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KSP development slowing


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With the way the API is built, it's essentially impossible to make a mod that contains any plugins compatible with multiple versions of KSP.  So, as a mod maker, I want to echo support for QA being thorough on the patch!  Even if they don't touch anything your mod uses,  you have to recompile, test, rebuild your distribution packages, update CKAN...  it's a thing. 

One thing we can all do to keep development rolling... buy the DLC!  The number ofpeople I see who bought a game on a STEAM sale for 15 bucks,  have gotten hundreds or thousands of hours of fun spread over years of their lives from it,  but declare self righteously they will not pay more than $4.99 for D LC and it better give them multi player is astounding. 

Development energy is not driven any more by excitement or interest.   It's driven by sales and budgets.   If the DLC is profitable, there will be more..  or a 2.0 game.   If KSP appears to be a money pit full of constantly dissatisfied fans... TT will cut their losses. 

My dream that will never happen for 1.4 or 1.5 or whatever the final release will be - involve modders in a deep effort to expose any bits they still want access to, and thoroughly document the whole API.  Then modders can continue to make the game fresh for years.  In the same way that all of the specific concerns in this thread - balance, wheels, and visual enhancements - are already fixed by the community. 

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36 minutes ago, artwhaley said:

The number ofpeople I see who bought a game on a STEAM sale for 15 bucks,  have gotten hundreds or thousands of hours of fun spread over years of their lives from it,  but declare self righteously they will not pay more than $4.99 for D LC and it better give them multi player is astounding.

Let's not forget there's a not so small percentage of players who bought the game, had fun blowing up rockets for a few hours, realized how "hard" it is to get to Mun, and never played it again.  Those players won't buy the DLC.  I'd love to know the sales numbers, but, alas, revealing such details would be disastrous for any game company.  At least that's what I'm told.

Edited by klgraham1013
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9 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

Let's not forget there's a not so small percentage of players who bought the game, had fun blowing up rockets for a few hours, realized how "hard" it is to get to Mun, and never played it again.  Those players won't buy the DLC.  I'd love to know the sales numbers, but, alas, revealing such details would be disastrous for any game company.  At least that's what I'm told.

It's likely over 2 million at this point. KSP is wildly successful in terms of indie games and it's not too shabby for what a major publisher can expect either. It's not a "niche" product in terms of sales, in other words.

This is Steam sales alone, not counting old store purchasers who never moved, GOG, and console sales.

http://steamspy.com/app/220200

When the DLC arrives, and if Steam tracks it differently than the game, I expect we might get a better picture of long-term players.

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I hope so.  The poor thing has suffered so much, it has earned its rest.

 

Over the last half-decade, I've seen KSP declared dead so many times.  They've called the family a few times, telling them the end was near.  They've repeatedly had to get KSP's affairs in order for the end.  A few times, they've even gone so far as to give KSP last rites.  There was also that time they were just about to start the autopsy and KSP managed to recover for a few more versions.  I mean, the poor thing's been declared gone and returned so many times, even the villains from slasher flicks are looking at and saying "Oh, come on!  Are you kidding us?"  It's time to just let it rest.

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Several versions back, HarvesteR posted an article explaining that the more is in the game, the harder it is to change anything and the longer it takes, because everything that depends on that thing has to be changed or at least accounted for. There's also been some staff turn over, and then a purchase by a new owning company. Both of those things slow the pace of the work that is getting done. And yet, when you look at the KSP version history, there have always been varying spans between versions and updates, and the pace of development hasn't actually slowed very much. 

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33 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

Let's not forget there's a not so small percentage of players who bought the game, had fun blowing up rockets for a few hours, realized how "hard" it is to get to Mun, and never played it again.  Those players won't buy the DLC.

I'd expect a fair number of those folks to buy the expansion because the marketing videos look fun and the reviews are positive, same as any video game. Then on the Steam store page they'll be pleasantly surprised to discover they already own the base game.

Interestingly and unlike some other games' expansions, the mission builder sounds like it is not (primarily) endgame content, in that new players will be able to launch the game and pick a mission to try without having to advance in the current career mode. (Contrast with the often-requested outer planets expansion, which would add essentially nothing for the "Mun is hard" crowd.) As long as there are some low difficulty missions built in, there's a chance that some of them will climb the learning cliff and get hooked.

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7 hours ago, Kobymaru said:

no ambition anymore to make larger improvements.

I guess that would be the DLC(s). Can't say that I'm overly hyped about Making History, either, but then again: KSP as such is pretty complete -- it could still use a lot of polish and improvements, but I can't think of anything I'm truly missing.

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6 hours ago, Kobymaru said:

Actually I would prefer several small patches. Because if they are small, then the chance of compatilibity problems will be miniscule. So mod authors could just say "compatible with all versions from 1.3.0 to 1.3.99", and trust in squad that they won't break things with minor patches (anymore).

No thanks. Squad has a history of breaking mods on nearly every update.  I'd rather have less frequent updates with more functionality, so that we have time to enjoy the game, and mod makers have a chance to PLAY the game between releases. The slowdown is a good thing.

Regardless of what any of us prefer, the dev team and product was just acquired.  That means a boatload of meetings, time for people to figure out changes in taxes, insurance, benefits, and lots of other corp-related things that mean time not developing / not QA'ing. This is entirely expected, and likely temporary - Take Two will want to see results from their new employees, so there's going to be work being done.

Honestly, I think I could play 1.3.2 with mods for the foreseeable future, and be quite happy.  I think I paid maybe $40 for this game, total (I bought it twice - once standalone for $17, and again later on Steam), so I have more than gotten my money out of it.  Hundreds of hours of game play (probably over a thousand) for way less than $100 of my money.

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2 hours ago, regex said:

What makes you think a flame war is going on? Were you hoping for one?

no not at all, i saw people saying that it has and hasn't and thought it could be considered a flame war by some

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14 hours ago, Kozak said:

no not at all, i saw people saying that it has and hasn't and thought it could be considered a flame war by some

Technically speaking a flame war is when an online argument devolves into personal insults.

What we have here is just regular old disagreeing with each other.

Which is fine, if we all agreed; what would be the point in talking about it?

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Personally from my perspective (4 years by this point buying back in .19) development has just become less hyped, not slower. Squad has become less and less proud of their product to the point they only release what they have to. Since it left being a personal project of a few impassioned developers, the press releases and activities led by Squad has waned. Slowly it went from a fun project (that exploded in fame) into a chore.

They don't take any personal pride in showing their work off. However I can understand why this could be. Largely because it's their own damn business, but also because especially in light of the 1.0 release, impressions and expectations were let down with the excessive bug fixes and updates to get a (mostly) working game stable again. Not to mention after their plunder that was the console release, it's understandable why their confidence and pride in KSP has waned.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that Squad is looking towards a sequel (ahem, version 2.0 in my eyes) with the backing of T2 now. It would be insane to consider funding a project for the sole return being PDLCs (it is not an expansion). Especially when free mod content can compete with the best the official PDLC content can offer. Not to mention they have even taken before that updates are a constant networking of older content to make it work.

The only logical future for KSP is a sequ- I mean new version. Then the issues brought about by Unity and the mess of part models (that I enjoy despite my opinion being the minority) and tangled maze of bug fixes for bug fixes of bug fixes for- bug fixes. It will be done professionally and likely built from the forefront to have PDLCs implemented as T2 likely knows that the original game will always remain as an anchor for mod developers and players alike and the only way to compete with the original title is to entirely surpass it in scope, offering and content. I feel KSP 2.0 will be moddable, but they will limit the range of what can be modded so they can continue to release PDLCs with little contest on it's own (best way to make money, monopolize the market). I would expect large mods like RSS/RO would become one of the first PDLCs for the game. All the while the original game would still be a champion of choice for greater modding possibilities and the fact mods users like are free rather than paid content. Even if they are somewhat improved.

Now personally am middle of the road. I personally am still debating whether I will or will not buy the new game. First impressions will likely be the driving force. As to the upcoming PDLC and funding Squad to make more content, again, personally I don't feel that the PDLC is worth it on it's own. Mod content provide enough in my eyes to warrant saving my money and simply downloading them. I have funded Squad by buying merchandise (shirts, mouse pad I'm leaning on to type this right now, my Jeb plushie to my right and behind me my 3D printed Saturn Shuttle). I have truly supported Squad in their path and I also am not too demanding. Multiplayer sounds interesting but I'm glad it's on the back burner. There's bigger issues to solve.

A simple way to remember this for me, is that it's Squad's toy that I paid to play with. I can comment on my thoughts and opinions on it but unless I want to pickup Note++ or Blender and create my own content to make what I want (as many great modders have), but the point is, it's only a toy I've bought to play with and it's functional and entertaining. I have gotten my moneys worth... ok maybe more than considering it helped give me a community to exist in and molded my future but the point is that I can only comment my issues. If I wanted to truly complain I could submit my resume and get to work fixing it.

 

Plus another factor to consider is the T2 merger has thrown everything out of whack. They are likely still in development but PR teams and management is currently in chaos as they change leaders, plans, methods and god knows what else (Kasper got out in the nick of time!). As a quick pan of the KSP website will show the entire merchandise section is empty aside from Kerbalizer (which I also bought) and KSP itself. This is likely because in the wake of T2's takeover a lot of the existing agreements and terms with the sellers were void and are currently being remade (As user RudyLime from Shapeways has even explained to us- NEWS- Shapeways will return to print models). So any announcements will have slowed down as they get used to the changes and updates that the T2 merger brought with.

 

Please note everything said here is solely an opinion and based on my personal experiences.

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25 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

I would expect large mods like RSS/RO would become one of the first PDLCs for the game.

RSS/RO cannot become a paid DLC because it is not released under a marketable license and it constitutes the blood, sweat, and tears of multiple modders in the community; Squad can't simply grab all the constituent mods and say "Here is a paid package". And they cannot do a DLC to the standards of and with the detail within RSS/RO on their own as it represents far more person-hours in labor and research than you understand. The attention to detail within RO is astounding. Squad would need an entirely separate team of people working for several years to come close to what RO offers. I added HTP as a non-isp resource used for the RD-107/108 to represent its use driving turbopumps and correct the missing burned mass in my tanks last year, for instance. It took me an hour or so of searching to find the mass flow of HTP through the catalytic decomposer and another hour or so to test it before it could be put into the game. Contributors to RO do this every day (that's right, I'm no one special here), nit-picking details to make sure things are "just so", and Squad simply cannot match that in a satisfactory manner to produce a DLC that will be widely lauded as "realistic enough".

Can they produce a realistically scaled solar system and parts that aren't ridiculously gimped for "game balance"? Sure, but they're not going to release something like RO.

Quote

Plus another factor to consider is the T2 merger has thrown everything out of whack.

It's not a "merger", Take Two literally bought the KSP intellectual property. Squad still gets to work on it, likely because they know the codebase and are making money. Efficiency and all.

Edited by regex
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4 minutes ago, regex said:

RSS/RO cannot become a paid DLC because it is not released under a marketable license and it constitutes the blood, sweat, and tears of multiple modders in the community; Squad can't simply grab all the constituent mods and say "Here is a paid package". And they cannot do a DLC to the standards of and with the detail within RSS/RO on their own as it represents far more person-hours in labor and research than you understand. The attention to detail within RO is astounding. Squad would need an entirely separate team of people working for several years to come close to what RO offers. I added HTP as a non-isp resource used for the RD-107/108 to represent its use driving turbopumps and correct the missing burned mass in my tanks last year, for instance. It took me an hour or so of searching to find the mass flow of HTP through the catalytic decomposer and another hour or so to test it before it could be put into the game. Contributors to RO do this every day (that's right, I'm no one special here) and Squad simply cannot match that in a satisfactory manner to produce a DLC that will be widely lauded as "realistic enough".

Can they produce a realistically scaled solar system and parts that aren't ridiculously gimped for "game balance"? Sure, but they're not going to release something like RO.

It's not a "merger", Take Two literally bought the KSP intellectual property. Squad still gets to work on it, likely because they know the codebase and are making money. Efficiency and all.

Point being, they will release mods to fill gaps that mods would normally (and easily) replace.

The merger aspect of my comment being solely poor wording.

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Ok, I've tried to remain quiet as long as I can. Firstly, we heard the exact same thing -

Oh, once they release 1.0, Squad is going to move on to other projects. KSP will be forgotten...

And I am sure a lot of the old-timers, especially those of us who have been around since .18 have heard these tales of KSP woe too many times to count. To be realistic, Squad has exceeded my expectations. With the 1.2 update, the game was playable, and in fact, while I do have 1.3 downloaded and am "tinkering" with it, I am still doing a lot of stuff in 1.2 until all of the mods I use are updated. In reality, I expect Squad to move onto another project after 1.3.X is released to tap down the remaining bugs. Anything else needed for the game can be done by way of DLC, which I have no problem doing.

There are games out there which are nearly 20 years old that are long-past developer support but are still played on a regular basis. An example of this is The Sims 3, SImCity 2K, Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, and literally a hundred more. So what if KSP 1.3.X is the last "official" version of the game? There will continue to be mod development, there will continue to be folks like me that continues to play it long into the future. Folks, calm down, don't worry, and just keep launching!

Edited by adsii1970
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On 8/6/2017 at 0:24 AM, artwhaley said:

Many games get a 1.0 release...  then a 1.01 patch a week later...   then a 1.1 patch six months later....  and... maybe a 1.11 patch a year later If some security flaw is discovered... and that's the game, whether it's fixed by 1.11 or not.  I think it's always worth remembering that the early access model and then the continued rollout of major improvements after the 'features complete' date is still VERY atypical.   We've gotten a lot more out of Squad already than you get out of larger studios for games that cost twice as much.

I DO suspect...  just based on the devnotes really... and the purchase of the 'franchise,' that we're probably not going to see MUCH except bug fixes for the core game in the future - that the new features and major gameplay things may well be DLC...  or saved for future installments in the kerbal franchise.  But that's a gut feeling, not based on insider knowledge or anything!  

Though I always want to point out in conversations like this what i said in the first paragraph.  While there are CERTAINLY things I wish they'd do still in the game, we have to accept that at some point management is going to say 'sales are no longer paying for development.   You guys are going to start working on something new.' and that this has been delayed WAY longer than we have any right to expect already, so when it happens we need to all cheer for them and eagerly anticipate the next project, not panic! :)  

Aye.

5 minutes ago, adsii1970 said:

Ok, I've tried to remain quiet as long as I can. Firstly, we heard the exact same thing -

Oh, once they release 1.0, Squad is going to move on to other projects. KSP will be forgotten...

And I am sure a lot of the old-timers, especially those of us who have been around since .18 have heard these tales of KSP woe too many times to count. To be realistic, Squad has exceeded my expectations. With the 1.2 update, the game was playable, and in fact, while I do have 1.3 downloaded and am "tinkering" with it, I am still doing a lot of stuff in 1.2 until all of the mods I use are updated. In reality, I expect Squad to move onto another project after 1.3.X is released to tap down the remaining bugs. Anything else needed for the game can be done by way of DLC, which I have no problem doing.

There are games out there which are nearly 20 years old that are long-past developer support but are still played on a regular basis. An example of this is The Sims 3, SImCity 2K, Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, and literally a hundred more. So what if KSP 1.3.X is the last "official" version of the game? There will continue to be mod development, there will continue to be folks like me that continues to play it long into the future. Folks, calm down, don't worry, and just keep launching!

 Aye. Been around since .23 and let's just say that I'm happy with where the game is. I'm still expecting KSP to be the main project for some years to come but in the form of DLCs

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On 8/5/2017 at 9:16 PM, Kozak said:

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that the development of KSP has slowed significantly, almost to a halt?
I hope everythings OK at squad

It probably has to do with something like 95% of the core dev team leaving all at once a long time ago (the great exodus) and being slowly replaced with new devs. Also Take-Two is probably doing some things under the hood now that they've come to own KSP.

In short: yes. Development has slowed down. Doesn't mean it's a sign of bad things to come, but yes, it's slowed down.

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37 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

If I wanted to truly complain I could submit my resume and get to work fixing it.

But if you do that, then you become a row in a management spreadsheet and work on what you're assigned. You would not get to work on fixing the old bugs that annoy you, at least not more than a couple of hours per week, because the dev priority right now is the expansion.

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My personal suspicion is that the reason (or one of the reasons) why we've never gotten a graphics update is because that's planned for KSP2--add clouds on the planets and revamp the parts and it'll look like a shiny new game, as anyone who's played with EVE or Ven's Revamp knows.

Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing, as long as there are other substantial improvements as well. Personally I'm still OK with the shift from free updates to paid DLC, as long as the prices are civilized and the promise of free DLC for pre-April 2013 purchasers continues to be kept.

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4 hours ago, HebaruSan said:

But if you do that, then you become a row in a management spreadsheet and work on what you're assigned. You would not get to work on fixing the old bugs that annoy you, at least not more than a couple of hours per week, because the dev priority right now is the expansion.

But at least I would be working on it. Rather than sitting on the sidelines throwing my rotten tomorrows. 

Edited by ZooNamedGames
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