Are you grumpy about how long some indie games take to develop? Yeah, join the club – the indie devs are too.
That’s the takeaway from a long forum post penned by Project Gorgon’s Eric “Citan” Heimburg last week. In response to a player-initiated thread suggesting that Heimburg “refuses” to expand the team working on the game beyond himself and his wife, thereby keeping the pace of update slow, Heimburg lays it out plain and simple.
“The idea that I want to be here coding my ass off at 5am on a Saturday because I insist on doing everything? That’s complete nonsense,” he writes. “I would love to hire more people, and we definitely will. Actually I expect the first full-time developer hire may be possible soon… but I’m not hiring anyone unless I can do it responsibly.”
“I realize you’re all familiar with indie companies that burn their budget fast and end up successful. Minecraft (or whoever) did it, so why can’t we? Because the successful ones are extreme outliers. I’ve been involved in a half-dozen of those projects where indie teams burn their money fast and pray it works out. It almost never works out. I’m too old for that shit, and I won’t keep passing that sort of tragedy on to other game developers, or to you. Because the people that usually lose are you, the customers that buy in early. How many Kickstarter MMOs have failed after reaching their goal? Most of them. But I can confidently say we are not gonna fail. Really! We won’t hit our time estimates at all… but eventually we will make good on our crowdfunding promises. Reaching the finish line is my top financial priority, and I won’t jeopardize that goal. So we hire contractors when we can. And when we can hire full time people — and give them realistic time windows to get ramped up before we expect them to pull their weight — we will! We’re watching our bank account carefully and planning when we might be able to hire more people. I’m optimistic, but I don’t have a crystal ball. When we can hire, we will, simple as that.”
Heimburg also reiterates that Project Gorgon is still in early access, hence the sometimes haphazard update schedule, as content is pushed live for feedback when it’s actually ready.
The game unanimously took Massively OP’s award for best indie MMO of 2018.