Towns > General Discussions > Topic Details
The Patriarchy Feb 8 @ 1:12am
Ripped Off
I will say this. I really love the idea of this game and it had a ton of potential. It has many cool concepts that are fun even in its utterly unfinished state.

But, that being said, I did have quite a bad feeling when I purchased it. Steam games that are in-progress such as this have borne many titles which have been subsequently abandoned after they make their dime off of interested and enthusiastic consumers. I hoped this one wouldn't be such a title, but it turns out I was wrong.

I have to ask the hard question, did anyone ever ACTUALLY intend on truly finishing this title? Or were we totally hoodwinked? And if so, can you give us all our damn money back? People paid their real life money for this title (and in my case as a professional musician I don't have much money to spare), under the promise that it would be updated and continued and completed, and say whatever you want and make whatever pithy excuses you fell you need to, but that promise was broken. I'm really goddman tired of this just being accepted and "oh well, it could have been something". Many indie games in communities such as this have just been abandoned or left for incredibly long periods without comment.

Bottom line, I guess, is that you ripped people off and are walking away from something people paid their dollars for. This game is not finished, not even close. And lazy devs are walking away after making their money's worth. I know no one probably gives a damn, and of course it was a game most people bought for 10 or less dollars as opposed to 40 or 60, but I felt it needed to be said.

You're disappointing. Yep.
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Burningpet Feb 8 @ 1:19am 
Originally posted by Fear your Ethnicity:
I have to ask the hard question, did anyone ever ACTUALLY intend on truly finishing this title?

YES! while i suspect that xavi might have not, i know i did.
JackPS9 Feb 8 @ 1:22am 
trying to rip the game apart right now to see if I can do anything myself to help but I cant really see that doing much even if I can.
Digital Feb 8 @ 8:47am 
I paid full price for a finished product that was never delivered. I atleast want skype credit so I can buy a game....I actually defended the developers of this because I know the creative process requires support. But yeah I totally agree, what is going to be the process for abandoned games? I guess negative review and grumpy attitude? I dont want that.
mr bigdad Feb 8 @ 11:17am 
I warned you guys over and over again that Xavi is a fraud. But I got flamed, banned and kicked in the place where the sun never shines! But still I stood there on the warfront telling you guys about the crap, but alot of you never wanted to see it. Now you have it! Where are you all now? I dont here you all shouting at your best friend Xavi. You guys where kissing his ♥♥♥♥ and now look at you! Like misused ♥♥♥♥♥s you all are now! Laying in the gutter, feeling like you have been taken in the spot where the sun never shines and you didnt even enjoy it! I dont hear the fanboys anymore! So....there you have it. We should ban the pre-alpha game scene! At least until they take on some sort of contract, that if they never finnish it in a reasonable time, they should either repay their customers or pay a dear fine!
Solo Solitaire (Banned) Feb 8 @ 11:44am 
I agree that there should be some sort of minimum requirement for the games in Early Access, but I don't think Early Access should be abolished as there are many positive stories of games involved and the Early Access developers acknowledge the games aren't yet finished.

That really has nothing to do with Towns, though, as Xavi insists it is finished.

All you can do is to stay away from any future projects he is involved with and be more careful with future purchases, whether they admit they are not finished or claim they are.
mrhade Feb 8 @ 1:04pm 
This game did have regular updates until it hit Steam, then the excuses started. I got a free Steam key out of it for Towns, much good that did. It's a fun game until you hit the but that have been there forever. I remember the devs making excuses why the where releasing the the game as finish, blamining it on Steam, claiming that in order to release it here, they had to release it a finished game even though it was still alpha on GG.

I see alot of posts here to just stay away from anything that these devs put out in the future, but really how are you going to know who they are?

So there is a trend starting, make a game, get it on Steam, get your money, finish it halfway and abandon it.
Cyborgt Feb 8 @ 1:50pm 
Originally posted by mr bigdad:
So....there you have it. We should ban the pre-alpha game scene! At least until they take on some sort of contract, that if they never finnish it in a reasonable time, they should either repay their customers or pay a dear fine!

Not only would that never work (most people would never agree to that contract,) I would never support that idea. After all, who gets to say what qualifies as a "reasonable time" for finishing a game? Blizzard often released games at least 6 months past their initial expected release date. Should we fine them for making an excellent, polished experience because they didn't finished it within a "reasonable amount of time?"

Obviously this sort of idea never would have applied to a company like Blizzard because they don't bother with Steam anyway but the point is that I don't think we should be placing a clock on development time. If a developer needs more time to make a game great, they should get that time. This goes double for the indie scene where they don't have a publisher to answer to and the only obligation they have is to deliver on the product they've advertised.

This whole Towns situation sucks but that doesn't mean we should overreact and start cracking down on people completely uninvolved in it.

Originally posted by Solo Solitaire:
I agree that there should be some sort of minimum requirement for the games in Early Access, but I don't think Early Access should be abolished as there are many positive stories of games involved and the Early Access developers acknowledge the games aren't yet finished.

That really has nothing to do with Towns, though, as Xavi insists it is finished.

All you can do is to stay away from any future projects he is involved with and be more careful with future purchases, whether they admit they are not finished or claim they are.

Quite right. The only thing you can do is try to avoid future products by Xavi and/or Ben (to whatever degree you place blame on them for Towns.) That's the only thing you can do to punish someone like this for their actions.

As for the point about Early Access, I don't think I can agree with that either. Setting a minimum requirement would end up being an excercise in futility as you'd either end up setting the bar too high making the Early Access program pointless or you'd set it too low (or too vaguely/exploitably) to have any effect at all. It would be nice if there were a universal truth to game quality we could use for this kind of idea but since no such thing exists, it's quite the difficult proposition to attempt to regulate it.
Solo Solitaire (Banned) Feb 8 @ 2:18pm 
I never said it would be easy, but most other products have to adhere to some kind of consumer protection regulations. If Steam wants to sell Early Access games, it isn't unreasonable to expect Steam to protect their customers from an unethical developer with no intention of actually finishing the game he promised to make.

I don't have all the answers, I am not suggesting any particular system, all I am saying is that there SHOULD be some sort reasonable expectation that the games people buy as Early Access be finished some day, and if not, there should be some serious consequences because frankly, you, me and 7 other people not buying Xavi's next game isn't gonna cut it.
Burningpet Feb 8 @ 2:38pm 
I think that its pretty clear that if an Early Access just stop its development without releasing, a refund is in order. the problem begins where developers can just declare their games as finished as seen in towns case. there isn't and there wont be any regulations as to what constitute a game as finished.
Cyborgt Feb 8 @ 2:56pm 
Originally posted by Burningpet:
I think that its pretty clear that if an Early Access just stop its development without releasing, a refund is in order. the problem begins where developers can just declare their games as finished as seen in towns case. there isn't and there wont be any regulations as to what constitute a game as finished.

That was my point in relation to it being too exploitable. If you were to try to regulate it with something as simple as "needs to be beta" then people will just call theirs beta to get into Early Access. If you penalties are reliant upon the game never releasing then people will just "release" their game before they drop it to avoid the penalties.

Since there is no true standard by which game quality can be judged, it's bordering on the ridiculous to suggest strict regulation or standardized penalties. It sounds like an exercise in futility to me that at best would just lead us straight back into the old Steam curation system which still allowed absolute garbage through while also preventing a large number of good indie products from being sold. It's possible there are other solutions to this problem but I certainly don't see any that wouldn't just be keeping the already honest people honest or being overly heavy handed.
Solo Solitaire (Banned) Feb 8 @ 3:38pm 
Here is the thing. Almost everybody who plays Towns, even the people who like it, KNOW it isn't finished. They know without being told, because they played it and could tell.

There has to be a way to make that kind of designation "official" that would, at worst, get it right most of the time. That reminds me of a system we have in America regarding college football. An organization called the BCS decides who the top 2 teams are and they play for the championship. The system is largely flawed, requiring polls of people who are biased and not necessarily well informed on the subject of the vote, but by and large, they get it right every year. Most of the time, the teams that the public collectively feels are the best 2 end up in the big game. Sometimes there is some dissent and claims that one team got shafted, but by and large, it worked. Eventually, they came up with a better system that takes place next year, but it is an evolution and gets better over time.

There is no reason that there couldn't be some system set up by Steam, lord know they make enough off the early access games to f und one, that would safeguard the customer from unethical or fraudulent developers. I imagine there is even a good chance that with some sort of guarantee in place, they might even make MORE money.

It seems like the arguements against some sort of solution is that it is too hard to quantify. And while I agree that it is very hard, that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be something in place, even if it isn't perfect right off the bat.
Cyborgt Feb 8 @ 4:10pm 
Originally posted by Solo Solitaire:
It seems like the arguements against some sort of solution is that it is too hard to quantify. And while I agree that it is very hard, that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be something in place, even if it isn't perfect right off the bat.

Fair enough. I just worry about the possibility of a system being too heavy handed myself. I'd rather a few terrible games get through (as I said before, it happens even with proper curation) while a good number of fun games get their shot at the Steam front page than only have a handful of games decided worthy getting their chance while still getting the occassional garbage game.

If you're expecting Steam to actually get together a large number of playtesters to curate their entire release system, good luck with that. They tried it before and it resulted in a large number of perfectly good games being dismissed out of hand. The rest took longer than they should have to actually be approved if they weren't with a major publisher.

I guess we'll see what happens in the end though. With how many people there are out there heavily criticizing the current system, they almost HAVE to do something. I just hope we don't end up back on indie lockdown over this.
le epic reddit maymays Feb 8 @ 8:09pm 
I was thinking this same exact god damned thing.
Druss Feb 9 @ 4:56pm 
Thieves.
nirth Feb 11 @ 7:40am 
The guy made his money and ran. It's that simple.

No amount of excuses will change what happened.

I imagine this is one situation where a class action lawsuit might work given that there were an awful lot of copies sold so even if the 'refund' value was $5 USD per copy it still adds up.

Of course, an American will need to approach a class-action lawsuit firm to make it happen and that's :effort: so, chances are, it won't happen but this is the first time I've ever thought that a lawsuit against a gaming developer / company makes logical sense. I've seen an awful lot of calls for lawsuits over the years but this time from a dispassionate third party viewpoint it would make sense and might even win.
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