Is Paying for Alpha or Pre-Alpha making Indie Developers Lazy?

Discussion in 'Gaming Discussion' started by Net, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Net

    Net Achievement Hunter

    So I have had this question in my head awhile. It seems the new trend these days is to put your game on kickstarter or something like it, gain a lot of interest and money, and develop the game.

    Now what bothers me a little (not really worth complaining about) is that the development of these games seems to take forever.

    - Project Zomboid - Last Update July 24th 2012

    - Prison Architect - Monthly updates, but very small insignificant mostly (doors now lock, guards have to open every door now, etc)

    - Castle Story - Honestly....this one is extremely slow...they banked off of kickstarter and have barely put out anything (game wise) since (7-10 months ago) .

    Do you think that they have lost their incentive because they have already made a huge chunk of change? Do you think that if they were not getting paid in advance they would have more incentive to make things happen faster?

    I know when we purchase alpha we are really purchasing a final product at a reduced cost, knowing we are going to have to wait for the final product. Honestly though...I do not want to have to wait for a couple of years to receive the game after I have paid for it even knowing I have to wait some time to get the final product.

    What thoughts does everyone else here have?
     
  2. CorruptDictator

    CorruptDictator I want a custom title, but I dont trust VintagePC

    I go into it accepting the fact that I am looking at around 2 years on average to get what I pay for (assuming a brand new development).

    With respect to two of the games you mention that I have; Prison Architect will take forever, that is just Introversion. But I have played their other games and have confidence that it will be worth it. Castle Story I bought into on a whim cause it looked fun but I will likely never even touch the game until it is finished.

    The only other games I have pre-funded/kickstartered are Shadowrun and Wasteland 2, both of which I will get no early access too since I just backed a base copy of the game.
     
  3. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (Lead Developer) Srcds Server Operator Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member

    Honestly, I think it's a valid way to keep up funding for a game if you don't have enough to finish.

    BUT. - it has to be done properly, that is with regular updates and information; you're essentially asking people to invest in your product, and with that should come all of the information you would have access to as an investor in the corporate world - progress reports, funding levels, etc.

    It gives the entire concept a bad name to bring in cash and then let it stagnate, especially to those that have very limited resources and simply can't work any faster. Taking the time to do it right and not rush (Wait, this is indie, not EA, right?) is fine, but getting lazy is not.
     
  4. CorruptDictator

    CorruptDictator I want a custom title, but I dont trust VintagePC

    I have to agree with that, there has to be SOME sort of updates. For instance I may not get to play any of Wasteland 2, but I definitely get monthly newsletters with information including concept art, work in progress gameplay video, content information and the like. Even castle story has maintained a very steady stream of production diary videos showing what they have worked on/changed/fixed for those of us who did not get into Alpha access.
     
  5. Nightshde

    Nightshde Graphic Designer Forum Operator Source Server Admin Staff Member Minecraft Admin

    This is the exact reason why I haven't put money into any kickstarter. There have been plenty of games, Carmagedon & Leisure Suit Larry, that I would have loved to support, but with how volatile the gaming industry is now I'm afraid I'll never see a return on my investment. I didn't even invest in MC until it was up to 1.7 because I didn't know if it was going to last, there is nothing worse than spending money on something that you either never see or never gets finished.
     
  6. tigar

    tigar Achievement Hunter

    A lot of game devs do tend to go silent after their kickstarter is over mostly as they then just stick to their forums again and blogs from what i have seen eg castle story sticks to email and their forums and their blog and even stated that they wont update their kickstarter page anymore due to not liking the way its done

    But to what you said net about them not having put out anything in the last 7-10 months? well last alpha update was at 20 march this year last blog update was earlier this week so they are active still just not around kickstarter and i guess a lot of game devs are like that they make a lot of publicity to get people to fund them on kickstarter and after they get what they want they retreat back into their cave to work on their game

    After all its not like every game dev out there wants to be in the spot light 24/7 like look at stardrive's developer zero he stated he hates being in the public eye yet he went out of his way to get enough people to get enough funds to keep going yet after he was done with that he went back to just being active on his forum and no where else so maybe some might be seen as lazy but infact are busy at work without telling the world every line of code they changed :p

    Eg darkout last release was buggy as hell for a lot of people and no one heard anything from the dev for a month and a half and everyone quickly jumped onto the band wagon saying the game is dead then the dev came back with a fixed version that not only made the game not crash anymore but added way more content so id say dont look at indie devs as you would look at normal devs as they dont have marketing people to send out updates every week on what little progress they make they are often 1-2 man teams :p
     
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