Hi everyone, I'm known as vipeout and I work for Destructive Creations. I'm a programmer, but DC is a small studio so I also handle support and communication with players. Some of you may recognize me from the Steam forums. This is my first post here and there's a lot to discuss. As developers, we believe that you deserve an explanation about the entire situation regarding releasing Ancestors Legacy on GOG. I'm leaving this thread open, because I want you to have a place and a chance to ask any questions you may have after reading this post. I do not promise I will be able to answer them all, but I do have a rule of not ignoring people, which I almost always keep.
Let's start with GOG team. Some of you wrote that GOG team has lost your trust due to the insane delay that we're having with Ancestors Legacy. That is unfair. Once they had realized how severe the situation was they offered a lot of help. We consulted with them on what their policies are about many different scenarios. We worked together to achieve desired effects using their libraries. They even implemented features into their SDK specifically requested by us, so we could port the game sooner and better! They shifted their own development timelines and adjusted them to our needs. They solved every problem we had with their libraries and systems which allowed us to speed up porting process and made sure we are able to follow their policies. We were constantly in touch. Their support was incredible and a huge difference from what we always had on Steam. Needles to say – for the better! It was an amazing thing they did for us, we had never experienced something like that before. Huge thanks to GOG!
We hope, that in future, we will have the chance to work with GOG team again. They've been great to us. Helpful. Understood our messy situation. They probably kept at it to satisfy you, those who trust them, but that's just my guess.
Ok, so, having said that, let's get to the most important question everyone's asking. Why was the delay so huge? It boils down to several things:
1. We did not expect we would have to develop the GOG version ourselves. It was not planned in our time budgets. As many of you already know, a 3rd party was supposed to deliver GOG version of our game. As you all know, it didn't. Having been put in that situation we've decided that we cannot let anyone down and we'll deliver the title all by ourselves, despite our already busy plans and absolutely no experience with GOG platform.
2. We could not just abandon all the previously planned expansions, tournaments, patches and bugfixes. Dedicated servers, console release, spectator, heroes. We had to work on all that while simultaneously working on GOG version. Why? Because with no updates, games die much faster. It would be dead before we'd port it.
3. We had to make sure that all this new content and features also properly work on GOG. Each thing we planned to develop for Steam we had to also adjust for GOG build. That quickly piled up a lot of additional work.
4. Ancestors Legacy is our first game on this platform. It's not just “copy the Steam build to GOG and done”, as some of you may think. DRM is not an issue here at all. Low level subsystems are – user verification, online play, cross–play, achievements, leaderboards and adjusting our game to GOG policies are some examples of what we did.
5. When a studio releases a game it's usually the last sprint to a finish line. When you reach the end line and something bad happens forcing you to race for many more long months... it doesn't help.
There were several rumors about the reasons behind the delay. The delay didn't happen because we were afraid that GOG release would hurt Steam sales. Games released on Steam, which use Steam DRM only, are pirated on release day for years now. It didn't happen because we thought that nobody would play on GOG anyway. If we did, we'd never plan a GOG release in the first place. It also didn't happen because we considered you second class customers, although it might've looked that way. Yes, we failed in communication here, on GOG forums. Unfortunately this also is not as simple as it should be. I agree that you should have been warned about the delay before the game's release. You wouldn't get much lead time, but at least something. The delay was known to not be “slight” at the launch date and everybody involved had to know it. Despite what we thought, it was decided by the publisher that such communication with you, was good enough.
Lessons learned? Be hardcore on the 3rd party that works for you. Make sure to communicate with players, regardless of circumstances.
We do realize that some (probably most) of you have decided to refund the game. Still, we have finally managed to deliver with full cross–play support, as promised. With all the content and features that are available on Steam today. We do realize that we've lost a lot of trust and good will from you. This is your first experience with us and we haven't really entered with style, to put it gently. Failing miserably gives more truth to it. We do care about what players think about us and we've really tried our best here.
To apologize for the failure that in reality we're only partially responsible for, the game is 50% off. This is a compensation for the long wait time. We are aware that for many of you this is not enough. However, at this point, it's the only thing we can do.
We are aware that you may feel disappointed, what we aim to achieve is making up and trying to restore our team's image. We also want you to know, that we'll be releasing all the future patches in the same time on both platforms. It's not a wishful thinking or an empty promise. You probably won't believe so easily (and truthfully – you shouldn't after all that mess), but it's a fact – we have to synchronize the builds in order for cross–play, that we worked so hard to implement, to work at all. Desynchronized builds crash :)
We honestly hope, that despite this insane delay followed by radio silence, you'll be able to give us a chance with our next games. That is, if our future games are allowed to appear on GOG after this entire mess. We just hope, that what we're trying to do now, what we've been consistently doing for the past months will be enough for you to give us another chance. We're really sorry.
Destructive Creations Team.
Will there be new content like additional units and maps in skirmish and multiplayer ?