Let me start this post with something real quick: these are my personal opinions on the matter and don't fully represent the entirety of my developers. Mainly because they are all asleep from being up till 5AM working about 20 hours straight on the next patch that we couldn't get out just yet until we were sure it didn't cause more issues. That wasn't some sort of banter either, just laying out the facts here.
I also know the letter was not finished.
I read everything on the forums. @Caboose700 tells us everything we miss as well while we're working through bugs. We know the issues, we know what needs to be worked on and we know how you all feel.
Crashes and major bug fixes have been our #1 priority right now. We can't make a great game if it keeps crashing so often or has 2D voice that where people can just easily ruin the experience of others.
Right after that, we want to improve the lobby. If you remember during the alpha we had a max of 40 concurrent players and we just barely were able to get them into the lobby together. It was really hard for us to test and gather input on the something that wasn't fully there. After having 1300 concurrent players - things had to be addressed quickly. We have been spending about 18+ hours EVERY DAY since the release of the game on fixing major critical bugs. Testing with 40 and testing with 1300 is quite a different ballpark. We're really humbled by that.
Anyways, enough about us and what's been going on behind the scenes. Let me answer your statements directly.
Early Access is the best way to get your word out on what is the most important aspect here. I could literally go through each feature and tell you why it wasn't put in the Early Access release one by one, but I can tell you it's not because we didn't want them in the Early Access. Time was a huge factor.
We aren't done with the game. Seriously, we aren't. We aren't done. I don't know how many times to say it. It will get there. Just hang in there.
The trello, in its current form, is all estimated stuff. I wanted to go through it more with the team after launch, but we've been REALLY busy with bugs. We haven't even had the time to get the Game Worlds on the Trello. We have deadlines in mind internally. Game development is a tricky thing to estimate for. You could say laser tag would take you a week, but it could take 3 weeks to fix one bug with laser tag before it's done.
In short, the Trello should be taken as estimates (as each list stated that) and it's going to be tweaked to meet the demands of the community. Use the voting system for it! It's the best way to move something forward or back!
So, I know this was a touchy subject, but I'm personally very glad we did this FOR NOW. Plaza is a mess and if we didn't have those games on the menu right now, people who don't know anything about GMTower would think the game is completely broken and empty.
We still want to keep the games on the menu, but we have an idea on how to keep the community aspect while keeping the games on the menu.
The games being on the menu helps with people who don't really care that much about the virtual world aspect and the community and just want to play the minigames. We can't really get them to care much about the virtual world in the first place and we shouldn't force them to.
Our solution, right now, is to make playing games from the menu generate 0 Units. I'm open to additional suggestions on how to improve this aspect of the game.
I think it's important to have when the Lobby is being hammered by players. I think it's important that a game should be playable at any given time.
I also think it's important to keep the community together, we just aren't finished yet.
This is just because the Peer2Peer stuff is still being worked on. The doors don't fully work yet and we had to disable Lobby to Condo chat due to some major bugs. We're working on it. Peer2Peer stuff is really difficult, but we have the best people working on it. Our next patch addresses a few issues with the Peer2Peer stuff.
Again, we only had so much time. If we implemented a game in the Plaza last minute without fully testing it and it broke the entire game, wouldn't that be worse? I think so. The casino is a lot harder than GMT as well because we need to ensure the payouts are legit payouts which is a very tricky problem to solve when you have so many different Plaza servers.
We worked really hard on what we could and after the major bugs are fixed (probably by the end of this week) we're gonna go back and start working on the games for the Plaza.
If you are talking about the backer rewards, they deserve their items because they're the reason we're even here with a game in the first place. If you aren't talking about backer items, I don't know what items you are talking about in this context.
The game is not finished. It's in Early Access. You'll have to be more clear what features bother you and how to improve them. We know a lot of things that aren't done yet and why.
Polls would be nice, just let us get out of this bug nightmare first. I plan to do one soon.
I am that representative. I read everything and I've been there since GMTower. PM me and I'll make your voice heard.
We plan to keep doing them, we just haven't scheduled it yet. Most likely will be next Friday the 22th or we could start this Friday if we're not all passed out.
I'll talk to the team and see how they feel. I'll make an announcement when it's decided.
We did have a 3-4 hour stream while we were launching the game.
Anyways, I look forward to reading the final letter. PM me and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have.