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Why is this game still a complete fail after months? The team has had literal months to work on things and it feels like the game has regressed.

Rover Handling

I still cannot drive a rover without having it fly into the atmosphere and the time that I do get with the rover on the troposphere is spent trying to flip the rover over because its handling was implemented by a four year old.

Crafting & Research

Why can I no longer craft a tank or small battery on my backpack? Why was there no on screen notification saying that the way small batteries and tanks can be crafted has been changed? Does System Era know anything about game design? I can understand a lack of tutorials for pre alpha games but the communication of the games mechanics to the player is nonexistent. There at a minimum should be a visual menu that accompanies the tiers of research and what has and has not been researched in each tier. I have researched countless parts/rocks/plants and still cannot build a small tank or small battery. There was even a time on my current save (7/10/2017) that I could build small batteries and the ability has since been removed. The research system is disgustingly broken. The fact that I can get anything from a single compound to the research behind a habitat from research components is just flat out terrible game design. Spending half an hour excavating and bringing back a research part only for it to yield compound is nothing short of insulting. How come when I scroll through the vehicle bay options sometimes a large rover will show up even though I have not researched it? What can I do to actually get the large rover researched so it will show up in the vehicle bay every time and not just when the game bugs in my favor? Still cannot build a large rover/truck after hours of researching.

Co-op

How come when I join another host I can only see structures built on Terran? Structures built on literally every other terrestrial object (moons and other planets) can only be seen by the host. The cooperative tag should be removed from this game on the steam store because co-op in this game is disgraceful and simply cannot work if what is being built is invisible to me…how lame

Review

Maybe this game is a huge mess of physics and making changes is harder than I could ever imagine so not fixing things like the rover handling or seems in the map can be understood but structure visibility is another story. I do not know what could be so complex about making all structures visible for all players across the whole solar system. Is this something as simple as changing a visibility Boolean? What complex unsolvable algorithms could be behind something as simple as making a skin/texture visible to all the players?

I know people are working on the game and it looks like System Era is a growing company but this game feels unchanged from its December release? Are the people working on the game too busy to finish it?

What a pathetic display for game development industry as a hole. I apologize for my terrible attitude but my friends and I feel like we wasted our money on a half-baked game that will not see completion within any relevant time frame.

Edited by MasonBaird

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so...many things to say. I will try and keep this short but I probably wont

All of the things you mentioned are legitmate concerns. Research is not great, vehicle physics are wonky, and our latest engine upgrade caused unforseen gravity issues. 

What I will say is, your perspective is a bit off. The game wasn't released in early access with everything figured out. This is exactly why it was and still is in a pre-alpha state. The small team of four has grown substantially because rather than just keep the original game, the team's vision for what Astroneer can be has grown. ~1 Million players and counting, and Brendan and Adam and co decided to take the money made and put it back into the company to scale up and deliver the game they hoped they could build in 2-3 years in a way shorter timeframe. 

I always try and give concrete examples so I will use one of yours. Making structures visible to all players across the whole solar system is not trivial. The game needs to run a variety of different hardware, and changing LOD behavior has tons of implications. Thankfully, Andrew is working on this because we think it is important. The restrictions also have to do with the fact that the host runs everything. This will get fixed when we have dedicated servers, but we can't just roll that out because all of the current game is written with P2P connections in mind. Also, because we are changing the way terrain works at it's very core, why would we spend time optimizing the current terrain scheme to work at large distances? I can keep going on. Saying co-op is broken though I think is a bridge too far. The player behavior you are describing is more of how people play minecraft on dedicated servers, building their own bases on distant corners of the map. I see why people want to do that, which is why all of the above is happening (I have tons of hours in minecraft servers where I literally never encountered another player) but the current system is not designed with this kind of behavior in mind. 

Still, I get your frustration. I have been trying my best to give people context with all of the new comms I have been working on, but I still feel your pain. From our side, there are a LOT of things happening. We are trying to walk a tightrope where we keep developing the current game in it's current state, while also thinking about the future of Astroneer down the line. I am sorry you feel like you wasted your money, but we feel we are on track to make Astroneer much bigger and better than originally imagined and that is going to take time. 

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@SES_joe Keep up the great work, guys!

@Wyvyrias Maybe you could throw in some links to the YouTube channel, social media accounts, and blog to help this person be more up-to-date with what is happening behind the scenes?

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2 hours ago, Chase Page said:

@SES_joe Keep up the great work, guys!

@Wyvyrias Maybe you could throw in some links to the YouTube channel, social media accounts, and blog to help this person be more up-to-date with what is happening behind the scenes?

Not wyvyrias buuut, here's something I pasted from the wiki

Community Links

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@MasonBaird ...... I'm curious based on the problems your having if you start a new game when a new patch comes out?  I found that some of my friends that have had similar problems refused to start fresh and kill the old saves.    When playing multi player they have to sort out who has the most powerful computer to be the host ....I to would like to be able to play multi player.

I understand the frustration people are having waiting for the game to improve and be so much better than it is now, after all it has so much potential....  remember its is a work in progress if that is a deal breaker its to bad.... I have bought 100+ games over the years that were a waste of money and Astroneer is not one of them..... Do I get Pissed off at the game.... YES... Do I want to strangle the Staff when my fully loaded Truck Train takes 2 hours to get out of a hole or to stop pissing around in the sky....Yes but.... I now have 900+ hours in Steam playing this game and haven't spent 10% of that much time in any game since StarCraft/Broodwar 10+years ago.  

I don't want you to be mad but this is the same thing I tell my friends in real life.... 

Play on....

 

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Started game up after 2-3 months to see how things are coming along...  started new game.  I really want this game to succeed but right now it doesn't have what it will take.

For a game that requires the player to build their own narrative (awesome) it needs to be extremely rich in terms of environment interaction and progression based on effort.  It also needs to lead to a rewarding end-game. 

One small example of lacking environmental interaction: I dig down to the base of a tree... it has a tapered end instead of a root system and just sort of falls and leans a bit in the hole. This isn't a realistic representation of a plant this large.  Some hyper-realism is necessary to build on an exploration narrative (such as the physics problems with rover the OP wrote about).  As an aside, there is no point to digging up the tree aside from look for a research egg. Perhaps felled trees can be carried and incorporated into the base building in some meaningful way, such as a barrier for storms. Same with rocks and the rover train. You need the crane to pick up a rock and place it on the rover cargo bed. The rock can be used for a barrier for example.

 

Progression: You are a lonely astroneer who is surviving and exploring. You come with a baseline tech since you are already a spacefarer. However, you research tech from the planet so you develop tech native to the planet you are on. So the tech will depend on the planet type and give a reason for traveling to different planets and developing outposts on them. There should be some advantage to bringing arid tech to the terran world and vice versa. 

 

End game: a fully developed solar system with some possible automation of menial tasks to supply more advanced exploration. The game is really about exploration at its heart (IMO) so creating new and unique caves, small planetoids/asteroids that are hard to find yet rewarding in some way. Perhaps they yield ancient clues that gradually build a picture of a lost civilization and completing the clues "wins the game". This would take 100+ hrs of gametime to complete and require bases on each planet to complete.

 

Hope this is helpful

 

 

Some additional thoughts:

The starting game is too easy to survive due to easy tether roping and unlimited O2. Some possible fixes: early game should be a race to provide a durable O2 supply. The capsule only has a few days supply then you are on your own. Also, tethers can be broken up by storms.  Oxygen modules like in space engineers.

Storms: this is a great feature. They really do need to damage the base though. This rewards players who build protection either by going underground or making barriers around their base or in the direction that storms typically come from.  Even for underground bases could have their own issues with very rare earthquakes that damage modules or partial collapses that need to be excavated. Earthquakes could add to the danger of cave exploring too.

 

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@Zeus

It's too bad you do not approve of this So-Early-Access-It's-Pre-ALPHA 'game', that's currently more of an advanced proof-of-concept than an actual game ready for full Final Release.

I've been really pleased with System Era and Astroneer so far. The ongoing reports, the informing us of difficulties they've been having, and giving us a glimpse of the process of iterations and work on game development.

The 'game' as it stands is (for me) a lot of fun, and I hope it never becomes a survival race. The general look of the game is rather cartoony, so I'm perfectly happy with alien 'trees' that hold themselves up by a rounded end stuck in the ground. I agree that it would be great to have a gripping hand for the crane, as I have wanted to move things (like Large Storage Blocks) around, and being able to use the 'trees' for decoration or wind break would be great.

I get that it seems too easy to play at the moment, but it's still very much a work in progress. You may want to just leave it sitting for 6 months or so before revisiting it, as it sounds like you were expecting far more than an Early Access, Pre-alpha 'game' would normally have. So long as System Era does not abandon the game, things will progress. Have patience, and wait to see where the devs decide to take it. If it goes where you don't want a game like this to go, perhaps you would be better off with a different game.

My two cents worth, and worth exactly the paper it's printed on. Have a great one!

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@The Gray Mouser

In today's era of early release - eternal alpha/beta - companies are chasing perfection (think Star Citizen) and losing focus (IMO) on the fact that it has to be a game unless you are explicitly creating a simulation with game elements.  My concern is that they are over 6 months into the release and have not included compelling game element content. Since my post, I read their dev-blog and see they do have content release planned and are now focusing on backbone issues. Still though, in the current meta of early release a game can very well become stale and have trouble generating hype and new followers if it stagnates too long in a pre-alpha stage.  How is space engineers going to be marketed as a final copy when it has been in alpha and now beta for what seems like already a normal game life-cycle (several years)?  I understand all this takes time, but Astroneer developers have to show what the game is before the whole concept becomes stale. 

 

Edit: another example is Dual Universe which promises the universe yet is unconvincing when it comes to game theory.

Edited by Zeus

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@Zeus

Your concerns are valid and I (although I'm not affiliated with SES) appreciate you using the forums to voice them.

I would just like to briefly say that although not much content has been released, there has been a ton of overhaul under the surface. For one, they just switched game engines! I don't know what that is like but I can only imagine it's a ton of work, including tweaking, fixing, and redoing some things to make compatible with the engine. This will also make things easier for them and allow more possibility for future content. So get ready, my friend!

Also, when they first released, it was barely even a bare-bones game. The team was just trying to push to get it out there and then fix everything and work forward.  I'm not saying it's a smart or dumb choice, you can decide on that. That's why there's so much to fix and work on before content.  Also, when they first started, they only had a handful of people on the team. Now their team has grown more than double I think!

Lastly, one of the team members had passed away recently. This tragic loss has set the team back just a little bit while they grieve and mourn over him. This explains some (not all) of the delay in the recent months.

I believe that, especially after just recently transitioning to a new game engine, things will start to take off much quicker than they have before.

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@Zeus

I understand your concern, and am familiar with developers doing this same thing (7 Days to Die, etc.), and agree that there is a definite risk (to say the least) in this kind of extreme early access of losing the interest of not just the current purchasers, but by losing THEM quite possibly losing a great many other possible customers through word-of-mouth aversion.

While I have enjoyed my time playing it (over 140hrs), there are definitely ongoing issues that need to be resolved. The question is: Is it more important to have more content and gameplay added as fast as possible, or to lock down the current gameplay to a solid platform, eliminating the current performance issues (in-space floating beacon flags, storm balls on Arid visibly waiting 'off stage' for their turn to roll at you, Terrain tool reticle jumping from point to point in flatten mode while on other planets, cockpits printing backward on large landers, etc), and THEN adding expanded content?

What I see when I look at the dev posts and videos is a team working on both at the same time, with many of the new gameplay additions being held back until the core play is more solid, but still being developed. Sadly, of course, I also see a team focusing on improving interface for a second, MUCH different control system for consoles, when those people MIGHT be able to be focusing more on expanded content or support of core stabilization... Was the console release a good choice? Who knows... That's the path they chose to take.

As I have posted before, I really enjoy playing the game as it stands, and spend more time laughing at glitches than getting upset, and I think that is because I play Astroneer specifically BECAUSE it's cartoony and kinda silly. It's a HUGE change from mass zombie-slaying, hyper-realistic survival games and over-complex space management sims. I play Astroneer to relax and have fun, and in THAT, the dev team has done a great job, and I'm crossing my fingers that before the sale viability of the game evaporates, that they stabilize and expand it enough for it to keep being fun for however long I am able to play it.

Perhaps it WAS a little (maybe a LOT) early to release, but I'm glad they did, because it means I get to play the current version, and if the later development ends up making it a kind of game that I don't enjoy playing, at least I got to play it while I considered it fun. I'm trying to hold out hope for the future, and am willing to wait to see what that future will bring.

Simply out of a desire to see others play this game (a pointless desire, but still there), I hope you have patience as well, and for your own sake, I hope that where it goes ends up being something you can really enjoy playing. In the end, that's the roll of the dice we all make when we buy into an early access game: Will it turn out to be a great and fun game we can enjoy, or will it be just another version of shovel-ware, lost in the static of a gaming world swamped by more of the same, having lost it's uniqueness to a desire to chase what's perceived as 'popular'? This was one roll of the die I was willing to make, but I will accept with as much aplomb as I can muster, whatever the final fall of the dice brings.

Here's hoping you stick with it enough to see what we end up seeing it become... Cheers, sir!

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I very much have enjoyed reading these replies. The astroneer devs have definitely hit on a novel game idea. I also love playing it because I find the graphics, interface, exploration and ambiance relaxing. I wouldn't want this to turn into a steep learning curve simulation or arcade style experience either. Maintaining what people love about this game right now is key to its growing success. 

I hope they do invest in an enjoyable single player experience. Relaxing simple games like this probably appeal to an older crowd who don't necessarily want to commit to the time and coordination necessary for serious online gaming.  Games I put 200 hrs into a single "map" (factorio, space engineers, ?astroneer) won't provide the experience I am looking for in multiplayer. Not saying it shouldn't have it, but focus on a good single experience and the multi should follow naturally.

The "easter-egg" tribute they put into the game in memory of their deceased team mate was touching and really demonstrated their creativity and trust in their player base to discover it.  If they continue on that theme of meta-discovery it will be very well received. Tweaking the procedural generation for more distinct geography to make exploration more rewarding is a relatively low hanging fruit too.  Factorio devs recently announced they were looking at this since they found that past a certain point exploration in and of itself becomes redundant as the terrain begins to repeat itself (albeit in large chunks). 

Will definitely stick with the game and check back in every so often. 

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Speaking as an early adopter of the game (meaning back in December), it seems like it was more fun to play in those early days.  Granted the development has been slow, but the team was only half of what it is now.  And there have been some good things happen recently... like fixing the smelter. 

Now that they've switched game engines, I would hope to see them addressing bugs at a faster rate than introducing new content... like fixing the gravity and vehicle control scheme.  Regardless, I'm anxious to see how they progress.

Edited by Pi_

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i've been posting a few pet peeves of my own in other threads here, so i come to this thread with the perspective of someone who has played 200+ hours of this game and frankly had at least as much sheer fun as i have annoyance with it. i sympathise with MasonBaird's frustration, and i know from where it springs, having felt it myself on many occasions. i did want to say that i rarely play computer games, and when i find one that has the spark of something special i tend to play the heck out of them. I picked up ASTRONEER in the same week i bought DOOM in a steam sale - that game is a massive download, and it's currently running a patch that is another massive download. i have played 7 hours of DOOM. i think those figures say a lot.

but the game has some real problems. i know it's only a pre-alpha, and i can expect it to fluctuate and get buggy, but... looking round here i find i'm not the only one who feels like i'm stuck in a loop with this game. fix the draw distance, the map seams turn into cracks you can fall into and die. new update, maps are fixed, but vehicles are undriveable and stuff defies gravity. new patch, and vehicles are good again, but storms are now OUT TO GET YOU  - oh, and draw distance is bad again. new update. storms are fixed, vehicles are all over the place. new patch. vehicles are sorted, maps are buggy and stuff is back to floating. and so on and so on. we go around as the devs struggle to tie all this down, but the game is getting more complex behind the scenes, and that extra complexity makes it more likely to come apart again, usually with stuff we've all seen before (mind you, items inverted in their sockets is a new one!).

so, from the outside, it all feels like there's no progress. you tie one thing down, two others spring loose again. and that's frustrating.

but there's another problem here, and it's more to do with the way the game as an experience is being handled, rather than obvious technical bugs. no-one is going to pretend that the research game balance issue is one we can be objective about - it hurts to have capabilities taken from you - but it's fair comment to say there are serious issues that arent just about personal gripes. i dont have a fix for them. i do know that the people who are complaining about them should be listened to, and be shown to have been listened to. they have, after all, payed good money for the privelidge of effectively running many hours of test play and reporting back what they find. and i'm seeing a lot of stuff that many people have been asking for since the earliest days of this game that hasnt turned up yet. it makes one wonder: is anybody actually listening?

i know the company  needs to make a saleable product to survive, which means not only a stable and consistent world engine, but also lots of new stuff for players to do, interact with, work on, explore. but out here, in the pre-alpha, there's a huge community of people who just want beacons with icons or colours so they can be identified. or some way to move downed trees so they dont clog up the place. or for space debris to be a bit more than just curios, perhaps a way to connect them to your base would be nice. these things, and others, arent wildly impossible to implement, shouldn't hurt your dev team's goals too much surely? any of them would be more warmly received here than a half-implemented lighting system - what are we supposed to do with that? we cant even feedback the problems because you already KNOW the problems, you said so in the realease! so what do we do? sit in the darkness in silence and wait to see when you will complete this part of your game? man, that sucks.

Systemera, you have created for yourself an interesting dilemma: you actually have two games right now - the one played at the moment, that a whole bunch of people have paid for, and the one you're developing 'in secret', full of new content and finished implementations of stuff we get to glimpse the shadows of. you cant pretend these are the same game anymore. this one has too many players, dare i say it - a FANBASE - whose needs should be treated seriously. because if you fail to do that, then who will buy your other game, the one that this one could be and more?

not me. probably.

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10 minutes ago, Bron said:

i've been posting a few pet peeves of my own in other threads here, so i come to this thread with the perspective of someone who has played 200+ hours of this game and frankly had at least as much sheer fun as i have annoyance with it. i sympathise with MasonBaird's frustration, and i know from where it springs, having felt it myself on many occasions. i did want to say that i rarely play computer games, and when i find one that has the spark of something special i tend to play the heck out of them. I picked up ASTRONEER in the same week i bought DOOM in a steam sale - that game is a massive download, and it's currently running a patch that is another massive download. i have played 7 hours of DOOM. i think those figures say a lot.

but the game has some real problems. i know it's only a pre-alpha, and i can expect it to fluctuate and get buggy, but... looking round here i find i'm not the only one who feels like i'm stuck in a loop with this game. fix the draw distance, the map seams turn into cracks you can fall into and die. new update, maps are fixed, but vehicles are undriveable and stuff defies gravity. new patch, and vehicles are good again, but storms are now OUT TO GET YOU  - oh, and draw distance is bad again. new update. storms are fixed, vehicles are all over the place. new patch. vehicles are sorted, maps are buggy and stuff is back to floating. and so on and so on. we go around as the devs struggle to tie all this down, but the game is getting more complex behind the scenes, and that extra complexity makes it more likely to come apart again, usually with stuff we've all seen before (mind you, items inverted in their sockets is a new one!).

so, from the outside, it all feels like there's no progress. you tie one thing down, two others spring loose again. and that's frustrating.

but there's another problem here, and it's more to do with the way the game as an experience is being handled, rather than obvious technical bugs. no-one is going to pretend that the research game balance issue is one we can be objective about - it hurts to have capabilities taken from you - but it's fair comment to say there are serious issues that arent just about personal gripes. i dont have a fix for them. i do know that the people who are complaining about them should be listened to, and be shown to have been listened to. they have, after all, payed good money for the privelidge of effectively running many hours of test play and reporting back what they find. and i'm seeing a lot of stuff that many people have been asking for since the earliest days of this game that hasnt turned up yet. it makes one wonder: is anybody actually listening?

i know the company  needs to make a saleable product to survive, which means not only a stable and consistent world engine, but also lots of new stuff for players to do, interact with, work on, explore. but out here, in the pre-alpha, there's a huge community of people who just want beacons with icons or colours so they can be identified. or some way to move downed trees so they dont clog up the place. or for space debris to be a bit more than just curios, perhaps a way to connect them to your base would be nice. these things, and others, arent wildly impossible to implement, shouldn't hurt your dev team's goals too much surely? any of them would be more warmly received here than a half-implemented lighting system - what are we supposed to do with that? we cant even feedback the problems because you already KNOW the problems, you said so in the realease! so what do we do? sit in the darkness in silence and wait to see when you will complete this part of your game? man, that sucks.

Systemera, you have created for yourself an interesting dilemma: you actually have two games right now - the one played at the moment, that a whole bunch of people have paid for, and the one you're developing 'in secret', full of new content and finished implementations of stuff we get to glimpse the shadows of. you cant pretend these are the same game anymore. this one has too many players, dare i say it - a FANBASE - whose needs should be treated seriously. because if you fail to do that, then who will buy your other game, the one that this one could be and more?

not me. probably.

+1. The team rocks, from what I see in the videos and read. But they are a bit silent. I dont know what happens about patch 196, if they work on the crash reports for example. Im surprised its no feedback nearly a week after the shipping.

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1 minute ago, Moonminer008 said:

+1. The team rocks, from what I see in the videos and read. But they are a bit silent. I dont know what happens about patch 196, if they work on the crash reports for example. Im surprised its no feedback nearly a week after the shipping.

thanks for your upvote. true, the silence on 196 is rather deafening. i guess we wait and see, again.

it's just that recently, i've been having the strangest feeling with this pre-alpha. it's like this:

we all got into this deal keen to make a go of it. we got a cool little game and a chance to help out, and maybe even help guide the shape of that game as it grows. we'd say 'dude, this game is awesome! but you might want to look at the floating rocks issue.' and they would say 'thanks! glad you like the game! i'm on those floating rocks, they'll be fixed snappy!' and everything was most good.

then, we started saying 'hey guys, listen, your game is cool and all, but you changed a bunch of stuff and now it's less fun to play. can we do something about that? also, we asked for stuff at the beginning - is there any chance of seeing any of that stuff? also, the floating rocks are back. again. sorry dudes.' and they started saying, 'thanks for your input. thanks to you, we are expanding and improving our business model, and are busy creating lots of excellent content for our final release. new updates will be available soon. this has been a recorded message.'

sorry, but i've been in relationships like that before. they don't end well (and i still want my Lambchop CD's back, Rachel, y'hear!).

 

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12 hours ago, Moonminer008 said:

+1. The team rocks, from what I see in the videos and read. But they are a bit silent. I dont know what happens about patch 196, if they work on the crash reports for example. Im surprised its no feedback nearly a week after the shipping.

Maybe that's (part of) the problem!?

Somebody wrote on reddit (or was it Twitter?): "less vlogs, more work!"

The "basics" of the game, especially the core gameplay, is partially not working or buggy since release of the game (and it's not getting better!).

I am not missing features, i even don't expect new ones.

But what i expect from an Early-Access-Game (Pre-Alpha), is that the core gameplay is running nearly "perfect" so that you can rely on it. New features (buildings, animals, water or whatever) can be implemented/tested in the alpha version, whereas the majority of bugs are on focus in the beta version until final.

I'm no programmer.. but this would be a good way to go i think.

Edited by stargaser

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1 hour ago, stargaser said:

Maybe that's (part of) the problem!?

Somebody wrote on reddit (or was it Twitter?): "less vlogs, more work!"

The "basics" of the game, especially the core gameplay, is partially not working or buggy since release of the game (and it's not getting better!).

I am not missing features, i even don't expect new ones.

But what i expect from an Early-Access-Game (Pre-Alpha), is that the core gameplay is running nearly "perfect" so that you can rely on it. New features (buildings, animals, water or whatever) can be implemented/tested in the alpha version, whereas the majority of bugs are on focus in the beta version until final.

I'm no programmer.. but this would be a good way to go i think.

I don't expect a pre-alpha to be nearly perfect, I'd expect that in a beta. As many people call for new content as people who want fixes, so the devs can't please everyone. Personally, I am glad they are working on both areas together as I want to see things released on both sides soon. I am prepared to wait but keen to get updates as well.

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Perhaps i have expressed something wrong (i'm german, my english is properly not accurate enough ^_^).

From a technical position, i would create a good and stable basis first (e.g. netcode) you can work with. This should be "nearly bug free" after pre-alpha, so that you can concentrate on other things you are going to implement or test.

For the last few patches/months, i can't see such a "red line" they are going for.

Sometimes you hear, yeah, we are going to optimize/solve coop sync problems, a few weeks later dedicated servers are neccessary in order to do so.

Then i'm imaging me a question:

When they were going to plan this game as a coop game, was it so unpredictable that they would need dedicated servers because of fact that their own idea of "netcode" is actually not working for a bug-free and reliable coop gaming?

You know what i mean?

I can imagine, it's not easy to change such a core element as it has ja major effect on the whole game (programming).

For me, the impression remains, Astroneer is a (planned?) Single Player game which has got a "so or so" working coop/multiplayer mode.

And this is not meant evil, I (and perhaps others) just do not know where I (we) have to classify/rate all this what is (or is not) happening the last few months.

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@stargaser, thanks for adding some more info. I think coop was planned from the start, but perhaps the correct code to achieve it was harder than the original devs thought?

From what I have read, the idea for this game came to a few friends who had worked in the industry already. They got a couple of other friends to help build the initial game, giving up their jobs so that they could devote enough time to it. At some point, after a year or more, they need to release it so that they can earn some money, as they have families to support and bills to pay. Money also means hiring more developers. But, when is the game good enough to release? Will people like it? Will people complain about bugs or lack of content? Will people be patient while the full idea for the game is realised and the code fixed and optimised? Difficult choices!

The devs are very open to communicating, they admit they've learned lessons and made some mistakes. They've also been amazed at how popular their game became and how quickly it grew in popularity. Read their blogs or watch their videos from the early days and that is clear. Maybe with hindsight they would have changed things, getting the code better before release. But who knew the game would sell well?

I think there are some areas they can improve upon, such as better testing before releasing, but I cannot fault them for their transparency or their efforts to please their players. For that, and the beautiful and engaging game they have created, I am happy to support them. System Era are a breath of fresh air for this consumer who deals with faceless corporations who care most for their reputation and their profits. But I do understand frustration and concern from those who have purchased a game that is not yet finished. The game is clearly stated as being incomplete, but messages in the game or on social media don't always get noticed or understood. Any developer who has written code to show a message to a user will know that no one reads them! :D

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I'm completely on side with the Dev's. While I've never developed a game, I have been a systems developer, and in IT for 20+ years, and can testify that building some big isn't easy, isn't quick and often building new will mean you make mistakes or things don't work as you'd planned. Or that bug you fixed re-appeared. Or the fix you made caused something else to break. That means rolling it back, starting again. And now iterate through that, sometimes many, many times, until it's as good as you can make it.

I'm sitting here typing, feeling a smattering of jealousy, that these guys are creating something which is on the edge of awesome. I'll wait, I'll test, I'll suffer the bugs and I'll feed those back in the hope that they achieve that awesome.

Edited by CodeIsBroken
typo

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Bottom line on my point of view is that start ups are trying to have it both ways; they want the public money to fund further growth but they also probably don't mind using pre-alpha status to shield themselves from criticism about their product.  
 

yes games take a long time to develop and yes it is cool to be able to enjoy them before they are a polished product.  Having hundreds/thousands of free testers (not only free, but have paid you to test your game) should help accelerate development.  I recently read that Diablo 3 was under development for close to a decade before the public even knew about it.  The original makers of Doom didn't crowdfund or take years.. they dropped it like it was hot after one year of work.  (ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_Doom) 

Bottom line on my point of view is that start ups are trying to have it both ways; they want the public money to fund further growth but they also probably don't mind using pre-alpha status to shield themselves from criticism about their product.  To survive for years in alpha/beta years you need a compelling game to continue to grow fan base.  Star citizen is pushing it to the max... it was announced in 2012 and planned for release in 2014... it's still in alpha in 2017... think about that.  They are keeping people interested beyond all rationality by actually expanding the content and communicating what their plans are for future content.. even though the game isn't nearly implemented they have clearly stated what the vision for the final product is. Draw your own comparison with astroneer for example.  It's just a cautionary tale.
 

yes games take a long time to develop and yes it is cool to be able to enjoy them before they are a polished product.  Having hundreds/thousands of free testers (not only free, but have paid you to test your game) should help accelerate development.  I recently read that Diablo 3 was under development for close to a decade before the public even knew about it.  The original makers of Doom didn't crowdfund or take years.. they dropped it like it was hot after one year of work.  (ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_Doom) 

If I were the devs I would throw together some compelling content.. put it into the game... call it a beta.. then smash bugs. full disclosure is that I have no idea what I'm talking about and have never programmed a damned thing beyond making the worm go around the screen in the early 1990's.


(EDIT: took too long to edit, reposted in full)

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Games are a "little" more complex than they were back when they made DOOM.

Also, keep in mind we all chose to pay money for a buggy, partial game so early in its development they are still working out how the core systems work. We are reminded of this with a splash screen every single time we load a world. If you aren't happy about that, then your bad... not theirs.

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