March 18th, 2019
Entering the Test StageWe’ll soon be entering GTFO’s test stage. How long this stage will be depends on how quickly we can implement the features, squash the bugs and nail the balancing. We’re testing because the game genuinely needs it.
We’re going to be depending on you - our community - to help GTFO reach its full potential. In other words, this won’t be beta test that’s actually a game demo released close to the final game launch. We have a lot work left on GTFO before the game is completed, which allow this to be a proper test - one that benefits and influences the game’s development in a major way.
No Final Release This Spring“But I thought the game was close to finished” you may say. And yes, we have said that GTFO would come out in the spring of 2019 - but, as is often the case in this beautiful mayhem that is game development; things have proven more difficult and time-consuming than we first anticipated.
GTFO is designed to be continuously expanded upon post release, meaning that almost no element in the game can be designed or coded as a one-off feature. Instead, everything must be part of flexible, scalable, overarching systems. These systems are tough to both develop and to test.
Even though our team has about a century worth of combined experience, none of us have made a game that looks quite like this on the inside. It’s a huge technical challenge to realize with such a small team - and we know that in order to avoid a world of problems later on, we must lay an incredibly solid foundation now.
We acknowledge and fully understand anyone who is disappointed in the fact that GTFO isn’t coming out as a finished, fully-fledged game this spring. We hate to let our community down like this but we can’t release the game when it’s simply not done. In the fall of 2018 we prematurely predicted when the game was going to be ready - and we apologize for that.
Despite the false step on our end, we hope you’re excited for the next stage in the development of GTFO; when the community is invited to test the game. There’s no better way to develop a game focused on cooperation than in cooperation with its community!
Proper Testing - What It MeansThe fact that this is a genuine test stage means that the tests will not always be as enjoyable as you wish they would be: If we’re testing the network code, expect there to be network issues (if the code was verified to work 100%, we wouldn’t have to test it.)
We ask you to calibrate your expectations accordingly: During tests, you’re not going to be playing a fully polished and feature complete game. You must have patience and remember the purpose of the tests.
As we see it, you’re doing us a favor by helping us test the game - that’s something we are grateful for and also why we won’t use the tests as a marketing ploy or a pre-order bonus.
The RoadmapAs part of our effort to be more transparent, we will maintain a public roadmap that indicates what types of features will be worked on and tested during the test stage.
This roadmap does not contain any dates because we can’t be sure how much time it will take to test each and every element. We’re a small team and GTFO is a very ambitious project - planning is a real challenge. From now on, we won’t go public with dates until we know we can hit them.
The purpose of the roadmap is to make you aware of what you have to look forward to, but you have to keep in mind that things will change and the roadmap cannot be seen as a contract or a promise of any kind. The order of things will shift and features will be added or removed based on the data and feedback we collect throughout the tests phases.
Early AccessThe ultimate purpose of the test stage is to make GTFO enough feature complete and stable to go into Early Access. Through Early Access, GTFO’s development can continue to be community-driven while also allowing us to bring in some money and reduce the financial risk that this project entails. As you may or may not know, we have - up until this point - been developing GTFO without any external funding, in order to enjoy complete creative freedom.
We are well aware that Early Access as a concept has some negative connotations, with some games being stuck in what seems like perpetual Early Access and the developers seeing it as an excuse to never bring the game to a finalized, polished state.
We will commit to doing an Early Access stage the way it’s supposed to be done: With transparency, developer-community dialog and clear goals - goals that will bring GTFO out of Early Access as soon as they’re achieved. We hope the test stage that precedes the Early Access stage will prove that we’re serious about doing things the right way.
10 Chambers Collective