You know the community is restless when threads like this pop up and elicit over 100 replies in a week. By my estimates, the greater majority of the community just wants to play the game - regardless of its current state of playability - and be done with it. They want something tangible in their hands that they can have fun with - and rightfully so. We've been promised this ATR since the beginning of the year and the dev team has yet to make good on their promise. Every time a release date draws nearer and is missed, the community gets increasingly doubtful that we'll ever be able to play this thing.
Heck, it's been a while since we've seen any new content. Sure, we've been able to put together some spotlights with the dev team, but even then, they have been rather sparse in comparison to earlier ones. We've also been lucky and snagged a few screenshots here and there, but in terms of big updates, July was the last real public update - aside form the ATR movie in September. The dev team is just too busy to crank out and release new content. Which, in itself is not a bad thing, but any gaming community needs to be kept abreast of their game's development status, or they'll start to go crazy. I know the dev team is really worried about releasing [in their eyes] an inferior product and losing community support, but speculation in the masses can be just as harmful. "Any damage to player base you're trying to avoid by releasing it later is quickly becoming small compared to the damage done by delaying so long." -The Cliffswallow
But then we have a smaller group of members who want the dev team to take their time and release a quality product. Sure, they want to play the game too (we all do), but they are a little more empathetic to the dev team's situation. Something that we all must keep in mind, before we attack the dev team for missed release dates or lack of new publicly released content, is that the dev team is a group of individuals making this game on their own time. They are not getting paid for their work and they all have their own families, lives, and real jobs to multitask. I think Tsa Rye said it best:
Okay sure, no monetary compensation, but Maestro points out:
I understand the frustration on having to wait. But for a minute, try to keep in mind that you have not been losing/dedicating/spending 3,000-10,000 hours (probably 10,000-14,000 once completed) of your life on the development of a game where there is NO monetary compensation. The minute you've given up that amount of time to something that you know 75% of the people will STILL find something to take issue with, give me a call.
It's interesting [and very important] to hear both sides of the story because it is very easy to side with either one before hearing the other.
...just because you are working without being paid doesn't mean there aren't substantial benefits - besides the self-fulfillment of making a kickass game, there's also that point to put on your resumes, launch your company's portfolio, and put yourself on the game development scene.
So clearly, a balance must be struck between releasing an inferior product now and a spit-polished, finely-tuned beast months down the road. For those vets who remember playing the original Starsiege ATRs - those things were far from perfect. Random game crashes, graphical bugs, inconsistent pings and network issues - the list could go on for a while. But, something that both of these ATRs excelled in was something that I like to call, The Fun Factor. Okay, I'm not first to refer to good gameplay as 'The Fun Factor', but what would an editorial be without some type of
This is what I was alluding to earlier: people want something tangible and something fun. And this is exactly what the dev team is striving to deliver. And it will be released when it's ready. So just be patient, and relax. Take a break from the "oh noes is it ready yet?!" lifestyle, and divert your focus elsewhere for a little while. I think this community has proven to itself that we're not going anywhere. We're in this for the long haul, and the ATR will be there waiting for us when the time comes.