Dead

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Architect
Dead

I don't really understand, is this game dead or not? It seems like it has a lot of potential, but there is literally no evidence that anything has been changed on this game in months. I've come onto these forums everyday for the past two months to see the near dead community occasionally mumble something, and literally nothing from the dev. If this game is alive, then all I can say is Dirkson, you have got to start posting at least fortnightly updates on how the game is going, even if nothing has changed. I'm the last of my friends to pay any interest in this game as they've all long gone assuming this game is a no show. So yeah, I've even registered an account just to ask, cos I really don't know.

Architect

Me checking everyday is an exaggeration, but I have checked at the very least twice a week for a good few months and all I see from Dirkson is one or two posts saying that it is his main focus, yet no evidence of that at all. My apologies if this seems like an attack on the game or on Dirkson, but this game has so much potential, and its infuriating to see it all go to waste.

Sqiub Sqiub's picture

Hi architect. I know it seems dead. Many have wondered (myself included).
I also think that regular updates. Even if it is just a few lines to say 'worked on this today' would help the game feel alive.
But remember that this game will take a long time to complete coding. So the occasional quiet spell is expected, especially when it is a one man development team. There is limited time for PR and marketing.
I wish it would be quicker, this game has potential and more updates would inspire more belief that it is going to happen eventually.

Architect

I agree and understand what you are saying squib. I also thank you for not replying in an agressive manner, I was a little hot headed when I started this and my tone is not one I would usually use, so thanks for still giving me a proper reply. However, it's not just one quiet spell, or for that matter just a quiet spell, its a complete silence spell. There may very well be limited time for other things, but surely Dirkson could take 5 mins of his time once every two weeks to say: "Wasn't able to do much this week, ___ got in the way" or "Started work on ___ this week, I can imagine it will be done within the next month or so" Just little things that confirm that anything at all is happening.

Sqiub Sqiub's picture

I agree that 5 minutes per week would go a long way to making sure that people realize that it had not been abandoned.
I am sure that many people who are interested in the game would put cash towards it if they had the confidence of weekly words from the developer. Like you said it doesn't have to be a big deal. Just a few lines. Even a tweet.

I notice a lot of indie developers seem to struggle with this. But those who seem to have some good communication habits seem to have better success.

I believe that if you have delux with the bleeding edge you get access to the weekly builds. But that is once you have already purchased. The regular updates in the forum or Facebook or Twitter (not all of them just one) will help sales. So I think it is pretty important.

I hope that Dirkson has resolved to be a bit more talkative in this new year.

:)

dirkson dirkson's picture

Hi all! Definitely not dead, but on the back burner for the entire month of December - I found myself in a tricky situation with some other obligations, and so I've been spending a lot of time finishing my attic. I'm really horrible at doing more than one thing in my life - Which is great when that One Thing is ScrumbleShip (as it is most of the time) but less awesome when I've got other obligations.

Late last night I finished putting up the first coat of wall texture. The walls need one more coat of texture, then I need to install carpet padding and a carpet, and I'll be done. I've been aiming to finish before the 6th of January, which is when I'll switch back to ScrumbleWork.

I'm really excited to get back to work on ScrumbleShip. In November I got the new launcher nearly complete, just needing a few bug fixes, and I left a lot of features half-implemented in the Bleeding edge, so late January or early February should be a really exciting time.

Cheers,
-Dirk

Architect

Thank you Dirkson, I appreciate the response. Not even half of the information you have provided here once every week or two would alleviate any concerns people such as myself might have about this game. You may have noticed I haven't yet purchased your game, because as of yet it is still not a game, merely an idea on the way to realisation. However if you can push out some more play-ability as you have said you are working on, the game will become more. Either way, I'll keep following until the next information blackout, and kick up a fuss again then :P

On a side note, I hope your DIY project turns out as you hope it will if not better.

004GP

About that. I know this is not the correct place but.
Dirkson, some time ago I have bought 2 gift codes from the store. But I don't know where to find these codes.
I tried to contact you trough the support line(love the red telefoon) but I got no responds.
Where can i find my codes, so that my friends could have a look at this.
Keep up the great work by the way, can't wait to see some ship damage.

Sqiub Sqiub's picture

Thanks for the update Dirk.

Hope to see some nice developments when you get stuck in to it.

I know what you mean about focus on one thing.

Oebele

004GP: he usually responds to those messages, but sometimes he overlooks one. just try again now that he is focussing on scrumbleship again. Also, as you said, this is not the right place to ask - you could put a new topic in the help section. Dirkson is very strict about getting stuff like this right, so if you just try to contact him again, it'll work out.

Darth Billy

hey guys just saying dirk is just one man not an army so im not being rude but it was christmas so just give him some space ha get it space cause the game is in space eh eh that was a crap joke

devondog

I think its safe to say this game is completely dead at this point

dirkson dirkson's picture

@devondog
I'm posting to twitter on a daily basis, adding photo updates to the indiedb page several times a week, linking to the photo updates on the dev page, posting to reddit, creating small articles about what I'm doing, and chatting on irc every day about what I'm up to

To be fair, the last release was a full three weeks ago - I'm currently redesigning the network interface, which isn't going to result in a working program until I'm done. I've still got at least a week left on the redesign.

I understand that people feel like not enough is happening... But what else can I possibly be doing to get development updates out to people?

I'm shouting and shouting and shouting, and yet I still get people asking me why I'm so quiet.

JJ

I've both notice and appreciated the Twitter updates and the Indie DB/blog post, the only problem I see is the lack of forum activity. Since there isn't much to discuss that hasn't been discussed already, it is most likely temporary.

Sqiub Sqiub's picture

The forums maybe in deep space cryo-sleep, but seems the game gently growing in the background.

Maybe if there was a feed from twitter and indieDB on this forum / website, it would help those who (like me) don't use twitter. I have seen others use this quite well.

stephenkall

Hey Dirkson! Long time no see!

Well, if I can give any advice on that, you might want to set a "News" page as the main page for scrumbleship.com and update it like biweekly or so.
I mean, I don't use to come to forums or chat that much, but I check the games I've backed in a regular basis and usually my routine includes only "check the main page and the version available in download area", just to see how things are moving. I believe some people keep asking you those questions because they might be doing the same as I do. As your main page is your showcase, it doesn't say much about the current status of the game.

But thank you for replying to forums and being active! Some games I backed just stalled and that just suck. It's awesome to know that yours didn't.

Also, if you go through my advice, you *might* want to replicate your news page to your kickstarter news page, since your backers would be receiving those updates by e-mail as well.

Lordwolfe

if you have to ask this question and all the answers are to the effect of its not dead, but obviously if that were the case you would never have been compelled to ask in the first place. ergo, that means the answer was already given through the asking. therefore the answer is an automatic clear and irrefutable YES!!!!!!!!

Oebele

@Lordwolfe: that's incredibly short-sighted. You claim that it is dead because it appears dead. That's just grand bullshit. T

There are tons of examples to counter your statement. For example, Mount&Blade bannerlord: for more than a year after the announcement, taleworlds hasn't spoken a word about it. From your statement we could conclude that it is dead. However, since half a year information is coming out (albeit not too much), so it clearly isn't (this is more clear from the kind of information than from the amount of information).

Sqiub Sqiub's picture

Not dead, but the community is in cryosleep!
Occasionally someone is woken up to update the system.
;)

I must admit some lovely images from the community of builders would be inspiring.

If you want a little more info try these.

https://twitter.com/ScrumbleShip

http://www.indiedb.com/games/scrumbleship

Sqiub Sqiub's picture

Jusy realized that this feed is on the blog

https://www.scrumbleship.com/blog

shows what is happening.
Good to see Dirk.

dirkson dirkson's picture

Don't worry Squib - It actually JUST made it onto the blog : ) I should probably hook commit messages up to twitter somehow, too.

Cheers,
-Dirk

sevencobi sevencobi's picture

Dirkson has been replying to posts and saying it isn't dead, and I believe him, but he said he would get back to it in January, and we are in September with the most recent update being a minor bleeding edge from Mid July.

selimi02

Me too!

devondog

Its because its dead. It lost all competitive edge by slow/no development. Space engineers has seem to won the voxel space market. And with games like elite dangerous, no mans sky, and star citizen coming out, this game can never make a dent in the market. I just feel bad for all the kickstarter people who invested a lot into this game

Commander Keen

Scrumbleship was always a niche game, it wouldn't have been able to compete in the market even with a super-active developer like Rimworld's Tynan Sylvester. Not that it was meant to anyway, with it's true voxel graphics and plans for realistic gameplay. All that would have to be done to get the game alive again is to actually get at least a part of the gameplay done.

The last public update has been on the 24th of August on Git, which is quite worrying. I really hope the progress just hasn't been visible to us - it wouldn't be the first time it happened - but the community seems to be all but dead already, but hopefully there's still a spark of life in the game itself.

devondog

It used to be a battle between blockade runner, scrumbleship, and star made. Blockade runner is screwed over now because of thier framework, and no one really likes star made that much. If scrumbleship actually developed at a decent rate i believe it would have become as big as space engineers is now. For years, scrumbleship didnt really have any competition. But it withered and died while other developers came along. Basically, im just saying i dont believe it would have been a niche type of game. And i want to point to space engineers as an example of how big that got. It is even coming to xbox one now

Revanchist Revanchist's picture

Not that I'm a community, but I'm still here. :)

And until Dirkson says otherwise, I'll put my faith in him and his ability to deliver a quality game. Which this is.
Granted, it seems to be more the groundwork for a quality game at this point, but I don't mind waiting for the one-man development team to get results they're satisfied with.

On the other hand, some talk from the developer might help. Unless Dirkson's been using twitter, or some other online sources... I've mostly just been checking the website.

Commander Keen

@devondog: Ah, it never occured to me anyone would see it like that, but it makes sense, Scrumbleship was mentioned a lot along with Blockade Runner and Star Made. Blockade Runner pretty much promised to be the first Minecraft-in-space and failed to be that, but it still has a small loyal community because it had the best ship editing tools and the devs are still quite active. Star Made never had a chance against Space Engineers because it's pretty much the same game but with weirder design and worse graphics, but it's free. Scrumbleship, well, I still can't say with certainty that it is dead, but it's definitely much less alive than any of the others, which makes it the loser by default...

I don't really believe Scrumbleship ever had a chance to be mainstream, it was too realistic for that. If you imagine Kerbal Space Program with ships that can blow each other to bits, that would be pretty accurate. Compared to that, Space Engineers is still very arcadey. I think that it could have attracted an EVE-like or Dwarf Fortress-like community, but that would still be peanuts compared to SE.

@Revanchist: Three people now. I guess you could call that a small community now =p

Good idea with looking at Twitter, I absolutely forgot about it. The last comment there is from the 22nd of August, which is a bit better than the July bleeding edge update. As for waiting, I don't think people would mind it if updates were regular, but when all goes silent, it's quite worrying and eventually people will give up and move on. I really hope Dirkson will start appearing somewhat often again so that there's actual tangible progress to be seen.

Sqiub Sqiub's picture

I agree that this is aimed more at the physics-realism niche - Dirkson has said before that it won't be for everyone.

I have found with indie games that the biggest killer of the community is that the Dev fails to keep gently stimulating the community. A 30 second two line post saying what has gone right or wrong on a weekly or bi weekly basis. Without this people get nervous.

Blockade runner has pretty much daily development updates on the forum often only 4-5 lines so wouldn't take long.
The Git feed in the "Dev" (https://www.scrumbleship.com/blog) section is supposed to fill that criteria, but I assume it is automatic and goes days or weeks without a new addition it is a bit hit and miss. (I have no idea what has to happen for it to update).

I am not sure it will ever be done, but I still wait and watch. So make it a community of 4.

stephenkall

Hey, make it 5! I'm still here as well!

I never thought about those games as a competition. Of course they are similar in genre, but each one has its own shine. ScrumbleShip for me has something unique that may seem a little useless to some, but opens numerous possibilities for gameplay: heat transfer. I talked a lot to Dirkson during his kickstarter campaign about that, and even though this would remain transparent for most players, it makes things much more interesting. Just a simple example: Imagine that your reactor core overheats. Instead of just exploding like many games would do, it starts heating the whole ship. Maybe it will melt its cointainment walls, maybe if you're smart you have an emergency coolant-shower to trigger when that happens - and again, different from the regular games, when you do that, instead of triggering some magical in-game cooling effect, this could cause actual stuff to happen - just like having to wait until it properly cools down before getting close to it, or even making the thermal shock something to worry about because it could make a crack in the ship's fuselage - or even enabling us to learn that the coolant we used is not nearly enough to cool the core down, and we're just doomed!

Anyway, there are many other awesome things ScrumbleShip will offer, but we have to keep in mind that Dirkson is a lone-wolf in this journey, and if his option is not to add extra hands until he launches exactly what he wants, we do have to wait and there's nothing we can do about, so there's no point in whining.

However, thinking about human psychology, if we just fade out, the game might do as well. If we want the game to be released, it is important that we remain active somehow. Either by poking Dirkson around and asking what is he about to or by playing, finding bugs, reporting bugs and feedbacking the developer. As a developer myself, I find those actions most invaluable. Just don't push him too hard, we never know what's going on in his personal life, and everyone deserves some vacation once in a while!

I mean, if his last tweet happened on Aug-22, that's about two weeks ago! IMHO, we'd better wait to start worrying after two months in the dark, not two weeks. Also, he had been working in refactoring with libuv AND ship/player rotation, two exhausting things, during high summer. Let him chill a little! ;)

Oebele

Number 6 over here!

I haven been active on the forums for ages, but I am pretty much always lurking in the IRC channel. Actually there are quite a few people all the time over there. You can also see that Dirkson and Yam are quite actively working on the game from their discussions over there. Maybe I'll join in on development again somewhere in the future too, but I need to finish some personal projects first, and I need more activity on ScrumbleShip before I have enough motivation.

I'll admit I have my doubts about the game's future, but I am okay with waiting it out. I've always been confident Dirkson would pull through, even though slowly. My doubts have grown since everything grew more quiet since end last year, but I'll just wait and see.

Drago55577 Drago55577's picture

Don't forget me!

I'm not usually active, but i sit in the IRC and skim over the forums every day, looking for something to comment on. I should probably start posting more.

In space no one can hear you burn

Commander Keen

Seven people. It's good to see the community is only asleep and not yet dead! Now the only person we need to actually hear from is Dirkson himself.

Oebele

I'll try to push him to post something here :)

insolent insolent's picture

Eight at least! Just popping over from the IRC, where Scrumbletalk and dev updates continue daily. The game is very much alive and under development.

Wazubaba Wazubaba's picture

The game is not even remotely dead. It's just that most of the dev chatting happens in IRC @ irc.scrumbleship.com #scrumbleship

I see dirkson talking about technical stuff that flys over my head half the time quite often :)

dirkson dirkson's picture

Oh, don't worry, I've been watching you guys! ;)

This week an old friend of mine is visiting my side of the country for the last time in a long time, so I'm spending some time with him, and work is slow.

In between that, I've spent a few drops of time working on a livestreaming solution, so you guys can watch me while I work. I figure that'll help with community involvement, eh? It's still a little undependable, though, so I'd want to spend another day on it before I start linking everyone.

I'm also writing an article for this friday, discussing the last couple months and the upcoming release. It's officially scheduled for "When it's done", but I'm going to have a checklist of items for the next release.

Meanwhile, I've been working on adjusting the code to a much more efficient method of multi core utilization, based on Yam's recent work converting the core game logic to a threading libuv setup. I haven't bothered to release much of my work, or update the Bleeding edge, because the game is currently Very Broken, crashing every minute or so.

Once I finish my adjustments, though, it should be almost entirely crash-free - I've found some new tools within clang that allow me to track down "race conditions", which represent the majority of modern ScrumbleShip crashes. After my adjustment work is done, I'll turn these tools on the code, and hunt down every last crash.

It's all very exciting, but in the dullest possible way - No new game features, just a lot of work and polishing on getting the underlying bits of code all marching in a row. I'll talk more about all this in Friday's article

Cheers,
-Dirk

Wazubaba Wazubaba's picture

Have no fear fellow scrumblenauts; we shall one day sail that vast mystery that is space together \o/

And again, if you really want to keep up, just hang out in IRC with us! Think of it as being like a real-time forum ;)

Just understand that like a forum, not everyone is always looking at their terminal/application or even their monitors, so at times responses can be slow.

Oebele

The IRC is the best way to stay in contact with the community, but it is quite US-time zone biased. It's cool that after all this time and even after this long period of slow development I can still get really excited about the game :)

Sqiub Sqiub's picture

Maybe if something interesting comes up into the IRC one of the community might be able to post about it in the forums.
This would keep the forums alive and portray a more vibrant community for new people who are just finding the game.
This would also save Dirkson time having to manage everything.
It would also give those of us not in the US a chance to comment on ideas and get involved.

Commander Keen

Wonderful, wonderful! Scrumbleship is still alive and kicking, just away from the sight of most. Sadly, I live on the wrong side of the big pond so participating would be difficult unless I come at odd hours. I would be infinitely grateful if anyone could relay interesting things from IRC to the forums, but knowing the game is still steaming forward is more than enough already.

And to Dirkson, good luck with the article! I'm sure there will be many people who will be happy to see it.

Oebele

Commander Keen, you must mean that you live on the right side of the pond, just like me, Tuqz, Garmine, and probably some more ;-) We don't have any trouble participating - actually, for a quite a while the three of us were among the most active people on the IRC. Also, Dirkson tends to work at strange hours, so you won't need to ;-)

The Ensorceler

Wow. 21 responses since I last checked this corner of the internet, I'm glad that we still have a community able to respond to things when we've got something to talk about. I guess I make ten, with Wazubaba a silent nine. Can't wait for Friday!

Sigarr

I am here. I generally check once a day or so. However work keeps me too busy to really be on IRC much.

devondog

So still think this game isnt dead?

insolent insolent's picture

@devondog: Considering the developer and others work on it regularly, I'd say it's still alive. Stop by the irc channel sometime to see what's going on.

romey romey's picture

Bud I'm alive I'm in ultra cytosleep still waiting to take my place in the galaxy

Sigarr

For one I am glad to here that there is still some work being done. However the approach to getting information to people is sadly lacking. IRC is a great place to chat however it has some downfalls. Unless you are regularly there you wont see anything. Definitely anybody who is just doing a quick check on this game will not have the time to sit on IRC.

This is really doing a disservice to this game. Anybody who hops on to check just sees a dead game. The front page of the website one of the first things people see really needs to look active. Take dwarf fortress for example. They have at times gone years between releases however the developer every couple days or so puts in a quick blurb on what he is working on. Even if there is no real progress. It lets people on the site see on a regular basis that something is being done. As of now anyone checking will have to slog through the forum to see a note that IRC is active and then log in to that to possibly see nothing. If they get that far.

It would behoove the site to see a more consistent string of updates on the front page that the cursory glance will be able to see. Not only will this help people who have backed the game know that it is still there. It will help to attract new players who will see a active development at a glance and make them want to back this game.

Now I can appreciate that Dirkson is busy coding this game. However just a few minutes for a quick note on what is happening in a easy to see area would help the game in my opinion. Even if a third party who is active on IRC posted quick recaps of any interesting discussions. I believe this will help keep people currently following this game and backing it informed. It will also help to bring in new players.

Overall this is an amazing game. With just a couple quick changes to the way information is distributed we could really get a lot more people interested in it.

Oebele

I can only say that I fully agree. I have been pressuring* Dirkson a lot about this, but it is just one of his weak points. Adding to this, development has actually been very slow for the past year due to personal issues (the big downside of a one-man team), but the last month development has been active again.

* is this actually a word? Meh, I'm a bit ill, it took way to much effort to write this in correct English anyway.

stephenkall

I'd like to post something really straight here. I really don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings, but I think it is time to put the feet on the ground. I apologize if anyone feels personally attacked by this message, this wasn't my intention and I probably wouldn't spend my work time typing this if I meant only to attack people. I do think that what I have to say is important.

I like dirkson. He's a smart dude, with clever ideas and his own way to put things together.
I don't think this game is dead. Far from that. I've been arguing with people who think this way since I saw this topic.

Nonetheless, I'm starting to see some standards here. First of all, I'm a developer myself, I have my indie projects and I deal with them in my own way. They are mostly costless or I pay for their costs with my own money, so I can take as long as I want and the way I want to get somewhere. Said that, I understand what dirkson is doing. Every public project is subject to go through a cycle of hype and oblivion, that goes on and on. Notch himself has learned that the worst way in a cycle that killed one that could be the best space sim game ever made, and later dissolved Mojang. You have to keep your emotions really balanced not to get drawn to this whirlpool, and I believe dirkson is doing that pretty fine along those years.

However, once you publish your project and start to gather funds, you're committing to some things. Usually, the most basic commitments involve schedule, deliverables/milestones and updates. Those three props should be clearly published with your project so whoever decides to invest in your project knows what and when he'll get his money worth. However, even if you don't inform that directly, it is an informal agreement and should be honored by all parts.

Of course we're subject to all kinds of misadventure along our way, but let me quote dirkson in his kickstarter campaign:

How will we use the money?

Over the past year, Nezumi and I been fortunate enough to have our rent (And/or office space) partially paid for us. All good things must come to an end, though, and our expenses are going up. Donations will be used primarily to offset rent/office expenses while I make the game, as well as to replace any equipment that fails during development. I''ll also invest a portion of the proceeds into making more music for the game.

In short, your donations keep me working on this game full time.

I'll not even touch the point that says the estimated deliveries were around 2013 Q1. Well, I don't really know if dirkson did or did not work full time. I also don't know if those things really happened. I don't know how much of the funding reverted to the development of the game itself - and I don't know if and when the game is intended to be released.

Putting all that together, what I can conclude is that dirkson is an awesome programmer (dude, you still impress me with that heat propagation and with the whole game written from scratch), but is really bad with project management. And since the whole game is based on a kickstarter campaign (plus the individual website sales), I think this is a major issue.

Project management sucks, is boring and feels like a huge setback on the development. I myself hate that - and that is probably why I never publish anything before I get it ready and rolling. However, it is necessary not only to your backers but to the development itself. You need to set milestones. You need to have clear goals. You need to have a gantt-chart baseline. You need to know what parts of this project are drawing your efforts away from the mainstream and to get a way to address that. If you don't feel comfortable about sharing your code with other programmers that could help you, at least hire someone to keep track of your progress and design some performance indicators to keep your website up-to-date.
I know it is a pain in the *** to get squeezed by someone you employed yourself, but you'll only understand how important is that once you get it going. Having someone pushing you from time to time does help you move forward and keep the inertia. This is an advice from someone who had over a dozen of stalled projects and managed to really get things going once the projects started to get a clearer definition and a back office around it.

Long story short, dirkson, buddy, put it together! We still believe on scrumbleship. I'll wait as long as it takes to get this finished, but if you don't track your pace, you may end up finishing it when computers don't even support your game anymore. I'm not afraid that it is not going to get finished, I'm afraid that other backers will give up and you'll finish a game that will have only one server (yours) and maybe two players (you and me, for example), because everybody else just forgot that this existed. And to avoid that, only two small things are needed: some updates and a clear plan. You might need to get someone to do that for you however. And don't mind making mistakes when predicting your schedule - I believe your backers prefer to get a wrong date reschedule with a small comment like "things were more complex than I thought, adding another week to the deadline" than getting no date at all.

Said that, I hope you, dirkson, are doing well. And I hope everybody that's still here keeps their motor running and checking here every now and then. And I really hope this gets to dirkson.

If you want to talk more about that, dirkson, you have my e-mail from the kickstarter page where we discussed back in 2012. Feel free to get in touch.

Thank you and best regards!

Garmine Garmine's picture

Reporting in. Sort of very busy with university and shit, but I'm still here, mostly on IRC. :)

We're The Borg. Every resistance is futile.
I went outside one day, the graphics were amazing, but the gameplay sucked...

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