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Soldiers At War Gaming Community  |  Days Of War  |  Game Updates  |  2017 Roundup
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Author Topic: 2017 Roundup  (Read 58 times)

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2017 Roundup
« on: December 05, 2017, 01:21:58 PM »

Hey everyone, we’re still hard at work on a whole slew of maps and features, many which have been previously mentioned and a few new surprises.

We wanted to give a very frank recap of the past year and share our studio’s outlook for the next year. We've seen a few common questions and concerns over the last few months which we'll do our best to address. If you have any more feel free to leave them in the comments.


Why hasn’t there been a patch since June?
In June we decided that instead of dripping smaller updates as we had in the first few months of Early Access, we wanted to do a lot of work and come back with something exciting.


What are you doing with my money?
Because we’ve been quiet in our communications and our updates, we’re aware that some people are assuming we ‘took the money and ran’. This couldn’t be further from the truth, we continue to be 100% focused on Days of War.


Why haven't you just given up?
Most people probably would have. It's hard to revive a game, even though we technically haven't released yet. The way we see it, we owe it to all of you to both finish the game and do our best to revive it. We still think we're in a genre that is massively under served, and we think Days of War has a lot of potential. If we didn't think this, we wouldn't be here.


Why is it taking so long?
We are, and have always been, a small team. Since June we have had all 4 of our developers full time (1 Programmer, 1 Technical Artist, 1 Designer, and 1 Environment Artist who started in March).

Where we are able we’ve continued to contract out art assets, and hired programmers to help build our VOIP, AI, Map Editor, and Stat Tracking System. We’ve elected to keep the core team small because it gives us more control and lets us stretch our dollars much further, even though it means we move a little slower.


What have we learned this year?
When we came to Early Access we didn’t have enough maps, had too many bugs and performance issues, and lacked polish in many areas that all summed up to an experience that simply wasn’t fun enough to keep people around.

The game was over priced for the experience at the time, which also hurt our sales numbers and meant we weren’t bringing in enough new blood to keep the servers full. We could have started discounting, advertising, etc. but we wanted to bring the game quality up to the asking price first, because that’s what we promised.

The upside is, we learned our lesson – which is why we don’t want to ask people to try the game out again until we think it’s good enough. This is why we haven’t released any updates, or done sales and free weekend promotions.

If we had to do it all again, we probably wouldn’t do it any differently. While not ideal, we would never have been able to diagnose our biggest issues and priorities without the sheer volume of feedback and data that we received in the first few months of EA. We learned more in 1 week of Early Access than we did in 9 months of closed testing.


When is the next big update coming?
We’re calling the next big update DoW 2.0, because it's practically a new game.

Originally, we were targeting to release it right about now, but last month we reviewed where we were at and decided it’s in everyone’s best interest to continue to work on it for a little longer.

We could release a major update right now, but as we’ve learned before, more content, features, and polish never hurt, even if it means waiting. We didn't deliver the first time, so we're gonna make damn sure we try our best on the second swing.

There’s no arbitrary timeline constraint for us, which means no exact date. What we can say for sure is once everything is ready we’ll be testing it live with our existing community before pushing it out and resuming efforts to grow the community.


What’s in the DoW 2.0 update?
A few things:
6 new official maps. (4 complete, 2 in progress)
A completely reworked recoil system. (Done)
Bots so you can practice on your own. (Done but not good enough, still improving the AI)
Map Editor and Steam Workshop support. (Very close to done)
Discord powered VOIP. (Very close to done, quality is amazing)
A progression system. (In progress)
A new user interface. (In progress)
Some major performance upgrades across high and low end hardware. (Still experimenting with some new configurations, but have had very promising results so far)
Some visual quality and visibility improvements. (Still testing new methods)
A new game mode.

Some of these items are already complete, some are functional but just need more love, and the rest are in various states of “almost ready”.

All in, we set out to make sure DoW 2.0 feels like a completely different game than the one we released last January, one that’s not only worth the price tag, but gives enough reason to play indefinitely, and sets a new foundation for the future.


What about ______ issue that’s been bothering me for months?

First, as mentioned above, before we release the 2.0 update we will be testing all the changes with you so we can do another pass on gameplay and lingering bugs. We’ve changed a lot over the last few months so gun mechanics, recoil, and movement will all be subject to change further. As a team we are happier with the state of the gameplay mechanics than we ever have been.

Also we are aware we still have a bunch of legacy issues that fell by the wayside. Because we have many pending changes, we don’t want to start taking feedback again until we can test the 2.0 updates.


After the 2.0 update
If we (and you) are happy with the state of the game, we’ll begin actually marketing it, if not, it’s back to work.

We’re taking a long term approach with DoW. Even after the 2.0 update there are still a lot of things we feel we need to add and polish to bring the game up to the standards of a modern FPS. Our best estimates are at least another year of development just to get to that point, which means we're going to be working on DoW for at least another year, and probably even longer than that.

After the 2.0 update we will have more capacity to work on whatever we want, like working with you to develop cool stuff for the game, or even extensions of the game.


What about release?
Release will be sometime in 2018, when we’ve decided that the core of the game is solid, and not subject to any more foundational change. Our plan has always been to develop past release, so we see full release primarily as a signal that the major stuff won’t change much.


What about ADS?
In our current internal build, ADS is turned on, and it will remain turned on until we put it in front of you for feedback. We think it meshes very well with our new recoil, and is close to what we had initially set out to accomplish.


Why didn't you answer my question on _______?
We'll try to answer as many as we can in the comments below and on the Discord channel.

'Regards,
|SAW|-COACH

 

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