The Flock DEV UPDATE

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The Flock DEV UPDATE

Postby vogelsap » 06 Oct 2015, 13:43

Hey there everyone!

First of all, we would like to start off by saying we're sorry for the lack of communication the last few couple of weeks. We hope to clear things up with this post and explain the current situation regarding the Flock

To be honest the launch left us quite devastated and in a state of panic as we were trying to figure out what just went wrong. And how it came to be a game that had lots of positive previews, the backing of experienced devs and positive feedback on all the events we attended, but then have a disappointing launch. We truly believed we had a good game. Or at the least something passable. It hit us as a surprise to see the launch turn out totally different.

The last couple of weeks have been quiet because we have been attending several events where we were showcasing the Flock . We were attending Extreme Blue Expo, Tokyo Gameshow, EGX and INDIGO/Control Conference (these events were arranged and planned before launch).
We should've communicated something, or at least tell you guys we've been busy attending events. But we didn't and we're sorry about that.

However we’ve been going through a lot of the reviews and feedback looking at anything useful. And came to the conclusion the Flock is facing three challenges.

    1. Price vs content (we're not competitive enough)
    2. Bugs (the game isn't working properly on a lot of setups)
    3. Longevity of the game (people stop playing after just 30 mins - 2hrs of play)

Why did it all go wrong, couldn’t we foresee all these problems?

There's no denying or hiding this, we simply made some mistakes with The Flock. And before anyone wants to say "told you the population plan is a bad idea", we don't think that's the case. It's something we still and truly believe in and will stick with, even if and until it means the end of the game or company. We knew beforehand it wasn't going to be for everyone and we as the development team agreed that's fine, you're not forced to like or buy this.

1. Price vs content. Before we determined the price we asked other developers, Valve and our own friends for feedback regarding the price. We've done a lot of market research. Originally we wanted to launch for $10. However during feedback and research new information and knowledge made the price gradually increase to $17 as people (mainly devs) that played the game believed it was worth that price. This was all general feedback and everyone clearly stated that only we as the developers can truly know what the game is worth. We made the decision to go with $17. It's our own mistake.
Once the price has been determined, you can't legally change it within the first month or so. We also weren't allowed to do any 2-pack or 4-pack and we couldn't leave the buddy-key offer available after the launch window.

2. Bugs. The Flock started out as a student project and it's our first game. The lack of experience comes with it. Our core team exists out of seven students, of which three of us have recently graduated. Four of us are still in school, working part-time on the game. Other people being mentioned helped us out at some point or worked on the project for a period of time, but left the project.
We've tested on several setups and held a closed alpha and closed beta. The game works fine on all the setups we have. However we should've tested so much more, because clearly the game doesn't run properly on all sorts of machines.
We made the mistake to add extra stuff just before launch without properly testing.
We also weren't prepared for the Windows 10 launch.

3. Longevity of the game. Even after launch, a 'mixed reviews' on Steam and a 33 on metacritic we were still receiving amazing positive feedback on the events we attended in the last couple of weeks. This felt weird.
Researching this, made us realize we've been building an event game. Most feedback we implemented was gathered on these events, which makes it work really well on these occasions. We never had people sit down and allow them to play for as long as they liked and note the time they would get bored of it and quit playing. Even our alpha and beta were live for a limited time.
Also a lot of these gamers can see and interact with their opponents on these events which greatly adds to the experience.

So how are we going to tackle these challenges?

We're targeting Halloween (end of October 2015) to push a big update and face these challenges.

    1. With Halloween we intend to drop the price, with a sale to suit the game value.
    2. We’re taking a good look at the bigger picture regarding the code and are making careful decisions to improve the stability and performance for the long run. You can expect small improvements but most of the bugs will take a longer time to fix.
    3. We're working on a content update with a new map and several game modes to improve replayability.

We can't promise everything will be delivered on time, as we want to do it right and avoid possible mistakes. There are more plans for the Flock that we’ll be sharing in the near future. Hopefully this gives you more insight on our current situation. We want to thank you guys again for your valuable feedback, discussions, reviews and support during this rough first period.

Vogelsap
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Re: The Flock DEV UPDATE

Postby Godkyle » 17 Oct 2015, 02:52

This is great to hear. I really hope this game population grows substantially, as my one weekend in the game was not nearly enough for me.
The concept and theme are fantastic. More modes sounds great, I was always wanting multiple light bearers and larger games, possibly teams would really to bring this more into the mainstream and still keep the truly unique experience you have built here.
Excited for the future, stick with it, I'm one player you can count on filling the servers!
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Re: The Flock DEV UPDATE

Postby Hydre » 20 Oct 2015, 09:30

Realizing that there is a problem is a step in the right direction

I wish you good luck
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