Just because a game is on Steam does not mean it's finished.

#1 Edited by SagaciousJones (142 posts) -

I haven't actually tried Cortex Command myself yet, but it seems that there are several Steam users requesting refunds due to Steam advertising CC as a finished product, not indicating that it's still in development--which translates into a directionless campaign, lacking tutorial, and game-breaking bugs.

Here's the best articulation of these complaints I've seen so far:

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2957625

Another lengthy thread:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/209670/discussions/0/882961586818727181/

Here's an old post by CC's creator stating that he's only in it for his own fun and profit and doesn't feel any responsibility to his customers:

http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=12480.msg471033#msg471033

Of course, there's also a team of sycophantic fans telling people the game is fine once you've installed several mods off of some forums or something.

I don't really care about CC itself (I got it for "free" through an Indie Bundle), but this has serious implications about Steam as a service. I've always trusted their quality assurance 100%. Everything I have bought, even obscure indie games, has been a complete product, exactly what I thought I was paying for. If there are known issues, it has said so on the store page (for example, the ATI driver incompatibility with Stubbs the Zombie, when it was available).

If I can no long completely trust Steam, what does this say about Greenlight? What other incomplete games will they let through?

#2 Posted by StarFoxA (5158 posts) -

There are other games on Steam with a weird semi-completed state. The only other one I can think of is Insecticide, which claims to be "Part 1 of 2," but only Part 1 was ever released because the company went under or something like that. The DS game it's ported from is the full version, though.

#3 Posted by SagaciousJones (142 posts) -

@StarFoxA:

Is that really the same thing? Now that I think of it, there's another game called Winter Voices which had several episodes planned out, but they were only able to release the first two. The thing is, each of those episodes were very well received individually--the gameplay and writing were all polished and complete. This game is just straight-up half-finished.

#4 Posted by TruthTellah (9125 posts) -

@SagaciousJones: I do agree that Cortex Command should at least have a note that certain things are still in development. Though, it's one of a decent number of titles like this which have been in production for a long time but aren't officially "done". They just got to a 1.0 state, as per the judgment of the developer. This actually isn't too uncommon these days.

Having said that, I agree that these projects should be more clear in their descriptions to note this fact.

#5 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4525 posts) -

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic suffers from absolutely horrible memory leaks that render the game unplayable in most cases. I don't think I ever made it more than an hour in because of that problem. It seems split 50-50 between people who have the issue and people who don't, but still, the fact this problem exists and the solution is "just deal with it" kinda blows.

Vampire TMB is another big one. It's my fault for not doing research, but the fact a game is this fucking broken and is still allowed to be sold is baffling. I honestly don't know a single soul who has played that game and said, "oh yeah, I totally haven't had any issues whatsoever."

#6 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

@BabyChooChoo said:

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic suffers from absolutely horrible memory leaks that render the game unplayable in most cases. I don't think I ever made it more than an hour in because of that problem. It seems split 50-50 between people who have the issue and people who don't, but still, the fact this problem exists and the solution is "just deal with it" kinda blows.

I remember taking ages to get that game to work but I personally loved it after getting it to work. Such a shame that game will stay in that very unstable state.

#7 Posted by konig_kei (618 posts) -

I like how there's "awards" from 2009 on the store page. Anyway game looks like junk, sucks for everyone that bought it.

#8 Posted by Ben_H (3362 posts) -

I got this game as part of a Humble Bundle a while back and it was kinda busted then. I guess they haven't finished it at all.

#9 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -

Yeah I bought this a few days ago, I do remember there's some notification that the game is still being worked on but it felt kinda busted. The concept sounded really cool but playing it wasn't a lot of fun. Maybe I just need to give it another shot.

#10 Posted by SagaciousJones (142 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy: @TheSouthernDandy said:

I do remember there's some notification that the game is still being worked on but it felt kinda busted.

That notification only appears after you've dropped $20 and start up the game. There is not a single mention on the Steam page that it's a work in progress.

#11 Posted by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

That's pretty messed up, yo. I don't have a problem with betas on Steam but they should be free to play.

#12 Posted by onarum (2101 posts) -

Cortex command is still pretty fucking fun though, even if it's not finished(honestly I don't think it'll ever be), but yeah I can understand why people would be pist over this, I mean they are charging 20 bucks for it... even if it was 100% finished that would still be a lot to ask.

Luckily I had bought the humble indie bundle #2 for 10 bucks and cortex command came with it, because it's is still as I said very fun to play, but I would never pay 20 bucks for it.

#13 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3873 posts) -
@SagaciousJones

@TheSouthernDandy: @TheSouthernDandy said:

I do remember there's some notification that the game is still being worked on but it felt kinda busted.

That notification only appears after you've dropped $20 and start up the game. There is not a single mention on the Steam page that it's a work in progress.

Yeah you're right it was once the game is started. They should say that on the game page before you buy it.
#14 Posted by BisonHero (6545 posts) -

Yeah, wouldn't be the first time a half finished game came out on Steam. Legends of Pegasus and ORION: Dino Beatdown were busted as fuck when they launched (or so I'm told), but it's the kind of situation where they're probably never going to be good games if they launched in such a terrible state. I guess the difference is that those games sort of pretended to be done, whereas Cortex Command is in more of a "our game is in alpha/beta but you can totally buy it" situation.

#15 Posted by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -
Orion: Dino Beatdown was a horrible mess at launch and is still now.  Highly recommend everyone stay away from that game.
 
@ShiftyMagician said:

@BabyChooChoo said:

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic suffers from absolutely horrible memory leaks that render the game unplayable in most cases. I don't think I ever made it more than an hour in because of that problem. It seems split 50-50 between people who have the issue and people who don't, but still, the fact this problem exists and the solution is "just deal with it" kinda blows.

I remember taking ages to get that game to work but I personally loved it after getting it to work. Such a shame that game will stay in that very unstable state.

Are we talking about the game in its current state?  I know the game had its fair share of technical issues for a while after launch, but I've played the game in its most patched state many times in the past 5-ish years and never had any problems or heard of there still being widespread playability issues.
 
Should probably note that I've always played the disc version (though often launched as a non-Steam game), and only on XP.
#16 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

@JP_Russell said:

Orion: Dino Beatdown was a horrible mess at launch and is still now. Highly recommend everyone stay away from that game.

@ShiftyMagician said:

@BabyChooChoo said:

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic suffers from absolutely horrible memory leaks that render the game unplayable in most cases. I don't think I ever made it more than an hour in because of that problem. It seems split 50-50 between people who have the issue and people who don't, but still, the fact this problem exists and the solution is "just deal with it" kinda blows.

I remember taking ages to get that game to work but I personally loved it after getting it to work. Such a shame that game will stay in that very unstable state.

Are we talking about the game in its current state? I know the game had its fair share of technical issues for a while after launch, but I've played the game in its most patched state many times in the past 5-ish years and never had any problems or heard of there still being widespread playability issues. Should probably note that I've always played the disc version (though often launched as a non-Steam game), and only on XP.

I think you can tell from the horrible compression of the art assets the game wasn't entirely done when released.

#17 Posted by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -
@HaltIamReptar: Which game?  Dark Messiah?
#18 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

@JP_Russell: Righto. Even at absolutely maxed out settings, no matter if you get the horrible memory leaks or not, the game looks like poo. Even did at the time it was released.

#19 Posted by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -
@HaltIamReptar said:

@JP_Russell: Righto. Even at absolutely maxed out settings, no matter if you get the horrible memory leaks or not, the game looks like poo. Even did at the time it was released.

I've never experienced compression in Dark Messiah.  It's always been a decent looking game pretty comparable to what was around at the time, for me (STALKER/Oblivion/FEAR).  You citing compression is especially weird to me as I've always found that the textures in the game stand up pretty well (particularly textures on character models and the viewmodel).  Can you show an image of what you're talking about?  That really doesn't sound normal to me.
#20 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4816 posts) -

You release a game to the public, it's 1.0. If you want to add more shit to it later or bug crunch as people play, that's different. Saying "Oh we're releasing an alpha" is just a bullshit con to get people to not complain about how busted their game is.

#21 Edited by ervonymous (1297 posts) -

Krater was released in June and it's co-op mode just recently got to a closed beta stage. While I feel I already got my money's worth and knew the devs didn't consider it to be finished, I have to question the decision to commercially release such an early build to the public only to get pretty much mauled by the media. I'm interested to see how the 'relaunch' on the 23rd goes for them.

#22 Posted by Tebbit (4465 posts) -

Before CC was on Steam, you could get if from the dude's website, and buy it for like $20 in return for continued free updates as the game evolved, much like Minecraft. You were technically buying an Alpha, and with that purchase funding the beta and eventual release. I feel like this is a fine business practice, but only if you straight up say so on the front page. Otherwise it's a bit of a scam.

#23 Posted by DukeOfPBJ (2 posts) -

I agree with Tebbit that like Minecraft sometimes independent developers have to release something in a earlier state to keep themselves afloat. But I have been playing Cortex for a while and I haven't ever run into any game destroying bugs (Unless it was me messing around in python and the fact this game is in python is a wonderful thing). But thinking this is the end of steam quality assurance is ridiculous mostly because it was never really there, another good example to add to what everyone else has been saying is the game Titan Quest or as I like to call it "The game that gave me a blue screen because of the mouse I had at the time". but I believe if you give Cortex Command the time you would realize how wonderful it really is.

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