The big shocker for Early Access/crowdfunding lately would have to be Doublefine pulling the plug on their first Early Access title — Spacebase DF9. The game according to them will move from alpha 6 to release in October with most of the planned features scrapped in favor of letting the players mod them in.
As you can guess, a lot of people are not happy about this failing from Doublefine, especially after the breaking up of Broken Age into two parts. Looking at its development and Doublefine’s response, there are important lessons here for developers on what not to do with Early Access.
Clockwork Empires: The Lovecraft steampunk city builder from Gaslamp Games has been on my radar since the first announcement. They’ve recently had their own version of early access dubbed Earliest Access for fans to get the first version of it. Since then the developers have moved onto Steam’s early access as they continue to work on the game. While it’s still a ways out, I had a chance to talk to Gaslamp Games about the development of it and the studio.
When we talk about classic RTS series, one of the best was Age of Empires. Developed by Ensemble Studios, the series took a more historical and complicated look at RTS compared to Starcraft or Command and Conquer. But what I find intriguing is how the series was the first to have actual Meta game progression predating League of Legends and Team Fortress.
Age of Empires 3 and Age of Empires Online both were developed this way with the former being the last game in the series from Ensemble and the latter developed as a free to play game with different philosophies of Meta game that are interesting to examine.
Let it be said that I do know how to multi-task. This week’s podcast, Ken and I managed to combine a developer interview, kickstarter spotlight and a game design discussion all into one. We were joined by three members of the studio Nova Heart Beat who are finishing up their first kickstarter for the game Spirit Siege.