Originally, I wanted to get the Steam release out so you would all have access to Steam features and automatic updates while I was on break. To alleviate concerns about me not being around for my break, I thought I’d write a blog post describing the exact state of the game and where development was heading. The idea was that anyone could read it and decide for themselves whether they wanted to buy the game or not.
However, on further discussion it seems like a risk. These days, people assume a lot about a developer and their process very quickly, and a lot of it can be negative. A lot of people have been burned. So no matter how much I communicate, a lot of those messages won’t be read, understood, or even believed. I hope I’ve built up some trust among RimWorld players by my actions in the past – but with a Steam release come a lot of new players who don’t know me from a hole in the wall. My fear is that misunderstandings and accusations around me taking a break soon after release would taint what I think will be an otherwise strong release on Steam.
The benefit of pushing to Steam now doesn’t seem worth it. Steam Workshop is nice, but a lot of people don’t use it even when they have the option. Automatic updates are cool, but there’s not much point when the game isn’t being updated because the developer is on break. We already have a well-working release system that’s served us all well for almost two years. So there’s just no great hurry there that outweighs the risks.
I’m sorry for the confusion on this and I hope this isn’t letting anyone down too much. Of course, the game itself will be the same either way (in fact, we might get more content out in the near term because of time saved from Steam release hassles). I also really appreciate everyone who took the time to write out a full set of thoughts on this topic. You’re not just giving me two-line low-effort responses; you’re giving me entire essays, and it’s really useful. I am listening and learning from you guys all the time.
In other news, Piotr Walczak, Polish coding prodigy has rejoined me after his school year. You may remember him as the guy who wrote the original code for the health system last summer. Having him around should help increase development speed.
Alpha11b is approaching final testing. It’s a massive bugfixing, tuning, and adjusting release, with hundreds of bugfixes and many balance changes and other small improvements. It’s also compatible with Alpha 11 saves! So look for that to come out soon.