Elemental: Why it’s important to get it right

Published on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 By Brad Wardell In Elemental Dev Journals

LostLibrary First off, we want to thank the users who are publicly supporting us on our regular and intentional delays of the beta process. We appreciate your support.

This blog is mainly targeted at the users who are contacting us privately telling us quit “delaying” or how important it is for the game to be released in August or saying that we’re being too perfectionist.

Let me address those issues with a bit of understanding about Stardock and its motivations.

Stardock is a privately held company. A lot of people don’t understand the significance of that.  So let me walk you through the ramifications of that.

1. Stardock’s success is not determined by the “timely” release of Elemental. Our software is pre-loaded on millions of computers worldwide. Our enterprise group (that makes MyColors and Fences and Object Desktop) is very successful. So we don’t have financial pressure on us to release games early.

2. With the above in mind, the release of other games is not going to be a factor on when we release Elemental. Our goal is to make sure Elemental is a great game and release it only when we think it’s a great game.

3. No reasonable person is going to argue that Elemental is like “Duke Nuken Forever” because there is an open beta program where people can clearly see the game progressing. We are confident that our beta group agrees with us on the pacing we have for the beta.

4. I believe with certainty that most beta testers will agree with me when I say that Elemental is significant in demonstrating what a modern PC-only (i.e. non-portable) strategy game can do.  It is important for us that it be done right and that means taking our time to make sure every step is done correctly.

5. And don’t worry, even when we believe the game is ready for release, there will still be plenty of people arguing that we “rushed it”. So you can rest assured that there will never be unanimous agreement on when it’s “done”.

6. We are trying our best to be responsive to user requests. For instance, we let new beta testers into beta 1Z rather than making them wait until Beta 2.  I just want to reiterate again though that Elemental will NOT be remotely fun until Beta 3. Anyone who tells you the game is fun at this stage should probably seek out help. Elemental beta 1 and 2 are NOT fun. If I discover something fun in Beta 1 and 2 I will endeavor to make sure it’s removed so that people aren’t spending too much time playing the game.