handmade.network » Forums » Work-in-Progress » How Soon is Too Soon?
CaptainKraft
Jeremiah
146 posts
2 projects

Father, husband, C programmer, and Linux apologist. Think before you code.

#10565 How Soon is Too Soon?
8 months ago

I'm just curious what each person's preferences are on how early they like to see a project in public. For me, I like it when the announcement of a project means that people get a chance to try it out or can at least see it in action via a well-made demo video.

Thoughts?

Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Todd
94 posts

I use x86-64 assembly, Python, C, and SQL to fight malware.

#10567 How Soon is Too Soon?
7 months, 4 weeks ago

That's not a bad guideline but personally, I wouldn't mind an announcement near product demo. Meaning, a month or two before the product is ready to be tested/played would be fine by me.

I'm the smartest man in Athens because I know that I know nothing. ~ Socrates
CarterG81
Carter Gabriel
2 posts
#10568 How Soon is Too Soon?
7 months, 4 weeks ago Edited by Carter Gabriel on Jan. 28, 2017, 7:58 a.m.

I am pretty sure I'm alone in this, so think of me as an extreme outlier, but I don't like knowing about a game until it is already released. So much so, I often contemplate not telling anyone about my game until it is already released. Like I don't want anyone to get excited about my game and have to wait; I want them to be like, "Whoa...wtf is this? OMG OMG OMG WHY DIDNT I HEAR ABOUT THIS?!?! WHAT?!?! MUST TELL MY FRIENDS!!!" Although I've heard that would be a horrible idea.

I spent my entire life being excited for "Upcoming MMORPG #42" and that means I'd have to wait 4+ years, and most of them turned out to either be total vaporware or betray their initial vision entirely. Seeing so many games NOT make it to release, or be absolutely noting like they promised, especially the coolest sounding ones? Well...it made me stop getting excited.

Then came the hype train. From 2007-ish onward, it felt like every new AAA title was hyped to the extreme by both marketing & consumers. After a short period, I learned my lesson hard. EVERYTHING is ALWAYS pure hype. This includes all those cool indie guys. Needless to say, I saw No Man Sky's release fiasco coming the DAY they announced its existence as a project. I was able to like the game because I predicted what it would actually be like, mainly thanks to my experience in game design. (I knew they didn't solve their bigger design problems; Which were the biggest complaints by their users). I warned my friends of Early Access & how bad of an idea it was, before they complained & it began to get a bad rep. I hate early access on Steam. For the exact reasons that even trusted companies like Double Fine will screw everyone over long before release. I also fell for Early Access a few times, as I have a bit of a forgiving/trusting nature even when everything in my being screams at me, "YOU FOOL! Don't support these guys yet!! They will betray you!!!" LOL :P It's hard to NOT support fellow indies, especially their unique games. I supported Project Zomboid in its earliest days, and how big of a mistake was that... they're still in a perpetual alpha 5 years later...it sucks...and reading the lead developer flip out constantly at his users is really demotivating in general. Both as a gamer and a developer.

There's just a lot of Trust Issues, IMO, with GameDevs & Gamers. A lot of gamers have been screwed over by nearly everyone from AAA to Indie; There's so much vaporware; it's hard to get excited even when you want to really badly.

Briefly before release is also a lot of hype and "Get ready to be screwed over..." levels of disappointment.
Even the beautiful games on TIG Forum's gif collection, which indeed make me drool all over, are something I immediately dismiss as "Probably awful."

Because of these lessons, I facepalm ignore, with a vengeance, anything except for "This game is already released now. It already has good reviews. Go play it."

Zombie Night Terror actually shocked me that it was actually a great game with no real complaints. I was like, "What? A game that I have nothing to complain about? What is this? What are they hiding from me?" 10/10 but wouldn't care to see their TIG Forum gifs again; hahahahha ;)
I had seen that one before by sheer awe of their artwork, but expected it to be a crappy game. That somehow it would either be in perpetual alpha or would have some enormous flaw making it worthless. "It's just pretty art and good marketing. That's it." What a pleasant surprise it actually had great gameplay and a polished feel; I wish there was more content! :)
CarterG81
Carter Gabriel
2 posts
#10569 How Soon is Too Soon?
7 months, 4 weeks ago

I'd also like to add what Bethseda did with Fallout 4 was pretty damn awesome, even for a bitter veteran like myself.

Talk about exciting.

Out of nowhere, they just announce "Fallout 4 exists. And it's going to be released incredibly soon!" and I was floored. I felt it was close enough to get really really excited about, and close enough for no one to be able to hype it too much. I was very satisfied when I got the game too. I counted the days, and that isn't something I have ever done even in my optimistic past.

That "Out of Nowhere, it is fully finished!" smack in the face was just stunningly well done.
CaptainKraft
Jeremiah
146 posts
2 projects

Father, husband, C programmer, and Linux apologist. Think before you code.

#10579 How Soon is Too Soon?
7 months, 4 weeks ago

You're preaching to the choir here, so I feel your pain. Do you feel the same way about software as you do toward games?

Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Todd
94 posts

I use x86-64 assembly, Python, C, and SQL to fight malware.

#10580 How Soon is Too Soon?
7 months, 4 weeks ago Edited by Todd on Jan. 28, 2017, 9:20 p.m.

I see the above points, however, let's face it... If it is anticipated a bit, and it's awesome, aint nobody gonna be upset.

If you're planning on making a half-assed game, I could care less when you announce it, just stop now.

But if it's really a quality product, then does it not deserve a little excitement and anticipation? I was a gamer from age 6 all the way to about 21, and yes, I remember those overly-hyped games that ended up being crap. However, by being heavily involved in the communities and sticking with game studios I trusted, it was never a major issue for me. E.G. if Westwood Studios or Blizzard announced something, it could be as early as they pleased. Activision or Ubisoft.... Meh... Yeah probably wouldn't get too stoked. but I've never said,

Shit, this game sucks... I wish they wouldn't have announced it a year ago.

When it's announced is a moot point if the game is lousy, IMO. I'm satisfied with a quality game, regardless if you announce it tomorrow or back in 1995. But I'm also a realist, not everyone is.

PS: Keep in mind, I have not been a serious gamer now for about 10 years, and am well aware that there's a shitbox too many "game development studios" out there who produce crap. So if this is a backlash to how many let-downs there have been, I get it... Frankly, it seems to exist everywhere in software. But everyone deserves a chance.

I'm the smartest man in Athens because I know that I know nothing. ~ Socrates
CaptainKraft
Jeremiah
146 posts
2 projects

Father, husband, C programmer, and Linux apologist. Think before you code.

#10591 How Soon is Too Soon?
7 months, 4 weeks ago

Just in case it isn't clear from the original post, I'm not only asking about games.

Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.