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Jethro

The 1.0 Release: Lack of Communication and Disappointment

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Nothing on this list is carved in stone, and we can’t promise any date for when it might go into the game. We may decide something isn’t worth it, or an idea may mutate into another thing entirely.

They didn't decide that an idea isn't worth it and we have never seen a part of this process of deciding from the devs, neither a reason why the ideas wouldn't be worth it. They decided to put down the game developmetn for some unknown reason, but are presenting it as the "final release" of the full game, which would give them the opportunity to still sell this game, because it is "finished", instead of putting the sale process down as well as the development and they are also disguising that they end the development of the game not because the game is ready for release, but because there are resource problems at some point. And when we read this text, we assume that at least 65% of the items on the list will appear in the game.

Nobody there mentioned that the there could be less than the half of the promised things, because there are production issues, but the developers wanted to give us an explanation of "where the game is headed" and I don't see that it headed anywhere near from what they have promised to do at least partially, while they now want to release "the FULL game" and it isn't full of those things that they promised to do. As somebody mentioned here. They have fulfilled less than 90 goals from 200 which is not even a 50% mark. So when they say they release the full game... it is a lie! Because there is not even 50% of the content in it which they used to advertise this game.

Saying this game is ready for release and that you are happy about it is - I repeat it again - false advertisement!

Look I'm not saying that they didn't pull the plug - they probably did, the project only had so much money to work with, and it was gonna end someday. I'm not even saying I wouldn't like to see a lot of those other features. But I AM saying that they were ABSOLUTELY clear that the list was a list of all the things they 'might possibly' put into the game and that they would have to make 'hard decisions' because of 'limited time and resources' so to claim that things were mis-advertised is simply untrue.

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Nothing on this list is carved in stone, and we can’t promise any date for when it might go into the game. We may decide something isn’t worth it, or an idea may mutate into another thing entirely.

They didn't decide that an idea isn't worth it and we have never seen a part of this process of deciding from the devs, neither a reason why the ideas wouldn't be worth it. They decided to put down the game developmetn for some unknown reason, but are presenting it as the "final release" of the full game, which would give them the opportunity to still sell this game, because it is "finished", instead of putting the sale process down as well as the development and they are also disguising that they end the development of the game not because the game is ready for release, but because there are resource problems at some point. And when we read this text, we assume that at least 65% of the items on the list will appear in the game.

Nobody there mentioned that the there could be less than the half of the promised things, because there are production issues, but the developers wanted to give us an explanation of "where the game is headed" and I don't see that it headed anywhere near from what they have promised to do at least partially, while they now want to release "the FULL game" and it isn't full of those things that they promised to do. As somebody mentioned here. They have fulfilled less than 90 goals from 200 which is not even a 50% mark. So when they say they release the full game... it is a lie! Because there is not even 50% of the content in it which they used to advertise this game.

Saying this game is ready for release and that you are happy about it is - I repeat it again - false advertisement!

Look I'm not saying that they didn't pull the plug - they probably did, the project only had so much money to work with, and it was gonna end someday. I'm not even saying I wouldn't like to see a lot of those other features. But I AM saying that they were ABSOLUTELY clear that the list was a list of all the things they 'might possibly' put into the game and that they would have to make 'hard decisions' because of 'limited time and resources' so to claim that things were mis-advertised is simply untrue.

Look, the problem I have got here, is that they are describing this as a release, not as a stop of development or "pulling the plug". We weren't even able to comprehend the reasons why the developers didn't include this feature, because they are not telling us about any money shortage or anything in the "release message". So... as far we know, there is none and this is why I can't comprehend this decision-making and call it false advertisement, because the things that were promised to be in the game are not there to a percentage of over 50%, but gave us an higher expectation of what the finished game would look like.

So as long as DoubleFine doesn't give us a statement WHY they didn't include over 50% of the features, they are using false advertisement.

They just said what is possible with the developer plan, but this isn't a jurisdiction to publish the game in this state. They have one as soon as they admit that they had too "limited time and resources".

That is everything. I just want them to be honest with us, since we trusted them and payed for this project....

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Nothing on this list is carved in stone, and we can’t promise any date for when it might go into the game. We may decide something isn’t worth it, or an idea may mutate into another thing entirely.

They didn't decide that an idea isn't worth it and we have never seen a part of this process of deciding from the devs, neither a reason why the ideas wouldn't be worth it. They decided to put down the game developmetn for some unknown reason, but are presenting it as the "final release" of the full game, which would give them the opportunity to still sell this game, because it is "finished", instead of putting the sale process down as well as the development and they are also disguising that they end the development of the game not because the game is ready for release, but because there are resource problems at some point. And when we read this text, we assume that at least 65% of the items on the list will appear in the game.

Nobody there mentioned that the there could be less than the half of the promised things, because there are production issues, but the developers wanted to give us an explanation of "where the game is headed" and I don't see that it headed anywhere near from what they have promised to do at least partially, while they now want to release "the FULL game" and it isn't full of those things that they promised to do. As somebody mentioned here. They have fulfilled less than 90 goals from 200 which is not even a 50% mark. So when they say they release the full game... it is a lie! Because there is not even 50% of the content in it which they used to advertise this game.

Saying this game is ready for release and that you are happy about it is - I repeat it again - false advertisement!

Look I'm not saying that they didn't pull the plug - they probably did, the project only had so much money to work with, and it was gonna end someday. I'm not even saying I wouldn't like to see a lot of those other features. But I AM saying that they were ABSOLUTELY clear that the list was a list of all the things they 'might possibly' put into the game and that they would have to make 'hard decisions' because of 'limited time and resources' so to claim that things were mis-advertised is simply untrue.

Look, the problem I have got here, is that they are describing this as a release, not as a stop of development or "pulling the plug". We weren't even able to comprehend the reasons why the developers didn't include this feature, because they are not telling us about any money shortage or anything in the "release message". So... as far we know, there is none and this is why I can't comprehend this decision-making and call it false advertisement, because the things that were promised to be in the game are not there to a percentage of over 50%, but gave us an higher expectation of what the finished game would look like.

So as long as DoubleFine doesn't give us a statement WHY they didn't include over 50% of the features, they are using false advertisement.

They just said what is possible with the developer plan, but this isn't a jurisdiction to publish the game in this state. They have one as soon as they admit that they had too "limited time and resources".

That is everything. I just want them to be honest with us, since we trusted them and payed for this project....

Nothing WAS promised to be in the game. Stop saying that. Since when was 'here's a list of things we might possibly add to it sometime' a promise. They promised to work on it as long as they had time and resources, and they did.

What I can agree with, is that it was a little abrupt. Sure. Fine. And maybe more of an explanation will come out in the next few days. I hope so.

But that is not the same thing as broken promises for features that never made it.

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they're still selling this on steam at 22,99€. Personally i think it's hard to view as anything else then a complete ripoff.

I invested in the EA, and i agree that's my gamble: i feel like the game is abandoned, which is a shame, but i can live with that.

Continue to sell it at full price however... auch

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I've always thought the game has looked very interesting and had a talented team, but it hasn't seemed finished enough for me to plunk down money. It's a shame if development is wrapping up prematurely as I imagine a lot of people would bite when there's more of a complete experience there.

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Re: releasing the source code

DF has been making huge pushes lately to engage their community more often and in more ways. Talking to fans here on the forums and providing them with documentaries and streams is but one way to engage the community, but another way is to let them toy around with some of the titles being released, especially now that DF is self-publishing them. Hack n' Slash also went 1.0 recently, and the full source code for that game was released as well. Probably nobody thought much of it, because releasing the source code for that game was very much in the spirit of Hack n' Slash. Suffice to say, releasing the source code doesn't necessarily mean anything more than just something DF has started to do now.

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Re: releasing the source code

DF has been making huge pushes lately to engage their community more often and in more ways. Talking to fans here on the forums and providing them with documentaries and streams is but one way to engage the community, but another way is to let them toy around with some of the titles being released, especially now that DF is self-publishing them. Hack n' Slash also went 1.0 recently, and the full source code for that game was released as well. Probably nobody thought much of it, because releasing the source code for that game was very much in the spirit of Hack n' Slash. Suffice to say, releasing the source code doesn't necessarily mean anything more than just something DF has started to do now.

I don't know where this weird desire to create a shady narrative around everything DF seems to do comes from but it does seem weird

Every other company: They're releasing the source code? Awesome! Modding possibilities

Double Fine: They're releasing the source code? What are they hiding? They expect us to finish the game??

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You can read about it on http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/09/18/double-fine-early-access-spacebase-df9/ now.

The majority of comments on this topic here, steam and elsewhere seems to point at the same direction.

It's a strange move by DF not communication any more about their decision.

The game isn't ready, from a customer point of view, considering both content and bugs (the later could possibly be ironed out in the next weeks)

I know DF have never given any promises on what to expect or how large the game would be but still.....

I feel a disappointed since I've been enjoying SB9 and was looking forward to a richer game.

This miss communication sadly hurts my view of Double Fine.

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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 ;____;

Wow, that just sums up the situation going on right now. How about an ACTUAL explanation of what happened behind the scenes? We payed the early access price and trusted DoubleFine to COMPLETE the game. We didn't expect to have the "development" thrusted on the buyers and being told "hey, you guys can finish it now". What happened to the devplan? What happened to the beta stage? How can ANY game go from Alpha 6 to a "finished" 1.0? Definitely going to be wary before supporting another DoubleFine game. I'm done with DoubleFine. I hope this shady-as-hell decision backfires.

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Problem is: How will they know if people are interested in the game if they never really finish it? And despite that, they haven't even told us the reason why they close it. We are just walking in the dark...

A lot of people are interested in games who have zero interest and therefore refuse to participate in Early Access, and that's their prerogative.

There have been plenty of criticisms of the Early Access model along these lines:

--Release game in early access

--Gather a relatively small pool of eager players who will pay to play early, buggy, work-in-progress

--Those players' interest gets burned up on the early, buggy, WIP version, so they are significantly less impressed when 1.0 goes live

--Players not participating in EA have all their interest burned up while waiting for 1.0 (they might even forget about the game in the meantime).

--Players who bought into EA and aren't satisfied throw entitlement tantrums or go on rage crusades.

I think if anything here has gone awry at all, it is most likely that DF tried out the early access model, but like many other developers, perhaps found out that it wasn't the magic bullet that it seemed to be on paper.

I expect fewer and fewer devs will be tryinig the Early Access model, as it seems to sputter out this way in the vast majority of cases.

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They sent SBDF9 and Hack n' Slash to 1.0 so that they could put together the Psychonauts 2 team.

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May I sincerely ask what promises Double Fine has broken? Because I can't find any.

Was die Entwickler zu sagen haben:

“Spacebase DF-9 is a simulation game in ongoing development at Double Fine Productions. The in-progress Alpha version is available right now for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Check out SpacebaseDF9.com for updates, join the community, and give feedback as the game progresses! We'll be releasing major updates roughly once a month, and hotfixes in between as needed. With each major update we'll post a video here showing what's been added and improved in the new build.

The current Alpha build is very much a sandbox - there is no explicit goal or victory condition; rather there is the implicit goal of getting a large, thriving base up and running. For tips on ways to do this, check out the Guides section in our Community Hub for info from both fans and developers.

Being an Early Access Alpha, there are bugs in the game and features we haven't been able to fully develop yet. See below for our lists of Planned Features and Known Issues. Here at Double Fine we take transparency and the goodwill of our fans very seriously, so please let us know what you think needs our attention... and thank you for your interest and support!”

That is the Alpha description on the shop site. It apparently doesn't say "possible" features but "planned" features.

I wonder how LeBreton responded to this, since he said this (-> broken promise?):

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 ;____;

I have no idea, why someone like KestrelPi writes stuff like this and defends this for no reason. If you get a pizza with just the botton, but the cheese, tomato sauce and toppings are missing than you wouldn't be happy as well, maybe you understand my point... and this did cost me more than a pizza for sure... and to come back to your arguments for the last time:

Every other company: They’re releasing the source code? Awesome! Modding possibilities

Double Fine: They’re releasing the source code? What are they hiding? They expect us to finish the game?

I am not sure how this is reasonable. People are usually happy about the released code, because they can modify the game... but the community also should be able to experience the full game without the need for modifications. This is the case for example with Skyrim, Oblivion or Starcraft 1&2. If the game doesn't get finished and you just get the gamecode in return.... that doesn't makes everyone happy. Especially because we don't know yet if there is an editor for the game...

Maybe you can see my point.

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May I sincerely ask what promises Double Fine has broken? Because I can't find any.

Was die Entwickler zu sagen haben:

“Spacebase DF-9 is a simulation game in ongoing development at Double Fine Productions. The in-progress Alpha version is available right now for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Check out SpacebaseDF9.com for updates, join the community, and give feedback as the game progresses! We'll be releasing major updates roughly once a month, and hotfixes in between as needed. With each major update we'll post a video here showing what's been added and improved in the new build.

The current Alpha build is very much a sandbox - there is no explicit goal or victory condition; rather there is the implicit goal of getting a large, thriving base up and running. For tips on ways to do this, check out the Guides section in our Community Hub for info from both fans and developers.

Being an Early Access Alpha, there are bugs in the game and features we haven't been able to fully develop yet. See below for our lists of Planned Features and Known Issues. Here at Double Fine we take transparency and the goodwill of our fans very seriously, so please let us know what you think needs our attention... and thank you for your interest and support!”

Still don't see any broken promises, though.

I'm not saying it's not frustrating; I'm just saying I don't see these broken promises.

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The game looks fun and has potential, but I am glad I haven't hopped into any early access games -- DF or otherwise. I tend not to invest or get into games early. I'd rather wait until a release and reviews have come out -- aside of course from Broken Age, which I backed more for the experience than the actual product, and MC, which again has been for me more about simply enjoying the development.

This leaves me with an "aww shucks" feeling, but not much else. It just reinforces my desire to only back unknown quantities if I expect the experiential enjoyment will allow me to recoup whatever dollars invested, in case the product doesn't end up being what I would hope it would be.

Smiles

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So we will nevr get janitors?

Trading?

ANY OF THAT?

What the heck doublefine, i expected better..

what about the ability to go on planets?

The holo room? is that not happening now too?

more then half the features you PROMISED! are not happening now?

What!

WHAT!

W..H..A..T!!!!!!!!!!

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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 ;____;

Wow, that just sums up the situation going on right now. How about an ACTUAL explanation of what happened behind the scenes? We payed the early access price and trusted DoubleFine to COMPLETE the game. We didn't expect to have the "development" thrusted on the buyers and being told "hey, you guys can finish it now". What happened to the devplan? What happened to the beta stage? How can ANY game go from Alpha 6 to a "finished" 1.0? Definitely going to be wary before supporting another DoubleFine game. I'm done with DoubleFine. I hope this shady-as-hell decision backfires.

I think it already does...

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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.

Lies.

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DF has never deleted posts just for containing criticism, though it is sad that you have never stopped by until you had a criticism. Even so, it's fine.

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May I sincerely ask what promises Double Fine has broken? Because I can't find any.

Was die Entwickler zu sagen haben:

“Spacebase DF-9 is a simulation game in ongoing development at Double Fine Productions. The in-progress Alpha version is available right now for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Check out SpacebaseDF9.com for updates, join the community, and give feedback as the game progresses! We'll be releasing major updates roughly once a month, and hotfixes in between as needed. With each major update we'll post a video here showing what's been added and improved in the new build.

The current Alpha build is very much a sandbox - there is no explicit goal or victory condition; rather there is the implicit goal of getting a large, thriving base up and running. For tips on ways to do this, check out the Guides section in our Community Hub for info from both fans and developers.

Being an Early Access Alpha, there are bugs in the game and features we haven't been able to fully develop yet. See below for our lists of Planned Features and Known Issues. Here at Double Fine we take transparency and the goodwill of our fans very seriously, so please let us know what you think needs our attention... and thank you for your interest and support!”

Still don't see any broken promises, though.

I'm not saying it's not frustrating; I'm just saying I don't see these broken promises.

Im happy about released source code, i love modding, BUT.

janitors / other cool features are not happening now without mods, and it makes me sad...

This was written with lua, so, i think i could probabbly make something similar, seperately, in java, and actually finish it.

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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 ;____;

Ahahaha....

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The game looks fun and has potential, but I am glad I haven't hopped into any early access games -- DF or otherwise. I tend not to invest or get into games early. I'd rather wait until a release and reviews have come out -- aside of course from Broken Age, which I backed more for the experience than the actual product, and MC, which again has been for me more about simply enjoying the development.

This leaves me with an "aww shucks" feeling, but not much else. It just reinforces my desire to only back unknown quantities if I expect the experiential enjoyment will allow me to recoup whatever dollars invested, in case the product doesn't end up being what I would hope it would be.

Smiles

This goes for me, too. I love DF completely and am an easy sell on their products, but I don't buy ANYTHING in Early Access. I honestly believe that whatever the beef here is, that it's an Early Access problem more than a DF problem.

It's just a perspective problem really. I would more willingly give DF $20 for free than buy an Early Access game with it. Which is weird I guess? But true.

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Jesus you guys are mean. Can't just stab the knife. You gotta twist it and twist it.

I should buy everyone at Double Fine a beer. JP gets to have two.

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To Double Fine:

I understand there are reasons to stop in house development of the game and release it - whether those are that money is getting low and you can't afford to keep this team going, or that you need the developers elsewhere, or that crucial developers are leaving the company, or even that you truly consider that the game is finished when it comes to it's feature set, or some other possible reason.

Opening the source code to it and thus allowing a community to perhaps continue to mod and develop on it is a nice gesture, but the way you did it feels like it's a consolation for leaving it while it feels unfinished.

BUT: The main issue here is that you after alpha 5 dropped communication totally for a long time, then gave us a new build and with it hope that development was continuing and moving along. You pulled the future plans page without telling why. And now you suddenly announce that you're releasing the final version and are dropping development... Right after saying that you're all about communicating with your community and aren't the kind of company that are just going to leave a project hanging. There is a right way and a wrong way to do some things, and revealing that you're dropping a title without even having talked to the community about that this might be happening and explaining why is giving a sour taste. And as for open sourcing it and letting the community take it further, if you were going to do that, you should have done it some time before dropping the development yourselves, and letting people gradually getting involved while handing over more and more responsibility for the core game to the modders.

It's not that we were expecting every single point of that feature list to happen. But we expected a bit more development, and a bit more openness about what is going on. After alpha 6, we were snugly wrapped in our comforters on our beds dreaming of incredible progress. Now instead you're throwing a bucket of ice water on us while we're sleeping and dreaming of lofty unachievable development, and when we're brutally awakend, frozen, wet and miserable you're telling us you're leaving everything to us as it stands and run away.

I'm not saying that releasing it as a full game at this point is the wrong decision. But the way you did it is a horrible move if you want to keep your fans.

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I too am disappointed.

Yeah, that's probably as much my fault for having reasonably high expectations and maybe a degree of misunderstanding what 1.0 would include... but still... I am disappointed.

I don't feel cheated. I signed up for an alpha with very vague goals. Which isn't to say I feel like I got my money's worth... I don't.

So I will do the only things I can do. Take Double Fine's future promises with a pinch of salt and avoid "early access" games entirely (I'd already started this, as this isn't the first game to under deliver).

To DF: Player's defence of your decisions as "You misunderstood us" or "We didn't lie to you" may fall on the right side of the letter of the law. But we're gamers, we're probably going to be more spirit of the law type people. In that sense I can only say that in my opinion you've hurt your company's reputation by seemingly living down to people's expectations of what can go wrong with early access projects. Maybe the gamer community as a whole won't even notice.

I hope that 1.0 isn't what you hoped for.

I hope that lessons will be learned for whatever comes next.

I hope... Oh I dunno... I just hope...

Thanks for trying, I suppose.

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We were never promised those things. They were listed as features that they were considering for the game, and it explicitly said that portions of the list were never going to happen.

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