Push for more content vs go back and polish

Originally I wrote all this as feedback for the May 2020 Survey. But I thought this might be an interesting topic of discussion amonst the community.

At the end of the survey they asked for feedback and this is what I said:

Don’t forget to go back to aspects of the game that remain in a “I’ll come back to it later” state. The development cycle for this game from a fans perspective has been “Focus on this task > release it in a playable state > immediately move onto the next thing.”

Arcade is already getting this treatment. However what about other stuff throughout the years like casino, fishing and laser tag. Plus half the gameworlds are in an even worse state. Minigolf & Ballrace are basically finished games while Virus is a balance and laggy nightmare, ZM is missing bosses and weapons, LC needs to fine tune the dragons controls. (It feels really janky compared to UCH’s.), and then there’s the entirety of Planet Panic. (Not to mention all of these gameworlds listed lack in maps.)

All of these have been released in a “Good enough” state to either get very few updates/adjustments to none at all. Developments new focus is accelerate and I’m excited about that but I’m still concerned how much stuff is gonna remain in an unpolished state before this whole game releases with a collection of “Good Enough” attractions.

As mentioned I’ve been worried/concerned development focuses too hard on new content that everything else either gets pushed aside or abandoned. Is this something everyone prefers? Would you rather have content take longer if it means stuff we already have gets improved and fully realized? What do you prefer?

What’s something you’d like to see get updated / polished?

Apologies if this comes off as a ranty topic because that was not my intention. Just curious on what others opinions are on the topic.

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I mean… I can’t argue or disagree with anything. It’s all true. I think as long as the developers are testing and working on something for the players, and we’re happy with it all, it’s not too bad. It wouldn’t hurt to improve the stuff they’ve already released though.
Edit : Also, I’d like to add that when they fixed the problem with hole 11 on Treasure Cove, you’ll notice that the game just doesn’t play realistic anymore https://imgur.com/gSfUYCJ
I mean, I know they fixed the problem, but… come on.
(I’m sorry, but you’re gonna have to not be lazy and click the link :upside_down_face:

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I’m glad you brought this up because I’ve been thinking about this ever since ZM came out. There is still much to be done with the existing gamemodes and content. Same with fishing, it came out and it never really got touched much since. It’s not profitable, it’s baby easy, and you really just do it so that you can become a dolphin one day (which does make me go back). However, I will say that arcade has really impressed me. While it’s not necessarily completed, it’s very well made. The foundation is solid and lacks design flaws. I hope they can work on improving released content now that such a large update is released (in an early state). Or maybe keep adding more content, and spruce everything up here and there.

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Speaking of stuff that needs to be returned to, let’s not forget about the Odyssey and Jurassic Pork maps - they’ve been sitting on the Trello and have gone untouched for literally 2 - 3 years now with no (publicly reported) progress, and since then the devs have started work on and finished a completely fresh, new LC map + at least one new minigolf map AND several reworks of existing maps.

Pixeltail, please finish what you start.

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Well we also have to keep in mind that cycles of infinite refinement are honestly, not very creatively fufilling and probably don’t amass a pull or interest as much as new updates would. Believe me, I think revisions of old things are great but I think they have the right idea for now.

They are still going back to revise stuff, see lobby 3, all the minigolf map reduxes, etc. It’s just very hard for a small team to do, and you have to keep in mind what the playerbase thinks as well. They have been waiting on gamemodes like Accelerate or Slaughterday Night Live, or features like Community Condos.

Once there is a good amount of variety, I’m sure they intend to redo or revamp add more content to things as they go

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This was legit the same closing point I left at the end of the survey, but I didn’t even have gameworlds in mind. I can’t imagine the backlog of little stuff that’s been left in the dust.

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Virus issues are well known and we have internal bug tracking for it. We’ve been wanting to get back to resolving the major issues with it and add a new ending style, but we don’t have a lot of time in the day as we’re working on Accelerate right now.

ZM will get some new bosses, but also it just had a major update with the Village update that added a bunch of new monsters. We have more to do.

LC fine tuning will continue to happen, but I think it’s been hard to quantify what exactly feels off.


We still bring out new stuff with ZM, we just had a major update to it with Village and all the new monsters. We’ll be rolling out more changes and improvements soon. It’s hard to manage this game as we’re a small team, so we can’t work on ZM and also Accelerate as it’ll slow the entire production down. But there’s a bunch of plans for ZM that still remain.

I feel like Fishing is more or less complete. Some adjustments to gameplay can be considered and I’d love to do a Fish of the Day, but we put a lot of work into Fishing already and added so many different types of fish and unlockables. Not saying it will never be touched again, but I personally find it pretty polished over all, so I don’t really prioritize any work for it over other features (lookin’ at you Virus).

This is pretty much our operational goal. We’ll be putting out new content because we need the game to move forward - out of Early Access, but along the way we improve other features that are much needed.

This is really the only viable solution, sadly. We tried at least 5 different ways to resolve this (relying on physics, removing fps issues from physics, physic based splines, different collision models, etc.). The Unreal physics engine completely falls apart if you have low FPS or bad ping and there’s just not a better solution right now. We’d rather have the hole work reliably than fail to work half the time.

This is in the backlog because it’s technically challenging. Glow effects in Unreal 4 draw through the world, so I’d need to trace for walls which is expensive and we’ve been on an optimization spree. I’ll figure it out eventually. I have to make a shader that handles 64 players with different glows.


We’ll get to polishing more of the existing features again soon, but we also need to really finish the game and get it out of Early Access. That’s why we prioritize new features. We also try our best to make the new features have the least amount of bugs on release so we can get it into the nurturing state.

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doesn't even glow

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I think this is an awesome topic. I worry about this with certain areas of the game that are a little shallow or unpolished.

My thoughts on the current development cycle: Too much core content is missing to go back and flesh out existing content.

Whether its planned systems, entire gameworlds, or general features. This is becoming less true overtime, but the fact of the matter is if the devs go back and polish/flesh out what currently exists we’ll never see certain planned features.

Development is split between the Plaza, Gameworlds and Condos. As long as none of these get neglected for too long, I think the current development cycle is fine. The devs are also great at touching up areas that are tangential to new updates.

That being said, below are my most highly anticipated areas to be revisited:
Some of this is planned, but I feel is much needed.

Condos: Community condos are in the works so I’m sure some progress will come with this. The recent access to new animated textures and canvases has been incredible.

  • Activities in general. Currently socializing, streaming and basic sports have been the only activities with built in support. Players do a good job inventing their own activities but there could be so much more. Fishing, Crude PvP Support, anything.
  • Desperately need more condo maps. Especially Small-Mid.
  • Improved placement/building in general. I know its in the works but it’ll be such a huge boon.

Workshop Support:

  • Improved editor, support for more materials settings/shaders
  • Workshop wearables
  • Offsets are often unreliable, seats currently break all of my item offsets until I respawn.

Fishing: I expect this to get addressed with the ocean expansion.

  • @SpaghettiNick brings up some valid points. Without cooking there is very little reason to continue fishing.
  • Fish often spawn before the tank, resulting in them desyncing and flopping on the floor for guests
  • Fish AI is very basic, often turn sideways and clip outside of aquarium
  • CLEAR GLASS AQUARIUM PLEASE. Current aquariums scale poorly and can’t bee seen from above/below.

Virus: They actually sneak polish into Virus constantly over time so I can’t complain. Also I Can’t justify requesting more content because the playerbase is too low currently BUT

  • Longstanding bug where your stuck with one weapon if you join a match that just started.
  • Lack of Maps

Bowling: I believe there was slight discussion for supporting some of arcade’s charge mechanics? Might be making this up.

LaserTag: Needs free for all. I know its planned.

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No arguments here. Fishing’s gameplay and UI is fantastic, and the amount of fish is impressive.

My only standing complaints are on the Aquarium/Pets aspect I mentioned in my post above. The larger creatures aren’t supported in the Condo’s ocean, and scaling the current tanks is hard to design around.

I think Ocean expansion/cooking may address this, but there could be additional incentive to fish. Currently common fish sale for very little.

Also, was fishing in condos cancelled? I remember being told we could even fish in pools/toilets at some point. I’d understand if it was cancelled since in-game progress is usually isolated to the Lobby.

I know these are all VERY low priority. Just something to potentially revisit.

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This is a very fair take. I feel like adding more variety to condo experiences is a good place to put effort to for sustaining people. Community condos/condo i/o alone would help add a lot of variety for people’s creativity, and I’m sure the devs could figure out triggers and tags for all kinds of individual modifers (PvP, spawners, doors, resets, checkpoints, key items, etc)

Also a really good idea would be the ability to set up claiming of plots of land like in something you’d see in a Minecraft creative server. Might go well with community condos to have a really cool public community project going

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For the past month or so, I’ve actually been spending a lot of my own time polishing up old content. These are the things I have in the works:

  • I am polishing up the textures and lighting in all of the Virus maps. An update to Hospital is the first one that will be released, in the next update.

  • I have been working on polishing up and standardizing purchasable condo furniture items.

  • I am currently working on updating Altitude so that it has unique themed course walls like I gave Forest and Waterhole recently.

  • I am currently working on a major overhaul of the laser tag arena, which you can see a small preview screenshot a couple dev logs ago.

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This game is far from complete, I think it’s a bad idea to just halt development and start working on polishing now.

It’s also important, though, to not work for months on the same update without taking a break from it, allowing the devs to work on other stuff that might interest the players (or why not, even themselves) more.
The idea of releasing the Arcade in phases was very smart, making more frequent, small updates of “teasers” for the whole feature to keep the players satisfied, while also keeping an open door if the devs want to shift development. More updates definitely need to do this.

The idea is getting the game to have the same features, if not more, to GMT and only then refining the core features to a higher quality. Luckily we have a dev team so dedicated to make this game perfect that they’re willing to spend their time outside working hours to fine tune it, which is a nice addition, and certainly well appreciated.

I will admit, though, that they’re not taking advantage of the workshop to its full capabilities. Allowing the community to work on your game, even on small additions like a custom condo or an arcade game, amps the replayability of the game really high, and it keeps the players busy while the team works on the updates at his own pace. If there’s a feature that needs priority, it should be that imo.

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Yeah any custom content like maps or arcade machines would be great honestly

This. Really wish we had full Workshop capabilities already. It would allow the community to entertain itself better so they can breath a little better during development. I’m sure content creators wouldn’t complain.

There’s plenty more that can be done with the workshop, such as client side mods - E.G. custom HUDs or music replacements like what Left 4 Dead 2 has