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Author Topic: Update on the Update  (Read 35725 times)

ce-net

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Update on the Update
« on: August 19, 2015, 03:19:37 AM »

0.7 has been in development for quite some time. While this is fine, the lack of updates on the patch notes thread is quite worrying. The last update on the main thread was on the 23rd of July and as of today (August 19th), approximately two months have passed without any updates on the development of  0.7 . Can we please get an update on this update?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 04:12:00 AM by ce-net »
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Tartiflette

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 04:36:55 AM »

It's following the exact same pattern and time-line as the last 3 major releases, expect nothing new for a month and a half, something like that.
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Gothars

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2015, 06:07:05 AM »

From my experience an prolonged update break indicates that no new features are being added, but the newly implemented ones are being refined.  It's easy to talk about new features, but not easy to make interesting blogposts about a prologned process of iterating, balancing and bugfixing. Which if true, would mean we're nearing completion.
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selkathguy

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2015, 09:18:22 AM »

Which if true, would mean we're nearing completion.
I think that's the OP's point.  We don't know if that's true.  I was active on my own forums long after I stopped developing my game, and "when it's done" became an inside joke as I lost interest in the project.  But I was still active on the forums for years after I stopped caring about/developing the game.  I am well aware that is projection, and may not be the case here, but it is an example of how being active on your forums does not necessarily mean you have intent of finishing your work, which is why people are spooked.

I don't see see how bugfixing and balancing means you don't need to post a changelog with some regularity.  If you spent a month balancing missiles and market interactions, put that in the log.  Even if that's all you did, and you can be as specific or general as you want.  That way players who care about balancing and tweaks and the framework can read it, and the ones who don't can ignore it while still being informed that it's under constant development from the mere fact that there are regular changelogs with things changing.

Also if you are in the phase of balancing, isn't that was your alpha testers are for?  Isn't that the point of making your game available for purchase so early?  Bugfixing and balancing especially are the quintessential reasons for having alpha/beta testers so that you have a wider set of players from which to pull statistics of what works and what does not.  If you're only going to show things to your testers that you believe are full stable features, then it isn't really an alpha and it's more like an "early-access".
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 09:22:32 AM by selkathguy »
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Gothars

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2015, 09:47:32 AM »

I think that's the OP's point.  We don't know if that's true.  I was active on my own forums long after I stopped developing my game, and "when it's done" became an inside joke as I lost interest in the project.  But I was still active on the forums for years after I stopped caring about/developing the game.  I am well aware that is projection, and may not be the case here, but it is an example of how being active on your forums does not necessarily mean you have intent of finishing your work, which is why people are spooked.

What I meant is that the update/information policy follows an established pattern, so I see no reason to worry at this point.


Also if you are in the phase of balancing, isn't that was your alpha testers are for?  Isn't that the point of making your game available for purchase so early?  Bugfixing and balancing especially are the quintessential reasons for having alpha/beta testers so that you have a wider set of players from which to pull statistics of what works and what does not.  If you're only going to show things to your testers that you believe are full stable features, then it isn't really an alpha and it's more like an "early-access".

There's a difference between getting a mechanic functional in the first place and to hammering out its details and quirks. User feedback is very useful for the latter and frustrating to all sides for the former.
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selkathguy

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2015, 10:05:16 AM »

What I meant is that the update/information policy follows an established pattern, so I see no reason to worry at this point.
If a pattern is one update every 5 years, thats 5-10 years before we're allowed to be concerned? 

This is supposed to be a full-time project.  Changelogs (not even talking about releases I just mean some kind of report) more than a month apart is commonly considered a bad thing for full-time projects. Habit does not make it good practice.

There's a difference between getting a mechanic functional in the first place and to hammering out its details and quirks. User feedback is very useful for the latter and frustrating to all sides for the former.
I agree wholeheartedly.
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ce-net

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2015, 10:21:49 AM »

From my experience an prolonged update break indicates that no new features are being added, but the newly implemented ones are being refined.  It's easy to talk about new features, but not easy to make interesting blogposts about a prologned process of iterating, balancing and bugfixing. Which if true, would mean we're nearing completion.

The refinement of old features has been a constant feature of the in-dev patch notes; in the form of bugfixes, balance and misc. The blog posts and other dev update don't necessarily have to be interesting as their main goal (in my opinion) is to show that development is very much active and ongoing.
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Alex

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2015, 11:04:36 AM »

Should I drop by here to say that development is very much active and ongoing? Probably should. So: development is very much active and ongoing :)

(Yeah, I should write a blog post soon. Just wrapped up another... well, not quite feature, but something that's, all in all, taken longer to hammer out than expected. Just one of those things that, gameplay-wise, was hard to make work. Would probably make for a good post, though.

Part of the trouble is there's a lot going on, dev-wise, so it's hard to take the time to write one. As far as the patch notes, they're fairly sparse right now - I mean, it doesn't make sense to put "tweaked X" in there if X wasn't ever out in its original form to begin with.)
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selkathguy

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2015, 11:24:57 AM »

it doesn't make sense to put "tweaked X" in there if X wasn't ever out in its original form to begin with.)
I think it's perfectly good to talk about X even if X isn't in the current public release.  Don't have to include super specific values or anything, but general nerf/buff/rework things. It helps us build a picture of the game and the issues that you're facing, as some of us have a genuine interest in that process (me). But as for other people, it still serves the purpose of showing the kinds of things you're working on and it engenders more trust from prospective players/buyers.  In addition, changelogs are often used as a historical reference for when things changed, and can be useful for identifying an emergent and highly intermitent problem when it crops up over time.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 11:37:16 AM by selkathguy »
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Tartiflette

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2015, 11:25:18 AM »

This is supposed to be a full-time project. Changelogs (not even talking about releases I just mean some kind of report) more than a month apart is commonly considered a bad thing for full-time projects. Habit does not make it good practice.
Then I suppose that game development is going bad for the past 4 or 5 years huh? And besides continuing to work exactly as before since forever, Alex keep replying to bug reports (sometimes in a manner of minutes even on a Sunday) or PMs, so I don't see why worry in the first place....
Also, as he just mentioned, it's hard to talk about balance tweaks with the players when it's about features that aren't released yet.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 11:30:05 AM by Tartiflette »
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SafariJohn

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2015, 12:08:55 PM »

I was around when Dwarf Fortress went over 2 years without a release, and that community is still just fine. The long wait then didn't bother me, and given how active Alex is on the forums here this Starsector drought is even less bothersome.

Part of the trouble is there's a lot going on, dev-wise, so it's hard to take the time to write one. As far as the patch notes, they're fairly sparse right now - I mean, it doesn't make sense to put "tweaked X" in there if X wasn't ever out in its original form to begin with.)

"Super-Turbo-Jets removed."
"Hellbore sprite changed back to 0.65.2a version."
"Tribbles nerfed by 25%."

 :P ;)
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Alex

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2015, 12:15:46 PM »

I think it's perfectly good to talk about X even if X isn't in the current public release.  Don't have to include super specific values or anything, but general nerf/buff/rework things. It helps us build a picture of the game and the issues that you're facing, as some of us have a genuine interest in that process (me). But as for other people, it still serves the purpose of showing the kinds of things you're working on and it engenders more trust from prospective players/buyers.

I see what you're saying, yeah. I think it depends on how you look at it - I tend to view the changelog as "this is what changed compared to the previous version" rather than "this is a point by point list of what I've been doing", though there's definitely some gray area there and I don't manage to keep it 100% the former.

I think the benefit to the "this is what changed" approach is it's more useful to someone seeing a particular section of the changelog in isolation. A "here's what I did" list needs more context to really make sense.
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xenoargh

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2015, 12:29:16 PM »

Quote from: Alex
Should I drop by here to say that development is very much active and ongoing? Probably should. So: development is very much active and ongoing  :)
Quote
So said Melville, halfway through Moby ***, lol.  Anyhow, I'm very much excited about this release and I'm looking forward to seeing another blog post as you get closer :)
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Dri

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2015, 12:41:00 PM »

You could try what the highly successful and lone Rimworld dev does - basically a super brief day by day update.

Here is what he does: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ma3kFSDZHA4aE_7SSw8CyKCccWF4Dfj0KDQ_A8UB-hI/pub

I think players just want something to read.
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orost

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Re: Update on the Update
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2015, 01:16:53 PM »

I like what Dwarf Fortress does in this matter. DF goes years between updates and survives on donations, and the little dev logs work wonders to keep the playerbase happy about development.

Not that I really think Alex is doing anything wrong here.
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