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  1. #1
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    An Early Access thread

    There are lots of interesting games on Early Access but the steam forums aren't great for figuring out if the game is good or even there. So I am here with a few games that I would like to know about. I know early access games are unfinished and buggy by definition, but I like them, and I just want to know more about the current state of the game.

    My question for the games is, is there a few hours of gameplay in there or is it a case of wait for a few months? Are they any good, have updates been regular and significant?

    Merchants of Kaidan - http://store.steampowered.com/app/294020
    A trading game with RPG elements. Looks quite interesting.

    Hand of Fate - http://store.steampowered.com/app/266510
    A trading card game in which your character comes alive to fight the mobs, ARPG style across a dungeon built from your cards.

    Dex - http://store.steampowered.com/app/269650
    This is new to Early Access but has been open to kickstarter backers for a while. Its a 2D cyberpunk RPG.

    Centration - http://store.steampowered.com/app/243300
    A FPS space station manager.

    I have only put the basic description of each game as I am not sure how much game is actually in there


    Feel free to ask about any games your interested in, there has to be someone that has played it, surely.....

  2. #2
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    I think you can get a pretty good idea of the state of most EA games from (in order of general usefulness)

    a - Youtube First Look/Let's Plays
    b - Steam Reviews
    c - Steam Forums
    d - digesting those alongside updates and other things over time (pretty much the only way to see what rate of progress a game has)

    I certainly have no issue in determining which of the EA games might appeal to me and which are ready for purchase (given that I make that decision on whether they're worth the money they're asking NOW - not where they might potentially be in X months time)

    BUT

    The single biggest stopper for me with EA is that a lot of EA titles have chosen to either

    a - bundle
    b - go for deep discount sales

    Whilst still in EA!

    This, to me, is idiotic. You ask people for (say) $20 in return for a chance to try an unfinished game and contribute their views - but before you then do much (or in some cases ANYTHING) to those games - you offer them to other people for 25% of that!?

    I've only been caught once but a few games I was interested-in have done it (so I've jumped) and thus that's my policy now - wait for discounts on UNFINISHED GAMES!

  3. #3
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    I agree about discount unless its a game I really am interested in such as "Sunless Sea".

    My biggest problem with the Youtube/Reviews part is you don't know how up to date the build they are playing is. I'm kinda interested in jumping into one of them now (about from Centration maybe, I just really like the idea of that and am hoping that its playable more than thinking it is) and kinda want a honest opinion of someone here that says "I have play X this week and its in this state ......" you know? With the whole pay money for exposure on youtube its hard to trust all videos

  4. #4
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    When I look at EA Youtubes - I tend to look for recent videos or ones which talk about which build - or even watch a few over time to see how the game is developing.

    EA games can't be chosen just on a description or a trailer - you need to follow the game for a while, see what the developer's aims are, how they go about implementing and releasing stuff and how they deal with customer ideas etc.

    I was looking at "From the Depths" last week and I noticed that people were suggesting stuff and it was being done almost instantly - builds appearing the following day with the features enabled!!

    Not every developer will do that (or should) but activity level is an important metric I think?

  5. #5
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Space Engineers is a blast.
    Www.spaceengineersgame.com
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

    "It's frankly embarrassing. The mods on here are woeful."

    "I wrinkled my nose at QC being a mod."

    "At least he has some personality."

  6. #6
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    Yep. Not all early access is equal. Not all is as well polished. Some are engine demos, some are game demos, some are fully fledged games with content just to add.

    KSP and Space Engineers did it well, core mechanics fun even with little content, then adding content weekly or monthly (though KSP is now at the further end of development, so it takes a lot longer for progress).
    It is a technical difference, but's there none the less.

  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node Prolar Bear's Avatar
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    Some of you might've noticed the RPS racing folks have been pretty busy with Assetto Corsa. It's Early Access, slightly buggy and unoptimized, with slightly limited content...but what's there is already excellent, and the devs are actively working on it and constantly adding content. Mod support is already fully active.
    So yeah, there's a great early access game that's probably going to be the go-to racing sim for the next coupla years.

  8. #8
    I'll recommend Planet Explorers which is available on Steam. It's a bit wonky still but it has huge potential, and there's no game that offers so much creative freedom. You can build swords, shields, guns, cars, bikes, VTOL craft, gunships, watercraft, buildings and put everything together into an entire camp, recruit NPC's into your camp and assign them jobs and on and on... And it's not a half bad action game in the middle of it all too, fight huge alien creatures and tribal aliens, weird creepy crawly night spider scorpion things... Basically I like it, a lot :)





  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    Is anyone following DEX?
    post in progress

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Wenz View Post
    Is anyone following DEX?
    Would you care to share a bit about that one? I saw it on Kickstarter a little while back, but I don't recall too much about it.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    Some kind of 2d deus ex also in op but it seems under the radar here
    post in progress

  12. #12
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    RPS did an article on Dex during kickstarter last November - Article

    The general feeling I am getting from digging around about it is that is very very early access, the combat is a bit rough and there is not much to do at the moment and it seems there is noone on the forums that has gone near it yet, which makes sense as SteamCharts has its all time peak at 15 users at a time.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    Nice impressions for Planet Explorers, been interested since the first trailer with that big giant guy falling, looks really interesting :)

  14. #14
    Network Hub Granath's Avatar
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    I've about given up on EA games. I have quite a few, but the track record is pretty mixed.

    Bought pre-EA, but Ended Up on EA
    Gnomoria - I bought this long before it was on Steam. I'm waiting for the final release now, but I probably have 50+ hours in it. Winner.
    Kerbal Space Program - Ditto, except I have easily 100 hours in it. Winner.
    Starbound - Ditto. 22 hours but more to come. Winner.

    On EA Right Now but Backed via Kickstarter
    Divinity Original Sin - Winner, but this was KS. 99 hours...and counting.
    Dead State - TBD. 2 hours of time in the game thus far.
    Project Zomboid - TBD, 6 hours.
    Castle Story - an absolute disaster. 24 minutes wasted with this POS.

    The "True" EA Purchases
    Craft the World - Looks pretty decent actually but I've only played 3 hours
    Darkout - A disaster. It's not supposedly off EA, but the game is derivative and disappointing. 3 hours playtime.
    The Golf Club - Not bad. It's supposed to go live later this week but it's nowhere ready. But I'm a sucker for PC golf games and I have 17 hours in this.
    Starpoint Gemini 2 - Looks good and the development continues, but only 4 hours in.
    Ultimate General: Gettysburg - TBD, 3 hours.

    In short, I've done much better buying games off-Steam than on-Steam's EA. I haven't had too many EA (or KS) disasters beyond Castle Story, but I haven't really had a true "winner" as an EA purchase. And there have been a number of close calls where I almost bought an EA game and have been very glad later that I didn't.

    Now, it seems the current trend is to pay a premium for EA access which strikes me as absurd. So while I have a number of EA games on my wishlist like Folk Tale, Age of Decadence, Endless Legend, Lords of the Black Sun, Theme Park Studio and many more, I likely won't pull the trigger until release because there's little to no incentive to do so.

  15. #15
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    Cool idea for a thread. I've mostly held back on EA for the most part, but there's a few I've been interested in but hesitant about. Planet Explorers was one of those - it all looked a bit single player MMO for me. Is there more to it than that? The combat looked, well, dull.

    As for my experience:

    Kerbal Space Program: Is there anything that needs to be said? I've sunk a lot of hours into this, and have had to stop myself coming back for the First Contract update because I have a thesis to finish.

    Starsector: Dropped a lot of hours on this early on (maybe 20 or so?), but updates have been pretty slow and I burned out. The combat engine is a great top down tactical naval-type game, but there hasn't been a lot of game that actually fits around that, and that's what I've been waiting on. They look to be doing it now, however, and it promises to be space Mount and Blade, so worth watching.

    Gnomoria: This has taken a lot of the boredom out of my weekly commute to Birmingham. I just like fiddling about with it, and as I was never a Dwarf Fortress veteran I didn't really find much to be missing before my towns collapsed. A lot of fun.

    Ultimate General: Gettysburg: I have on-and-off fun with this. It's pretty good already, and quite interesting as I've learnt a lot while playing it - I've felt the need to read up on the battle to see how my intuition compared to how it panned out. That said, it needs a bit of fleshing out. I'm less certain about how this one is supposed to look when it's finished. At the moment, it plays very quickly, and feels quite simple. That said, there's very regular updates and the game is very much playable - the control system is great.

    Sunless Sea: I'm an on-and-off Fallen London player, so this was a no-brainer for me. Not much of a game yet, but the updates are coming in. As was reported today, the combat system is getting an overhaul (this is a good thing), but I'm probably going to hang back until it is actually finished, as it's frustrating to get lured in by Failbetter's frankly incredible writing and then get frustrated when it hints at more that isn't actually there yet.

    All in all, not bad. There's a few that aren't great yet, but none that I'm actually lacking confidence in. That said, I've been very skeptical toward the whole EA thing so far, so it's entirely possible that there are gems out there that I've overlooked, and vice versa.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexjhh View Post
    Starsector: Dropped a lot of hours on this early on (maybe 20 or so?), but updates have been pretty slow and I burned out. The combat engine is a great top down tactical naval-type game, but there hasn't been a lot of game that actually fits around that, and that's what I've been waiting on. They look to be doing it now, however, and it promises to be space Mount and Blade, so worth watching.
    Development on that is indeed quite slow but it at least didn't stop. Eitherway, the development of mods hasn't slowed down at all and they extend the game quite a bit, including many of the features the Developers themselves are still planning on implementing, like actual Faction warfare. Might be worth another look. Especially Uomoz or Exerelin are worth a look as they offer quite a lot that the main game doesn't.

  17. #17
    Activated Node seshFriend's Avatar
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    I have Kerbal Space Program and Rust.

    Happy with both of them, although Rust is sort of a rough story in the sense that they decided to scrap and remake the whole thing. Because of this there were no updates for a little while and I had no idea why.

    I sunk 50 hours or so into the first version of Rust and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a great game to play with a few friends, raid some forts, defend a raid, all in all good times.

    Haven't played the remade version yet. I guess they are adding in a lot of content provided by the community which is cool but it seems like they are having their player base do their job for them and reaping all the rewards. Then again as a player it would be cool to add your own features to your favorite game.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    I've got quite a few Early Access games, the best of which would have to be KSP, Assetto Corsa, Broforce, Next Car Game... But the best of them all has got to be Nuclear Throne. I suck at it so it has been 'complete' for me for some time since I can't get past 5-1.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Only Buy Early Access games you want for content that exists, rather than imagined content. Lots of people are getting angry that early access games are not what they dreamed they might become, this is because {whisper it} they are idiots.

    List of Heliocentric Authorised awesome Early Access games on steam:
    Kerbal space Program

    Okay, while its not a comprehensive list, its not without good reason. I don't gamble and I don't pre-order, consequently I buy games that I want to play that exist. Sure, I'm a fossil trapped in the old way of buying games which is circling the drain but its not me getting ripped off by scammers and developers with bad time management (or just bad developers I guess).
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    Wonder how Void Destroyer is doing.

    Okay, while its not a comprehensive list, its not without good reason. I don't gamble and I don't pre-order, consequently I buy games that I want to play that exist. Sure, I'm a fossil trapped in the old way of buying games which is circling the drain but its not me getting ripped off by scammers and developers with bad time management (or just bad developers I guess).
    Only exceptions I'd make are Wolfire Games guys since they are pretty serious. It's just they are never going out the alpha stage of their games without a team that isn't just the two of them.
    Last edited by Wenz; 21-08-2014 at 08:22 AM.
    post in progress

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