Crowfall delays features for more polish, looks at a ‘soft launch’

ArtCraft came out yesterday and admitted that it will not be able to make its projected dates on certain Crowfall features without sacrificing quality, and as such the studio announced that it will be pushing certain unspecified features into 2017 while it continues to polish the game.

After looking at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Crowfall’s current state of development, ArtCraft said that it wasn’t really a choice to make the decision to extend work on the game’s systems until they are up to par. To mollify the community, the studio announced that it is planning on a “soft launch” of Crowfall once the game is at least to the point where it’s stable and won’t require wipes any more.

“We are going to take as long as it takes, but instead of shooting for a single launch date (and delaying that day until we complete ALL planned features and content), we are aiming for a soft launch to get you in, and playing, as quickly as possible,” ArtCraft said. The studio declined to give any timetable for the rollout of this soft launch.

Source: Crowfall
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63 Comments on "Crowfall delays features for more polish, looks at a ‘soft launch’"

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NobleNerd
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NobleNerd

Soft Launch: translation “Take advantage of hype during delay to milk it for all the $ we can get”

Veldan
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Veldan

LyalinDotCom A soft launch is like the opposite of “when it’s ready”. The latter means not releasing until the game is done. Pretty much what CU is doing. Soft launch is releasing long before it’s really ready with the hope that it will get the money flow going sooner.

TehAcidBaron
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TehAcidBaron

Well at least they are being honest, i’m a backer and okay with this. Just depends on the timetable of when the rest will come in.

RaidEn_EVE
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RaidEn_EVE

As a backer that doesn’t follow closely the situation, I’m glad they are honest about their mistakes, and that what I heard wasn’t good on comments is listed on the mistakes. I never though the launch date would be met anyway. Truth is better than being on time here.

dragonwhimsy
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dragonwhimsy

If you’re charging money or add a cash shop it’s not a soft launch. One assumes they will be doing just that or they wouldn’t feel the need to soft launch at all and would simply actually delay it.

They’re not delaying it, by the way, they’re just releasing it unpolished and as less than a full game with the hope to add the other stuff later. Of course by then those willing to play what is actually a beta without character wipes will be far ahead of anyone waiting for an actual polished and full experience.

Worse, development of those later features will change because the community’s expectations will change. Are the Eternal Kingdoms under-featured? Well now Crowfall has attracted a community that doesn’t care about the Eternal Kingdoms because they weren’t ready for launch. So now those features will likely never be implemented, at least not as envisioned now. Once the game is “live” the day-to-day concerns of people playing the game as it “launched” will override any grand ideas ArtCraft may have once had.

ArtCraft has good intentions I have no doubt, but they have no idea how their development process will change once they go live, whether you call it a soft launch or not. The game modes it “soft launches” with will become the core game and the players it attracts at that time aren’t going to care what the original vision was. 

I remember the grand plans of “Guns of Icarus”, “WarThunder”, and “MechWarrior: Online”. And I remember what happens when you “soft launch” a game before all of it’s main features are done. ESPECIALLY the main campaign system that is supposed to actually give such games meaning. That meaning never comes. The core idea that binds all the combat into something with purpose never makes it into the game. It’s just too much work to develop all that while maintaining a live game. 

TLDR: Your launch features decide the sort of player base you attract. When you “soft launch” an unfinished game you change the nature of the community you create around your game and that change will effect your development roadmap. Crowfall is now going to be a very different, and less grand game than was originally envisioned. 

Recommendation: Don’t buy into this game if you’re doing so for the Eternal Kingdoms or the more creative and persistent MMO aspects. Do buy into it if you wanted a lobby combat system with action MMO mechanics and siege.

Bonnenuit
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Bonnenuit

How do you delay a game that had no dates to begin with? Props to them for honesty, I suppose!

If they had simply… waited longer… would we have even known? :)

I say this tongue-in-cheek, and eagerly (but very patiently) awaiting release.

Bonnenuit
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Bonnenuit

amoranth Couldn’t agree more about expecting this with pretty much every release. I’m backing a half-dozen games at this point, and the only one NOT behind schedule simply isn’t far enough along yet. It will be, I’m sure.

That said, you’d think devs would pick up on that, and simply take their reasonable expectations, and add some arbitrary amount to it for no reason other than fudge factor. Make it, say, 25%.

Then, you’d still likely have most games coming out behind schedule, but less so. And some may even end up surprising you!

All you devs out there, consider this a challenge! Next time you’re estimating a content release, calculate what you should need, planning for the worst, and then tack on some extra, just ‘cuz. Thanks!  ;)

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

luxundae Craywulf  There certainly are arguments for delaying it entirely being preferable to soft launch. and vice versa ofc. There are negative player reviews/metacritics because people are playing a subset of the game.  And head starts to some players in PvP does not always end well. etc.

Samizdat
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Samizdat

Craywulf luxundae They’ve been talking about this for a long time. They aren’t building to a ship date, they’re slowly growing the game over time. Here’s a video from January where they talking about the same topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4641Qhj_cFU&t=1m50s

Craywulf
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Craywulf

luxundae They already spoke of delaying it, yet they want to release it anyway as a ‘soft launch’. That tells me they aren’t ready, but are rushing it out the door because of cost of labor is exceeding their investment. 

I’ve played unfinished games before any they can be fun too, but my initial statement here is not about fun. This about a developer who’s rushing a delayed product. The likely culprit is money…they need money.