Author Topic: The Q3 Release Date of Avorion..  (Read 3008 times)

Deadonstick

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    13
    • View Profile
on: February 17, 2018, 05:05:10 PM
About the Editor

For a bit of context here, because I'll be expanding upon things like development stages aswell as my personal estimates for how long certain activities will take, I thought it'd be a good idea to explain a bit on what basis I make these estimates.

I am a software developer. More specifically, an Embedded Software Developer. This basically means I primarily use low-level unmanaged languages like C and C++ to program hardware (like a microwave, a robot arm, whatever). Although this means I have a good grasp of more technical programming I must admit I lack knowledge of game development which generally uses vastly different paradigms, techniques and skillsets. Although I still believe I can give decent estimations; I am open to the possibility that my lack of knowledge regarding game development could mean I am off by several orders of magnitude.

With that out of the way, let's get started.

Preface

I love Avorion, I really do. It's a game unlike any other that's tonnes of fun to play with friends. The shipbuilding system is meaningful and people can make amazing things in it. However I do believe that Avorion is going to head into a brick wall of critics with the current development schedule and won't stand the test of time.

According to the Steam store page Avorion is set to be released in Q3 of 2018, also known as September.

Development Phases

For those of you who don't know the exact meaning of the traditional development phases:

Pre-Alpha: Project is not yet ready to be formally tested, core features are missing and development is focussed on getting the core features working aswell as the software infrastructure.
Alpha: Project is not feature complete although the core is mostly done, development is mostly focussed on adding more features and fixing critical and major bugs.
Beta: Project is (almost) feature complete, development is mostly focussed on fixing bugs and polishing.
Release: Project is done.

Now admittedly with the advent of ubiquitous internet these development phases are often heavily abused. We've all heard of games being released in what used to be called Beta or even Alpha stages of development (shoutout to Bethesda). It's also becoming more and more common for games and software to correctly use these development phases but in an incremental sense.

In the incremental sense every update/expansion pack/DLC goes through these stages seperately. So something like World of Warcraft will go through Pre-Alpha, Alpha, Beta and Release each xpac.

Where is Avorion?

Games like Avorion in Early Access are even more confusing in this sense. Avorion itself isn't yet feature complete and likely won't be for a while. It still faces some fundamental issues like the scaling issue: http://www.avorion.net/forum/index.php/topic,4528.0.html. Then there's also the issue of ship movement speed which makes proper PvP nearly impossible because an opponent can simply accelerate to 10KM/s to get away making aiming impossible and being able to rapidly outrange your opponent. Then there's the whole issue of anything outside of the galactic core rapidly becoming obsolete and dead content, drastically reducing the effective size of the universe.

These are just some examples of relatively huge issues that require a fundamental change of how the game functions to solve. This isn't a case of bug fixing or tacking on extra content, these are fundamental problems with how Avorion handles speed, scale and space that keep it from being a great game.

Personally, I believe these to be placeholder features and as such an argument can be made for Avorion still being in Pre-Alpha, simply because the core mechanics are so hilariously broken (in the "easy to abuse" sense of the word) that it's hard to see them in the final release. Then again, according to the official roadmap we are in Alpha..

The Current Roadmap

https://avorion.gamepedia.com/Roadmap

The official Avorion roadmap as you can see addresses none of the issues I've raised (and I'm sure you all can raise plenty more). So, assuming that Boxelware believes these issues aren't important enough to fix before the release that means we are simply missing a lot of features. This means we're in the alpha stage of development.

As it currently stands it took 3 months to get from the beta release of the Economy update to the beta release of the Combat update. We know that after this Combat update II will hit, which focusses on graphical improvements mostly.

So, we have til the end of Q3 2018, which is September, it's currently Februari so that means we have 7.5 months. Say it takes a full month for the first Combat update to go from beta to stable; 6.5 months remain. Then let's be generous and say it'll take a total of 1.5 months to beta-release, test and proper-release Combat update II; 5 months remain. Now let's be extremely generous and say that the entire rest of the roadmap can be done in a single update as large as the first Combat update (which took 3 months and say plus one for testing); 1 month remains. After this Avorion is feature complete and moves to beta-release.

Assuming this very optimistic schedule that means we have a grandtotal of a single month that we'll be spending in beta. In this month every critical and major bug has to be fixed for it to qualify as a full release.

The Choice

As it stands Avorion is a decent game and I am confident that in the months leading up to the release the quality will improve further. I believe that with the current roadmap Avorion will end up being branded as a "fun game with a decent quality". I also believe that it will not stand the test of time. After all, there's only so much amusement that can be had by grinding until you have a ship so massive that no content is worth doing anymore. Multiplayer servers will die out over time because no meaningful interaction can be had between players. Either side in a PvP combat scenario can choose to disengage whenever, there will be no wars for resources because a sufficiently large ship can clear a sector far quicker than the enemy can respond, and most of the universe won't be worth visiting due to it being too low level.

Following the current roadmap I believe that to be Avorion's fate, an amusing quirky creative game with some quality assurance issues that does decently well. Not exactly a worst-case scenario I know.

But, then again, I believe that if the release date is pushed back, if the developers and the community look at Avorion's core features with a critical eye. If time and energy is spent in solving some of these fundamental issues that it can be much more than that. Avorion could be the first multiplayer X3 (already something that people have been asking for for years) with all the benefits of a voxel game. If Avorion manages to do that and do it well it'll be remembered as a true milestone in the pages of gamedesign. The first of its kind.



Cyka

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    63
    • View Profile
on: February 17, 2018, 10:23:22 PM
About the Editor
......

People keep dreaming an indie game is somehow going to be the next game that breaks through the AAA industry. Lets face reality here, it wont be, im very glad with game's current features but when you throw in "stood against test of time" "Long live forever" kind of hyperhole it is kinda laughable expectation from a 2 guy dev team.



WhatTheDuck

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    8
    • View Profile
on: February 19, 2018, 04:06:32 PM
People keep dreaming an indie game is somehow going to be the next game that breaks through the AAA industry. Lets face reality here, it wont be, im very glad with game's current features but when you throw in "stood against test of time" "Long live forever" kind of hyperhole it is kinda laughable expectation from a 2 guy dev team.

If you speak about money and sold games, you are right, indie games doenst stand a chance against the big industry.  But i had gameplay wise my best and unique experience from indie games.

-Factorio
-KSP
-Oxygen not Included
-Terraria
-Rimworld
-7dtd
-Kenshi
-The long dark

I love projects like avorion and i think the devs did a great job with every update.

Regards WhatTheDuck



Sir Charles

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    198
  • Skibidi Wapapa, Skibidi Wapapapapa...
    • View Profile
on: February 22, 2018, 02:51:23 PM
Hey there,
I do agree with almost all of what you said. I don't believe that an Avorion released in Q3 would/will make a good game since there are so many things to be reworked, polished or added, e.g.
Story and overall content
Outer regions of the galaxy
PvP
Music improvements
Insurance
Some kind of balance for big and small ships
A living economy (and, linked to that, respawning of faction ships and stations) as sugessted here and here
And many more...

Considering there is lots and lots of interested players in the forums, who are continously trying to help find some solutions and mechanics, this game has a huge potential. Even if not, it is going to be a great game, but if all of the little minor and major points would be considered, this will become my favorite game of all time. ;)   
Whatever you type, never forget:
Nobody rises up in the morning like "Today Ima gonna do a really bad job!"



WhatTheDuck

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    8
    • View Profile
on: February 22, 2018, 03:31:21 PM
I think the most indie games rush the release because of financial reasons. But i agree with you that they should take more time for balancing. Games should stay atleast 2 months in a final release state just for balancing reasons and complex games like avorion should take more time for this. The first experience after release is important for a growing player base.



Sir Charles

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    198
  • Skibidi Wapapa, Skibidi Wapapapapa...
    • View Profile
on: February 23, 2018, 07:21:03 PM
I guess that for this game, to be perfect, the date of release would have to be somewhere in 2022...

The question is whether Koonschi has plans to take it that far or not, i guess ;)
Whatever you type, never forget:
Nobody rises up in the morning like "Today Ima gonna do a really bad job!"



Kamo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    393
  • Cuddles float better in space~
    • View Profile
on: August 26, 2018, 03:42:25 PM
Yaay ! The release has been moved to Q3 Q2 2019 ;D !
https://steamcommunity.com/games/445220/announcements/detail/1703936520913201817
The devs are giving themselves more time, and they sure need it for fleet management, automated trading,  and more dynamic faction economy and growth :).
Colorize messages, with the colors of materials (from wiki) !
Ir #FFB380 Ti #FFFFFF Na #4DFF4D Tr #4D9AFF Xa #FFFF4D Og #FF8133 Av #FF2626



Devious

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    579
  • Have you seen Rusty?
    • View Profile
    • Rusty's Universe and Community
on: August 26, 2018, 08:57:00 PM
Even Q2 might be too optimistic as they have a giant back log of bug and unpolished mechanics reports that haven't received any formal attention yet but if they decide to no longer expand their schedule I hope that they will adress those issues over new content.



riess

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    39
  • Space battles lover. Webdev. Migraine sufferer.
    • View Profile
on: August 27, 2018, 12:36:19 AM
Even Q2 might be too optimistic as they have a giant back log of bug and unpolished mechanics reports that haven't received any formal attention yet but if they decide to no longer expand their schedule I hope that they will adress those issues over new content.

This also my bet - sandbox games may look simple on outside, but there's a lot of things that need polishing and iterating on for game to really click for month-long playthroughs that are typical for the genra.

Speaking of the bugs and quirks, I would love for Avorion crew to run publicbugtracker like what Mincraft guys are doing for community to see whats currently borked, whats in progress, and what wasn't reported yet.

It could even be read-only, but it would be great thing to have imho.

Personally, I would also kill for maintenance release sometime soon that wouldn't really add any big features for game, but, say, would redo weapon/turret factories generation to have more predictable progression. Or would add UI to see how your bank/resources balance has changed over last 48h of gameplay. Or would make hyperspace inhibitors don't inhibit me anymore now that I've fixed my standing. There's boatload of things like that that are begging for improving.