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For those with some experience with Early Access games, some thoughts wanted.

#1Justice98405Posted 1/26/2014 2:49:54 PM
I've only got two early access games, as I'm not sure it's something I'm really big on, paying for a game to play before it's ready for proper release. I get the whole 'you are helping to make it the best it can be' but there's also this thing called closed alpha and beta testing, and that worked (and still does) for a LONG time.

Anyhow, so to those with some experience in playing some of these early access games, two things.

One, what is the most 'complete' game experience that you have personally played in Early Access. I have Mercenary Kings and Starbound, and Mercenary Kings is easily the winner here. The reason I bought this as my first ever early access game was seeing gameplay footage and it being clear how well done the game was even in this early state, and how fully featured it is. You have lots of gun customization in the game, lots of other add on you can get, lots of missions and ranks you can play and unlock. Honestly, if they just polish the game up and released it without any new content, it would be worth it. IF they do add even more content, weapons, unlocks, levels, enemies, bosses, who knows what, it'll be even MORE worth a purchase.

Two, what is your stance on this whole early access thing that is REALLY taking off of late? With the cases of games like Mercenary Kings, it makes me hopeful that this is viable method of game development and delivery. Starbound is a game with a LOT of potential, but it also has a LONG ways to go. I don't regret getting it in early access, but if I did it again, I might have waited longer. And seeing games like DayZ and Rust and such, I just wonder how many of these games will get released in early access, sell a LOT of copies, and then where is the ASSURANCE that these games will deliver on their promises. Will they actually get the listed/promised features done and added into the game in a TIMELY fashion. Because to a degree, with some of the mega popular early access games, they've already made a lot of money. It's a slippery slope at the LEAST.

So yeah, thoughts? Opinions? What is the BEST early access game you have personally played? Worst? Is it a 'good' thing for gaming?
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#2SteamsterPosted 1/26/2014 3:09:59 PM
Justice98405 posted...

So yeah, thoughts? Opinions?


Honestly?

I think this topic has been done more than enough and that you can just search "early access" and get dozens of opinions about it without needing to have them get repeated here.
#3Damaged7Posted 1/26/2014 3:14:22 PM
Probably Kerbal Space Program.

The crashing and bugs have seemed to go away for me. Game runs great. The sandbox mode is awesome and they're just starting work on Career mode. The modding community is really great and add alot to the game.

If Squad just upped and stopped working on KSP, that'd be alright. The game is more then functional right now and such a blast. Its still in Alpha and people are logging in hundreds of hours.
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#4dermoratrakenPosted 1/26/2014 3:23:04 PM
I've never done it because it's a horrible financial decision. It's like an investment where you take all the risk and have no chance of profit. The best possible outcome is that you like the game, which would have happened anyway.
#5psprulz2007Posted 1/26/2014 3:37:35 PM
I see it becoming the next DLC. Sure ifs new and fun NOW. But before the end of the year Steam and various other retailing sites will be cluttered full of half assed unfinished games.

I completely understand the concept of early access. That's for a small company/dev to continue to receive funds while still crafting the game. As well as gaining more in depth insight on what the gamers like/dislike about the game.

However, I also think you should do it the same legitimate and honest way the devs before you have done. (This is not aimed towards DayZ) That's to craft some quality well known mods, a small unique and quality free/super cheap game or be apart of a team of people doing one of those things. After earning a name for yourself and putting in the work, then hit up kickstarter (or something similar) and bring in the users who now know and can trust your work. Use the funds to complete your said project and enter in a small limited beta. Id rather use a beta entry as a perk to donations via kickstarter. So not only are people who know and trust your work backing you, but they are also there by your side the entire project and want your project to succeed.

You will gain more trust, more reliable insight and a better relationship with the gamers. I much rather listen to suggestions from a person who has been with me from the start then a random eww your game sucks do this to fix it moron.

Early access in concept could be the new kickstarter. But lets be honest. Its going to be used and abused by wannabes and has been to do a quick cash in and never actually deliver that quality worth while game That's assuming they even have the honest intent of delivering a quality finished game.

Im against it. Unless there are restrictions in who can enter a game into early access. The devs behind DayZ have done it right. They crafted a mod and created a name for themselves and are now taking that to a whole new level.
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#6pothocketPosted 1/26/2014 4:03:51 PM
I try to avoid EA games but I have picked up a few because they were really interesting. One is Paranormal, a unique style of horror game that has the player experiencing (in first person) a hostile haunting. Very fun if rough around the edges. It definitely feels like it should be a free indie game but if paid EA is the difference between Paranormal getting fleshed out into a full release or not, I'm glad I was able to buy it and support it. The developer, Matt, is very active with the community and (although the game hasn't changed that much since release) he's shown that he values the community input and is making changes based on that feedback.

The other EA game I picked up was Talisman, a digital adaptation of a classic adventure boardgame from the 80s. This has been a great game and it has changed a lot since I've bought it. At it's heart it's based on a complete game that has already been refined and playtested through many editions, so the developer doesn't even have to worry about the gameplay or mechanics, just has to worry about the bugs and the rules of the game are followed to the letter. It's been consistently receiving significant updates at least once a month that has not only polished the overall game but also added stuff like MP and even the first expansion from the boardgame (which effectively doubles the game content).
#7arleasPosted 1/26/2014 5:01:00 PM
Devs were doing Early Access long before it was called Early Access. They used to call it "Pre-order now and get access to the beta!" and before that it was just "Final Release 1.0!" (and the game wouldn't be stable and relatively bug free for at least 6 months or three patches, whichever comes first).
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#8Abiz_Posted 1/26/2014 5:03:20 PM
dermoratraken posted...
I've never done it because it's a horrible financial decision. It's like an investment where you take all the risk and have no chance of profit. The best possible outcome is that you like the game, which would have happened anyway.


Games like Day Z will be more expensive at release though. Depends on the developer. Sometime Early Access gets you a discount.
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#9DoomkillaPosted 1/26/2014 5:31:13 PM
Early access is fine as it is. You know what you're signing up for the moment you buy it.
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#10arleasPosted 1/26/2014 5:46:42 PM(edited)
From: Justice98405 | #001
What is the BEST early access game you have personally played? Worst? Is it a 'good' thing for gaming?


Oh yeah, about this... the best early access game? Probably Kerbal Space Program. It was everything I wanted at the moment I bought it so anything extra was just icing on the cake... worst early access game wasn't early access but probably should have been: "Towns".

I would have been fine with it if it was early access but the devs just slapped a big "it's done!" sticker on it so they could get on steam right away, they made a bundle of cash really fast and then promptly went on vacation even though the game was buggy, unfinished, and barely playable. It still would have sucked if they did that as "Early Access" but at least I'd have had the warning ahead of time.

Is it good for gaming? Like I said in my earlier post, it's the same thing they've been doing for a long time only now with more transparency. I don't really think the big developers should be doing it since they've got the deep pockets to be able to afford to complete it. However they run out of money on their budget all the time and then their half-baked piece of crap gets shoved out the door with features missing, MAYBE patched in later. Maybe sold as DLC.

Also there's this from a developer who posted on reddit:

Pros

More revenue now - In theory, launching on SEAG means an injection of cash right now.

More exposure - Word of mouth marketing seems like it would get a shot in the arm, just from the increased number of people playing the game.

Steam Front Page - Some SEAG games get front-page treatment, and that can be a huge marketing boost.
More feedback before launch - Assuming you’re interested, more players means more feedback. And more feedback could lead to a better game.

Cons

Bad First Impression - This is probably the biggest and most tangible risk I can think of. If your game isn’t ready, this is one way to let as many people know as possible. In many cases, first impressions stick, so this can be a rut that’s near impossible to get out of later.

- A different shade of the above, some players don’t “get” that SEAG is unfinished games, and will castigate devs for selling a “faulty” product. This can burn bridges with customers and create bad press.

No Critical Mass - Many games become popular when enough people are talking about them simultaneously. Call it “going viral” or “10,000 fans” or whatever. Does SEAG diminish the “big spectacle” on launch day? Do we get two mediocre bangs instead of one big bang? Does that matter?

Delayed Gold Launch - Integrating Steam during development takes time away from the game development process. If you’re planning on launching via Steam anyway, this risk is moot. However, the timing of this delay could be non-optimal (e.g. latest build has a bad bug, and next patch is delayed by SEAG integration efforts).

Less revenue later(?) - Does the lifetime revenue get impacted by SEAG? Is there a chance that we’re choosing between 10 sales now with 10 sales later, versus 0 sales now and 100 later? This is just another implication of the “no critical mass” above, but is worth pointing out.
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