Slow progress and Steam reviews

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Estevan Silva, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Estevan Silva

    Estevan Silva Green Slime

    Hey, guys.

    I've been reading Steam reviews about the game and the majority of negative comments talk about development being slow. It it said in the game's FAQ: "made by 3 people who have no interest in rushing the development only to release a subpar product".

    Devs make it crystal clear that they are not rushing the game. Okey. But... why?
    The main reason of this topic is to ask: Why is it slow?

    If devs could explain more and show reasons, wouldn`t it help to calm down people in Steam reviews? If you take away the slow factor from those negative reviews, maybe we wouldn`t see negative stuff at all, because everyone recognizes that the game has awesome artwork, animations and stuff.
  2. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    There is no hidden reason as to why development is slow, it's just that the things we do take a lot of time! Exactly how much time is probably what surprised me most after becoming a developer. Before I got into gamedev I often thought similar things myself ('how can that have taken so long'), so I get why people are having a hard time.

    Also, only some of the reviews are written by conspiracy theorists thinking we're relaxing on a beach all day. I think most reviews would remain the same even if they had a better understanding of why the game takes so long to develop. After all, that the progress is slow is a separate fact from the reasons behind why it's slow! I hope many of them will consider changing their reviews when the game is finally done, but for now these reviews don't bother me very much.

    Anyway, if you're personally interested, here's me just emptying my mind on the subject of why:

    Fred's animations are extremely detailed, our levels are hand made without a grid, and we spend a lot of time on polish. Things seldom become perfect on the first try. I can sit for hours tweaking a single cutscene, adjusting timings, fiddling with effects, rewriting dialogues, etc. It's tough to convey, but taking something from "this is kind of okay" to "this is really nice" takes a tremendous amount of time sometimes. I was going to link one of Fred's VODs on Twitch so you could see the process of animating, but it seems Twitch has wiped them all :(

    I think that when you look around for games with similar scope, you'll find that most games are either similarly polished but much, much shorter and without multiplayer (such as Hyper Light Drifter or Titan Souls), or they simply aren't very good (I won't throw fellow devs under the bus with examples here).

    The single example I know of a team that actually create highly polished content fast is the CrossCode guys (another Early Access ARPG, although single player). They spent years developing tools for their game, and now that effort is paying off. They also manage to utilize their bigger team (6 or 7 I think) super effectively. Adding people to small teams often has close to zero benefit. Either way, they really impress me - I guess it's the fabled German efficiency at work!

    So, yeah. It would be great if we could just connect our minds to people to show them instead of trying to explain things. In the past we tried explaining more frequently, but those who are frustrated enough to write angry reviews usually aren't convinced!

    I'm very much looking forward to the fabled day when the game is actually completed, and the only thing that matters is the quality of the damn game :D
  3. Own

    Own Moderator

    CC puts out content about as quickly as you guys do in my experience. In terms of story, areas, enemies, general game completion, finished mechanics, etc, you guys are waaay beyond them.

    Plus they reuse a ton of NPC sprites, don't give them portraits, don't hand draw their entire maps, etc. I think the reason there's not a bigger push against CC is because not as many people own the game. :( And many of the people who own it got it for like $5 in a bundle.
    res7less likes this.
  4. Ardeof

    Ardeof Rabby

    SoG devs like the: "The game is going to be played this way" kind of design. After you get through the game, there's little to do after other than tidying up the quests/etc. and Arcade Mode. Player friendly/recipe crafting. While the player's house in a specific area is being worked on, it's only a slight improvement of the ability to choose in a very focused game. That's not to say that kind of design is bad, in fact it might be refreshing from all of those survivor/crafting games being thrown together to try to take some of Minecraft's pie.

    As of right now SoG feels more like an old megaman style of game. It's one of those where most will stop playing after a reasonable amount of completion. Others will work hard to get that 100%, and some will just make the devs and players look a bit silly by speedrunning and glitching it to hell.

    Hopefully the devs might consider something a tad more stimulating, some sort of craft or hobby that players can pick up throughout the game and enjoy afterwards. If not, it's still worth playing/buying. So far the content's been good, and the fps has been quite solid as well.

    As for devs being slow, it's not that bad. Thorough Games usually take 3~5 years to develop. This one seems like it'd take 2~3, possibly longer if the devs aren't experienced. Early Access also gives that: "Why is the game taking so long?" kind of feel.
  5. Estevan Silva

    Estevan Silva Green Slime

    Thank you, Teddy.

    About being a developer, and creating stuff being slow... I understand it myself. I've been doing games in Unity as hobby since the beginning of this year. I just thought that maybe it could be faster with 3... I was wrong.

    Since you said those reviews don't really bother you, I shouldn't be bothered by them too... I guess you have way more experience to deal with them than me. Your game is not even mine and I was feeling sad about it xD.

    About the why: I've never seen such detailed game in a long time. Animations, sprites, combat mechanics... Every aspect of the game is top quality because you polish it so much, like you said. Taking your explanation into account, it is now pretty obvious that it takes a lot of time to create assets.

    So, I enjoyed your words about this matter, and I want to conclude by saying that you are completely right. You should take your time and make this game. I wish you the best of luck.
    Teddy likes this.
  6. Sullislink

    Sullislink Green Slime

    I think that they should take there time, for all good games require that finesse that can only be achieved with the hard work that takes time, and that is something they have definitely been putting in their game. So far what I've played is gorgeous and I've enjoyed it quite a bit, I look forward to it's finished product whenever it is that they have that happen.

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