Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
Thank you for waiting for our full reply (and sorry that it is rather lengthy). We may include much of this in one of our Kickstarter Updates in the near future. But until then, we wanted to make sure that we addressed all of the concerns here in the comments.
On Our Development Plan & Schedule Visibility:
We have gotten a lot of momentum back recently, but it has still been a much slower process than it ideally would be. We know the wait is frustrating for all of you — it is equally (or even more) painful for us. In general, development has been quite difficult. We have to be extremely resourceful and scrappy, and have had to look for inventive solutions to keep everything moving smoothly.
We are not subscribing to an "until it’s done" philosophy, and we are trying to avoid that kind of working mentality. However, there are some features whose timeline are hard to predict, especially in programming. And there are some hard-to-schedule features that simply have to be done (completely done) before we can update the schedule with confidence. So we do have a plan, and a very clear plan — but unfortunately, some aspects of that plan have taken and may continue to take more time than we had originally thought.
And though we’re now making better headway, we’ve been hesitant to provide schedule updates on a regular basis. And as a small team that does all of its own PR (or the next best thing to it), it’s hard to know how often and when is best to update a public schedule, especially when we’ve been wrong in the past. Consequently, we are even more hesitant to provide another schedule update until the current round of features is complete. We want to avoid a situation where we put up a public schedule only to have to change it again the next month because something didn’t go as planned.
More concrete scheduling, and build releases:
We're currently aiming to get a number of mission-critical features implemented before the end of January, leading to a solid and playable build for backers early in 2016. Once we get there, we should be able to better map out remaining features — and hopefully provide a more complete schedule to backers. But until we finally demolish the current programming features that are blocking a solid build, attempting to nail down a firm release date would be wading into murky territory indeed.
We do understand that many backers like yourself are not interested in beta / early access builds, and that is totally valid. Some backers are happy with beta builds, some are content to wait until it’s done, and others simply want it to be done now. So in the meantime, we are trying to work toward fun, playable builds for backers, and make them more readily available on our website. This is a bit of a stop-gap (as any beta build would be), but it is the best solution we have short of a 100% complete game.
The next goal will be to create a stable and cohesive version of one mode of the game, so that players like yourself have something that is “release ready” with only minor updates and content additions coming afterward. We’re hoping that this tiered approach will begin to satisfy more and more backers, though we’ve been waiting to fully announce this plan until we have 100% firm, not-gonna-change dates.
On the content in our Kickstarter updates:
Our goal for updates since March has been to provide news on our progress on code and art or content. We would be willing to explain more about what’s technically going on behind the scenes (exactly what’s happening in the game code and engine, etc), but that’s not really what most backers would like to read each month. And while updates will often contain some information about when features or builds are expected, we don’t want to create a cycle of hope and disappointment with play-by-play updates to the schedule each month.
We have been waiting until we have a firm hand-hold on the current build before we post a new public schedule. It has probably been too long of a wait for many of you, and we apologize. We are cautious in the sense that we try to only provide information when we know it is accurate, and while this may seem like we are holding back information, we are actually trying to avoid a situation where updates are actually a disservice to our customers.
On Retaining Backers, and Refund Requests:
It is our desire to retain all backers, and always address everyone’s concerns as we are best able. Kickstarter does not officially offer refunds, though their policy suggests that project creators offer refunds if and when they feel unable to complete the project. However, we do still plan to finish Delver’s Drop. So we are left with a bit of a quandary when someone asks for a refund, and therefore we have a direct conversation with them about their concerns and the reasons for their request. It turns out that many backers are unaware that a build is currently available on Humble, or they may have missed some information in our updates. Our goal is to always attempt to alleviate concerns and meet the needs of customers while they wait for the game to be released, rather than harming the game’s quality and our ability to work toward release (since this is the ultimate result of trying to provide refunds).
Why we may respond to some comments via a private message:
I understand your concern with how we respond to comments — that it has seemed in some instances like we are putting the burden of customer service on the user. And we agree that this would be a poor practice.
We attempt to address all public comments immediately (even if we are out of the office), even though we may not be able to fully respond to the request right at that moment. We would not want to leave a customer service comment overnight (even if it goes up after business hours), so we try to at least respond with a quick reply to make sure no one thinks we are ignoring the concern.
What is not apparent (publically) is that I always try to reply to these comments myself within 24 hours via a private message, rather than waiting for the commentor to do so. And in the case of the comment to which you were referring, I did follow up with the backer myself rather than waiting for them to contact us.
We will be changing our wording to make this more clear to all backers in the future — that we do (and always will) follow up those concerns ourselves by contacting the individual via private message.
Ultimately, we want everyone to know that: we are responsive; full customer service is available via private message or email; you can always contact us via PM or email if we somehow make a mistake or forget to respond to you directly; and we want to simultaneously let everyone else know that while we are attempting to immediately meet the customer service concern, we will not be addressing that concern directly in the public comments — but rather via private message.
I hope that I’ve adequately addressed all of your questions and concerns. If not, I’m happy to explain further.
We are truly sorry for the difficulty and frustration that our development process is causing all of you. All I can promise for now is that we are trying desperately to make amends, make real progress, and (we really really hope) release something great in the coming year.
— Ryan Baker, Co-Owner / Vision Director
Hi, @iamuhura. We appreciate your honest critique of our current situation, and customer service practices. We are deeply sorry that you and many other backers are dissatisfied with our performance, and the lateness of the project — and especially that our project's lateness has damaged your interest and confidence in Kickstarter. We will be in touch (here in the comments) soon with a more complete response. I just wanted to make sure we followed up immediately, but it may be tomorrow before we respond to each of your concerns in full. Thank you for your patience — both for our delayed response and for the project itself.
I really appreciate the thoroughness of the updates, but honestly the one question I care about is never answered: what's the schedule on finishing the game? Do you have a set development plan still or is it just ongoing "until it's done"? I really loved the first demo way way back at PAX, and I'm not a player interested in Alpha builds or what we now call "Early Access" titles. Even if your date is, say, Jan 2018 - I'd really prefer to see that at the very beginning of your update emails instead reading 6-10 extremely detailed paragraphs that don't mention the most important milestone of the project. It's disappointing because this was the very first video game project I backed, and it has soured me against supporting other video game projects.
Lastly, replying to comments about refunds and release dates on this backer page with directions to direct message the team privately is poor customer service. Backers shouldn't have to do that to get an answer to a very, VERY basic and obvious question. If you're committed to giving refunds, say that. If you want one last chance to change our minds, say that. But dodging the issue and trying to keep it quiet really hurts your credibility as a company.
Hi, Kenny. Yes, you should have received a Humble key a while back. But if you do not see it in your Humble Library, shoot us a private message and we will resend your key. Thanks!
I'm not trying to sound like an idiot, but is there a way to play this game yet? I know development is super hard and if not, it's ok with me, but I'm just wondering if I missed something.
Hi, James. Feel free to send us a direct message if you have questions about the lateness of the game. We will try to address your concerns in any way we can. Thank you!
I originally asked for a refund back in April, but decided to hang on and wait longer and be patient :). But at this point.. it's 2 years past the promised date so I would like a refund please.
@pixelscopic thanks for reply, look forward to it :)
Hi, @Hepburn3D. Steam is still in the plans, yes. We have our Steam account setup, and we've improved our build method so that we can much more quickly / easily make builds for different platforms, since it used to be an all-day affair. Now that things are streamlined, I'm hoping that we can distribute to Steam once the upcoming build is available. It may not be the same day as Humble, but hopefully soon after. Thanks!
hey @pixelscopic thanks for the updates. I think I asked this a year ago but wondered if we'd be able to get a Steam key at any point? It's purely from a super lazy point of view. I run Steam in BP mode and play exclusively from the couch so it'd be great to be able to get all the updates without a m+kb :D
@Mark — Yes, the game is quite far behind. We are very sorry for all of the delays, changes, and mistakes we've made along the way. If you look back to Update #41 we explain the why's and how's and when's of the project and its lengthy development time. But we are still working hard, and it is definitely not our goal to keep the game or your money captive — we are doing everything we possibly can to finish the project, and make good on all that we've promised. If you have any specific concerns or questions, please send us a direct message. Thanks!
Hi all. Thanks for the update, still looking forward to the games completion. Keep slogging at it, it'll come, eventually. :)
Wow, I just followed the notice back here, was this really initially for Oct of 2013? Guys, honestly I loved the idea of this game but holding my money for nearly two years is a bit much.
Is there a way to push for a refund, I'm sure you'll make it out eventually but wow.. I had no idea you guys were this far behind.
Hi, Mohsin. We will be sending you a private message in hopes that we can renew your interest and alleviate your concerns with the project. Thanks!
Hi, I was just wondering if I could get a refund. I'm going to be honest, I've lost interest in the project over the past few years. Thanks.
Given your reward tier, some of your items will be shipping soon, while others will ship after the game has been completed. We currently have the tshirts, stickers, pins all ready to go, and are working to finish the game manual before the first round of rewards goes out. We are hoping to get these out quite soon... sorry again for the delays. Your sculpted rogue figurine and cloth map will come with the final DVD boxed copy, once the game is fully finished / released. Hope that helps!
so when can we expect the physical rewards?
I should be getting the below
● Sculpted 3" Clay Rogue Figurine by Leah Williams (maker of Little Lazies) ● Cloth Map of the game world ● (all previous rewards)
@Sylvia — I'll send you a private message with your info. Thanks!
Hi! I don't remember getting the email with the code. Where should I look?
@Bob - Thanks for the compliments! We have plenty of other ideas for games that we may pursue someday in the future, but Delver's Drop is definitely our focus until it's completed :)
@Jonathan - We are still planning to do Ouya. However, if the platform disappears or something else catastrophic happens, we would likely try to support an alternative Android-based device. We were planning on Ouya specifically because 1) it was pretty popular when we were doing our Kickstarter, and 2) it is a very easy port once we have the Android version finished. So based on time taken to port, Ouya would be *MUCH* quicker than PSVita. However, we do agree that a Vita port (or 3DS, etc) would be very cool. Their system architectures just make them more difficult and time-consuming to port our engine, so we can't promise anything... though we would love to see more platforms as much as anyone :)
Thanks! for the Update.
Are you working on any other projects besides delver's drop?
I backed the Double Fine Adventure game also, not disapointed at all
Are you guys still planning on an Ouya release? That company is up for sale and the platform has been a major disappointment thus far mostly used for pirating ROMs. Can we all agree that a PS Vita release would be a better use of your time?
@James - Sorry for our delay in responding since you caught us right around the weekend. We will get back to you via private message to address your concerns. Thanks!
I backed this 2 years ago at the $30 tier.. are you offering refunds for those of us that don't want to wait any longer?
@T Tahere - no problem! Thank you for sticking around!
Thanks for the update
By the way, Baker will be doing an art livestream today at 3pm CST! (We are in daylight savings time, FYI)
@Splike — Thanks! As for Steam Cloud Sync, we would love to do it, but we haven't looked into the logistics in a while. It might be something we would have to add after launch, but it's definitely on my wishlist. I jump back and forth between PC and Mac, and syncing saves can be a godsend.
Good to be in the loop again! And I'm glad everything is on rails, even though you feel like it's not going at break-neck speeds. But slow progress is still progress :)
Over the past months I've been thinking about how I will play this game when it's released. As you say, you wish for Delver's Drop to be on the PC and Android (to name a few), so I am very much hoping you will put in Steam Cloud Sync and a way for our game saves to be synced across all platforms. So when I pick my android tablet up, I will be playing the same steam save from my PC.
Hope this will be possible and keep up the good work :)
Update sent! And just before midnight... sorry again for the delays. We look forward to your responses, good and bad. Feel free to send us direct messages with your concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thanks for the feedback. It does seem like the general response is that everyone would like to be more in the loop, even if there is not a lot of significant news.
I'm finishing the next update as we speak (hopefully will go out tomorrow). We are also putting together a plan for doing regular updates every 2-3 weeks, which should hopefully be packed with some fun info. When you stare at your own work so long, you tend to forget that what seems like a grind to you may actually be interesting to others. But suffice it to say that starting this week, we will update more often and more regularly.
Thank you all for your feedback, and for the criticism too. We are listening, and will be making changes for the better.
I've never minded Kickstarters going over the projected delivery date, because that's the nature of entrepreneurship and independent product development, which is why I come here. I do, however, dislike not seeing any updates over a long period. I've read your other comments and can understand the desire to not want to communicate until you have good news. And I can only speak for myself, not all other backers. But personally I would prefer to see some sort of regular update, even if it's just about some random anecdote that came up while debugging a level or how a bird got into the office. That at least shows a willingness on the part of the developers to engage with the project and with the backers. It would also be great to see an updated release date even if it's super general, like, "within the next 18 months." Then at least I know what the latest word is.
It's been very quiet, but at least you're responding here. That's a good sign. I hope everything is well.
Just a heads up to everyone, our website has been down part of today, but we are working with our web host to get it back online. Sorry for any inconvenience!
Yes, I definitely agree that our PR has not been on its A-game. And yes, we should probably have sent an update a while ago. We've just been of the philosophy that most people would rather see emails in their inbox about progress than apologies, so we've tried to be active here in the comments and on our forums. But as you point out, a true update is necessary. So I will first apologize here, and promise again that a more full apology is coming soon, along with some other good news as well :)
Soooooo, If you know that communication has been sparse, why not send a short Update to the backers witth an apology, explanation for the delay and a teaser for the next big update?
Delays can happen, that is not the problemm. But your PR could REALLY need some work, guys.
@ Jamison Imhoff: We are working on both the next update, and wrapping up the final item that has to go in the first round of reward mailers. We are really sorry for the delays, and lack of communication about them. We have been waiting for some good news to solidify so we don't bombard everyone with unnecessary updates, but it has definitely been too long. In short - an update is coming and rewards are coming. We'll have more on that very soon.
No updates in over 6 months now... Kind of sad. Also, I never received any of my backer rewards...
@Austen - Delver's Drop is definitely not dead! We have definitely gone way past the original schedule, and we're very sorry for the delays. We should have another update to post soon, but wanted to make sure we some really relevant news was forthcoming, rather than waste everyone's inbox space. Stay tuned!
So, I'm guessing this game is dead. "estimated delivery August 2013". Another Godus-style kickstarter. Disappointing. This is why I don't use kickstarter anymore.
Hi, Raaxis. Yes, we are still working on the game. We will be sending out an update soon to give a better idea of the state of development.
Do you guys still work on this? Was looking forward to hear something about "Digital Game Soundtrack ● Digital Concept Art Pack" maybe if not for another update about the state of the game.
Hi, Spike. Sorry for the seeming silence! We are prepping another update which should be out very soon. For more regular discussion, I'd like to encourage everyone to check out forums.pixelscopic.com, where we've been talking about the elemental system among other topics! :) Thanks for your support!
50$ backer here. How is this truckin' along? I haven't heard anything from you guys in quite a while.
Thanks, RIchard! We are looking forward to it being a great year as well :) Hope you have all had a great holiday season so far!
Heya guys, Happy New Year to all and keep up the good work. It'll be an awesome game for 2015. :)
Hi, Ryan. I'm sorry you didn't receive your postcard yet. If you could send us a private message with your address, I will check it against our records and send you another one.
As for the other rewards, we are still working on those. We will be sending out one batch very soon, and another one after the game is finished. Let use know if we can help with anything else!
wasn't sure if to post here, but i never realized you had sent some to the things like the post cards and such to the backers. i never got those, its probably too late at this point , but is there anyway i would be able to get them. i backed a 120, hope i didnt miss out on the art book as well
Thanks for the encouragement, Sylvain! We really appreciate your support.