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I have to agree with Stabbey, it sounds better and people will know what to expect (being honest to a lot of people Early Access means early access to a fully complete game, and not 'here is an alpha/beta of our game').


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no it's not, hence the "uergh" laugh



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Do early access, rename the game BETA, so it will be early access to Beta. Then you can't prevent people from being utterly stupid, and saying they didn't know.

Actually, what I can't understand is why there is this backer kickstarter thing. If you miss the opportunity, like I did, then you are out of the access to the game. Its stupid. less feedback, less money, less support, less everythings.
Just to please some early backers privilege, I should be prevented the possibility to try the game ? Sounds like Old Regime to me.
And you know, there are other ways to try the game than early access or backing. Don't stupidly tempt people. Offer the opportunity to buy so they won't have to steal, just because the stupid one month long kickstarter stuff, or didn't have the money at the time, waited for some feedback first...

A smart move IMHO is devs charging more and more the early access stages. It makes sense. You take the chance to buy/try an unfinished/unpolished game, that might never be completed ("Stardrive"), you should be charged less than buying the full featured game.

Moreover, many backers won't try the beta, because they don't want to spoil the game, or prefer the fully finished/polished product.
So backers are by no mean beta testers.

Then there are also the steam haters, because steam sucks, is not good, is awfull, rots tooth and sours beer. Come on, evolve, people, steam is great. You can play your game out of connections, discounts are incredible, it is an immense boost to indie devs...

And wasteland EA was a mess ? But like Sven said, DAY Z was top of the charts on release, and was full of bugs in EA (This I say hehe ).

And specificaly about DOS, all the beta reviews I read are positive, even given the beta state of the game, so no worries about this subject of releasing bits of unplayable codes.

Release early access. Name it clearly "EARLY ACCESS TO THE BETA OF DIVINITY ORIGINAL SIN", big characters, so that dumbs/whinners/pro complainers ("proplainers" ?) might get a chance not to miss the statement. Make it more expensive than for the priviledged backers, and less expensive than the full release, and it will be perfect.

But don't forget to work on it, like 24/24, and then during the night, because I can't wait to put my hands on it.

Cheers.



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This sounds insane to me; since when has early access imply access to a fully complete game ?
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Look at some of the early access games on steam (might & magic x, gemni 2, blackguads, starbound). I will admit that D:OS is further along than M&M and BG when they first started; but it is far from beta - if you want to mince words you could call it alpha I suppose but even for alpha it seems to be lacking quite a bit in the way of mechanics and content.
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I really like how blackguard has run their early access and feature wise they were much further along (towards gold) than D:OS
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they mostly lacked content and fine tuning to balance.
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Still I will agree that calling it alpha rather than early access might imply less hand holding on the forum.
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However in context of steam early access hardly means access to a complete game (or perhaps you typo your comment?)

Originally Posted by Inanna
I have to agree with Stabbey, it sounds better and people will know what to expect (being honest to a lot of people Early Access means early access to a fully complete game, and not 'here is an alpha/beta of our game').

Last edited by meme; 16/01/14 05:17 PM.
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As I said to some people it does. I actually asked what it meant to my colleagues at work (as in what it meant to them, not what it actually was) and it was almost uniformly said that it was early access to the completed game. That was on an age range from 18 to 50.


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Originally Posted by Raze
Originally Posted by tarasis
have option to turn shadows off completely because low detail shadows are awful!

You can disable shadows, just not from the in-game options. In the ..\Documents\Larian Studios\Divinity Original Sin\ folder, you can edit the graphicSettings.lsx file in Wordpad, or other text editor, search for the term ShadowsEnabled (as below) and change the one to a zero.

<node id="ConfigEntry">
<attribute id="MapKey" value="ShadowsEnabled" type="22" />
<attribute id="Type" value="0" type="5" />
<attribute id="Value" value="1" type="4" />
</node>


Cheers Raze, I will try it out.

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How many of your colleagues are familiar with steam and early access on steam ? I.e, do your colleagues represent the typical gamer that uses steam ?

Originally Posted by Inanna
As I said to some people it does. I actually asked what it meant to my colleagues at work (as in what it meant to them, not what it actually was) and it was almost uniformly said that it was early access to the completed game. That was on an age range from 18 to 50.

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I've bought quite a few early access games. Namely, folk tale, grim dawn, and 7 days to die.

Folk tale is a shallow experience. Full of bugs and annoying interface problems. Had to stop playing for about an hour. The gameplay lasted that long when I bought it. Did not bother playing it again, but I'm going to play it again once it has been officially released.

I enjoyed Grim Dawn though. I did not engage on it too much because it was alpha access.

For 7 days to die, it's a fun game if played with the right people.

There had been few games which were released officially that had been under development for more than 5 years like Path of Exile and Overgrowth. IMO, Overgrowth did not change over the years as compared with Path of Exile.

There was one Total Biscuit WTF let's play that had been flagged by the developer because of TB's first impression.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfgoDDh4kE0

It's a hit or miss in this Early access generation.



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Early Access is a stupid invention in my opinion. Why do we need a name for something that already existed in the first place?

I mean: Pre-order our game now and you get access to the beta!!!

Nice, simple and clear. This is all fucked because of a stupid invention by Valve and people not understanding what they buy. All the attention the topic about Early Access gets (and I just don't mean here on this forum) proves it's a flawed concept. Don't go with it.

Solution: offer the game for pre-order and give benefits for pre-ordering like a beta.

This is not including if your game has been on kickstarter and that's where all the fuss comes about. People backed a project on kickstarter and paid a nice amount of money for it. If one of those rewards is the beta you must be careful with the pricing of your product as Early Access, ... sorry I mean pre-order.

Price it at a discount like Blackguards, that's a luxury position for them, they are not a kickstarter game. Price it at a discount and your game was on kickstarter where people only got beta at a higher price point and you have your kickstarter backers against you. That's something you most certainly should not do, because those people are your most loyal fans and made it for the developer possible to even make this game in the first place. Price it at a higher price point than the eventual retail price and you have your current buyers in uproar (see Wasteland 2).

Early Access should not be used to prolong your kickstarter campaign. Games like Blackguard can go to Early Access safely. Games like Wasteland 2 and DOS should be very careful if they want to thread that path.

DOS has given beta to every backer anyway, so there is no monetary value to the beta. So put it up for Early Access, god damnit, I mean, pre-order. Give the pre-orders a discount (like 10% to the eventual retail price) and give them beta if you value the feedback of pre-orders. It will you save a lot of headaches.

My 2 cents.


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A big difference between D:OS and Wasteland 2 is that backers have their hands on the D:OS alpha for a while...
As a backer of Wasteland 2 I was a bit disapointed when I saw the 'backer anticipated access to beta' duration : 48 hours after the backers access, the beta was available as Steam Early Access...

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Concerning W2... Not really useful. I guess they didn't even have time to fix the more recurrent issues before going SEA... What's the point of the early backer beta then?

I agree with most that was said by DarthDavy. Saying the fact SEA is such a 'hot' topic shows how it's flawed is a really good point I didn't make.

Last edited by Baalka; 17/01/14 11:13 AM.
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Looking at the rage for Early Access I start to understand where it comes from.

- Disclaimer I'm going to take Wasteland 2 as an example, but any game with Early Access works in this example -

Imagine I'm an unknowing costumer on Steam.
Friends have been telling me how awesome Wasteland 2 is going to be and that I have to buy it when it comes out. I'm a sane person and I say them I will check it out when it comes out if it's anything for me. A couple of my friends even paid a small fortune on a thing called Kickstarter for this game when they even aren't certain they are ever going to get this game. It boggles my mind.
Today I find Wasteland 2 on Steam: it's priced 60 dollars which is quite steep for a game, but I'll check it out anyway.
I get myself pretty hyped for the game and I now understand why it's priced 60 dollars. It's because you can play it earlier than anyone else.
I go ahead and buy it, download it, start playing it and... wait a minute, this is a unfinished game! Waaaaah, Internet rage!!!

-

Okay, the person in the example above didn't understand what he bought. That's his fault and he shouldn't blame someone else for his stupidity, right? No, not really. As a company you want everyone to find your game fantastic. The person should have waited and bought the game at release. But he didn't because the company didn't make clear to the person that was the case for him. So the company failed to explain to his costumers what they were trying to do.

The more I think about it the more I find Early Access a flawed concept that needs serious reworking (if necessary, i still find a pre-order with benefits just as good and it communicates clearer to your costumers).

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[quote=meme]How many of your colleagues are familiar with steam and early access on steam ? I.e, do your colleagues represent the typical gamer that uses steam ?

90% of a 50 person team played games on Steam.

Of those 45 people, 40 of them thought that Early Access meant early access and not alpha/beta access.


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At one hand i can see the amazing advantages of a good Steam Early Acces.. at the other hand, all games ive seen in Steam Early Acces so far lost their hype etc. long before release, making the feeling about Early Acces games a bit damp.

Originally Posted by henryv
I've bought quite a few early access games. Namely, folk tale, grim dawn, and 7 days to die.

Folk tale is a shallow experience. Full of bugs and annoying interface problems. Had to stop playing for about an hour. The gameplay lasted that long when I bought it. Did not bother playing it again, but I'm going to play it again once it has been officially released.

I enjoyed Grim Dawn though. I did not engage on it too much because it was alpha access.

For 7 days to die, it's a fun game if played with the right people.

There had been few games which were released officially that had been under development for more than 5 years like Path of Exile and Overgrowth. IMO, Overgrowth did not change over the years as compared with Path of Exile.

There was one Total Biscuit WTF let's play that had been flagged by the developer because of TB's first impression.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfgoDDh4kE0

It's a hit or miss in this Early access generation.



True, Folk Tale put their game on Early acces with 1 idea and then changed over the entire concept and engine coding and had to start alll over again, which is just a dumb mistake tbh

Grim Dawn and Blackguards are the only games in my eyes that actually do their job well as early acces games. They are quite fun and the content adding isnt that slow'

Games like PoE.. well.. no offense to PoE but early acces? nope, they simply release an 99,999% done game at that point :P

Games like Overgrowth though will take another 2 years before they will be more filled. Having 2 guys make an amazingly hard full physics engine thats as realistic as possible. I cant imagine the pain they must have at times, much butthurt in their office probably :P

And then ofcourse... you have the failures. Cashgrabs are not that uncommon, but can be seen from far away and avoided.

I do have to agree that Early Acces is MASSIVELY flawed. The concept of finding and supporting hidden gems is there, but there is a thing called "is it worth it". Is it worth it having a system to find hidden gems, if there is only like a 3% outcome of nice games and a 97% outcome of problems and crappy games laugh

Nonetheless i cant really say anything for D:OS. Even in early stages its already a strong game kinda, though it still lacks alot and if larian has looked at all possibilities and came to the conclusion that early acces really is the best way, i will just bow down for it.
It wont take away my fun playing it anyway laugh

Last edited by Timeraider; 17/01/14 12:21 PM.


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I will say it again; an example (imho) of a well done early access game is blackguard.

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I've bought a few Early Access games, and overall I am against the system. I think it's an unproven system, where is the list of "alphaware" or EA games that resulted in an amazing end product? Traditionally I can think of something like Minecraft, which there are still misgivings that the game has been abandoned. Or Mount & Blade, which has been for sale for ages and never has reached anything close to a state of completion.

But mostly, I just don't understand why, unless absolutely necessary, would any developers want their single player games consumed in an unfinished state. I mean if I worked for years on a project, I would hope I had the restraint to wait that extra bit to make sure what I put forth to the public is the best thing it can be. This concept seems to be lost since Early Access, it feels like a lack of integrity, like as long as the money is coming in who cares what state the thing I'm selling is in. It unsettles me, frankly.

If you need your game tested by a large audience, you already have the backers. You could even do traditional, non-paid beta or alpha tests. Surely there is some measure of dignity or integrity to be considered before willfully selling your unfinished product, simply because the masses are fool enough to buy it. Is there not some level of pride in releasing an amazing, finished, SRPG experience? Isn't "it's done when it's done" one of the (grudgingly) favored mantras in game development. Somewhere it became "it's not done, but F it buy it anyway"

And the excuses I hear sometimes, "oh the fans really want it" my children want candy for every meal, it doesn't mean I give it to them.

For the record I've bought the following games in Early Access:

Day Z - not much to be said, I just question why it was released at all in the state it's in. I can see no benefit to the developers to have people playing such an incomplete game, and surely it's a strain on the small development team to maintain the game in a playable state and continue to make it. They made tons of money though, which is also kind of a worry to me. Will they rest on their laurels now? The mod pushed so many sales of Arma 2, something like 2000% revenue increase, and it certainly didn't translate into a high quality Standalone product thusfar. I question the benefit the sales will have, or if it will ultimately become a negative.

Next Car Game - I actually backed this and had no interest in the Early Access part. It's a racing game, it works, there's not much to spoil, and it might be fun to watch it grow as a game and to play a bit here and there and offer some insight.

Blackguards - I bought it because it was on sale in Christmas. I have no interest whatsoever in playing a single player RPG in Early Access. Why would I spoil myself on an unfinished version? The few minutes I've played of it suggest it's in a pretty good state, but I question why they couldn't have just waited. And to even put your game on sale for 50% off before it's even released is frankly confusing to me. It just screams of "Money Now!" without much forward thought.



In conclusion I would urge Larian to reconsider Early Access. I think it would speak volumes to their integrity and their determination to deliver an awesome experience, and to not soil that experience by releasing it unfinished and then claiming "well it's the consumer's fault for not having restraint"

Is restraint not a two way alley here? You release it, then chastise us if we play it and are upset with it?

Last edited by juno; 17/01/14 04:04 PM.
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I'm too is against Steam early access.

The first time I saw a game advertising Steam Early access, I thought it was a game that was finished, and that announced a launched date already, but want to release it sooner.

I'm sure many people would think something similar, and even if they read that there are bugs, features not there, they would expect something 99% finished.

Releasing Divinity Original Sin in an unfinished state with Steam early access would, I think, give bad press to Larian studios, and will make it harder to sell the next Larian games.

Consider Larian Studios is not a well known studios. People will try to get comments before buying the game, and see bad comments because of people deceived by an unfinished game would make them not seek deeper information.

Consider the last Simcity. They are soon making it possible to play offline. Would that make come again the customers who didn't buy the game because of that? I think that not, and that these people would not buy future Simcity games.

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BIG RED LETTERS: TOLD YA

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There it is: http://store.steampowered.com/app/230230/

Divinity Original Sin is Steam Early Access.


The trailer is pretty epic, especially the music. All hail Kirill! smile

Last edited by LordCrash; 17/01/14 06:31 PM.

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Did you read some of those. Here is cut/paste:
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£30? Are you kidding me?
Instant no-buy from me, it'll be down to £10 in no time at all, and for that price I could get a superior game like Torchlight 2.
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Early Access?!
Wow, didn't know they were gonna do this. Glad though, this game needs as much exposure as it can get. Great experience.
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Congratulations!
Congratulations for making it to Steam.
Can't wait for the final release
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Worth every penny
The game is fantastic so far, cant wait to try the coop to!

If you like good rpgs you will love this game, especially if you liked Ultima series or Divinity series! Well worth the money to buy into this, touch decisions in game, good gameplay, nice gameworld, wonderful dialogue and some interesting characters. I am glad they have brought it to early access and not just for people who got into the kickstarter.

Last edited by meme; 17/01/14 06:33 PM.
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