Putting Things Right...

Talk about all things to do with the sequel to our flagship 4X title.

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Putting Things Right...

Postby Mecron » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:36 pm

Hey folks! Helluva weekend eh?

Welcome to the perfect storm of cockup made up of 40% Murphy's Law, 30% Chaos, 20% Overambition and 10% wishful thinking. And you have our deepest regrets for what it is worth as none of this was part of the plan.

I am tempted to go into full blown explanations but a) that starts to smack of making excuses and b) in reality I think the biggest things on people's minds right now judging from your posts is "Who's responsible?!!" and "What's going to be done?!!" And even when its time for explanations I am sure you would all rather hear about it in the context of "How this won't happen again".

That latter question is an easy one and best gotten out of the way quickly. "Who is responsible?"...I am. Half my job at Kerberos is to be the one that makes the hard call. What gets prioritized. What gets pulled. What gets released. What get accepted. And in many ways, what gets said. When push comes to shove, I am the one who makes the deal with the devil. When something is supposed to be watched, its me who has to know the answer. When the switch got thrown on the wrong build, costing many of you an extra big download and letting loose an extra buggy code base, I was in traffic instead of giving the yay or nay myself. That should not have been...hell I should have insisted nothing moved until the right code had been there and confirmed multiple times. Instead I blew it and bad things happened.

So lets set this straight here. When you are dealing with SotS2 this weekend and wondering quite rightly "Who is to blame for this?!!" The answer is me. NOT Paradox...NOT Steam and certainly NOT my team. All of those forces have been exemplary in helping deal with a bad situation. When it comes to who should be at the end of anyone's fingerpoint, it's just plain ol' me.

Ok...so now onto the real important thing...The Future of SotS2 and what you can count on.

First of all the bad news...Thanks to various factors we are now sitting on top of a pile of blown apart code and unstable features. The first thing you can expect though is stability. There will be an update tomorrow which will set right much of the chaos created friday in terms of crashing and keeping you from playing that game. What it WON'T do is magically add back in every piece of functionality. Gods know I wish that I had that magic wand but the reality is that path leads to more chaos and more broken gameplay sessions. Remember that part where I mentioned making the hard calls? This is another one of those. As much as the team wants to throw themselves at this like crazy people, I am not going to ok that. Instead we will go about this in a relatively sane and orderly fashion with regular updates that make sure everything that goes back in is as stable as possible before you see it. Oh I am sure some stuff will leak through, but at least that will be dealt with quickly and cleanly. Sorry to just put the hard facts to you straight without flowers but I think we are somewhat past the flowers make it all better stage of this relationship ;)

What this means to you...

This plan means that you folks can expect at least 2 or 3 updates a week over the next month or so that will gradually make this game into what it should have been when the switch was pulled on friday. Soon after that you can expect personel in black suits to arrive at your house to flash a red light in your eyes. After that you will find yourself happy and enjoying the best release day ever and none of this will ever have happened.
Ok fine...I am a lil shakey on the last half of the plan but what I can tell you is that by the end of this period you WILL have more additional content than you would have under more ideal circumstances. Every update will go out with some thank you for your patience...some badges, extra maps, new nose art, more background entries. Basically whatever can be done alongside the priority path will be put in as well. The people out there who know Kerberos know that we support our games not just for weeks or months but for years. For all of you people new to us, please let me assure you that despite how your purchase may look at the moment, you can look forward to years of support. I would ask that you consider not giving up on us because it will literally take the end of the world for Kerberos and Paradox to give up on SotS2.

What I would like to ask of you...

Oh I know that is hardly what you expected to hear right now, but before your temperature rises, please hear me out becuase this portion is in reaction to ALL the posts I have read which seem to subdivide into certain clear groups.

If you are a Kerberos and/or a SotS fan then please just enjoy the game as you can over the next few weeks. I know you want to help as much as possible but to be honest you should NOT be rewarded for your support with more work. Your feedback is appreciated but in no means are you expected to act as testers or hunt bugs. Literally your patience and continued support is more than enough.

If you truely feel like you have been dumped into an unannounced beta test on this game, then please, I ask you to put the game away and not look at it till someone fires off the "all done" flag. I am not going to tell you that you should not feel this way. What I am going to say is that if you feel this way then you should not feel victimized any more than if you had made a pre-order and then been informed of a delay. I know this does not make it all right but at least it should make it clear that no one wants to use you as a beta tester nor was that ever the intent.

And finally, if you are in the camp that still feels robbed by the time you have reached this point of my post I can only offer what I can. We are fixing it and we need folks to either cheer, step aside or get out of the way cause vitriol is not going to help right now. If you demand a refund then I completely understand and you can be assured, the cost of that will make it directly to us. We will feel your "voting with your dollars", you can be sure about that and we accept that as fair play. On the other hand, if a free copy of the orginal SotS will help tide you over while we get this game shined from turnip to jewel, then please write to "contact@kerberos-productions.com" and we will set you up. If nothing else, if you are not familiar with how we support our products, you can play it and then ask the old-timers how much it changed over the years and that may reassure you.

So if you are still with me after this long post...let me summarize.

a) cockup
b) my fault
c) will be Completely fixed
d) fun stuff in many updates
e) Understanding of your position
f) Apology again and underserved request for faith and patience from people who don't know us.

That's about it folks. I hope this helps in some way or another. If enough people care, I will try and post a "Ways I can think of to prevent this from happening ever again". But otherwise its sunday and I got a whole lot of work to get done for tomorrow's update.

Once again, Regrets and our deepest thanks for whatever patience each one of you can offer.
--Martin Cirulis
CEO/Creative Director
Kerberos Productions
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby TheTuninator » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:45 pm

Now that's what I wanted to hear.

Thanks for owning up, and rest assured that I will not refund my purchase of SotS II; I look forward to this game becoming the great game I know it can be with your support.
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby Devilmaypoop » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:49 pm

This plan means that you folks can expect at least 2 or 3 updates a week over the next month or so that will gradually make this game into what it should have been when the switch was pulled on friday. Soon after that you can expect personel in black suits to arrive at your house to flash a red light in your eyes. After that you will find yourself happy and enjoying the best release day ever and none of this will ever have happened.

We knew it all along, can't wait for the stability patch tomorrow :thumbsup:

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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby Seiryu » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:54 pm

Yes, it IS your fault, for the game being what it is, for the players not expecting it being what it is, but thanks for the.. was that actually an apology? Anyway, whats done is done, as emotions go down, all we players can do is wait now.

A question though, even though i know how supported sots 1 was over the years, after the bugs and instability are dealt with, can we reasonably expect a good amount of fixing/improving/adjusting of features? i.e. large chunks of the interface ?
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby Xerxes » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:58 pm

WooO! Hard to get in here. Hey just want to say I pre-ordered, and i fall into the "fan" catagory. I figure if i waited this long i can wait a bit longer. That said, it SAYS you've no replies yet, ( Im sure 261 people are replying right now) so i was going to ask a couple quick questions. 1. I never have done any computer programming, or game design, but i sorta assumed as a game got built it got added to a hard drive somewhere, and then printed to a CD or something and delivered. Is that not how it happens? How come i cant just erase this, and get the one you meant to send instead? aaand 2. when would you estimate the game will be "ready"? as in you wont wince anymore to talk about it, even if its not where youd like it to be. Much love for you guys, and ill just keep waiting and beaming you happy thoughts.
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby U.E.D.C. » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:01 pm

For what it's worth Mec, I'm with you guys all the way. It'll take more than this to break the faith.
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby levi_Will » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:01 pm

Good luck guys :). After getting through the bugs in this version, its actually really fun to play :). Though, I wish i understood how combat worked, but DAMN, THE DN IS !censor BEAUTIFUL.
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby long_fella » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:05 pm

First off, fair play. None of us paid for the game to bash Kerberos or any of its staff. We paid for it because we loved the concept and we love SotS Prime. You're the man in charge, you made the calls, you're apologising. I respect that.

Two suggestions. Judging by my experience of the Elemental beta you might have some beta testers, unable to have a voice now, who might feel a little raw (for anybody else reading this I am not one of them). If I am right (and I will be very happy to be wrong) they will need some love.

Secondly, an idea (which I posted a few pages ago but which I think bears repeating) which would help - let us know what you consider to be wrong, let us know what you are working on, and when we are likely to get it. Then we, the players, can focus on playing the game and on finding other issues.

A bug list / feature list would go along way to re-establishing the relationship with your customers. In an ideal world I would suggest a Confluence site or something (freeware iirc) - a posh wiki plus issue tracking system. It doesn't need to say much more than:-

* 32bit / 64 bit install a mess - acknowledged - will be fixed on dd/mm/yy
* Lack of tooltips - acknowledged - expect incremental improvements over time
* CTD v1 - not acknowledged - need more evidence, to be provided like this
* Independent races - acknowledged - we don't know when we'll get to it
* Inefficient GUI when placing stations - rejected - long_fella doesn't understand

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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby Tundra » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:10 pm

This is a great update and I don't mean to be combative, but the whole first part is an apology for the release of the wrong version. That happens, life goes on. I think the real flak being fired is at the state of the actual 'finished' version. You kind of skirt that issue, and you mention your code and such being a mess, wouldn't you have known all this last week at this time? Wouldn't you have known 2 weeks, even a week out that this was not going to pass?

I'm not asking this rhetorically or with anger, but just literally curious. You certainly aren't the first company to release a game that was certainly not ready and I just wonder why it happens, and specifically why it happened to you. You mention you worry they will come across as excuses, but I think quite a few of us would be interested in them for the point they are also facts.
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby Pengu » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:14 pm

Thanks for apologizing. I also share some of the same thoughts on the matter as Tundra does.
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby AlpsStranger » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:17 pm

I’ll stop going ballistic now. If you can get this thing to square one by January I’ll pretend this never happened.
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby Blackwarder » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:18 pm

Thanks for the heads up Mec!

For what it's worth I support the team, keep working on improving it I'm sure it will be all right when december arrive.

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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby nighthaunt » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:22 pm

There's a lot of us who as you say have seen how SOTS prime has developed over the years. We've seen the continued support Kerberos have provided and the fast response to any issues.

I guess I will join my voice with the majority of the forum community regulars and say we know things have been bad, we trust Kerberos to make them not just right, but better, and we know you will keep your word.

:thumbsup: with the hard work all of you will be putting in over the next month or more :thumbsup:
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby Demon of Rashomon » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:24 pm

Thank you.
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Re: Putting Things Right...

Postby nightboy42 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:25 pm

Just what i wanted to hear, but already knew :)

For this part tho:

"If you are a Kerberos and/or a SotS fan then please just enjoy the game as you can over the next few weeks. I know you want to help as much as possible but to be honest you should NOT be rewarded for your support with more work. Your feedback is appreciated but in no means are you expected to act as testers or hunt bugs. Literally your patience and continued support is more than enough."

I will do that BUT i will also help you guys out as much as i can. I've been a part of this family since Prime and you guys have listened to us over the years. Our babbling, ranting, sillyness and seriousness. Never really demanding more than that we follow the rules on the forum. I will keep posting bugs that you most certainly already know. But there is a chance that you might have missed it. Small as it is. :) I know how hard it is to make big decisions. I know im not the only one wanting to help :).

I really dont blame anyone. I cant. These things happens. Mecron, you have made us laugh, cry, made us angry since the day SoTS Prime got released oh so many years ago and its not fair to be that hard on yourself. You are only human!

Note: It would help to start a tips/suggestions/bug section that can be flooded instead of the main discussion part.
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