Double Fine is not a random fly-by-night indie dev and we are not going to silently pull the plug on Spacebase or any other in-development project. Doing so would be disastrous for our reputation and it would kill us emotionally ;____;
What has happened lately on Spacebase is that we're trying something different with regard to communication. Our hypothesis is that short, regular, relatively low-value updates (things like in-progress screenshots of new UI) don't really serve much more purpose than telling people "we're not dead!" The time cost of doing those is pretty small, but our team has been 3-4 people since Alpha 1's release and I wanted to see what the impact would be - both on our side and on the player side.
I knew there would be threads like this when we undertook this direction, and we've been watching the various forums closely. I completely understand how one can read a lack of response as a lack of concern, but nothing could be further from the truth. We come to Double Fine every day and work hard to make Spacebase better. It's our baby and we love working on it. Some player criticism just isn't very easy to respond to - we know exactly what's happening with the project, and we could either give an extended brain dump of all that, or we could try to sum it up and risk misleading through brevity or making some specific promise we can't keep.
Valve's talk from Steam Dev Days about
got us thinking along this current line. There are some points in it that make a strong kind of counter-intuitive sense: who wouldn't want constant communication? Well, maybe constant communication helps people care less and less about something over time. We needed to shake things up a bit.This isn't some master plan; we're learning as we go - for example, I recently started updating the in-game Transmission from Team Spacebase to hint at the game's backstory (aka the Spacebase Lore Minute)... but not many people have commented on it, because (we suspect) most people are paying closer attention to out-of-game communication like the website than launching the game regularly. Which is fine; everything like this we try helps us learn to do better. I'll probably still keep doing those messages because taking a short break from coding to write weird/funny stuff is just fun, and we know some folks will appreciate it.
Regarding Alpha 6 specifically... hmm, what should I say? When we DO have something to say, you'll know it! We don't have Valve's resources so don't expect lush animated shorts for each update, but we do have a surprise waiting in the wings for Alpha 6, and you'll hear about it pretty soon now. We want to tell you a story, we want to make you curious about things. Please be patient for a little while longer. Thanks so much for your continued passion and support.