Dev On Steam Warns: 'Do NOT Buy This Game As A Christmas Gift'

Dev On Steam Warns: 'Do NOT Buy This Game As A Christmas Gift'

Frontiers looks really neat. The just-released-on-Early-Access fantasy RPG contains shades of The Elder Scrolls, especially Morrowind and Skyrim, but with an emphasis on exploration over combat. The game's creator, however, doesn't want you to give it to friends as a Christmas gift. He was adamant about that.

Dev On Steam Warns: 'Do NOT Buy This Game As A Christmas Gift'

Many developers have been upfront about the fact that their Early Access games might be a little rough around the edges, but telling people not to buy it full-stop, right beneath the buy button? That takes guts. I admire Frontiers creator Lars Simkins for it, though, especially with Steam Sale season right around the corner. Here's what he wrote about his newly launched explore-a-thon:

"A lot of folks have told me: I'm buying this game for my kid/friend/spouse for Christmas, they love exploration games! And I say the same thing every time: DON'T!"

"The only people who will love it are players who seek it out for themselves, because it's NOT FINISHED. Your kid/friend/spouse will just be annoyed with you. I'm proud of this game, and with everyone's help I believe it's going to be great - but it's not great yet, so in the meantime get your kid/friend/spouse Dragon Age or The Binding of Isaac or something, trust me."

If you want to buy it for yourself, go nuts, he added. Just know what you're getting into.

This Early Access release is about stomping bugs and glitches until they're puddles of pixelated goo. Frontiers currently contains a lot of the final version's content (two of the story's three acts, lots of open regions to explore), but it's definitely buggy — as many Steam reviews attest. Still, it sounds like the core of something good is there.

You can decide for yourself if you want to check it out right here. I'm glad Simkins is being this honest about the state of his game. Seeing Early Access games pop up in Steam Sales (or even just on the front page) with minimal Early Access signposting makes me feel a bit misled. Moreover, Early Access can mean anything, from nearly-complete to a total mess.

So long as Valve won't revise the system to make things a little more obvious, it's good to see developers like Simkins alerting people wherever they can. Yeah, an extra post on a store page (read: not the front page) where there's already an Early Access label isn't much, but every little bit helps. Sometimes it's the thought that counts — or at least the philosophy driving it.


Comments

    Good reverse psychology - having that kind of stance makes me want to support them by buying it.

      Yep. I hadn't heard of this game five minutes ago but someone who's this realistic about his early access game has me thinknig "man, I want in on the ground floor". And I'm staunchly opposed to early access since I got burned by Towns.

      That's why I bought Goat Simulator, because on the store page the dev tells you that the game is stupid and you're probably better off spending your money on something else.

      Made me laugh and I had $5 worth of Steam credit from selling cards, the game was on sale, so I thought "why not"?

      I just bought 17 copies, ha, take that, developer!

    "contains shadows of The Elder Scrolls, particularly Morrowind and Skyrim" - Devs specifically state Daggerfall as a major influence but I guess no one knows what that is anymore.

    I backed this game on kickstarter and got into the beta and Lars has been great; very upfront right from the start. The game is very fun to explore etc but he isnt kidding about the bugs. But he is very dedicated and has been releasing updates every day since it got given out to the beta people and takes in all the feedback on the forums and actively replies to questions. This is a nice change of pace to some kickstarters and early access games where we dont hear anything for months.

    "A lot of folks have told me: I’m buying Assassin's Creed: Unity for my kid/friend/spouse for Christmas, they love Assassin's Creed games! And I say the same thing every time: DON’T!”

    “The only people who will love it are players who seek it out for themselves, because it’s NOT FINISHED. Your kid/friend/spouse will just be annoyed with you. At Ubisoft, we're proud of this game, and with everyone’s help we believe it’s going to be great – but it’s not great yet, so in the meantime get your kid/friend/spouse Dragon Age or The Binding of Isaac or something, trust us.”

    Last edited 17/12/14 3:53 pm

      That made me laugh, but then I realised that you could substitute in pretty much game released this year and it would still work.

        "A lot of folks have told me: I’m buying The Last Guardian for my kid/friend/spouse for Christmas, they love vaporware games! And I say the same thing every time: DON’T!”

        “The only people who will love it are players who seek it out for themselves, because it’s NOT FINISHED. Your kid/friend/spouse will just be annoyed with you. At... I'm honestly not sure which studio now, we're proud of this game, and with everyone’s help we believe it’s going to be great – but it’s not great yet, so in the meantime get your kid/friend/spouse Dragon Age 5 or The Binding of Isaac 3 or something by the time this comes out, trust us.”

        Yep. It works!

    Is this game part of the steam sales right now?

    Game looks not bad but damn those characters models could use some work.

    This is one of my most anticipated games from KS. I backed it early in the campaign and although I have beta access, I'm avoiding playing the game until full release because I want to experience it for the first time as a complete product. Lars has always been great in terms of honest communication and he wants to provide the best experience possible to players. As such, I'm not surprised he's done this.

    Backed this on KS and I've always appreciated how upfront the dev is about the game and it's progress.
    Gonna wait till the final release to play it but I'm willing to let the dev take as long as he needs.

    Minimal Early Access signposting makes me feel a bit misled. Moreover, Early Access can mean anything, from nearly-complete to a total mess.

    Feeling misled is not being misled. I really can't empathise. I've never had a problem discerning a game on early access to a full release, amongst loads of listed full games, early access ones are even more easy to see. I really don't understand how you could make the mistake unless you didn't look at the front page (or even just the title panel) at all.

      he is not talking about the difference between early access and full release but how far along an early access game is ie is it a buggy mess with only on room or is it almost finished with just a few balance issues.

    Hang on a minute... An Early Access Dev who's upfront and honest about what's going on with the game? Isn't that like finding the Holy Grail or something?

    This game looks like it would make a great MMO. An mmo based on exploring and discovery rather than fetching and return quests.

    Wow. It's not even a tiny disclaimer, it's a huge heading with a really big, stylized, recognizably symbolic picture near impossible to miss. That's pretty impressive.

    Last edited 17/12/14 7:15 pm

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