DEV BLOG Leaving Alpha & Early Access: some clarifications. :)

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Hummel-o-War, Jul 22, 2020.

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  1. SmaugBR

    SmaugBR Lieutenant

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    Well, thanks for all the info. It really helps with some stress here.

    As for "help support Empyrion by bringing friends", well, I brought 9 of them with me. For some I just pointed the right direction with extensive and repeated advertisement and recommendations, for others I bought myself the copies via Steam and gifted them. I used to really care about this game; it's been my most played game on Steam with 1,155 hours and adding up. I'm just a bit disappointed and worried about how Empyrion will deal with its community from now on. Last week I created two "bug reports" which were instantly moved to Archive, as if someone were scrapping it and quickly throwing in the garbage can. There was no reply, no discussion. I suspect they weren't even properly read. I only got a rushed reply when I complained on a third post about not being taken seriously; and it was when Taelyn stated that what I considered a bug was the way things worked - as I said in a rushed, one sentence reply - in the best "deal with that" style.

    Ok, it's in the past now, but I must admit I felt a bit hurt, as if Eleon was "not caring anymore". It undermined a bit my enthusiasm in taking part and dedicating my time to your cause. Yes, because for me it's a great game of course, but for you it's your cause, your objective to have your game sold, to care and nurture your community; and to grow and to be successful as a direct consequence. The event made me refrain from hitting my chest to everyone I know saying "Eleon is a different company, one that listens, one that cares".

    I just hope the Eleon I thought I knew exists in fact, and keeps existing from this point on.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
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  2. Germanicus

    Germanicus Rear Admiral

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    Someone would think that a Playtester with 1155 hour Gametime would have grown a bit a thicker hide and not to (over-)react like this.
    But lets take a look at your "Bug-Reports":
    Player floating Space - Known Issue So whats to be added here - its on the list and will be approached.

    Player clipping through moving ship - Not a Bug ALL Players within the same Vessel have to seated on the MOTHER-SHIP(CV) Thats why there are Pilot Seats and Passenger Seats. Its just a failure to communicate with all "Crew"-Members if one is not strapped in while the Ships starts to move - therefor Not a Bug.
    And by repeating the Report by pointing at the moved (Bug-)Report you got even an answer from the Moderator explaining it to you.


    I see no failure or lack of empathy from the side of ELEON Staff here.

    IMO.
     
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  3. SmaugBR

    SmaugBR Lieutenant

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    Hello,

    Well, "IMO". It's all a matter of opinions here. Please, keep that in mind. I may think one thing, you may think another. The decisive point of what is pertinent or not are the Devs. All other stuff is just that: opinions.

    I'd link to just ponder something with you. You said:
    "Player clipping through moving ship - Not a Bug ALL Players within the same Vessel have to seated". I know that and that was exactly the cause of my report. Why? Because if they are NOT sitting, they clip through walls and end up in space. I don't know you, but I consider "clipping through walls" a bug. Yet, in what reality/simulation is it conceivable to clip through walls or to have to seat to move a vehicle?

    ...and "Thats why there are Pilot Seats and Passenger Seats. Its just a failure to communicate with all "Crew"-Members if one is not strapped in while the Ships starts to move - therefor Not a Bug". This is exactly the mindset I'm against. Yes, it IS a bug; no matter what anyone says, and having anyone sit to avoid the problem is just a way to circumvent the problem so no one notice it is there. Other games do this well. If their engine cannot do that, ok, I undestand. If they lack the resources to make it happen, I can understand too. Now, what I refuse to accept is this seemly dominant thinking of conformism which is sold for us (incredibly sold by and endorsed by this very community), stating that "this is the way it is now, therefore this is the correct way". And as I was able to see so far, Eleon uses to be a group which primes for quality, trying to polish this game, instead of just accepting the "well, things are not working exactly how we planned, and that's ok" thinking.

    But as I said, IMO too. I'm no Dev to judge and determine this. You're not either. So, let's cross our fingers and hope for the best.
     
    #203
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  4. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    It's not a "bug" as it is "working as intended". When a player sits in the cockpit/ pilot chair, he becomes the ship for "control" purpose, but not for "collision" and damage purpose. Collision is precisely checked against projectiles but not so much against other blocks, and not at all against players not attached to the ship (passenger seats). These choices were made to avoid the need to calculate the blocks of a ship multiple times, at the high precision level, for numerous entities. Also add that if bullets have a straight path, players can move anywhere with variable speed, and they interact with their environments, so they are "very expensive bullets" for collision calculations purposes.

    So not a bug, but a choice from the developers.
     
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  5. Mirosya

    Mirosya Commander

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    I think it is technically problematic or very resource-intensive to implement walking on the ship at the moment. And if I am offered a choice - to make a separate instance of the ship, through which you can move freely (as they do in most games) or leave it as it is now, then it is better to let it remain as it is.
     
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  6. Jake Aulder

    Jake Aulder Ensign

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    Thanks for this clarification. Though I personally do feel that there needs to be more work done to call this truly out of early access (sound overhaul, anyone?) I do agree that the game is now more or less feature complete.
     
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  7. SmaugBR

    SmaugBR Lieutenant

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    I understand. First, thanks for the explanation. Don't get me wrong: I see your good intentions and my tone here is intended to be equally friendly. I'd just wish to say I understand all this situation - I play the game too. What I don't consider "correct game performance" is the clipping. What happens when we seat I know; I'm considering what happens when we don't do it. I'm no expert, but as I recall it, people tend to develop a software thinking things like "what will happen if the user clicks here", but also "what will if the user doesn't, but do that other thing instead?" and I see the lack of an answer to the item "what if the player doesn't sit?".

    You tell me this is a matter of dev's choice. They are happy with it. If this is the case, in my opinion, this is even worse, because it concerns the final product quality and overall polish. I consider it serious because Empyrion is an awesome game, but I cannot avoid thinking about the negative reviews of "buggy game, you fall through ship walls" on Steam decreasing game's rate. Just try to remember how you felt when you first discovered this situation and if your reaction to this was "hmmm, cool, nice seeing this feature"... wasn't it?

    But, alas, as I said, it's in Dev's hands. I'm sure you all got my point by now, even if you don't agree with it or, worst case scenario, agree with me but prefer not to question things when we have time to be heard and, who knows, have them improved.

    Nevetheless, thanks for your time and attention.
     
    #207
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  8. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    I can't blame you for not searching the thousands of threads buried in the forum archives to find where this "walk on moving ship" feature has been asked, and where among these many threads the developers explained this once or twice, in less precise terms than what I did here. But they do explain things and we can stitch these explanations together easily when googling a bit about the Unity engine and common game programming practices. Also keep in mind that the ships we have are not simple models, but complex voxel grids translated into "polygons" for rendering and collision purpose, and these are way more expensive on computing than pre-made models.

    So long story short, the developers told us that the feature was "maybe" feasible, but just to know that they will have to re-work all collisions and other elements first, before trying this and then see synchronisation issues it may cause. And there were also other "features" that could have helped getting closer to that goal, like the "merging blocks" proposal made by some players long time ago, that would have simplified collision and synchronisation a lot... but many players were opposed to this firmly.

    And here you can see that sometimes, players can be short-sighted when assessing some proposals, not seeing how these could have unforeseen benefits later down the road...
     
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  9. Mirosya

    Mirosya Commander

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    Honestly, I do not really believe that a small development team, using someone else's game engine in a reasonable time frame, will be able to bring to mind such key moments when creating a shooter simulator as the smoothness of character animation, the smoothness and synchronization of the flight of ships, a plausible, eye-catching firing animation ( the list goes on and on). What already exists - I consider it a miracle, because before that I saw many wonderful imperfections. In general, we hope for the best and are not nervous.
     
    #209
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  10. Sakata

    Sakata Ensign

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    Congrats!

    One thing I'd offer up as a suggestion is a system similar to how Subnautica has done with dev stuff -- at least with the Trello board. Frankly I'd love a github-style bug/issue reporting system too, as I hate most other methods, but i digress. (As I'm writing this, I found out they moved to 'favro'... looks like trello to me :D)

    Trello/Favro or some other form of panel that allows players to see you all grind down bugs, submit new bugs, complete milestones or specific non-trivial tasks/issues would be awesome. They can then see progress, and if you all do it right, they should be able to see if you make % progress on feature/milestone X, but hit a wall that requires modding other thing Y, it might reduce the number of complaints about why X feature wasn't included in some patch.

    Anyhow, congrats on 1.0!
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. JuStX2

    JuStX2 Captain

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    well the date was originally set for 17th September - which coincidenced with several other Early Access "Launches" - but I digress, seems they've released ahead of schedule, so maybe I was wrong. More than anything the "Dark Powers" comment was a reference to commericalism.

    Edit: Also I should say for the record, when I say things like "Steam Feels" I mean naturally from my perspective (e.g. "It feels like steam is doing XYZ" becomes "Steam Feels like XYZ").

    Further edits: Regardless you should've realized to begin with Steam is a collective entity, they have no individual feelings....
     
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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  12. Ian Einman

    Ian Einman Captain

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    One of my concerns with the removal of the "Early Access" tag is that it seems like you still have versioning issues. You can't expect people to start new games every time a major new version comes out, you have to handle backward compatibility. That means no more breaking save games, and no more breaking blueprints. Are you really there yet? If not I think people will be very annoyed the next time you break compatibility, which is less of a concern for an EA game.
     
    #212
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  13. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    What do you suggest ?
     
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  14. Shadex Demarr

    Shadex Demarr Lieutenant

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    Number is really irrelevant. This can be called Version 2,534 if wanted. The state of the program determines development stage not an arbitrary number assignment. The software is currently incomplete so it is still in development and has not 'launched'. That is all that really matters. So I will look forward to continuing to monitor this 'in development' title. When it does finally launch I will look forward to playing it in its completed state. Post launch additions are simply that and cannot factor into the review of a product at launch.

    In a baking competition, if a baker brings their cake to the judges under cooked, missing ingredients, and lacking polish they cannot say, well you cannot ding me on those because I was going to take care of all that after the competition. As that appears to be the stance conveyed in this announcement and hoping that the developers would not intentionally take that stance I can only surmise that they also do not consider this to be a 'launched' product and that it is still deep in the throws of development. Perhaps Steam should throw away the EA tag and simple tag games as either A) launched/released or B) in development. That might help clear things up and we can all just ignore whatever number the devs want to give things. I think that would be good. However for now Empyrion is still an EA product.
     
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  15. ferr

    ferr Ensign

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    My honest feedback about the game and leaving alpha.
    Started about two months ago, invested about 10+ hours a day into. So i'm not a mature player. But i'm alrady burned out of the bugs.
    Bugs everywhere. I could say the game is a collection of bugs. A fix makes two new bugs.
    Nothing is working properly in the game. Nether the constructor. Maybe i list a few issues what was probaly already mentioned in the forum.
    Bugs what we should not see in a final version
    - Constructor progress buggy
    - Connect to constructor from container is buggy, not always doing. I have to manually go to the constructor open it once, and not leave the wifi range to have it working. Leaving wifi, getting back and connection broken again.
    - Stuck in trees, merge with trees. makes hv non usable.
    - doing POI-s is not fun at all. You have a too easy job if enemies are stuck, and its almost impossible to progress if the enemy isnt stuck. Getting over and over into death loops, not possible to recover the backpack. Movement of mobs is totaly broken, and i have the strong feeling insted of fixing things, just make things fater, or stronger is your answer. At this point i try but i cant even tell single thing which is already done and working.
    - Map handling, the whole galaxy map navigation is bad. Switching between maps to galaxy and back to system isnt working at all, you have to close the map, and open it again. You cant even plan route for a longer trip. After every jump to have to re-analyze the map, and find your way. This is not fun at all, and makes me feel that i have to work on this game instead if enjoing/playing it.
    - Repair station is very important part and also broken. Repairing eats up resources without actually repairing the CV/SV. Templare repair is also very problematic, the repair area is sometimes 3 times bigger than the ship itself, which makes it impossible to repair, repair while landed is not possible. also not fun at all to spend 15 mins to get the ship into a position where u can repair it.
    - Teleport, what is the point? I cant even teleport out from the system from my CV. So i have to get into the system where my base is and i can teleport form the orbit onto planet... Thank you.... have to move 1000LY-s and saving the last 10km.
    - Teleporting to a broken trading station which has no energy and cant teleport back is a big problem, u simply just get stuck in space without a simple chance to get back.
    - Quests are not explained enough, only few hints in PDA, hard to get what you want from the player to do. They get bugged often, doesnt active at right time, i always end up having manually complete things which where completed already. Not fun at all.
    - balacing issues, the game isnt balanced well. Starter weapons are almost useless, late game weapons make the game too easy. My opinion is that the late game should be harder than the beginning.
    - mining operation is also buggy, while mine, and blocks gets disapearing, u can see throught things.
    - merging CV-s at collision is also a big problem. This shouldnt happen even in apha.
    - missing icons doesnt speak for a final relase.
    - system map missing resource icon/label in some cases
    - Missing NPC animations
    - Non eplained limit/features like Gravity generator range. Whats the range? Why is there a range at all?
    - Missing block shapes
    - Useless weak SVs

    Miltiplayer:
    - Missing character animations
    - Missing linux dedicated server
    - Looks like the whole multiplayer part of the game is broken. Having under 100 Players in a 500+ star galaxy makes the galaxy empty. Having about 100 players makes the game laggy and unplayable. Getting dropped back 2 kms and exploding in the SV from a laggy plasma. Not fun at all. Such a big world with hundreds of starts should be MMO. but it isnt.A galaxy with less than hundreds of stars is not realistic. The server part should be separated at least into a login server and game servers where you can scale up to proper size.
    - POIs partially not work in multiplayer
    - Getting a game crash in a CV battle if ofcz a no-go. Happen to me in V1.0.
    - Basic things missing like hand over a base/cv/sv to other player. I dont see the point forcing players to make a fraction and give it to the fraction than the other player can remove core and put own core into. Why is this sooo complicated?

    The idea behind the game is really good, universe scale game where you have to survive is a very good idea, This could be one of the best games ever made, but the actual quality of the game makes this a B category game. A non or only partly enjoyable game.
    As many said before, i can share their opinion. with the release you just killed the game.

    You told that the best way to support you is to buy several copy of the game and give it to friends. The real question is, do i want to burn out my friends with this game? Does it help you to get the new players burned out just in no time? I think the best way to support you is telling friends, this could be a good game once its done, or at least fixed to a level where you can enjoy it insted of fighting against bugs. So i cant recommend this game to anyone.

    The fact that the game is developed since 5 years worries me that maybe i have to wait another 5 years until it gets fixed? The game in actual V1.0 status isnt half done yet.
    The reason given that its moving to final release because its 5 years old, and u think its in a shape where u cann call it done. Is simply unprofessional, the age isnt a real reason, and the shape isnt there yet. Do you actually play the game? Do you try what you code? Or just do a git push, and let it fly. wich leads to updates like infestors are not shooting back and you cann destroy a T4 CV with a simle survive tool.

    You tell us that you want to get feedback, you're listening to your players. I say maybe true, but you're still ignoring them. Far more than 50% of the user base doesnt think that you did the right step. After a second clarification still don't.

    You just simply killing this game slowly and burning out all of your players. Celebrate the 5h anniversary, you won't have another 5.
    It started with a good idea, and simply failed in execution.
     
    #215
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  16. RazzleWin

    RazzleWin Rear Admiral

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    Oh no! Here we go again. :eek:

    Here everyone have some popcorn. I'm going to go work on my scenario.:)

    200.gif :p:D
     
    #216
  17. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    Don't act like a 30-years old, please...
     
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  18. StyxAnnihilator

    StyxAnnihilator Captain

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    Maybe can introduce the new term "Early Release" V1 :cool:
     
    #218
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  19. RedScourge

    RedScourge Commander

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    A good way to handle at least the problem with breaking blueprints is to add a version compatibility attribute to the blueprint publishing screen, and add search functions in steam that allow the person to choose version cutoffs so they can ignore anything past a certain age if they wish. Seems like it would be very easy to do and save a lot of headaches with players spawning a blueprint only to discover that they now have to fix a pile of things just to get it to run in their game because they weren't paying attention to the blueprint published date at the time.

    As for not breaking savegames with new version releases, the solution is stay in Early Access and start calling the versions Beta. Broken savegames in a 1.0 non-beta non-alpha is fairly unprecedented, but not controversial at all in alpha or beta. The only game I know of to break savegames post 1.0 is Stellaris and it is known as a buggy game, yet it is maybe 10% as buggy as this. To be honest, I was really thinking that installing an NPC AI superior to the one in Goldeneye 007 for Nintendo 64 would be implied in a beta release, let alone a 1.0 release. The graphics are impressive, but AAA games are made by gameplay, not graphics, and for Indie games it is even more so.

    If I could have the game devs do one thing to vastly improve this game, it would be for them to dedicate a week where they all join up for a multiplayer game and do not stop until they're lv25, riding T4 CVs, and raiding high level POIs, so they can experience the sheer magnitude of problems with the game first hand. I believe it would lead to a massive perspective change and allow them to realize why the negative reviews are piling up on steam now that it is called 1.0. I have no doubt in my mind that this game could do 10x its current sales if it were not so unplayable in multiplayer. It's got such amazing potential but it feels like they've been spending 90% of their time working on graphics for 3 years and only fixing a handful of bugs while creating an armful more.
     
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  20. Ian Einman

    Ian Einman Captain

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    With every release, they have to have code to convert from previous versions to the current version. If something changes or is removed, it has to be appropriately mapped to the right block/device in the new version. I was expecting they would prototype this towards the end of early access. Instead, generally every major new version requires a game restart, or something is corrupt or broken. That doesn't feel like something close to release, in my opinion.
     
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