Lack of honesty from NWI

I like NWI and what they're doing, however that is not to say that they can't be criticized.

Okay so despite the title, I'm really not sure whether NWI is trying to be dishonest, being forced to do so, or just extremely bad at estimating development times. Whatever it is, they've been giving us extremely unrealistic dates and ranges for development progress since the announcement of the title in 2016. I think a lot of people have noticed this, but I haven't seen any talk about it.

Note: We are hoping to have a closed alpha on PC by the end of this year.

That is from an NWI article posted on 2/8/17.

So in February 2017 NWI was hoping to have a closed alpha in ten months.

I think a lot of you know about the story mode, which the NWI took great pride inane used as one of the main selling points, only to be cancelled. This was announced on 1/3/2018. Also in that article was a mention of some of the game's planned content:

The planned game modes for release are as follows: Push, Firefight, and Capture the Base for Versus, plus Checkpoint, Operation, and Outpost for Coop.

So about Capture the Base, Checkpoint, and Outpost, how are those game modes coming along? Oh, right.

We’ll be releasing in September with the following game modes: Push, Firefight, and Capture the Base for Versus, as well as Checkpoint for Coop.

This was posted 5/31/2018. I don't see why Operation and Outpost had to go. At least Operation was something new that if bad wouldn't have the consequences since it was a co-op game mode. And Outpost was a fun game, I don't see what was so difficult about incorporating that.

Now I don't think Capture the Base's cancellation was really announced with much formality, but some time after this post it was decided that Insurgency Sandstorm wouldn't need a new PVP game mode despite losing four modes from the previous Insurgency. Now capture the base does sound dumb, so if the game mode was just fundamentally bad, I can understand it. However, we are yet to hear announcement of work on another mode.

So then it's summer of 2018, around when the closed alpha was launched. We will have two full-scale game modes plus firefight for PVP, and one single mode for co-op. All four of those game modes were carried over from the previous title. It was very clear when the closed alpha was launched that the September 18, 2018 release date was just not realistic. But of course NWI keeps pushing for that date until the week before it to announce they will be pushing the release date back by two months. Now I'm glad they did that, but not even two months is enough, because not only does the game suffer from stability and optimization, but also a lack of content. I mean really, six maps and four game modes? You realize that for people like myself who avoid certain game modes, we are left with little content?

This game is obviously not going to be ready for release on December 12. It does not have the stability or content. But that's alright, I would be happy to see this game delayed for another few months. Release it in the Spring if you have to. Pause the beta if you worry people will get sick of the game by the time it releases. But I don't want to see this game have a disaster launch because NWI released it to early. That happens to often, and is too easy to avoid.

In conclusion, maybe it was a bit hypocritical of me to complain about thehappybub structuring his posts, and NWI hasn't been very honest with their release dates and even estimates. Granted I have zero experience developing a game, but when everything they announce is as unrealistic as it is, it makes me question their honesty. To make myself clear: My issue is not the slow development of this game, it is the unrealistic announcements of NWI and them then trying to rush this game out before it's ready.

@tooth-decay Can't agree more with this, man.

Some of your points regarding game modes may be due to the developers wanting to save things for post-release content. At least that's what I'm hoping. I could understand them wanting to work with existing ideas instead of having to brainstorm into new territory.

I can also understand that the developers feel pressured to deliver on their promises, but that all stems from their promises being unrealistic or unattainable in the time frame they outlined for themselves.

My real question is, who are the people (or person) at NWI who look at the state of the game and say, "yup this is great, no problems, lets ship it?" Instead of pushing an incomplete or unbalanced game and then hitting everyone with massive patches the first few weeks, rolling content out over a month-long period post-release (cough blops 4 cough) how about we release a completed game? It's the same load of barnacles that has gotten big AAA developers in trouble recently. To some extent, AAA developers could get away with more due to their deep pockets. Coming out with a polished product should be of even greater concern for indie developers who tend to get sidelined unless they release a true masterpiece.

The main thing I'm thinking of when writing this post is the poor optimization, performance, and stability on even higher-tier systems. There's also a slew of small but super-annoying bugs or problems, some of which are semi-gamebreaking, like the lost customization credits one, broken VOIP, or no votekick system.

Even if NWI thinks they figured out the performance and are sure that their mother of all patches, either right before or on release, will fix performance, its still very poor strategy to introduce such major changes without a significant period of stability testing, which should be carried out by the beta community.

@tooth-decay said in Lack of honesty from NWI:

thehappybub structuring his posts

At least you didn't bold anything lmao. I'm sorry for my bolding I can't control myself anymore. Maybe I need help.

I too feel like the game isn't ready for launch. We lack maps, game modes, optimization and various bug fixes. There is no way the game realeases in two weeks from now... That's technically impossible. Just like @Tooth-Decay, I fear the game being released too soon will kill it. Indies have to face the lack of visibility for their games, and it usually doesn't end well for their popularity when features are left behind during developement and the game is being released unfinished.

The solo campaign being canceled was terrible news for me, even though I'll admit I can live without it, but still... It would have been such a plus to have. The lack of game modes, especially for coop, made me stop playing the BETA some time ago. The game just isn't ready. I really like it, and the devs are incredible people that work hard for us to enjoy what is the most satisfying FPS in my opinion, but I really hope they don't suicide-realease the game just to hold up to the deadline.
It might however be a publisher problem, though... In which case, we're doomed, and the game might be too.

@grumf

Not everything has been released yet. We dont have it all nor have they said wether we have it all or not. Meaning anything revolving around content from ANYONE other than NWI is speculation cooked up by foil hat theorists with nothing better to do no matter how well structured their post. Spend 10 hrs making a forum post look good with all the ear mark dates of whatever you want...unless it comes from an official NWI representative dont pay attention to it or feed into it. They said FULL release in dec then we owe them that. If its pushed back again then wait for a response on why and debate then.

I just cant help but feel OP hasnt a leg to stand on regarding his/her post since all points his post rely on is information that can only come from NWI. And its THAT information that hasnt been released...So I have to wonder why bother posting a post in that light (op’s) with that frame of mind knowing the full game hasnt been released and just because he “doesnt see how it could be done in time.....” doesnt mean they wont. I am not saying they will, though I believe they will be done in time. I just dont see a point in bad mouthing a company that has done NOTHING to deserve it.

I especially disapprove of unwarranted speculation and conjecture that paints anyone in a bad light.

Ill have to give this a +1

Is the "That Will Do" guy in focus interactive or NWI?

That will fkn do!!

last edited by gprologitech

@tooth-decay said in Lack of honesty from NWI:

if you worry people will get sick of the game by the time it releases.

Sums it up for me. Also, the game was VERY enjoyable before the Nov update. After that, I could hardly play it. I feel like I'm done with Sandstorm at this point. Not sure if I'll return later or just move on.

@max80
I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Did you click on the links I provided you? They were all from NWI’s official website. Those quotes were all copy and pasted from NWI articles. I really shouldn’t have even needed to provide them, since most people who followed this game know about the dwindling planned content and repeatedly delayed release dates. And no, two weeks is not enough time to finish the game, and it seems most people know that.

I just dont see a point in bad mouthing a company that has done NOTHING to deserve it.

Bad mouthing? If I wanted to bad mouth this company I wouldn’t do it in their own forum. The reason why I made the post was because people don’t seem to want to admit that NWI has been repeatedly setting unrealistic development times, and it’s causing them to release a half finished game. Do I need to put the first sentence of my post in bold or something?

@grumf said in Lack of honesty from NWI:

Indies have to face the lack of visibility for their games, and it usually doesn't end well for their popularity when features are left behind during developement and the game is being released unfinished.

this is true to SOME degree. I feel people have forgotten the whole purpose of Steam was to ASSIST with launching a game. Meaning finish to a POINT then confer with the fan base and finish with the customer's requests and desires. They are doing just that arent they? The cancelation of the single player is a sad but not forgotten at all. I think it is still to come.

last edited by Max80

@tooth-decay said in Lack of honesty from NWI:

Okay so despite the title, I'm really not sure whether NWI is trying to be dishonest, being forced to do so, or just extremely bad at estimating development times...
...Granted I have zero experience developing a game, but when everything they announce is as unrealistic as it is, it makes me question their honesty.

I don't believe it's a question of honesty. Software development is full of unexpected challenges, not just technical but marketing/financial/etc. which often result in very poor estimates. That's why you so often hear from larger developers (who can afford the wait): "It'll be done when it's done."

This doesn't take away from your point that their estimates have been wrong and that content has been scaled way back. When they realized they'd bitten off more than they could chew in the time available they back-peddled. But I believe this is more about correction than deception.

Being primarily a co-op and single player guy, the lack of game modes including the story is disappointing. At this point, we'll have to hope their good track record of post release support will remedy this.

The worrisome part is of course performance. Even if their internal build is gangbusters, there is precious little time to get it out into the wild and test/tweak in before release. As concerned as we all are about this affecting Sandstorms initial reception, I'm sure it pales in comparison to theirs.

...To make myself clear: My issue is not the slow development of this game, it is the unrealistic announcements of NWI and them then trying to rush this game out before it's ready... <snip> ...I would be happy to see this game delayed for another few months...

Like you, I'd much prefer that they bake the cake until it's done. It may not be ideal that they ice it with additional content after it's served, but so be it. The important thing is that it is solid on launch. I am also happy to wait.

New World Interactive

Nobody is going in with the intention of being dishonest with our audience. Creating a video game isn't a paint-by-numbers process. You're not following a recipe that has pre-defined steps. You're making something brand new, that nobody has made before. You go in with a list of features you want to put into your game, sometimes tackling things you've never done before in the hopes of satisfying your audience.

A lot of your original intended features don't work out, either because they don't feel great when they're in the game or they're too difficult to implement. Everyone remembers the features that were talked about and cut, but nobody remembers the ones you added and never announced during the origination of the project. For us, it's important to involve our community, as we support our games long after they're released. The original Insurgency got 3 years of free updates; none of which were promised when the game was conceptualized.

On this project, like all of our projects, we did a lot of our development out in the open. We tried to update the community on where we were with development every time we made major changes. That feedback has been extremely helpful and has led us to a lot of positive changes and new features over time. I don't think that process should change. I know it's different than some big games that announce after most of the work has been completed and use beta tests as marketing tools, but for us, it's important to maintain that feedback loop.

We appreciate everyone that has helped contribute to the game's development so far. We want this game to succeed as much as you do.

From all the points being thrown around here, the real elephant in the room is the performance. Everything else pales in comparison. If SS released with the current content, whatever ... but I just don't get how performance can be optimized and tested for stability in two weeks.

last edited by thehappybub

Anyone, who has ever tried to do some sort of creative project, understands how impossible it's to say when it's done, untill it's done. You can throw estimates but that doesn't really mean anything.

Also add, that this kind of project also will most probably have lot of technical challenges that can not be predicted. Plans can change because of that.

People can complain all they want. What does it matter? If it's not done yet, it's not done yet. Blaming NWI from some sort of dishonesty is bullshit in my opinion.

They let you refund if you are not happy on what they release. That's pretty honest in my opinion.

sure the game in its current state is rougher than a bears arse but im sure the engine upgrade put alot of extra work or rework their way too
im not writing this at this moment to brown nose or criticise either, in fact i wasn't going to post but i thought i'll write what i need to say....

lets just go back and recall on other titles especially the battlefield series for example and ask ourselves how broke most of those were on release? ever more so really as from bad company 2 and up to lets say bf1 which i might add was how much? £100 for premium polished turd edition right? how many of us here can say what a fantastic game that was? and how ea listened to our concerns and replied in a human response like alex has done here and the other guys previously and implemented them into the game for us.

i think the majority can say here the game has massive potential,the game definitely has a soul, things will get ironed out lets not forget the mod community input too later down the line i have seen some influences of that already from ins2 into sandstorm.

the main feature from my aspect was i was dreading sandstorm would loose the" play serious or play will full comedy value" for me im over the moon, with mikee not doing the majority of the voices was a worry but i have to say especially the insurgent side they absolutely nailed it and the "intimidate" interaction with the bots was icing on the cake for me and alot of if not all our server community coming from all 4 bot massacre servers. i just hope they dont nerf the allowed continual radial chats you can get going like they did on ins2 that for me personally broke the game
on a side note i dont think ive heard anyone complain about it infact most join in which just adds more fun and laughs

so to basically recap the game is 20 ish pounds or whatever your currency converts to. with an active dev team.
just focus on the positives the rest get ironed out. i hear some say this is just another battlefield game? when was the last battlefield game only 20 quid 🙂

@tooth-decay said in Lack of honesty from NWI:

But of course NWI keeps pushing for that date until the week before it to announce they will be pushing the release date back by two months. Now I'm glad they did that, but not even two months is enough, because not only does the game suffer from stability and optimization, but also a lack of content.

The date was only pushed back after the Beta started and all the issues cropped up. NWI has done an amazing job, more than I expected with their big update that followed. The game's never crashed for us and performance is perfectly fine for all of us right now.

I mean really, six maps and four game modes?

.CoD: BO has 7 maps for multiplayer and it's a AAA gigantic corporation. Six maps is standard. More game mods are guaranteed to come. NWI is a small studio and this is their first actual game, non-EA at that, the game's not out yet and the development will not stop after the release.

This entire thread is a whine-fest. And accusations of dishonesty? That's just immature, to say the least.

And let me just add something... This is a beta. It is supposed to suck. You are not playing the game. You are testing the game to help the devs. Constructive feedback is invaluable to NWI and just read the damn name of the forum you are in. It's called feedback. Whining and attacking the devs is really out of place.

last edited by Pakislav

@tooth-decay The release dates are always delayed, in literally every game ever made lol. I'm not saying it's good or bad, just normal.

As far as your other criticism such as maps and game modes, I agree on those points. Something tells me they'll be adding them in with updates as time progresses. I hope.... Right?

@pakislav said in Lack of honesty from NWI:

The game's never crashed for us and performance is perfectly fine for all of us right now.

Is that some sort of joke? You are on these forums a lot, I think you know that a lot of people have performance issues. Why don’t you speak for yourself? The game crashes every time I try to launch it, and only works on my second attempt.

Six maps is standard. More game mods are guaranteed to come.

The last Insurgency had what, 16 maps? Even when you factor out post launch maps, there was still more than six. Do you think it would be okay if Insurgency 2014 were to suddenly have 6 maps? You think people wouldn’t get sick of it? RS2 got a lot of criticism for only having 8 maps. And of course more maps will come after launch, but launch should be where you have the game in a finished state, not “we’ll fix it later”. A lot of a game’s success comes down to how it was when it launched. Just look at No Man’s Sky.

This entire thread is a whine-fest. And accusations of dishonesty? That's just immature, to say the least.

These are serious issues. People want the game to succeed, but that will be unlikely in it’s current state. This game is supposed to tap into the mainstream market to some extent, and those people who are used to playing Battlefield won’t play this game if it’s lacking but seems promising.

And let me just add something... This is a beta. It is supposed to suck. You are not playing the game. You are testing the game to help the devs.

Don’t be a fool. This game is 11 days away from launch. What we have now will be very similar to the game on Dec. 12.

Constructive feedback is invaluable to NWI and just read the damn name of the forum you are in. It's called feedback. Whining and attacking the devs is really out of place.

Did you read the post? I, along with other people on this thread, want to see this game succeed. I recommended they they delay the release by several months. People like you don’t help when they try to shut down anyone who criticizes NWI.

last edited by Tooth Decay

@alexblonski said in Lack of honesty from NWI:

Nobody is going in with the intention of being dishonest with our audience. Creating a video game isn't a paint-by-numbers process. You're not following a recipe that has pre-defined steps. You're making something brand new, that nobody has made before. You go in with a list of features you want to put into your game, sometimes tackling things you've never done before in the hopes of satisfying your audience.

I understand that, and I’m sure it is hard to estimate that stuff. But when you say the game will be ready for testing in 10 months but it ends up being ready in 17 months with half the content? How can you be that far off? And why haven’t you learned your estimates are likely to be far off? On October 11, Precinct was said to arrive in late October, then November 8. Her we are, it’s December 2. Still no Precinct.

A lot of your original intended features don't work out, either because they don't feel great when they're in the game or they're too difficult to implement.

Shouldn’t you then work on something else? And with Outpost, that really couldn’t work in this? Because I really enjoyed it in the previous Insurgency.

And I know I’ve said this before, but I really don’t want people to get the wrong ideas. My issue is not the development time for this, I can see that you’re doing all you can. My issue is how you give estimates that are way off and then try to rush out a half-finished game to fulfill your estimate to at least some extent.

@tooth-decay said in Lack of honesty from NWI:

Why don’t you speak for yourself?

I speak for my community, not this community. Obviously.

The last Insurgency had what, 16 maps?

Insurgency 2014 had 7 maps at the start. Sandstorm has six that are much bigger and better.

These are serious issues.

Of course they are. NWI has already solved these issues for most people in a very small window of time and I'm sure they'll solve them for your particular rigs in time.

Don’t be a fool. This game is 11 days away from launch. What we have now will be very similar to the game on Dec. 12.

If NWI drops another awesome patch like the one from November the game might very well be in a perfect state for release. But I seriously don't care in the slightest about that arbitrary release since I fully expect the development of the game to continue for years like with previous NWI titles.

I recommended they they delay the release by several months.

You've done no such thing in this thread. You visciously attacked the devs for "dishonesty" as if you were writing an article for buzzfeed about gun violence from the perspective of a soyboy millenial journalist. Like you said you know nothing about game development and timeline estimates for such projects.

The only lesson that NWI should take from this is to say even less, or nothing at all, because of people like you and reactions like yours.

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