Elemental: Why it’s important to get it right

By on April 13, 2010 4:51:52 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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LostLibrary First off, we want to thank the users who are publicly supporting us on our regular and intentional delays of the beta process. We appreciate your support.

This blog is mainly targeted at the users who are contacting us privately telling us quit “delaying” or how important it is for the game to be released in August or saying that we’re being too perfectionist.

Let me address those issues with a bit of understanding about Stardock and its motivations.

Stardock is a privately held company. A lot of people don’t understand the significance of that.  So let me walk you through the ramifications of that.

1. Stardock’s success is not determined by the “timely” release of Elemental. Our software is pre-loaded on millions of computers worldwide. Our enterprise group (that makes MyColors and Fences and Object Desktop) is very successful. So we don’t have financial pressure on us to release games early.

2. With the above in mind, the release of other games is not going to be a factor on when we release Elemental. Our goal is to make sure Elemental is a great game and release it only when we think it’s a great game.

3. No reasonable person is going to argue that Elemental is like “Duke Nuken Forever” because there is an open beta program where people can clearly see the game progressing. We are confident that our beta group agrees with us on the pacing we have for the beta.

4. I believe with certainty that most beta testers will agree with me when I say that Elemental is significant in demonstrating what a modern PC-only (i.e. non-portable) strategy game can do.  It is important for us that it be done right and that means taking our time to make sure every step is done correctly.

5. And don’t worry, even when we believe the game is ready for release, there will still be plenty of people arguing that we “rushed it”. So you can rest assured that there will never be unanimous agreement on when it’s “done”.

6. We are trying our best to be responsive to user requests. For instance, we let new beta testers into beta 1Z rather than making them wait until Beta 2.  I just want to reiterate again though that Elemental will NOT be remotely fun until Beta 3. Anyone who tells you the game is fun at this stage should probably seek out help. Elemental beta 1 and 2 are NOT fun. If I discover something fun in Beta 1 and 2 I will endeavor to make sure it’s removed so that people aren’t spending too much time playing the game.

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April 13, 2010 8:29:34 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Are you sure it isn't just one person emailing you a lot. Could be Wintersong, or maybe Raven X (that avatar makes me suspicious for some reason).

 

WHO COULD IT BE?!?

 

 

Anyhow I like the way Stardock works. So you have my worthless and pointless encouragement!

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April 13, 2010 8:42:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Raven X,



Quoting Tormy-,
reply 11



Quoting Raven X,
reply 10
There are actually people sending messages like that? LoL , I'd like to see one or part of one, sounds like a laugh riot!!!



Check this out Raven, you will like it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qkMmT16MUY 



lol that was funny. Check this one out, complete ownage. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBqxjHRXmlo&NR=1

Ouch!!

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April 13, 2010 8:48:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What are you talking about. I played a game today and for the first time ever actually completed the rescue the princess quest. We went on to marry and have 4 kids. I totally blew my mind with the mushy happily ever after stuff. This game is so ready for release. Graphics are so 2015.

 

 

Though while I can see where they are coming from if they are not in Beta. I waited 3 years with baited breathe for MoO3.

But I can also say from experience with that game, I would have rather waited another 3 years than get the crap they foisted out with that game. I was so unbeleivably pissed when I got it home, opened it played it for about an hour and never ever touched it again. MoO2 is still my all time favorite game (which I am hoping this will replace) that my brother and I still play when he comes home on leave.

Please take all the time you need.

*edit* as long as you don't close us out of the beta

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April 13, 2010 9:03:25 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I'm happy to see that the mentality of "When it's done it's done" is a cornerstone of Elemental, because I've been waiting a long, long time for a game like this.  As a Beta tester, watching the game slowly piece together is a real thrill, and it's nice to know that it's only going to get better!

Quoting ,
3. No reasonable person is going to argue that Elemental is like “Duke Nuken Forever”...

Wait, I thought Elemental's tagline was 'Always bet on Brad'?

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April 13, 2010 9:38:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think 'vaporware' is just fun to say/type. Seems to me a lot of people like to use it without really thinking about what it means. Elemental already has far too much substance to be considered vapor, in my opinion.

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April 13, 2010 9:52:25 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Barney_130,
If you already think it's going to be out after september wouldn't it be wise to indicate it in the Impulse game page ? http://www.impulsedriven.com/elemental

"Realease date : To be determined" or something like this.

I would like to second this one. I would rather set the expectation rather than watch a few dates pass.

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April 13, 2010 10:07:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

When its done its done and I can wait for it.

 

Hey the beta is fun what are you talking about its not fun?... (brain cancer, cause:Brad....)

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April 13, 2010 10:14:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I never preorder games. I never buy full-price games. I preordered Elemental's Limited Edition, for $80. I just want to help support the most ethical game developer out there, untainted by big corporate interests. (You guys make great games too  ) Take your time. Really. I like Demigod, but I want this game's launch to be successful. No pirates flooding the servers or anything like that. I wish you guys good luck.

 

And Brad, I actually had a bit of fun on the Beta 1Z. So get to work!

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April 13, 2010 10:40:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Stardock is doing such an amazing job with Elemental.. I don't care if the game get's delayed until end of 2011 Elemental will stick out from other games.. Civ V might be cool, but it's Civilization.. Who haven't plaid Civ before? It's an old game wrapped up with a new look.. (Sorry Sid, and Firaxis. No hurt feelings ). Who has seen something like Elemental before?? It's pretty unique!! I joined beta 1G wich i was able to win and loose! Beta 1Z is offering more stability (but not a 100%). I haven't been able to win the game yet (maybe because i play with 6  other fractions). But i plaid well over 1000 turns before it crashed..

I can see a sligth difference from 1G to 1Z, for the better. Stardock has my full support here.. Even letting people get a taste of the game through the beta is awsome.. I have mentioned it before.. What other game developer would let you try their game months and months and months before it's done? None as far as i am aware of.

I've made a small freeware game (life sim), you can't find it online, cuz i haven't gone public with it. It's very simple.. I would say it's in the range of the freeware games "Game Biz" and "Game Biz 2" and soon "Game Biz 3" wich are not freeware.. (this is not advertising for those games, hope i'm not breaking any spam/ad rules in this forum). My point is: Game making is not a simple task.. It's serious work.. Sometimes insanly frustrating (in my opinion). But mostly fun and enjoyable.. Especially when you figure out this code that you have been struggeling with for a while!

It's hard to describe if you have no idea how to do programing/game design...

Stardock need our support. Don't be disrespectfull. It's serious work! I certantly couldn't do what they are doing. We are talking people with years, maybe decades of experiance in programming and game design/artwork...

I am proud to support this company. And i think that these guys are putting more then just hard work and efford into making this game!! Good job every single person involved with Stardock Entertainment.

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April 13, 2010 10:43:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This blog is mainly targeted at the users who are contacting us privately telling us quit “delaying” or how important it is for the game to be released in August or saying that we’re being too perfectionist.

Holy Cow that is just baffling...the only reason I could think of for such an incredulous act would have to be a terminal illness...or to really stretch it, inside knowledge of a worldwide EMP attack.

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April 13, 2010 11:10:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not only do I approve of your design philosophy, it has made me a loyal customer of Stardock. The entire open nature of this beta process has endeared you so much to me that I always look to Impulse first when I buy a game. This beta process and its bounty of interaction has made me a life-long loyal customer of Stardock and around 5 new games and counting.

I say this as a HUGE 4x strategy game fan and someone who is on the edge of his seat waiting for release; take as long as you need and make the best game you can.

 

Thanks for everything!

-ST

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April 13, 2010 11:23:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting PeterMSmith,

Quoting Barney_130, reply 17If you already think it's going to be out after september wouldn't it be wise to indicate it in the Impulse game page ? http://www.impulsedriven.com/elemental

"Realease date : To be determined" or something like this.

I would like to second this one. I would rather set the expectation rather than watch a few dates pass.

From a retail point of view, there is *always* a release date.  Titles reserve shelf space. So right now, we're still reserving 3rd quarter 2010.  If we become certain we have to move it back (and I'm not certain, it really depends on how beta 3 goes really, beta 1 is the "long" one.  Beta 2 could last 2 weeks. Beta 3 is the key date. 

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April 13, 2010 11:45:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

 Beta 2 could last 2 weeks. Beta 3 is the key date. 

 

That idea made my night, lemme tell ya.

 

As it stands, the people doing this are silly. Much like people who:

- Ask for 'blue'/dev responses on an MMO forum

- Make feature petitions for a game in development, especially in a Beta when everything serious is already hammered out (Well. . .most betas )

- Lick windows

 

Game development takes time. Doing things right, takes time.

 

I trust Stardock with my buck and time, what about you guys?

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April 13, 2010 11:58:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

From a retail point of view, there is *always* a release date.  Titles reserve shelf space. So right now, we're still reserving 3rd quarter 2010.  If we become certain we have to move it back (and I'm not certain, it really depends on how beta 3 goes really, beta 1 is the "long" one.  Beta 2 could last 2 weeks. Beta 3 is the key date. 

What about 4th quarter? It could still be pushed back if need be, but maybe not have to wait until 2011. I only mention it because you skipped a 4th quarter mention both times.

Quoting Aractain,
Are you sure it isn't just one person emailing you a lot. Could be Wintersong, or maybe Raven X (that avatar makes me suspicious for some reason).

LoL ok I admit it. When I first heard about Elemental I wanted it Now, A.S.A.P. . When it comes down to it though, I'd rather it be done right then done fast. The longer it takes the more cool stuff that gets jammed into it. (Not to mention the longer I have to work on my mod)

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April 14, 2010 12:14:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've been a fan of Stardock for many years, and a large part of that is because if Brad thinks a game could seriously benefit from more development time, he pushes back the release.  It's a good policy, and leads to some greatly enjoyable games.

Keep up the good work!

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April 14, 2010 12:22:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Per your recent statement Frogboy "real fantasy" what is that, although I do feel for the people who want to experience the Beta, I did until I got a hold of it. Now I can see the scope of what this game is going to be and I say take your time to make it right! I really believe this is the game I have been waiting for! Well this and some new Half Life but that is not your issue. Any way I am glad I get to suffer along with the rest of the Beta testers and am as frustrated as I think they are! Thank God for painkillers!!

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April 14, 2010 12:30:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Please take all the time you need to make a masterpiece.  I'm really not concerned; I've already paid for the game.

-An actual Elemental beta tester

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April 14, 2010 12:39:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Completely approve of Stardock's development mindset.

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April 14, 2010 1:35:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Aractain,
Are you sure it isn't just one person emailing you a lot. Could be Wintersong, or maybe Raven X (that avatar makes me suspicious for some reason).

What can I say? I didn't have enough with making Stardock close Fogbuz for the public.

Quoting Frogboy,

Beta 2 could last 2 weeks. Beta 3 is the key date. 

Beta 2... 2 weeks? Wow.

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April 14, 2010 1:51:57 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

damn only if it had a date of duke nukem forever.

seeing how the game isn't stable, how stable will your multiplayer code be?

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April 14, 2010 2:20:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So stardock will finish duke nukem forever after Elemental ?

Or did I mis-read something ?

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April 14, 2010 2:23:39 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

i think you mis-read i said a date of DNF which still doesn't have one.

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April 14, 2010 2:52:19 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Dear Stardock:  Please get your game out as soon as possible to obtain maximum sales in just the right time slot and ride the wave of publicity at it's peak.

 

Signed,

Mater of Orion 3 Developer

 

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April 14, 2010 3:56:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't think any of the betatesters would disagree with your designphilosophy here. We can play the game in it's current state and help it to get better step by step. I can be impatient too, but a game like this takes time, an enormous amount of time. And so you should take that time. We all know you guys (and gals) work your balls (and female genitals) off to make this a great game.

I think graphics turned off till beta 3 is the best decision you guys made. I sincerely believe that the graphics engine is only the icing on the cake. It's the gamemechanics that count.

So when should the game be released? Probably when about 99% of the betatesters is constantly raving about how great the game is and when 99% of the other forummembers are complaining they can't play it, since there's not in the betaprogramm. That's already the case you say? See there you go, your 'the current beta isn't fun at all propaganda' isn't working!

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April 14, 2010 4:03:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is the best philosophy to have IMO. Much better for us when the developer/publisher isn't pressured by being a business.

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