Kerbal Space Program & Cubeman 2 DLC Now Free

By John Walker on April 11th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

You wait thirty years for a indie game project to be barraged by fans after saying they were going to charge for DLC and then changing their minds as a consequence, and then you forget how this sentence even began. In the case of Squad, who make the ship-building-and-flying space sim Kerbal Space Program, this occurred after fan misinterpretation of the promise that all “updates” would be free. For 3 Sprockets’ Cubeman 2, it was the use of in-game purchases in promotional material for the main game that caught players’ ire. Both have had diplomatic changes of heart.

3 Sprocket’s situation was perhaps the more egregious. After a very successful launch on Steam for the strategy shooter, a lot of their community began to realise that items used to promote the game in their advertising turned out not to be included in the initial purchase. The consumer legality of such a thing is a little wobbly – really the bigger issue here is just letting down customers. So the developers have acted quickly, and declared that all the IAPs (in-app purchases) used in their promotional materials will now be free. Indeed, you can get the whole lot for free if you bought or buy the game this week, witha “GET FREE GIFT” button appearing in the Customisation menu, that’ll unlock all the skins and themes. And indeed, anyone who purchased any DLC this week will get a refund.

The game’s only a fiver in the first place, which 3 Sprocket hope to support with in-game purchases, so there will of course be non-free ones to come soon.

The situation with Kerbal seems a little bit more to do with miscommunication. In the game’s FAQ, it states that if you buy the game now while it’s still in alpha, “you won’t have to pay for further updates”. By which developers Squad meant all patches and fixes. But of course the buyers of the game interpreted to mean all future DLC. Things kicked off yesterday when lead designer Felipe Falanghe said they had decided to delay some features for an expansion pack, which they’d charge for. Community explodes.

Again, rather than trying to win the argument, Squad have opted for a change of mind, and now say that those who’ve bought the alpha, and those who buy it before the end of April, will receive all future expansions and content for free. Which is a fairly big change, but they told Eurogamer, “A promise is a promise.”

The lesson here, indies? Word things carefully! Both teams will obviously take a financial hit as a result of their honouring their community’s understandable expectations, which could obviously have been avoided if there had been a better emphasis on clarity in the first place. Making games is hard, but selling them might be even harder.

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93 Comments »

  1. StranaMente says:

    I’m quite interested in Ksp, but I’m afraid it is too focused on the simulation and number crunching to be fun for me. I’m glad for the supporters, too bad for me. :-(

    • Seth says:

      You almost certainly just need to find a good tutorial. KSP requires essentially zero number crunching and is very open to seat-of-your-pants flying.

      Get a good sense for the terms periapsis and apoapsis, prograde and retrograde (and believe me, it’s not hard) and you’ll be able to do practically anything.

      Unless you are much less bright than I’m imagining the only thing you will have trouble with in KSP after a good walkthrough is getting to another planet – and even that’s not so hard.

      (Put differently, KSP requires mastery of only a couple basic concepts – a few in rocket design, a few in orbital mechanics – none of which actually require any number crunching, and all of which become second nature after a few days.)

      • Brun says:

        This. My engineering education included rocket propulsion and orbital mechanics. I do everything in KSP by trial and error. You absolutely do not need to know more than the absolute basics and no number crunching is required for most tasks. You only need to crunch numbers if you want to make realistically efficient rocket designs. Currently there is no motivation to make your rockets efficient (you have infinite budget), thus you can easily whip up some very powerful (but wasteful) launch vehicles that will be suitable for most purposes.

        EDIT: Also their maneuver nodes (for adjusting your orbit) are a great way of eliminating a lot of the orbital mechanics math from the gameplay. They visually tell you how your orbit will look after certain maneuvers, and how much delta-v will be necessary to execute them.

      • benkc says:

        Any recommendation of a particular tutorial for KSP?

    • Avenger says:

      Actually there isn’t much number crunching necessary. It is a perfectly good game for especially geometric minded people. Hardest part is trying to realize and navigate your ship vectors in 3D

    • Xerophyte says:

      Somewhat ironically KSP is basically intended to be Orbiter only without all the numbers.

      That said, I get where you’re coming from. It’s easy enough to get into orbit and even to the moon by the seat of your pants. You probably need to have some idea what a Hohmann transfer orbit looks like, but hardly how to calculate one in detail. Rocketing to the other planets definitely takes some precision, or at least some trial and error to figure out when exactly the launch window is.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Hopefully a mission planner will be added to help (or some addition to the node system).

    • mouton says:

      It doesn’t provide many numbers at all. KSP buffs probably will say differently, but to me the game is quite opaque and focused on “will it crash or not”.

    • P.Funk says:

      KSP is Orbital Mechanics Lite honestly. There’s more conceptual overhead required to play IL-2 on full realism than to play KSP. You CAN do math if you want, but the beauty is that you don’t need to, but its there if you desire it, except you kind of have to infer the math.

      In the earlier releases you had no tools to help except a nav ball and basic speed readouts. People developed calculators that would tell you what your speed and apoapsis/periapsis would mean for your orbit. Now there’s a map mode that tells you in real time what your orbit looks like, lets you plan maneuvers visually and then maps those maneuvers to a timer and gives you a waypoint on your navball toward which you should burn and tells you how much deltaV (basically means speed burned by your engines) to do it.

      Its really approachable. It isn’t on rails like many games, but thats a good thing right. :P Its a sandbox, so you experiment, and your failures end up being half of the fun of playing anyway.

      Its a game not to be ignored. Fantastic community as well. I have never bookmarked so many threads off a game’s forums as I do with KSP. So many great ideas people come up with that you say “I need to try that” or “thats the solution I’ve needed for this particular rocket I was trying to make”.

    • Neurotic says:

      Noooo, do not be put off. Like the others say, it is very much a fun game first and foremost. The more you play, the more you understand how all the physics and mechanics work, and the more fun it becomes. It’s something like doing character builds in a good RPG – all the depth is there for you to slowly sink into, if you so wish. Really, there is no greater idiot with numbers and maths and science than me, and I’ve been loving the shit out of KSP for ages now. Go ahead and try the demo at least, you won’t be sorry!

  2. Avenger says:

    Well, I wouldn’t have bought Kerbal Space Program, if I didn’t think I was paying for all DLC and updates down the road. It was either intentional or perhaps silly of them to word it in such a way. It is an unfinished indie game sold over $20 for crying out loud…

    • Quickpull says:

      I purchased KSP, and when I did I never imagined that it included all future content that might be released for the game. Certainly I expected to receive a feature complete game. But expecting them to release new sets of rocket parts, systems to explore or any thing else a future expansions might contain for free? That’s ridiculous.

      • mouton says:

        Entitlement of the internet people has no bounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of those community exploders claimed free DLC is a human right.

        • Avenger says:

          If I tell you that you can eat the food in my fridge and you accept, then you are entitled to eat my food, since you would make plans accordingly. This is not about feeling entitled to something, it is an agreement.

          • mouton says:

            This analogy is flawed, because the KSP agreement was ambiguous and people felt entitled to the interpretation that gives them everything.

          • Brun says:

            It’s Squad’s fault that the promises were ambiguous. Entitled user base or not they made the right decision – the description they gave was unclear enough to be open to varied interpretation, thus they’re giving their customers the benefit of the doubt and choosing the most generous path. It’s a smart choice in the long run and it demonstrates that they care more about their long-term reputation and that of their product than making a quick buck like so many other developers are.

          • lomaxgnome says:

            If I tell you that you can eat the food in my fridge, that doesn’t mean you can come back and eat anything I restock in it later. “Game updates” when compared to “expansions” have had clear and different meanings for decades now.

          • P.Funk says:

            There’s a difference between inviting someone over for beers and pizza and saying “dont worry about bringing anything, I got it” and someone assuming that this means he’s offering to support your dietary needs for the rest of the year.

            I think its pretty incredible that people interpreted the word “update” so liberally as to mean all future content put out under the umbrella of the KSP game franchise. Its pretty absurd really. Its equally insane that people can’t parse the difference between expansion pack and DLC. It must be all these fucking children who can’t remember a world before XBL.

            Its partly the fault of the games industry in general, basically constantly rebranding things for the sake of “perception” which is of course a joke. Its like anything else, we quickly learn the gist of it and in the end their new branding becomes our new slur. Downloadable Content, Digital Rights Management, all that EULA shit. The thing that bothers me most is how ignorant people are about it.

            We despise the corporations for trying to lie to us, but then we get a bug up our asses about indies too. Its like it starts as a righteous indignation but quickly becomes the gimme gimme mentality of the entitled ignorant. I’m mostly referring to the KSP situation with this though. The Cubeman thing is a bit clearer cut on this issue, ie. they obviously fucked up.

            I feel bad for squad. They did the right thing by their people, but it shouldn’t cost them as much as it will. They deserve better, and in the end despite how great KSP’s community is, its still just as bad as anywhere else…. bunch of assholes.

            Sometimes you get so caught up in hating the establishment you forget how much you hate people.

          • Avenger says:

            For sandbox games such as KSP, there is inherently no difference between a DLC and an update from both the standpoint of players and the developers. What were done in the recent updates of KSP? More parts, more planets, more pyhsics features. What would be in the planned DLC? More parts, more planets, more physics features. They wanted to effectively divide their produced work in such a way that one set would be named DLC, thus should be paid for. Nevertheless, the rethought about it and decided otherwise, for the sake of their future relationship with the community, which is always good.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            There’s also the not small matter of the modding aspect. KSP has been very open to mods, and many of the features they have implemented and intend to implement in the future were or are official versions of mods. I think they’ve even hired some of the more prolific modders as official team members. As far as I know you can mod in anything from parts, to orbital bodies, to game mechanics and the UI to support them. There are even FTL engines.

            I’m struggling to think of anything they could separate into DLC that wouldn’t place them in competition with their own modding community.

          • Brun says:

            they had decided to delay some features for an expansion pack, which they’d charge for

            This is the important part to look at. Withholding content to facilitate the production of expansion packs or DLC. This is a cardinal sin against the gods of RPS whenever a big publisher does it. But apparently the internet is entitled if they criticize an indie shop for doing the exact same thing.

          • P.Funk says:

            “For sandbox games such as KSP, there is inherently no difference between a DLC and an update from both the standpoint of players and the developers.”

            I don’t follow this logic at all. The difference between DLC/Expansions and the main game content is specifically that which they make for the main product and that which they make past the main product. Thats pretty much it. Their goal is to launch KSP in a full version, as in 1.0, update with patches, fulfill the decided upon feature list, then move on to new content.

            The biggest issue is taht they screwed up and didn’t create a very clear feature plan. They kept adding stuff, which spoiled the community. When they stopped being feeders and actually started to utter something reminiscent of self-aware business planning people started to freak out and get annoyed.

            The free lunch can’t last forever. At some point planning has to stop giving features away for free.

            The biggest difference between DLC and normal content is when they have to start charging more. The fact is eventually they’ll be making content for mostly people who aren’t paying anymore. Thats a losing venture. Its business people.

            THey shoulda been clearer in their plans, and actually had one. People aren’t being fair and being self righteous fools.

            If the community gets its way Squad will probably go under and broke with generosity.

          • zachdidit says:

            When I purchased the game I understood that all future updates meant all updates until version 1.0. The most solid gripe I could see someone having is that they took features *OUT* of what was promised and decided to charge for them. That could rub me the wrong way if it was a feature that helped me decide to buy the game. I never expected all DLC and expansions to be free, however. It’s mighty generous of them to do this.

            Though I think it’s pretty ludicrous to expect a business to maintain itself by spoodfeeding you content for free. If I were in their shoes I’d push out everything I promised in the original feature list. Maybe add a few skimpy DLC packs after release to say I held my end of the bargain and then move on to KSP 2, this time without the poor wording.

      • Avenger says:

        Well, it seems what happened was, Squad was planning to put “completing the game” tasks on hold, in order to work on producing content for the DLC which they intended to sell. DLC, for an incomplete (but paid for) game. Think about it. It is not hard to agree with the community.

        • P.Funk says:

          I don’t think your interpretation is at all correct.

          I believe the gist is that they were asked where the game was going long term and they said that they basically saw themselves doing expansion packs for major future content ideas that go well beyond the scope of the initial game design. Meanwhile they also said that they felt like their game direction was getting a bit out of control, being very much pleasing their community with all kinds of new stuff. In the end it was starting to look unrealistic and they decided basically to slow down the development of far off features that basically exist for a complete game which isn’t even realized yet.

          Basically they said they lost track of actually completing the base game and that they need to refocus on that, while putting some other features off for a big later expansion pack.

          Its really very reasonable and makes perfect sense. Then everyone who saw a chance to sue McDonalds because their Big Mac didn’t come with fries flipped their tables and made a scandal out of nothing.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            It might help people get a better grip on the situation if they had actually said what features they had decided not to put in the base game. As far as I can tell they’re keeping it under the vest.

          • P.Funk says:

            As far as I can tell they weren’t even trying to make this into a thing. It was an innocuousness comment during a GDC stream I think. It was a very indie moment where they just said what they were thinking. It naturally blew up into something monstrous.

            They basically said “We looked at things and realized that we hadn’t even begun the career mode really and we were thinking about adding all these advanced features that were well beyond the scope of what was the initial concept. So we’re gonna probably put those advanced things into an expansion and complete the base game.” or something like that.

            ZOMG they stopped developing stuff on one end to focus on finishing career mode for 1.0? Wow, those bastards!

            What I see here is a bunch of people who didn’t even bother to actually contextualize or even fucking read the original information and then did a bad job of even interpreting what was available and then as the momentum grew it became impossible to downplay it with even the best reply.

            Its really just the sickness of people and their delight in controversy that made this into the issue that it was.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            I’m sure they weren’t, but when you say something vague and financially relevant to several hundred thousand people you can’t be terribly surprised when you get several hundred thousand concerned responses. Unless Squad is receiving (unreasonably large numbers of) death threats, I do not think that the “sickness of people” is evident.

            The “base feature list” for KSP has changed throughout development and is unspecific at best. Even their official page has a nice big “And a whole lot more!” tacked onto the end of it. What constitutes the “core game” will ultimately be defined as “Whatever Squad decides is the core game”.

            Combined with Squad’s tendency to tease people with tidbits of what’s being worked on (procedural universes) and the sheer potential made evident by modders it’s not remarkable that them saying they decided to not go through with some things until they were prepared to charge for them has generated feedback.

          • Spike88 says:

            The statement was actually made during a developer Livestream on Monday. I believe there was only around 700 people actually watching the stream, it only blew out of proportion when people sensationalized it on Facepunch and Reddit.

            The whole issue started when Felipe stated that resource gathering/processing and base building elements were a bit out of scope with the original vision of KSP. He stated that they were advanced features meant for more seasoned players, and that’s not the way he wanted KSP to go. He stated that getting the Career mode implemented is their current goal, and that if resource processing was added, it would be added as an expansion at a later point. It was stated right then and there that they wouldn’t even start working on an expansion like that until after the game was completed in a year to a year in a half. He also explained(as there was already outcrys about DLC in the chat) that he would never add DLC to the game, in the way of charging $5.00 for new parts. But isn’t opposed to traditional Expansions that add features to the game. He then says something along the lines of “Expansions to me are whole new games added to the game”.

            The very next day Felipe(HarvesteR) posted a developer blog explaining the situation in further detail and apologizing for the mix-up.
            But by this point the damage was done.

            You can watch the original Stream here: http://www.twitch.tv/KerbalSP If I recall correctly it’s around the hour thirty mark where it happens.

            HarvesteR’s apology:
            http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/content.php/159-About-DLC-and-Expansions-for-KSP
            Note: The forums have been lagging something fierce since Tuesday.

            I personally think people are over-entitled tossers.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            Wait, resource processing is getting the boot? :(

            No wonder people are pissed, they’ve been teasing that for months. I had assumed it would be integral to the mission system. I was hoping for it within a couple of patches. I need the motivation to do more than tinker around in Kerbin orbit.

      • Banana_Republic says:

        Even in an unfinished state, I’ve played more hours and have receive more enjoyment for my $20, than I have have for 90% of the games I’ve played. I would have no problem supporting the game further through DLC once the game is complete. To me it’s a unique experience that is worth a premium price. And I still only have to pay peanuts for it. Win.

  3. Simplisto says:

    Poor Squad. Personally, I’d say that people didn’t *read* properly rather than, as you suggest, the devs weren’t careful enough in their wording. Still – maybe I’ll use this opportunity to finally make the purchase!

    • briangw says:

      I’d have to say that even I know the difference between “updates” and “DLC.” Updates have always meant versions to a single product. But, still nice of them to make that change.

    • cptgone says:

      they didn’t promise the mun, did they?

  4. TillEulenspiegel says:

    The lesson here, indies? Word things carefully!

    Yeah. While the usual intent of alpha funding is that you’re pre-purchasing just the final game, others have also promised future DLC to early backers. You really want to be clear and explicit on what exactly you’re offering.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      And lo, indie developers start sounding like big publishers

    • Qazi says:

      I think it is quite amusing to imagine the situation where the “updates” weren’t free. ^_^
      Such a statement was always dangerous. Alpha purchasers get all updates free?
      Does that imply someone who bought it post-1.0 could have to pay for Patch 1.0.3? :D

  5. trjp says:

    More evidence that too-many gamers are over-entitled petty immature tossers…

    All this rage is just driving games into every stupider price-points and making IAPs and DLCs ever more necessary.

    Look at something – look at it’s price – decide if you want it – if so buy it and enjoy it – or not, your choice.

    Stop demanding the moon on a fucking stick – grow-up – notice that there are worse things in life than IAPs, Day-1 DLC, girls in skimpy armour and Always Online Gaming.

    FFS

    • Avenger says:

      You must excuse them for asking for what was written on the tin… If you look at the state of the games and the price points, you would see that free DLC does seem a plausible benefit of backing a full priced alpha game. Imagine the surprise when it turned out the dev had a different opinion.

      • P.Funk says:

        What if you can’t actually fucking understand correctly what was written on the bloody tin?

        People broadly interpreted “all future updates” as “All content whatsoever”.

        Update
        Expansion
        DLC

        Three very different things any informed consumer can delineate. If someone can’t understand what 500g means and says “where my Kilo?” its not the developer’s fault. Its that people are idiots.

      • trjp says:

        It’s all tiresome picking at terminology.

        As a developer, “updates” are really “fixes and improvements to the existing game”

        It would not EVER include additional content (DLC) or bonus content (IAPs) – ever

        Problem is, if you argue that with the raging internet horde, they just hammer away at their keyboards and vote you “worst company ever” or something like that. It’s like bringing-up retarded kids, you have to keep things predictable and simple for them.

        We talk a lot about gaming being taken more seriously – large amounts of ‘gamers’ raging like over-entitled 8-year-olds reminding their mum they were promised a BIG lollipop would be a GREAT place to start.

        • ChrisBlah says:

          “raging internet horde”
          “retarded kids”
          “over-entitled 8-year-olds”

          “We talk a lot about gaming being taken more seriously”

          No you don’t. You’re just another keyboard warrior slagging off hastily constructed strawmen.

    • Ernesto25 says:

      There was once a nice time called the 90’2 where pc games had expansion packs and only the sims was packaged as a jigsaw where you had to buy 5 different things to get the full product. Wanting value for money and what is promised isn’t “moon on a stick”.

      • P.Funk says:

        Your interpretation of the history of PC Games is pretty absurd.

        Considering you’re compared squad’s vague mention of Expansions to The Sims without any correlating information shows you’re just trying to interpret things in a negative way.

        So far there’s no way to actually judge the expansion scenario. They didn’t give enough info inititally for this judgment to happen, people just read a word they didn’t like and jumped to conclusions.

        The mob got its way, but the mob was wrong. Squad isn’t EA. BUt people don’t care, you’re all just a bunch of selfish fools.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          sorry, thought you mean the game was vague. Yes, the interview was very general and vague, as in, they were talking about possibilities, not decisions. Like saying “what can we do for expansions”, and less “we are going to do this”.

          http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Planned_features

          Now, because the internet is the internet, apparently anything not on that list must be free?

          [edit]
          Linked to the wiki, when the official feature list is here:
          https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/about.php

          • P.Funk says:

            Yea really, look at that wiki of the planned features. Almost EVERYTHING is implemented in some fashion or is likely to be soon. This is what I mean by people jumping to conclusions without bothering to gather information. If people had the correct context for the state of the game they’d see it clearly.

            If you read the features closely the ones that aren’t implemented are mostly either graphical stuff and fluffy cosmetics and the career mode. They’re basically in trouble with people for saying that they’re going to stop adding new stuff that isn’t on the planned feature list and instead finish the features they promised, namely career mode.

            No wonder getting elected is the dirtiest business to get in, people’s relationship with reality is subject to things less coherent than logic or reason.

  6. phelix says:

    I read the headline as “Kerbal Space Program now free” and my heart skipped a beat. Damn you, RPS, damn you.

    • LTK says:

      Indeed. The headline doesn’t clarify that it is the DLC for KSP and Cubeman 2 that is free instead of KSP the game and Cubeman 2 the DLC. Word things more carefully, John!

      (Kidding!)

  7. BurningPet says:

    Haven’t really examined the situation carefully but, regarding KSP, announcing features to encourage funding the development and later delay said features for an expansion pack is not a fair thing to do to a community that backed you since you only had a dream and a tech demo. not at all.

    If that’s not the situation and those features were not part of the original plan which may have been a factor for some people decision for supporting it pre-release, then yeah, the debate is totally different and is more in the line of “Should a company plan an expansion before releasing a finished product?” the answer is obviously that they can do what ever the hell they want, but there’s a thin line between “Hey, lets milk our captive crowd some more” and “Damn, if we ever want to release, we got to let that feature go, maybe someday it will be a part of some sort of an expansion thingy”

    Regarding Cubmen 2 – totally nonsense. there’s no reason not to show off items that can only be purchased via DLC at the main store page. this really does not apply as false advertising and sadly the angry mob has won this one.

    • P.Funk says:

      [quote]Haven’t really examined the situation carefully but, regarding KSP, announcing features to encourage funding the development and later delay said features for an expansion pack is not a fair thing to do to a community that backed you since you only had a dream and a tech demo. not at all.[/quote]

      If you haven’t examined it then why are you forming an opinion? Without full information how can you actually form a correct conclusion? Oh you can’t? Yea, how about that.

      They announced X features, but have also included a bunch of features that they didn’t announce already, and then planned more, and have always maintained that they would include every announced feature that was promised with the Alpha purchase in what the final game would include. Any features that would’ve gone into extra paid content like Expansions would be extra and beyond the scope of the initial game promise.

      So its pretty absurd that people are thinking that they’re trying to dupe people.

      This is why politics is such a dirty business. People are so ridiculous about scandal. Its like you want things to be more fucked up than they already are. Its so self destructive. Its so dishonest intellectually. Its just asinine and embarrassing.

      • BurningPet says:

        You see, you could just calmly describe the specific situation and thus realize i think that its fine (“if we ever wanna release we gotta let that feature go… etc”).

        The mob reacts. sometimes it reacts justly, sometimes it doesn’t.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        Politics is weird, though, in that it also usually involves some partisan naivety, as well as blind cynicism. It’s not just the vitriol, but the failure to maintain the same standards and expectations of everyone, even the people that say things you like.

        Cognitive dissonance can be a real [misogynistic slur redacted for fear of the Walker monster.]

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      The so-called items are basically skins that don’t affect the game at all. This is a real shame because its a great game at a really low price point, I’m sure they were banking on their profit coming from dlc

    • RobF says:

      “Regarding Cubmen 2 – totally nonsense. there’s no reason not to show off items that can only be purchased via DLC at the main store page”

      But there is a reason to clearly label on your store page that the game contains in game purchases and that these are not included. Initially, and why this all became a kerfuffle in the first place, that was not there. It was only later that an * appeared with a small note stating that the customisation options you see in the screenshots may have to be purchased.

      So no, it’s not nonsense. They should have thought this through and been up front and honest in their marketing (I don’t think they had any intent of being dishonest and I do think it’s an oversight but let’s not defend glaring omissions that mislead the customer here).

      That said, they’ve handled it sterlingly with immense grace and whilst I’m sure there was swearing in and around CubemenHQ, more indies and companies in general could learn to deal with stuff in this way.

  8. Universal Quitter says:

    People are fucktards. I wonder if I can choose to pay squad for the dlc, even if I already paid got the game, and assuming it isn’t 30 dollar horse armor.

    If you like a company’s games, it’s pretty fucking stupid to try and screw them out of the money they need to survive. Squad doesn’t exactly have the leverage and survivability a major publisher provides.

    I hate people that are so small on the inside.

    EDIT: I thought everyone learned this lesson with minecraft

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Yeah. The teams arms are tied if they ever want to add things like electric circuitry boards and programmable computers as DLC. They have to decide to make them the “core” game now, or to not bother (no return on investment).

  9. Simes says:

    So the correct interpretation of their initial statement is that if you don’t buy the game when it’s in alpha, you’ll be charged for future patches and fixes? I am not opposed to paying for additional content but charging for fixes is wrong.

    I suppose that with the parlous state the games industry is in a dev might feel the need to clarify that fixes won’t be charged for, but if that’s so, why restrict it to people who buy during alpha?

    • P.Funk says:

      Where did you read that? HOW did you come to that conclusion?

      Has the whole world gone CRAZY!!!

      Update = iterative bug fixes, original planned content patching, and overall stability improvements etc
      Expansion = large but not quite full game sized content update which usually includes large main gameplay features
      DLC = Usually complete garbage updates that screw you out of your money by charging for cosmetic and pointless stuff, or for content that should have been in the original game

      This is madness. Can’t people figure this out? I feel like I’m in a nut house.

      • Hahaha says:

        YAY GAMERS, Big brush…….meh

      • Lanfranc says:

        Breaking news: Language sometimes ambiguous, open to interpretation. Film at 11.

      • Simes says:

        “If you buy the game now, you won’t have to pay for further updates”. The implication is that if you don’t, you will. According to your definition of what an update is.

        • P.Funk says:

          You COULD try to interpret it that way, but thats a very misleading way to basically say something else, something much more sensible – “Buy now to access the Alpha, and you’ll gain full access to the full game as updates to its full release are produced”.

          Anybody who has any cursory awareness of how kickstarters or other such games do their whole pre-order alpha access through to full release thing knows thats what it means. People who can’t put things into broader context apparently get it wrong.

          Could they have worded it better? Sure. Are people supposed to figure out what they meant inititally before shitting bricks? Yep. Did people bother to do the latter? Nope.

          They’re saying “Get into the alpha now, never get asked to pay for the game later as we move into Beta and Release”. Fucking unbelievable. YOU PEOPLE.

          That people are still refusing to acknowledge a difference between DLC and Expansions is also staggering, considering the fact that during the stream which started this the dev in question responded to questions about fears of DLC saying that they’re never gonna do DLC but will do Expansion packs as they add much more substantial content to the game.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Has any game ever made alpha purchasers pay again for the released version?

            I can see where you are coming from but given that you admit their initial statement was poorly worded you are expecting a lot when you say that paying customers who were misled by marketing speak should reread the original text and then shrug.

    • Somerled says:

      I think the intended meaning was that early adopters would pay at a much reduced price point, and they would not have to pay the difference for any future updates when the price increased. Minecraft had the same deal, with a price that increased over time, but those that paid the initial low price always received the newest versions free despite the huge price difference that’s arisen and addition of content.

      Anyway, even though I thought I’d be getting all of KSP for free, I’m not against paying again for features as part of DLC, as long as it’s priced reasonably. Squad deserves to be rewarded for their work, if what they produce in the future is of the same quality as present content.

  10. bit_crusherrr says:

    >delay some features for an expansion pack, which they’d charge for.

    If any major game dev tried this there would of been a massive uproar.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Miss-reporting. They were saying while making the game they were getting either sidetracked, or entering development of systems not part of the game. There is also a massive modding community, and a desire to provide part of the features requested in game, but need to meet the scope of the existing game.

      Basically, they talked about “Kerbal race/boat/cloths shop/wood working tools/ thing/ Program” and said those things should be DLC or expansions. Then the internet exploded because they though “OMG, Kerbal Space Program is going to force SPACE to be a paid for DLC!”. Yeah, sometimes I think the internet makes people stupider.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      Thanks to KSPs very open setup, there is already a mod for boats. You can even make such a thing with the existing parts and a little ingenuity. Part of my concern here is how DLC and expansions are going to affect squad’s relationship with its mod community. It’s pretty damn hard to compete with free, but it’s relatively easy to make installing mods inordinately difficult.

      • P.Funk says:

        How exactly is that going to hurt their relationship to have DLC which competes with free mods? The only way it could hurt things is if they basically blocked mods in order to make their DLC more compelling. They’re not gonna do that obviously so whats the big deal?

        How is it any different to charge for a T Shirt with a KSP logo on it then to charge for some skin or part which the community could make itself but that some people are just for some reason willing to buy?

        Its like beer at hockey games or hotdogs at baseball games. They’re ridiculously overpriced, and everyone knows it. Nobody has to buy them, you already paid for your seat. This is even better though because this is like Squad having no issue with you bringing your own food, hell its like they’re making it easier for you to bring your own beer and hotdogs!

        Honestly people. Its like you’re trying to find something thats controversial.

        Hate to break it to you but small companies like this are more in need of supplementary revenue from DLC than EA or Ubi ever will be.

  11. Leaufai says:

    As an avid fan of KSP I can only sigh at all the idiots who don’t know how to read/interpret things. Updates are not the same as DLC. The game is not out of alpha, so all updates have extra features. Still not the same as DLC made after the game goes 1.0. Hopefully this very generous gesture of Squad will get them a few extra fans, but just to think that a simple thought about the future of KSP spoken on a livestream results in the devs having to bow to the pressure of a few people who can’t read or realize they already get a lot of game for a little money even in alpha.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Yeah, Kudos for them coping with rabid fans better than the likes of EA do. But really, I feel for them as at no point did they suggest DLC/expansions were included in the alpha. I don’t expect them to ever do DLC, but they probably will “expand” to other Kerbal related games. If they wish to keep those in engine/systems/universe then having them as add on games, rather than stand alone is understandable.

      Grrrrhhhh is all I can say. Nice developers being taken for a ride by a few customers and a lot of misreporting websites (see this pages title! :( ).

  12. dE says:

    I hope there is a lesson learned: If you want to sell something, get a lawyer to doublecheck your every angle. Law isn’t always fair. Yeah it’s a bummer to pay for things like that – but not getting sufficient professional advice will come to bite the arse later.

    Like in this case. Or the Paypal Incidents. Or accidental Open Source Licenses (very effective). Or… so many ways for Indies to get screwed over.

    • Hahaha says:

      Go gold
      Start on KSP2

    • Lanfranc says:

      This doesn’t seem to be a legal question as much as one of communication and expectations. A communication/marketing specialist would probably be much more useful than a lawyer. (Although all companies should certainly have a good lawyer as well, if for other reasons.)

  13. noodlecake says:

    Fans have shot themselves in the foot really with Kerbal Space Program. They’ll get this DLC for free and then the developers will just not produce anything else because they won’t be able to afford it and they will just start a new game. For anyone who liked Kerbal Space Program and wanted more DLC will just have to wait for content from the modding community, which isn’t so bad, I guess.

    • Liudeius says:

      Not really.
      If the game is successful enough to get many updates after it is “finished,” it doesn’t really matter that early buyers won’t have to pay for DLC. Remember, anyone who buys after April will still have to pay for DLC, and KSP is still in beta with a huge list of things to add. It shouldn’t have that many sales in comparison to its final sales.

  14. Liudeius says:

    Time to buy KSP. (I’ve spent so much time on the demo version.)

    I was one of those who misread it (well I would say they mistyped it). I mean that is DLC other than a paid update?
    Was horse combat in Skyrim free DLC, or an update?

    • Bugamn says:

      I think people should look on the bright side. How many people will buy the game now, giving the developers some extra money? Probably not that much, but I know that I bought a copy for me now. I don’t think I’m really draining them because I’m one of those that usually wait until it gets a heavy discount, and probably won’t play it a lot now as I haven’t been playing as much as I wanted recently. Or maybe I’m just trying to justify my selfishness. I think I need to sleep. Anyway, what I want to say is that the game looks marvelous and they deserve the money.

    • P.Funk says:

      I don’t know what you’re reading, especially since this is all predicated on a livestream comment versus apparently what a bunch of people misinterpreted “update” to mean.

      This is why legal documents often feature specific definitions of words we’re all supposed to know. It means you sign here and they can refer back to exactly what they meant instead of the community selective definition of it on a person to person basis we all use for daily communication.

      • Liudeius says:

        From the FAQ
        “IF I BUY THE GAME NOW, WILL I HAVE TO BUY IT AGAIN FOR THE NEXT UPDATE?
        No, if you buy the game now you won’t have to pay for further updates.”

        I didn’t misread it, it’s just badly written.
        DLC IS an update. Generally the only difference between the two is whether you have to pay for it or not (it’s based on what the company decides).

        Does Minecraft release new DLC every time it UPDATES.
        No.
        So all these people calling those who CORRECTLY interpreted the vague statement idiots should just stop, you’re all wrong.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Yeah this guy keeps going around calling everyone self righteous or entitled or whatever.
          Well you can’t have your cake and eat it too, KSP. Trying to sell alpha like Minecraft? No DLC’s bub. Trying to break that trend, you might as well be EA.

  15. soldant says:

    The thing with KSP is the alternative interpretation is that they intend to make people pay for patches, which is absurd. I didn’t expect DLC for free, but nor would I really expect features marked for final release to be DLC either – that seems to be an attempt to milk the cow a bit too much. That said if they did charge for the DLC I wouldn’t have gone off the handle with rage.

    Wording needs to be careful because “getting updates for free” is so ridiculously nebulous that you could draw any conclusion from it.

    • P.Funk says:

      What you and many other are STILL not getting is that they never clawed back features intended for final release and said instead that they’d be Expansion packs, what they ACTUALLY said was that some concepts they were going to put into the final product as NEW features not initially promised in the final 1.0 were going to end up being a full expansion pack and instead they were going to actually put their work into finishing the full list of features they’d promised for the full game, features which had actually received little work while still being core to the 1.0 release.

      Basically they’re saying they’re going to finish the base game they promised. They chose not to add NEW features to the final list and instead had to slate those for a future expansion pack for well after the initial release is completed.

      If you can’t see how thats not milking the cow for more then I guess you’re just hopeless.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Not hopeless at all, apparently they’ve fixed this mistake.

  16. Thermal Ions says:

    Hmmm, had a bit of fun with a really really early version where you just went up (either safely or in a ball of flame) and parachuted down. Sounds like there’s quite a bit more in it now. Given their customer centric approach to addressing this controversy I might take another look at it before the end of the month.