I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to our newest team member, @Rabid_Llama! I’ve known this guy for years, and I’m super excited to have him joining our team. For the last eight years he’s worked with Riot Games on League of Legends, working as both an engineer and a tech designer. He’s actually the guy that introduced me to Dwarf Fortress over a decade ago.
Llama’s focus will be to improve the core game that you guys are playing every day, things like combat, gameplay encounters, crafting, trading, etc. With him leading that charge, that should allow me to move much faster on some of the broader prototypes I’ve been working on (multiplayer, exploration, etc.). I’m super excited to have him joining the team!
Okay, my turn to be “that guy”, kind of. I’m not very good at this. Because my attempt at negativity means I’m actually pretty excited about this! When the team was smaller, everyone did several things. Now that you’ve got more people all doing their specific jobs - sure, the art, animations, design… can all be better, but I - and especially others - have felt there’s been some slowdown as that’s also required more organization and coordination (not to mention that so much of the work being done is on the back end, which does make the comparison unfair.)
So it sounds to me like you’ve finally got someone who can iterate more quickly while the rest of the team does all the planning for major systems. I’m hoping that will make development feel faster like it used to, while the alphas still focus on more fleshed out systems as they do now.
It is impossible to be faster.
This sensation of a slowdown is caused by comparing versions with other versions.
Newer versions will always feel slower or smaller than previous version. Why?
Imagine this simplification:
The game in its version 1 has a single feature.
Version 2 implements another feature. This means an increase of 100% of content.
Version 3 implements one more, from 2 now we have 3. But this means “only” a 50% increase.
Fast forward to a future version. In this, we already have 100 features. The next version adds 10 more. Note that we added way more than the first few versions, yet this represents only a 10% content increase from the previous version…
I’d agree with this if we were still getting features. As it currently stands, we get one big feature, THEN the next one starts, and yet we keep being told that each person is doing their own division of work. And when we do get little features thrown in, it’s because one of the developers had some down time.
An example of this is the conversation and building systems. 5-6 weeks were spent on the conversation system, with each week us getting the next piece of that pie. Finally, it was complete enough that they decide to move onto the building UX. Well, we’re told it’s going to take multiple upon multiple prototypes before they get the right one…and the Dev Stream and Desktop Tuesday iterate that we’re only on model 3. So why did they wait till the conversation system was complete to then start the building UX? Why weren’t they working on that the entire time? Oh, that’s right, they want to only focus on one project at a time to increase efficiency.
This too has been a “reason” for the slow down. And if it was already a previous reason, and they’re getting another person, then by definition, that means that it will have to get that much slower again.