by Roxlou Games
As a software engineer and a backer, I'm 100% in favor of you working at whatever reasonable pace you think is necessary and taking the time to get it right. I'm sure it will result in a better game, and help minimize the chances of burnout as well. Besides all that, your family and your health should absolutely be your first priority. I appreciate you being up-front about it, too. Good luck!
I don't find your updates boring at all. :)
In general, Kickstarter Backers are an understanding group, who would rather have something awesome than something right now. As long as you're up front about delays, that keeps a lot of good-will.
And, in my experience, trying to hurry just ends up slowing things down. Take your time, keep us in the loop, and everything will turn out great. :)
And let's not forget that half of Kickstarter'ed projects is the process/journey of building these ideas from idea to product. This is just one more step on that road. Thanks for the update, and things will happen when/as they do.
A brave update and heartfelt update. I wish your family a speedy recovery.
Nothing sucks more than a burnt out team stuck in crunch hell. Take whatever time you need, we'll be here, just keep us in the loop.
I backed many games on Kickstarter and none of them (so far) came in on time :-).
But my concern is (always) that a project will run out of money before it is completed.
So while I understand that delays happen, my question is:
Can you afford it?
Take as much time as you need, Joe. Your well being coming out of this is more important to me than the game.
Keep communicating. Stay honest with yourself, your team, and your backers... and in the end, deliver the product closest to your vision as possible, on a schedule you can regularly meet. Hang in there and keep up the good work.
Thank you for the update. I don't know how much it's worth, but you have my support.
Thanks for the big update. As others have said, we're all here to support the project, and while deadlines are good to make things concrete, they can also be a hindrance to the work itself, so take it slow and make the game you want to make. :)
Thanks all for your comments. It's never fun having to delay the project (let alone having to publicly announce it), especially following a shake-up in our family lives. Your understanding makes it that much easier to keep the project on target.
That's a fair question. We've reduced our burn rate way down in order to make the budget stretch further, which means we're able to make the time frame we're proposing. Of course this did require some hard decisions and trade-offs, but for the moment we're optimistic about our long term chances.
Echo most of the sentiments here, I'm a software engineer as well and I appreciate the honesty. Obviously when you drop or lax the deadline now budget becomes your biggest concern. I assume by hard decisions and tradeoffs you mean you've reduced scope (either permanently or temporarily to be released in a patch once you have release profit), just want to say this is understandable. The honesty is refreshing and much appreciated, this is the kind of update I like to read on Kickstarter because I know that if you need funds for another project I can trust you with them. The one request I'd make is maybe for you to make slightly more frequent updates (not so much that it eats out of dev time!) with happy status stuff, even if its minor, just so we can follow and appreciate the development of the game. "Fixed bug with tribe mechanics causing bloody revolt after picking up xxx artifact and implemented shadow puppet movie pause feature this week" would be cool. Anyway thanks for the update and hope from here on out your personal stuff all goes well!
so long as you release a game, take the time you need to do it right!
I'd like to echo @deleter's sentiments. Hang in there Joe, I'm happy to wait. But it would be cool to see more content updates, even just text updates discussing how the game mechanics are changing, or whatnot. What really convinced me to back this in the first place was the idea behind the game mechanics, and telling a story as you go across the desert, as well as the art. Any small updates that might rekindle my imagination of what this game will be like would be appreciated!
I am fine with delay on this game. This is a unique game in my eyes and I know it only just achieved the kickstarter goal. I sort of feel like alot of these projects are getting delays and I wonder if designers shouldn't allocate more time. Another project I have backed last update was in late May... Silence since then, dead forum, does not respond to official messaging from kickstarter or contact link. So little sign of progress or communication.that I worry it has failed.
If you were totally silent on progress and challenges then I would be upset. But when you communicate with your backers I feel this is when kickstarter is working at its best. Ultimately I believe everyone wants a fun product in the end. Take your time where you can afford to and don't worry about me getting mad over a delay of beta.
Just stick to your vision, wanderer.
@Donald M Pollack
Yes, it's probably safe to say that our original estimates were naive, despite the fact that I (Joe) already had experience with making games both in large scale and all on my own. I think this is pretty common, and a side effect of allowing creators the opportunity to take their projects to the next level. The fact is that, unless they're not putting any creative or personal risk out there, creators are going to be doing something new to them and usually in a brand new way.
That said, I do find that many game KS projects are way, *way* low for what they're promising. Maybe they have a killer strategy that I can't grasp, but I suspect it's just inexperience.
Thanks for the update, moreso for the honesty. While the road may be long and winding, we're all hopeful for the destination.
@Donald, @Matt, @deleter
We're open to the idea of more frequent, low pressure updates, but part of the reason we don't do them is because Kickstarter backers are a diverse group. We have a vocal few that are really into the game and want to know all about how it's made and give us a ton of feedback. These backers are great, and they're the ones we're thinking most about when we have to make a big decision, since they're most likely to be part of the discussion.
However, we also have a silent majority that either want less frequent updates, or actually want to hear from us as little as possible until the game is done. At one point we were getting angry messages from people because the Kickstarter survey was sending them reminder emails that they hadn't filled out their info (the nag emails weren't actually coming from us by the way). These people are also important to us as they've also given us their trust (and their money), and we don't want them to just start ignoring our update emails in case we need information from them for their rewards.
So we're trying to find that "sweet spot" where everybody gets a little something. Maybe this is an opportunity to use RoxlouGames.com for a "developer diary". I know many people don't want to track a bunch of different sites (especially if they back a lot of projects), but we could link the diary entries in the KS updates so at least those that are interested could go check out all the little anecdotes that had piled up over the month.
Food for thought!
Thanks for the update! No need to rush things! :)
Yep, you could even use twitter or fb, allowing the "vocal few" to follow you and enjoy all the nitty gritty details, while allowing anyone annoyed by the updates (although tbqh this seems such an easy thing to ignore) to not even be aware of it. Just food for thought. Planetary Annhiliation is a game kickstarter that I think is being executed very well (granted its a fully funded and successful studio), one thing they do is video streams and such, again following the idea of off-kickstarter media for the interested backers to enjoy. Whether actual video streams would be worth the time+cost for a smaller indie dev is up for you to decide (PA got north of $2mil off KS, not just $78k). Either way I'll support+understand your decision, just figured I'd throw it out there.
Thanks for the update! It'd be nice to hear more from you guys either via facebook or smaller KS updates. Best of luck with the new time frame. Best wishes to y'all and your families.
I find the crunch culture of the gaming industry a ridiculous thing and I would rather you worked hard, honestly and with a decent work life balance. We will get a game, but I don't want that quickly at the cost of your team. Keep going, look after your families and we'll be waiting a little longer. All good.
Sorry to hear about your misfortune, but happy to hear that you are making a reasonable decision instead of going for unfulfilled promises. I'll gladly wait longer to get a great game than getting an unfinished product early. I've tried a lot of alpha-releases these days and I'm not impressed. Keep up making a great game!