Forum Lobby

I am very disappointed

I backed this game back in July 2017, where I was told it would be released in December 2018. Now, two years after, I finally get my hands on the game. Even though I’ve waited two years more than planned, the game is not finished at all, we are talking a very early alpha build - actually barely indistinguishable from what I saw when I backed the game. What did Uncasual do with all the money they received from various funding sites, and 3.5 years of development? It seems very odd, and sorry to say, but it makes it all look like a big scam.

This is a list of the features which, according to the developers, were in in July 2017 (my comments in italic):

  • In house 3D render technology and UI.
    No in house 3D render at all, and the UI is truly horrible

  • Procedural world generation.
    Can’t really confirm or deny the existance of this

  • Simulated day and night cycles.
    In the game

  • Simulated seasonal cycles.
    Very minimal according to what I’ve seen, however I haven’t played for long enough to experience winter

  • Weather simulation based on real data.
    I have tried multiple embarking places, and while it could be based on real data, the weather wasn’t that prominent

  • Wild animal life and plants cycle of life.
    Definitely not included in the game

  • Farming system.
    Not included in the game

  • Step-by-step structure building and effects.
    Is included in the few structures which are there

  • Resource collection and storage.
    Is included, although storage is very tedious (what other game requires specific stockpiles for every type of resource?)

  • Family tree for citizens.
    Is included, but haven’t played long enough to see it in action

  • Character attributes.
    Is included, doesn’t seem to have a big impact though

  • AI to some extent, including path finding, job selection…
    Is included, but the AI seems decent at best

  • Citizen basic needs like eat, drink, sleep or rest.
    Is included

  • Tech system.
    Definitely not included

  • Some items of each type to test the tech ( plants, animals, buildings… )
    No?

  • Decay of resources and buildings.
    There is definitely decay of ressources, haven’t seen any decay of building during the short time I have played.

Furthermore, multiple of the structures shown in the videos are not present in the current build of the game, and most of the stuff under “Final Release Features” is definitely not present in the game either. I understand that this isn’t the final release, but we were promised the finished game by December 2018, and I truly expected them to be a lot further now than they are.

8 Likes

You’re not alone.

5 Likes

First of all, we have already explained in the funding section of the website why we are offering you access to the unfinished version of the game instead of giving access when the game is finished.

The money of the crowdfunding is spent in kickstarter, indiegogo and paypal fees, taxes, accounting costs, hosting costs, software licenses, translations, music, effects, one laptop with an AMD card, internet connection, and small salaries for the 3 people working full time in the project. About your concrete complaints:

  • 3d Tech is created from scratch for this project using OpenGL. That is one of the main reasons the development is longer than using unity for example. And the reason of the beautiful and dynamic environments in the game.

  • I can confirm that we are using real elevation data and simulating every element in the environment.

  • Seasonal cycles : Maybe you should play the game before.

  • Weather is simulated but it is only for visual purposes currently.

  • Forest and plants are fully simulated. Animals are not included in early access first version and will be included in the final game.

  • Farming system : Already prototyped but not included because we are approaching Mesolithic first.

  • Resource management is WIP. Because this is a WIP version.

  • Family tree is there and we will show it to you in the interface soon.

  • Character attributes are affecting every action, we need to improve feedback to the player.

  • We are very pleased that you like the AI.

  • Knowledge system is prototyped and it will be included very soon because it is the way to progress in the game.

  • Decay is there in almost everything but we should explain it better.

I invite you to wait until the game is finished to criticise the final game features.

In any case, i apologize once more time for our promised and missed deadline. This will not happen again.

Thanks for your feedback and support.

22 Likes

Not showing any aggressiveness towards you, but your post obviously shows a number of misunderstandings and misconceptions that are quite baffling. Just taking the most obvious ones:

There’s only to launch 2 different games in 2 different places to check that. Time needed: a few minutes at most.

I played a game in Galicia 2 days ago, it rained every single day during my whole game – I even ended up doing strictly nothing for one whole day because there was such a wall of rain I could not see anything on the map. (Although there were magnificient sunrises and sunsets there, with the mountains and the sea).

Effects may not be implemented yet, but the feature is definitively there, and that’s definitively brilliant (although next time I’ll play on the Côte d’Azur or Costa Brava :face_with_hand_over_mouth:).

You played a very, very short time then.
It doesn’t need more than a few minutes in game to see how a fireplace, a pit or a stone wall decay very differently. That’s clearly implemented, and you may check your citizens work by themselves to keep them up and running. Those little guys clearly don’t want to die frozen and starving.

Testable in a very few minutes by starting a game in various seasons.

Definitively nothing new here. That’s stated everywhere the devs presented the project and the current state: on the forums, on the Early Access sell sheet on Steam, etc., etc., etc.

Then, you really should show us where you found anything looking like a family tree :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Maybe that’s the main reason for your report?


This being said, there are valid issues in your report, the most obivous one being the delay experienced by the team.
But if you’re honest, you have to admit that’s clearly mitigated by the devs statements:

  • they explained lenghtily in multiple places why the game in the making (not “the game”!) is late, and you can’t say you could not know it;
  • they stated from the start they would make their own engine, and you definitively would have trouble finding any earlier information about the whole project than the Kickstarter page, which states:

We are developing our own custom engine and gaming technology for Ancient Cities because it allows us to render what we envision: thousands of items on the screen at the same time with nice fps, offering the players breathtaking images of their cities. Both, game-play and detail, are important to us.

So yes, they’re late. Yes, that’s an Early Access version instead of a full-fledge game. Yes, they still have lot of work. And yes: they’re doing exactly what they promised from start.
But just relying on those hollering people in this cesspool that are Steam forums to complain about non-existant issues is clearly not the most constructive approach.

7 Likes

@UncasualGames:
I am not sure you understand what I am writing. This list is what you presented as things which were already in game 3.5 years ago. Why is so much of it still not in game, after 3.5 years and hundreds of thousands of Euro?

@Elfryc:
I have played for about 1.5 hours, and honestly it was only mildly interesting for the first half hour or so. There is so little content that if I should experience every single feature (like families getting children), I would have to sit and wait while nothing literally happen. I have embarked three different places, and yes, the terrain was different, but I am not sure how that terrain generation works and if it is procedural - I would have to experiment a lot more to say this for sure. Weather is surely there, I just haven’t experienced a big variation. I never noticed any decay of buildings, maybe it wasn’t displayed in a way that I noticed. The UI is generally very un-intuitive. And as you can read above, of course some of these aspects are in game, since this list is 3.5 years old - I am just surprised that not all of these things are present, and so few of features from the other list is present.

4 Likes

If you want to be sure that the game is exactly what you want it to be before parting with your money then don’t back things before release. That’s the risk we all took on when deciding to back the game. I personally have no regrets. But if you are prone to this then there’s always the option of waiting for release and seeing the feedback and YouTube videos before buying.

6 Likes

I mean no hate when I say this. I see you are not a developer of any sort. First of all, Timelines:

Impossible to set. You cannot predict all the small problems that will occur as well as the big ones which can take a long time to solve.

Second of all: What you see is not the same as what they have actually built. There is a lot behind the scenes which you do not see. It is the backend part which takes the longest. Especially if they make it all from scratch from my understanding. They most likely have a very good foundation (The most important part) Which will make future features much easier to implement. The most important part of programming is the structure. You can make all the stuff you want faster with a shitty structure which will get more and more shitty for every feature you implement. At the end it will take days to implement simple stuff. And you can never just change it. When you have created a shitty structure. It is always easier to start completely from scratch. Development is not simple and requires a lot of thinking and planning ahead

8 Likes

@UnfairDurian:
So it doesn’t matter what they promise, is that what you are saying? I wanted to support and back this project, but honestly I am surprised how little difference there is from the footage they released 3.5 years ago, and the current gameplay.

@JonathanWH:
We are not talking about a small delay. When I backed the game, it was due for release 17 months after. Right now, 41 months after (2.4 times longer than the promised deadline) I did not get a finished product, I got a product which is almost identical what I was shown when I backed the project - although some of the gameplay which was showcased back in 2017 is still not in the actual game. I know that game development takes time, but you very, very rarely hear about a game which deadline is pushed more than 2 years ahead.

4 Likes

Probably made some new decisions. Something you think will take 24 hours can easely end up taking a week. Just look at star citizen. Been in development for over 8 years with over 300.000.000 million dollars in funding. Not even close to finished.

2 Likes

So just because other companies fail to deliver their games within the promised timeframe, it’s okay? Sorry but I fail to see that logic. Furthermore, Star Citizen is not comparable to Ancient Cities in any way, other than both of them are video games which were crowdfunded. Star Citizen has also had a steady progress during the years, again I see very little differences between the state of Ancient Cities 3.5 years ago, and now.

2 Likes

Again I do not know what to tell you to make you understand. Building projects, videogames and so on. Pretty much everything gets delayed. As they say they work full time. As long as that remains true you should be happy. Countless of games have been completely destroyed because of Deadlines to keep people like you happy

3 Likes

It is absolutely astonishing how much vitriol is being thrown around, especially on Steam, by people who DEMAND THE GAME SHOULD BE CHEAPER AHAHAHA THIS IS WORSE THAN HITLER!

Guys, just don’t buy the bloody thing if its not to your liking you don’t have to piss around on the forums telling the Devs “didn’t want to buy the game anyway so screw you, btw lower the price now”

3 Likes

Kickstarter is effectively a lottery, I’ve backed things before and experienced massive delays. On backing you are effectively taking a gamble that 1-2 years down the line you’ll get a result. After backing this game and hearing nothing for years I assumed it was gone and dead and I moved on.

It was very nice just to see the update they were still working on it after so long.

Kickstarter is a long term high risk strategy, despite grandiose promises you can’t count on it delivering because odds are good your going to hit the odd pledge of a small team who overestimates or whose real life gets in the way and one way or the other the project dies. This one hasn’t died, its not perfect and its a long way to go but they do appear to have been working away for themselves so now we can see what happens downstream.

9 Likes

When you hand out money as a backer you’re giving out a donation to support development of a game that you think you might like. That happened, the game was developed. But clearly not every backer is going to be happy. It is without a doubt the game they said it was going to be, a prehistoric city builder. It’s just not exactly what you imagined. But I am sure if you constructively give feedback the developers will take your suggestions on board.

5 Likes

Oh, shit… I didn’t realize you guys burnt through the 415K (Converted to USD) that was brought in.

Now how will two full time programmer salleries be paid for? How will development continue?

2 Likes

Don’t worry we still have money to pay salaries, remember that my english is not good.

3 Likes

Burn? please…

1 Like

Ah okay, no problem.

Maybe I could have worded it a little less provocatively :sweat_smile:

2 Likes

This is the most reassuring comment I have seen following early access release to the general public and lower-level backers.

The negative backlash outside of the backers’ echo chamber is set against the price, which is unusual for early access. However, it is fair when compared to the price paid by early backers and is a deliberate decision with foreseeable consequences: an easier route to purchase is available for those not already aware of the project. I missed the Kickstarter and it was months before I realised there was still a route to back the game; if I had not realised this, I could now simply purchase on Steam.

As a backer already, my concern was that pricing was not a deliberate decision but one of necessity: get the money from those interested as funds were running low. I am very pleased to read that this is not the case. Continued openness on the situation would be welcome, allow those able to assist to do so if needed.

What is available now is an enjoyable city builder with good graphics, re-playability, accurate items, and a solid foundation for further development. It is admittedly thin on content and difficult because of a lack of UI / game-related information, which will be improved. As long as development continues in this vein, I am sure a quality product will be the end result, with incrementally-better builds available through Early Access.

Good luck and thank you.

12 Likes

@UncasualGames

Take your Time. Do it Right. Ignore the whiney trolls. They are few and far between. I’m content waiting for an amazing project to come to life and evolve even after it’s release. My investment was for your brand and evolution as a company. I hope to see this game be one of the best, and I hope the engine you create allows you to create even better games in the far future!

You don’t have to defend yourself. It’s clearly stated on the Kickstarter page. Have a great Xmas Season and a Happy New Year! :heart:

12 Likes