The Flock
The Flock > General Discussions > Topic Details
JayKwon  [developer] Oct 6, 2015 @ 12:54am
The Flock DEV UPDATE
Hey there everyone!

First of all, we would like to start off by saying we're sorry for the lack of communication the last few couple of weeks. We hope to clear things up with this post and explain the current situation regarding the Flock

To be honest the launch left us quite devastated and in a state of panic as we were trying to figure out what just went wrong. And how it came to be a game that had lots of positive previews, the backing of experienced devs and positive feedback on all the events we attended, but then have a disappointing launch. We truly believed we had a good game. Or at the least something passable. It hit us as a surprise to see the launch turn out totally different.

The last couple of weeks have been quiet because we have been attending several events where we were showcasing the Flock . We were attending Extreme Blue Expo, Tokyo Gameshow, EGX and INDIGO/Control Conference (these events were arranged and planned before launch).
We should've communicated something, or at least tell you guys we've been busy attending events. But we didn't and we're sorry about that.

However we’ve been going through a lot of the reviews and feedback looking at anything useful. And came to the conclusion the Flock is facing three challenges.

  1. Price vs content (we're not competitive enough)
  2. Bugs (the game isn't working properly on a lot of setups)
  3. Longevity of the game (people stop playing after just 30 mins - 2hrs of play)

Why did it all go wrong, couldn’t we foresee all these problems?

There's no denying or hiding this, we simply made some mistakes with The Flock. And before anyone wants to say "told you the population plan is a bad idea", we don't think that's the case. It's something we still and truly believe in and will stick with, even if and until it means the end of the game or company. We knew beforehand it wasn't going to be for everyone and we as the development team agreed that's fine, you're not forced to like or buy this.

1. Price vs content. Before we determined the price we asked other developers, Valve and our own friends for feedback regarding the price. We've done a lot of market research. Originally we wanted to launch for $10. However during feedback and research new information and knowledge made the price gradually increase to $17 as people (mainly devs) that played the game believed it was worth that price. This was all general feedback and everyone clearly stated that only we as the developers can truly know what the game is worth. We made the decision to go with $17. It's our own mistake.
Once the price has been determined, you can't legally change it within the first month or so. We also weren't able to do any 2-pack or 4-pack and we couldn't leave the buddy-key offer available after the launch window.

2. Bugs. The Flock started out as a student project and it's our first game. The lack of experience comes with it. Our core team exists out of seven students, of which three of us have recently graduated. Four of us are still in school, working part-time on the game. Other people being mentioned helped us out at some point or worked on the project for a period of time, but left the project.
We've tested on several setups and held a closed alpha and closed beta. The game works fine on all the setups we have. However we should've tested so much more, because clearly the game doesn't run properly on all sorts of machines.
We made the mistake to add extra stuff just before launch without properly testing.
We also weren't prepared for the Windows 10 launch.

3. Longevity of the game. Even after launch, a 'mixed reviews' on Steam and a 33 on metacritic we were still receiving amazing positive feedback on the events we attended in the last couple of weeks. This felt weird.
Researching this, made us realize we've been building an event game. Most feedback we implemented was gathered on these events, which makes it work really well on these occasions. We never had people sit down and allow them to play for as long as they liked and note the time they would get bored of it and quit playing. Even our alpha and beta were live for a limited time.
Also a lot of these gamers can see and interact with their opponents on these events which greatly adds to the experience.

So how are we going to tackle these challenges?

We're targeting Halloween (end of October 2015) to push a big update and face these challenges.

  1. With Halloween we intend to drop the price, with a sale to suit the game value.
  2. We’re taking a good look at the bigger picture regarding the code and are making careful decisions to improve the stability and performance for the long run. You can expect small improvements but most of the bugs will take a longer time to fix.
  3. We're working on a content update with a new map and several game modes to improve replayability.

We can't promise everything will be delivered on time, as we want to do it right and avoid possible mistakes. There are more plans for the Flock that we’ll be sharing in the near future. Hopefully this gives you more insight on our current situation. We want to thank you guys again for your valuable feedback, discussions, reviews and support during this rough first period.

Vogelsap
Last edited by JayKwon; Oct 7, 2015 @ 6:55am
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Showing 1-15 of 20 comments
<unknown> Oct 6, 2015 @ 4:52am 
It's been allready said on your website forum and here somewhere. Something that will help this game greatly to add some depth to it and a feeling of "progression" for players, that will keep more players want to play more :

Add players stats : # of Death ( falling / as carrier / as flock) , time as carrier, # of game win, # of kills ( carrier / flock / yourself ), some ratio ( death vs kill ) , etc...

With those players stats you can add a LEADERBOARD.
WiseWombat Oct 6, 2015 @ 5:54am 
Originally posted by known:
It's been allready said on your website forum and here somewhere. Something that will help this game greatly to add some depth to it and a feeling of "progression" for players, that will keep more players want to play more :

Add players stats : # of Death ( falling / as carrier / as flock) , time as carrier, # of game win, # of kills ( carrier / flock / yourself ), some ratio ( death vs kill ) , etc...

With those players stats you can add a LEADERBOARD.

THIS. I personally think is an awesome idea. You could even make leaderboards and give tittles based on those statistics, like "leader of the flock" at the player with more carrier kills under his belt at the end of the week/month, and similar for the player with more wins and so on. I think it would give some sense of progression to the game, and would be a neat thing to have. In any case, glad to see you guys are starting to communicate with us, and to see what your plans are. Wish you the best luck and know you still got my support!
levitatingspleen Oct 6, 2015 @ 10:53am 
Kudos on you guys for taking criticism on the nose. I saw a gameplay video of The Flock and would've been tempted to drop the cash if not for the litany of technical issues, as well as limited content. I'll make sure to give it a look post update.
ChuckLEE514 Oct 6, 2015 @ 5:57pm 
I really do appreciate you taking responsibility. Make the stuff laid out happen and I will purchase it. I'm a big believer in not simply criticizing. I criticize because I want this to work. I think it could be an amazing game.
JayKwon  [developer] Oct 7, 2015 @ 6:35am 
Thanks guys :).

Leaderboards is a great suggestion! We've talked about it, but haven't managed to fit that in just yet on the timeline of development. We'll let you know when we have.
Kindyno Oct 9, 2015 @ 7:05am 
Even with the announcement, i don't regret the preorder. i fall in the less than 2 hour category, but not because i didn't enjoy the game, I have a huge library of games that i haven't gotten to and this one is in there as a game to play a few rounds here and there. i am glad you guys are not giving up despite the negative criticism. good luck, and i can't wait to see the contnet.:csgoanarchist:
maybe add in some (reasonable) steam achievements.
Last edited by Kindyno; Oct 9, 2015 @ 7:06am
Acherrum Oct 10, 2015 @ 1:38pm 
*nods* Knew it...

Good to hear! Thanks and good luck, devs! :)
xyzforgottenme Oct 12, 2015 @ 6:47pm 
Community servers/ content. Aka private servers. Tends to to be a big issues for mmo type games.
Jamie17694 Oct 13, 2015 @ 9:01am 
I bought this game on the launch week and personally I find it a very interesting game. With the population system that is a great idea and I believe you should carry on with it. With the price, that is somewhat alright, however £10 should of been a little more ideal. With all the event feedback and no actual long game feedback you should of thought about maybe a few days open beta or something.

Regarding the amount of Players who play the game there isn't enough players. We need more Players around if we're to actually get in a few games and give further feedback. When you work on changing prices I would suggest doing a 1-2 week deal where the price is £5 or something. Do a little advertising or more event shows and get people hooked on the game.

I got this game and don't regret buying it, however if I'm going to buy anything like this again on pre-order or on the opening week I hope you improve and get proper feedback. Though the game is great, the lack of Players is somewhat appalling.

I suggest keeping it up, and as there was a lot of money put into this game, I would suggest adding some new content. Maybe had another stage or something for the evolution. E.g. Flock, Light Guardian thing, and perhaps another Flock type that everyone has to kill as well. this new Flock however shouldn't affect the Population Reduction.

EDIT;
Before I forget, on the Main Menu of this game while you're waiting for a game or something there should a who's currently online. After all, there isn't much point wanting a game and waiting 30 minutes to find out no one is playing.
Last edited by Jamie17694; Oct 13, 2015 @ 9:09am
Da_Plague Oct 14, 2015 @ 9:29am 
I bought the game because i liked the idea, but when i play the game it is just plain boring, (my opinion) the light goes off too fast and i cant seem to turn the light on. I asked for a refund but i “shared” the game with my brother and therefore i couldnt get a refund.
Since i can not get a refund i will check back later to see if the game has somewhat improved and maybe less boring….
Onryu Oct 18, 2015 @ 6:17pm 
I remembered this game existed and came to check on its progress. It is nice to know the devs are still working hard on finding ways in improving the content.
Jamie17694 Oct 18, 2015 @ 6:31pm 
Indeed, though it would help if there were most people playing the game. They'd be able to improve on things a little quicker. More people means more feedback. Unfortunately, until they figure out how to get more people to play it'll be slow improvements.
ChuckLEE514 Oct 18, 2015 @ 8:18pm 
Originally posted by Jamie17694:
Indeed, though it would help if there were most people playing the game. They'd be able to improve on things a little quicker. More people means more feedback. Unfortunately, until they figure out how to get more people to play it'll be slow improvements.

And, until there are improvements, there are not going to be people playing.
Jamie17694 Oct 18, 2015 @ 11:42pm 
Originally posted by ChuckLEE514:
Originally posted by Jamie17694:
Indeed, though it would help if there were most people playing the game. They'd be able to improve on things a little quicker. More people means more feedback. Unfortunately, until they figure out how to get more people to play it'll be slow improvements.

And, until there are improvements, there are not going to be people playing.

Indeed, that is true. And whole cycle will keep taking place till either we start seeing improvements or more people join the game. Personally there is a little higher chance in more people joining than another major update.

After all, they are figuring out a halloween price drop, whether they go for it or not it's up to them. Personally I believe they should. Get more people involved in the game for better improvements and thus in the long road they will at least make a bit of a profit from a game they can be proud of.
Thought I would throw my thoughts out there as to why I, and people I know, didn't buy the game. It's an outsider's perspective as I have not bought or purchased the game. I've read about it, seen the trailers, and watched streams on Steam.

I can't speak for everyone, but your game didn't appeal to me because no matter how much it is, I don't feel like supporting a game that includes the "feature" of having a limited number of lives. It just doesn't interest me. All multiplayer games die eventually, but none of them tout the death of their game.

The game itself looked kinda fun based on the videos I watched, though it didn't feel fresh or new. Which is also why I felt it was too expensive for what it is.

Graphically and artistically, it just wasn't speaking to me. That's all very subjective though, and I wouldn't say it looked bad. Possibly my biggest issue though with the style of the game is how bright the levels are. I was expecting things to be really dark but they didn't seem to be at all (at least from the ones I saw).

Now there's another game in greenlight called One Life. Every player has one life and then they can't play anymore, taking your idea even further. That kinda scares me as a gamer, and I don't want to see it become another trend among developers. Once was enough. And that is another reason I never bought it. Because I don't want to support the idea, so that more developers follow in your footsteps and push the concept further. Because any time a new idea like this comes along and gets lots of attention and money (Surgeon Simulator and Goat Simulator for example, although there is no limited lifespan on those games) then EVERYONE has to try it.

I'm not saying you've done something wrong, you havn't. It isn't a "scam" because you were all very open about what this game was from the start. It was certainly a unique idea. I just personally don't want to see more like it.

Sadly, I think you would've actually had more success if you never had that limited lives "feature" in it.
Last edited by Xafron Chi 宁 静; Oct 21, 2015 @ 1:26am
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The Flock > General Discussions > Topic Details