Also: for someone who seems to be so pro-innovation, you sure are biased against walking sims, which are some of the most ambitious games in recent memory. Not in terms of gameplay, I agree, but they're some of the most artistic, philosophical, psychological and literary experiences video games have ever given us. I, for one, welcome MORE walking sims on both GOG and the video game market as a whole. Let indie studios make their walking sims, customers will get to decide which ones are good or bad. Either way, no walking sim will ever sell for AAA price + DLC, and all that Compulsion added to We Happy Few was just that, buddy: more walking sim parts hidden beneath awful mechanics that Pathologic, The Long Dark, Dying Light, Dishonored, Thief, F.E.A.R., Hitman, etc all did way better, years and years before.
Just to clarify my position a bit, I am only "pro-innovation" in certain senses. In this case, I am in favor of indie games trying to be epic in scope rather than small arcade-like experiences. That doesn't mean I don't value the latter. As one of many examples, Enter the Gungeon still might be my most-played game this year (can't say for certain, because I refuse to use the wonderful innovations of the Diet-Scheme client). The reason I am insistent in wanting the "epic in scope" indie games is because I see a dearth of them. Also, contrary to all the vitriol being lobbed at the WHF devs, I feel as a general rule the "epic in scope" indie games are much more difficult to make than small-scale ones (this is not to say the small-scale ones don't often have more love poured into them, that's a separate topic). Since the "epic in scope" games do take more effort in general, I feel that the opposite push to have a lot of small-scale indie games runs a large risk of flooding the market with developer laziness and a large quantity of games that, even if technically sound, are not mammoth experiences for us to consume.
All that said, I heartily recommend Pathologic to any gamer. WHF is very cool to me and I like its elements, but Pathologic is imo a must-own game.
Understood. Still, despite praising Compulsion's intended scope (I don't think 5-6 hours of story content padded by boring fetch quests while dealing with a barren world, outdated survival mechanics, middle-of-the-road stealth and combat and broken NPC AI is that epic a scope, but maybe that's just me), I think it's fair to agree some of the complaints are more than justified, if only to bring this to the general attention of the public, in hopes that more studios don't pull stuff like this. Because, like you keep calling it, yourself, this is an indie studio, making an indie game. Owlboy has a much bigger scope, story-wise, than We Happy Few (it's just not made unnecessarily longer by adding fetch quests and boring survival mechanics), but D-Pad knows their game is an indie title, and they don't sell it for the price of a AAA game. If Compulsion were selling their game for, say, $40, I bet they wouldn't be getting this backlash. People might still think the price was a bit too steep for what's being offered -- especially with all the performance issues and bugs --, but it really seems like a more appropriate price for what you're actually getting.
If "at least they tried hard" regardless of actual result is worth $60 to you that's your prerogative, of course.
It isn't so much that they "tried hard" in itself; it's that they tried to provide a bigger-scale experience than the typical indie. They are getting raked over the coals for it. People will rail against games like this, they will rail against trying to wishlist games from last gen ('it's EA, no WAY it comes here'..yeah not with that attitude; 'anyone who wants it can get it on steam'...yeah, not DRM-free though so it may as well not exist). I can easily see a future where the only new releases look like the frontpage of that itch site. What alarms me is that this doesn't seem to bother some of you folks and that, if anything, you might even be welcoming of it.
They TRIED to provide a bigger scale experience. But they failed. Again, you seem to be focusing on what they promised, instead of what they actually delivered. Even if you're absolutely satisfied with what they made, you can't genuinely believe it's worth sixty bucks (plus $30 for upcoming DLC), right?! Have you ever played Simon the Sorcerer 3D? The world of We Happy Few feels like that, except it's procedurally generated. It's mostly unpopulated, with nothing to do or see, and you'll have to go through miles of it just to go get something and then back to deliver it. The procedural generation is so badly implemented, in fact, that some quests are outright blocked, because a door you needed to lock pick was put in the world with the lock INSIDE the house, rendering the game unbeatable and progress past that point impossible (so, you reload a save, hoping the door will generate properly, or, if you're not in luck, start the game all over again). I understand that you're trying to bring a sensible approach and middle-ground, fair view to all of what you perceive as being unjustified vitriol. But, from where most of us stand, this isn't unjustified at all, it's an honest feeling of having been wronged and scammed by these people, who probably had the best of intentions, but... couldn't deliver. We have a saying, here in Portugal, that goes "de boas intenções está o inferno cheio" (literally "of good intentions is hell littered with"), and I think it applies to this case. They might have meant well, they might have believed in their game, but as soon as you put this steep a price tag on it, you'd better deliver what people expect from it, good intentions alone are not worth $60.