of heart. Not because they are wrong, bad, or unclean, but because they require time, effort, context, and knowledge to understand. Lacking any of those, for whatever reason (good, bad, ill-will, running low on time, typos, etc), leads to misunderstandings, and those misunderstandings can lead to... a belief that rhinoceroses mounted on a tortoise are supporting the world, instead of elephants, as is proper. Due to this, I haven't commented yet on any of the SBR threads, however, I suppose now is warranted due to my name being called three times. However, I warn you, you won't like what I have to say for various reasons.

With that as a caveat, the following is my bulleted list summary of SBR v2016:

  • Your patience will be rewarded.

Please form a lynch mob for SBR to the right. The SR lynch mob is formed on the left, and I'd hate to get the two mixed up. :P
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline x4000

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2016, 09:35:48 AM »
Well, that certainly has ME hopeful. :)
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Offline ElOhTeeBee

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2016, 10:22:42 AM »
Neat. Good news hopefully incoming.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2016, 02:54:36 AM »
Does that mean SBR is pulling itself out of the freezing trap?
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2016, 08:38:10 AM »
Does that mean SBR is pulling itself out of the freezing trap?

For the most part that is ultimately going to be Keith's decision.  At any rate, he and I both have to agree we want to go forward with it, and I'm not going to say yes unless he wants to first.  It has to meet the bar set by the designer if it's to have any heart and soul in it.  Last I heard he was giving it 50/50 odds, which is anyone's guess.
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Offline tbrass

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Re: Is there an exact release date yet?
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2016, 04:00:05 AM »
High hopes, Chris. I know this has been a real challenge for you & Keith. (not to mention the whole arcen-family).

As an aside, thank you for sharing your struggles with SBR & the impact it had on you, personally and professionally.
The human tendency is to obfuscate the difficulties we face, and the business modus operandi is to obfuscate the sausage making.
And as long as I have followed you, you have bucked both of these trends. Kudos, and thank you!

Your radical honesty reminded me of the CV of failure that made the rounds a few weeks back. Princeton prof,
incredibly accomplished, sought to remind his students that everyone fails some of the time and wrote up
a CV of the accolades and opportunities he didn't achieve:
https://www.princeton.edu/~joha/Johannes_Haushofer_CV_of_Failures.pdf

I'm excited to (maybe) begin testing SBR again at some point & hope that Keith's coin flip turns out positive.