tl;dr: The community is super important in developing Outscape. We need to focus on usability for new players to make Outscape successful due to a ‘usability crisis’, but this must not be at the expense of strategic depth. Because we are working on usability plus some very large items (e.g. Alliances) where we can’t show incremental progress, it may make the community wonder where we are going. We understand this is a difficult phase for the community, but all will be solved (details within).
The past few weeks have been quite hectic for the Outscape team with a lot of intense development on new core gameplay features. Based on some of the recent community feedback, we thought we should make the current development priorities clear and clarify the important role the community is playing and can play during the current winter/spring seasons.
In early January we published the core of our roadmap detailing what we will be working on over the coming months. The truth is that important features such as alliances and social elements such as the ability to trade/give fleets and planets to other players, chat and player profiles/achievements had their development pushed back in 2017/2018, mainly because these are all classed as ‘Extra Large’ items in terms of engineering effort – meaning it’s hard to focus on much else whilst these items are in progress. In Early ’19 we decided to bite the bullet and begin working on these, knowing it will be hard to do the smaller more incremental things community members are used to.
What we perhaps didn’t do a great job of explaining was the ‘usability crisis’ we have been facing for new players. We noted briefly in the roadmap blog post:
The game is not newbie friendly… 60% of players drop off very quickly because of this, however those that persevere through the first few sessions tend to find a rewarding experience.
Let us illustrate this with a chart of # Daily Active Users when we started the Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 Galaxies:[Read more…]