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Delayed to early 2015

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I know some people wonder why this was the specific time when we chose to announce our delay.  After all, there were big problems in Gamescom/BB build, so why not announce a delay immediately?  I think it's a reasonable thing to wonder about, so hopefully this explanation will answer some of your questions.

 

When you, the individual developer, think there is a timeline problem on a project, it's usually not enough to simply rely on spidey-sense.  There are exceptions to this, e.g. if you're working on a small team where everyone has high exposure to almost every aspect of the game.  But with a team of 20+ people working on a project at a company of well over 100, gut feelings aren't substantive enough to make immediate course-corrections.  What they are good enough to do is start investigating and start planning potential scenarios.  When the Backer Beta went out, Adam, Brandon, and I all knew there were major problems, but we needed to quantify those problems in terms of time spent across our team.  I.e., how many problems, how long do these problems take to fix, and who has time to fix these problems?  We also had found work, which is a general way of bundling those valuable and worthwhile new features and options that backers and internal developers bring up that we think we really should take the time to pursue.

 

We worked with the OEI owners to quantify all of this work and project it out over the next several months.  There's really no point in us hooting and hollering that the sky is falling until we realistically understand how fast the sky is falling and what is required to prevent it from crashing.  This took the time between the BB launch and several updates.  That gave us burn down rates on bugs, a comprehensive listing and allocation of found work, and time for all of the leads to discuss a realistic timeline to complete the game at the necessary quality level.  Of course, we also needed to discuss all of this with Paradox since they are the publisher for PoE and are handling a large number of logistical aspects of completing the game, including physical goods, localization, PR, marketing, and some QA.

 

We also try to be as general as possible for as long as possible on dates for two reasons a) the closer we get to the end, the more accurate our estimates get and b) nobody likes seeing a ship date shift five times.  If we could get all of our estimates right and all of the backed features in and polished exactly on time, that would be ideal.  But if I'm forced to pick two of the following three: all promised features, high level of quality, on time -- "on time" is almost always going to be the thing I'd prefer to sacrifice.  On many of the projects I've been a part of "level of quality" has been the thing sacrificed, and I've almost never had a say in it.

This is the the tone and the level of verbosity I expected at the beginning. Thanks a lot for that. From a sincere fan and a backer.

 

I'm writing from mobile, so it's a bit hard for me to go back and check who it was, but somebody quoted me with the argument that I don't know what I should expect from a betatest release.

To explain them what I expect in broad terms - I expect to encounter issues that require a beta-test in order to be discovered. As a beta tester, I expect to be sent to look for the unknown unknows, whether that be done at a feature-level ("try all types of weapon and shield combination that you can, so we can see if something breaks") or at a higher level ("just go through this portion of the game in as many different ways you can come up with"). That is the kind of question I would expect the developers would need my help answering, and when I am instead supposed to report glaring bugs, like when the build is full of memory leaks, or when the combat mechanics are barely useable, I start to feel confused as to what have I been given. Is it a 'beta', is it an early alpha build, and what am I even supposed to do with it? Why was it given to me, do they really need me to tell them things this obvious?

 

What I tested in early october was too unfinished to be called a beta in my opinion. I'll check out the latest build, but looking at the list of known issues, I'm still not very enthusiastic. Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me to see a third delay, past 'early 2015'.

 

Lastly, I can't help but wonder at the reasoning applied by people who take the effort to inform us of their joy of the fact the game is delayed, qualifying it as 'good news' and whatnot. What exactly is 'good news'? That the developer's timeline has proven to be inaccurate? That that's happened for a second time? That development costs are turning out to be higher? Do you think the developer would want these former facts to be true? Do you think the developer is very happy over them? By this counter-logic, the more times the game is being delayed, the happier we should get, up to a point where we don't actually need the game, and we are getting all the fun from its being delayed. This makes no sense to me. Not my business of course, not like I'm asking for an answer, just wondering at how can someone be happy by something not going to plan and pretending that in this happyness they are expressing their support.

 

My own support is there, in the money I paid, in the time I'll put in testing the beta build, if I consider it worth my time testing, because mind you, the ability for testing is something we've paid for with money, regardless of whether or not we'll pay with the invested time to use that ability. And criticism. That's support as well. I would think these things are objectivelly more valuable support than declaring how happy someone is over not getting what they expected.

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A Custom Editor for Deadfire's Data:
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Lastly, I can't help but wonder at the reasoning applied by people who take the effort to inform us of their joy of the fact the game is delayed, qualifying it as 'good news' and whatnot. What exactly is 'good news'? That the developer's timeline has proven to be inaccurate? That that's happened for a second time? That development costs are turning out to be higher? Do you think the developer would want these former facts to be true? Do you think the developer is very happy over them? By this counter-logic, the more times the game is being delayed, the happier we should get, up to a point where we don't actually need the game, and we are getting all the fun from its being delayed. This makes no sense to me. Not my business of course, not like I'm asking for an answer, just wondering at how can someone be happy by something not going to plan and pretending that in this happyness they are expressing their support.

 

As a backer you have a right to complain but do you really prefer the alternative which is releasing on time but releasing essentially a late alpha? Overhaul Games did that with BG/BG2 enhanced editions and they're still fixing those with no end to bugs in sight.

Edited by prodigydancer

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I wish the delay need not have happened in my time, said the backer.

 

So do I, said Sawyer, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. 

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All Stop. On Screen.

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I've been waiting for this game to finally release I damn near forgot i pledged for it, wasn't this supposed to come out last year. I know we get some digital copies when you finally release the game, but have there been any alpha or beta access to this for testing yet?

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any way to find out how many people are participating in the BB? I suspect there's several hundreds, if not thousands of folks who've elected to participate. I know some people had downloaded the game, and found it too buggy to test out and shelved it, hopefully they're back at it now. Since I'm not in the BB the only major thing I'm seeing in posted videos that feels like it needs help at this current stage that hasn't been addressed is the combat dynamics. I feel like there's way too much micromanaging going on and way too many pauses per encounter, which is very immersion breaking. Hopefully combat ai is greatly enhanced, or they adjust animation/fx timing's so there's transition time to enjoy the combat encounter. It's nice to have a lot of options to choose, but keep it simple Sam. I feel like it's a basketball game with 0:34 seconds left in the game and it still takes 5 minutes to finish because of the time out's. 

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way too many pauses per encounter, which is very immersion breaking.

 

I dont think it would be personally. Turn based combat would always be far more immersion breaking than real time of any kind, whether with pause or not, and especially if you dont absolutely have to pause.

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Calm down, please.

 

It's telling that you assume I’m excited because I’m expressing disappointment.

But there are plenty of people that have inexplicably responded to disappointing news with happiness and are far more excited than me. Why is that?

 

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/destinys-unintended-critique-consumerism

 

The NewYorker recently wrote this article suggesting that Destiny unwittingly critiques late stage capitalism but they should have written about PoE instead because people here, uniformly rejoicing at the delay, have ascended to the highest possible state of consumerism where things are acquired but not actually consumed, making the people who bought and play Destiny, shooting mindlessly into a cave look like amateurs. After all they are actually playing a game and people here don’t want an actual game called Pillars of Eternity, the game for them is this whole process of anticipation, observation and speculation. A real game would only ruin it because of the “bugs and lack of polish”. Watchdogs was one of the best games ever made until it actually came out and ruined the fun for everyone.

 

Every piece of software ever written has bugs and polish is just a bull**** word. There are thousands of bugs in Baldur's Gate 2 (some of them massive game breakers) that were only fixed with a community fix pack. http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg2fixpack/docs.php . Here's a few thousand that not only made it into the Gold version but also survived some official post release patches. Playing the game was a buggy experience, it still is over a decade later but somehow it was and still is amazing. PoE will also not be the first game in history without a crunch, that's ridiculous, there is always crunch.

But the truth is a lot of people don’t want the game to actually be released because then they’ll have to face up to the fact that while nostalgia and hyper capitalism are a heady mix they’re not a kid anymore playing Baldur’s Gate on their Voodoo 3s and the "bugs and lack of polish" they feared is instead the spectre of an empty, meaningless existence stretching out before them called adult life.

 

Sushi, in it’s purest form isn’t eaten, that would be base and vulgar. Instead as a customer you are invited to observe a chef who spent 2 years sweeping floors before he was even allowed to handle a knife and a further 10 years in meticulous and exacting training after which he could begin calling himself a decent sushi chef. You watch the preparation of this food by a skilled artisan and when he has finished, the food is admired and discarded. It distills the whole thing down to its barest, purest essentials, giving you the satisfaction of consuming something without the hassle of actually having to eat and sit there and pretend that you even enjoy food, or eating, or dining in company or anything at all in life that isn't the process of buying and acquiring things, only the joy of consumption matters to you, the hyper-capitalist.

 

This is what Obsidian should do with PoE. Releasing an actual piece of software, at any point, this year, next year, five years from now, will only enrage and disappoint the people rejoicing without reservation at its delay. For Pillars of Eternity to be an authentic success they should continuously delay and then show footage of a complete masterpiece without letting anybody play it and immediately discard it, delete all versions and backups and announce pre-production has begun on PoE 2. The KickStarter money will again flood in.

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68876-this-game-looks-great-in-every-way-obsidian-you-rock-de-house/

Bring on Poe 2 already..

 

Some here are either more honest or ahead of the curve and already asking for it.
I've been following the PoE forums for two years now, and I bookmarked this post in October 2014 because it is to this date the most brilliant and entertaining post I have ever read on a forum. I use it as a hot link to quickly access the PoE forums, but I also sometimes take the time to reread your post and I have to say, I can reread your sharp and witty analysis without end without your words ever failing to being a smile on my face. Well done, really. Edited by gogocactus
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This, of course, is why the world's greatest Neanderthal, Cleveland M. Blakemore, has worked on his masterpice Grimoire for 17 (18 now? 19?) years without yet releasing it. He understands, unlike the trollops at Obsidian, the supreme art of video game release experiences. 

 

(I'm not even joking, Cleve and Grimoire is real.)

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what a wonderful opportunity for Gromnir to again observe that we predicted the actual release date to within a week.  that were back when obsidian were saying 2014... and pj were angrily trying to bet folks who suggested a later date.

 

memories.

 

speaking o' memories, am recalling the state o' some o' the earlier betas. 

 

*shudder*

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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what a wonderful opportunity for Gromnir to again observe that we predicted the actual release date to within a week. that were back when obsidian were saying 2014... and pj were angrily trying to bet folks who suggested a later date.

 

memories.

 

speaking o' memories, am recalling the state o' some o' the earlier betas.

 

*shudder*

 

HA! Good Fun!

You did indeed win that bet :). Pity you didn't really get anything for it.

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This, of course, is why the world's greatest Neanderthal, Cleveland M. Blakemore, has worked on his masterpice Grimoire for 17 (18 now? 19?) years without yet releasing it. He understands, unlike the trollops at Obsidian, the supreme art of video game release experiences.

 

(I'm not even joking, Cleve and Grimoire is real.)

If you hadn't told me you weren't joking... That is something to look up to be sure :).

Edited by gogocactus

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