Author Topic: On the New Release Date: March 24th (EDIT: Now in April, FYI)  (Read 14663 times)

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #60 on: February 22, 2014, 02:33:49 PM »
Here's a crazy idea that I haven't thought through at all, and thus is probably silly, but... you could focus on the BD expansion for release during late March, which would get some more money in, and then try to get The Last Federation out some time in April. Just an idea.

Oh, another thing. If April is going to be the date for The Last Federation, then what's the thinking about the gaming landscape around that time? I had a quick look at a few schedules and early April seemed pretty dead to me apart from The Elder Scrolls Online. Any other potential AAA titles due that could impact on The Last Federation's launch?

Offline x4000

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #61 on: February 22, 2014, 04:46:32 PM »
This far April is looking good.

In terms of an actual release of a BD expansion in March, we could do it but not without losing all momentum on TLF. We'd also fall into the same press blackout period, which would very much raise the likelihood of that being the last BD expansion, as happened with Nihon when we released that in an I opportune time of year (August).
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #62 on: February 22, 2014, 07:39:24 PM »
as happened with Nihon when we released that in an I opportune time of year (August).

I've been meaning to say something, but I would consider SC an annomaly of sorts.

Not the best place to say this, but I've been meaning to say it for a while. SC suffered from a weakness, at least for me. Once a game has been played once, there isn't enough, fundamentally, to warrant another playthrough. Similarly with BD. There just isn't enough different things to hold my difference. For that reason, expansions seem to hold of short interest, and since I already lost interest, I didn't bother reading anything about the expansion whatsoever. I played a total of four games of SC. Two were beta games. One was a full game, and I delightfully played told on the beta thread the game was together. I played once more, barely for 20 turns. Then interest fell off completely. Even knowing there was an expansion, it wasn't enough to even read what the expansion was about, that was how bored I was with the game. Each game had some shallow things to seem interesting, but the core game was too similar from game to game, leading to the [in]correct assumption an expansion was not going to fix this. BD was even worst, use X tactic against Y target, rinse and repeat. Boring.

Anyway, it seems THF has enough depth to prevent this, but fundamental and not shallow variance in game-play for the casual player at casual settings is what going to make it not be a flash in the pan game, I think. To put it a different way, if at casual difficulties it is not necessary to change your tactics you may avoid the problem of a game being too hard, but find it also be too boring. It is essential to thread the needle between the two. Combat will also have to address this: If the mode is too same-y (for lack of a better word) interest will fall off fast (at least for me).
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Offline x4000

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #63 on: February 22, 2014, 07:43:47 PM »
Yep, I understand.
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Offline P3X-639

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #64 on: February 22, 2014, 08:58:15 PM »

We also would wind up with more advance press and more launch reviews, which typically is a good thing if the game is good.  And April has been very good to us in past years, actually.  April and May both have been very prime times for us to release titles that sold extremely well.  October has been historically as well, but that obviously did not work out last year with Bionic, so either that was something specific to that game, or just bad luck in general.

Long time fan, first time poster. Just wanted to weigh in on this one.

From my memory, there was a lot of stuff going on during October. Quite a few big name games I think, Ass Creed 4, Battlefield 4, the whole Console Holy Wars thing was still going with the PS4 to release next month. I remember hearing very little about the game from the game newsy sources I frequent. Rock Paper Shotgun is all I can really think of. And even that was buried pretty quickly iirc. What surprised me was very little YouTube coverage. I remember TB even mentioned your game briefly during his PAX coverage as something he was really looking forward to, but a video never materialized. My memory sucks, so I'm a bit weak on specifics, but I really do clearly remember that I heard very little about the game. Which was a shame because I thought it was amazing.

Hopefully everything works out. I'm pulling for you guys :)

Just a few scattered last thoughts: I like the idea of just an on site early Beta. Personally though, I'd be leery of making the beta hype too big. I think having most of the hype happen during actual release would be better. I sort of judge this off of past beta experiences; it seems like it's hard to get word out for the full release if there's a big deal about "beta right now!"  I'm thinking of games like Neverwinter and Mechwarrior Online, where the news of "official official release" doesn't seem to get much attention since a lot of attention happened during early release. Admittedly, this sounds like it'll be much shorter than most so the comparison could be way off. Plus if it's released during the media blitz of D3x and Titanfall, this whole thought processes might be moot.

Apologies if this seems weirdly worded. Trying to squeeze this in before dinner while the thoughts are fresh . ;)

Offline Misery

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #65 on: February 22, 2014, 09:47:43 PM »
as happened with Nihon when we released that in an I opportune time of year (August).

I've been meaning to say something, but I would consider SC an annomaly of sorts.

Not the best place to say this, but I've been meaning to say it for a while. SC suffered from a weakness, at least for me. Once a game has been played once, there isn't enough, fundamentally, to warrant another playthrough. Similarly with BD. There just isn't enough different things to hold my difference. For that reason, expansions seem to hold of short interest, and since I already lost interest, I didn't bother reading anything about the expansion whatsoever. I played a total of four games of SC. Two were beta games. One was a full game, and I delightfully played told on the beta thread the game was together. I played once more, barely for 20 turns. Then interest fell off completely. Even knowing there was an expansion, it wasn't enough to even read what the expansion was about, that was how bored I was with the game. Each game had some shallow things to seem interesting, but the core game was too similar from game to game, leading to the [in]correct assumption an expansion was not going to fix this. BD was even worst, use X tactic against Y target, rinse and repeat. Boring.

Anyway, it seems THF has enough depth to prevent this, but fundamental and not shallow variance in game-play for the casual player at casual settings is what going to make it not be a flash in the pan game, I think. To put it a different way, if at casual difficulties it is not necessary to change your tactics you may avoid the problem of a game being too hard, but find it also be too boring. It is essential to thread the needle between the two. Combat will also have to address this: If the mode is too same-y (for lack of a better word) interest will fall off fast (at least for me).


This brings up a good point....

I do think that the default difficulty should have been a bit higher with BD, because that's correct, you dont need to really think too much with that one when it's played with the difficulty set really low like the default is.  All of the strategic/tactical stuff for the most part tends to only show up at higher ones; you just dont need any of it.  The same was true with SC to a lesser extent.   It had nothing to do with a lack of variety or anything like that.... I've played both all the way through a bunch of times now, and my necessary tactics and such can be very dramatically different each time..... but then, I'm playing on the highest difficulties.  The lower ones would have put me to sleep, honestly.

It might be something worth keeping in mind for this one.  This very same thing that chemical_art mentions here is a complaint that I heard from a few others as well with BD, the whole "but this is too simple, I just shoot everything once and I win, real easy" which gives them the wrong impression of the game as a whole.  That they could simply turn up the difficulty never seems to occur to them (ever) until I point it out.  That bit baffles me a tad (okay, baffles me a lot), but....  yeah.   My point is, keeping the default challenge level higher for this one than in the previous couple of games might be a good thing to do.


Offline Cyprene

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2014, 01:12:29 AM »
Well, I'm not so sure. 

I'm not a hardcore gamer, and I've never even beat AI War on a difficulty higher than 6.  I have the grand strategic instincts of a weasel.  I send my big ball o' dudes around, and look for places with neat things to find.  I play with all ship types enabled, even though I have no idea how to effectively use over half of them.  I love finding an Advanced Research Station and seeing what weird ships I get.  I love the wormholes and the little mini-quests within them, and I love my flagship that can level up and transform.  I love the lore and world-building, and how the game manages to do so much with so little.  My typical endgame is building up a fleet of 2000 or so ships, along with my awesome flagship, and just dramatically hammering at the AI homeworld.  I always imagine myself on the bridge of a command ship, steadily battering down the shields of the enemy fortress as each of its cannon blasts wipes out dozens of my ships.  When I win I always feel like the reincarnation of Napoleon and Alexander the Great combined.  And I can do this without having to feel like an idiot by placing the difficulty on level 1,  because the game is easy to pick up and has a very clear relationship between action and result.  I.E. You died because you didn't put enough turrets around your base.  You died because you provoked the AI when you shouldn't have.  You died because you triggered the Spire Quest and you weren't ready for it.  Each failure gives you immediate information that you can use in your next game, and as long you avoid a bare minimum of stupidity, you can have a good time and not get immediately wiped. 


Recent Arcen games seem to be trending towards a different direction..  I beta test'd Skyward Collapse, and I gamely tried to play it, but games mostly ended with somebody (Usually the Norse, I think?) getting blown up and me not being entirely sure where I screwed up.  I had more or less the same experience with Bionic Dues: I'll do just fine on the first level, and then on the second I'll get blown up by some enemy with rockets with no idea of what I should be doing that I'm not.   I've more or less put the both of them away, and don't know if I'll be going back to them any time soon.   I'm sure that with repeated playthroughs I could go back and figure it out, but it would be a lot of blind fumbling before I started having fun.  Both of these games seemed to have the same "Play it and fail, play it and fail, and maybe by the 15th game you'll stop failing" attitude towards difficulty.  It feels like playing Go against a veteran player: there's a lot of depth, but none of it is clear to you at the start, and you're going to lose over and over until that depth becomes apparent to you. 

I've got similar hopes for Last Federation.  It sounds like the world is fun and well fleshed-out, and I love the concept of running around in my small, elite ship and doing cool things as part of a master plan.  I've read in the promotional materials that you get to put rockets on a moon and slam it into a planet.  I'm not sure why you would want to do this, but I can't wait to try it.  I've held off on signing up for the alpha, even though I did for two of Arcen's last three games, because I'm worried about the difficulty and the level of time and frustration needed to understand the game properly. 

Now, some people love this kinda thing.  Witness the popularity of Dark Souls, or I wanna by the Guy, or any of those sorts of ultra-difficult games.  And if that's the target market that Arcen is aiming for, then more power to them.  They're certainly under no obligation to make games specifically tailored to me.  But a forum like this is naturally going to attract a more hardcore crowd, so I thought I would throw my opinion in as it may be underrepresented here: I don't want a high base difficulty.  I want to have fun with it out of the box, and I don't want to have to turn it down to "So easy a goat can beat it" to do so. 

Offline Misery

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2014, 01:26:11 AM »
Well, I'm not so sure. 

I'm not a hardcore gamer, and I've never even beat AI War on a difficulty higher than 6.  I have the grand strategic instincts of a weasel.  I send my big ball o' dudes around, and look for places with neat things to find.  I play with all ship types enabled, even though I have no idea how to effectively use over half of them.  I love finding an Advanced Research Station and seeing what weird ships I get.  I love the wormholes and the little mini-quests within them, and I love my flagship that can level up and transform.  I love the lore and world-building, and how the game manages to do so much with so little.  My typical endgame is building up a fleet of 2000 or so ships, along with my awesome flagship, and just dramatically hammering at the AI homeworld.  I always imagine myself on the bridge of a command ship, steadily battering down the shields of the enemy fortress as each of its cannon blasts wipes out dozens of my ships.  When I win I always feel like the reincarnation of Napoleon and Alexander the Great combined.  And I can do this without having to feel like an idiot by placing the difficulty on level 1,  because the game is easy to pick up and has a very clear relationship between action and result.  I.E. You died because you didn't put enough turrets around your base.  You died because you provoked the AI when you shouldn't have.  You died because you triggered the Spire Quest and you weren't ready for it.  Each failure gives you immediate information that you can use in your next game, and as long you avoid a bare minimum of stupidity, you can have a good time and not get immediately wiped. 


Recent Arcen games seem to be trending towards a different direction..  I beta test'd Skyward Collapse, and I gamely tried to play it, but games mostly ended with somebody (Usually the Norse, I think?) getting blown up and me not being entirely sure where I screwed up.  I had more or less the same experience with Bionic Dues: I'll do just fine on the first level, and then on the second I'll get blown up by some enemy with rockets with no idea of what I should be doing that I'm not.   I've more or less put the both of them away, and don't know if I'll be going back to them any time soon.   I'm sure that with repeated playthroughs I could go back and figure it out, but it would be a lot of blind fumbling before I started having fun.  Both of these games seemed to have the same "Play it and fail, play it and fail, and maybe by the 15th game you'll stop failing" attitude towards difficulty.  It feels like playing Go against a veteran player: there's a lot of depth, but none of it is clear to you at the start, and you're going to lose over and over until that depth becomes apparent to you. 

I've got similar hopes for Last Federation.  It sounds like the world is fun and well fleshed-out, and I love the concept of running around in my small, elite ship and doing cool things as part of a master plan.  I've read in the promotional materials that you get to put rockets on a moon and slam it into a planet.  I'm not sure why you would want to do this, but I can't wait to try it.  I've held off on signing up for the alpha, even though I did for two of Arcen's last three games, because I'm worried about the difficulty and the level of time and frustration needed to understand the game properly. 

Now, some people love this kinda thing.  Witness the popularity of Dark Souls, or I wanna by the Guy, or any of those sorts of ultra-difficult games.  And if that's the target market that Arcen is aiming for, then more power to them.  They're certainly under no obligation to make games specifically tailored to me.  But a forum like this is naturally going to attract a more hardcore crowd, so I thought I would throw my opinion in as it may be underrepresented here: I don't want a high base difficulty.  I want to have fun with it out of the box, and I don't want to have to turn it down to "So easy a goat can beat it" to do so.

Oh, I dont disagree with any of that.

The main point though is that if the game isnt REQUIRING that the player use real strategy, and requiring them to adapt to ever-changing situations, the player will never do so, because why do they need to?  The enemy is putting up no fight.  And thus, they continue along, getting more and more thoughts of "Hmph.  I thought this game was supposed to be STRATEGIC and DEEP.  But all I have to do is shoot everything with the same weapon exactly once!  This game doesnt at all match up to what it's said to be.  This developer isnt very good."

AI War, to me, isnt a very good example.  That game in particular has a mean learning curve.... just getting the very BASICS down is very hard for many players.  How can you formulate strategies at all, even exceedingly simple ones, when you're having trouble learning the mechanics at all?  A game like BD isnt like this.  That game explains itself very easily.  Players can easily understand the fundamentals, and from there they are in good position to really start learning what they can DO with those fundamentals.  If the game is challenging them with a very real possibility of defeat, they're pushed to EXPAND upon these ideas, which brings more and more of the game's depth to them.  If they ARENT being pushed towards that, the depth simply remains out of sight, as they're not getting any closer to it. From there, they start believing the depth does not exist.

I'm not saying that a game like that should be defaulting to "YOU DIE NOW" or something like Risk of Rain's aptly named "HAHAHAHA" difficulty level.   But for a game like the sort Arcen makes, there needs to be default challenge, enough to make average players push themselves to learn in order to succeed, for the depth of the game to make itself apparent.  BD in particular defaulted WAY too low, and thus often gives out incorrect impressions of itself.

Offline Lancefighter

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2014, 04:51:14 AM »
Hi friends. Just wanted to say Hi. Read that other thing you guys had to do and was really sad. This month does indeed seem to suck.. and I hate to pile on more random things, but theres a Path of Exile expansion happening early march, and everyone should try PoE :D Its like diable, BUT FREE! (and better).

Oh yeah the other bit. I dunno, I am looking forward to the game and will probably buy it on release,but I've never been particularly good at getting others to do the same. Honestly I've just kinda been squatting in irc telling the occasional person to show up that theres nobody who actually plays aiwar there :(

Mostly wanted to say hi! :D we are all actually pretty looking forward to TLF in the chat. And by all I mean all like three of us that actually talk regularly.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2014, 10:27:59 AM »
I've read in the promotional materials that you get to put rockets on a moon and slam it into a planet.  I'm not sure why you would want to do this, but I can't wait to try it.


 :D


As to your other point, I think what the gist of it is, if games are like tic-tac-toe, nobody wants to play them because the game is already played before you play it.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #70 on: February 23, 2014, 04:39:06 PM »
Quote
In terms of an actual release of a BD expansion in March, we could do it but not without losing all momentum on TLF. We'd also fall into the same press blackout period, which would very much raise the likelihood of that being the last BD expansion, as happened with Nihon when we released that in an I opportune time of year (August).

Yeah, might as well get TLF and all expansions released at the absolute most optimum time if you can afford to wait.

Offline x4000

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2014, 10:29:11 AM »
@P3X-639: Welcome to the forums!  And thanks for the thoughts, that all makes a lot of sense.

Lots of good comments from everyone here.

A few brief points from my end:

1. Yep, we're moving to April.
2. We'll worry about the finances end of it, without Kickstarter.
3. I totally get the whole thing with Skyward and with Bionic about them being either "there's no strategy" or "wow this is hard," with no real middle ground.
4. With AI War, I think that the game was robust enough that even at a low level where it was not overwhelmingly hard, there was a sense of real strategy.
5. I think that with TLF, it's going to fit more into the mold of AI War.  It's just more that sort of game in general.
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Offline junker154

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #72 on: February 24, 2014, 09:35:35 PM »
I thought that AI War was easy to learn and hard to master, which is generally the type of game that I enjoy a lot. Furthermore the customizable options let's you play around with the different variables that influence the difficulty of the game.

For instance you can simply disable all the more advanced ship types, which makes it far easier to get into. The AI is extremely customizable and allows for experimentation, the galaxy can be greatly adjusted. Overall it's far more welcoming to new players. Afterwards you can play with more advanced features. Also the game does a great job at explaining things.

Skyward Collapse felt more frustrating than difficult, at least for me. I do hope that the new game will be a major success for you guys!

Offline fishy

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #73 on: February 24, 2014, 11:40:01 PM »

5. I think that with TLF, it's going to fit more into the mold of AI War.  It's just more that sort of game in general.


I think that is fantastic, and its a great way to market the game as well.

Offline Vyndicu

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Re: On the New Release Date: March 24th
« Reply #74 on: February 25, 2014, 01:54:38 PM »
Look like I was right about the diablo 3 "2.0 loot/paragon" coming out early!

@x4000

I want to make sure you were fully aware that if you tried an early March (4th to 18th) launch date then it was likely that you would be competing with diablo 3 for media coverage. Not that diablo 3 wasn't fun or anything.

P.S. Put that diablo 3 game down and out of sight!