Managing expectations is (probably) impossible.

Hello — Adam here from the team.

Recently we announced details for the launch of Astroneer and that’s something we’re super proud of. Now that the information is out, there’s been two important topics that come up in discussion amongst the team. How will our game be perceived and are we setting the correct expectations?

I don’t enjoy writing about the missteps of other developers, but in the name of transparency I think this is an important point to make: The controversial release of No Man’s Sky fuels a lot of discussions about the development and marketing of Astroneer and more importantly the reaction the gaming community had to it. A lot of the press coverage about Astroneer links the two games together and we’ve seen a lot of talk amongst our community about those connections.

I’m not going to comment on one specific aspect of the game or the people behind it. This blog post isn’t about that. I want to take this opportunity to put into practice the most important thing we’ve learned from witnessing No Man’s Sky: Know what you are saying, but understand what is heard.

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I grabbed this screenshot the other day when we first implemented some clouds in to the game.

 

When Astroneer launches in December it will be an incomplete game.

The game’s core designs will be playable, but some will be fleshed out more than others.

There will be art that looks incomplete, very rough, or too simple.

The multiplayer will hitch and probably act weird (hilariously so).

Audio be missing or trigger in the wrong spots. Or maybe the music playing isn’t appropriate for your moment.

You may even experience a game-breaking bug that will force you to start over from scratch.

You’ll load the game up for the first time and almost certainly experience and form an opinion about at least one of those things. That’s exactly the reason we want you to check out Astroneer while it’s in early access. We have a vision for the game; a direction we’re taking it in, and we need to know what you think as early as possible. Astroneer is not an aerospace simulation game, nor is it a completely science-fiction fantasy game. It’s something in-between. The best thing about releasing the game early is the feedback we’ll receive from you, the community, and evolving the game from there. This can happen anywhere: On our own forums (a work-in-progress we’ve yet to share), the Steam Forums, Reddit, Twitter, or Facebook . And while I am telling you the game will be incomplete when it releases in December— a sometimes overlooked characteristic of an early access game— what will be present this December are the games’ core features, gameplay, and virtues of Astroneer-the-game: Exploring and surviving on uninhabited planets, making new discoveries, 3D printing things with resources you discovered or manufactured, building a base to meet your own goals, traveling to new planets in your solar system, and interacting with planets using the Astroneer’s Deformation Tool. And you’ll be able to do those things with 3 additional friends using peer-to-peer co-op. (Couch co-op TBD.)

I hope that sets the right expectations of the game when it releases to early access later this year and how you can support or participate its development. We’ve learned a lot about how to treat our game when and its release and we want to do it right. To make sure we’ve set the right expectations or if you have any questions please email, Tweet, or Facebook us. 

Adam