I am constantly in amazement when I hear people complaining about things like games taking too long. Especially when you’re talking about building an engine to base your game off of. People look at AAA games and think that’s a workable timeline for EVERY developer. The reason why Call of Duty gets yearly sequels is because that developer has 200 million dollars to spend per game. Infinity Ward has 260 employees. Treyarch has 300 employees. Sledgehammer Games has 225 employees. I don’t know how many employees Senscape has, but I feel pretty certain they aren’t working with that size of a team.
Even still, for other companies, long gaps in development time isn’t all that uncommon. Valve released Half-Life in 1998 and Half Life 2 in 2004. That’s 8 years. Rockstar North released GTA 4 in 2008 and GTA 5 in 2013. That’s a 5 year gap. Blizzard released Starcraft in 1998 and Starcraft 2 in 2010. That’s 12 years. That’s even with BILLIONS going into the company. And then there’s the Mass Effect trilogy which took between 2007 and 2012 to complete, but bear in mind Bioware is a company with 800 employees. And Bioware’s games STILL are not “next gen” visually. Wasteland 2 still managed to need to be postponed by an entire year after their Kickstarter. The entire development of L.A. Noire was a harried mess and essentially drove people out of the industry due to 7 years of 60 hour work weeks.
This is just how games development happens. Timelines get pushed CONSTANTLY. This is NOTHING new.
Granted, these companies have other huge properties on the table but long development cycles really isn’t that uncommon. Hell. So far Senscape has had 5 years from when they first announced Asylum. It’s really a question of man-hours imo and asking Senscape to compete directly against THAT is just impossible. While I have the fullest confidence in this company to put out a good game, I don’t really get why someone wouldn’t be able to understand this very simple fact.
And that 100k in games development money doesn’t go very far. It’s a fair amount for Argentina, I guess, but I’m guessing it’s (sort of) comparable to the 3 million that Double Fine essentially burned through. Kickstarters have really given people a false idea of what games development costs. You see someone on there asking for 10k and you think that might be a lot of money, but a senior programmer in Argentina probably makes around $13,000 a month. So that 100k that Senscape received through Kickstarter has already been paid out for salaries. Of course, I don’t work there so I have no idea. I’m just spitballing estimates.
But any way you slice it, even if you’re able to stretch the money further, it’s only going to go so far. I really can’t imagine that it would have bought much more than a year’s development time.
And honestly I haven’t seen anything that makes me worried that they might have misspent that money. Senscape for all intents and purposes really does look like they’re working on their game. There are regular-ish updates. I’d certainly like to see maybe a little bit more, but as best I can tell, they’re pretty well into the development cycle.
Though I certainly think it was a little foolish to start up a new Kickstarter for Charles Dexter Ward when Asylum didn’t have a release date on the table, (especially asking for money to “officially license” was weird since H.P. Lovecraft’s stories are in the public domain), inXile/Obsidian didn’t wait to finish development on Wasteland 2 before they got their Torment Kickstarter happening. And to be honest, I think that’s a smarter way to go about things. Maybe Senscape’s art department is done working on Asylum so they need something else to work on. As long as it isn’t detracting from the game that’s already in the pipeline, doing some very basic concept art and design for a new game isn’t such a bad idea. Better than having your art department or whoever sit around doing nothing.
I’ve been waiting eagerly for this game since I first heard about it in 2010 and I really want to play it but I would rather wait until it was actually done than have it rushed out the door in an unplayable mess. Because that’s the worst situation this game could wind up in. I don’t just want a game. I want a good game. Especially since this is inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft and there are so few really good pieces of Lovecraft video entertainment out there.
And that, my friends, takes time. It’s like making a stew, really. You could rush it, but you’d just end up with a pot full of uncooked beef.
Sorry about the wall of text.