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Jethro

The 1.0 Release: Lack of Communication and Disappointment

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Maybe just have someone else take over at Doublefine.

Its fine if you get bored of stuff. Notch was like that with minecraft, short attention span disorder. Its not for everyone to complete at project. But im sure someone else at double fine like 5-10-15 gonna make this game complete in a year or so.

I mean sure Grim Fandango is probably more fun to work on. But thats life, cant always do what you want.

I was a bit concerned lately with the amount of projects Double fine is doing, and it seems my concern was not wrongly founded.

Im hoping for a statement soon from Tim shaefer or something.

If this is indeed the game, Double fine has lost some goodwill with me i will say. You dont just abandon something because you are bored or things get tough.

As my mom always said, when you start something, you finish it. or dont start at all.

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I don't really believe this 10'000$ stuff that is obviously bullshit, sorry. Nobody just earns 10'000 dollars in the games industry as an employee from what I have heard.... and it wouldn't be reasonable if you want to develop the game over a longer time.

The employees aren't getting the entire $10,000 as salary, they're getting it in pay plus benefits (as I said, the cost of living in the San Francisco bay area is really high (the smallest apartments start at the $1,000 a month range) and the cost for full medical and dental coverage (which Double Fine provides for all of their employees) is still ridiculously high in the United States, even with the Affordable Health Care act). Plus, as chickenmonger said, they also have to pay insurance for every employee. Taking those figures into consideration, the $10,000 figure certainly sounds about right to me.

Hum. I wonder why they keep the studio at a place that is that expensive. When I visited San Francisco I didn't think it looked that great there... but I haven't seen all of it... so... yeah

Thank you for providing information ^^

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Hum. I wonder why they keep the studio at a place that is that expensive. When I visited San Francisco I didn't think it looked that great there... but I haven't seen all of it... so... yeah
Having a game company in the San Francisco bay area is a double edged sword. On one hand, it's Silicon Valley, so it's great to have a game company there since you're right in the middle of everything and can easily make contacts and promote your game. On the other hand, because it is Silicon Valley, it's really expensive to run a company there.
Thank you for providing information ^^
No problem. Happy to help. :)

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There's also the fact that game development can involve other expenses in addition to wages.

That's very true. In Episode 15 of the DFA documentary, the doc shows getting a bunch of odd video cards to diagnose some bugs. (about 28 minutes into it)

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Either way, just like Starbound that I've commented on as well, there was somebody, somewhere who failed to plan accordingly. Be it money management woes or poor scheduling and communication (as was the case in Starbound and I am assuming probably here as well) there is reason to critique. A company should never produce a skeleton and expect modders to flesh it out. That's lazy deving and as I said before this is going to garner a lot of ill will towards DF. I don't plan on buying another Double Fine game unless they do something like Stardock did when they released the atrocious Elemental game. I got Fallen Enchantress for free because the game was so poor and they dropped development on it so fast. That garnered a lot of good will and I'll gladly purchase Stardock games again because I know if they fuck up they'll make it right.

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They are making a complete game, as the 1.0 release is going to come with features that make it one. As was said before, the feature list was never an indication of what they intended to deliver with the money they received. It was just a wish list of features, as it was stated from the get go that some features on the list weren't going to make it into the final product. They kept their end of the bargain with the Indie Fund and EA, since they will have delivered a complete gaming experience. Just because it's shorter than fans would have hoped, doesn't negate the fact that it's still going to be a complete game.

With all due respect, slapping a "Release 1.0" label on an Alpha 6 doesn't make it a full game, tutorial or not. Are Double Fine fans of the Spinal Tap movie? Because this sounds a whole lot like the scene about the amplifier going to 11. Call it whatever label you want. But finished or complete, it's not. If the developers thought it was almost finished or complete, wouldn't they have moved into beta testing already? By their own labels it's still an alpha game. I would've had more respect for them if they'd simply been honest and said, "We're sorry, we ran out of money and can't develop this anymore. We'll release the source code and fix whatever bugs we can with what's existing" instead of trying to pretend they completed something. I've been waiting to hear anything official from Double Fine about the public response. So much for the more communication they talked about it. They had to know people would be upset and I can't believe they didn't plan on having to address it. Or is silence the way they address pissing off their playerbase? I've purchased other games from Double Fine in the past, but if this is the way they're doing business now, this will be my last purchase from them.

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If you can, go ahead and do it.

you should spike at least half of them though...

Why would you spike a beer? It already has beer in it.

or pull a shanghai.

It would be quite funny.

Maybe. We have to get Psychonauts 2 somehow.

who said you had to spike it with alcohol. How about [del]Redacted[/del] I mean some other kind of drug.

Ypu dont want to know what redacted used to be..... I can be a jerk sometimes.

Do not even joke about making veiled threats. I understand everyone feels invested and emotions are high, but that is no excuse for 'joking' about poisoning people.

Any other such threat will result in the person making it being permabanned.

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Its pretty simple why it did not sell enough

1) High price its unusually priced higher than what these kind of games would be priced for normally , so people opted out to wait for a price drop or sale

2) Early access , this pretty much meant most of the crowd interested opted to wait for the game to release

I am pretty disappointed though , as a double fine fan myself wanted to get the game soon in early access , i guess i will be careful from now

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This will have a major impact on people throwing in support during the next amensia fortnight if it happens , just lots of games floating around in "developing" stage in double fine now

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If you can, go ahead and do it.

you should spike at least half of them though...

Why would you spike a beer? It already has beer in it.

or pull a shanghai.

It would be quite funny.

Maybe. We have to get Psychonauts 2 somehow.

who said you had to spike it with alcohol. How about [del]Redacted[/del] I mean some other kind of drug.

Ypu dont want to know what redacted used to be..... I can be a jerk sometimes.

Any other such threat will result in the person making it being permabanned.

ok admin sir, wont happen again sir -_- Thanks for not insta-perma-banning me for joking sir...

With all do respect.

why do you think i put redacted down sir. To make it less gruesome sir. since i don't really feel that way sir. I was just angry.

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It's not like many people support Amnesia Fortnight anyway. They never broke even with it. It's not exactly a big money maker.

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They are making a complete game, as the 1.0 release is going to come with features that make it one. As was said before, the feature list was never an indication of what they intended to deliver with the money they received. It was just a wish list of features, as it was stated from the get go that some features on the list weren't going to make it into the final product. They kept their end of the bargain with the Indie Fund and EA, since they will have delivered a complete gaming experience. Just because it's shorter than fans would have hoped, doesn't negate the fact that it's still going to be a complete game.

This statement right here is really where the heart of the problem lies for me. As of Alpha 6, this has not felt like a "complete game", and the previous Alphas haven't given me with a lot of confidence that the 5 weeks we have left is going to be enough to change that. The game isn't just "shorter than fans would hope", it outright feels incomplete and lacking in depth and re-playability. I just don't see how we're going to fix all the numerous bugs that still exist, go through and give everything some polishing/balancing (which some areas desperately need), AND add in enough of an "endgame" (Goals or whatever) to make this a satisfying (if short) experience.

While it would be hyperbolic of me to go on about how Double Fine has "betrayed" me, I can pretty emphatically say that they have lost all the goodwill I had for them. Like many people, I bought this in early access because I felt that "Doublefine isn't some fly-by-night indie dev", and I was sure that this quirky little spacesim was going to end up being a pretty awesome sandbox.

Now though, it seems that Doublefine isn't any better than those indie devs, so this will probably be the last time I buy one of their games in Early Access, or pledge for another one of their Kickstarters. I can't even recommend Spacebase to my friends now, and that probably makes me sadder than anything else about this whole debacle.

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My thoughts in short, how dare you, what the, how, why, huh?

When controversial stuff happens the people that care the most will come to tell you what they think, I've tried my best to not be too intense, but trying to airbrush and brainwash people into thinking something that isn't reality just isn't going to work. I put a lot of thought into this message so I hope you leave it up here.

I thought the game made its 400k back in 2 weeks right?

Double Fine was also seemingly doing so well they also started publishing a few other select indie games. And then...... a sudden 1.0 release with all the future plans taken off the website for this game, also a little bit after Hack n Slash suddenly releases too. I didn't even get to pick up Hack n Slash on Early Access! :( I have played every build of DF-9 and my thoughts have been the same since the start and it seems like the game might be ending development for that reason, which makes me very sad. I know everyone needs to be happy at Double Fine and it is a funny and fun company, but there's so much to say about this.

SpaceBase was a pitch I didn't think should be made because it was too broad in scope, the prototype was something I didn't enjoy but it was interesting to see how it turned out.

It was interesting to see they went ahead and tried to make it a full game, and since it was Double Fine I bought it right when it came out.

The first early access build was different, I didn't enjoy it, but thought they must have some big plan in place if they're putting all this effort into making something that I considered very bad.

The updates that followed added very little that I considered fun, challenging, or anything resembling a game besides the fact you can make stuff. All the effort put into the people's interactions seemed worthless because to me they didn't seem smart or interesting or anything. I think the best way to make me care about the characters would have them interact with the world. Any imaginary personality stuff that was going on in the background to generate their text provided such little value and I thought that was obvious in the prototype, but then again these people are professionals so I trust them.

What happened?

To me this seems very very weird. If it is up to the community to add new things to the game that seems more like a trend that every game is going towards, better tools for mods and user generated content. It is great for games that are already fun and awesome, but for something that was pretending to have an idea of what it was going to become and then went JK I'm just a shallow experience that technically qualifies as a video game.....asking the community to pick up the project and make it better....that rubs me the wrong way.

On one side someone could use it to realize one of their own ideas, or to learn how to do something, so that is more than great. But for a game without many features at all, it is like asking the community to make the game worth buying. With companies like Valve doing a lot to give back to the community in actual money, and Microsoft buying Mojang where I think that game is what it is because of the community, and most importantly mods....and how do they give back to the modders in money?

Basically I didn't like the game, the development ended suddenly, and the cherry on top is hopes that the community will make the game worth playing because Double Fine doesn't want to make the game fun, nor did they ever intend on making the game fun (since it wasn't fun since the beginning)

Find me a SpaceBase update video where someone is laughing. I'll find you a Prison Architect update video that has some laughing :D I think the game needs to be fun first.

Just think about Vlambeer, and how JW and Rami have such great feel for making games. The only thing that matters is making a fun game. Wasteland Kings was a ridiculously awesome prototype made in a game jam, and then Nuclear Throne was great when it first released on Early Access. I noticed a few differences but it seemed very similar to Wasteland Kings at the beginning. Nuclear Throne is still going strong in development, and Vlambeer is notorious for making games quick (besides Luftrausers), their plans are out in the open and I doubt they will suddenly change their mind. Everything they have done with Nuclear Throne has basically been a response and in inspiration from what Double Fine has done with the public Amnesia Fortnight Jams. They are definitely right, but I only wished more people paid attention to them because they are trying to tell other developers what works. I only wished that the prototype of SpaceBase was fun, or the Early Access version, or at any point if the updates made it fun. But right now I have a feeling that the intuition for making a fun game just isn't there with whoever is making these decisions. After all that development livestreamed to the world and weekly updates (very often and even the april fools FPS build), Nuclear Throne has somehow turned into one of my favorite games to play right in front of my eyes. I don't know when it happened, which build put it over the top but all of a sudden I started feeling like Nuclear Throne was one of my favorite games of all time. How does that happen? That is a magical great experience, and probably the all time high point for me experiencing games in development so far. Minecraft's essence was there when I first played and it was still in alpha, but somehow Nuclear Throne's essence grew over the updates and showed up at some point. They took a really fun game and just made it more and more fun somehow, and one of the hardest games too. Basically, I do like games. And not just shooters like Nuclear Throne, but Prison Architect is absolutely amazing, I am also a fan of Gnomoria.

It is an Early Access game, you could put an ios style skinner box in a weird spot just for fun to see how people react, but instead of trying as many experiments as you can and trying to make as fun of a game as you can, it seems like this is technically a video game because it has art and animations and sound, but what makes it worth playing? Sure there are some awesome looking spaceships people have built but is the game fun to play once you've built a cool looking base?

Just show off your chops because you gotta have chops to be able to make a game. Be a person, be honest and make your game as good as it can be! :D

Looking around the internet and people tying this into the second coming of the great video game crash, early access is dead, and other ridiculous stuff.

I just want to take the time to say how much I appreciate games like The Wonderful 101, Grand Theft Auto 5, Pikmin 3. There are more than enough amazing games to play from great developers. Hideki Kamiya deserves so much more respect from english speaking gaming fans. Nintendo won't betray us, but we will betray Nintendo, cough Wii Music best game ever made. If there is a gaming crash it will because of amazing games like Wii Music not being fully appreciated and people like me having to start a youtube channel just to talk about how much I like that game. If people don't buy The Wonderful 101 or Kid Icarus Uprising or talk about them, then we're asking for gaming to die. I don't think gaming will ever die because there are more than enough awesome people that actually want to make fun games. Can't wait for Splatoon and No Mans Sky for example.

Please reverse the decision to ruin the reputation of Double Fine. I don't think this will be the beginning of the end of the company, but it certainly has the potential.

I want to be able to just absorb your opinions and understand your point of view, Double Fine. The only way is if you make a long podcast or something to explain your side, something.

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Anyway what is Spacebase about? I got here from a Reddit thread.
Remember Theme Hospital?

If Yes - think that, only replace 'hospital' with 'space station'.

If No - it's basically about building, maintaining and expanding a space station, from hiring janitors to mining asteroids.

I think you're underrepresenting the level of Cheeseness presence in this game. it's a major selling point.

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just want to also say that I have a youtube channel and have been playing SpaceBase since the prototype, and got it right when the first alpha came out to make more videos, excited to watch the journey of the game's development. Needless to say the journey of SpaceBase DF-9 has been more learning about life than how to play a game, but I have documented on that channel journeys of experiencing games get better that are truly awesome. SpaceBase has been a massive disappointment and I should have realized that way back when the prototype was being pitched. The prototype was bad like I thought it was going to be (it feels bad being this critical and negative but it is how I honestly felt), but something made me want to back the early access version still, and believe that there was a competent plan to make fun that just wasn't possible in those first two weeks. The alphas were never fun to me, and this recent announcement makes me very sad about myself trusting Double Fine. The only reason I honestly bought SpaceBase right when it came out was because I thought Double Fine was struggling financially and wanted to make sure they had my support. I also thought at the time that they would definitely deliver an awesome game that was completely different from the first alpha. I was convinced (brainwashed) at the beginning that the end product would be absolutely nothing close to that first alpha. It is more that I hoped it would grow and grow to become something completely different that ends up being an awesome game. The problem with early access stuff is more about the same problem we all experienced during Amnesia Fortnight, what we imagine the game to end up being is completely different from what the creator wants to do with it, and it is a waste of energy to imagine a whole bunch of great ideas for someone else's game that they won't even try in an experiment.

To the people saying Early Access doesn't work, you're wrong, it shows the skills of the people making the game as developers and people. Minecraft turned out pretty awesome, Nuclear Throne, Kerbal Space Program, Prison Architect, Space Engineers, there's many many many to mention, and a lot are also similar to SpaceBase in scope or claimed essence.

I made some videos of a few in development games that completely ruined my trust as final "r.i.p" videos because the games haven't updated in so long and the developers don't want to communicate. The idea is that we need to keep track of all these people because none of them deserve more money from us, and I don't want a moment in the future where I buy another game from someone who has wronged me in the past in an obvious way. Like the guy who made Big Rigs going on to make that War Z game that caused all that fuss on Steam. If we just kept track of the people then we would have known right away to stay away from War Z, or whatever it likes to be called now.

Double Fine is a special situation just like all the times before, always being a special situation that makes me think more, and I'm not sure how I feel about this. Definitely betrayed, but I don't want to point a finger until I know more about who specifically is responsible for the ridiculous lack of vision or idea of anything fun. Moments like this make people like JW from Vlambeer, or Kamiya, or Sakurai, or Miyamoto even more inspiring game makers, who make me want to get better at what I do.

Bad Golf never forget

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You guys say you are not-fly-by-nighters; just last update you said you’d keep us in the loop going forward because there was silence for the weeks prior.

...then you pull the plug completely?

The game is nowhere near finished - it’s potential is untapped. Those of us who bought into early access to support the vision and take part in the development of something special have now had the rug pulled out from under us as you guys cut and run.

I can see this happening with any number of development studios but I would never have thought DoubleFine would join the list. Now I’ve seen it all.

Have you considered the impact this will have on gamer confidence? On trust? What sort of message do you think it sends that you effectively say ‘that’s it guys we’re out - you finish the game yourselves!’

The whole Amnesia Fortnight process is undermined - nobody will care now because they will know that whatever is chosen may or may not be finished. The veracity of the process, the thrill of the journey and the move to a final product… none of it matters when you don’t deliver.

Disappointed doesn’t begin to describe it. I never post on these forums - but I had to come and say my piece in this instance. And while the mods may desperately fly to your defense - we all know on this one… your conduct is indefensible.

I expected more from DF, from Mr Schafer.

Suffice to say - you’ve lost a fan; and probably a customer. But it’s the former that hurts the most.

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one of my favorite songs from a local rapper from where I live.

"Don't even pretend like you know periodic trends because we don't have fans we just got friends"

friendship over fanship

it's a song about how your most dedicated fans aren't fans they're friends.

EupFfpo25Og

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one of my favorite songs from a local rapper from where I live.

"Don't even pretend like we know periodic trends because we don't have fans we just got friends"

friendship over fanship

Sure - as soon as DF start giving away all their games for free. But as long as they are charging for a product - that product had better deliver. If they put a title up on early access and charge for it and players get on board based upon the vision they present... it is bad form and a breach of trust to pull the rug out from under them.

We'll be friends again when DF refunds each and ever gamer who invested in Spacebase; and that won't happen. Why? Because DF is a business, and it's made a business decision even if that decision slaps their 'friends' in the face.

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one of my favorite songs from a local rapper from where I live.

"Don't even pretend like we know periodic trends because we don't have fans we just got friends"

friendship over fanship

Sure - as soon as DF start giving away all their games for free. But as long as they are charging for a product - that product had better deliver. If they put a title up on early access and charge for it and players get on board based upon the vision they present... it is bad form and a breach of trust to pull the rug out from under them.

We'll be friends again when DF refunds each and ever gamer who invested in Spacebase; and that won't happen. Why? Because DF is a business, and it's made a business decision even if that decision slaps their 'friends' in the face.

Wake up dude.

read my other thread, they broke up with me as far as I'm concerned, and that is my point. messing with your most dedicated of fans is really intense stuff because they should be seen as friends.

It is weird how it made me think of that song also. Its the lyrics I don't wanna post here because swear words are a no no over here lol :D "F*** a fan man I'd rather have friendship"

very true words yo :D

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I understand games can be abandon due to several good reasons.

I also understand the early access concept. You buy into a project which may not result in a finished product.

But what I have problems with is my experience as an early backer of DF-9.

At start we got updates on the progress and often monthly updates with new alphas + quick fixes to new bugs.

I felt there was communication with the community.

Then after alpha 5 there was a long time of silence and people started asking if it was abandon.

Devs then reassured that was not the case, they have just adapted a new communication stance because the old one took too much time.

We received a large update with alpha 6 , game had a sale on steam. Looked like it was back on track again.

Then a announcement to take the game from an alpha version to a final release with a wrap up and some final bugfixes.

After this it's up to the community to fill the game with content.

My main problem with this is lack of communication and a sense of false status.

If this had been the plan for some time, why not communicate about it. Honesty goes a long way.

How all this have been handled have had a negative impact on how I look on Double Fine and how they handle fans & customers.

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Subjectivity is a thing. I've had real great fun playing each Alpha build. Just sayin'. I glossed over the parts you wrote not directly related to SBDF-9, sorry.

Shallow you say? Bejeweled and Flappy Bird demonstrate how even shallow games can hold the potential for fun, but... How many orders of magnitude more sophisticated is building a functioning base in space, particularly a large one?

I'm not saying I don't want more content. I would no matter how deep the game, because I love it.

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With respect to kestrelpi, ananemoneinanonymity, j_c the first and et al,

Are you employees of Double Fine?

Are you getting paid by Double Fine to defend the company?

Are you authorized to speak on their behalf?

If the answer is in the negative, I would rather that you stop posting here, trying to pad your post count and giving answers that are not authorized by Double Fine.

Most of the posts here have been requests/demands for explanations or a show of displeasure.

If you are not currently a paid employee of Double Fine why would you even attempt to stand on their side representing them?

I personally am not pleased at all and am waiting for answers from Double Fine.

If you are happy with the situation why are you even on this thread?

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Im not super angry, I got like 70 or so hours out of the game. Not too shabby.

Doesn't mean i cant pick on doublefine a little. I am still dissapointed.

I'm recorded as having played 183 hours, according to Steam, but most of those 183 hours did not consist of actively playing the game, but rather of waiting for the in-game events to progress so that I could resume active play, i.e. actually do something. And for a large part that's due to progress-retarding bugs causing direct or indirect Matter loss, so that the speed of base progress is markedly slower than what the design intent was.

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We’ll of course be sticking around a bit for bug fixing and support, but any new content for the game will now be in your hands.

That's what I would call "pulling the plug".

I'm fucking over this! I didn't pay these money to let some fan make content, I paid for a professional team that creates content, if this is really where this is going. I'm going to DEMAND the money back! ...

I paid for a product designed by game designers. By men and women who stand forward with distinct identities and say "these game mechanics, these variable-interactions that we have crafted, are ones that we think are good, ones that we think are well-designed, ones that we are proud of!"

Random nameless modders can not and will not give that.

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

Those who backed the game, or purchased the Steam early release, don't get the choice to purchase a finished game, because they are backers, almost silent partners in the development.

As soon as the money goes into development, that's a relationship. Things are said, content is shared, and yes, promises are made.

Of course, it is a one sided relationship when feedback is ignored and crushed. And, yeah, all sleights and abuse is treated harshly in this one-way conversation.

So yes, it does appear that DF is essentially trying to back out of finishing the game. Because you've basically ignored all of the backers and EA buyers on steam.

We are all people, not numbers. or Cash receipts and Hours of Work.

So, It's a tough choice for marketing and PR, wether to acknowledge the relative amount of money, close up the project, or address the problem in perception that the infographic has created.

Outside of the DF forums, people who have played the game, and anyone who plays the latest version today, the opinion will be to think it's woefully unready for a release right now, given the state of Alpha 6 releases and the current gameplay. Because 1 hr into play, you experience problems with the game that are not documented, not explained and not able to be resolved. It is deeply in Alpha.

A development timeline might not constitute a "promise" or binding agreement, but it constitutes a premise that people invested in, and will invest in now.

That's a pretty good sense of a promise to deliver the game as depicted. Especially at this stage when feedback is required, expected, and not being visible to the sponsor end of development, and the game is apparently going to move into a complete state, with no other steps in between.

Yes, the team might have a roadmap for 1.0 being "done" but putting an infographic that basically says ... that is what's left, a tutorial and a source code dump, like the other 60,000 unfinished projects on github, this is massively inconsiderate to the testers, thoroughly disingenuous and deceitful to the people who game money to the development of the game to be given something unfinished and crude.

"Mission Accomplished" then ... do we need to celebrate with a rousing game of DF-9 ?

Here's my take. Anyone else will see this game as unfinished. If Alpha 6/7 are reviewed now as if it were a finished game, you won't get people buying the game, they will not play. Tim, JP, and the rest of the DoubleFine teams will be left trying to orient the game towards the indie shovel experience, and repair the PR reputation of the company.

it doesn't take much to flush a reputation these days, all you need to do is release a game that's not great. Ask Obsidian how the release of Knights of the Old Republic 2,

or Bioware's experience to handle the mountains of PR damage control after Dragon Age 2.

Because if that's not a promise broken, then at the point the games goes into Release, is the Version 1.0 game worth buying ?...

The answer might not be "yes", it will often be "maybe when it's on special", or "nope".

Personally, when the game hits, 1.0 i'd like to be offered a refund so that i can purchase the retail version, or not purchase the retail version like every other consumer that will see the Retail v1.0 experience of the game, and decide that way.

When DF-9 goes into v1.0, people are going to "review the game" and decide to buy it.

or it gets packed into a humble bundle sized shovel or people will wait for a sale period.

until the shovel comes along, people will want to watch people play the game on youtube reviews for 1.0, see all the bugs, and not buy the game.

or they will then they'll go into the steam community, and see all the bugs in the screenshots and videos and not buy the game. If DF-9 is going to reject the premise of Alpha and Beta release feedback chains, of course the game is going to be criticized, and publicly

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if you like what happened then support them in the future and buy their next game.

ALSO, something huge that just happened coincidentally very shortly after this SpaceBase drama started.

Starforge version 1.0 LOL final version how about them apples

now we got 2 games that went from early access to surprise final release enjoy this awful awful thing no one would be proud of, peace.

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