Hey everyone it’s time for us to update all of you on what we’ve been up to since our Kickstarter campaign came to its successful conclusion. For starters some of you have been having problems with Kickstarter rejecting your credit card payments. If this is the case please message us and we’ll work with you to resolve any issues you may be having so that you don’t miss out on your rewards.
Kickstarter doesn’t distribute funds until 2 weeks after a campaign concludes. In theory that means we should receive a deposit sometime this week however we won’t begin ramping up production, which means we won’t be spending money on anything other than some basic legal and accounting fees, until January 2016. That doesn’t mean we won’t be working, quite the contrary, we have a number of initiatives we’re pursuing as we get ready for the new year.
The engineering team is currently split between getting our post-Kickstarter funding platform running as well as getting the I:B prototype into the hands of Developer Access+ backers as soon as possible. We’ve been receiving a lot of emails from people who missed out on the Kickstarter and we’re working to get a solution up and running as soon as we can. Just a reminder that not all reward tiers will be available and those that are will be at a ~10% higher price point.
As for the prototype most of the work centers around integrating authentication, account management, patching, and bug reporting. As far as gameplay is concerned it’ll be largely identical to what you saw in our videos during the Kickstarter. We’re also working on a way for bug reports to be submitted through our website and an integrated crash reporter. We’ll probably look into getting the Developer Access forums setup sometime next week after we receive the final list of backers with our funds from Kickstarter.
The majority (all?) of the artwork you saw during the Kickstarter won’t be used for the retail game and our art team is currently working on improvements to our process that we’ll use for building our production assets. This will include some changes to the way our ships are constructed combined with improvements to our tools and art pipeline. Future updates will likely include more information regarding these improvements for those of you who are interested.
Once again we’d like to thank all of you for your support. It really means a lot to us and we’re looking forward to working with all of you to build an incredible new experience!
Thank you for keeping us up to date. As previous commentators already asked, I am very interested in detail information about which artworks won’t be used for the retail game and why. (if you mean the landscapes with clouds etc. I understand, it would be just too much, if you mean the ship artworks, I will be sad).
The vast majority, if not all or the art assets, were made for the Kickstarter pitch video. Which had the camera following specific paths, so when an object or a surface was seen in the background, it was only modelled/textured and had enough details as a background object.
However we reused these assets in the prototype where you can go much closer.
The best example IMO is the asteroid base. In the pitch video the Helion does a quick fly-by at a few Km away from the asteroid, but in the prototype you can actually fly close to it. It terribly sucks in those views, the textures are blurry etc…
Same for the Hellion. In the proto, the camera is much closer than in the pitch video. You can see it in third-person, from various angles, and it wasn’t originally designed for that.
So yeah, all assets are already obsolete and used as placeholders, but we’ll remake them at a higher polycount, with LODs, with better and more varied textures etc…
From the KS description it looks like the features of the stretch goals up to $1 million can potentially be added.
I don’t think Flavien is going to give you any more concrete of an answer - They’ll continuously re-assess the situation and their development roadmap as time goes on.
Some stretch goals, such as a second faction and player constructed infrastructure, will be unavailable if we do not raise enough money during the Kickstarter campaign. Other stretch goals such as modding and built-in corporation support may be added after the game ships if we continue to raise funds post-Kickstarter.[/quote]
Well, hopefully we’ll get player constructed infrastructure after the game launches, or someone finds a way to easily implement it.
That would be more than just feature creep (like walking around in ships wouldn’t help gameplay at all and would cost huge amounts of money) - it would actually alter gameplay and give it more depth and immersion.
If the money is raised, even the lower stretch goals will still only be added after the game launches, if at all.
I think player constructed infrastructure is permanently off the table barring a massive injection of funding (except for via mods).
The addition of a feature is still feature creep whether that feature would improve gameplay or not.
Feature creep includes any increase in the scope of the project beyond what has been planned. This is likely to impact time and budget requirements and is therefore to be avoided.
I think feature creep is okay as long as time and the complexities of the project are also considered as factors.
You can’t just go and say “oh, I’m going to do such and such if you give me ______ dollars.” Feature creep fails when you have the faulty logic “well, if 1 woman can deliver a baby in 9 months, then 9 women should be able to deliver a baby in 1 month.” Similar to “well, 10 developers with 1 million dollars can deliver ________ in a month, so 10 developers with 100,000 million dollars should be able to deliver _________*100 in a month.”
It’s a bit what SC did. So much crap to build, and limited people to do it. Every time you increase the development cost, the efficiency has to go down because you have to train new people on the specifics of your project.
Likewise, I think that player constructed infrastructure is quite feasible if we get like 4-5 million over the next few years, as something that could be implemented after launch.
Basically, I’m saying we shouldn’t throw a lot of new features away, but should postpone them when there’s a good understanding of how long it will take to implement something. But the devs should just keep doing what they are doing - only promising things that they’re fairly certain that they can deliver.
If I was going to throw in any kind of creep to get more money, I’d focus on gradually improving the goodies that higher and higher pledge tiers get. I have no reservations about using artificial scarcity to raise more money. The work required by the devs per dollar is substantially lower with high tier rewards creep than feature creep.
You could make a full time job for someone out of designing more effective, motivating reward tiers - and it would pay off with the right publicity.
Anything after launch is feasible i suppose with the correct funding and/or user generated content. Depends how things go and how long we decide so support IB content wise before hopefully moving onto bigger project.
Perhaps you could support it forever by training new people, maybe adding in a way for it to keep making money. That’s only one route, and it would be determined by growth.
That has me thinking - the transition from Battlescape to a larger project will have to be well timed. Too early and everything could fall apart. Too late and someone will swoop in and make something that outcompetes something like TQFE.
Making Battlescape profitable is key for bigger projects. Once you’re working in real games, it should be substantially easier to get publicity and funding.
An interesting possibility is the model of just humbly asking for donations to fund DLC for IB - makes you seem a lot more generous and keeps that indie spirit alive - at least in appearance. It’s a “pay as much as you feel like” model after a “pay for the game once” model. A “pay for non-gameplay influencing goodies” model could also work - a concept that already contributed to the KS. Especially when it’s something limited in time that you cannot obtain again - that artificial scarcity really does the trick.
Feature creep is an excess of features. What and how those features are defined is open debate. My impression is that you seem to have an averse reaction to anything that may add depth and interest to the game, even mechanics that are now becoming standard gameplay.
I would agree to a point but we should be careful not to get caught up in ‘feature creep’ rhetoric because it stifles supporter participation. What’s more there maybe ideas DEVs may not have considered; besides, they can decide what warrants serious consideration or not. As a former supporter of Star Citizen, I am more than familiar with feature creep and how it can debilitate a solid concept. It’s a tough balance keeping supporters engaged and energized all the while staying within realistic boundaries, especially when imagination is for the most part essential to success. As for ‘promise’ I am not sure the DEVs promised anything. And I worry that we can get too caught up in what was advertised, especially for a game in development. I think there will be a lot of changes over the next year and I am ok with that. And who knows, maybe some of those ideas that inspired change may even come from supporters.