I also came from the Star Citizen community, I never heard of this game or this company. I have not backed it yet because of my hesitations at first.
However, I am interested in the game and want to see more before I put my money out there. My question for the community is, why has it looked like this game has been trying to get made for the last 5+ years?
This game has been planned for like a year maybe. The engine has been built with no funding, in the devs spare time for many years. A community grew up around the idea of an MMO that could be built with the engine.
Software development is very hard. You make decisions or assumptions early in the project, build stuff on top of those assumptions, and later you encounter something that you can’t do because of the way you’ve built the rest of it.
Sometimes it may be possible to hack your way around those limitations, but the most responsible long-term option is to remove that limitation by fixing the problem at its source. This approach may well involve going back and tearing down large portions of what you’ve already built and then making it all again. Flavien has been building the I-Novae engine from scratch with the intention of licensing it, so I imagine he has gone back and rewritten things in an effort to make the best software product possible. All while holding down a full-time programming job
Its worth noting that during all the time that this development has been going on, Flavien has outright refused to accept any dontations from people to support its development, because he didn’t want to be unable to deliver what he promised.
Now that this is open to donations it means that the engine is in a position where the developers are actually comfortable building a real game with it.
Its strange that you’d ask to see more when what has been shown is far more than most kickstarters have when they launch.
Note that Battlescape is still an MMO, just not an MMORPG. EVE Online initial development cost ~2.6 million dollars and an Infinity MMORPG is even way more complex. The initial idea was that volunteer contributors would cover most of those expenses by providing content that they create. Even then, content wasn’t the complex part.
And I think the current iteration of the I-Novae engine, the one currently in use in the prototype, while related to the first I-Novae engine, has only been in development for about 3 years. In their spare time. With no funding.
Correct, after publishing the 2010 Tech Demo video, the engine had been re-written by Flavien and Keith(Formerly an Unreal Engine 3 programmer). It was also developed to more accommodate other game developers for licensing the engine.
Let me highlight this - The work has been on creating an entire engine from scratch. Not customising and using an existing engine which is what most games do. This is a massive undertaking and if all games did this, they’d be in development for far longer than they already are!
From early on (circa 2005) it was Flavien’s dream to create an MMORPG and a community grew up around that idea. However, Flavien never started work on that game, only working on the engine.
At the end of 2013 it was decided that the best course of action was to create a game of a much reduced scope that was clearly achievable and fund it via Kickstarter. This would be a fricking awesome game in it’s own right and would demonstrate the capabilities of the I-Novae engine.
Even after this point, the majority of work was still on the engine rather than building a game on top of that engine.
I imagine your primary concern was ‘If it’s been in dev for so long, will it ever be delivered?’ - Well, as I and several others have said, it hasn’t really been in development for that long but also, so much has been laid out for us to inspect: The KS video contains no CGI at all - just in-engine footage. There is a prototype playable (and enjoyable) right now, videos of which I am sure you have seen.
In my opinion, I-Novae studios are very clearly capable of delivering on their well thought through proposal.
THIS game’s been in development for only 2 or 3 years. The I-Novae engine has been in development for about 10, however, and the original plans for it were an Elite: Dangerous style persistent procedural galaxy game called Infinity: The Quest for Earth.
Lacking the funding to do the concept justice, the developers retooled their vision and started to focus on a smaller scale arena combat game, based loosely off of a proof of concept that Flavian released 8-ish years ago, that was just all kinds of fun.
So, what looks like a very long development time is actually 2 or 3 much less long development periods stacked end-to-end, with most of that work being done in peoples spare times while they worked other jobs full time.
@Angry, now that you’ve read everyone’s replies, what is your take on it now? Do you have other questions or reservations we can address? Seriously - this is awesome feedback, and it helps us as a community identify where our weak points are so we can address them directly
You can easily put the last 10 years in 3 sections:
Flavien was doing this just for fun in his free time. Maybe just to see what he could come up with. At that time he was very active at gamedev.net and afaik he also got in contact with the demo-scene which is doing stuff like doing this.
The community grew and created so many assets. Sadly, the quality of those was not consistent and also the copyright-owners of many models were not available when it came to details. Thus alot of content from this phase is lost.
Flavien and Keith founded INovae. They stepped back, modernized the engine, created tools for it which are neccessary to build actual games. All the time until now, the goal was to develop a HUGE game Infinity:The Quest For Earth. At this point in time, they realized that this game was not feasible without any money and without a name they decided that it was not realistic to raise enough money for it with kickstarter. So they reduced the scope to Infinity:Battlescape which is ‘only’ a battle-simulation using the actual engine. This decision has been made without dropping the initial idea of Infinity:TQFE. It was just put on hold ideally until they got some money and a company set up with some success at Infinity:Battlescape.
In the end, they actually made the long way from a vague dream, to a realistic project and here we are right now
I’ve been reading through some of the comments over at the RSI forums regarding I:B, and I have to say…some people really seem to misunderstand the concept of a kickstarter. One person in particular was “unimpressed” with the videos citing a lack of substance on the planets and graphical quality, completely missing the fact that these videos are from a pre-alpha stage. One shouldn’t be expecting all the bells and whistles at this point. Rather, that’s entirely what the kickstarter is meant for. They seem to be expecting a game that’s 99% complete upon creation of the kickstarter campaign.
I see this same pattern of though time and time again, and it’s frustrating to no end. A kickstarter is meant to provide funds to start a project, so the fact that the I-Novae team has already completed the engine and preliminary game elements should tell people that they’re well beyond “start”.
As devil’s advocate:
There is a lack of concept art though, to address that kind of misunderstanding. And that concept art could be representative of the actual non-feature/scope-creep expectations of I:B, without falling short of the quality standards that the Inovae team seems to want.
Hopefully that’ll be part of the remaining KS campaign releases… Though something tells me they’d have been shown already. Concept art usually precedes everything else, being most upstream in production.
As far as leveraging the SC/any community, one clear requirement is politeness. That cup is completely full already. There’s no need or benefit from any kind of conflict. We’re all here to have fun, irrespective of taste differences.
Spot on - I’m certainly not trying to incite any conflict. I’m just pointing out what I perceive to be a common misconception…maybe it’s subjective though. To each their own I suppose.[quote=“Jafit, post:18, topic:1197”]
The conversion rate of the kickstarter is apparently above average according to Gene