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Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust

Facepunch Studios announces Riftlight, an arcade-shooter with some RPG elements such as character levels, abilities, and talent trees. The first devblog outlines how this will work, offers some screenshots, and a video showing the game's twin-stick style gameplay, which they say will support mouse and keyboard. As noted on Eurogamer, this has inspired some outrage from gamers upset that Rust is still incomplete, as Facepunch's zombie game remains in early access. Studio head Garry Newman responds to this in a new post explaining what's going on. This is pretty lengthy, as it covers a lot of bases, so this is just an excerpt:

There were a few things that kind of irked me in the comments about Rust. A lot of people said we gave up on Rust, and aren’t updating it anymore. Rust is getting updates very regularly. We even set up a twitter account that live posts when we commit new stuff. We are very transparent about that. I fully accept that this is our fault for not communicating the experimental branch properly, but it hurts when we’re working all week on it and people don’t acknowledge that.

Secondly the whole funding thing. People aren’t going to like my views on this. Some commenters have expressed their feelings that they ‘funded’ Rust and we’re running off with the money. None of this sentence is true. We funded Rust for 1-2 years before it eventually became what it is. You bought early access to it. When you buy a pizza you aren’t funding Dominos, you’re just buying a pizza. It’s true that the sales of Rust have been insane and we have stepped up development to suit, and I think you only have to compare the experimental version to the live version to see that.

Thirdly – the people who work on Rust are working on Rust. They’re not working on prototypes. That should be very obvious by the dev-blogs we post every friday.

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32. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 31, 2014, 20:37 Stormsinger
 
Prez wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 16:09:
Actually you ARE funding Dominoes when you buy a pizza. You are supplying them revenue they need to keep operating aren't you?

True enough. But funding, in that sense, is not investing in -any- sense.
 
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31. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 20:05 [VG]Reagle
 
Let me help summarize:

Garry Newman ...... "We’re running off with the money"
 
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I am MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH better now.
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30. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 19:12 Whiskers
 
Sadly early access will continue as long as people make money off of it. DayZ has continued to be on the top seller list for months. People vote with their wallets. You can buy early access and then complain it's not finished but guess what, they already got your money, which was their primary goal. There are genuine developers out there who care about their fan base, there are others who just want to get money and move on to the next thing. I prefer to buy games that are complete and not the idea of a cool game at some point down the road.  
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29. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 18:47 Cutter
 
As someone else said to the effect of a few weeks back, 'I'm done with crowd-sourcing/early-access. Sell me a complete and finished product or find another way to raise money, I'm not your parents.'

Everyday there's a story about a problem with at least one of these things and it's only getting worse. I agree the experiment is over - for some of us at any rate.
 
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"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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28. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 18:35 PropheT
 
Deathbishop wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 17:25:
I disagree. If you go to the Steam page, it tells you right there in the blue section. This early access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. They are telling you up front that the game can and probably will change, that's the risk you take with early access.

That's what I meant when I said people don't really understand or have a very different expectation (even when it's spelled out otherwise) of what early access is.

I think most people understand what it is, but comparing it to Kickstarter is the only way that it makes any kind of sense as to why it's a good deal for gamers and not just a good deal for the developers.

Any way you want to put it, though, when a studio ramps up their team and reworks their entire game that you already put money down for with that same money you put down, I think that the argument that you got a product and aren't funding their project is pretty weak.
 
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27. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 18:01 HorrorScope
 
It is interesting about how some of these play out.

"I got my $20 worth already".

We did. I have with 7D2D. But something still would feel off to me if that means it never really got finished or close to its promise. I do some of these EA's because it has a coolness seeing how the game develops and trying as it goes. But I totally want to be there playing the final version (thoughts when I'm initially buying) and not have to say "Well I have 150 hours into the pre-release and got my $20, but I'm done with it now".
 
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26. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 17:52 Tom
 
Well I got my $20 worth from the game a long time ago, but it sure would've been nice if they'd continued its development at least a little bit more. I don't know about this rewrite. Every time I fire it up I'm appalled by just how awful it is. They had something special going with the original version, a spark that was snuffed out and was never present with the rewrite.

But hey, maybe in another year or two they'll have proved me wrong and the rewrite will be a fun game to play. We'll see.

Scott Manley's video on The Long Dark was surprisingly compelling. That looks like it might actually be a pretty cool survival game. Single player only, but that may actually be more of a benefit than a drawback. I never imagined I'd like a survival game until a friend got me to play Rust, and now another one is on my radar... so at least I can thank em for that.
 
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25. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 17:25 Deathbishop
 
PropheT wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 16:42:
Quboid wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 16:04:
I think what he meant is that Rust is funded. They have met the budget they require to finish the game and presumably did so quite some time ago. At this point, people buying Rust on Early Access are buying a product, not funding a creation. The analogy doesn't really stand up to further scrutiny, as you say.

I'm sure that's what he meant, I'm just not convinced it's actually true when it seems the same as being a late Kickstarter backer who buys into a project after it has already hit its funding goal like you point out.

When the product that you got when you originally purchased an early access game may not even resemble what you get when it's ultimately finished, I'm not sure how else to justify taking the money other than selling a promise of a later product...especially since the original product tends to cease being available as the updates progress.

Prez wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 16:09:
Actually you ARE funding Dominoes when you buy a pizza. You are supplying them revenue they need to keep operating aren't you?

Kind of depends on how you look at it, but I suppose you could definitely argue that you help purchase the components necessary to complete the pizza and then they build it for you based in part on the funds provided.

The problem to me is that if you go further to make it like gaming, you gave them the money expecting pepperoni and they give you some uncooked dough to get started, and then deliver a cookie pizza a year later after telling you their plans changed.

Rust is the game that should have had the gaming press asking real questions about Early Access, after making millions based on a product they had out and then going back to the drawing board with all the money afterward...but instead, this.

I disagree. If you go to the Steam page, it tells you right there in the blue section. This early access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. They are telling you up front that the game can and probably will change, that's the risk you take with early access.

That's what I meant when I said people don't really understand or have a very different expectation (even when it's spelled out otherwise) of what early access is.
 
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24. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 17:25 HorrorScope
 
Tumbler wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 13:06:
So they announce a new game and rust fans are upset that Rust isn't done first.

Then someone at facepunch thinks it would be funny to tell everyone Rust is canceled? (But then in the article below that title explain that it's not canceled and working on more than 1 game is normal?

Well enjoy the PR you get from this. I'm sure that will help the new game a lot.

This. This is all PR and if they suck at it, then so be it. Buyers will adjust.
 
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23. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 16:42 PropheT
 
Quboid wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 16:04:
I think what he meant is that Rust is funded. They have met the budget they require to finish the game and presumably did so quite some time ago. At this point, people buying Rust on Early Access are buying a product, not funding a creation. The analogy doesn't really stand up to further scrutiny, as you say.

I'm sure that's what he meant, I'm just not convinced it's actually true when it seems the same as being a late Kickstarter backer who buys into a project after it has already hit its funding goal like you point out.

When the product that you got when you originally purchased an early access game may not even resemble what you get when it's ultimately finished, I'm not sure how else to justify taking the money other than selling a promise of a later product...especially since the original product tends to cease being available as the updates progress.

Prez wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 16:09:
Actually you ARE funding Dominoes when you buy a pizza. You are supplying them revenue they need to keep operating aren't you?

Kind of depends on how you look at it, but I suppose you could definitely argue that you help purchase the components necessary to complete the pizza and then they build it for you based in part on the funds provided.

The problem to me is that if you go further to make it like gaming, you gave them the money expecting pepperoni and they give you some uncooked dough to get started, and then deliver a cookie pizza a year later after telling you their plans changed.

Rust is the game that should have had the gaming press asking real questions about Early Access, after making millions based on a product they had out and then going back to the drawing board with all the money afterward...but instead, this.
 
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22. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 16:31 Dagnamit
 
Prez wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 16:09:
Actually you ARE funding Dominoes when you buy a pizza. You are supplying them revenue they need to keep operating aren't you?

But you don't get to tell them what to do with the money. It's the difference between a consumer and an investor, and where Oculus got into trouble. Kickstarter gives you the appearance of an investor, but the rights of a consumer. Now Oculus could have been more up front about that difference, but they were one of the first KS darlings, so they couldn't really know how it would shake out. Man, there's going to be some interesting masters thesis' written about this subject. It's a neat little grey area.
 
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21. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 16:24 Dagnamit
 
Deathbishop wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 12:41:
I think the problem here is a lot of people buy early access games without knowing exactly what that means. You're entitled to what you buy, namely alpha/beta access to a game that more than likely is highly unfinished. Somewhere along the way people have construed early access to mean the same thing as being kickstarted and that's not true at all.

I don't think this can be repeated enough times. Early Access is not crowdsourcing.
 
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20. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 16:09 Prez
 
Actually you ARE funding Dominoes when you buy a pizza. You are supplying them revenue they need to keep operating aren't you?
 
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19. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 16:04 Quboid
 
PropheT wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 13:55:
His assertion that buying an Early Access copy of a game is like buying a pizza is outright bullshit, when if I order a pizza from Domino's I'm getting as absolutely close to what I asked for as they can possibly do and a timeframe for when I will receive it. With a video game, you could be buying a pizza and a year later get something that only somewhat resembles one, or could just get an email from Domino's a few months after your pizza was supposed to be delivered telling you that they're still figuring out how to procure toppings.

It IS funding the game, because if it's just buying an unfinished work with no actual timetable for completion the entire process becomes indistinguishable from a pyramid scheme.

I think what he meant is that Rust is funded. They have met the budget they require to finish the game and presumably did so quite some time ago. At this point, people buying Rust on Early Access are buying a product, not funding a creation. The analogy doesn't really stand up to further scrutiny, as you say.

This is something that I've wondered about with a certain space game that has its own take on crowd funding. At some point, there's enough money to finish the game. Then what? Do they stop selling access? Fat chance, and I don't blame them. Do they expand the development to fit their income? That's so impractical it is virtually impossible. Do they hire more staff and rush development? That's at best inefficient and can easily be counter-productive. I can't see a realistic alternative to the developer getting rich and while I don't like Early Access, I don't see any reason to begrudge them. *As long as they finish the damn game in good time!*

(Massively stupid article presentation. Yeah, I'm sure no one on the Internet only reads the headline...)
 
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18. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 14:19 Whiskers
 
Maybe after enough early access games a.) turn out like crap, b.) never get finished, or c.) don't deliver on their initial promises people will stop buying into them.

I would be glad to see early access go away all together. I don't really find any appeal in playing a game that's not finished. By the time it's finished you might be sick of it and then you've missed the true experience.
 
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17. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 14:07 Ozmodan
 
A small shop like this loses focus fast when multiple titles are involved. I have Rust and I have not seen much in the way of any updates at all lately.

I think the Rust supporters have every right to complain, seems to me they have pretty much ignored Rust lately. Guess it is not bringing in that much cash anymore and they feel the need to put another game out there to gather more in.

I kind of knew that Rust was not going anywhere. Doubt I support any more of their products until they spend more time on Rust.
 
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16. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 13:55 PropheT
 
Slick wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 10:13:
you can literally never do anything right without dealing with at least a certain vocal minority shitting all over you in the gaming space. it's filled with indignant self-righteous children.

the only examples which change that dynamic are blizzard and bungie games, which people will defend with their lives. haveyou guys heard that Diablo 3 just decided to buff 2-handed weapons! PRAISE BLIZZARD AND THEIR 2.5 YEAR LAPSE OF JUDGEMENT. OR Destiny, have you guys heard that boarderlands is now in a post-apocalyptic hellscape setting, with less guns, less character progression, less co-op party members, and it's now called Destiny? PRAISE BUNGIE FOR DUPLICATING SOMETHING WE ALREADY HAVE THEN CLAIMING THAT IT'S THE MOST AMBITIOUS SHIFT IN GAMING EVER!

I love how you followed up that first sentence there with a perfect example of it in full practice with that following paragraph.

In the case of Rust, it's an Early Access game; the game isn't finished and is likely to change during development. That's part of the deal, it's what people bought.

If they don't like what's happening with it, though, that's also part of the deal. His assertion that buying an Early Access copy of a game is like buying a pizza is outright bullshit, when if I order a pizza from Domino's I'm getting as absolutely close to what I asked for as they can possibly do and a timeframe for when I will receive it. With a video game, you could be buying a pizza and a year later get something that only somewhat resembles one, or could just get an email from Domino's a few months after your pizza was supposed to be delivered telling you that they're still figuring out how to procure toppings.

It IS funding the game, because if it's just buying an unfinished work with no actual timetable for completion the entire process becomes indistinguishable from a pyramid scheme.
 
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15. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 13:21 Stormsinger
 
Dagnamit wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 10:06:
PHJF wrote on Jul 28, 2014, 09:28:
Are we crazy? Are we doing it wrong? Should every person in the company be working on the same thing? Should HBO make one TV show at a time? Should Warner Brothers make one movie at a time?

I'm just gonna stop there at the guy comparing his podunk studio to the most highly lauded TV network and a film studio that's been around for a century.

I don't think he's a making a direct comparison, just stating that every company has a lot of balls in the air at the same time and many revenue streams from different projects. He clearly feels that having a company with a lot on its plate is a recipe for success. Hell, that's how I would do it. It's a great way to keep people engaged.

Not just to keep them engaged, but to keep them employed. It's a better alternative than laying off 75% of the staff after each game is released.
 
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14. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 13:06 Tumbler
 
So they announce a new game and rust fans are upset that Rust isn't done first.

Then someone at facepunch thinks it would be funny to tell everyone Rust is canceled? (But then in the article below that title explain that it's not canceled and working on more than 1 game is normal?

Well enjoy the PR you get from this. I'm sure that will help the new game a lot.
 
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13. Re: Facepunch Announces Riftlight; Defends Rust Jul 28, 2014, 12:41 Deathbishop
 
I think the problem here is a lot of people buy early access games without knowing exactly what that means. You're entitled to what you buy, namely alpha/beta access to a game that more than likely is highly unfinished. Somewhere along the way people have construed early access to mean the same thing as being kickstarted and that's not true at all.  
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