Bad stigma attached to Early Access?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by HayManMarc, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. HayManMarc

    HayManMarc Member

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    MilesThatch There's such as bad stigma attached to Early Access that We as Developers really need to start supporting the System that Supports Us - Devs
    Today at 10:13 AMReport
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      RichHopelessComposer
      There's such a bad stigma attached to Early Access *because* of devs. There's no way around that, unfortunately. People will always abuse the system, or just fail to deliver despite trying. It's a risky platform for customers, unless they're pessimistic going in. :x
      Today at 10:28 AM Report
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    2. [​IMG]
      MilesThatch
      Yes, the developers are at fault. But why is that news? What gamers need to learn is that not a 100% of all investments will have a return. They expect everything to work out. When 90% of startup businesses fail within the first year - Game Dev is not an exception. They need to learn to do research.
      Today at 10:36 AM Report
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      RichHopelessComposer
      Gamers *don't* expect every game to work out. They expect them all to fail, which is statistically a good bet. X'D

      That's what the stigma of Early Access is - gamers expecting most games on the platform not to deliver. Can you blame them? All we can do is try to prove them wrong about our games. ):
      Today at 11:42 AM Report
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      Ghost in the IDE
      I have seen many devs, who are regulars on this site, make decent money from EA - only to walk away with no intention of finishing the game.

      To make matters worse, the projects are sometimes then sold on the MP as incomplete engines.

      Double dipping, on a project that will never be completed.

      I fully understand the stigma.
      Today at 12:23 PM Report
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    5. [​IMG]
      MilesThatch
      I get the feeling I may have made an impression I don't know WHY everyone assumes the worst of Early Access.
      Today at 12:28 PM Report
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    6. [​IMG]
      Ghost in the IDE
      My view of it is that 99% of people are out to make a quick buck, which ruins it for the legit one percenters.
      Today at 12:39 PM Report
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    7. [​IMG]
      MilesThatch
      To be honestm my view is that Developers are not the only responsible party for this mess. Gamers should learn to do research into the developers before putting their money into a project. Just like you would with any investment opportunity. If you put your money into something without research then when it fails to return what you were expecting is partially on you.
      Today at 12:44 PM Report
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    8. [​IMG]
      MilesThatch
      I don't like how easily developers shlt on other developers. The system needs care and support from both sides and where there's a scam or a quick cash it, there's always a way to be aware and to prevent it.
      Today at 12:45 PM Report
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    (CONTINUED IN STATUS THREAD: https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.php?profile-posts/21521/ or below in more posts (due to character limit).

    @MilesThatch @RichHopelessComposer @Siolfor the Jackal @Ghost in the IDE
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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  2. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    I've lost my train of thought now.

    @MilesThatch That video you linked is very accurate, I have felt like that about games in the past.
     
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  3. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    here, might as well Move the entire thing here:


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      MilesThatch
      Well that's actually what I mean. We as developers need to support the feature that supports us. We need to educate the consumers about how to research the games they're investing in.
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      Ghost in the IDE
      For sure. But how do you do that? Why would they believe your word over 'Dodgy Dave'?

      All you can do is cultivate your own reputation and shine through.

      Look at Kickstarter. Is it our job to make everyone succeed (dodgy or not)? Or do we build our own following and reputation and stand out from the others?
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      RichHopelessComposer
      @MilesThatch: I agree with you there. Consumers make a lot of stupid choices, too. I facepalm so hard at half the Kickstarter campaigns that get funded for example, because they're obviously scams. Consumers are extremely gullible sometimes. That's not an easy thing to fix, though...the good devs out there are far outnumbered by the bad out to make a quick buck, unfortunately.
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      RichHopelessComposer
      KS and EA benefit from shady developers, too. I dunno. Crappy situation, for sure. Selling things to customers before they're finished is a pretty bally proposition to begin with, hahah. I think people are going to be wary of EA and KS no matter what we do. I agree that we (and games media, more importantly, I think) should educate consumers as best as possible, though.
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      RichHopelessComposer
      @Ghost in the IDE: That's the thing - you *can't* cultivate a following until you actually release a game (or a few). No matter what you do, your word is only as good as "Dodgy Dave's" until you have a proven track record. That's the crux of the problem, here. Hell, even "proven" developers have ****ed up pretty badly on KS, iirc.
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      MilesThatch
      @Ghost in the IDE Why would they believe your word over 'Dodgy Dave'?

      This is why it's not to be done as a single developer. This is to be done by ALL of us who have the power and plan to complete the games. We have to agree on a strategy and message and promote that same message everywhere. Not just opinions and rants.
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      Ghost in the IDE
      Yeah, I don't know. Do people really need educating? Are people that silly? People may get burned once or twice, but after that they are more 'educated' in what to look out for. People read reviews. They can tell pretty quick if someone looks shady or not.

      What do we actually educate? Do we post on our EA's and say "Trust me, I'm a good guy. It's ok to pay me for a pre-alpha product".
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      MilesThatch
      the good devs out there are far outnumbered by the bad

      Agree. But that's the case for everything. Everywhere. Benefits, Insurance, any sort of promotion. Glitches and exploits in games and loopholes in laws. It's everywhere. But it should not be a deterrent for us to NOT do anything.
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  4. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    • [​IMG]
      Ghost in the IDE
      What state is EA in though? In my mind the state of it is fine. You weed out the bad and invest in projects you believe in.

      Maybe it is a 'perceived' state?
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      MilesThatch
      Just like stock investment. You do research before you invest into a company. How does a developer behave on social media, how often are updates posted. how feature, content or bug fix rich are the updates. This sort of deal.
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      RichHopelessComposer
      is only going to be answered by any of 500 of Kotaku's hit pieces on KS and EA showing how many devs are either blatant thieves or at best simply inept. I dunno. What's your specific suggestion for action? (2/2)
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      MilesThatch
      And in order to prevent it being looked at as an opinion. We'd need a centralized operation site. A forum of a sort.
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  5. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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      MilesThatch
      So my proposition. Use a PHPBB and Wordpress as a base for archiving and reviewing Early Access games. Operated by a trusted staff of editors. Basically like IMDB and Rotten Tomatoe gives film ratings that affect box office sales, the site would give a TrustoWorthy rating to an early access title based on it's update performances.
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      MilesThatch
      @Ghost in the IDE Please explain.

      If you have a non trustworthy editors guild, people who take bribes from developers to get a good score. It's an issue which any editorial site would have to deal with. But it's a part of the job. Moles would have to be terminated.
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      MilesThatch
      The reviews on steam never cover how often a project gets supported updates or game dev blog posts. These are still unreliable because the reviews can be inflated. Plus reviews are more oriented for the benefit of users. We're not there to sell a game, we're there to ensure good games get a fair chance. This is a service to help developers to achieve their dream. Consumers will benefit regardless.
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      MilesThatch
      Here's the thing, you would have to identify Red Flags for a dying project. I imagine that if a website does well it would get it's own funding program much like Extra Credit guys did to fund promising games with solid development plan.
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  6. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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      MilesThatch
      Don't confuse games that suck and games that don't see the light of day. If the game sucks, noone will buy it off Early Access either way. But if the game shows promise but it's on Early Access, it would get the chance it needs. The line has to be clearly identified in order for it to not become the next IMDB or Kotaku
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      MilesThatch
      As I said. There have to be Red flags for games that will get abandoned. The service could concentrate on that instead. To remove the bad stigma from Early Access one would have to offer security for the consumers. One of the problems with Early Access, as pointed out by guys at Extra Credit is the fact that there is no precautions for the developers to NOT deliver the game.
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      MilesThatch
      The gamers have no way of receiving the funds back. This is where it gets tricky because for that particular issue to be solved. the funds would have to be controlled. A deserving game that shows constant progress and dedication would be rewarded with a portion of the funds. Actually a lot of Government Grants work that way.
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      RichHopelessComposer
      Now you're talking about changing Steam, though, which is probably impossible. They're raking in the money by letting half-baked games that'll never be finished be sold. Until Steam stops taking in cash from EA, things aren't going to change on that front. This is a big problem to fix. :x
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      HayManMarc
      Generally speaking, consumers are idiots. They usually believe any and all marketing. It's up to the promotion team to sell trust. This is true for all retail. It's not necessarily the consumer's fault that they believe the marketing. The old adage applies: Let the buyer beware.
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      MilesThatch
      Nothing to do with steam. This is an independent ecosystem. But to be honest. That is talking about a whole other system. First and foremost it should be a guide. A series of instructions on how to analyze that the project you're about to invest into. How to make an educated decision. How to assess the chance of the game not getting abandoned, Because then if anyone ever complains, you can fall back to the guide.
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      Ghost in the IDE
      "There have to be Red flags for games that will get abandoned."

      How does one determine, what 'will' be abandoned?

      That's the one Richie Rich and the Funky Bunch, don't charge your customer for EA and you can't go wrong. How can you be a bad dev, if you don't charge for something that is far from complete.

      There's your answer Miles, don't charge and you can't lose. You can't possibly be seen as the bad guy.
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      HayManMarc
      Problem with creating some kind of system/board/rotten-tomatoes-for-games thingy is that is can be gamed and faked, too. Then you're back where you started.
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      MilesThatch
      How does one determine, what 'will' be abandoned?

      This is the golden nugget of the business. You answer that question, you've got yourself a successful venue.

      don't charge your customer for EA and you can't go wrong

      Yes. But you dismiss the benefit of EA... That's what you're fighting for. The positive that the system brings.
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      MilesThatch
      Here's the thing. We're NOT here to rate games. We're here to rate developers. How trustworthy is the developer. What is the track Record of the developer. The Platform would offer value in analysis. We're not there to judge a game. The consumer can do that themselves and then decide if the game is worth their money.
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  7. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    • [​IMG]
      Ghost in the IDE
      What is the benefit of EA in your eyes then?

      To make a quick buck or to get people following your game and contributing towards shaping your game early on.

      One answer will ring alarm bells, one won't.
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      RichHopelessComposer
      Out of curiosity, did you hit EA yet, Miles? I think that's the other problem we're going to face here....most devs will only start worrying about fighting for this thing right before or right after they dive into EA, hahah! Most devs are probably going to feel pretty indifferent about these kinds of plans, unfortunately...I think if you want a rottentomatoes type site for EA, you might have to build it yourself. :x
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      MilesThatch
      Benefits of Early Access are to grow capital. To Hire the staff needed to improve the quality of your production. A Great 3D horror game story would benefit from adequate animations which the developer himself would not pull off on his own. Voice Acting, Art, even hiring a programmer for a specialized tool development and marketing of the game.
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      MilesThatch
      @RichHopelessComposer Oh no doubt about it. It would have to be built yourself. And not yet. My own game is making me ask questions which would benefit other developers and to be honest. if the resources where there, I'd also try to start a sort of funding program. After all that's what it's all about - finding. If you thing EA is a quick cash grab - you have no business in EA.
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      MilesThatch
      @Ghost in the IDE If you need to grow capital in order to make the game, are you really in the right industry?

      That's redundant because if you're in the game making business solely for fun, you're not looking for funding, you'll be making the game regardless.

      The funding is for people who want to make it a living making games, who have prepared to do so properly.
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      Ghost in the IDE
      "If you thing EA is a quick cash grab - you have no business in EA."

      Hmmm. More alarm bells.

      So if I choose to release my game for free on EA in order to get exposure, cultivate an interest, and generate feedback, I have no business on EA?

      In my mind, I would come out the clear winner any day.
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      Ghost in the IDE
      "The funding is for people who want to make it a living making games, who have prepared to do so properly."

      What do you thing the prior 'preparation' involves? Answer - to be financially stable enough to take on such a venture. Not just to jump in blind and complain about the state or EA (as that's where all your eggs are being placed).

      That strategy seems like the path to financial ruin to me.
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      MilesThatch
      So if I choose to release my game for free on EA in order to get exposure, cultivate an interest, and generate feedback, I have no business on EA?

      What are you talking about? If you want to release a free game, it is your job to present the games idea and show constant progress to convince the audience you're worth their money. That's what the users base misses out on. Are you worth their money?
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      MilesThatch
      You can make free games for the sake of making a game. That's fine. The platform would serve to analyze whether you're worth the money and risk involved with it. Perhaps I didn't word that properly as I don't mean to exclude games intended to be free. And I'm not talking free to play.
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  8. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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      Ghost in the IDE
      Chicken and the egg, man.

      "it is your job to present the games idea and show constant progress to convince the audience you're worth their money."

      Exactly!!
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      Ghost in the IDE
      BTW - don't take any of this banter as any negativity towards yourself. You are a good guy with the best interests at heart. I do see this :)
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      MishMash
      This should probably be a topic in the publishing forum :p I have some points and opinions to add, but not enough space in status updates to do it properly hehe
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  9. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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      RichHopelessComposer
      @Siolfor the Jackal: Actually, the arts have always historically been supported by kindly patrons! Even world famous orchestras need donations to stay open. Patreon, KS, and EA are just modern takes on that old idea, I think! :D
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      RichHopelessComposer
      Good stuff is usually niche stuff, unfortunately, so I think these new technologies are great for creators and patrons alike. People should only pledge/buy with the understanding that they're donating to the artist, though. Any money given should be considered lost. Anything else is risky! :x
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      RichHopelessComposer
      Creators, of course, should do their best to honor their patrons by doing their best to fulfill their promises. People who run with KS/EA money are the worst.
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      Siolfor the Jackal
      Guess the issue is I don't view games primarily as art. Games are a product, for entertainment generally. I'm more ok with KS and Patreon because they sort of seem more upfront about what they are whereas EA seems sketchier to me. Patreon is very openly a way of supporting a creator, and KS (at least nowadays) is recognised as more of an investment and risk. At lot of the time EA just comes across as lazy to me.
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      MilesThatch
      @Siolfor the Jackal So what exactly is Lazy about Early Access in your opinion? There are things that you simply cant pull off on your own. What if you want to get voice overs into your game? Those are pretty pricey.
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      MilesThatch
      I personally know a few very talented voice actors who've been helping me with various projects in the past. I know they can deliver quality and value to my game and thus would like to hire them for a voice over job for my project. Early Access is just a way of getting capital to be able to offer these features. Get the resources you need to have a better chance of pushing a quality product.
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      RichHopelessComposer
      @Siolfor the Jackal: I think the best games out there stand with any of the paintings in a museum, personally. There's so much incredible art that goes into games that the question "are games themselves art?" seems kind of moot to me. They're amazing works done by ridiculously talented people working together. :)
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  10. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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      RichHopelessComposer
      @Siolfor the Jackal: I agree with you that Patreon is the purest one. I think EA and KS can be just as good, depending on how people view them. If you view your donation as just a donation, I think they're fine. If you're preordering through these services, then it gets a bit more worrying to me. I think KS and EA should both be more upfront with the "this is only a donation" angle. Everyone would be happier.
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      RichHopelessComposer
      I think with KS, it's more understood at least, like you said - lots of people donate $100+ to KS campaigns they like, and many even waive their rewards. EA is the most maligned right now, because almost everyone treats EA as a simple preorder. In all cases, the dev should do their best to live up to expectations, though.
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      Siolfor the Jackal
      Lazy was perhaps a bit harsh, but I don't feel like I can trust someone who wants to sell me an unfinished product just so they can continue to work on it. To me, if you can't find a way to secure funding or finish your project without this, then either I don't trust your commitment to the project or maybe i believe your idea is too ambitious for your current situation.
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      MilesThatch
      Early Access isn't really about selling an unfinished product. It's more about selling your vision you'd like to achieve. And Early Access shouldn't be flung left and right freely. I think Early Access should behave much more like Patreon. You have to get to know the developer, analyze them and only after you've learned enough, commit to helping them.
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      MilesThatch
      I think EA has gotten into such a bad place, not just because of the developers but because of the consumers not making the time to get to know the product and the person developing it. I think it's very easy to not see the whole picture when all you're looking at is the game screenshots and trailer. If you get to know the developer - the person more, perhaps then you can judge the character.
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      Siolfor the Jackal
      Except that's what you are doing, you're selling an unfinished product and some promises. I agree with the last thing you said though, if you are going to participate in EA(or KS/Patreon) you really should do your research on the creator. If you don't, and they don't deliver, then you have nothing to complain about.
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      RichHopelessComposer
      @Siolfor the Jackal: I kind of agree with you about EA feeling lazy, but I might do one anyway, along with the KS. There's no question to me whether I do this game with my current funding, because I can (and am) by working 40-45 hours a week. Which sucks sometimes! I don't think there's anything wrong with devs trying to get out of their dayjobs to work on their game more...
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      RichHopelessComposer
      ...as long as they actually follow through and finish their games. If I ran out of EA/KS money and my game wasn't finished yet, I'd just go back to working like I am now. Some devs cut and run instead, which is terrible, and is the reason EA (and sometimes KS/Patreon) have such bad vibes around them.
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  11. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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      RichHopelessComposer
      If I was to do EA, though, I'd lay it all out for everybody: "this is only the first two hours of the game. The full game won't be finished for another two years, and you won't see many updates here. If you purchase, please consider this a donation - this might be a long wait."
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      RichHopelessComposer
      So...yeah! I don't have any problems with donations to artists/game devs, as long as everything is honest. I actually think it's really heartening to see fans supporting developers to help finish games. Devs who betray that trust suck, but I don't think these donation/"preorder" systems themselves are bad. :)
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      MilesThatch
      Selling an unfinished product really implies that you have no intention of finishing it. While technically you are trading a first playable version of your game for an early profit. We both know that that profit is not intended to be pocketed as clean income but to be put right back into the project. This, I think, is what separates the men from the boys. Boys will see early access as an early cash grab.
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      Siolfor the Jackal
      Oh jeez, haha. I don't have much time to play games as it is nowadays, so if I were to play just the first part of the game, then two years goes by, I'm probably going to be over it... :( That initial excitement has gradually worn off. I mean, unless the game is AMAZING... which maybe yours will be :p
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      RichHopelessComposer
      ^@Miles: That. The system itself is pure. Greedy/dishonest/unskilled/flaky developers have just warped people's perception of it, which is too bad.

      @Siolfor the Jackal: If I wasn't making something good enough for you to want to pick up again two years down the road, I wouldn't accept people's money ahead of time, heheh! ;)
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      Siolfor the Jackal
      Well in that case, in the end you're really hurting yourself aren't you? If the majority of your player base buys in EA, then when you "full release", your profits will be minimal, which probably doesn't leave you much to work on your next game or support yourself.
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  12. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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      RichHopelessComposer
      @Siolfor the Jackal: I don't think most profits come before a game's launch, though. Undertale only made like $50k with its KS (with a great demo!), and then blew up to like 8 million or whatever after it launched. The vast majority of people out there wait until the game is finished to buy it, apparently.
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      RichHopelessComposer
      @Siolfor the Jackal: I actually want my players to get to experience the game all in one go, though...it's the only thing that has me iffy on EA. If I did EA, I think I'd actually make a special little demo area or something because of that. I dunno. I'd rather just do a KS alone, anyway, so we'll see.
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  13. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Finally. God damn 10 image per post + 5000 words max + 1 Minute wait time... xD
     
  14. Kobold

    Kobold Member

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    ...it's like with the projects that went on funding campaigns and never delivered anything at the end... and then another campaign opened up by the same developer but just with a different title/name or whatever... things like that deserve an entry on a black list of "bound to be fail", don't feed the troll, haha

    I am not getting this.. right? or am I?
     
  15. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Anyways. There's gotta be quite a lot of variables that make up a failed Early Access product. @Siolfor the Jackal Is right with the fact that if the game stays in Early Access for too long then the All the player base there is that could ever play the game will have already bought the game and the only way to make it work again, you'd have to re-publish it. Like Fallout 4 and Fallout 4 VR
     
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  16. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    So if we as developers were to bring Early Access back to glory of what it was supposed to be - a tool to help small studios which financial institutions are not interested in supporting to get the funding the need to push their product. Now yes, we have indie games that a single man can make - games with no voice acting or self voiced games, simple art style, most of the work is in the mechanics and coding. These games generally don't need funding to begin with outside of perhaps marketing. We'd have to differentiate between developers who Want funding and those who Need funding. But then there are games made by indie studios of single developers or small groups who would like to hire local talent thus stimulating local artists, bring a better visual aesthetic by hiring an animator or sprite illustrator (Something I am planning to do myself as a lot of pixel art in this game is simply placeholder stuff)
     
  17. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    I'm not sure that's true, since I think the majority of players avoid most Early Access games.

    Even if it were true, though, I don't think it matters - if everyone who would've bought your game on release day buys it during EA instead, you're making the same amount of money for your game either way, right? Say you release your game normally, and you make $200k your first year, and then sales kind of trail off and die. You worked on your game alone for three years. That means it was worth it for most small devs, right?

    Now say you worked on your game for three months, put it on EA, and then worked on it for three years *after* instead, and made $200k over those three years instead. Sure, you're not getting any "extra" money for finishing your game, but assuming the same amount of people buy either way, both cases are functionally the same for the developer, except with EA, you get money while you work instead of after.

    Again, though, I think most games make their money after getting out of EA, except for a few crazy outliers that basically stay in EA forever (PUBG, Ark, etc). I think that's more likely to happen with certain kinds of games than others....usually multiplayer/modular experiences, where being "unfinished" doesn't really hurt the overall experience too much.
     
  18. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    When it comes to actually proposing a solution, it becomes much more like the job of a business analyst. What are the practices. What the developer has done in the past (be it a past game, or the frequency and content richness / complexity of the updates). Things of that nature.
     
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  19. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    I always thought that Early Access is where you try to raise some capital by offering the game at a slightly lower price point? This is why I figure it's best to NOT stay in Early Access for too long.

    Even better I think early Access would work more like a private beta. For a Limited amount of slots.
     
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  20. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Not sure I agree with this, either. I think we just need to differentiate between developers who deserve funding (those who are making a good game and who will actually deliver the game sooner or later), and those who don't. I'd rather fund a single developer making a great game so that they can work faster/with less stress than a developer making a bad game whose project needs money for voice acting and stuff like that. I think most people putting their money up want a great game more than anything else, too.
    Ah, could be. I haven't really looked into EA too much, honestly. Feels kind of weird to me, too. Like the longer you wait after launching, the more interest in your game dies. I think @Siolfor the Jackal might've been right about that. I agree that it's best to get out of EA as soon as possible after launching. I think it's possible to drum up interest in your game even after a long stay in EA, but it feels dicey to me. I think it's best to avoid EA altogether if possible, or sell a limited number of slots for it like you said, treating it more like KS. That way, you can "launch for real!" with a bang.
     
  21. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Yes and No. Here's the thing. We're talking about Early Access, where each User determines if they want to offer help to a developer. It's not our money so it's not for US to decide if the Dev deserves the money of this user. It's just the question making sure the User has ALL the information to make the informed decision.
     
  22. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Oh. I thought you were talking about as consumers. You meant as a watchdog group. In that case, I don't think we need to decide who "needs" funding, either - who "needs" the funding more: the guy stuck working 70 hours a week to support his family while trying to develop an amazing game, or the guy who's taking it easy, but "needs" money because he thinks it'd be cool to have some voice actors or hire a famous composer or whatever? I think that should be up for the audience to decide, too.

    Because of that, as a watchdog group, I think the only things we should try to judge would be whether or not the developer is honest, and the chances of the developer actually fulfilling his promises in a reasonable timeframe. Could look out for obvious things like insane promises "This is my first game, but you can go anywhere in the entire universe! You can do aaaaanything!!!", shady comments/behavior, etc. This would all be subjective, but it might work if you got people with keen eyes to do it.
     
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  23. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    To that I would say that maybe you should work on something smaller scale first. I've heard of people making a few smaller games(even mobile or html5 games) first to fund their bigger more ambitious games. To me, it proves that not only can you finish products, but you have the follow through and are more proactive/self-sufficient, and that goes a long way.

    My understanding was, that any money you make during EA is supposed to go straight into development for that game. So if you made $200k overall, but half of it was EA, then you only have $100k for profits to use to support yourself or a new project. Whereas if that $200k was all full release profits, that's more for you and your future.
     
  24. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    But if by your money you mean YOUR @RichHopelessComposer money then it's your decision, by all means. That's the obvious part, you can fund a game you want to fund, it's your wallet. We're not really do judge which game deserves the money and it's really the Devs job to Win over the user with the game presentation.

    I'm mainly thinking that the process of being won over should go beyond watching the trailer and seeing screenshots. The user has to learn more about the developer like you would learn the inner structure of a business you're about to stock invest into. Can't go into it blindly. There will always be as5hats in it for the money, Charismatic bastards sweet talking users into early access, fake screenshots and shoverware type of deal. The only way I see to reduce the about of people who invest in these games that fail is to make sure the consumer is more informed about what they're getting into. We - other developers can't go after shoddy devs with pitchforks, DDoSsing their project pages and hacking into their accounts to refund all the income. All we can do is inform. And the more legitimate developers inform their user base, with the same well thought out strategy, the more users will have the ability to make the right educated call.
     
  25. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Well, I mean, yeah....that's where the money is supposed to go first and foremost, but if you're making a 2D platformer that could never realistically cost more than $100k of your time as a single developer, and you make $5million in sales your first day in EA because you've somehow made a game better than any Mario title, then I don't think anyone's expecting you to just dump five million dollars into your little SNES-like game. Actually, that doesn't even make any logical sense - if you had to dump every dollar of EA money you made back into your game, you'd end up in an infinite funding-development loop until the sales dried up completely and you couldn't develop anymore, hahah! When you go into EA, you need to put those funds into finishing the game before doing anything else with it, but after the game is done, it's done, right? X'D

    @MilesThatch: I think we're in agreement? Just lay out what the dev is making, why they want their funds, and the chances we think they'll actually deliver, right? The audience can decide what to do with the info.
     
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  26. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    As far as I can tell, this has more to do with How big your game is, how you budget the money you receive and how much you charge for the game. This is where budgeting comes it big time because you can create a game too big or getting content that is far too expensive for the size of your game that is sold for too little with not enough to get the content you were planning to do and getting stuck. So it really depends on the scale of the game you're making (and your ability to actually make it).
     
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  27. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    @RichHopelessComposer
    Well I don't imagine most people are going to make anywhere near that much on their projects. Worst case you make nothing and I guess there was no real risk to you, but what if you just break even? Only making just enough to cover your game. Then if you want to make another, you're back to square one. That doesn't sound very sustainable to me, unless you can somehow manage to knock out a home run each game.
     
  28. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Ahhh! This is a great point, and this is exactly why EA feels shadier than Kickstarter to me - I couldn't put my finger on it until you mentioned it.
    With Kickstarter, the developer sets a budget and a promise: "I need x dollars to make this game with these features."
    With EA, the developer makes a promise without knowing how much funding they'll get. Basically, with EA, neither the developer or the players know whether or not the developer will actually meet their budget, or only get half the money they need before the project caves in. "I'm going to make this game.....as long as enough of you buy an advanced copy. Maybe that'll happen, maybe it won't..." is closer to the EA promise, which is obviously not good for the developer or customer base if the developer doesn't have another form of income to fall back on.

    That's why Kickstarter and Patreon don't have the same stigma as Early Access! Obvious to me now that I'm saying it out loud, hahah!

    Edit:
    I think the above covers my feelings on this, too. =D
     
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  29. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    yes but that just means you've scoped too large. And you need to re-think what you've done wrong and learn from it. As @RichHopelessComposer Said, you gotta be making a pretty damn colossal game or spending the capital you've raised in all the wrong places on overpriced talent to blow all the money from all the users you've convinced to commit to early access.
     
  30. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Yes! This is yet another thing that makes an informed user. You don't see a road map - BIG RED FLAG.
     
  31. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Yeah, with Patreon you're pretty much funding the developer - the creator. Not a project, where as kickstarter is FOR a project or venue. PS does kickstarter guarantee refunds on non delivered products? Because from what it looks like Kickstarter is just another word for Early Access. It;s just the actually platform for Kickstarter requires the developer to provide info and goals for the project. But not not like having those has ever stopped kickstarters to fail, right?

    Again probably not the method of receiving the money because that's pretty much all Kickstarter is but the necessity to prove you can achieve what you're proposing is what's required to make an informed decision. .
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  32. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    Kickstarter might do that now, but I don't think they used to. But that's just making it worse in my opinion, because people are treating it like pre-orders(like someone said earlier I think) instead of the risk it's supposed to be.
     
  33. Lonewolff

    Lonewolff Member

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    Nope.

    Unless things have changed in recent years, it is up to the the public to chase the project creator.
     
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  34. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Well we can agree on the fact that there are a whole bunch of ways to use Early Access WRONG and there's only one way to use it right to benefit / void the benefit that EA is meant to bring.
     
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  35. Lonewolff

    Lonewolff Member

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    Yep.

    So how you going to police that?
     
  36. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    @MilesThatch: the advantage of KS over EA for customers is what I mentioned in my last post: with KS, it's either all or nothing. Either the devs get the budget they're asking for, or they don't. With EA, the customer doesn't even know if their contribution will be enough to get the developer the budget they need; even if they trust the developer, they have no idea whether or not other customers will.
     
  37. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Well the only thing we CAN do is inform. Smart Developers constantly keep in touch with their audiences. Audience that cares - listens. If we, as developers create a general Guide to "Smart Early Access" and promote that guide to as many of our followers as we can, iot's bound to start getting effective at helping the user base avoid shady devs by analyzing their behavior patterns.

    And obviously there will be the lazy asses who don't care enough to do the research or follow a guide handed to them on a silver platter. Those people honestly deserve losing out on an early access deal.
     
  38. Lonewolff

    Lonewolff Member

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    What are we informing though?

    To me it is common knowledge to research something before putting money into it.

    We already do it for groceries, cars, houses, and games.

    Don't we?
     
  39. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    This could be very well another Guide Worthy point. The developer must show their expenses calculated based on rates of various expenses. Rates of Talent. Rates of Marketing Services, Costs of Promotional materials, Cost of Software etc. If they can create a budget plan then they can come up with the total. it's kinda of common sense to have one if you're going for funding. If no - another big RED FLAG.
     
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  40. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    @MilesThatch: but that's the problem with EA that KS doesn't have: no matter how much you research an EA dev to make sure they're good, capable, and honest, you have no idea if they'll get the rest of the budget they need for their game after you donate, meaning you might be wasting money even on good devs.

    With KS, you know whether or not the dev you're supporting has their needed budget (according to them, at least) before any money leaves your wallet.

    I think that's why more people are scared of EA than KS.
     
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  41. Lonewolff

    Lonewolff Member

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    Exactly. And any honest dev will do this anyway, if they want your funding.

    So I am not seeing the issue here. What am I missing?
     
  42. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    We do, but there's nothing to fall back to. You'd be surprised how many people don't actually even think about it. If they complain about a game they committed to early access without doing the research and it failed then you always reference "The Guide". Anything and everything the fails be it a business or a game venue has traces of bad practices. The guide is there to identify and capitalize on these bad practices as the Red Flags to watch out for


    There is no way there are ABSOLUTELY no hints of foul play. With how many games have failed EA, we'd have more than enough data to analyze and identify the shoddy practices.
     
  43. Lonewolff

    Lonewolff Member

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    What guide?

    Of course there is. Just read the reviews.
     
  44. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    "The Guide" is what I refer to as a central resource assembled by Devs, hosted on a website, available to anyone to help consumer be informed about shoddy Game Dev Practices and make an informed decision. This is the solution I'm proposing to deterring Shoddy Developers - Or to be more precise, since we can't go after bad devs ourselves, the only thing we can do is make the user base more informed.
     
  45. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    What "foul play?" I'm talking about good devs.

    You see an awesome looking game on EA. You research the dev. They're great. You donate $20.

    Nobody else cares about the game. The devs receive no further funding. You just lost your twenty bucks.

    That can't happen with KS, because devs don't get *any* money unless they get *all* the money they've asked for, but it can happen in EA because money trickles in and can stop at any time.

    I think that scares a lot of people away from EA.
     
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  46. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    That is MY suggested solution. We can definitely address the weak points of this solution OR you can suggest your own solution.

    There is this youtube channel I like to follow for philosophical debates where a very similar issue is discussed with Apple's Shoddy Practices and how the only way to really find again it is to make sure the consumer is better informed about these practices which Apple effectively tried to keep subdued and hidden from the public eye:


    Now don't make this an Apple Pro Cons debate, the main thing I wanted to point your attention to is the solution to what is, at the core the same fundamental problem.
     
  47. Lonewolff

    Lonewolff Member

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    How do you make this 'guide' more prominent than Steam itself?

    Steam already has a guide.
     
  48. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Very Good point. The fact that it can't happen with KS, IS a positive thing actually. But do consider that EAs reputation wasn't destroyed by one bad donation. It was a course of Many games Having failed Many EA buyers.
     
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  49. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Steam reviews Games, it is a Front for a product, not the developer it doesn't cover everything there is. The Guide Would instruct how to analyze the developer. A bad Developer can only hide behind the posters and trailers of their game marketing presentation. But the consumer needs to look past the flashy promotional material. Look behind the game, Look at the developer. How often has he/she been posting, what are the updates about. How connected is the developer with it's user base. Sometimes you can get that from Steam alone. Sometimes you need to look deeper, their Twitter, Their Game Jolt Game Page, Their Youtube, Their Patreon.

    The reality is that Steam is a Front for a product. And a product can be marketed. The user has to look at the developer
     
  50. Lonewolff

    Lonewolff Member

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    I'd have to disagree.

    This is a pretty fair assessment of what to expect from this dev.

    [​IMG]

    That's on their front page for every one to see.

    It is self regulating. You'll know pretty quick if a dev is dodgy or not.
     

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