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  1. #1
    CCS Donator Ares's Avatar
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    Default Early Access Steam Games

    Maybe I just didn't notice it before, but it seems like more and more games are doing the "Early Access" release on Steam where they more or less sell you a game that is admittedly in an Alpha or at best Beta stage, and then you pay to be their guinea pig and bug test the game for them.

    Some people like this concept because they get into a game earlier and sometimes can actually influence the developers as they tune/polish the game.

    My big gripe is that some games go into Early Access and stay there for years with no timeline defined for a true release.

    7 Days to Die has been in Early Access seemingly since it was stable enough to play and basically every time they release an update, it breaks your game, often it revamps the game quite a bit, and you must start anew. I like playing it, it is a fun game, but I am unsure if it is best for games to be developed like this.

    I am on the fence about the concept, what does everyone else think?

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  3. #2
    Retired Bandwagon Mod clonetrooper264's Avatar
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    Didn't Mount and Blade do this ages ago, minus being on Steam? As I remember it, the pros were you got the game dirt cheap the earlier you got it in development. It would get progressively more expensive as they made their way to being a full game. You also got to influence the developers in much the same way. Cons were the same too I believe, updates break your game and you have to start over quite often.

    Imo it depends on the type of game. A survival/minecraft type of game like 7D2D can work better than say a FPS under this model. Overall I'd say it's best for games not to follow this model, but I'd take this over the current release 50% of the game at full price then release the other 50% as DLC that you have to pay full price for all over again model.
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  4. #3
    Three if by air Crystallas's Avatar
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    It's just one way to pay for development.
    I have no issue with it, just don't buy into hype and do your research before burning a few bucks.

  5. #4
    False Prophet AussieBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ares View Post
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    Maybe I just didn't notice it before, but it seems like more and more games are doing the "Early Access" release on Steam where they more or less sell you a game that is admittedly in an Alpha or at best Beta stage, and then you pay to be their guinea pig and bug test the game for them.

    Some people like this concept because they get into a game earlier and sometimes can actually influence the developers as they tune/polish the game.

    My big gripe is that some games go into Early Access and stay there for years with no timeline defined for a true release.

    7 Days to Die has been in Early Access seemingly since it was stable enough to play and basically every time they release an update, it breaks your game, often it revamps the game quite a bit, and you must start anew. I like playing it, it is a fun game, but I am unsure if it is best for games to be developed like this.

    I am on the fence about the concept, what does everyone else think?
    well iirc, steam got rid of project greenlight. so instead of having to pay a 100 fee plus go through a review process, all you have to do now is pay the 100 fee and your game is on steam. so the floodgates are open.

    i could put my brick breaker game on steam as an early access release since its not fully developed. all it would take today is 100 bucks, but i care and its not about money to me. the game sucks as is, and who wants early access or any access to another brick breaker anyway, but thats life. i think you recoup that 100 dollars if your games sales total reaches 1k. i could be wrong, i forget what i had read.

    but expect more and more steam garbage. as long as steam is getting their cut, they dont care. at the same time, more games, some are bound to be good

  6. #5
    CCS Donator Ares's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystallas View Post
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    It's just one way to pay for development.
    I have no issue with it, just don't buy into hype and do your research before burning a few bucks.
    I think it gives all game devs, at all levels, the out to just half-ass it and throw their game on Early Access.

    How can you know, as a consumer, that they will really finish the game and produce a worthwhile end product?

    I think they should put some levels/parameters on Early Access releases.... they should be required to submit some kind of roadmap for when they intend to hit various milestones and release the 1.0 version. If you have enough to put on Early Access, you should have enough known to put a release date down for the official 1.0 version.

    And if you can't meet obligations you set when you do Early Access, then you forfeit some kind of penalty.

    I wouldn't mind of they had levels of Early Access, like say if you know you are going to be developing 75% of the game while it is in EA, then you openly admit that, there is a cap on the price you can ask, and you only have to put down a Year/Quarter for your Beta milestone. Then next level would be more expensive, but be a Beta type Early Access and you can charge more, but you must put down a release date sometime within say 18 months for your 1.0 version.

    For smaller studios who need the cash and/or the testers and/or the feedback, I get it.... but when large studios half-ass a game and then throw it on Early Access forever and just lean on "Oh well we told you it was Early Access".... I find that to be unfair to the consumers.

    I will end with, I like the concept, but I don't think I agree with how Steam currently allows basically any devs at any level to drop Early Access junk.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Monsieur Tirets's Avatar
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    it seems like the vast majority of early access games are either shit or simply are never finished and see an actual release.

  8. #7
    Three if by air Crystallas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ares View Post
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    I think it gives all game devs, at all levels, the out to just half-ass it and throw their game on Early Access.

    How can you know, as a consumer, that they will really finish the game and produce a worthwhile end product?
    I agree. Most games are shit that are crowd funded. But there are some that are good. Games in general are shit in high percentages, regardless of funding. What I personally want to see is licenses for games that allow the sponsors in the community of those bad titles to use the code.

    Say the OGC whatever group puts out their project for crowd funding like early access. Then if the game fails to reach certain goals, the created code becomes GPLv2/3 apache/MIT licensed. The artists keep their characters and story, but the engine goes open source. Then the next person who builds a game has a lower chance of failure, and so on and so fourth. Heck, one day the OGC group has their art and story, they take the fixed code since it's now further developed by a larger community, and finally release something good. So in reality, instead of the current trend of 95% failures on early access, you can significantly decrease that to ~60% failure rate, which is more along the lines of the rest of the industry's failure rate.

    Steam needs to improve their structure for sure so users aren't taken for a ride.

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  10. #8
    CCS Donator Ares's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystallas View Post
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    I agree. Most games are shit that are crowd funded. But there are some that are good. Games in general are shit in high percentages, regardless of funding. What I personally want to see is licenses for games that allow the sponsors in the community of those bad titles to use the code.

    Say the OGC whatever group puts out their project for crowd funding like early access. Then if the game fails to reach certain goals, the created code becomes GPLv2/3 apache/MIT licensed. The artists keep their characters and story, but the engine goes open source. Then the next person who builds a game has a lower chance of failure, and so on and so fourth. Heck, one day the OGC group has their art and story, they take the fixed code since it's now further developed by a larger community, and finally release something good. So in reality, instead of the current trend of 95% failures on early access, you can significantly decrease that to ~60% failure rate, which is more along the lines of the rest of the industry's failure rate.

    Steam needs to improve their structure for sure so users aren't taken for a ride.
    I agree with that concept.

    I've never really grasped devs who try to hide their code/engine like they are a restaurant hiding the recipe to the secret sauce.

    Some of the longest lifespan games with the most loyal fanbases are games that are open to the community and allow them to be modded well and/or transformed into essentially additional products.

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  12. #9
    Three if by air Crystallas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ares View Post
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    I've never really grasped devs who try to hide their code/engine like they are a restaurant hiding the recipe to the secret sauce.
    Because most of them don't want to admit that they flat out stole code.

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