On some point I agree and some other I don't, but I prefer to expose examples of diferent developement cycles as I see them for the debate:Sebb767 wrote:Fully agreed.devilwarriors wrote: I would rather they had released an unstable version june 1 clearly marked experimental for modder only and then work with them for the month to release a general public version at the end of the month. [ ... ] But I know it's really only the fault of those whiny gamer who have no idea how development work and want to play the latest version no mater what and then go whine on forum how the game is bugged and they are getting ripped and the dev are bads people who molest children, while meanwhile they never ever submitted a bug report ever in their miserable life.
I agree that their release date handling was really bad. This "soon, maybe soon, really soon ... oh, 2 more weeks" killed the hype and anticipation IMO (I realize this is not the critique you brought forward, though).devilwarriors wrote: I'm a developer too and I prefer transparence instead. I would rather they had released an unstable version june 1 clearly marked experimental for modder only and then work with them for the month to release a general public version at the end of the month.
Now instead it's 0.11->0.12 all over again. They broke half the mod and it's gonna take months again to get those working, since probably half the mod developer moved on to other games.
But, on the other hand, what would be the point of releasing a pre-release version? Modders may have a lower bar in case of crashes etc, but the factorio devs would need to work on bug reports for bugs they'll find & fix while playtesting anyway. Some people will download it and complain. They have even more work (I'm pretty sure they're so quiet now because they're working hard to release 0.13). Also, people will play either vanilla at first so it doesn't matter if mods are initially available (small mods mostly will be converted rather fast or never) or they play a full conversion, in which case the probably don't care about the new version. To be honest, the early acces/"alpha" is actually a pre-release, but people just ignore it by now so you can't just throw out a buggy beta and tell them its a beta - thanks greenlight and kickstarter.
So, concluding: Yes, their date handling was bad, but that doesn't make them bad devs.
- Wube software with Factorio : Each version is developed internally, then versions are released as an experimental version, and at a time somes get the stable state.
+ Weekly fixed time blog post permit to have informations about the developement of the game
+ We are more encouraged to play when a new release is done
+ Developers have a high level of caring on factorio, bugs usually gets resolved rapidly (almost all bugs I've reported were solved less than 12h after report)
- There is almost nothing that diferentiate stable and experimental versions
- Mod developement is slow because not having access to api before the actual release
- When previous release get stable, we already get information about next version that we want and prevent us to play actual version.
- Keen Software with Space Engineer : They put the level very high since they released his code on github and allow the modification of the game and sugestion, they started to do it in a way as "We'll see if we can trust our player to do awesome things for our game and not stealing our code, building pirated versions ...", and as for now they continue to do it ... Also they do weekly updates with an update video.
+ Permit to fasten developement with feedback of the community
+ Permit to fasten mod developement
+ Recent change with stable and development branch allow for more stable games
- It's longuer to see "big features" because of a fest developement cycle (based on one week)
- loss of interest due to "there is endlessly again and again each week something new ..."
- There is still a risk of code stealing
- Chucklefish with Starbound : They have 3 developement cycle : stable, unstable (which they release from times to times, not so much these times, it's like the factorio experimental branch, version get released before stable version) and nightly which contain the latest functionnality and asset mostly for modders or those wanting to see new functionnality, but beware, the code is compiled as it is, they don't really care the game is playable, it can be started and that the most they "guarantee", They do blog post about game developement.
+ Each blog post permit to keep the hype with various subjects about what the player could do (Wube software take a more technical path in them)
+ Fasten mod developement
- Blog post are not scheduled to specific day
- Very long developement cycles
- Mojang with Minecraft : The developement of a version follow theses steps : internal developement, weekly snapshot, prerelease, release, bugfixes
+ Snapshots usually gets secret features
+ Versions are correctly separated by some way to identifying them (16w24c is a snapshot, 1.10-pre3 is a pre-release, 1.10.5 if the fifth after release update)
- Due to absence of modding api, mod developement need the implementation of unofficial APIs (mcpatcher, forge ...) mod release are far far away (we are on version 1.10 and most mods are on 1.7-1.8 which is almost a 2 years old version)
- Developers have a low level of caring on minecraft, bugs usually gets resolved slowly (almost all bugs I've reported with a valid solution were solved more than 6 month after report with a record with 2 years, i've stopped reporting bugs since late 2013 and some of them are still not solved)
I don't say that one is better than an other, simply Judge by yourself ...