Oh man you guys. This is so, so sad.
PC Gamer outright trashed it. Lowest score I’ve seen in months:
RPS didn’t even review it, because they didn’t feel it was fair to review a game that was so unfinished:
Woof. As many of you know, I had a blast playtesting the game, and despite some really scary and disappointing choices (namely the lack of NPC dialogue/factions), I still had serious hope they’d pull it off. I never played the originals, so I don’t have that set of expectations, but I believed they could make something fun in its own right, in the vein of other LGS games.
This hope came entirely from the massive progress I saw with each playtest build. To progress from build 1 to build 6 was frankly staggering - so many bugs fixed, so many balance issues addressed, so much world-building, so much polishing.
I thought that given that rate of transformation, some of the bigger issues (physics, navigation, quest progression, AI) were being worked on under the surface, and would click into place before release, maybe with some more fixes added in patches. I never expected Day 1 release to be indicative of the final vision - I’ve yet to see a Kickstarted game pull that off, and I’ve backed loads. (And if there’s one thing playtesting taught me, balancing an immersive sim is insanely difficult work).
What’s becoming clear is that the core systems were too baked in to really make any serious changes in the timeframe, and that the polish we were seeing didn’t extend past the first three or four dungeon layers. The final vision, whatever it was, likely won’t be achieved even with months of post-release support.
I appreciate the sentiments on other threads of kindness and avoiding the “told-you-so” attitude (you’re a gentleman, Flug). I’ve always pushed to separate the people from the product - as someone who works in the entertainment biz, I know firsthand how detrimental personal criticism can be to a passion project.
But Christ. The lack of content here really, really gets me down. I’m sure all the devs are flattened. I can’t even imagine what’s going through their heads right now. I’m sending them all the love in the world. But it’s hard not to take this personally on some level, due to the nature of crowdfunding and the blurred line between fan and backer. Especially as a playtester - there were things in the first build that should have been easy fixes, but are still causing havok after release, that I know many of the testers reported many, many times.
I was planning to dig into the game today because it’s my first day off since release, but I think I’ll have to wait a few weeks (months?) until it’s semi-ready.
I hope the devs are taking some good healing time over the holiday. They deserve it. But I also hope they’ll be able to address what happened at some point down the line.
What a damn shame.