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ACE_JackalBark

Founders' Update: Target Dates & Victory Conditions - Official Discussion Thread

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16 minutes ago, srathor said:

Very happy to see this post. 

Now you have time again. Funny how that feels hunh? You can go back and revisit some things. You can let things cook a bit more. You can reassess and tighten up some plans that were pushed aside. 

Please watch out for feature creep though. Release still needs to happen in a timely manner. The game needs to be born to truly grow. 

But thank you for coming out and informing all of us jaded bitter gamers. It is good to see yall still have the ability to see past what hopes and dreams do in reality. 

This seems like an inaccurate assessment of what is going on.  They didn't just all of a sudden gain a bunch of time.  It's not like they were working under the assumption they would be releasing in December up until today and then just decided to push it back.


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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Just now, Avarinda said:

Is this soft launch when they move 5.3 to the live server?

No, it isn't. Soft-launch will be accompanied by the last wipe. There is most likely no way for this to happen before the full game-loop has been tested. Which seems to lead to a point in time at least after the first alpha tests, and we are still in the beginning of pre-alpha 5.3. So no reason to nervous about soft launch yet.


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5 hours ago, Avarinda said:

What does this actually mean? Is this soft launch when they move 5.3 to the live server? I guess my confusion is going from pre alpha to some kind of launch.

The timeline should go something like: Pre-Alpha 5.3 -> Pre-Alpha 5.4 -> ... (possibly more 5.x patches) -> Alpha -> Beta -> Soft Launch.

Each new major patch will hit the test server first, get some minor patches with bug fixes and small additions, then get moved to the live server (and probably get more bug fixing patches after that). The live server is still running 5.2.something, while 5.3 is in the 'test' phase, they'll be gradually inviting more people to try it on the test server. In a few weeks/months live will get updated to 5.3, but you may get invited to try 5.3 on the test server before then.

Finally sometime after 5.3 is on live, we'll see 5.4 on test and permissions to access the test server get reset (with only the earliest pre-alpha testers getting to it at first).

Soft launch comes a looong time after all that, past the alpha and beta. Soft launch is when all the major features are ready and we stop getting wipes, then the game is officially "launched." But it might be missing some secondary features, like the kickstarter stretch goals, which will get added in post-launch patches. Hence the "soft" part of soft launch.

Edited by Avloren

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It is a good decision. We all would like to see a Crowfall as a great game fitting the players expectations and the up to date game standarts. Graphics, Gameplay, Environment everything is important for us players so we could dive into it and have a lot of fun conquering the world and building up our communities and kingdoms.

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Honestly, take as long as you like. A lot of the changes you implemented which made the development time longer, I would have been fine with if you just kept it the way you planned initially. The most important thing is that you are the boss, and you direct the game to go where you want it to. I've put my faith in you and your team, and I am confident that this is a work of passion.

Thanks for everything you do ACE, even if I don't agree with all of it.

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I agree with moving the dates as needed to make this a great game however as you move the dates back it seems that your funding could possible start to run low.  As it is now you have a somewhat playable game even if  it is lame in content in compassion to modern MMO's. My self as I assume many others see the potential in this game and have invested our hard earned cash into it. Your openness on uncertain release date to the backers and public is very honorable. If funding to finishing the game becomes a issue please be as open with that and give the backers a say as to weather or not to release the game as is.

 

As a side note, I wish you would also be as up front with the EK's and the PVE part of the game. Seems that it's a top secret subject and the only info we can get is from other backers that actual have no idea with whats going on here and are just passing there guesses as info and fact. Other than the first 50$ investment into the game, the rest of our backer support is in large part for the EK's and PVE part of the game. Seems that more attentions and info on this is appropriate. And yes, myself and I believe many others understand that your working hard on other aspects of the game and giving them a higher priority but were still patently waiting for some info here as well. Even if it isn't written in stone.

 

Anyway, keep up the good work.

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Yea I don't think anyone is too surprised by this. I think ACE is pretty good at iterating on things without over-iterating. People love to say "release it when it's ready" but a lot of the times if you don't set timelines then things never actually get done and you spin your wheels.

That's just sort of the nature of creative ventures. If you don't put the hammer down then you'll constantly have artists and designers harping on every detail and second guessing everything. Quality > Quantity is only true to a certain degree. 

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Ladies and gentlemen, once again we see how gas expands to fill a vacuum.  (but it's not a bad thing!)

The real story here is Burn Rate.

The banner at the top of the website - the utmost place of honor - tells the story:  TOTAL FUNDING: $13,731,555

As I understand, this is about $10M more than ACE anticipated they would be able to raise!  This is great news!  It means we get about 4x the features and polish before the coffers run dry.  The original budget was ~1 year and ~$3M (KS + investment).  The extra money lets ACE hire more (and better) staff, extend their deadline, and add more amazing features.

You can make some estimates about how much ACE is spending per month (salaries, leased space, software licenses, cloud services, etc.) and make some SWAGs about how long they can invest pre-launch.  My estimate, based on the really bad wages I've seen for game developers, is that they are burning $4M-$5M per year.  I hope it's lower than that, but good employees are expen$ive!

If my estimate is close, that means they've got about 1 more year before it gets painful.  Then, it's launch or die.  If real money starts streaming in (we're talking about $500k per month), everyone celebrates!  ACE doesn't fire people!  We get a game full of awesomeness!  The investors are happy!

I hope we see that day.  And then I hope that the post-release features just keep making Crowfall better and better.


Nazdar

Proud member of The Hunger

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Hopefully this will shut certain people up on these forums about launch dates and taking things said by ACE about timelines so serious and literal. Nothing in a product's design and development is ever stuck on a specific time frame schedule. It's done when it's done.

It's just so silly and waste of energy complaining about how long it takes for a product to be designed and developed.

Good on ACE for this!


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I'm gonna second (or third, or fifth, or whatever I'm at here) the whole "Thanks for this message, and I encourage you to be more transparent in the future" idea. Honestly, you're screwed if you do and you're screwed if you don't, as in people are going to misconstrue and complain no matter what you do. Just, if you don't tell anyone about stuff, they're going to do it with NO truthful info, rather than with at least some. I know that sucks. Humans are crappy at times/in ways. But, we'd much rather hear your ideas on your designs and goals, etc., than just sit around waiting, then hear what's been implemented. We'd love to hear how your week went. You don't have to go into extreme detail, but go into as much as you want, honestly. We just won't want to know "Ehh this thing is supposed to be done/implemented by the end of the month. It's supposed to be cool. Yay. Maybe it'll hit that date, maybe it won't? We'll see." for an entire month. We'd like to know at least what you're working on, why you're working on it, and how you came to decide on a particular design, etc.

We got a lot of this earlier on, and it does seem like the last 6 months or so have kind of petered out. I don't know if it's because you're trying to control the complainers and misconstruers or what, but it's only effectively hurting the people who still actually care about this and who have your backs.

No one expects you to do everything perfectly in one go. But the perfect approach can be had by designing, editing, and iterating in the proper manner. The right path is the one that keeps checking to make sure you're going in the right direction, not necessarily the one that has you never going in the wrong direction.

We know it's tough, and you guys are working your butts off, and we appreciate that, really and truly. If I could move into your HQ and open a soda fountain and serve beverages and milkshakes to everyone at ACE whilst delivering stress-relieving puns, I'd do so, just to help you guys out. But, alas, all I can do is type words into this forum. But... we've got your back! We just want to help however we can, and we want to achieve the best Crowfall we can.


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Lephys. Because everything's better with a smile facepalm.

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1 hour ago, Nazdar said:

Ladies and gentlemen, once again we see how gas expands to fill a vacuum.  (but it's not a bad thing!)

The real story here is Burn Rate.

The banner at the top of the website - the utmost place of honor - tells the story:  TOTAL FUNDING: $13,731,555

As I understand, this is about $10M more than ACE anticipated they would be able to raise!  ...snip...

Now you're just interjecting facts, business acumen, and common sense into the conversation. And we can't let that discompose the rampant speculation and endless victimization narrative.

I will make my decision about Crowfall 30 days after launch. Whenever that may be.

Right now I have a couple hundred bucks invested into this particular game, I have made some good friends, and I have some excellent rivals. I estimate that I have easily spent over 500 hours playing Pre-Alpha at less than a dollar per hour entertainment value, and somehow I have the 'feelz' like I could sit down and share a meal and conversation with the Dev Team.

Compared to some other pre-released games I have paid for... Crowfall has already been a return on investment.     

Edited by corvax
punksiation marcs

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8 minutes ago, corvax said:

Right now I have a couple hundred bucks invested into this particular game, I have made some good friends, and I have some excellent rivals. I estimate that I have easily spent over 500 hours playing Pre-Alpha at less than a dollar per hour entertainment value, and somehow I have the feelz like I could sit down and share a meal and conversation with the Dev Team.

Well said! I concur. 

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9 minutes ago, corvax said:

 

Right now I have a couple hundred bucks invested into this particular game, I have made some good friends, and I have some excellent rivals. I estimate that I have easily spent over 500 hours playing Pre-Alpha at less than a dollar per hour entertainment value, and somehow I have the 'feelz' like I could sit down and share a meal and conversation with the Dev Team.

 

Agreed ... Solid Point. Except I have a feeling Doggett could be one of those people at dinner that would take a fry from your plate when you are not looking 


Don't forget, the one EK that no one will judge you for looting your guilds treasury is Anhrez's Doober Shack. Where you can take those long con gains and 'simplify' them to more easily fit in your inventory. While you are unloading your hard earned winnings, swing by the Bazaar and pick up something to celebrate your genius.

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1 minute ago, Anhrez said:

Agreed ... Solid Point. Except I have a feeling Doggett could be one of those people at dinner that would take a fry from your plate when you are not looking 

Don't be fooled. Doggett will make solid and unwavering eye contact while he steals your fries.

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14 hours ago, Avloren said:

The timeline should go something like: Pre-Alpha 5.3 -> Pre-Alpha 5.4 -> ... (possibly more 5.x patches) -> Alpha -> Beta -> Soft Launch.

Each new major patch will hit the test server first, get some minor patches with bug fixes and small additions, then get moved to the live server (and probably get more bug fixing patches after that). The live server is still running 5.2.something, while 5.3 is in the 'test' phase, they'll be gradually inviting more people to try it on the test server. In a few weeks/months live will get updated to 5.3, but you may get invited to try 5.3 on the test server before then.

Finally sometime after 5.3 is on live, we'll see 5.4 on test and permissions to access the test server get reset (with only the earliest pre-alpha testers getting to it at first).

Soft launch comes a looong time after all that, past the alpha and beta. Soft launch is when all the major features are ready and we stop getting wipes, then the game is officially "launched." But it might be missing some secondary features, like the kickstarter stretch goals, which will get added in post-launch patches. Hence the "soft" part of soft launch.

This is what one would expect to see, this was not what was announced, with the soft launch expected early 2018, 4.5 months doesn't seem like enough time to do what you described.  Which is what is leading to my confusion.

But “progress” isn’t the same as “done”, and obviously there isn’t enough time left in 2017 to get everything done. For that reason, we’re resetting the “line in the sand” to next year and we’re going to push like hell to get the game to soft launch as early in 2018 as we can. I’m not going to give a more specific date than that because the goal isn’t (and has never been) to make some artificial deadline. The goal is to make Crowfall a virtual world unlike any other, a game where we hand the fate of the world to you, the players.

I guess i read that as soft launch would be early 2018 (q1) but it does actually say as early in 2018 as we can, so i guess i just misread it.

Edited by Avarinda

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If these kinds of expectations are going to be managed properly, it would make a lot more sense to say, "Hey everyone, we've talked about it internally and we're thinking a soft launch is going to happen mid-2019. If things move along ahead of schedule and stuff just lines up for us, we'll move the soft launch date up."

This could crush a lot of the negative feelings people would have of hearing "as early in 2018 as possible" which doesn't really mean anything.

I would rather see release dates for a launch or patch far out into the future that sounds more realistic than something vague and which  brings up a lot more questions than answers to questions. This way if it gets to us players sooner than what was "projected" it looks better.

If development on features and systems keep getting moved back by months, then the 12 months in 2018 doesn't even sound realistic for a soft launch. We still need balance passes on all the classes, need more disciples, need to test out multiple campaign bands with a variety of rule sets, crafting needs another pass, gathering needs another pass, server stability needs to be addressed, combat improvements need to be addressed, itemization in the game is a joke and needs fixed, and probably a whole laundry list of other stuff I can't even think of at the moment that need attention.

I am not saying things are moving slow or fast in development. I personally don't care of slow things are as long as the end result is a really well rounded game that I can enjoy. We should just have a realistic expectation of when to see a soft launch with a product polished enough that all it needs is some minor tweaks and adjustments for its hard launch.

Right now I don't expect 2018 to be a year of any kind of decent quality product launch and I seriously am looking forward to being proven wrong though.


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