Should Indie developers be scrutinised more by steam?
I grabbed this from Wiki, before you flame I know that many deem wiki as a poor source of information however I'm using the content more as a majority considered definition of Early Access.
"Early access, alphafunding, or paid-alpha is a funding model in the video game industry by which consumers can pay for a game in the early stages of development and obtain access to playable but unfinished versions of the game, while the developer is able to use those funds to continue work on the game. Those that pay to participate typically help to debug game, provide feedback and suggestions, and may have access to special materials upon release of the game. The early access approach is a common way to obtain funding for indie games and may also be used along other funding mechanisms including crowdfunding."
I recently complained about activity by one of the Indie developers on their steam forum as I don't believe they are full filling what is defined as Early Access, I posted supposition along with this which ultimately through their own interpretation of the forum rules decided that was a breach and banned me for a month. That too me isn't an issue as such as I had already stated I was done with trying to communicate on the thread anyway which meant the ban was a little nil and void.
Through this one particular Indie developers blog videos they stated that the content wasn't applicable to the release version of the game, however some things were going to be stripped from the early access content and used in the final game, these things could be assets or other random things no one knows apart from the developer. I don't consider this Early Access as defined above when your not privy to content that will be in Beta or Release of the game. The content was released on steam after a decision had been made to take the game from campaign to sandbox the content released being a campaign version. The content isn't content that will be part of the game you cannot participate in de-bugging as the content isn't something that will be run with. You can provide feedback and suggestions and it appears that a lot of the feedback that is given is developing the game, but then that isn't something that just those that have early access can participate in.
That is a recent issue that I have had, so I'm interested in a non fanboi open discussion as to what you feel is acceptable for early access releases, when is early access just too early, do you have any issues yourself(Without flaming) about how early access is used. Here are some questions to kick the discussion off.
Early access isn't for everyone as being alpha white box, grey box or black box means content can be unplayable or extremely buggy, so I appreciate those responding have a keen interest in early access or have participated in early access.
Should there be a limit as to when early is too early?
Should steam involve themselves a little more to determine if the content is suitable for early access or if it should be pulled because major development changes have been decided making all previous content bar assets null and void?
Do you think you should be able to early access earlier?
Do you consider yourself as an investor of a game that is early access or just privileged to get access as its evolving?
Should content on Steam forums for the game have independent moderators, or do you feel moderation by the Dev's is a good thing?
Should you have a right to complain about content updates or lack of?
Is enough being done by steam to ensure that the Early access system isn't being exploited?
Do you feel the Indie Early Access is running smoothly and nothing is to be gained by these questions?
These are just a few questions that I am hoping will allow a sensible conversation to take place, I fully support Indie developers in their efforts and I applaud them for gaining funding to allow their dreams to come to fruition, but like most things there are those that will exploit systems put in place if there is a dollar, pound, euro or even some gear to be gained.
Last edited by Sannas
Feb 11 @ 11:39am