Early Access Dino Survival Game The Stomping Land Pulled From Steam

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Early Access Dino Survival Game The Stomping Land Pulled From Steam

The Stomping Land big dino

There has been no word from the game's creators on why The Stomping Land was pulled from the Steam service.

You may remember a neat little Kickstarter for a dinosaur survival game called The Stomping Lands that raised over $110,000 last year. Everything seemed to be going well, with its creator, Alex "Jig" Fundora, releasing an early-access version of the game on Steam, and providing fairly consistent updates. However, Fundora has fallen silent for quite some time now, and to make matters worse, Steam has quietly pulled the early-access title from its store.

Of course, if you already own the game, you won't lose it, but its no-longer available for purchase, and we can assume will no longer be updated by its developer. SuperCrit, the developer behind the project, appears to have all but abandoned ship, as we haven't heard anything from it, and its website appears to be a mere broken shell.

The last we heard from Fundora himself about the game was back in August, where he told Kotaku that The Stomping Land was still in development, despite a lack of communication and updates, and was transitioning to a new game engine.

"The game is being moved to Unreal Engine 4 to take advantage of technical and creative opportunities," Fundora said, adding that the transition "has put a bit of more work on my plate."

Fundora has also been quoted as saying he was going through some "personal issues" that have impacted the project's development.

We've reached out to Valve, Fundora and SuperCrit for comment, and will update when we've figured out exactly what's going on.

Source: Steam via Polygon

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If this is true and the game's dead I'll be pissed. Bought a six pack for me and my friends on release that set me back 100

Robeltu:
If this is true and the game's dead I'll be pissed. Bought a six pack for me and my friends on release that set me back 100

I hate to be "that guy" but it has been said before that one should heavily invest on a game in early access if one would not be happy with the game's current state.

I just wish people would stop feeding the early access scammers. Making a computer game is no easy task, and there is a reason why most games (especially if they look really good) demand a team of artists and programmers and cost millions to make. Of course, there are exceptions, but as long as people keep throwing their money on there promises, thsi will keep happening, probably more and more often.

Besides, what do you think would motivate someone the most: Finishing the game first and then getting the money. OR getting the money first and THEN finishing the game (with little extra money in the end, since your customers already bought the unfinished game)? (As opposed to just taking the money and have a nice vacation?)

It is my firm belief that early access is the cancer of the independent digital distribution. Naive people with little grasp of what it takes to finish a game, throwing money on overoptimistic (or dishonest) developers, also with little grasp of what it takes to finish a game.

I mean, how much more money does star citizen actually need?

Great. I was looking forward to buying this - after a few more updates. Oh well.

The state of this industry is rather absurd.

People pay for the dubious "privilege" of providing free labour in the form of beta testing, and now developers aren't even given much in the way of motivation to finish their games. Even by the rather shoddy, buggy, DLC/MTA-riddled standards of "finished game" from AAA billion dollar publishers these days.

Luku:

Robeltu:
If this is true and the game's dead I'll be pissed. Bought a six pack for me and my friends on release that set me back 100

I hate to be "that guy" but it has been said before that one should heavily invest on a game in early access if one would not be happy with the game's current state.

The game is fun in it's current state but there is just not enough content in it. It's a shame that this has happened but I won't bitch for a refund because I knew the risks when I backed it.

The real kick to the nads is that this was one of the more expensive early access game. Twenty-five bucks I think. From what I've seen from gameplay videos, the game has barely anything to do other than walk around and kill each other. Another thing to show how risky early access is.

Makes me think the guy took the money and ran with it.

008Zulu:
Makes me think the guy took the money and ran with it.

I doubt that. If that was his intention from the start then he may as well have not bothered with making an actual game.

That's a shame, looked interesting.

I hate to be this cynical, because I'm usually quite positive about gaming, but I really am getting tired of hearing developers say that they have "personal issues" getting in the way of development. I had trust in that phrase when indie devs first started using it, but now it's starting to feel like a way of the developers saying, "yeaahhh, i got a bit bored with making the game that you all funded for me, so I think I'll just stop now."

I mean, I of course hope that isn't the case, and that the developers that say that actually do have things that need tending to and at the end of it they're back to being happy and ready to start developing again, but it's just so hard to believe that will be the case.

Wait, there was a "survival" game that didn't involve zombies?
And I missed it?
God dammit! ><

jollybarracuda:
I hate to be this cynical, because I'm usually quite positive about gaming, but I really am getting tired of hearing developers say that they have "personal issues" getting in the way of development. I had trust in that phrase when indie devs first started using it, but now it's starting to feel like a way of the developers saying, "yeaahhh, i got a bit bored with making the game that you all funded for me, so I think I'll just stop now."

I mean, I of course hope that isn't the case, and that the developers that say that actually do have things that need tending to and at the end of it they're back to being happy and ready to start developing again, but it's just so hard to believe that will be the case.

Anything short of the dev dying or contracting a debilitating illness is really all that should halt development. Pulling the game from Steam says to me that the game is never being finished, otherwise you are putting it on hiatus. And vanishing without a trace is particularly shitty.

Good thing I held off at it.

Micah Weil:
Wait, there was a "survival" game that didn't involve zombies?
And I missed it?
God dammit! ><

RUST doesn't involve zombies. It did once but it doesn't anymore.
Check it out.

I guess you could say...
The "Jig" is up!
image

Steven Bogos:
The last we heard from Fundora himself about the game was back in August, where he told Kotaku that The Stomping Land was still in development, despite a lack of communication and updates, and was transitioning to a new game engine.

"The game is being moved to Unreal Engine 4 to take advantage of technical and creative opportunities," Fundora said, adding that the transition "has put a bit of more work on my plate."

This might as well be the kiss of death for an indie game. Take a dev with limited funds and man power, add in a transition from the original engine they understand quite well to a new one which they probably don't for "reasons," then sit back and watch as they waste time and money recreating work they already did and can't afford to finish anymore.

Huh, it's almost like he got all the money he needed. Just another reason why I will never buy an early access game. It would be a nice concept, but I've never seen it work.

When a game is at the point that it's got a working beta, has it ever helped to change engines? Isn't that basically one of the mental traps that made Duke Nukem Forever the appalling failure that it was? Never mind the cost involved (I realize a lot of companies sell cheap access to their engines now, but it's not cheap to have your entire team relearn their work and fix all of the now broken code).

It really is too bad, as that game seems like it could have been at the very least a fun take on survival games.

Robeltu:

Luku:

Robeltu:
If this is true and the game's dead I'll be pissed. Bought a six pack for me and my friends on release that set me back 100

I hate to be "that guy" but it has been said before that one should heavily invest on a game in early access if one would not be happy with the game's current state.

The game is fun in it's current state but there is just not enough content in it. It's a shame that this has happened but I won't bitch for a refund because I knew the risks when I backed it.

Agreed. It was a great initial concept and, from everything I've played thus far, it's enjoyable to a point. I'm not upset with this, as life happens. But I'd like some details as to what happened. If it really is something as crappy as they were intending to scam us, then sure, I'll raise a stink about getting a refund. But if it's something beyond the creator's control, then that's fine. Just a shame this is another missed chance for a fully completed (and interesting) dinosaur game.

Vivi22:

Steven Bogos:
The last we heard from Fundora himself about the game was back in August, where he told Kotaku that The Stomping Land was still in development, despite a lack of communication and updates, and was transitioning to a new game engine.

"The game is being moved to Unreal Engine 4 to take advantage of technical and creative opportunities," Fundora said, adding that the transition "has put a bit of more work on my plate."

This might as well be the kiss of death for an indie game. Take a dev with limited funds and man power, add in a transition from the original engine they understand quite well to a new one which they probably don't for "reasons," then sit back and watch as they waste time and money recreating work they already did and can't afford to finish anymore.

Hell, it could be the KoD of a AAA title. This is essentially the reason why Duke Nukem Forever took "forever" to get out, and even then, it had to be finished by a different studio, and released to general indifference, contempt or hatred.

Well, that's a shame, this looked good.

Hope the guy is alright, bad feeling :s

Be interesting to see an adjustment on the Kickstarter model: when the full amount is raised, instead of the dev getting all the cash up front, its released to them in chunks via Kickstarter/Amazon as and when pre-agreed goals are reached. Kind of like an AI project manager or something.

Early Access is a tricky thing, there have been times when it has done a ton of good and bad.

In the case of this game, my biggest issue would have to be communication. either Valve or SuperCrit need to say something in to regards to what happened.

Communication is one of the biggest problems in the games industry, if you all haven't noticed yet :)

I myself have Early Accessed my way into games like Elite Dangerous, Planetary Annihilation, and Space Engineers. and while those games are coming along quite nicely I can't honestly say any of them are any safer then Stomping Grounds, I don't have that knowledge and I invested my money into them. I have made purchases I quite regret, bad investments happen guys, it's a part of our society.

It might be more complicated then just them taking the money and running, as I imagine Valve would have reacted a little more if that was the case, as they have in the past.

Smug self-superior comment about not buying early access games! Smug insult towards everyone that does!

We've reached out to Valve, Fundora and SuperCrit for comment, and will update when we've figured out exactly what's going on.

Whatever happened to "such-and-such couldn't be reached for comment" ? Because that seems like Valve's MO most of the time. :\

Micah Weil:
Wait, there was a "survival" game that didn't involve zombies?
And I missed it?
God dammit! ><

I'm looking forward to The Long Dark

I remember days when we used to call these things beta and they were free. I don't understand how people can pay money for something that is not even finished. Steam really should introduce some sort of quality control or at least a time frame for how long the games can stay in EA before they have to be released or they get kicked out of the program.

I'd demand reviews of games being released on early access now so I could get a good impression of their current state but I really only trust Tom Chick for reviewing and that seems like a lot of work for him. I guess I'll stick to buying no games not in official-release state.

Is it just me, or is "transitioning to a new engine" translate into "The game is doomed."

In my decades of gaming, I can't think of a single game that survived an engine change mid development.

Lono Shrugged:

jollybarracuda:
I hate to be this cynical, because I'm usually quite positive about gaming, but I really am getting tired of hearing developers say that they have "personal issues" getting in the way of development. I had trust in that phrase when indie devs first started using it, but now it's starting to feel like a way of the developers saying, "yeaahhh, i got a bit bored with making the game that you all funded for me, so I think I'll just stop now."

I mean, I of course hope that isn't the case, and that the developers that say that actually do have things that need tending to and at the end of it they're back to being happy and ready to start developing again, but it's just so hard to believe that will be the case.

Anything short of the dev dying or contracting a debilitating illness is really all that should halt development. Pulling the game from Steam says to me that the game is never being finished, otherwise you are putting it on hiatus. And vanishing without a trace is particularly shitty.

Good thing I held off at it.

There are a lot of "personal issues" that can drop a hand grenade into someone life, messy divorce/separation, family member sick, kid going off the rails, family drama. I would imagine things like that impact anyone employed in a creative industry even more than someone that just works on a production line or in an office doing customer support.

At least with a job like that you can just go and "switch off" and get on with it, if you have to be creative and/or artistic or have to solve problems and challenges creatively it must be way harder if your life is exploding around you. I was very sick and in hospital once and it didn't just affect me, all family where involved. They where trying to organise visits so someone was always there if I didn't make it, supporting each other, looking after my pets and home while trying to keep their own lives in order and it was a right mess.

It doesn't take much for "personal issues" to make a mess of things, anyhow I am not trying to defend this particular dev here. I dont know anything about this but I am just pointing out that if someone genuinely has "personal issues" of some kind that things can fall apart quickly and for a lot of reasons.

Well dang nabbit. I put a fair amount of money to this. It was my first and only kickstarter I participated in. (Mostly because shortly after that I got wise to the scam that is pre-orders and early-access.) But this game was going to bring survival tactics, hunting, and dinosaurs. It was without a doubt the game I'd wanted to come out since I first starting playing video games. While I'm disappointed it hasn't come to fruition, I'm still glad I put some money into it. Took a risk but if this had made it I'd have found the game to keep me going for years, and I wanted to be a part of that.

If people treated early access and kickstarter as platforms that allow you to throw money at ideas for games you want to support rather than an actual purchase of the game, there would probably be less angst all round. Support games you like the sound of, sure. But there's always going to be those that crash and burn.

TessaraVejgan:
I remember days when we used to call these things beta and they were free. I don't understand how people can pay money for something that is not even finished. Steam really should introduce some sort of quality control or at least a time frame for how long the games can stay in EA before they have to be released or they get kicked out of the program.

I think the problem is the same one that Kickstarter and other crowd sourcing places have had. People think that they are "pre-ordering" a game when in reality they are supporting the development. Also when someone gets free access to a beta they usually don't get access to the completed game itself (unlike early access where your game gets updated from beta to finished.).

J Tyran:
snip

I am the first on admit I am being cynical about it because I know people that have used other people's understanding to benefit themselves while others suffer in silence. I also work in a business where it really often is a case of unless you are dead/ on your deathbed. You CANNOT let it affect your work.

Not implying any of this is the case, but if I sunk money into this. I would feel obligated to know all the details. As an employer would.

Lono Shrugged:

J Tyran:
snip

I am the first on admit I am being cynical about it because I know people that have used other people's understanding to benefit themselves while others suffer in silence. I also work in a business where it really often is a case of unless you are dead/ on your deathbed. You CANNOT let it affect your work.

Not implying any of this is the case, but if I sunk money into this. I would feel obligated to know all the details. As an employer would.

Yeah, I get that. Investors in the game will want answers, to some degree they even deserve them. Just stating "personal issues" doesnt really cut it and he doesn't have to give details but he should be able to offer a better explanation than that, not sure what you are employed in but it doesn't matter what the employers demand because sometimes when your life falls apart around you have little choice about what it does and doesn't affect.

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