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A Suggestion of Sorts...

Mar 19, 2015
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The lair
#1
Hey, new poster here, registered pretty much to put this out there. Also didn't put it in the proper suggestions subforum because, well, this doesn't really apply directly to ingame mechanics.


As someone who holds Dungeon Keeper 2 in a very special place within the bilious recesses of their black heart and who has been waiting for SOMEONE to properly take up the torch of the series and go burn something with it (we all had great hopes for Dungeons, but, well... Yeah), I have formulated a particular recommendation/suggestion/plea that I'd like to share with the devs: DELAY THE RELEASE.


I've only just recently thrown some money at this contraption, as back during the Kickstarter days I honestly didn't have much hope for any such ambitious projects, what with how you can't really trust Kickstarter with much of anything outside of maybe potato salad. But believe me when I say that I've been waiting for this game for a long time, I just never knew it was going to be called War for the Overworld and be made by Subterranean Games... I just knew it was going to come in some form at some time, and that I wanted to get my knobbly little hands on it when it finally did show up to fulfill the prophecy.

That said, looking at the current state of the 0.7.3 beta and the stated release date of April 2nd, I really feel the need to ask the devs to, if at all possible, put off the date for going gold.

The concepts in the game are great, even at this early stage, but it's nowhere near 14 days away from "completion". Only a small fraction of the animations exist currently, not to mention the sounds, and you've only got, what, 4 out of 13 planned levels completed? Any one of these things could easily take 14 days on their own, and that's not even touching upon the SWARM of minor bugs and oddities involved in the current version. Hell, it feels more like a playable alpha to me than an actual beta, you've just put a lot of polish on top of an inherently unfinished product.

Don't get me wrong, you've been roaring along at an awesome pace as far as working on this thing goes, but there's still a long ways to go. I'm guessing there are probably financial issues involved and that you're trying to get some more cash out of an early release, but please consider the dangers of pushing it out too soon... Even at the current rate, it seems like you're looking at a buggier, less complete release than the original DK2, which, well... We know how that went.

Please, I want to see this game become all it was meant to be. A release this early could really hurt your long-term as early buyers pick up the "technically 1.0" version and start giving bad reviews, and even worse... A bad reputation.

We've waited over 15 years for this... We can wait a while longer.



...at least until April 4th, when it's my birthday!
 
Likes: UrbanFlash

AvatarIII

Ember Demon
WFTO Founder
Apr 20, 2012
1,713
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Worthing, West Sussex
#2
Too late to delay now, the release date is out of the devs hands at this point, unless something major happens, which is unlikely. The publishers have already begun printing and shipping discs. The game has already been delayed countless times, lest we forget the original release date forever locked onto the Kickstarter page was August 2013! and it has been delayed twice this year already!! Besides the team really want to let people play the full campaign, people have been crying out for it forever, and without that withheld, the difference between staying in Early Access and going to full release is kind of arbitrary. There was another game i backed on Kickstarter and the dev literally said in a KS post "its all a matter of clicking the "release" button on Steam's side - any time.", so it really is that simple and arbitrary when there is no big feature milestone, it's just the arbitrary difference between 0.7.3.3 or 0.7.9 and 1.0

Anyway, the game is feature complete, and mostly bug free, the last few things the need going in are relatively simple/quick, and now with most of the code team centralised in the UK, the last few weeks until launch can be the most productive ever! And don't forget, this ain't some fly-by-night triple-A developer, these guys will support the game post release with patches and more content galore! a few little bugs aren't going to hurt review scores much, not in this day and age where all but the most game-breaking bugs are ignored at launch by reviewers.

TL;DR Not going to be delayed any more, but don't worry.
 
Mar 19, 2015
27
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170
The lair
#3
Can't say I really agree with it being feature complete and mostly bug-free... Combat still needs a lot of work, possession is a placeholder, the sins/veins interface (and selections!) could also do with some serious tweaking to make an attempt at balancing it, or even just preventing you from collecting more sins infinitely after you've used them on all the things you can use them on... Again the matter of designing, scripting, implementing and playtesting all the other campaign missions they've got planned (voicing is a *relatively* quick and simple process comparitively speaking), the victory screen is a placeholder even when the game doesn't bug out and either get stuck or crash (at least the mission 3 crash has apparently been fixed, I was impressed to see that rooted out and taken care of in such short time)...

There's a myriad of minor things that needs working on to even out the gameplay experience, even before getting into the more ambitious goals of the devs or other feature padding like more maps etc., but if it's really as you say that they don't really have much say in the matter anymore then, well... Can't really do much but hope for the best.
 

AvatarIII

Ember Demon
WFTO Founder
Apr 20, 2012
1,713
759
555
34
Worthing, West Sussex
#4
Can't say I really agree with it being feature complete and mostly bug-free... Combat still needs a lot of work,
i consider combat to be pretty good actually, units still need balancing, but that is just a case of chaning some values in a database.
possession is a placeholder,
possession has improved a lot in the most recent patch, all unit abilities are implemented, for example
the sins/veins interface (and selections!) could also do with some serious tweaking to make an attempt at balancing it, or even just preventing you from collecting more sins infinitely after you've used them on all the things you can use them on...
Once you have unlocked everything, sins are meant to be spent on super units, but by that point sin generation should be very slow (i believe it is still faster than it should be)
Again the matter of designing, scripting, implementing and playtesting all the other campaign missions they've got planned
this is already done, every campaign mission is in the QA/internal build, and they are basically finished
the victory screen is a placeholder
yes, but i suspect the art for a proper victory screen is probably already done, just needs implementing (pretty simple, just replacing an image file)
even when the game doesn't bug out and either get stuck or crash (at least the mission 3 crash has apparently been fixed, I was impressed to see that rooted out and taken care of in such short time)...
this is the kind of productivity that will be happening from now until release.

There's a myriad of minor things that needs working on to even out the gameplay experience, even before getting into the more ambitious goals of the devs or other feature padding like more maps etc., but if it's really as you say that they don't really have much say in the matter anymore then, well... Can't really do much but hope for the best.
most of the ambitious goals are planned for post release. Release is just the Campaign and MP and Skirmish with a few maps, and Sandbox.
Yes there are a myriad of minor things that need tweaking, but the plan is to get them tweaked before April 2.
 

Psycix

Necromancer
WFTO Founder
Jan 9, 2013
834
305
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#5
I have expressed slight concern here and there in other threads, but I fully agree. These are my thoughts:


1) WftO is not just a simple game
This is a complex game that relies not just on working gameplay, but also atmosphere and "feeling" towards the creatures. WftO is not only very buggy, but also unfinished, especially animation wise, and does not live up to it's predecessors in that aspect (yet!). This thread is much more important than you would think.
Many people who buy WftO will expect this indescribable factor of atmosphere, detail and interactiveness. If they buy a game that is claiming to be 1.0, they will be disappointed.


2) Release? We really just entered beta!
The game is barely feature-complete. We literally just got everything regarding the core gameplay in. It's up to SubT to decide what is called alpha, beta and release, but you have to remember your target audience sets expectations regarding those terms.

Let's look at the definitions that are commonly accepted:
  • Alpha - Core gameplay is in. The game is playable. Assets are unfinished, and everything can be changed.
  • Beta - No more new content, no more changes to the fundamental mechanics (except balancing). All assets are finished.
  • Release - Everything is polished. The game should be in a state where if it would be acceptable to stay like this forever. It is done, though new expansions could be added later.
The entire bedrock beta has been an alpha.
WftO hasn't even got all assets in yet. There are still placeholders here and there. Animations are severely lacking, most VO is not in yet.
Most combat projectiles are missing, and many effects are not in, placeholder or just generally glitch out. The new hand of evil is yet to be implemented.
If I compare this game to other early access games I follow, WE ARE BARELY IN BETA.
Calling this + a few sizable patches a 1.0 is downright misleading and WILL disappoint people.


3) You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
There is only one release. This is a one shot, one off thing. You can only release this once and if this is not received well by people, there will be bad reviews, bad sales and that will be the end of it all. No sales, no money, no further development.
When you release, better make it something that will not only live up to, but exceed expectations. Without that, success is unlikely and releasing a disappointing product almost guarantees failure.
I want this to be a success. I want this to become a top seller so that SubT has enough funding to keep on expanding the game.
Please do not throw this away.


4) Perhaps Subterranean games suffers from "Go fever"
I hope this might be a wake-up call for the devs. Go fever is a term used in the space industry to describe the urge to launch a rocket that has been delayed multiple times, and after all those delays, people may rush things on the next scheduled launch attempt, causing people allow for larger margins of error and overlooking things, pushing to finally get it done.
This can be applied to any team that wants push a project into the next phase after being delayed to do so for a long time.

WftO has been delayed quite a bit (first due to an insanely unrealistic goal, then time spent on dungeoneer), and it looks like the devs have caught a case of go fever. I can imagine many reasons why the urge to release is so strong.
First off is the strong desire to finally get into 1.0. After all the hard work, reaching the ultimate milestone will feel great. It is a subconscious desire for reward or affirmation.
Then perhaps there are feelings of guilt or fear of being judged in play. In the last post about delaying WftO, the devs seemed to be very apologetic about the delay. Perhaps you want to release it out of fear of being judged for delaying so much. Now the people in this thread are urging you to do the opposite: delay!
Thirdly, this is really just guesswork, there might be economic reasons for pushing for release. I won't speculate any further but it could be a factor.
Then there is also the factor where being completely immersed inside a project for an extended period of time causes blindness, and it is hard to make objective decisions.

Yes, I completely understand you want to release. No, I don't think it is good to do so.
I urge you to take a step back, forget everything and take a fresh look at the entire project. Ignore every inside factor and just look at the product and decide what should happen from now on.


Community acceptance
It might be hard to break the promise of releasing soon, but there are good reasons for it, and you have support from at least part of the community, perhaps a significant majority. Point them to this thread if you like.
In order to make sure you don't screw over the people that may demand a quick release (if there any of those people) I propose to go into a release-candidate instead of release. This should be an acceptable midway for anyone demanding a 1.0 in early April. It is the same product, really, but it will help set the expectations of new buyers to be realistic. Just call it RC1, and see how much time you really need there before hitting the release button.


Final words
Me and some others have expressed that the choice of pushing for release might be a bad move. I hope that these words will help you reevaluate the decision. I understand why you may feel this way, and I know it is hard to remain completely objective towards such a passionate goal, but for reasons outlined above, please, do what is best for the game. We accept that the game takes time to develop, and we don't judge postponing the release at all; but we would judge the release of an incomplete product.
This is the game of our dreams as much as it is yours. Make it worth it.

I am a passionate founder, and I urge you to reconsider the choice of releasing now instead of an extended beta or release candidates.
It is okay to delay.
 
Last edited:
Jan 3, 2013
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#6
I believe many right things were said in this topic. I hope devs will take notes.

As for release being set to April 2 - I'm sure devs have their own reasons. We could go into details and discuss why it's important to polish the game up before doing the glorious 1.0 release, but lets look at bright side - with all those placeholders filled, I believe game can become 1.0, with few other things fixed in next few weeks. In fact, I feel like the only thing that will really take some time to do is improve Netcode, because current one is, honestly not working properly. Balancing things is another goal for devs, though I'm sure basic balancing will happen with the release of campaign. As for nerfing some things, like Crypt, Spirit Chamber and buffing Barracks, Arena - this will come along with new maps and changes to multiplayer, which we all would like to see asap.

Don't forget that devs will keep patching it up. It won't just hit 1.0 and stay as a rock on the bottom of the pit - there will be 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and more until game becomes balanced and stable. The fact that it's going to be released in 13 days means we can finally get out of Beta and enjoy the game the way we previously could not. As long as devs are honest with us, we can still believe in them and in this game.
 

AvatarIII

Ember Demon
WFTO Founder
Apr 20, 2012
1,713
759
555
34
Worthing, West Sussex
#7
I agree with a lot of what is said here, but the fact is the game's release is already set in stone, so what are the options? should the game be "released" but stay in Early Access? so really the "release date" was just the release date for the campaign? Should the devs back out now after all the PEGI, Press, and actual release planning is done? I think that would be just as if not more devastating than releasing the game in it's current state. It might not be ideal but what is done is done. I think perhaps the only mild possibility is to do what Space Engineers did and stay in Early Access even though there is a boxed edition on store shelves, it might confuse customers, but at least the game will be protected from some of the flak it would get about seeming incomplete.

I have a lot of faith in the team to use the last 2 weeks of development to really get the game shippable, that's hundreds, maybe over a thousand of work-hours still from the whole team. I almost wish I had taken a week of holiday to do QA full time to help out, too late now, but I say reserve your judgement, and have faith, after all, worrying about this sort of stuff now is just going to take time away from actually finishing the game.
 
Jan 3, 2013
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#8
I agree with a lot of what is said here, but the fact is the game's release is already set in stone, so what are the options? should the game be "released" but stay in Early Access? so really the "release date" was just the release date for the campaign? Should the devs back out now after all the PEGI, Press, and actual release planning is done? I think that would be just as if not more devastating than releasing the game in it's current state. It might not be ideal but what is done is done. I think perhaps the only mild possibility is to do what Space Engineers did and stay in Early Access even though there is a boxed edition on store shelves, it might confuse customers, but at least the game will be protected from some of the flak it would get about seeming incomplete.

I have a lot of faith in the team to use the last 2 weeks of development to really get the game shippable, that's hundreds, maybe over a thousand of work-hours still from the whole team. I almost wish I had taken a week of holiday to do QA full time to help out, too late now, but I say reserve your judgement, and have faith, after all, worrying about this sort of stuff now is just going to take time away from actually finishing the game.
Apparently there's no option but release the game as planned. As I said in my post, 1.0 is achievable if devs fill all missing bits ( mostly icons, art and menu ), which I feel like they can do in 2 weeks. Game will require additional fixing regardless being released at April 2 or anytime later, no point delaying it anymore.

It's sad that many of us were denied of option of more extensive beta testing or assisting as QA members for some reason, so high expectations are what we have now instead. Devs will have to keep them up, much depends on how great is Campaign and how stable and updated Skirmish Mode will be included as well.
 

Noontide

Designer / Community Manager
Brightrock Games
Dec 8, 2012
2,168
1,785
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Brighton, UK
#9
Hi all,

We appreciate that there is a great deal of concern regarding the upcoming release, and this is something we'd like to take the time to draft a full and comprehensive response to, in a place where we can cover all areas of the community. We're listening and we can see your concern, there are some extremely well argued points and counter-points raised in this thread, it's important to remember that not all of the game is available in the public build

In the interests of immediate transparency I can tell you that the game will not be delayed any further, essentially there are now too many moving parts that a delay is not something that could feasibly occur at this point. I will say that we are working extremely hard on preparing the game for release and now that we've consolidated some of our team in one location productivity has skyrocketed, bugs are being identified and fixed at a record rate

Please feel free to continue to discuss this topic knowing the information provided above if there are any areas in particular where you feel the game could do improvement or any specific points you'd like me to address please highlight them to me and I'll do my best to respond before our full response.

Make no mistake, we love this game, we love our community and we're determined to see a successful launch which our player base can experience and enjoy. We'll be working our asses off on this for the last two weeks and beyond until we're 100% satisfied or in such a state we can no longer continue.

Cheers all,

Lee
 
Dec 14, 2013
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Portland, Oregon
#10
I have been wondering about this myself...But it seems useless to discuss it much the davs are going to push it : as the saying in hide and seek. here I come ready or not. There will be no way this game will be ready for a smooth release in less than 2 weeks. So we are just going to have to accept a glitchy game for a period of time till they can get it right.
There is even the smallest of things...I read that in 14 days all the placeholders will be in the game but that is no time to give them the hard core testing that it takes on many different systems. "last time i played campaign 3 the southern mob just went into the center lane...just little stuff like that will make the consumer feel the game is incomplete and was not worth the money paid.
Does all the minions have sounds for torture chamber ?, being dropped? is there even a reliable save option other than a command prompt.....considering the rate the game has been developed in the past, 2 weeks too smooth all this and the crashing issues would take a team with more experience than all the devs of blizzard, At once !
But I know it will eventually be what the consumers are expecting but not in 2 weeks.....I will try it then probably put it down for a while and see where it goes.
I keep hearing everyone talk about the internal build..If it REALLY is that good then disable the campaign after 3 and let us try that one rather than something that was made a while ago.
 
Apr 1, 2015
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#11
I am well aware that this message is way too late, and the game will release any moment now. However, I would at least like to express my opinion of why this was a huge mistake.

I came here after reading Jim Sterling's review. It received a score of 7.5 and a quick summary of the review is "the game is great. . .when it works." After reading the review, it reminded me of a game I ran across on Steam that I added to my wish list. It is called Cortex Command and I think that you should view the first video on its Steam page.

In the video, the game's creator tells the story of how they sold the game on their web site and made it abundantly clear that it was a work-in-progress. They wanted to get on Steam at a time before Early Access existed, so they put their incomplete game on Steam and called it version 1.0.

The gaming press reviewed the game as if it was a final release and Cortex Command now has a Metacritic score of 44 ot of 100 that it has to wear like a scarlet letter. How many customers will never look at the game because of this Metacritic score (which is emblazoned on the Steam search page and the game's Steam page itself)?

It is nice to say that Metacritic score shouldn't matter, but there are people who base their purchasing decisions on it. When you release a game (or take it out of early access), you are telling the world that "this game is complete." If they get an incomplete product, it will affect your reputation as a developer.

As far as your Kickstarter Backers, just give everyone access to the Beta on Steam and delay the "release." As a backer of other projects, I would rather wait to get the completed project, than be given an incomplete product because the creator feels pressure to "get it out the door."

Again, I am aware that this message comes far to late to do any good, and I hope that this hurried and unnecessary release doesn't doom this game to obscurity.
 
Likes: Psycix
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