Jimquisition: Early Access

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

Jim, you could have put this video with Sim City footage and you'd have gotten the same result. Honestly, it's EA doing large portions of this "not complete? sell it anyways" BS. There are quite a few Early Access games that are good, but you're right in saying that there are far more that are broken and disjointed. Although games like DayZ has said publicly many times that the game is in Alpha state and shouldn't be purchased right now if you're wanting a "complete game" because it's so basic and broken right now. Contagion and Godus are both examples of wait-to-sell-your-crappy-game, while games like Rust and Starforge are both in the great,-can-only-get-better category.

I really have no problem with early access games so long as they are clearly labeled as such. It's not something I'll ever participate in though. I'd rather not get burned out on an incomplete version. I'm happy to wait until it's a completed project and enjoy it then. I also feel that people really don't have much of a right to bitch about how buggy or incomplete an early access game is. The thing is in an alpha state for a reason so expecting a nearly complete or fully function game seems a bit much. There's several games on steam that I'm interested and was about to buy until I saw the "early access" message. It's just not a service that appeals to me.

Does having a paid subscription to The Escapist count as paying for Jimquistion?

Wow. I'm surprised how disorienting it was to watch this when it wasn't "made right".
:D Cool.

A lot of what you've said could also be applied to how crazy pre-order is getting too. As you talked about in another episode.
What with people offering pre-orders for DLC of a game not yet out. ;p

This is about as bad I think.

Thank God for you, Jim.

P.S.
<_< What did you mean by; "I'll whack it in the completed version"?

Why did the term "MMO" come to mind constantly throughout the entire episode?

Oh yeah, endless "open beta" modes with full pay features. Granted some games are much more guilty of it than others *cough* Mechwarrior Online *cough cough*, but its way too common and being very much exploited, just like the early access model.

I would totally pay some of the full-price for early access, but full price, fuck no. Especially not that thing with Wasteland 2, where they're charging $60 for a game they want to retail at $30.

Yeah I'm not the biggest fan of early access since to me it sounds like I'm paying to beta test a game, at least most indie developers aren't charging 60 bucks for their unfinished game like sega did with Rome 2 and ea with battlefield 4.

Also, watching the Jimquisition isn't free. There's no way I would ever white list the Escapist unless I had solid antivirus software.

Does this mean we can give suggestions on how to improve the final product?

I'll get early access games if I truly believe in the concept and developer and I feel like I'd want to be active in the dev's forums. Starbound has been the only one to pass that criteria for me.

Al_:
Does having a paid subscription to The Escapist count as paying for Jimquistion?

Precisely what I was going to say, arguably us Pub Club members have paid for the Jimquisition, or at-least access to a better quality ad-free version.

On the actual video itself, surprised the Pokemon Bank's delay didn't come up, another example on a feature not being available at launch and then being delayed even past the supposed release date of 27th December. Okay, the core Pokemon game is there but it won't be complete until my precious team from previous gens can be uploaded!

Gonna have to disagree with you because I think early access is doing well, but I do agree with you on the aspect of Youtube clips of these games being more important than ever. Agree with you there 110%

Y'know I don't really see the big deal. Early access is an option and no one's stuffing it down anyone's throat. I'm not talking about major publishers promising shit they won't deliver in time (HELLO DIABLO 3 PVP), that's "an issue" I guess. But Steam's Early Access is fine as it is.

As long as there is a disclaimer noting all features missing AND included with the product you'll be getting I personally don't have a problem with Early Access.

A rough timeline of feature implementation would also help a great deal too. As well as knowing you'll get a discount or maybe some exclusive content if you buy it early.

My problem comes when you get no benefit from buying a broken, feature-lacking game.

As an example, Minecraft was (I believe) 50% off the final product if you bought it during it's alpha stage. 25% off if you bought it during beta. That is a good deal in my opinion.

10% off is lackluster. No discount is despicable.

At least Minecraft had the right idea of not charging full price for beta access. Some of the games seeing early access are charging full price or more. Also when Minecraft was in beta, the game was still fun to play (who else remembers their first dirt shack?). Many betas out now are just unplayable because they are missing features or elements of the game are just broken.

My "early access" comes in one of two ways.

1) Beta testing
2) "early access" for a game when I have purchased a different game

I find that the early access/beta testing model works well as I am either getting it for free or purchasing a game I already wanted, and happen to get early access as a bonus.

@Jim - Does your opinion on early access also extend to the "purchase Game A to get early access/beta access to game B"?

I remember Gears of War 3 did that for their multiplayer, and BF3/BF4 also had "purchase game to get in early" options.

If I don't have early access, how will I play all the ambitious zombie games before zombie games stop being cool!?

Funding development through releasing highly flawed incomplete products has got to be the American Dream. I have no idea why consumers are falling for it. Alphas and betas are for the QA team, not for you to buy and do the testing for the developer. Stop being so desperate.

Early access has gotten out of control really. I'm seeing them left and right on Steam at this point. This might be one of those rare instances where consoles have the advanatage, with far stricter quality control policies.

And to the people saying "Oh well it's just an option it's not hurting anyone" - like all things in a short time it will. Instead of "Well let's let people get early access as a bonus if they want it" it'll soon become "Our estimates indicate we will get this much money from early access people so we only need this much money to start, etc."

Same thing that happened with DLC, and now look where we are.

Wow, Jim really looks terrible without his make-up on. Hopefully the make up artists will return for version 1.42... I'd buy that!

There have been only two, basically unfinished, games that I have invested in.
The reason I choose those games was because they were by a developer that I knew could be trusted to deliver a finished product, and not have something hang in development hell as a buggy unfinished product with an unsure release date and no motivation to finish the product.
That's the point. If you want early access, or something, make sure it's by someone that can be trusted. Someone who has delivered finished products before and who you know can deliver a quality product.
Not some unknown small fry who has never build anything and might not even know how to do stuff.

Oh yeah, the two games that I invested in: Broken Age and Massive Chalice.
Not really Early Release games, but still. If you want a good game, invest in Double Fine.

It's frustrating to read the user reviews, buy the game and discover that the users were rating the game based on its potential. Fortunately, this has never happened to me. The users that post reviews are very critical of early access games that are overpriced or not delivering what they promised in a timely manner. 7 Days to Day is getting hammered by the users.

I would be interested in professional reviews that talk about what's currently implemented, what's going to be implemented, the timeline for those implementations and any major issues with the core gameplay. It's free publicity for the development team, and it makes it easier for potential customers to decide if the game is worth their money. It would also go a long way to make buying into Early Access games a lot less risky.

What no recommendation for KSP?

But seriously, I do think early access is a good thing. providing the game can be played from beginning to end and is fun. That footage of seven days to die did not look like a game than can be played and finished.

In the grand PC vs. Console debate I think everyone agrees that there are things that the PC does much better and that consoles are trying to emulate. This is one of the things that I'm glad that consoles are doing half assed in a vain attempt to 'Catch up' to the 'GLORIOUS PC GAMING MASTER RACE'

It's not as if this is an entirely new development. I was one of the suckers who bought Sierra On-Line's Outpost back in 1994 and that was definitively not a finished game.However it has become disconcertingly common recently.

Another thing to note is some games are doing themselves a disservice to the model. Some games are really in a beta state, and some of them are in "beta" like gmail was in "beta" for years - complete finished experiences that can still be improved.

Minecraft was NOT in beta for as long as the beta label was still on it. Minecraft was a complete experience long before. So now people are piggybacking on that and releasing actual beta experiences (buggy, incomplete messes) hoping that people will fall for it.

And there's no way to tell on the surface which one you're going to get.

...this can safely be truncated to "Do your research, early access isn't for most people"

There is a problem here, and a big one... but it's not just companies being exploitative this time, it's also people being ridiculously exploitable. A majority of these games come with big ol' warning labels on 'em... at least indies on Steam. Example:

The AAA part is pretty much inexcusable, though... like most things the AAA industry does these days.

Rabid_meese:
I'm sorry Jim, but Starbound, offering a fully realized game that will just get better? You're kidding, right?

The game is horribly buggy, and horribly optimized. It took me hours to get Starbound running on my machine - a machine that has had no trouble EVER playing a game. When you have to look up fucking guides on how to fix some miniscule glitch that stops the framerate from tanking in a 2D game, you don't have a finished product.

Starbound's game is horribly broken as well. There is no pacing or structure to it. After you do the last quest (there are what, 5?) It just says "Alright. Just do stuff." No direction. No goals. No clear progression, like with Terraria. I used to criticize Terraria for being a Wiki game - Starbound takes that idea to a whole new universe.

The thing is, I wouldn't mind that if the game was free. Its absurd when a company expects you to pay them money to do their bug testing. Having a game up on Steam and asking for money on it, when its clearly not in shipping condition is appalling - no matter who or what the company is.

This begs the question "why did you buy it, then?". The game was billed as Terraria, but bigger and in space, made by one of the original Terraria devs and his new team. If you didn't like Terraria's sandboxy nature, why did you think you'd like Starbound's sandbox (which is the only part of the game that is near completion, a fact that the devs acknowledge readily)?

I feel like Early Access is just like Kickstarter, only with very set prices and product now as opposed to later. Yeah, you're buying a game before it's done, but no one is hiding it from you--you ought know by now what you're getting into. It's better than the game coming out without features, or any real warning they're missing (when GTA V came out, did it say "Early Access Multiplayer" on the box?).

Honestly, the only awkward part is the review system. Review it now, it might suck. It might get better later. It might never be finished. Who knows? Probably not even the devs. Reviewing it now AND later is probably the best thing (if it sucks now, don't get it until it's to a point where you'd enjoy it), but leaves reviewers having to pick over a title multiple times just to be accurate about it.

Jimothy Sterling:
Early Access

Episode summary coming with Update 1.42

Watch Video

I've probably been beaten to the punch already; but I'll say it anyway. Steam has 105 titles as Early Access, not 87 pages. Unless you have a really low amount of items shown per page. Yes that is a lot of games, and some really are taking the piss at the moment (Castle Story, I'm looking at you). But it isn't 87 pages worth. With how the page you were on works, it is showing items 1-10, then 11-20, etc. There are 9 pages there and would be 11 if it showed all the games, rather than just the top 100, which is weird that it only shows 87 titles.

The one that put me off was Wasteland 2. I know, I know 'it'll be less when it's done' but Jesus 60$ for early access. Planetary Annihilation pissed me off as well when it charged $89.99(!) on Early access. Now it's down to 59.99... I do love some of the titles, usually the ones that priced accordingly to what is currently finished. Kenshi (probably my favorite early access title) came to steam at 14.99 and is a bit more costly now at 19.99. It's getting slightly more expensive as the game gets larger. Seems weird for titles like Wasteland 2 and Planetary Annihilation get cheaper as they get bigger.

Hunter C. Creed

I haven't been burned by early access yet. This is because I don't have the money to really just chance my gaming at this point. Alpha and beta releases for cash have to come with good press and recommendations from people I actually know. MMO free betas also don't get a dime unless they A. have a launch date with future development planned and B. give me something more than if I had purchased the same thing post-launch.

"Why should I give this money?" is a pretty good line these days for pre-launches.

I kind of disagree, in a small way. I don't think this many games should be using the early access model, because they are just hoping to get cash now instead of later... But I don't think I can blame them for doing it if people are buying it. I recognized the risk when I bought Rust/DayZ early access that they could go nowhere or in a direction I didn't want, but I wanted to play the game(bugs in all, that I knew were there) in its current state, and to try to influence it's growth with my own feedback if possible. If they fail, I would only be mad at myself, because I'm the one who made the purchase.

ccdohl:
If I don't have early access, how will I play all the ambitious zombie games before zombie games stop being cool!?

Well, with the Rust "Early Access" you get to play an ambitious zombie game before it becomes an ambitious not-about-zombies game since they are planning on removing the zombies.

Brilliant episode, Jim! Just brilliant. You have shown us a problem in the game dev industry that shouldn't even COMMENT NOT COMPLETE. SECOND HALF OF COMMENT WILL BE RELEASED TBA.

Thanatos2k:
Another thing to note is some games are doing themselves a disservice to the model. Some games are really in a beta state, and some of them are in "beta" like gmail was in "beta" for years - complete finished experiences that can still be improved.

This is definitely true. I don't have a moral problem with someone releasing a buggy mess as long as they make it clear that's the case, but that doesn't mean it is probably a bad business decision.

Minecraft was NOT in beta for as long as the beta label was still on it. Minecraft was a complete experience long before. So now people are piggybacking on that and releasing actual beta experiences (buggy, incomplete messes) hoping that people will fall for it.

You could pay money for Minecraft in Alpha. The game was a buggy mess during Alpha and "Survival Mode" had very few features - a couple very small maps in a couple different "biomes" with a few mobs. When Notch did updates it would often break the game. Although updates were frequent early on, when it started to really blow up Notch wasn't able to do updates for quite awhile. I never saw this as a problem since he was pretty clear that was what you were getting into, but a lot of people were pretty upset. I would say it was in a pretty buggy, unstable, unfinished status for well over a year from the point you could buy it. Stuff that was promised in the original description has only been added recently.

Rabid_meese:
I'm sorry Jim, but Starbound, offering a fully realized game that will just get better? You're kidding, right?

The game is horribly buggy, and horribly optimized. It took me hours to get Starbound running on my machine - a machine that has had no trouble EVER playing a game. When you have to look up fucking guides on how to fix some miniscule glitch that stops the framerate from tanking in a 2D game, you don't have a finished product.

Starbound's game is horribly broken as well. There is no pacing or structure to it. After you do the last quest (there are what, 5?) It just says "Alright. Just do stuff." No direction. No goals. No clear progression, like with Terraria. I used to criticize Terraria for being a Wiki game - Starbound takes that idea to a whole new universe.

The thing is, I wouldn't mind that if the game was free. Its absurd when a company expects you to pay them money to do their bug testing. Having a game up on Steam and asking for money on it, when its clearly not in shipping condition is appalling - no matter who or what the company is.

And this is why I think the issue is one where everyone has to make their own decisions. Starbound is the only early access game I've ever bought and I found it worth every cent of the fifteen dollar asking price as-is. I too had the frame rate problem, but hell, I've head technical issues with games that were billed as finished products lots of times, and took ten times the effort to fix. I have more than 100 hours of quality fun in Starbound building all sorts of constructs, and that is with the promise that there will be more to come.

If they ran out of money and closed up shop tomorrow, I wouldn't be happy with the state of the game as-is, but I would say that I got enough fun out of it to be worth the asking price. Not everyone would feel this way, and so, o mileage on individual products will vary. Chucklefish seems like a solid, responsive developer, and so I don't mind them offering early access. Their goals for the game are clearly stated, the patches for the game have added content as well as bug fixes and what we have seen from the game so far seems competently made.

Of course if you didn't like Terraria, I would say this is clearly not the game for you, given the immense similarities.

OMG! This episode has the potential to be the best Jimquisition EVAR! I'd happy pay $700 if you will give us a 3D Jim model in a virtual studio and also promise to release the soundtrack at some point. Because, potential!

;)

Generally early access games are discounted - you pay less because you're getting an incomplete project. The theory of early access is that the community provides feedback on issues, so that the final release isn't a buggy mess but a refined piece of software that has already been tested on various PC setups and the like. Lest we forget that Minecraft was available for purchase years before it's actual release and as a result it was the pinnacle of time-wasting excellence from the get-go. Starbound has included features based on mods created by the community. Kerbal Space Program would never be as good as it is now without that essential user testing.

Of course, not every game and developer is going to use early access the way it was meant to be, but the same can be said for most gaming fads.

Don't people pay for the Jimquisition? I thought that was the point of the adverts before an episode, and I bet people pay to join Pub Club to get rid of the ads for this show or even for mobile access to the show. Perhaps we are cheated if our time or money is wasted.

I don't personally feel so, as some Jim Sterling is better than none, but perhaps there's an argument there, too.

I digress.

Lightknight:
Hah, hilarious parody.

I agree fully. I see games that I really like the sound of and wonder, "Wow, how haven't I heard of this yet" and I watch the video and am impressed again. But then when I scroll down and see "Early Access", I immediately realise I've made a mistake and leave the page. I wouldn't pay for early access to a AAA game either.

I'm very similar. I never understood the concept of buying into a Beta, and I don't get Early Access. I do a u-turn the minute I see that sign. Maybe when it's released and maybe even then not at full price, but definitely not before launch. It seems like a bad gamble.

Further, as I turn more to YouTube for video footage of games before I decide if I want them, I appreciate Jim's comment on reviewing as-is more than ever. People should know what they're getting when they buy in, not what they might get if the developer actually bothers.

Incidentally, early access isn't a new thing on Steam. Several games I've seen on sale before EA was a thing would have people warning they weren't finished, but the material on the store page wouldn't say anything of the sort. I guess at least they're marketing it now, allowing you to make an informed decision, but it seems like they're just taking the same shitty QA and now using it as a selling point instead of a flaw.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here