Planetfall: the death of trust

Good news, Lennart. Thanks for dropping by to check, we appreciate it.

Excommunicating Triumph over a non-breaking secondary objective/map-gen bug is the Civilization VI of opinions, good point.

Thanks Lennart, that’s great news and much appreciated. Those guys that worked on the Empire mode nailed it, far as I’m concerned.

I’m Team Adam on this one.

I also had to look it up :O

I’m kind of bummed about this. I was enjoying the diaries and, as I mentioned in the comments to a different one, was going to use this as an excuse to reinstall and take another run at this game. I still intend to do that because, bugs aside, PF seems like a game that has all the ingredients of a game I’d love.

I don’t doubt that what Tom says is accurate - that this is a bug that was reported 5 months ago and it seems like a quick fix. I also know as a person with a job that entails a certain amount of leadership and responsibility, things sometimes get overlooked. I don’t know if this is a bug that has been repeatedly reported and ignored or, more likely, should have been on someone’s to-do list and got forgotten about. I know there’s probably stuff that I promised my boss five months ago that if he asked me about today, I’d have to admit that I forgot about it, but I’d make it a priority and get it done as quick as I can. This seems to me to be what happened, no more and no less.

I think the attitude of “This company has lost my trust” is a little over the top. I don’t doubt that this was frustrating and annoying, and I get why Tom wrote this diary probably in anger, but I also know how I’d feel if I thought I had lost the confidence of my employer over what appears to be a rather mundane fuckup.

I totally get why this may have slipped through the cracks or wasn’t bumped high enough on a priority queue to make the cut on the patches since it was reported. It’s not a major issue like a crash and it doesn’t sound like it’s a game-stopper since this is a secondary objective of I understand it correctly?

Quick fix or no, when you have thousands of bugs and improvement requests sitting in your queue and you’re trying to figure out which tiny fraction of those will get time? It’s tough and you’re always going to be leaving someone unhappy. I deal with this a lot in our own software. And that’s just prioritization, not something unintentionally slipping though the cracks. Maybe it was going to be part of a larger overhaul in that area that ended up getting scrapped or put on hold, so the fix for that particular issue is in limbo or in the developer’s mind it was fixed and forgotten about.

Not to say that the reality of that should make someone feel any less frustrated that they wasted time chasing something busted. Time is my most precious resource and I get pretty damn cranky when a game/bug makes me waste it so I totally understand that side of the equation as well.

So, here’s the thing, because of my coding course and my full time job (to pay for the coding course) i have had little free time.

But this is the Easter weekend, so i managed to play some Planetfall today.

It was awesome!

I think I set the map parameters a bit too much on the easy side, large map, 5 other players, penguin hives (meaning once I win the map I can recruit penguins for future maps) and I am playing the Shakarn.

I was hoping their water mobility would be a huge advantage but I rolled a pangaea map, with a tiny bit of water at the north and south lol, so the amphibousity has not been used very much.

However, I have been having a ball with the Shakarn battle method, which is to get up close with the enemy and shoot them to bits. You can reasonably easily mass Shakarn raiders (their tier 1 infantry) and if they get close to the enemy, and unload their volleys, they can dish out some respectable hurt.

I managed to get to turn 35 without any warfighting, and no real pressure (think I ought to have set marauders to extreme…) and then one AI came after me, and pulled off something either impressive or coincidental, maybe both?

It approached my nearest city from one angle, I spotted it, it retreated, and then brought that army down another angle, without me seeing it, and then, weirdly, bypassed the nearest city and captured a city behind that, which is equidistant from 3 of my cities, including my capital, in other words there was no way they were going to defend it.

Incidentally, that amphibiousity actually came in handy here, and my homeland is full of rivers, so I can pass them easily enough, although I think at this sage of the game, the AI can too.

And the AI always tries to absorb stuff, which takes quite a while.

I might see if there is a mod that speeds up absorption, and also suggest to Triumph they implement a bastard AI that burns your stuff down.

Also, for future games, a way to develop sectors without clogging up the central build queue would be useful :). although, I do have a suggestion for reworking the entire build queue anyway…

Yep - a strategy game of Planetfall’s complexity with all its play modes and moving parts, across three platforms has an endless backlog of things that we could fix, balance and improve. It’s easy for something to get mis-prioritized; especially when it is something that we do not frequently hear about. Still no excuse, we’ll fix it!

It just seems like there is a reasonably easy workaround. Rather than spend the effort to fix the issue. Don’t allow Pangena maps and Psi-fish objectives. That seems like high-level approach which won’t require a ton of programming.

I’m not sure it is quite bad enough to distrust the publishers.

I think part of the point of Tom’s article is that gamer trust is a delicate and subjective thing. Once lost, it is very hard to regain. It’s one of those elements of game design that is both intangible and yet also vital.

Think of how many games with rough edges we still enjoy, papering over the roughness with goodwill/trust of the devs. And think of other games where relatively minor defects become game breakers since the devs haven’t built up enough karma with the gamers. And then there’s a game that you are loving and yet you hit a patch that just hits you in the gamer-sensitive-area and you’re like, “Yeah, no, I’m done.”

I think Tom’s evocation of the concept is very well written, even though I encountered the same problem and it wasn’t game breaking for me. I understand b/c I’ve had other gamebreaking issues with other games that not every gamer shares.

It just goes to show that like all art/entertainment/creative work, there can be a great deal of common response, but ultimately appreciation of a creative work is individual and subjective, at least in large degree.

I certainly agree. I think in my case I didn’t really expect the developers to add an entire strategy layer, empire mode for free, to a game many months after lunch. So I’m personally giving them more credit for doing it than, not be very responsive for fixing bugs.

On the other hand, my frustration with bugs in games and is directly proportional to how many hours I’ve spent dealing with the bug. Thinking back, I’ve had a similar experience with Tom where the developer knew a bug existed but ignored the bug, and while I don’t remember the details, I also remember being pretty fucking pissed off. So I’m sympathetic to his side of the situation also.

It’s especially important in a complex game like this. It simulates the world and then it simulates detailed tactical battles. You are supposed to make decisions based on limited information. If some of this information might not be reliable the illusion of complex world breaks.

A similar thing caused me to stop playing my first MMO, which was a huge disappointment after so much time invested. It was asherons call and the devs knew about a way to cheat to create superpowered items, which I knew existed but didnt do, because cmon people play the game. So the devs eventually acknowledge the problem but rather than saying ‘this was a gamebreaking exploit’ they said ‘no harm no foul, rules are for suckers, just keep doing what you are doing’ which was such a gut punch that i never played again.

Planetfall is a text adventure with Floyd the robot in it. I don’t know what this shit is supposed to be.

Man, the drama!

Really I’m just glad we have game critics who don’t just gloss over issues like that. It bugs me to no end when lesser critics start making excuses for things that could and should be better about a game, because I know I’m likely to be every bit as upset about those kinds of things as Tom is about this.

It still makes for a great read though, and I’ll still give Planetfall a try. If this leads to a few bugs getting sorted out along the way, more’s the better.


With the caveat that there is a learning curve.

Seconded! The Devs put together an amazing toy box for people to enjoy.

I got a Megasow in the first dig in a recent Amazon game. She was big. She chomped the nasties. She regrew the many gashes, laser burns, and various other wounds she saved our sisters from by assimilating the flesh of the fallen into her own massive bulk.

Big Pig grew and grew. We implanted her with phase-induction nanobots and sharpened her natural (murderous) instincts with thousands of years of hard-bought technological knowledge. We sadly never got her a jetpack, but so geht das leben.

We were so sad when Big Pig finally gave her life battling the ancient chaos robots that had infested the planet’s long-lost Grail chamber.

RIP, Big Pig. You were so big, and so piggy. <3

My favorite thing about the pig units is that if you manage to get a piglet that survives to level up to Prime level it becomes a Megasow. (Same with the Mega Beetle Babies - they become Mega Beetles.)

I hate learning, but I’ll do it!