Towns > General Discussions > Topic Details
ragnar119 Feb 3, 2014 @ 3:26pm
The game WAS 99.99% dead, as all development has stopped (or chance for future one), but that is not correct anymore
Post from ben:
It is supposed to come today. my guess? it wont.

i left the team. its very sad indeed. i loved this game and for the most parts, i loved working on it. it still has tons potential and in my totally non objective opinion, in concept, its the most interesting one in this genre (aside DF of course)

You can obviously guess what xavi is about to announce by now, but he should do it. his decisions, his actions, his responsibility to announce them. i have taken so much (undeserved for the most parts) spiderite that i simply refuse to be the one to usher these words.

I have spoken with rasmus and we both discussed the possibility of giving Dwelvers for free to all Towns purchasers, but this has not been decided yet. honestly, if it was just my game, there would have been no question involved, but this genre is a niche one and "losing" 200+ k potential costumers might be a tough decision. rasmus just wanted to do it, but it pains me that he will have to "pay" for actions that other people committed. regardless, i strongly think rasmus is a different kind of developer and i utterly believe he will take dwelvers to the best possible heights so even if we end up just giving a deep discount, i urge you to try and look beyond the two teams connections and try to judge rasmus and dwelvers on their own.

Well, i have also believed we would have seen towns through the end, even when things went shaky, so, yeah, don't count on my ability to judge those situations, but i can tell you this: rasmus development style is far more player oriented.

I will post a detailed post mortem sometime on the future but i wont promise when. ill just say this: i was not 100% perfect through out this entire fiasco. i too have my faults and could have probably handled things much better, i realize this completely. i could have pushed more (well, it would have probably done nothing because i pushed... god knows i have and i can prove it) and i could have done more. and for not doing that, i am truly sorry.
i admit that my spirit was broken, probably some short time after that steam launch and i never truly recovered from seeing this little baby being delivered prematurely.

Regardless of how this game can look like, or be like, i still think its enjoyable, its interesting and it can bring a lot of moments of fun and joy. i think it can provide for more fun hours than most of the AAA titles i have seen out there and its in better shape than games that cost more (gameplay speaking). whether you buy it now or not has no effect on me anymore, but if i would have to recommend, i'd say, sure, go grab the demo and if you like it, buy it.

There were times that i loved coming to these forums and there were times i just couldn't bring myself to even dare and speak here. i do not blame the community at all, but saying that i loved every bit of it would be a lie so i wont say it. i did find myself inspired over and over again by the stories, creations, discussions and mods you guys have contributed and those have served as fuel to our engines. one of the biggest reasons this game didn't stop just after the steam launch was this community and for that i can only thank you and try and show my gratitude.

UPDATE:
Post from new dev called Moebius
Hi Everyone,

my name is Florian but you can call be Moebius. I'm the new guy to take the lead
of Towns. I'm honored that Xavi chose me out of supposedly countless candidates :mrgreen:

Maybe I should say something about me first: I'm a passionate Java developer with
about 8 years of experience in this particular language. Quite similar to Xavi and Ben
I've been working on a game for the last 3 years but it hasn't been released yet. It's a 3D
voxel game based on the same framework that Towns uses: LWJGL.

I'm happy that I can work on such a wonderful game that also has such a
huge passionate fanbase :) I'm really looking forward to work with you guys in making
Towns even better than it is today!

In the meantime if you have any questions I consider this thread a kind of AMA - so
go ahead and ask my anything!
Last edited by ragnar119; Feb 17, 2014 @ 3:43pm
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MikeRoss1962 Feb 3, 2014 @ 4:18pm 
I guess it's finally over. That's too bad, it could have really been a much better game.
Solo Solitaire (Banned) Feb 3, 2014 @ 4:31pm 
Gotta wonder what the reason was for scrapping the plan to hire programmer(s) to fix the game. It's hard to believe that they couldn't find anybody capable of doing the work, maybe looking at getting into the gaming industry.
muzzy (Banned) Feb 3, 2014 @ 4:43pm 
Does this mean they will stop selling it on Steam?

Edit: for clarification, I ask this because currently the game doesn't launch at all on latest OS X version.
Last edited by muzzy; Feb 3, 2014 @ 4:44pm
Solo Solitaire (Banned) Feb 3, 2014 @ 4:52pm 
Ragnar, will you provide a link to where you got this, please?
muzzy (Banned) Feb 3, 2014 @ 5:15pm 
here[www.townsgame.com]
Cyborgt Feb 3, 2014 @ 5:24pm 
Originally posted by Solo Solitaire:
Gotta wonder what the reason was for scrapping the plan to hire programmer(s) to fix the game. It's hard to believe that they couldn't find anybody capable of doing the work, maybe looking at getting into the gaming industry.

I'd be interested to see how Xavi would want to phrase it myself. In the end, i'm sure the real answer is just that he doesn't believe it would benefit them enough to do so (they're not likely to get significantly more sales out of this game than they already have) and he doesn't want to have to deal with it anymore but we'll see what he has to say if he ever gets around to his announcement.

Originally posted by muzzy:
Does this mean they will stop selling it on Steam?

Edit: for clarification, I ask this because currently the game doesn't launch at all on latest OS X version.

I SERIOUSLY doubt that considering it isn't exactly a requirement for a Steam game to be able to work on OS X. The best you could hope for in that regard is that they remove things like the "Mac requirements" section that imply it would work but that's not terribly likely either.

At least one of them is FINALLY admitting it's over though. I'd rather have this than constant BS promises to continue work on the game at some point in the future.
Solo Solitaire (Banned) Feb 3, 2014 @ 5:45pm 
Originally posted by Cyborgt:
I'd be interested to see how Xavi would want to phrase it myself. In the end, i'm sure the real answer is just that he doesn't believe it would benefit them enough to do so (they're not likely to get significantly more sales out of this game than they already have) and he doesn't want to have to deal with it anymore but we'll see what he has to say if he ever gets around to his announcement.
I tend to disagree. If a game is well done and receives occasional updates it can keep selling for years. Minecraft just topped 14 million sales. I don't think Towns would ever come close to that, but if it really worked as intended and was properly supported I think there is still a good sum of money that Towns could bring in.
Cyborgt Feb 3, 2014 @ 6:06pm 
Originally posted by Solo Solitaire:
Originally posted by Cyborgt:
I'd be interested to see how Xavi would want to phrase it myself. In the end, i'm sure the real answer is just that he doesn't believe it would benefit them enough to do so (they're not likely to get significantly more sales out of this game than they already have) and he doesn't want to have to deal with it anymore but we'll see what he has to say if he ever gets around to his announcement.
I tend to disagree. If a game is well done and receives occasional updates it can keep selling for years. Minecraft just topped 14 million sales. I don't think Towns would ever come close to that, but if it really worked as intended and was properly supported I think there is still a good sum of money that Towns could bring in.

While I agree with the point you're trying to make, I don't know that it applies to Towns right now. Getting Towns to the point where it could be expected to benefit significantly from continued work would require a great deal of damage control in the community (something they've proven inept at thus far) as well as the additional development costs. The question then becomes, even if they do everything perfectly from this moment forward; are the potential profits from this title worth it?

It's purely speculation but i'm guessing for Xavi, that answer proved to be no. You have to consider that whatever sales they could be expected to get would have to be able to both pay for another programmer to take Xavi's place AND produce enough continued profit to be worth the trouble to manage. I can't speak for Xavi's assessment but I can say that i'm not convinced Towns has a broad enough appeal for that, especially given its competition and (justifiably) toxic community.

Of course, the fact that a decision to abandon a game may be logical certainly doesn't make it right. That logic is also ignoring the impact that this game will have on their reputation and thus future potential profits. Like I said before though, we'll have to wait and see how Xavi wants to phrase it.
default_loser Feb 3, 2014 @ 6:53pm 
This is really disheartening to hear. I agree with him that there is still a lot of potential in this game, but it needs to have resources and effort put into it in order to realise that potential, and those seem like the two things absent from the game's development since its launch on Steam.

That being said, giving Dwelvers to previous owners would be absolutely amazing. I can understand their hesitation in doing so, but I for one would be ecstatic if that turned out to be the case. It would certainly do quite a bit in restoring the goodwill of the community and increasing word-of-mouth promotion of the game (and its developers).
Cyborgt Feb 3, 2014 @ 7:20pm 
Originally posted by default_loser:
That being said, giving Dwelvers to previous owners would be absolutely amazing. I can understand their hesitation in doing so, but I for one would be ecstatic if that turned out to be the case. It would certainly do quite a bit in restoring the goodwill of the community and increasing word-of-mouth promotion of the game (and its developers).

Can't argue with free stuff right? It's certainly not unprecedented either. The developers of Fallen Enchantress did the same thing, though I don't know how well it worked for them. Given they made an expension, i'd imagine it worked quite well. Then again, these were the same people responsible for games like Gal Civ so they had some manner of consumer good will to work with.
default_loser Feb 3, 2014 @ 8:27pm 
Originally posted by Cyborgt:
Originally posted by default_loser:
That being said, giving Dwelvers to previous owners would be absolutely amazing. I can understand their hesitation in doing so, but I for one would be ecstatic if that turned out to be the case. It would certainly do quite a bit in restoring the goodwill of the community and increasing word-of-mouth promotion of the game (and its developers).

Can't argue with free stuff right? It's certainly not unprecedented either. The developers of Fallen Enchantress did the same thing, though I don't know how well it worked for them. Given they made an expension, i'd imagine it worked quite well. Then again, these were the same people responsible for games like Gal Civ so they had some manner of consumer good will to work with.

In Stardock's case, from what I can tell, it seemed to work incredibly well; I never hear or read any ill will about them from people that bought Elemental, despite it supposedly being unplayably bad. My personal opinion is that giving Dwelvers to people who own Towns would be a good business move, since the association with Towns could bring on a LOT of negative reactions - deserved or not - and that kind of goodwill towards consumers goes a long way for an indie game developer. It's a tough choice, and I can see them justifiably going either way with it. It would certainly give me a lot of faith in the developers and at least slightly sweeten the bitter taste in my mouth I get every time I see Towns in my Library.
Cyborgt Feb 3, 2014 @ 11:05pm 
Originally posted by default_loser:
Originally posted by Cyborgt:

Can't argue with free stuff right? It's certainly not unprecedented either. The developers of Fallen Enchantress did the same thing, though I don't know how well it worked for them. Given they made an expension, i'd imagine it worked quite well. Then again, these were the same people responsible for games like Gal Civ so they had some manner of consumer good will to work with.

In Stardock's case, from what I can tell, it seemed to work incredibly well; I never hear or read any ill will about them from people that bought Elemental, despite it supposedly being unplayably bad. My personal opinion is that giving Dwelvers to people who own Towns would be a good business move, since the association with Towns could bring on a LOT of negative reactions - deserved or not - and that kind of goodwill towards consumers goes a long way for an indie game developer. It's a tough choice, and I can see them justifiably going either way with it. It would certainly give me a lot of faith in the developers and at least slightly sweeten the bitter taste in my mouth I get every time I see Towns in my Library.

Well, one thing to consider is the comparison between the number of copies that have to be given for free. In regard to Elemental, for some reason the number 86k sticks out in my mind but the only reference i've been able to find states they reported 82k sales on September 5, 2010. From what i've heard, they were only giving out the free copies to people that had purchased the game in 2010 so they only gave away 82k+ however many they sold over the next 4 months.

Ben seems to be estimating ~200k for Towns and this being for a much less established developer. Certainly a painful proposition, especially if they don't make it onto Steam to make up for some of those sales. I actually only just bothered to look into dwelvers and it kinda looks like a multi-layer Dungeon Keeper. I'd certainly be happy with getting that for free, though it sucks for both them and myself either way since they're making the kind of game I wouldn't hesitate to buy normally but due to the SMP connection I can't justify buying now.

I guess that's something else we'll have to wait to see how it turns out. As much as it sucked to waste those 40 hours + ~$12 (bought it during the post-release 20% off period) on Towns, i'd certainly walk away happy getting a DK style game out of it. Assuming the game ever realizes (or even gets anywhere in the general vicinity of) its potential of course.
default_loser Feb 3, 2014 @ 11:25pm 
Originally posted by Cyborgt:
Originally posted by default_loser:

In Stardock's case, from what I can tell, it seemed to work incredibly well; I never hear or read any ill will about them from people that bought Elemental, despite it supposedly being unplayably bad. My personal opinion is that giving Dwelvers to people who own Towns would be a good business move, since the association with Towns could bring on a LOT of negative reactions - deserved or not - and that kind of goodwill towards consumers goes a long way for an indie game developer. It's a tough choice, and I can see them justifiably going either way with it. It would certainly give me a lot of faith in the developers and at least slightly sweeten the bitter taste in my mouth I get every time I see Towns in my Library.

Well, one thing to consider is the comparison between the number of copies that have to be given for free. In regard to Elemental, for some reason the number 86k sticks out in my mind but the only reference i've been able to find states they reported 82k sales on September 5, 2010. From what i've heard, they were only giving out the free copies to people that had purchased the game in 2010 so they only gave away 82k+ however many they sold over the next 4 months.

Ben seems to be estimating ~200k for Towns and this being for a much less established developer. Certainly a painful proposition, especially if they don't make it onto Steam to make up for some of those sales. I actually only just bothered to look into dwelvers and it kinda looks like a multi-layer Dungeon Keeper. I'd certainly be happy with getting that for free, though it sucks for both them and myself either way since they're making the kind of game I wouldn't hesitate to buy normally but due to the SMP connection I can't justify buying now.

I guess that's something else we'll have to wait to see how it turns out. As much as it sucked to waste those 40 hours + ~$12 (bought it during the post-release 20% off period) on Towns, i'd certainly walk away happy getting a DK style game out of it. Assuming the game ever realizes (or even gets anywhere in the general vicinity of) its potential of course.


Ha, you totally touched on a couple of things I was thinking about while writing my comments. One is that 200k is certainly a huge number, and the demographic crossover between a game like Towns and a Dungeon Keeper-like is presumably pretty big. So I can easily understand apprehension regarding giving them the game for free. On the other hand, how many of those 200,000 people are going to be convinced to give money to the developers of Towns (again, the blame may not be fairly placed, but Towns customers' concerns are justified regardless)? I can tell you personally that, while it certainly seems to me that the Dwelvers devs are not in large responsible for what happened with Towns, I would still be very hesitant in buying it, closely monitoring post-launch support, etc.

So as I said, it's pretty complex, and I can really see them going either way with this, and either decision would be justified. I did notice on their website that, when they offered the Dwelvers alpha publicly (contrary to what they had planned in their Indiegogo campaign), they offered refunds to anybody who wanted one, and three free copies on Steam to anybody who didn't want one. So they seem to be quite a bit more receptive to the community's concerns than the guy in charge of Towns. I do think giving Towns owners a copy of Dwelvers is the best move for them here, but I can understand both viewpoints (and for all I know, personal bias is clouding my thought process on this one). Either way, I guess it means I should stop following the development of Towns, and start looking at Dwelvers?
Immoral D Feb 3, 2014 @ 11:33pm 
I guess the bright side of this whole thing is that I got this in the indie pack ages ago for like $2.50. I don't really feel too cheated.
Cyborgt Feb 3, 2014 @ 11:57pm 
Originally posted by default_loser:
Ha, you totally touched on a couple of things I was thinking about while writing my comments. One is that 200k is certainly a huge number, and the demographic crossover between a game like Towns and a Dungeon Keeper-like is presumably pretty big. So I can easily understand apprehension regarding giving them the game for free. On the other hand, how many of those 200,000 people are going to be convinced to give money to the developers of Towns (again, the blame may not be fairly placed, but Towns customers' concerns are justified regardless)? I can tell you personally that, while it certainly seems to me that the Dwelvers devs are not in large responsible for what happened with Towns, I would still be very hesitant in buying it, closely monitoring post-launch support, etc.

So as I said, it's pretty complex, and I can really see them going either way with this, and either decision would be justified. I did notice on their website that, when they offered the Dwelvers alpha publicly (contrary to what they had planned in their Indiegogo campaign), they offered refunds to anybody who wanted one, and three free copies on Steam to anybody who didn't want one. So they seem to be quite a bit more receptive to the community's concerns than the guy in charge of Towns. I do think giving Towns owners a copy of Dwelvers is the best move for them here, but I can understand both viewpoints (and for all I know, personal bias is clouding my thought process on this one). Either way, I guess it means I should stop following the development of Towns, and start looking at Dwelvers?

Indeed. I harbor no ill will specifically toward the developers of Dwelvers but as long as there's the possibility that a purchase of that game would give more money to Xavi, I can't justify making that purchase to myself. It may be horribly unfair to the Dwelvers developers but that's life sometimes.

It really is a shame though. They sound like a pretty cool group working on a game much more interesting to me than Towns ever was.

Originally posted by Immoral D:
I guess the bright side of this whole thing is that I got this in the indie pack ages ago for like $2.50. I don't really feel too cheated.

I wish I could say that. I knew the game wasn't in a great state when I picked it up but I didn't know just HOW bad it really was and that it would falter long before it really got better. Oh well, here's hoping Dwelvers goes better (even if I have no intention of buying it.)
Last edited by Cyborgt; Feb 3, 2014 @ 11:59pm
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