by Jon Shafer
What's the plan w.r.t. builds? When a project is this late, I think the least you can do is share the builds with all backers - that would lend believability to your claims of which bits are done, and which are "almost" done.
Otherwise, the evidence suggests its just more of what you've been saying in update after update - words, but no action.
I'm looking forward to the game.
Best of luck getting this wrapped up in some way. If nothing else, please stick by your commitment to issue monthly updates.
Great to see your back at it! Really looking forward to reading more development updates - they're always fun.
Good luck with finishing up everything :)
I'm one of those still hanging around. Keep at it Jon. As a software engineer myself I know how daunting doing an entire project on your own can be.
Thanks for your commitment to monthly updates. Looking forward to more.
As a software engineer and somewhat of a perfectionist, I can only imagine what "finishing" a game of this size takes. I wish you a fresh and productive restart and a successful marathon to the finish line.
Nice to hear from you ; at this point, I had lost any hope that this still promising project could come to complission in any form one day or another ; of course, it is still to be done, but at least we have some news, so count me happy today. :)
Thanks for this update, Jon. I believe in your ability to deliver an enjoyable game. My entirely personal expectation is that AtG v1.0 will be ready by late 2018, but sooner won't offend me. ;)
Your experience seems to closely resemble that of Josh Parnell. His game Limit Theory was also ambitious, successfully Kickstarted, and proved to be too much for one perfectionist to achieve. After a couple of breaks, Josh returned to Limit Theory more pragmatic and with three other talented people to help with coding, community, and staying focused on building a satisfying game within reasonable expectations.
He's making good progress now. I hope the same will be true for you and At the Gates.
Glad to see you're working on this project again and best wishes on the future.
Good luck Jon :)
I've always enjoyed reading the updates, so getting them monthly will be awesome, even if it's just a simple progress report on what you've done in the month.
I totally understand that feeling of working on something alone (fellow Kickstarter dev here, although a MUCH smaller scope game) and that trade off between finishing something or making it better. I hope you find a way to deal with that!
Said it already, but I'll say it again: good luck!
just to sum this up:
" I can't really get into details, however, Paradox didn't want me to piss off their customers by ruining a franchise ."
"i'll be focusing on ATG again because, why not? I have unemployment for a year and i need to make an effort to restore my reputation for the next job interview."
" i got burned out for the 3rd time and had no intention of being honest with anyone. I was going to just work at Paradox and drop ATG all together."
"while this may sound ambition, 90% of the game is done. Unfortunately, I need to re-do 80% of that because it's not perfect, then i'll start on the final 10%, which will need to be endlessly revised for the next 4 years."
"Speaking of which, from here on out I'll be posting a project status update on the 1st of every YEAR, maybe twice if i don't get burned out"
"I'm optimistic about mid 2018, i mean 2022, if i don't get burned out or get a full time job by then"
"it's a long road and i have every intention of finishing this game before the modern civilization falls, just like the Romans."
Jon - it is apparent that you simply didn't raise enough funds for this project. Doing this game for a mere $106 K turns this entirely into a (mostly) self-funded labor of love. Consider running a second Kickstarter to finish this, there is a lot of peeps out there who didn't get a chance in on the first KS.
Well, hello! I'm glad you're back. Gospeed! Looking forward to the 1st of each month.
Well considering I had chalked this up to vapourware, I’m happy to see any reply at all.
Look forward to the updates from the one man band.
Glad to see you back on the project. Games development is always a hard, long road (also a game dev here), I backed an idea, I didn't preorder a game, so it takes as long as it takes. :)
As another commenter mentioned, it would be great to have some WIP builds if that doesn't hit you too hard in your perfectionism.
I would also be up for a second round of contributions on a post-KS site, like a lot of projects do nowadays.
what clayffo wrote... but good to see Paradox still has standards...
Good luck Jon - burnout is a real issue, and making a game is a huge undertaking. Excited to see you come back and land this one :)
Good luck! Would love to see updated builds again.
@Jon - I'd prefer honest, regular updates, over nothing. If you're really stuck on a design decision and its burning you out, why not prototype a few ideas, and let the backers try it? Or ask "the wisdom of the crowd" for ideas?
We're still with ya Jon! Looking forward to regular updates again. Good luck!
Hey Jon, good luck on it mate. Keep to that once a month update even if you got nothing and I think people will react positively.
Appreciate the update. As others have said, regular updates would be appreciated, even if there is little new to report. Might I also suggest that regular updates can help act as bit of a motivator, in a way? It might add a bit of encouragement to make some kind of progress on a semi-regular basis. I continue to harbor hope that this project will eventually evolve into a playable, enjoyable game at some future date.
Glad to hear from you, and I'm glad to hear this project still has life.
The number one thing I've observed to be true about Kickstarters over the years is that keeping the backers in the loop of what is happening, both the good and the bad, the hard and the easy, etc. is the most important thing a project can do. The more honest and open, the better.
So thank you for being open about this, and I hope your monthly schedule is something you can stick to. It really is important.
Oh, and I'm still looking forward to playing this game. :D
What I can gather from recent events-
"This game is totally not vaporware, because I got canned from paradox and will work on it for a month before getting bored with it again."
I'd be less pissed if Jon bought a car or something with the funds and issued an apology.
Thank you for your candid honesty. I know from experience how easy it can be to get burned out and almost give up completely. I wish you all the best in being able to get back on track, and finding the fun that will help you across the finish line.
Actually I have written this off. Four years since funding, promises, elaborate explanations, and long stretches of silence have left me unmoved, unlike some others who still keep the hope alive/I gave up and went back to Civilization.
Welcome back! I like to think I summoned you, I'd forgotten about the project completely but your name and the civ series came up in a backlog of podcasts I was listening to (ludology if you are interested, I think it was the episode where they interviewed Soren Johnson... not sure). I was like "oh yeah, wonder if he ever got back to Gates? And here you are a few days later! Good luck finishing the project.
Well, i see no problems here, good luck with the project. It is very interesting to see the process of creating 4X from inside and how it just can not be done in a straight line.
I back stuff on the premise that "I bet X dollars this will be really cool!" and sometimes I get a cool thing, and sometimes I don't.
Thanks everyone! Even the skeptics - hope to win you guys over in the coming months. :)
You'll have to pardon me if I don't jump for joy just yet, given the track record. I hope things actually happen this time, but I'm going to remain thoroughly skeptical until we start seeing actual progress rather than occasional posts.
This project and Mighty No. 9 are my biggest Kickstarter mistakes, but even MN delivered something eventually. Not so here.
Can you let us know how much progress (if any) has been made on the tasklist you laid out in your last update? You said you would be "posting an update for AtG every few weeks" back when you made that post and this is your first update in over five months. Please let us know if you're still using that tasklist as a guide, and if so, how it's coming along.
Best of luck!
Nice to get an update about this once again, I'm still looking forward for this. But even though I would like to be excited about this update, I think I'll wait till 1st of December to see if you this time have any intention to actually hold on to even the simplest of your promises. I know it's in no way easy to create a working software product, but it's actually quite easy to keep up on promises related to updates, if one just wants to do so.
That being said, I hope you come through and find the passion to complete this project.
Very well put, talk is cheap, so the lack of any regular communcation speaks volumes in this case. I've had many backed projects where there were (sometimes significant) delays, but due to regular and honest communcation, I didn't mind in the slightest.
look forward to seeing how the game progresses.
@ Aatu & James:
Going to be redoing the tasklist a bit, as it was based on a different design, different timeframe and different people. Next week is planning week though, so I'll have an update regarding what's left to do very soon. As I mentioned in this update it mainly comes down to making sure the midgame and lategame are solid, and rather than just iterating I'd like to break down what that actually means. Stay tuned.
Jon, I think I speak for the majority here when I say we don't want to see any more detailed reports or task lists. The fact that you want to take a week to do this is infuriating
We want to see version number changes, screen shots, let's plays, and change logs.
Most importantly we want to see a little honesty and transparency out of you.
The planning I spoke of will take place over a week, but won't be the only thing done over that week. I have a detailed design finished for the midgame that I'll be detailing here in a few days, and started implementation on it this past weekend. You'll start seeing things in-game very soon.
Thanks for responding Jon. Please don't interpret my comment as a request for further task lists. I agree with clayffo; I'm far more interested in seeing the actual game.
I don't even care if it's the same 2.40 alpha build you last posted on your YouTube channel many moons ago. Just seeing a little footage (5 minutes!) of you showing off the game and talking about what you plan to do over the coming months would be enough to convince me that you're back on the horse and taking it seriously.
A number of people have soured on this project, and not without reason: time and patience are both finite resources. However, I'm still convinced that you have an acutely innovative perspective when it comes to game design, and even after everything this project has gone through it remains one of my most anxiously anticipated games.
I would like to start seeing things in game, however I cannot due My tier
Being that we're coming up on 5 years, I think that the beta testing should be extended to all backers. I think you should also unlock the private forum threads so we can all read about what you're doing