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Joseph Archer

Bailing out and have been refunded

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I do not know. Maybe it is not ideal, but compared to very popular kickstarter campaigns I feel we treat our users much better: there all you get is words for your money. We provide you with a lot of information from very advanced version of the game and also fully playable alpha. Yes, it is a way to collect money and feedback which was even more important than money, but is it cynical? I for one did hope the dev team would interact with the users much more directly but that still does not make the program a failure in any sense. Also, all contributors will get finished game with reasonable discount, I am not sure why out of sudden this is a bad thing for anybody.

That said, I am also not happy that the team did not take more active and agile approach and I am trying to understand it and hopefully improve.

I have suggestions for the future. Every week, have a "Meet the Devs" session in IRC, where people can directly ask you guys about issues and plans. I strongly, STRONGLY believe you would see an -overwhelming- support of getting the path finding fixed, which is the most game breaking issue above all else right now in pretty much all of your games.

Next, being an alpha, REGULARLY build and release. Even if it's small fixes. People love to see progress, even if it's slow. Hell, when there isn't much contact with the Dev team, people *love* patch notes and lots of patches, it's that feeling that SOMETHING is being done. This alone would have made the P&C go much smoother for us.

On that note, your Arma release cycles are too slow; we would have regular beta releases every couple of weeks, but why wait so long for a new official version after 6 months? Many of us use mods and the game built on day one of beta releases anyways, so what's the harm in more rapid release cycles?

I also felt like the bug tracker was not being updated enough. There are those of us out here that really want to help, you could hand out some direct lines to the dev team, be it through a skype conversation, etc, so that those moderators can get feedback and help keep the tracker clean. Let the devs tell the mods what they are thinking of doing, and the moderators can put it in writing, acting as their liaison.

tl;dr More contact with the community, even if it's brief. You need MUCH faster release cycles, even with tiny bug fixes, and let some of the community help moderate the bug trackers and forums so you guys can focus more on your work.

Edited by Anticept

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On that note, your Arma release cycles are too slow; we would have regular beta releases every couple of weeks, but why wait so long for a new official version after 6 months? Many of us use mods and the game built on day one of beta releases anyways, so what's the harm in more rapid release cycles?

While I generally agree with you, this doesn't really make sense. I think you underestimate the overhead BIS has with creating an official patch. I't really needs to be stable without any regressions. Testing that simply takes time (by the community or BIS themselves). I think the current pace is just right, and buys them some time to squash a few more bugs in the progress.

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I do not know. Maybe it is not ideal, but compared to very popular kickstarter campaigns I feel we treat our users much better: there all you get is words for your money. We provide you with a lot of information from very advanced version of the game and also fully playable alpha. Yes, it is a way to collect money and feedback which was even more important than money, but is it cynical? I for one did hope the dev team would interact with the users much more directly but that still does not make the program a failure in any sense. Also, all contributors will get finished game with reasonable discount, I am not sure why out of sudden this is a bad thing for anybody.

That said, I am also not happy that the team did not take more active and agile approach and I am trying to understand it and hopefully improve.

A lot of people are mentioning the pathfinding issue as being the most critical one and I completely disagree. For one - I've played the game (both beta versions) in excess of 30+ hours a piece and although the pathfinding is not perfect it works. Worse case scenario I've experienced is a little babysitting that I have to do when a Walrus goes astray or a Manta flies into danger. However, the game goes on.

The issue that I've brought up and been very vociferous about is the "Game crashing on save" fatal bug that causes the game to either hang indefinitely or crash to the desktop. What doubly sucks about this particular bug is that it only seems to happen after I'm on the last couple of enemy islands and have invested 20 hours or more over the course of days and weeks. I've brought this issue up in the feedback tracker multiple times and been called out for my over use of CAPS owing to my inestimable frustration :mad: in regards to this bug. I stopped playing the first version of the beta because of this bug. And I played the second version of the Beta with the false hope that this bug was fully quashed. However, the game saving crash cropped up late in the game and I wasted so many hours trying to find a way past it with no success. So I stopped playing the second version of the Beta and eagerly awaited the 3rd version.....which never came ?!?!

While I'm not pursuing a refund.....yet....I do remain disappointed we haven't seen 2 or more (refined) versions of the Beta since version#2 debuted back in May.

All this being said - if the game ships with this game saving bug crash it will be a critical flaw that will ultimately doom the success of Carrier Command for Bohemia Interactive :eek:.

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I do hope they are working on CCGA in secret or this is going to be one extremely buggy release scoring a whopping 2 out of 100 on GameSpot. :)

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While I generally agree with you, this doesn't really make sense. I think you underestimate the overhead BIS has with creating an official patch. I't really needs to be stable without any regressions. Testing that simply takes time (by the community or BIS themselves). I think the current pace is just right, and buys them some time to squash a few more bugs in the progress.

This is outdated thinking. Unless some huge gamebreaking problem comes up, you only need a little bit of testing, then release it. Any problems that have cropped up since the patch, or those which were accidentally created during patching, can also rapidly be fixed by the next short release cycle. This way no bugs are left un-squashed for any length of time, and less time can be spent on QA and more time on fixing more bugs.

It is FEATURES that must be thoroughly tested.

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The console port was inevitable - this is a survival instinct on the part of the developer. Being PC-only crushes your chances of recouping. There are just not enough PC players anymore. Complaining won't change this. Unless you can find a way to get the world to start playing games on PCs again, nothing will. All you can do is be grateful this developer supports PCs at all, and try to help them make a PC version that is successful (vs. suffering the obvious and trivial yet game-killing faults of some console ports, often around mouse accel or other controls). Since this will be a PC-heavy audience (many older folks nostalgic for the original), this will be important.

Also, a small studio just does not have the resources to have the devs posting on the forums every week. You are in crunch mode to ship the game. This is just how it is - nothing can change it. What a lot of small studios do, though, is hire someone to be a community manager. Really cash-strapped ones draft a loyal fan in exchange for a small gratuity, perks, or simply the honor of having the role. Then at least there is more regular dialog, even if it is not the substantive "developer immediately apologized and did what I told them" fantasy that some people have? Food for thought.

The game looks incredibly well-realized overall. It's surprisingly loyal to the original in many ways I didn't expect, and the results are gratifyingly excellent. Many of the issues I'm seeing are beta-grade - little things that ruin the experience but are in the end, details - and fixable in a beta timeframe. Some of the problems that remain, however, look "alpha" grade rather than "beta" grade - pathfinding and AI are very difficult problems - not typically solved in less than 3-6 months - so I wonder about the ship date. I would hate to see the team shove a guaranteed failure out the door due to haste or budget problems...

I am glad to be able to pay now and get a build now, rather than wait till whenever it ships, if it ever does, and even more glad to be able to at least give comments and feedback. What they do with it, who can say? If you wanted a guarantee your feedback would be responded to, that would cost a lot more. :) You're coming into a project in progress and you never know what you'll get. No guarantees in early access, and there's nothing shady or cynical about what Bohemia has done here as far as I can tell. That's part of the deal. In fact, their willingness to give refunds says it all - very classy outfit.

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...

As many problems as there are with the beta version I have been playing, I have still had a lot of fun with it, and am really looking forward to the finished product. While some design decisions are quite disappointing (instanced islands. lack of control of how to approach an island...), it all still seems it might come together as a very nice game. The one thing that breaks the game the most at the moment is the pathfinding problems and the suicidal AI that takes over the moment you drop direct control of a nunit. If those can be fixed I think this will be a very enjoyable game even if the islands are instanced instead of having one big seamless ocean. I really really do want one big seamless ocean, but not having that is not going to stop me from enjoying the game.

I do hope that this game will do really really well. Well enough to spawn sequels or additional re-envisionings perhaps.

I don't mind the instanced islands. It might be even the better way to do it because it enables to generate a new map every new start and should make it easy to mod and manage new community built islands via a mod loader or similar into the game without having to patch them together into a working seamless map. Quite a lot of the rather long loading time after approaching an island should be a result of the automatic save point as well, an option to disable it would be nice for a more fluid gaming experience, but maybe the whole process could be streamlined a bit like starting pre-loading a near island.

Since manual control and approach of islands is actually possible in the 'tactical' zoom levels (the ones island are really visible) this part is a UI problem, together with manual control over the time warp feature. Maybe the loading/going into island instance distance could be enlarged a bit, it feels way too near to the coast.

I can't stand this command wheel as well but give me (customizable) key shortcuts for all of the commands there and I'm happy though. The AI is bad, although it does result in that old CC feel trying to steer and command everything at the same time. ;) The real game breaker is the trouble with saving, there are not much worse things than loosing progress all the time while actually trying to save.

Controlling everything at the same time, that brought a wish up: I'd like some 4 screens in one screen to view, either, the video feeds of all mantas/walrus/defense cannons, or a customizable selection, at the same time.

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The last two paragraphs of tortoise, I liked. Wonderfull suggestions, that one with the 4 screens in one screen especially. I would like that very much, too.

The thing with time warp has been misunderstood by the creators of this Carrier Command. If you remember, the old carrier command did not had something like a time accelerator. Instead the old one worked as follows. You could increase speed near the island, at aprox. 5/6th of the scale of the velocity possible for the carrier. As soon you left the island influence, the velocity was increased fully and so shorten the time between the islands. This had the advantage to repair the carrier while moving. You could focus to repair the engine first and then with the help of the increased speed between the islands, you focused the repair crews to other systems of the carrier. That was the fun of the game. And it was not bound to the fuel on board, the capacity of repair to all units.

Well that was the old world....

I will not retire myself from this beta, altough I have problems with the saving, too. It is fun to play Gaea Mission in Strategy Mode. I will wait for the hole thing. Whenever it will be released.... I want foremost a stable game.

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I must say that I am very disappointed as well. There has been VERY few updates with progress made so far. However, I will wait it out, as this is BIS after all. It would be nice if devs jumped in here once in a while to say hello!

Dumbing things down for the Xbox wasn't a clever thing to do IMHO.

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Hello everyone, extremely sorry for the lack of communication from our end. We have been extremely busy fixing bugs and improving the game overall.

I must say that I am very disappointed as well. There has been VERY few updates with progress made so far. However, I will wait it out, as this is BIS after all. It would be nice if devs jumped in here once in a while to say hello!

We are preparing a new beta for release as soon as possible, so please try to be patient. Again, we really apologise for the lack of updates, as I mentioned this was due to sorting through all the feedback and implementing as much of it as possible. There has been a vast volume of changes since the last beta, so there is a lot to look forward to. I am a Senior Designer on the team, so if feel free to ask any questions and I'll try to help as much as I can.

Take care,

Martin Melicharek

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I was one of the early P&C'ers - and I have no problem with BI "keeping" my money.

For those of you who talk about gameplay being repetitive - yes - we have a VERY scaled down version. We knew that going in. But we also knew that the game was going to expand drastically when it went "gold". Why folks want to forget this fact is beyond me. Nothing was misrepresented - I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I liked what I saw so much I did the upgrade when it was offered. Bellyaching now because you have gotten tired of the "snippet" of the game you have is just plain silly.

I also appreciate that the CEO of BI has been paying attention to this - especially since he stepped up, acknowledged a problem and has worked (as demonstrated by one of the S. Dev's presence) to resolve it. Do any of you think you would see that from companies like Ubi, EA, etc? Heck no. The company cares - though I admit that they have been slack on showing it regarding this game.

On to the "buggy" issue - yes its buggy. Its a BETA - its gonna be. This is the group that gave us the ARMA series - do you really think they have been just eating donuts on our dime while waiting on the P&C funds to run out before they release the game? They are gonna get it right - it might take additional time - but its not like BI doesn't understand the idea of "patches". Seriously - stop whining.

Now they rightfully take the hits for not being responsive. They can't go back in time to fix that - but they are apparently taking steps to correct it. Lets see how they do.

I personally am looking forward to the new beta. Hopefully the bugfixes alone show major steps - and we can always hope they open up the gameplay a little for us too......

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I hope that a lot of suggestions will have been implemented and/or fixed by the time of the full release. If most suggestions have been ignored then that is terrible. If the suggestions have been looked at and discussed by the development team, then some acknowlegement would be in order. I believe a lot of people find the lack of communication upsetting. We want some feedback on our feedback if you will.

We have addressed as many reported issues as possible. Obviously all crash related bugs have been fixed as well, so the new beta release coming soon will solve all of these issues. In any case, issues like manually sailing to an island (which did not work) works perfectly now. You can tell your Carrier to move to any point in the strategic map, without the need to enter timewarp.

lack of control of how to approach an island...

It is now possible to tell the Carrier to float to any point on the island, not just the dock point. This was actually a bug, so it is now fixed. Personally the way I approach an island is by setting sail towards it, then interrupt timewarp when I'm getting close, and changing the course of the Carrier to the desired location.

The one thing that breaks the game the most at the moment is the pathfinding problems and the suicidal AI that takes over the moment you drop direct control of a nunit.

We are revising the pathfinding problems, as it is definitely something we would like to have perfected. Hopefully it will be in a state that everyone will be happy with.

I really really do want one big seamless ocean, but not having that is not going to stop me from enjoying the game.

I'm not sure I quite understand, as the ocean is entirely seamless. You can sail between islands manually without opening the map (or just setting a waypoint) and the only thing that will happen when you approach an island is that you will get a quick loading screen (as it loads terrain data and so on). Otherwise your position in the strategic map is quite correct. There was a problem (as I mentioned) that when you got close to the island it did not load (when sailing manually), but that has been resolved. So hopefully that is what you meant?

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We have addressed as many reported issues as possible. Obviously all crash related bugs have been fixed as well, so the new beta release coming soon will solve all of these issues. In any case, issues like manually sailing to an island (which did not work) works perfectly now. You can tell your Carrier to move to any point in the strategic map, without the need to enter timewarp.

This is the news so many of us have waited for. This MAKES the ocean "seamless" - its something that I can assure you the community (and the rest of CC:GM customers) are going to be much happier with! Great job.

So the important question is - when will we see the new beta? Given that the beta ends in a little over a week, can you provide us some timeframe?

Yes... We know - "SOON!"

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Soon means within the next two weeks, probably less. Please be patient.

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Patient is the virtue of quality !

Thanks for the enlightment.

I hope in future version /add-ons, to be able to manage the islands and spent resources on building infrastructures, defences, upgrading, etc the way I manage carrier.

I forsee this game has great expansion potentials.

Maybe actions of an open version of upcoming Beta (time limited gameplay perhaps) as long as a widely spread info to the media for that open beta will rise the customer interests.

My regards

Edited by Sungsam

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Sounds promising. Let's hope it's as good as it sounds. I was starting to think that this was a lost project, money down the krapper so to speak.

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Soon means within the next two weeks, probably less. Please be patient.

Would this mean the game is also pushed back a little? Seeing the release is scheduled for September and you will release another beta within said time frame I personally do not think its possible to maintain september as a possible release month?

And nope, I do not mind a delay at all.........I surely do not mind as I have still a lot to do :o

And I always think if its delayed it can only mean things get better! (depends on devs but in this case it means that)

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Excellent. I haven't posted much as I posted all my issues when I signed up, but I come back and play the demo every so often, and believe you me I am already very satisfied with the game and looking forward to the full release.

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Sounds promising. Let's hope it's as good as it sounds. I was starting to think that this was a lost project, money down the krapper so to speak.

Far from dead, the project is close to release. So don't worry, we will deliver as promised.

Would this mean the game is also pushed back a little? Seeing the release is scheduled for September and you will release another beta within said time frame I personally do not think its possible to maintain september as a possible release month?

We are definitely maintaining the end of september as the release date. A new beta build is being made so that players of the PnC program don't have to play a half-year old version, and so we gather extra bits of feedback prior to the release.

Excellent. I haven't posted much as I posted all my issues when I signed up, but I come back and play the demo every so often, and believe you me I am already very satisfied with the game and looking forward to the full release.

Very glad to hear that. We've been trying our best to make the game as close to the original as possible, maintaining the original's dynamic gameplay.

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Dram, that really sounds very promising. I am glad that someone of the dev team finally found the time to interact with the Beta participants. It is a very nice gesture to provide a new Beta client even though the release isn't far. But that brings up three questions:

1. Is the new Beta client still connected to a "beta job"? Do you want us to find and report bugs? Do you want us to give feedback at all? Or is the new Beta just a kind of a bonus to the P&C members?

2. Should you want us to report are we still supposed to use the Feedback Tracker? Will there be a better support from your side?

3. With only one month to go until release I wonder when you will go Gold? I guess that should happen within the next two weeks latest and it seems we even may expect the final game in the given two weeks... Can it be?

Edited by ScareYa
Post from 08:55 partially overlapping...

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With release this close I'm sure they will be just asking us to see how it runs and give them feedback any major issues that crop up, like crashes etc. I'll certainly be giving feedback on how it plays and whatnot, but at this stage all they can do apart from emergency crash fixing is tweaks.

Of course that's just my completely uninformed opinion :D

Edited by Suranis

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1. Is the new Beta client still connected to a "beta job"? Do you want us to find and report bugs? Do you want us to give feedback at all? Or is the new Beta just a kind of a bonus to the P&C members?

Any bugs found in the Beta will most likely be addressed in patches, as we are very near release. This may come as either a zero-day patch or a patch later on. Either way, hopefully there will be no bugs to patch :) As for feature suggestions and ideas, those will be taken in for consideration.

2. Should you want us to report are we still supposed to use the Feedback Tracker? Will there be a better support from your side?

The Tracker is probably the best. It was what we were using mostly. Unfortunately from our end we did not provide feedback for your feedback, but we are trying to improve that. In any case, the bugs reported there were addressed, even if we may not have written as much in terms of responses, for which we do apologize.

3. With only one month to go until release I wonder when you will go Gold? I guess that should happen within the next two weeks latest and it seems we even may expect the final game in the given two weeks... Can it be?

Yes that's correct, we are nearing Gold. As was said, the end of September is final, so any further fixes will appear in a patch, which is why any new feedback is of course highly appreciated.

With release this close I'm sure they will be just asking us to see how it runs and give them feedback any major issues that crop up, like crashes etc. I'll certainly be giving feedback on how it plays and whatnot, but at this stage all they can do apart from emergency crash fixing is tweaks.

We're dealing with a lot of PC-specific issues at this point, such as mouse-lag and similar things. Any that don't make it into the release build will be added in a patch thereafter. Fixed issues regarding the Xbox version will of course be featured directly on the disc, so we've dealt with these as much as possible. As is known about Bohemia Interactive, we do try to support our games as much as possible. :)

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Sounds great. Count me in!

Thanks for taking the time and making the effort.

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