Reset release date reset again, sad robots slip into 2017

We certainly have lost track of Reset [official site] since its just-about-successful 2013 Indiegogo. Overwhelmingly beautiful in screenshots and early footage, then even beautifuller in a second trailer, it sank into a long stretch of development with multiple delays. And now, two days short of its most recent release date, the huge project from just two people has slipped again.

Let’s catch up. Christmas 2014 was aimed for and missed, months went by without updates (which is fine, of course), then by April 2015 a backer demo appeared. Followed by three months of silence… Weekly updates became a thing for a couple of months, then Greenlight happened, and weekly updates stopped. Five months of silence were only interrupted by the peculiar choice to write an April Fool, then another two months of nothing. (DEVELOPERS! Don’t do that!) Come June this year they reappeared with suggestions of a Christmas 2016 release then in September a release date with a graphic for the 20th December. Another three months have passed and we now know it won’t be this Christmas either. Boo.

It’s all very understandable – especially for a two-man team – but obviously far more tricky when public money was raised and spent. And as someone who starts and forgets projects more often than an amnesiac cannon (forgive me, I’ve been up since 6.30am and have quite the head cold), I entirely understand how many months can pass between writing updates. It’s not like they’ve got a community manager – they’re coding flat-out. Still, it’s a bummer that we’re still not going to get to play the game three years on.

They’ve, perhaps wisely, not set a new date – frustrating, especially for backers – but less frustrating than being over-optimistic and having to slip again. Let’s hope this isn’t “finishing creep”, and some nice tight goals are put in place. (Passive-aggressive much, John?) I just want to play the gorgeous-looking thing.

Oh, and having just spent a few days in Finland where the game is being made, I’m surprised anyone can get anything done when outside looks so incessantly beautiful and covered in snow. To tide us over, there are some new 4K screenshots to not be able to look at properly on your not-4K monitor.

13 Comments

  1. Tycow says:

    A shame, but at least the developers are communicating their intentions with their backers.

    The Limit Theory developer has gone dark again, and we’re about to sail past the fourth anniversary of the KickStarter ending. It’d be nice to have concrete info even if it’s that the project is canned.

  2. Gothnak says:

    You should be on the ‘That Which Sleeps’ Kickstarter.

    An update in September saying they had changed the style of the map (which no one wanted) and some screenshots. Then last week an update saying someone had left the project, that was all, no comment about the game, release dates or anything.

    It’s dead Jim…

  3. Hedgeclipper says:

    I’m not sure, for a lot of these small team/individual projects I think they’re probably better off saying ‘when its done’ – firm dates might be nice but they seem to get missed more than not. And at the end of the day there’s a huge volume of games being released at the moment so I don’t mind not hearing about a game for months or years even if it is fun to read the dev diaries.

  4. dualestl says:

    Can we just get over Kickstarter and Indiegogo funded games already? It was a nice little thing to experiment as,but in retrospect it only created more problems rather ‘letting out old ideas’ and created a lot of distrust in developers.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Don’t trust them a bit. I buy it when it’s done and turned out good not earlier.
      If those conmen thought they’d got money out of it they’ll lend the money from a bank like any other businessmen or an honest guy buying a house.

      • Shuck says:

        Game Kickstarters are almost never done by conmen (I can think of only a few that were, and they were unable to raise funds). They’re almost all by honest developers who underestimate the time and money required to make the game. Even successful Kickstarters are at least three-quarters funded by the developers’ own savings, so it’s easy to run out of money. And it’s not like there’s another means of raising the cash – banks aren’t going to give loans for things like this, it’s generally amounts too small for publishers to be interested (or ideas too unproven, or developers too inexperienced), which leaves developers using only their own savings to make games.

    • April March says:

      I don’t think it creates more problems. It created new, different problems, while avoiding some of the ones traditional development goes through. I’d say one of these new, different problems is that a game’s devs going dark for months or years, while a small team having to set apart manpower to liaison with an investor is one of the problems it avoids. (I’d also say that a crowdfunded game that goes poorly cannot be easily cancelled the way a traditionally funded game can is yet another of these new problems.)

    • Someoldguy says:

      Kickstarter is wonderful. People just need to pick which projects to back with a little more care. Perhaps its the perspective of advancing age but if I built up virtual piles of all the games I have bought in the last 35 years (virtual because most have gone to landfill or float around in the ocean and kill off marine life years ago) the pile for ‘total or near-total waste of money’ would outweigh the pile for ‘got my money’s worth’ and ‘unbelievably great value for all the hours I played’ by miles. Yes, that’s despite trying demos when they exist and usually waiting for reviews during the era when reviews have been relatively timely and game zines have been willing to seriously review titles that aren’t on their expected bestseller list.

      No system is perfect, but I really like the freedom to be able to tell developers “Yes, I really want a game like that. Give it your best shot.” rather than waiting for them to painstakingly build a game and be disappointed that it’s yet another clone of one of the current favourite genres. Kickstarter has shown that there’s still room in the marketplace for games that the mainstream big budget producers had declared dead years or even decades ago, and it continues to provide a home for the smaller developers. They need that capital to persue the game they (and we) want rather than the one a big publisher is going to tell them to turn it into instead if they hold all the financial control. Even bigger household name developers can craft something different if they’re given some freedom from financial pressures that a kickstarter can provide.

  5. mgardner says:

    About once a year, articles like this remind me to check the status of Cleve Blakemore’s Grimoire. Status: unchanged! Cleve is still an active poster to the RPG Codex mega thread, still promises an imminent release date (his sig proudly proclaims October 2016), still has nothing to show other than a years-old demo. No surprises there. The only change from year to year is the number of people who believe in him and defend him continues to shrink.

  6. Winged Nazgul says:

    Pft – my monitor is 4k so whatevs…

  7. Premium User Badge

    Ben King says:

    I had forgotten what this one was called but still fondly recall Reset’s time traveling puzzle trailers. I’m happy to hear it’s still underway. Although I have not contributed to any crowd funded games beyond “Outer Wilds” my personal Kickstarter white whale is “Tangiers,” which I still hold out high hopes for:-)

  8. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    The thing that gets me about all these Kickstarter games, that are years overdue with no communication, is the assumption that somewhere there’s a dev who made some over-optimistic announcements, and has long since spent all the money they were give, and probably all their savings as well, and still don’t have an actual game/project to release.
    They know that if they make any sort of announcement now, they’ll get no end of abuse, so they try and keep their head down while they work multiple jobs to try and keep that original, now long-dead, dream alive.

    • Shuck says:

      Kickstarter is good for raising 10-25% (rule of thumb) of a game’s development budget. Which means you have a team of people living on their savings even if they release earlier than expected. This can easily go wrong for multiple reasons, and when one person can’t do that anymore, the project is generally dead (because it’s almost impossible to find a replacement with the same skill-set also willing to live off of their savings).
      So it’s in their best interests to not pronounce it dead, as they most likely are trying to keep it alive and continue to work on it (because they sunk their savings into it) on a part-time basis, but even if they know it’s 100% dead and finished, it’s better to prolong things until backers forget about it and aren’t likely to demand their money back (which no one has anymore).