How much content is enough to launch to Early Access?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ryan, Oct 6, 2016.

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Is this enough content for launch?

  1. Yes this is more than enough Content...for now

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  2. Yes this is barely enough content... for now

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  3. No, I would like to see 25% more content before I spent $15

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  4. No, I would like to see 50% more content before I spent $15

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  5. No, I would like to see 75% more content before I spent $15

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. No, I would like to see twice as much content before I spent $15

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
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  1. Ryan

    Ryan Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey everyone, we've discussing this back and forth and I wanted to share our plans for what we intend to launch with so you can tell us if it's enough or if you would feel slighted at paying around $12-$15 for this.

    Price
    So first off, the price for Yore VR is going to be around $24.99 however for launch, and perhaps for a month or two after we will be running a sale somewhere between 35%-50% to bring the price down around $15 to compensate for the lack of content and reward people who are backing us early. As we add more content we will slowly raise the price up around $19.99 and hold it there until we reach another big milestone of content and features

    Launch Content
    Here's what we plan on launching with and what I'd like you guys to do is vote in the poll above if you would be happy with this amount of content in a VR game that you just purchased for $15 knowing full well that more and more content will be added weekly or eventually bi-weekly moving forward. Obviously we want more more more, and we will be developing around the clock adding more features and content but we want to get players involved early and also to prove that there is a demand for this concept before we sink months or years more time into something that maybe the community doesn't want. Lastly it will be very nice to have a revenue stream coming in so we can hire 5 more developers and exponentially speed up development, setting our sights higher and higher.
    1. Open world - A semi large area, complete with trees, rivers a lake, waterfalls, houses and a pub, complete with 100's of sounds, for you to walk around. Not really a feature but it's certainly a notch above what you find in most releases
    2. 4 Crossbows - 3 unique reloading mechanisms to learn and a cool quiver that holds your bolts which you can position on your hip whereever you like
    3. 1 Bow/Arrow - Home made bow, quiver of arrows, same positioning mechanism as crossbow quiver
    4. Shooting Range - A archery range for projectile weapons that has a timed game to see what kind of high score you can achieve in 30-60 seconds. High scores are kept for each weapon so you can practice and try to beat your previous best
    5. Archery Juggling - Similar to what you see in Bow Slinger. Apple is toss up in the air, each hit you land bounces it up and your goal is to keep it up as often as you can. Difficulty level determines fall speed and distance away from you the apple launches
    6. Horse Shoe toss - Same fun mechanics as in real life, team game so you can swap the headset and play as a group. Difficulty levels determine how far away the pegs are.
    7. Resource Gathering - Take an axe and chop down any tree in the game, or a pick axe and go harvest Coal or Iron. Remember to bring your cart so you can load it up and bring it all home
    8. Smelting - Semi realistic smelting system where you load your smelter up with goal and ore, work the bellows and form a bloom that then needs to be hammered clean and re-inserted to be melted down. There are a few things that go into the quality of the final ingot that is eventually poured such as the temperature of the bloom when it's being hammered before being melted so you'll need to pay attention to the visual cues and practice at getting it right
    9. Blacksmithing - Semi-Realistic blacksmithing sim, where you take your ingot to the forge, heat it up and hammer away. For launch swords will be the only item that can be crafted however type of sword that is made will be based on your blacksmithing skill. This is calculated based on the quality of the ingot produced at the smelter as well as the accuracy of your hammer strikes, the average temperature of each strike over the course of the blacksmithing process and perhaps the velocity of the strikes themselves. Visual cues will happen to tell you if you are how you are doing which you'll need to learn to improve your skill.. There will be 8-9 blades available so it should take a while to hone your craft enough to be able to produce the most bad ass of the bunch. Eventually we will be adding additional layers of skills to learn such as properly quenching your steel and other hardening techniques but not for release
    10. Hunting - In the end hunting will obviously be done for good but in the beginning we will be turning it into a game of sorts where you press a button and the deer population of the level is reset. You have X amount time to hunt and your score will reflect how many kills you've made. In the beginning the deer will have a rudimentary AI system which we will evolve over time
     
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  2. Ingeneering

    Ingeneering New Member

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    Reading through it, I have a few thoughts:
    1. If the full game is everything you've listed here but fleshed out and polished to an acceptable standard, I think $25 is too low for a VR game of this scope. I would say $30 is more appropriate. Games like Audioshield are in that $10-15 range where it's really just one mechanic over and over, so you're above that. And games like Fantastic Contraption and Job Simulator (if you didn't get it as part of the initial bundle) cost $40+, but they have lots of things like voice over, art assets, etc., and Yore VR might be just under that. Personally, if we were to warp forward in time a few years to when Yore VR is complete, I think I'd pay $30 in today's dollars to play it. However, $15 for the early access price is spot on, I wouldn't change that. Raising it to $20 after the initial "sale" makes sense too. Plus, the $30 price tag can always vary depending on consumer demand.
    2. For launch content, I'll break down my thoughts as per the points you made:
      1. Depending on what you have already created so far, and what takes you a lot of time to create, I would not worry about creating as many environmental "landmarks". Example: finding one waterfall is special, finding the second is not as exciting. And if a waterfall takes a lot of time to create, I'd rather that development time go towards something like a pier or a boat launch at the lake instead of just a lake. Or instead of multiple pubs, how about more settlements or campsites/clearings that you can find along the way? After having spent 40+ hours playing No Man's Sky (I don't want to get into it), I'd rather see one of something special, and see more interesting tidbits on the way to the landmark, than seeing multiple landmarks that look alike (which at this phase of the content, art assets may be limited). It really opens up the imagination of the player to think "oh man, when this game goes live, I'm totally going to look for a nice clearing to start." Or "a boat launch or lakeside cabin would make a pretty interesting starting point because when they add fishing it'll be perfect!"
      2. A variety of weapons always helps. It also helps to multiply the amount of entertainment someone can get out of the Shooting Range, so I think this is brilliant.
      3. See #2.
      4. See #2.
      5. Maybe have high scores tracked per weapon like in #4?
      6. This is pretty awesome. Although, maybe this has been answered before, but will there be online multiplayer available?
      7. For someone like me, who has spent 100s of hours mining in Eve Online, or Farming Simulator, this alone would keep me entertained for weeks. Is it possible for the creation of container system to store it all? Either a specialized pile pad that automatically arranges and stacks the logs/coal for you?
      8. From the website, this looks like a major feature that you guys are pushing, and I think this is right where it needs to be for Early Access, brilliant.
      9. See #8.
      10. Looks good.
    3. I voted that the game needs about 25% more content prior to Early Access, but I'm thinking not as myself (b/c honestly, if you let me chop down trees and just build planks of wood, I could do that for hours), I'm thinking for the prospective gamer. Here's what I think would be necessary to be in game prior to going Early Access:
      1. Map/minimap or navigation UI in place so that the player can see where they are and such. Maybe the idea of being able to plop down markers or put signs down in game? Sure we'd get lots of "Lake Dickbutt" but that also drives chatter when stuff like that hits Reddit and people inevitably ask "what game is this??" It's not overly complex, and it's basically a "here's what you will eventually craft and place items in the world."
      2. Craftable things involving lumber. It doesn't need to be fancy, it could even just be like Don't Starve Together (in that, wood -> poof of smoke -> crafted item) for now, but I think the new player will say "that's great that I cleared the whole rainforest, but what do with it?" Which leads me to my next point - suggested ideas for wood craftable items: arrows and bolts, rudimentary chairs, tables and fences. In the shooting range or the archery juggling, ammo is infinite, so you don't have to worry about crafting arrows before you can fire them, but if you fancy going out and doing some "live target practice" there's a great deal of satisfaction from crafting your own ammo, and then firing it. In the same vein as "Lake Dickbutt", you just KNOW someone is going to use the fences to try create a maze for deer. In my opinion, craftable things is not about how high res they look, or even what strategic use it has in game, it's about the rewarding feeling of having CREATED something yourself. I think this is the key type of rewarding feeling you want Early Access buyers to have, and to do that, they need the tools to create their own fun more than they need set pieces of fun already in place.
      3. I'm not sure if it's already implemented but a save state needs to be implemented so you can always come back to it, unlike arcade style games like Nvidia VR Funhouse or Audioshield.
      4. It's not very sexy, but a rough tutorial is necessary so that new players aren't frustrated and immediately put down the game and go on Steam to complain that they spent $15 and all they did was walk around the forest.
      5. Early survival elements that can be crafted. My expectation of Early Access is that "here's the skeleton, and we're adding more and more meat to it." To that end, if the game is to have survival themes to it, let's see a few of them now. They don't need to be complex or look pretty, but even things like being able to build a campfire with some wood and stones (and by rudimentary I mean, go to clearing, there is an assigned "pin point" where a camp fire CAN be made (maybe make it 50% transparent), and then the player deposits the required wood and stone and a fire is made. Same with a tent or a lean to.
    These are just my two cents. Overall I'm super excited for the game, and am blown away by what you guys have already accomplished so far.
     
  3. mxe363

    mxe363 New Member

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    hmmm tough question.
    so... i just recently bought and played no mans sky. that game was absolutely great for the first 5 hours. but as soon as the initial awe wore off i was left wondering "so what is there to do?"

    so i ask this question of yore as you have lai: what is there to do? or more specifically what is there to do that will keep me coming back over and over again?
    there seems to be a nice collection of mini games at the moment, the archer jugling sounds cool and i can imagine wasting some time with that, but a bunch of them kinda look like one then done activities or places to learn and experiment with stuff. the horseshoes and bows are basically a staple of Vr and dont sound like much of a selling point.

    which leaves blacksmithing and crafting and i believe that that will definitely be engaging for the first little while but once you make a blade you will get the question of "now what?" at the moment the play loop sounds like, go out and get resources, come back to base, craft. once crafting done check to see if you did a good job. if no then go out and do it again if yes then you are done. you beat the game. stop playing.

    so basically if early access were a skeleton, i would say that you have some evil glowing eys with the bows, cross bows and horsoes, some sturdy arms and legs with the resource gathering and tool crafting but there is no real back bone to this game yet and i would avoid early access entirely untill you figure out what that backbone/ core game play loop is and implement it. i need a reason as to why i am doing what i am doing. why am i crafting a sword if there is no one to stab, why would i gather logs if i already have houses?
     
  4. Ryan

    Ryan Moderator Staff Member

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    Instead of comparing Yore's $15 early launch to that of a multi-million dollar $60 PC/Console title I am comparing it more to what else is coming out or has come out right now. For example, when H3VR came out it was a couple guns, a table, some targets and an exploding hotdog, but every week he delivered an update and added more and more content until we have what we have today.. So my question is, how much is enough to satisfy people for 1-2 weeks until the next update comes out with more content as apposed to how much is enough if people we're buying this under the impression that this is all they'll ever get and at most it'll get polished over time. Do you think most players will see it as the latter and be pissed or do you think there is a way we get through to them that this is a taste of something that is going to be growing and growing over the next 6-8 months?

    Because I see stuff like this: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=763557997 which is set to come out in a couple of weeks, which means what you see in that trailer is essentially what you get and I think we are doing pretty good for ourselves

    That being said, this is coming up enough from people that we certainly need to look at it and put some thought in this.. I'll post some ideas in place here after 4 hours of internal meetings with the team about how we can infuse some purpose into the activities in Yore
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  5. Ingeneering

    Ingeneering New Member

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    Hmmm that is a tough call for sure. I've seen some of the updates on H3VR but didn't buy it yet. I've asked my friends who have the Vive about this question and this is the result of that discussion:
    1. The way H3VR makes sense because they were never making a game but really just a shooting gallery. There's no real point to it other than that.
    2. Because YoreVR will eventually become a game, they feel a base framework is required to know what the game is about and what we can expect.
    3. I think mxe363's comment about ensuring that the core gameplay loop is in place prior to early access. Ultimately, if the content doesn't close the loop on what can be done, waiting for the next update might see them stop playing for periods of time, which is detrimental to maintaining a community generating more word-of-mouth. And when I say closing the core game play loop, it could be enough just to build the most rudimentary of villages or furniture. Heck people can create towers of chairs like in Crysis where one guy spent hours stacking explosive barrels and then exploding it just to see if his frame rate would drop when the simultaneous explosions happened (spoiler: his computer crashed haha).
    So all in all, I think I'd be leaning towards wanting to see the core gameplay loops and a full bare bones framework rather than the H3VR model. Just my $0.02.
     
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  6. mxe363

    mxe363 New Member

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    hmmm i definitly never thought of it that way.if you hope to update bi weekly (and from the leaps and bounds you guys seem to make in the dev logs, i have no reason to doubt that you can pull it off) then your plan is probably pretty damn close to being ready for EA. i just think you guys have not quite found the core of your game yet (that or i am not seeing something). you just need your exploding hot dog. and as far as comparing you to no mans sky, i think you guys are selling yourselves short. you probably already have more game play then that game XD
     
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  7. Ingeneering

    Ingeneering New Member

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    "you probably already have more game play then that game"

    ZING!

    Sigh, too bad I bought that game and got suckered too...
     
  8. Morndenkainen

    Morndenkainen New Member

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    Truthfully, i'd say if a person KNEW you were going to update the game and add content on a regular basis.. (Space engineers does a weekly update) Where the game is at now, is justification for an EA launch. I mention space engineers, because despite the fact that not every patch changes something visible, it's a regular, constant, and watched for weekly update. Everyone knows it's going to happen. That certainty that at least "something" is going to happen next week is a big part of what drives SE's fan base. The other thing that drives their fanbase is the "dream" that the game will evolve into something bigger...

    In that regard's, I'd suggest...
    1. Crafting that combines iron and wood. Axes, etc... Perhaps a shovel or a hoe?
    2. You really seems to want to go in-depth with crafting. Add some armor recipe's perhaps?
    3. Something to do with weapons besides shoot deer. Humanoid NPC's? Bandits? - Survival games feel really empty most of the time with no one to interact/trade/fight with.
    4. Deer ought to give you something for the effort of killing them. Meat / Hide. - Meat is a good way to introduce cooking, since you already have fire, and hide... Leather armor perhaps?
    5. If you've got a shovel or hoe, perhaps terrain deformation or at least tilling the soil is in order? Why not let people dig? It sounds like your already going to allow mining.
    Planting food becomes a real possibility at that point.
    6. Someone else mentioned more lumber recipes.. Why not have prefab structures to build? Walls, a buildings, etc. It could be as simple as Life is Feudal's premades, moderately complex ala Ark survival, or as in-depth as minecraft, where you build everything one block at a time.

    Then again, there's the holy grail of games like this, in VR.. Character customization and multiplayer... No one's really done it yet.

    Is the game ready to release? I'd say yes, but you sound like the type of person who wants to add just "one more thing" before you release it. My suggestion is to release it as is, and start doing regular (monthly or bi-weekly) updates to add content or fixes.. Make it a regular thing, and people will see you're serious about developing the game.
     
  9. Ryan

    Ryan Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, fantastic advice all around, we've pushed back the launch by at least a week in order to implement exactly that and then likely another week in order to QA, test and refine. I will post another thread along these lines with the new roadmap and see what you guys think.

    All of these are on our bucket list without a doubt but I can honestly say that for Early access we would be getting to a limited version of #1, limited to crafting swords. A limited version of #4, probably limited to just killing for sport in the beginning, making it a challenge though and a very limited version of #6 where you must gather a certain amount of wood and maybe stone, place it into a construction zone and have a building spawn in front of you.
    When it comes to a full #1 or #2 mixing multiple ingredients and using recipes, that's a 3-6 month system dev right there for a decent prototype and another 2-3 months of QA and testing so not feasible in the short term but something we are already building the foundations of as we speak.
    #3 is going to require a health, damage and combat system, something that we haven't touched outside of target practice just because crafting has taken precedent to everything else. However I definitely know how much more exciting it is when you introduce danger and that most players just want to bash some heads with a mace so we will be bringing on aboard a dedicated dev to handle just the combat immediately after EA
    #4 - Skinning and harvesting meat are in the cards, we want to work on our food/cooking/hunger system first so there is some reason to harvest the meat.
    #5 - We actually have our hands on a beautiful Voxel engine, however Unreal is not a great engine at all for this sort of thing so I can honestly say that real world deformation is probably not going to happen for a long time.
    #6 - Life is Feudal, Reign of Kings, Rust or Fortnite are good examples of what we strive for, but in the beginning it will be prefabs that you stack resources into and then have to perform some activities, like hammering them to build them up..


    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  10. Morndenkainen

    Morndenkainen New Member

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    The prefab idea is great. One other thing I'd suggest, (Although my knowledge of coding is VERY limited) which would definitely drum up some pretty rabid support would be a release as you develop model. By that, I mean when you're going to release a new item or a building, you don't have to release one with fancy texture maps and great looks to it right away. A rough tile/cube, with an item name on it and highlighted interaction points would be sufficient for adding things like meat, leather, wood boards, a saw, or butcher table, etc.. Buildings could be roughed as well That would allow you to develop the sub-systems and get them in place and ensure they work, but then come back later, and polish the resource models itself. That could help keep you focused on getting the sub-systems done, and show the people buying the EA versions that you're serious about putting out a finished product. (Even though they're unfinished and stand out like a sore thumb, like a cube that says meat, a workbench that's just a large brown brick with a text name on it, a hammer that's a brown cylinder and grey brick etc.) without getting bogged down on the models. It also allows you to go back and update the item models as you find the free time to do so without having to change anything else. Building a nice model for a resource is relatively easy, but can be very time consuming. Any idiot, Heck, even I can make a 3d model of a hammer in Blender in like 10 minutes. Block + Cylinder/ apply merge, and color. But making code for a whole sub-system in a game without breaking anything else? That takes time and focus, which should be more of "How well does this work and can I make it better?" and not split up on "SQUIRREL!!! How pretty is the model for this?". Plus, it gives you a chance to give your mind a break from coding for a week and update models from time to time. Which is a huge visual indicator of progress.. "Hey, remember a few weeks ago when all these were just rough blocks, check em out now!"

    That's probably the biggest hold-back of people buying into EA games. New developer, no reputation, why should I buy in, how do I know they're going to actually finish the game? Once you have that part beat, you're gold.

    As far as voxels go.... Plenty of games do fine without them, but if they can be added. That could make for some truly awesome experiences... But given the choice, I'd honestly say friendly/neutral/hostile NPC's would be far more important.. It's amazing how dull a game can become without anyone to interact with. Even if they just walk around, interact with a workbench or stand guard somewhere, and then walk back to their bed/house...
     
  11. Harry_T

    Harry_T Community Manager Staff Member

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    You'll be happy to know @Morndenkainen that you will find a friendly skeleton dude waiting to chat with you now! I agree with you on the placeholders as benchmarks and proof that more development/updates are coming. Are there any game in EA that you can think of that do this already? Or are there any other small ways that devs can earn trust from the community in your opinion?
     
  12. Morndenkainen

    Morndenkainen New Member

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    @BmoreCurrant Honestly, trust is earned, not given. It's one thing that just takes time to build up. The best thing you guys could probably do in that regards is a live stream broadcast of where the game is at and what the game looks like in it's current form. If you can do it even once a month, you'll get a following, if you do it weekly, you'll get a bigger one. Livestreaming allows people to see what's going on as you demonstrate the development, gives them the opportunity to comment and question, and gives you the opportunity for some instant-feedback. Also, some you-tube videos of where you started off at, and progression of where you're at today are always nice, even if it's just a couple guys in a room on one half of the screen and the game on the other.. Of course, if you shoot the video in your office, that also shows you're not just sitting in a basement waiting on a pizza. The thing you have to fight is a gamer's attention span and the need for "new". That being said, it also provides a good opportunity for an occasional prank on an unsuspecting dev who's busy demoing the newest features added to game. And it entertains the rest of us. ;P Just remember to post the link to the livestream, as well as the date/time you guys select for it somewhere obvious.

    The downside to livestreams and videos is they take time away from development/programming because you have to set them up and schedule them.

    As far as EA games using placeholders... I can't think of any by name because most EA games are trying to pump out as much finished content as they can as quick as they can, which is why they seem to end up releasing fix after fix after fix. There's no reason not to be the first to try building the item and backend framework and then polishing the models. Especially in VR, which, lets face it, is currently still "a first" as far as developing games goes...

    What I will say though, is that several major titles use placeholder items. Just think of the things you can spawn in with a game like Skyrim or Fallout4 through the console system. Not everything can be found "open world". Sure, they're little things, dev tools, quest or cheat items, but they're still essentially underdeveloped placeholder items, so the concept is the same. Here's a good article to read if you've got a minute. http://xnameetingpoint.weebly.com/placeholders-in-games.html

    Good, meaning it's a very short summary that gets the point across..
     
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  13. Harry_T

    Harry_T Community Manager Staff Member

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    Thanks for sharing! We've got dev vlogs and are going to keep em coming, but that's a good point about live streaming and talking about progress and where we started. I'll take a look at that article : )
     
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