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Other-Life is not a business


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#1 butler

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 04:11 PM

So, today i logged on, had a wee chat with panda, and then decided to post on @@1 to see if anyone was alive in game by saying something a bit daft as is what I do and have always done, and then this conversation appeared, which i reckoned was of some value to the community, considering it gives a better idea what Other-Life is, and what Learner sees the game as.
[22:09:19] [butler @ 1]: are people alive in this game or are you all now replaced by ants
[22:09:46] [WaterBottle @ 1]: Eh, I come to life every now and then
[22:10:12] [butler @ 1]: i mean you are a bottle of water, if somethings swimming around in you there's an issue
[22:11:10] [WaterBottle @ 1]: By that point I should just be replaced and forgotten.
[22:11:37] [Learner @ 1]: I'm more likely to replace butler then you
[22:11:51] [butler @ 1]: ?
[22:12:05] [PandemiC @ 1]: lol, thats what the slave master said
[22:12:13] [butler @ 1]: I mean, i gave you the map plan that helped you get some funding so
[22:12:50] [Learner @ 1]: You're trying to convert this to a business instead of a player driven community
[22:13:47] [butler @ 1]: you ask for money
[22:13:51] [butler @ 1]: I assume business
[22:13:59] [butler @ 1]: you looked for funding, i assume business
[22:14:14] [butler @ 1]: I'd quite like the game to thrive, needs to have at least an aspect of business
[22:14:17] [PandemiC @ 1]: you similarly asks for $$ for specific tasks, work
[22:14:26] [PandemiC @ 1]: has some point there L
[22:15:00] [Learner @ 1]: except there is a big difference between talking to the players vs shifting to a full business model & outside funds
[22:15:07] [butler @ 1]: as far as i can see, the only way we can expand and pull in more than 20 concurrent players is have more people working for pay
[22:15:36] [butler @ 1]: yeah but you also have expectation of those players throwing their free time at the game to give output similiar to what you would pay for
[22:15:48] [butler @ 1]: I mean, radu's a shit business man, but he has a business
[22:16:13] [PandemiC @ 1]: he makes atleast 1000$ on 'equipment warranty' lol
[22:16:16] [PandemiC @ 1]: per month
[22:16:37] [butler @ 1]: and tbh, player driven, you have open source businesses like redhat, and suse, wonderful amount of community imput but they run
[22:16:40] [butler @ 1]: they operate
[22:17:14] [butler @ 1]: and your advertising and presentation make me thing small business
[22:17:20] [butler @ 1]: not elevated hobby project

Would say the 2 key quotes are these

Quote

[22:12:50] [Learner @ 1]: You're trying to convert this to a business instead of a player driven community

Quote

[22:15:00] [Learner @ 1]: except there is a big difference between talking to the players vs shifting to a full business model & outside funds

So there you guys go.

#2 Learner

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 04:50 PM

This isn't news.

#3 butler

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 05:51 PM

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 04:50 PM, said:

This isn't news.

You haven't really been very open in public about these things, considering the number of people who've asked you to:
  • Put on Steam
  • Put on Kickstarter
  • People proposing funding (who aren't playing the game so... it's outside funding Posted Image)
Combined with previous things you've done:
  • You've talked (over a year ago now) about getting a developer
  • Having a shop
  • Doing sales for and actively promoting shop
  • Putting prices to certain features (such as $1k for ants), i.e. money for hire
Would also argue that considering there were a number of confused people, and the fact that I am not the only one trying to push for a more professional structure, i reckon it is news.

Especially considering a community driven thing doesn't mean it's devoid of business. I, and I believe others, had assumed you had some aim or ambition to expand the development of the game

You haven't really advertised your intentions very clearly, and the game has never advertised itself as not being in some shape, a business.

Tbh, I thought these ideas/opinions were pretty much the most inoffensive ones I have voiced.

#4 Learner

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM

I've never said anything about trying to hire a programmer, but I've been keeping my eyes open if there is someone that enjoys OL, can be trusted, and \ has the skills needed. Which is totally backwards from how a business would look for people.

Money coming in is for support & covers the costs for servers, there are no salaries. It also helps show support from the players for what is getting done. Extra that comes in helps cover for lack of income. If we ever get lots of excess income, then I can look at spending more time coding.

When people ask for low priority things, yes I have been known to add a price tag. Helps weed out those just wanting stuff from those that really feel if it's needed right now.

I think your missing the point that trying to run it as a business is a very different attitude, which starts bringing in lotf of things like P2WIN and ignoring what the players say.

#5 butler

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 06:42 PM

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

I've never said anything about trying to hire a programmer,
I crashed my bloody Linux filesystem and am locked out of my linux files atm on my laptop, but give me time, and i will dig through those logs because you definitely mentioned at one point courting someone to help work on the game who, i believe you phrased it "untouched by the eternal lands/radu" stink

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

but I've been keeping my eyes open if there is someone that enjoys OL, can be trusted, and \ has the skills needed.
So another person to work for free... Doing ostensibly what really is a paid position. We also need client updates, model updates etc., and from what I've heard you aren't the best at respecting those underneath you in terms of they are working for free in their free time, and you expecting finessed results in a reasonably quick timeframe, which has maybe not helped with retaining some of the people who been developing for the game, might not be the best thing...

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

Which is totally backwards from how a business would look for people.
You're president is fucking Trump, business can be done extremely inhouse, see nepotism. Also, considering i am from a small village, and the way you get jobs is pretty similar so, I mean... I think you're not thinking of business as "business", rather as one very specific model. Moving on.

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

Money coming in is for support & covers the costs for servers,
Are you giving something in return? It's a transaction, and it's going to an entity that sells that service/product. That's a business. Unless you're registered as a charity. I doubt you're registered as a charity...

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

there are no salaries.
I have self employed family. They don't get salaries. Still a fecking business. I assume you have to pay taxes on your earnings from OL. It's a business.

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

It also helps show support from the players for what is getting done.
Magic Update

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

Extra that comes in helps cover for lack of income. If we ever get lots of excess income, then I can look at spending more time coding.
This sounds like you're trying to maintain the books of Other-Life as an entity and keeping it running... from a business perspective.

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

When people ask for low priority things, yes I have been known to add a price tag. Helps weed out those just wanting stuff from those that really feel if it's needed right now.
So you are offering a service for an amount of money. That sounds like doing business.

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

I think your missing the point that trying to run it as a business is a very different attitude
There is a lovely variety in business models, however they are models. Look at SUSE, Oracle, Apple and MicroSoft. Same sector, wildly different business models.

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

which starts bringing in lotf of things like P2WIN and ignoring what the players say.
Er... no. That's only if you let it do that. I'd also say paying for polls, pretty good way to make the players with money have the ability to choose what gets discussed and voted on >.>

You are also ignoring that a lot of games happily exist making money without being Pay to Win. I played a bunch of Team Fortress 2, that was all side grades, i was still pretty much even when i had nothing in my storage opposed to now. I don't believe my brother has paid for anything but expansions in Guild Wars 2, and he does fucking great in that game, playing in Sapphire League and with Diamond League players.

You're connecting things which aren't inherently connected.

#6 Learner

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 06:49 PM

You are also trying to connect things into this that we aren't trying to connect in. As it is we are currently testing a new version of the client that includes the maps just released here this morning, and just trying to get the kinks out of it. Warlock & Z for example have been testing windows builds.

Don't forget, the moment you start focusing on this being a business, attitudes for how things are handled changes a lot, which usually includes the importance of $'s incoming surpassing the will of the customer/player (hence the P2WIN comment)

#7 butler

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 06:58 PM

My main thing is that right now, you are effectively limiting the game to a point where it's entirely stifled in terms of getting updates out, expanding it's player base and the lot.
  • You're keeping yourself to effectively 20 players at a time, due to looking only inwards for money. Hence the begging for funds every so often.
  • You lose long term players, such as Scarr, St_Arcane, Siarato, SirCryalot, etc. etc. because there's nothing more to do. Nothing changes. I got a message from one of them that went along the lines that "EL has lots of flaws but at leasts there are things to do"
  • The fact "Magic Updates" is pretty much a goddamn meme within the community at this point.
  • Players can't really strongly advertise the game because it's indistinct. It looks old, it's functionally the same as Eternal Lands (as in there are plenty of game mods that do much more than this server), so what do we have to pull new players in?
  • Player count is low so isn't great the attract newbies
  • Updates come out so rarely and are so invisible that nothing feels like it changes.
And i mean you haven't inspired the greatest of faiths,
  • That whole St_Arcane ban fiasco where you banned him for being a shit in a different game
  • Magic Update in a year -> 6 years down the road.
  • Slightly snappy at those working for you for free
  • Defending an IM abusing his powers by patting him on the wrist and going "not good"
Do you know what would help with most of these?
  • Getting funding to actually develop the game
  • Hire developers so the game moves forward at a good space around player suggestions and polls
  • Getting you a damn community manager to help translate, visualise and communicate what's going on to your community so they don't rely on random titbits on @@1 that were posted when they weren't bloody on.
  • You know, get a generally plan and be pushing it forward at a speed that inspires faith in players, makes it easier for us to:
    • Attract new players
    • Attract back old players
    • Retain our players
    • Generate money from an expanded playerbase
    • Have something bigger than a bloody GMod server.


#8 Learner

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 07:07 PM

You have no idea of the problems StA was causing since EL & OL do still share code & bug fixes. Matter of fact the current client update that's in testing is being built for us by an EL developer who donated his time to make sure all of the recent EL updates were merged in the OL code base. Just had to get him to settle down for the sake of OL.

#9 butler

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 07:12 PM

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:49 PM, said:

You are also trying to connect things into this that we aren't trying to connect in.
Explain. Show me an example. I gave you examples?

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

As it is we are currently testing a new version of the client that includes the maps just released here this morning, and just trying to get the kinks out of it. Warlock & Z for example have been testing windows builds.
I heard. It's a bluap one afaik.

Also, again, doesn't really argue against anything I said so...

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

Don't forget, the moment you start focusing on this being a business, attitudes for how things are handled changes a lot, which usually includes the importance of $'s incoming surpassing the will of the customer/player (hence the P2WIN comment)
If you let them. There are ways to make an ethical business. Are you afraid you are just as bad as radu? Is this what i boils down to? Are you stifling your own game because you think you'll just become radu?

honestly, i don't understand why you don't want the game to actually grow, and are happy to sit with a stillborn game. You're ONE argument is that it'll make it pay 2 win. Cool, you know that's a danger, so you can account for it and structure your business accordingly.

I'm not saying go out and sell shares of OL on the stock exchange. Hey, we mentioned kickstarter, great way to get funding for a game, and only serve your players.

So, again, what's wrong with taking a more professional approach, hiring people, structuring your business to better fund and operate itself and serve your community? Plenty of companies do this.

So many of us want the game to succeed, but you won't try and get it funded, you won't try to get it so we have another person properly working on the game. You don't want to expand. You are happy to just subsist off the work of people like SAW, Grimm, Zian, Warlock, bluap, annraio, maki, and more, and give dismissive response posts like:

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 04:50 PM, said:

This isn't news.

Do you know, this is probably the worst response i've got to a thread since radu told me to fuck off and go somewhere else because i don't spend enough money after i gave a big list of suggestions.

I want this game to succeed. Pretending it's not a business doesn't help anybody. It just means it fails as a business and as a game.

-------------------------------------------------------2nd Post split-----------------------------------------------------------------

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 07:07 PM, said:

You have no idea of the problems StA was causing since EL & OL do still share code & bug fixes. Matter of fact the current client update that's in testing is being built for us by an EL developer who donated his time to make sure all of the recent EL updates were merged in the OL code base. Just had to get him to settle down for the sake of OL.

I was on when he was doing all the Hi burn spamming. I mean, it just sounds like you want OL to be a hobby diversion from EL. Fuck EL.The further we get away from EL the better. The fact we are so similar at this point is another argument for the fact OL hasn't developed significantly over 6 years. Look at the french server, they've done more, even if it's not to my tastes, by miles than here. Even radu has done more, and he's doesn't even give a shit.

I'm just saying, you've not garnered great trust. The St_Arcane one is a great example, as it shows you doing something completely against the best interests of this game, and just making us nothing more than the goddamn PK Server.

What's your aversion to actually getting OL developed properly? Rather than relying on scraps from EL's dinner table and what you can do when the wind isn't too strong.

Can you at least address any of the meaningful themes or points in any of these posts please. Rather than just picking the isolated one bit you think you can just about defend. Please.

#10 PandemiC

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 07:16 PM

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

I've never said anything about trying to hire a programmer, but I've been keeping my eyes open if there is someone that enjoys OL, can be trusted, and \ has the skills needed. Which is totally backwards from how a business would look for people.

View PostLearner, on 16 April 2018 - 07:37 AM, said:

Remember I'm using licensed software which restricts exposure of the code.

So unless that person somehow has vested interest in your server, similarly to how the french server obtained a copy of the source, OL is not going to develop. All of the points butler has said limits the amount of vested interest any one person would want in OL otherwise.

#11 Learner

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 07:50 PM

This never has been a business or about trying to make money. Hence someone that is going to be getting into the guts of the server needs to be interested in the good of the game so they will think about what is best to do for the game, and not a hired code monkey.

#12 CoduX

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:49 AM

I wouldn't even bother arguing Butler. I've come to realise the last couple years that OL is never going to succeed unless somebody wins the lottery and dumps $50K+ into investment.
If you want to do something, you have to do it yourself. Learner will never hire anybody to work on the game. I mean, who in their right mind would want to, especially for free? Even sometimes I think I'm mad for doing it.
It will never go on Kickstarter.
It will never go on Steam.
It will never become bigger than a 20 player game. It has been over 2 years since there has been over 30 players on at the same time and that was during Halloween Invasions (which is arguably the biggest invasion of the year).

Blunt truth is, should just play the game till it dies.

#13 AlddrA

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 04:56 AM

I know this will be shot down in two seconds but going to say it anyway!!  Why does OL have to be a business? Why can't it just be a fun game to play?
What is wrong with donating some free time to doing little things for the game?
Does everything in this world have to be a business?

#14 ohmygod

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 05:27 AM

I hear that there is some very good anti-anxiety medication about these days for these young fellas.

Beer is just as good apparently hic... Posted Image

#15 butler

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 05:58 AM

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 07:50 PM, said:

This never has been a business or about trying to make money.
Still, you're still missing that you can run a business and still bloody care about what you're making, and focus on making it the best thing you can for the people you serve with the money element only being there to sustain it and grow it.

View PostLearner, on 18 April 2018 - 07:50 PM, said:

Hence someone that is going to be getting into the guts of the server needs to be interested in the good of the game so they will think about what is best to do for the game, and not a hired code monkey.
Interestingly, you can be paid to do something and still care about it. This is a shocking revelation, i know, but many companies are focused around this in the design and gaming industry.

I'm not saying make OL a big business venture, I'm saying possibly going along the lines of something like Wolfire games, that make Overgrowth which has been in development for 8 years, isn't on a huge budget, and is bloody impressive. Right now, OL is just a hobby game, from what I gather from what you are saying, which means you're happy to keep it strangled and not grow, because it just won't grow without you looking for money to go in.

In terms of working for free, that works, but that also relies on the code being more open source in terms of servers, a larger programming community that can work on it, and I'm going to point once again to the fact Canonical, Redhat, SUSE all have opensource commits by people doing it for free but to make it as good as it can be they have professionals paid to work on it.

I'd also say you are kind of killing the community aspect, as much of what gets done is done entirely at your discretion, without any polling. Let me point towards the NPC races mobs and the pirates, specifically.

Most of the community wants the game to succeed, and that means it needs capital, and needs more than just you digging in the server. If you can't see your model is flawed after 6 years of the game languishing in purgatory I'm really bloody worried you're getting as out of touch as radu.

View PostAlddrA, on 19 April 2018 - 04:56 AM, said:

I know this will be shot down in two seconds but going to say it anyway!!  Why does OL have to be a business? Why can't it just be a fun game to play?
Interesting idea, maybe the two aren't mutually exclusive, maybe, just maybe, you can run a business competently and still make a good game. I wonder how Devolver Digital, Double Fine and Paradox do it, how thousands of indies do it.

Make a distinction. OL is not the same as Battle For Wesnoth, Megaglest, etc. Those are entirely opensource, anyone dig into them. OL deals with a propriety licensed server. That severely restricts it from that angle, of being an open project.

Other-Life is a business, it's just a shit business that prevents itself from growing, and is unwilling to try and get itself properly funded so that it  can grow to more than 20 concurrent players.

View PostAlddrA, on 19 April 2018 - 04:56 AM, said:

What is wrong with donating some free time to doing little things for the game?
Did i say anything against that? No, i didn't, i praised those doing that. I've contributed things towards the game. My issue is Learners reliance on people doing jobs for free as a replacement for actually getting a paid staff in to expand the game in any time frame.

View PostAlddrA, on 19 April 2018 - 04:56 AM, said:

Does everything in this world have to be a business?
I'm a bit fed up repeating this, but I'll do it one more time, in nice big letters, on bullet points for everybody at the back.

If it...

  • Asks for money
  • Sells services
  • Gives prices
  • Isn't registered as a charity
It's a business.

Other-Life is a Business, it's just treated like it isn't, and that's why the game and itself is failing. I'd personally love the game to actually expand and become better in a timespan before I'm twice the age that I started playing the game.

For all Eternal Lands failings, at least it had the ambition to expand.

View Postohmygod, on 19 April 2018 - 05:27 AM, said:

I hear that there is some very good anti-anxiety medication about these days for these young fellas.

Beer is just as good apparently hic... Posted Image
Insightful and useful as ever... just filled to the brim with useful insights, relevant information, and well formed arguments, definitely not just another nonsensical utterance.

Learner, you still haven't addressed the myriad of arguments, points and such presented to you, all you are doing is just repeating

Business will ruin game, community driven (even though I make most decisions by myself without telling them), only people working for free will be good.

I'm sorry, but I'm stating what I've heard from most of the people who've left, most of those people who were there when you relaunched OL, they all have the same grievances, unless they don't really care for the longevity of the game and are just impassive of anything added and just go "GREAT JOB L!!" without ever putting an insight, criticism or any real input into anything.

Maybe we should put up a poll to see where the community sits in terms of actually funding the game, eh? Let's do that great thing where i need to spend my money to gather opinions, wonderful community lead thing that is.

Honestly, the lack of desire or ambition to better the game and expand it's player base is just you ringing the death knell

#16 Warlock

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 07:05 PM

Lets not forget about what changes L has been working on lately which are clearly visible to everyone; PERKS

I stressed at him enough times that this wouldnt be another magic system scenario, which he promised it wouldnt. - And isn't

Magic system, can everyone just stfu about it now, it will happen eventually just takes ALOT more detailed thought, and planning/testing from EVERYONE for a long while

Not to mention the AOE changes in magic, fuck, just forget about magic for a while, more u mention it, more it gets boring to even think about. 1 thing at a damn time

Also, most of what's been posted is just repeats from the previous, really gets boring reading it 10x over

This whole thread i think is pointless, only benefit it has is to the poster, to air an argument publicly. no offense butlerinio Chris Paul

Why even care so much about if its a business or not? Just because you now have finally decided to spend some time on it, after years 'hiatus'?

#17 Warlock

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 09:25 PM

If it were ran as a business, under-performers would get the sack - https://www.other-li...ogress-summary/

#18 ohmygod

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 01:53 AM

Quote

1 thing at a damn time

Agreed,

hic.

Edited, -Deleted the waffle

#19 butler

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 06:08 AM

View PostWarlock, on 19 April 2018 - 07:05 PM, said:

Lets not forget about what changes L has been working on lately which are clearly visible to everyone; PERKS
Yeah, I'll admit, this one is proving far better communicated and more visible. Genuinely got some excitement for it.

View PostWarlock, on 19 April 2018 - 07:05 PM, said:

I stressed at him enough times that this wouldnt be another magic system scenario, which he promised it wouldnt. - And isn't

Magic system, can everyone just stfu about it now, it will happen eventually just takes ALOT more detailed thought, and planning/testing from EVERYONE for a long while
I'm happy that was stressed to him.
In terms of the magic system, it was the easiest way to express the slight issue of underlying trust problems with whether these things will happen, that I've heard a bunch, and I do agree that it get's tiring being pulled out so often, which is why I generally avoid bringing it up (I think this might be the only thread I've done it?).
The last point, was generally why I want L to get someone at least doing part time server work alongside him, it has been 6 years and he hasn't found anyone yet, I just have wanted for quite a while to try and expand and have more people properly working on it, rather than only those of us who are using our free time to do it for nothing.
Just want OL to grow and be more than it is.

View PostWarlock, on 19 April 2018 - 07:05 PM, said:

<snip>
Also, most of what's been posted is just repeats from the previous, really gets boring reading it 10x over
Yeah, it pretty much is just me and L saying the same things back at one another for every post...

View PostWarlock, on 19 April 2018 - 07:05 PM, said:

This whole thread i think is pointless, only benefit it has is to the poster, to air an argument publicly. no offense butlerinio Chris Paul
I was originally planning to do a thread about trying to make better community trust, and more transparency, etc., things I've touched on on other threads, and then this happened on channel out of the blue, and I genuinely thought more people assumed Learner was at least looking at some sort of "business" aspects, such as getting more people to come in and work properly on the game, so that we get more done more quickly, rather than relying on all the people who will work on a few things in their free time, and then stop.

View PostWarlock, on 19 April 2018 - 07:05 PM, said:

Why even care so much about if its a business or not? Just because you now have finally decided to spend some time on it, after years 'hiatus'?
I left generally because I got very frustrated with how winter was running the community development outside the forums, and shut off from any visibility, input and scrutiny from the wider community, and was just getting depressed between that, stress of rl and rl events that kind of made the game less important.

View PostWarlock, on 19 April 2018 - 09:25 PM, said:

If it were ran as a business, under-performers would get the sack - https://www.other-li...ogress-summary/
I mean, I'm working for free, and over half the game counts in this way. I mean we have kiwi, fire, maki, eats, codux, bw, and my maps all not through, and ald without any .def files, and a large number of hiatuses among IMs like ach and grimm, and gaps in others making invasions and it just goes on and on and on...

and that's part of why I would like more permanent development, because this is natural for people doing it as a hobby in their free time.

hope this explains some of it, do think you argued a good point.

#20 Kaddy

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 11:01 AM

Wow I got sad because I missed this topic. And not counting my name in long-term players broke my heart Butler. :(

Anyways, I don’t really think that L wants this game to have more than 20 players at a time. The perks updates seem to be good, but goodluck having them in main in 2018.

It looks like L has lost his faith in OL, too. But I kinda pick an idiot radu that makes updates and puts new stuff to the game quite often than a L that dodges every question about updates and give absolute nothing but a code-wise make-up updates as if they were needed urgently, that’s why as Sia guild masters we all play EL now.




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