Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
Hi, I'm lost. Too much alpha, beta, mobile, new game(?) information for me. Can someone tell me what the current status is for people who backed the game with $25? Has there been anything released yet that I missed?
Alright - apparently there are a lot of duplicates on the list. We don't know why but we're working with SendOwl to fix this. Apologies to anyone whose e-mail gets hammered with updates. We will get this repaired before the next update!
Your name was duplicated as well - four times. We're not entirely sure why some people were duplicated but we are looking into. Apologies to you as well!
We figured it out! Somehow during import your name got dropped in three different times. We're looking through the list for other duplicates but from now on you should get only one notice. Apologies for that - your name might have been the one at the end/start of new imports (we were limited to groups of 2500). But we're sorry about the inconvenience!
Another 6 emails from the Warballon guys with no way to unsub. Please get ahold of them and get us a link to unsub from emails.
Wow, I can't believe I funded this in 2012...
Sorry about the e-mail guys! Not sure why its doing different things for different people. We are also subscribers to the SendOwl account and we are only getting one version of these. Trying to diagnose!
I will also leave a comment here since these guys do not seem to read the updat area. STOP spamming peoples emails please. 13 emails in two days. Sheesh.
Warballoon, PLEASE stop spamming my inbox! Do you really need to send the same email 5 to 8 times? Even tried unsubscribing but the link didn't work!
My email is getting hammered with your latest update..
No doubt it's great news..
It just don't make the news 5 times better to receive the same mail 5 times..
Please stop the spam..
Not really appreciative of you spamming my email with the latest announcement six times - can you please restrict your emails to just one?
Keep em coming, great stuff!
ALPHA 2 UPDATE is out... for PCs. Unity and Macs are not getting along, we will diagnose but this isn't something that is going to be as easy as we'd like. We thought we'd get this build out to PC users and keep on chugging on the mac fix.
Hope you guys enjoy it!
UPDATE: We will be delaying the Alpha 2 update to next Tuesday, January 27th. We are having some problems with layered objects and wanted to polish those up before we sent the next update. Apologies!
Happy New Year Everyone!
Happy holidays everyone!
holly crap dudes wooooow... you just kill the christmas spirit hehehehe....well done. NONE not the space ship creator none the alpha1.0 works. Well it works but F....me I have no idea whats going on and you crashed my laptop twice. Genious !!! If it wasnt for KickStarter I would think its a VIRUS or is it :P its amazing, slow on the lowest settings!!! My laptop is crap but I can play MassEffect 2 on it. So what it is that this game is so damn powerfull to crash my PC twice.
Well Im haveing a trip to the bug planet right now. Gigant Slow Crushing Bugs !!!!!!!!!......
Just trying to help you guys out. The more updates you push out the faster everyone and myself can find bugs.
@Nathaniel et al - Thanks for your guys feedback in the forums here:
We are already hard at work on a few of them - keep em coming gang!
Graham - Yes, we are using Sendowl because we want to distribute galaxies in an organized manner - that way we can track popularity of updates, who didn't get an email, and lots of other goodies. The problem is they may not have been the greatest choice, as their server is down for us on our fourth day of release. Very, very frustrating.
So is there a downloads page for the alpha of galaxies (as i have s.c.i.e.n.c.e.), or is it purely by the broken sendowl?
SendOwl is down. We can't update the e-mail list right now. This is extremely frustrating for us as much as it is for you. We promise we are working getting this distributed. We may murder a bird today.
Alpha bug list in the forums please add to any I missed.
Hey guys, just giving a heads-up that I haven't gotten an invite yet. I dunno if I'm still in the pipeline, though, but just wanted that out there. Thanks! The alpha looks fantastic, and I still hop on the mobile when I get bored.
1. We have sorted out who did and did not get an invite. The problem was the speed at which we uploaded the 7000+ names to SendOwl. For some reason some names stuck and some just didn't - it was random in nature so we are putting up everyone that wasn't on the initial list up. We will be doing 500 names per hour with a total of 2300 remaining, so the download link should be slowly trickling out across the day. We will also be doing a third check after all the names have been added to make sure everyone got an invitation. Apologies for this.
2. We have issued an update to the Windows version of the game that should address the install errors and problems with the ship not appearing upon startup.
Thanks for all your patience! This will get smoother and smoother as we go.
I got the alpha running, the latest update. I can see my ship, but there are no crew on it. I can scroll around, mouse over objects, pause the timer, but... well, I figured there might be some crew.
Yeah right click failed to produce results, I also redoubled my efforts in attempting to get it to work going through additional keyboard possible binds but I haven't been able to get any positive results.
I know this is a dumb question but we will ask anyway - are you using right click? Also - we appreciate the congrats. Stressful but rewarding day today. Support is well received.
Send us a message over Kickstarter!
I realize you gents must be very busy following the release of today's alpha, but it appears I haven't received anything from SendOwl. Could you suggest a course of action so that I can get started sending crewmembers to their doom?
Also Congrats on releasing your alpha!
For the life of me I cannot figure out how to get my crew to move. I manage to get a red cube overlay when I tell them to walk and then they point in that direction and nothing more. I attempted pressing every keyboard button in conjunction with the different tasks. (I assume that's what the thought bubble is supposed to convey.) I also could not place any objects. I tried letting the bottom right time run at different speeds to coax my crew to do something but I regret to say that also did nothing. On a positive note the alpha looks very nice and I enjoy the music, load screen, and introduction dialog.
Also while extracting the alpha I got an error that I will post in the forums.
You can move your guys, but they will for some odd reason decide to fire upon floors and walls or in the direction of the objects/location you are interacting or moving to. Furniture placement cannot properly detect the places where they can be placed. Some valid placement spots on the ship places your furniture in another dimension. When characters move when furniture placement is in progress, the furniture vanishes.
Psychosama - well the alpha is simple, but you should be able to walk around, place objects, and get in fights, even pickup things and put em in your inventory - but there is no real deep gameplay yet (you can move the guys right?)
So how do you do... anything?
Medics beaming down to the planets was crashing the game. It has been fixed and we're just testing all day. Trade has some quirks but we will probably send it out tonight or tomorrow morning.
So there was an unforeseen circumstance?
You have a knack for timing. Today - if we don't have any unforeseen setback.
Happy Thanksgiving to you as well - and to all our awesome Kickstarters. December should be a very fun month!
Happy Thanks Giving, go get your grub on Warballon!
Yes, you're right. I won't be happy until you release the game. But look at what I said right after that: " What will quiet me is the acknowledgement that their actions have been lacking, and a good, honest look at how to resolve it." You want me get off your back? Be honest in your dealings with us. Stop trying to skate over your mistakes, and address them head on. TELL us why you miss the release date, and not some vague, "Well, there were tons of bugs." All I'm asking for is honesty. I won't be happy, but I'll stop criticizing you, as it at least shows some contrition on your part. Your current posts show zero apology nor regret that you're over two years late, and that aggravates me to a very large degree. So long as you make an attempt to address your shortcomings, and how you'll prevent them from making the delivery even later, I will have no issues.
But until you do that, expect me to continue to criticize and berate you for your ham handed dealings with us.
I just want to reaffirm that your inexperience is something I can't and won't judge but will only state in repetition and is not to be taken as a fault on your end, but still remains a bullet point for a factual inquisition.
Another reason why I listed the points earlier is because your inexperienced, I am not saying taking suggestions is bad nor good but can greatly impact the overall scope of the game negatively if left unchecked. (Another reason I refuse to submit game play suggestions simply because the pc is not mobile and we lack a copy.)
The reason I consider the crew needs extraneous at best is simply because I can only see it as a form of aggravation for players in the long run. Granted the "disposable" crew is an issue that requires addressing but can be done with less overt methods that will not effect the core game play. (A in-depth level/xp system would have been sufficient.) I'm leaving out the radiation/heat objects simply because I do honestly agree with those choices.
Spectacle creep is a generalized term for over reaching with game play elements. I used this term because that's what I feel progress is being hampered by.
The engine change is something I need to get my point across for your future projects. I understand your reasons for changing engines, I agree with your reasons for changing engines. But I don't agree with changing engines because that almost always sends a project into limbo or at best sets it back gratuitously. I consistently repeat this point in hopes that you will acknowledge this for the future and plan accordingly with future projects. Plus the unity engine is really simple to learn and use so I was expecting progress to pick up.
Cutting content is something you have to be aware of while in development. A lot of projects I have worked on in the past forced me to cut a lot of worth while content to streamline the game for release. The point I am trying to make is if everything can get put in fantastic, if not don't feel bad it happens to the best of us, but beware trying to cram in everything isn't worthwhile either. Now I won't tell you what to cut simply because I am not on your team and I don't have that right.
I agree, talking about outside interests is unprofessional but the fact that it was brought up by your team is worrying. I say that because if I were to start telling the public about possible third party interests while I was developing a game, other developers and businesses a like will immediately think there is something wrong, or the project is about to be outsourced. The reason I consistently being that up is to make you aware that all business related affairs always stay in house, it is none of our business and never should be so don't make it our business.
The reason a lot of backers are upset is because of the lack of communication. There was no released game design doc for this project and goals your team have mentioned seem unstructured and loose often resulting in a vague sense of what is actually happening with this project.
And as for your last comment, have more faith in your product! Backers want you to tell them that what you are making is going to be a great experience for them to enjoy for a very long time. I understand you know not everyone will enjoy it but don't sell yourself short.
In closing I want to say sorry I was wrong to be so boldly brash on here but I ask that you put yourself in my position and forgive.
Points we agree on:
- We are inexperienced. Isn't that the whole point of kickstarter?
- Spectacle Creep (wanting PC to be a masterpiece). Masterpiece is probably a VERY strong word. But we do want it to be closer to the original vision of an open world for you and your crew to explore.
Points we debate:
-Engine change. CoCos2D was incapable of doing the things we wanted to do - random planets, a random galaxy. This was not a decisions made haphazardly - starting a new engine is not fun or an opportunity for learning - it was just necessary.
- Addition of extraneous content like "crew needs." One of the problems of Star Command Mobile is that you don't care about your crew - they are cannon fodder. They live, they die, they are replaced. You can see the threads of some RPG elements with ranks - but frankly it never worked. Desires aren't a feature we just threw in because we wanted to give the crew life - we did it because it makes everything else more interesting. The value of your crew is found through their growing abilities, which makes combat, away teams and other adventures far more tactical and consequence driven. Again, it was necessary to fix a design flaw from the original.
- Abandonment of core game play elements to support additional content that should be cut. We aren't sure what you would recommend cutting, but we feel like planets are a great, fun addition that adds tactical choices, subscribes to the mythology and grows the world. If you think they should be cut we are just going to have to agree to disagree. Other elements that were "core" like mini-games have been cut because they were annoying. We liked them in design but after the 10th combat mission they got repetitive and predictable.
- Developers using suggestions taken from non-backers to influence production goals. If you mean feedback from our players - yes, we take that VERY seriously. All of it. We also take Kickstarter feedback very seriously. If you are implying that Kickstarters should be listened to and that forum users, facebook fans, fan reviews and critics should be ignored - well we would quote spock: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few - or the one." We don't give all feedback equal weight, but when we get overwhelming feedback that ammo reloading is annoying or that mini-games are repetitive we listen.
Overall, I think you would be surprised at outside interest from venture capitalists, publishers and other companies in our game and company. We don't talk about that stuff cause, frankly, it's rude and not relevant except in the context of rebutting a claim that no outside parties have an interest in working with us.
What we find aggravating about your post is that the overall tone is that we have picked this approach just to piss people off, burn through time and money and aggravate our fanbase because we are careless inexperienced developers without any kind of vision or plan. This is incredibly inaccurate.
We don't pick engines haphazardly, we debate new features and minimum viable product regularly, we budget and obsess over timelines, we learn from (most) of our lessons and we listen to our fanbase. We want the best game possible and we want your faith in us to be justified with a great game. If you think we don't realize that kickstarters and fans are aggravated, annoyed or just completely tuned out from waiting - you are wrong.
If the game is good (and it is) we feel that many of shortcomings as a development team will be overcome and good will can be restored. But none of that happens if the game sucks.
"The only thing that will appease me at this point is the release of the game that they promised so long ago, and I don't mean Galaxies."
This is why we don't respond to anything else you say. You have made it clear that the only actionable thing that we can do to "appease" you is to release the game. Saying that we are late won"t "appease" you. Saying that we are working on the project quite literally past midnight for weeks on end won't "appease" you.So, by your own admission, you have given us one thing to work with. So our focus is on that one thing - releasing the game.
So that's exactly what we are doing.
Frank, I firmly agree with you and your points. But with the information I have I can say for a fact that Warballoon hasn't even gotten their project to alpha let alone a release-able state. I honestly have already tallied this project as a loss a long time ago but then they started showing activity which warranted some attention.
As a game developer I know and truly understand the implications of a game falling into development hell. Unfortunately games can be rather difficult to restore to service after that happens. The reasons I believe are the factors in this are:
-The addition of extraneous unwanted content like "crew needs" that are a laughable and game breaking concept (Does not fit well with other implemented mechanics)
-Spectacle creep (released mobile and wanted PC to be a masterpiece)
-The abandonment of core game play elements to support additional content that should be cut
-Inexperience with the Unity 2D/3D engine (To be honest here this is absolutely embarrassing considering the ease at which unity can be used with 2d art assets and plug and play programming)
-Developers using suggestions taken from non backers (their forums) to influence their long term production goals
-The developers are unwilling to admit that some of their additional content is negatively impacting their game development and are refusing to cut it. Which would most likely send brainstorming sessions into a tail spin/nosedive getting nothing productive done.
-Lack of viable leadership and production goals
-Non existent game production outline
-Zero accountability for the chaos running rampant when interested parties talk about their project
I summed up some points in a previous post here as well sent various "how to" outlines to the developers in an attempt to push them in the right direction. But the game development still feels like its a week end only project. If my team and I had this on our plate within a month we would have had a first playable then in 1-4 months (depending on the game) a raw alpha. But like I said in a previous post I cannot hold these fledgeling developers to my expectations simply because I understand that they have no idea what they are doing. At any rate if they continue to proceed at this rate no studio, company, publisher, etc... will ever take them seriously so I would not worry since they are basically digging their companies grave as we send these messages.
I recommend this position, Give up on this project and team entirely and refuse to grant them further support. Since we are backers the developers is still obligated to give us our "gifts". I honestly feel that if the developers suddenly lost their entire support base they would understand the egregious nature of their massive mistakes.
Nathaniel, you do have a point. The issue I have is that the decisions that were made were actively detrimental to the responsibilities and obligations they agreed to when this was backed. There's good faith, and there's unreasonable naiveity. Once a project goes past its estimated delivery date by over two years, and the developers decide to *start from scratch*, I tend to get a little suspicious. The actions performed and excuses being offered don't pass muster. I no longer believe the developers are working in good faith, and are doing everything they can to head off a backer lawsuit.
Your point about release dates is good, but I'd like to point out a few facts:
1) They've missed every single release date and deadline they've ever announced. Every. Single. One.
2) They NEVER acknowledge it when they miss it. A developer acting in good faith would head off suspicions by directly addressing it, and why it was missed. We don't have any of that here. Not once, for the half dozen missed dates.
3) They seemed to have learned their lesson over a year ago. There was an article, http://www.polygon.com/2013/3/20/4127328/star-command-kickstarter-release, where they acknowledged that backers had a right to be angry, and that they would no longer announce release dates until it was final. One of the latest updates, though, gave us release dates. And they were missed, and skated over. We still don't know why, except in the vaguest terms. Apparently, they HAVEN'T learned their lesson.
4) And, as usual, they don't acknowledge that they missed it. And are still missing it.
Yes, I am angry. Extremely so. I haven't seen a SINGLE action that has given me any faith that this project will ever release. And every update barely makes mention that that they're thirty months late, and they want us to wait even longer! That's not the actions of a developer acting in good faith, in any sense whatsoever. There HAS to be an update that directly addresses the concerns I, and other backers, have. No more self congratulation on releasing an alpha product, making an "awesome" game that nobody can play, but take their word for that it's awesome.
Warballoon has shown zero contrition or regret for forcing their backers to wait this long. I find that incredibly insulting, not to mention rather arrogant. At no point were we asked if we WANTED to wait for a brand new game that we didn't actually back. They just decided, on their own, that making their backers wait longer was an acceptable choice.
We haven't received our backer rewards yet, for crying out loud! How much slack do we give creators!? At what point do we decide that enough is enough, and hold the creator accountable? I decided a long time ago that I would be vocal about my criticism and massive dissatisfaction with their actions. They don't get to pat themselves on the back anymore, and congratulate themselves on a milestone that should've been gone and done years ago. The only thing that will appease me at this point is the release of the game that they promised so long ago, and I don't mean Galaxies. What will quiet me is the acknowledgement that their actions have been lacking, and a good, honest look at how to resolve it. Self congratulations will just further cement my disgust and certainty that they are defrauding us backers.
Frank I do agree that there are issues that should be corrected, and that with the information on hand that the current production outline is lacking. But they are still making progress albeit slow they are still trying to deliver. Personally I would have done the modding utilities after the game was released simply to streamline the process but they are not me. On a side note however the addition of modding tools so early in development (since no alpha was released) makes it look like the developers are tying to coax the community into making assets for them. Mind you I am not saying that is their intentions but merely what it looks like from the outside.
-A lot of people including myself have informed them that their communications attempts are lacking.
-Release dates although a nuisance to the general public can be an overwhelming deadline that can sometimes be unrealistic (For a small inexperienced team) which is understandable.
-Insulting and disrespective comments will often result in your comments being ignored all together, simply because it becomes obvious that an individuals ability to think logically has diminished greatly due to emotions. (In my position that is what I would do at least, so if you feel that bashing them would help I ask that you do that privately via the "contact me" button).
On a positive end I want to say that the Warballon guys have been very open to criticism from my perspective. You have to remember game developers can only do so much with the resources on hand, so sometimes things may not always be as shiny and full of sparkles at the end.