(I'm up north on vacation typing on an extremely slow connection so bear with me)
I don't think people yet fully realize the completeness of Stardock's fail on Elementa's launch.
I'm going to write more about this but not only did we think v1.05 was ready for everyone but we felt v1.0 was too. That's the level of disconnect/poor judgment on our part we're talking about.
If the game had come out in February, it would still have been a disastrous launch because lack of time wasn't the issue. It was blindness, sheer blindness. We felt the game was finished. And I speak of v1.0, not v1.05. Blindness.
There will be massive consequences for Stardock's game studio. I'll be talking more about this when I get back. But the game wasn't released early. The game was released poorly. Head in the sand syndrome imo. I've read the reviews as much as possible given my hideous internet access up here and I agree with them. We just didn't see what they were talking about. We thought any complaints would be about polish points or something.
The point is, the issue here is far far worse than many of you think it is. I wish it was an issue of the game being released too early. That's an easy thing for a company to "fix". Elemental's launch is the result of catastrophic poor judgment on my part.
EVERY competent software developer knows that the programmer must never be the one deciding whether the program is done. Yet, my love of Elemental broke my self discipline and I began coding on the game itself in vast amounts and lost any sense of objectivity on where the game's state was. I normally only program the AI on our games so I can keep a level of distance from the game itself to determine whether it's "Ready". On Elemental, I was in love with the world and the game and lost my impartiality.
We'll do better.
It good to see a post like this, at least your head isn't in the sand anymore ( as you said ). Annatar made a good point, 1-2 months of testing the completed FULL game , would have been the better course of action. And even 2 months would be on the short end of the testing stick imho.
I am a customer for life, your company's level of support is unquestionable, and RARE in these days of shovel-ware... But somethings just stick out like giant flaming red flags, that as a beta tester , could be seen since beta 1.
What it seems is you guys went the "APB" course of everyone working on their own little part of the project , plopping it all together at the end, and saying its DONE, its FUN, and people will LOVE it.
I can't imagine there wasn't anyone on the team that said, "you know what this is a major issue regarding how its all coming together." Nobody ???
Its a dangerous game when you have only YES men reporting to you...
The first 3 betas in my eyes were alpha tests, and beta 4 (where it all came together should have been what was given to us at BETA1) there is no reason I should have a game now that I cannot complete due to some BEX error or APPCRASH error, every single time I play. Worst part is this error only started happening after the 1.06 patch, which makes even less sense to me.
I am sticking with you guys, I don't want a refund, I think I just wanted to vent a little as I want the game that was promised, and I am willing to wait for it!