DEV BLOG Empyrion Galactic Survival: Leaving Alpha & Early Access

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Hummel-o-War, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. monktk

    monktk Captain

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    The original post here is very much describing a (necessary) Beta phase, but labeling it like a full release. "1.0" without a Beta tag carries certain expectations. People who have been loosely following the game, mostly waiting for a full release, are going to see that, hop in, and be met with a still-being-refined Beta. This has the potential to be disastrous for reviews and word-of-mouth.

    My brother and I have very different personal policies on Early Access. I'm more than happy to hop in and test and bug report if something shows a lot of promise, and deal with the ever-changing, ever-updating nature of Early Access while he prefers to wait for full releases. He's made exceptions for only 2 games.

    One of those games went full release ages ago. The other is just about to enter its 1.0 full release, having pushed it back a few times (and I think moving it forward once, too, lol) despite having long been in a state most devs would very reasonably consider a viable release. So I've already given him the heads-up that when he sees 1.0 on EGS, it does not mean the same thing as it does for that game, that it is in fact entering more of a beta phase. Not everybody loosely following this game's progress is going to get that warning.


    If this had been clearly announced as a move to Beta, I and I think a lot of others would respond to that as appropriate. There'd still be discussions about whether features need refinement or significant overhaul, or even questions as to whether the game is ready to move to Beta or should do another round of Alpha, naturally.

    But there'd be more trust and less uncertainty about how things would be handled. The confusion, alarm, wariness, and high level of concern that things are being rushed (and potentially abandoned) expressed in this thread stems from the conflicting labeling. And these are existing players who are aware of the current state of the game, not new players who aren't.

    You've described development continuing, and I trust that. But I completely understand why others are less sure. This wasn't as well-presented as it could have been, but that can still be addressed.

    Congrats on moving to the next phase! But please consider clarifying the situation, not just for existing players but for potential future ones.
     
    #101
  2. Addy

    Addy Lieutenant

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    They need to clarify the statement adding more info, is it Beta testing stage or not
     
    #102
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  3. SGP Corp

    SGP Corp Captain

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    I don't see this. Do you have specific examples to illustrate this point. Most of what "pushes" the limits of the engine seem to be happening in SP just as readily.

    No game "requires" it. The success of a game , IMO, is reflected in the existence of a mod community, not because of it. But MP doesn't ensure development of a game anymore than SP unless its MP pay-to-play like EVO or Star Citizen which creates revenue via subscription and so development is part of keeping that renewal interest. Sooner or later a self contained game like EGS even with MP will end active development (still a few years away I hope). MP in a self-contained game isn't going to extend it any more than SP.



    Well that is a subject worth its own thread. I think, in part, is the gap between AAA titles and Indy titles and how they approach game dev is a factor. As we are all aware AAA games do all their Alpha and Beta testing in-house and only show their product to the public at the end of development. Its also when they get the big payoff after operating in the red for all those years. At this point they might rush it out the door before its completely debugged because the creditors are knocking loudly and, thanks to the interwebs they can easily push patches later for those bugs. In the old days before the internet was common, post-release patches were much more problematic to get out (I remember buy boxed games with an additional disk thrown in holding a game patch) so the game had to be more polished out of the gate.
    Indy games, in part due to financial reasons, will often make the Alpha phase public and include the players input in their development. Unlike AAA studios with the payoff at the end, Indy studios like Eleon generate that payoff continually during the development process in order to pay the bills. As long as Eleon is getting new buyers of their game, they can afford to develop it but once that stream of income begins to wane they need to find ways to rejuvenate the product sales. They aren't a charity or a government agency for gaming, they are a business and as such have to make business decisions if they are to continue to pay salaries; like making a game both SP and MP even if you and I have our preferred mode we would like to see focused on. For many Indy studios who are creating open world games of this scale, the final product isn't the payoff but the end of it.

    I can't argue with this, I do enjoy the forums and taking about the game with others like you. I just don't like the headaches that can come sometimes with playing it with others.

    Agreed. I don't want to seem like I am slamming MP. MP is fine if that is what someone prefers. I just don't think that the future of EGS is in focusing on MP.

    Again, I think that is a subjective opinion unless you, again I say, want to give specific examples. I would point out that SP gamers seem to be producing as many bug reports as MP. For Bethesda studios, which emphases SP in many of their games, that style seems to be plenty successful in finding the limits of their game engine (judging by the evolution and upgrades of their engines over the years) so I imagine SP has done the same for Eleon.

    I agree that focus on addressing issues with current features would be good and long desired. As a positive sign I would point to Space Engineers, which this game is often compared to due to the nature of the game and also being an Indy dev title following the same style of development, left "Alpha" a year and half ago continues to evolve still.
     
    #103
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  4. krazzykid2006

    krazzykid2006 Rear Admiral

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    It sounds like they are releasing it and skipping Beta.

    They haven't directly used the words "release version" yet, but they did say it between the lines IMO.
    Beta is part of early access typically.
    We are leaving early access entirely according to the thread title. So the only other logical step is release version. They are even calling it 1.0

    They made things even more confusing though by saying they are still going to add new features.
     
    #104
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  5. fireborn

    fireborn Ensign

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    The entire point of Releasing the game and coming out of alpha means main features are finished and this is what the main game should generally look like when its out of beta and then boom they are finally done working on this game and can go make new games.

    Ah well. Guess the devs are sort of getting sick of working on it so much or the engine just cant handle more.
    Understandable really but also kind of sad with how much potential it had to keep growing.
     
    #105
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  6. Germanicus

    Germanicus Rear Admiral

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    "Guess" again;)
     
    #106
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  7. fireborn

    fireborn Ensign

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    hmm?
     
    #107
  8. Germanicus

    Germanicus Rear Admiral

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    "....Ah well. Guess the devs are sort of getting sick of working on it...."

    You are wrong, Thats all I say;)
     
    #108
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  9. fireborn

    fireborn Ensign

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    Of course thats all you will say.
    I actually thought i was wrong for a moment but seems your just some troll.
     
    #109
  10. Joij

    Joij Ensign

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    Since the devs said they would no longer make larger improvements to the game, does that mean removing the 250x250x250 size limit is off the table? Does this also mean new block shapes will not be added as well?

    See I'm really concerned about this. What do they mean by "not major additions"? Because there are many things I consider that need to be added to this game that from my point of view would be very much major indeed.

    Also what do they mean by release? Golden version or beta? It seems they never quite specified. However if it is the former then why? Just why? Is the game engine so bad they realized it can't go any further? Maybe they want to work on other games? Even so after this game gets bad reviews if it is released too early then their company would have a big enough smear on their reputation to not want anyone to buy any more games from them ever again.
     
    #110
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  11. Orclover

    Orclover Lieutenant

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    That is what I am reading so far as well which means they are gong from "mid-stage Alpha" to "FULL RELEASE" with nothing in between. Not even a thin veneer of a beta in updates. That's actually a bit troubling. This game actually has a lot of potential and we wouldn't be here in the forums arguing about it if it didn't.

    What is most worrying is a lot of us have seen other games do something similar in the past. This was usually followed by horrible reviews and a very dead game shortly after arrival. We are worrying a bit not only because we think the game is not ready to be called "release version". But because this likely signals that the team of devs is trying to cash in on this project......and move on to a different one. And that is their right, this is their baby and they can do with it what they wish. Just makes us a bit sad to think that is what is about to happen. Saying you are about to go into "release" is not just a step. It is a statement that your game is ready, and it is not. Its fun, even ground breaking in places. But I would barely say it is ready for Beta let alone ready for getting rid of the "early access" label.

    And yes I know I will get some heat for those words (from all sides even) and I also know I am not alone when I post this. But please understand that those who say these things are not angry or trolling or lashing out or even being incredibly pessimistic. For me, personally, this is decades of experience in beta testing and early access games.....Going as far back as watching Lord British get lit on fire by Rainz and fall over dead.

    But obviously this is a done deal. Godspeed and good luck Eleon, may the reviews be merciful.
     
    #111
  12. piddlefoot

    piddlefoot Rear Admiral

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    I would not stress over this, most of the backend is in for making incredible scenarios, and they are not stopping development, and yes its technically moving into a Beta period, that is likely to last a fairly long time also, but this game has a business plan like MC, thats flexible and long lasting, the game will get updates into the for-see-able future so I would not loose sleep over this change in tag.

    The devs should be proud of what they have created so far, from so little, to this, an incredible journey, my only issue in this entire time, all these years , was CPU, and I still hate it, like tens of thousands of others do and that it damaged over 65,000 BP on workshop cost us alot of players, and I do wonder if that update, being it was the most disruptive of all Empyrion updates in its entire history, has brought this release forward some ?
    Have our general sales averages dropped a little to a level they are not as sweet as before CPU ?
    Thats literally the difference between, Eleon having staff, and not.

    Because this is a sudden and unexpected change into Beta [ if we assume it is even that as it was not stated ] that , well none of us testers saw coming.......Begs the CPU question though doesnt it.



    But overall its been a good effort and awesome achievement by Eleon on there first PC game ever, up against some giants in the genre, like SE was at the time of release, sticking to what there dream was, kinda like MC in space is how they described it in 2015, and all of the people that have helped along the way, have really been awesome.

    We move towards a future where we will start to see some very complex, and likely more and more complex scenarios by players, they give this game the ability to have new stories all the time.
     
    #112
  13. Track Driver

    Track Driver Captain

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    And CROSS-HAIRS!!!
    I am sorely disappointed that a major change to development is made without addressing what seems such a simple and basic element of the game.

    The OEC and I will be keeping our old eyes on this.
     
    #113
  14. Kane Hart

    Kane Hart Administrator

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    I see a lot of people worried about the move. I just want to say there is a lot more people "upset" with the Alpha title then moving into a Beta / Release phase.

    They have now amazing building blocks and a great core where pretty much their saying from now on version 1.1,1.2 etc will probably not require a wipe or cause major game breaking save bugs hopefully.

    This will also help revitalize the community hopefully draw some new blood into the game as well. The developers team has clearly grown and so will their required upkeep and I personally think it's a great move on their part.

    Keep in Mind the days of Alpha, Beta, Early Access and their meanings went out of the Window about 20 years ago when MMO's started to break that system with Open Beta's. Since then the old School meaning of Alpha, Beta, etc is really based on the developers own personal visions.

    You have to admit the game is in a great state. I'm sure another big Patch with bug fixes some Qol, etc is on it's way to satisfy the players as well with the release of 1.0.

    I think at this point the best we can do is now support their decision and instead of being upset we move forward and look forward to another many great years with a great and in my books amazing game!
     
    #114
  15. Supay

    Supay Captain

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    Let me first say that I've got 200+ I think it might be 300 at this point hours out the game. It is one of a kind game in my opinion. I don't think it it is a bad game in its current state? However, I do have concerns.

    Looking at the future has me very concerned and the fact that some of the dev team weren't even informed about this choice until today makes me question why? What is the point? Why would you rush this? Someone quitting? this is a big thing and not talking much among your team is a clear sign of danger.

    The walking why the Vehicle is moving was the most requested feature yet nowhere in sight. The other big core features like a crew? Factory? Stealth and personal forcefield or personal shield? tech tree? space physics? space weather and creatures? sound?(Music is great) Water creatures and features along with physics and so on? Legacy space pirates and other factions missing in full form?

    Moving to Beta at least would show a sign of quality and I understand it isn't a "Release" but what else is the point of 1.0? I never heard of a 1.0 that wasn't a release?

    Overall I am disappointed in this choice. I'm going to give it a thumbs-up review because of what I got out of it. However, I can not in good faith assume updates and talked about features will ever show up with this kind of fast rushed 1.0 push. I have seen this lots before about games right before the team moves on to other projects.

    One last bit of advice(I know you all aren't asking) Allow assets to be put in the game through modding. I know you all are worried about copyright but do some research. So many other games have done it and did wonder for their sales and gameplay. This game would benefit a ton from it and bring a new breath into once you all do move to another project. please?

    Anyways thank you for time and effort with Empyrion and wish you luck with whatever you all choose to do!
     
    #115
  16. jlego

    jlego Captain

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    Yeah, I also get the impression from the OP that, even not in name, it's still a beta. Had to check when I bought it - it was the free weekend in 2016 (Alpha 1.0.4?), and it was £8.15 then. I knew then what I was signing up for, but if I didn't know anything about the game now, I'd presume that it was a full release because it was leaving Early Access. I think it needs to be clear on the store page that it's still in active development and isn't complete.

    This announcement just leaves me scratching my head wondering why the powers-that-be at Eleon think that this is a good idea.

    Not against DLC per se (I own DLC for some games that I thought was worth it), but yeah, I hope not (and I doubt that Eleon are as money-grabbing to have core game features as paid add-ons - they're not Electronic Arts* ;) ).

    * I'm thinking of the Dungeon Keeper debacle as I write this. Ugh... that's an example of how to ruin a game.
     
    #116
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  17. Jacoviz

    Jacoviz Captain

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    Until the bike is removed from the game, the game remains early access for me lol
     
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  18. wthunder666

    wthunder666 Ensign

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    I think it's a very bad move. Game still clearly in alpha state. Combat and AI leave too much to be desired. Reviews will not be forgiving. Better stay in alpha for now.
     
    #118
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  19. Darksynapse

    Darksynapse Lieutenant

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    I don't really agree with going to full release.

    When people buy a 1.0 game they expect a finished product with all the optimization/features working to the full extent.

    I think this game had another year before it was going to be ready for a 1.0 release. There's still a lot of things that need to be worked on.


    Game would get horrible reviews and bomb on steam if they released what we currently have as a finished 1.0 product.
     
    #119
  20. Southernrock18

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    Its pretty simple devs. V1.0 means its finished with minor tweaks. Expect poor reviews and a drop in future sales. No one cares about being in EA and if someone is pushing you to release this game, then know that your name for future projects will be tainted. Release the game the community and your team really expects. Back up, slow down, and go into B1.0. Do you guys really want the first impressions of your game and your team to be garbage? You guys have worked really hard on this game, take some pride in your quality and release something you guys are actually proud of. You have one chance to make a good impression.
     
    #120
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