Best and worst early access experiences?

#1 Posted by darkmoney52 (49 posts) -

My favorite experience with Early Access so far would be Don't Starve. The game was already very enjoyable when I first bought it and every month up until release they added great stuff to it, and the devs were very active on the forums communicating with their fans.

Worst would be War of The Vikings. I like the game a lot, but during early access they added almost nothing to the game up until right before it came out. Also, they haven't been responsive to what the fans have asked for. I still dig the game, but as far as the early access stuff goes it was a failure.

#2 Posted by Kidavenger (3546 posts) -

Godus ruined early access for me, it could be a great game now, but I'll never know, I had my time with it when it wasn't ready and I've already made up my mind on it.

I actively avoid early access games now.

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#3 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3185 posts) -

The worst is obviously Cube World which wasn't actually on Early Access I don't think but a ton of people got hyped for it, an alpha came out, and then nothing. To get the alpha you needed to preorder for I think $25 but I could be wrong, I didn't fall for it.

#4 Posted by darkmoney52 (49 posts) -

Godus ruined early access for me, it could be a great game now, but I'll never know, I had my time with it when it wasn't ready and I've already made up my mind on it.

I actively avoid early access games now.

In a business model reliant on trust why would you buy a Peter Moleneux product? Just why?

#5 Edited by Kidavenger (3546 posts) -
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#6 Edited by animathias (1186 posts) -

Best is easily Starbound for me. I know there's a group of people out there who started freaking out when the game didn't see any updates for a couple of months, but I never doubted it was being worked on. I've had a load of fun with the Early Access build, and I'm stoked for its future.

@corruptedevil said:

The worst is obviously Cube World which wasn't actually on Early Access I don't think but a ton of people got hyped for it, an alpha came out, and then nothing. To get the alpha you needed to preorder for I think $25 but I could be wrong, I didn't fall for it.

I fell for it. I feel like I got some of my money's worth from the alpha, but yeah, that game's dead in the water. Almost a year now with no update. A clear reminder that these things are hit or miss.

I feel like them sending out a bunch of codes to YouTubers then not updating after the rush of purchases and hype was kind of two-faced. But eh, I don't know the real reason for it, so I take the experience and move on.

Damn I wish I wasn't reminded of Cube World today... that game had some potential.

#7 Edited by BabyChooChoo (4486 posts) -

The only two early access games I bought were Blade Symphony and Divinity Original Sin. Both were great experiences. Blade Symphony spent much more time in early access if I recall, but their team is like crazy small so it was understandable. Still, they were always posting on the forums and patches came out a reasonable speed.

I didn't really spend much time on the Divintiy forums so I'm not sure how active the devs were when it came to interacting with the community, but I assume they read the shit out of suggestions and bug reports though because every two weeks or so, a massive patch would hit the game and fix, change, or add a bunch of stuff which was always nice.

Despite my experiences though, occasionally when I browse through a random forum or news post when looking up an early access game, I see a lot of horror stories and that's kinda soured me on the whole thing. I feel like I got lucky with Blade Symphony and Divinity and I'd rather cash out on early access now rather than put my money down on something that turns out to be bullshit and end up getting shafted.

#8 Posted by XCEagle (113 posts) -

I feel like I've had pretty good early access experiences: Don't Starve, Invisible Inc, Endless Legend, Dungeon of the Endless, Nuclear Throne, and Mercenary Kings have all been great.

On the other side Godus, and Towns were awful.

#9 Posted by MB (12384 posts) -

My best experience so far was reading the Steam forums for Planetary Annihilation yesterday after the game went on sale for 66% off...while still in early access. $49.99 down to $16.99...and this is a game that got over $2 million in Kickstarter money back in 2012.

People are raging.

Moderator Online
#10 Edited by Winsord (1225 posts) -

Yeah, Cube World is kind of a joke, I don't know that it's been updated ever. Towns is another obvious choice for worst, considering the developers have completely abandoned it.

My first two thoughts for best experience were Project CARS and The Golf Club, but then the actual answer hit me: Minecraft. I bought into Minecraft for like $15 incredibly early in its lifespan, and that gamble paid off immensely. I can even still remember it when first playing the game, it was version 0.14 (or 1.0.14, however you want to term it) and Notch had just added chickens to the game and multiplayer was completely broken. I'd played the browser/creative Minecraft before and enjoyed it, but buying into the full game and realizing what he was actually doing with the game was incredible. Minecraft's always had a ton of solid, big, content updates, and it never costed me a dime more than the day I bought into the alpha. That said, I actually kind of liked pre-beta Minecraft better than what it became in its current state. I've never liked the food addition, or the alchemy/potions and what not.

I do want to give proper respects to both Project Cars and The Golf Club, though. The Project Cars alpha was a limited buy in for a relatively short amount of time that I was lucky enough to know to buy into at the time, but I didn't really buy into a high enough tier. Basically, you bought into a tier based on the frequency of updates you were going to get, and I bought into the cheapest one. The game ran really poorly on my PC at the time (still does, actually) so I didn't want to put any more money into it, but that ended up meaning I'd miss out on way more content than I'd ever anticipated. After they closed the alpha purchases was when I really started to enjoy the game, but no longer could I upgrade my tier, which was always disappointing. That said however, they've been really good at communicating changes and additions, and push out a lot of good content in short periods of time.

The Golf Club team has been really great about just making big adjustments to the game and trying things out whilst it's still early in development. There's an update each week and they're pretty big/distinct, from major physics changes to additional content. They do a great job of reading community feedback and pushing out major content on a regular basis; even in its early access state, it's the most fun I've ever had with a golf game.

#11 Posted by Mookalakai (7 posts) -

I actually liked Don't Starve more in it's Early Access version than it's current, feature complete version. The game got too hard once they added seasons, weather, and sanity. I played too much of it with the original ruleset, and got annoyed by the addition of the sanity meter.

#12 Posted by EuanDewar (4908 posts) -

@mb said:

My best experience so far was reading the Steam forums for Planetary Annihilation yesterday after the game went on sale for 66% off...while still in early access. $49.99 down to $16.99...and this is a game that got over $2 million in Kickstarter money back in 2012.

People are raging.

haha oh man I just went to look at the Planetary Annihilation forum on steam and the top thread is entitled "PRICE ??"

#13 Posted by Chaser324 (6517 posts) -

I've mostly had a pretty good experience with Early Access, but that's largely just because I've tried to exercise caution when deciding whether or not to roll the dice.

Prison Architect is definitely one of the games doing Early Access right. It has a solid core premise that was enjoyable from the start, and the developers have continued to layer more mechanics onto it through regular monthly updates while also keeping players informed of progress through frequent blog posts.

Xenonauts might be the worst experience I've had. It was by no means a horror story, and I don't feel like I was shafted. It's definitely a solid clone of classic X-COM, but following along for the two years between the Kickstarter and the game's very recent official release has been a bit of a bummer. The developer provided updates and information very infrequently, and it has been a bit disappointing to see how relatively little has actually been done over the course of two years. The bugs have been mostly ironed out, it's far more balanced, and some new features have been added, but it still feels surprisingly similar to the demo I played before I backed the Kickstarter.

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#14 Posted by EnFinlay (3 posts) -

@kidavenger said:

Godus ruined early access for me, it could be a great game now, but I'll never know, I had my time with it when it wasn't ready and I've already made up my mind on it.

I actively avoid early access games now.

In a business model reliant on trust why would you buy a Peter Moleneux product? Just why?

Heh, I never thought of it that way.

#15 Posted by SSully (4185 posts) -

I just can't do early access games. I was really into Terraria, which technically wasn't early access, it still had a very active update cycle. Me and a buddy played a ton, and every update we would start a new world so that we could get the new content. Eventually it became a drain and we just stopped playing. We would try going back every so often to see new stuff, but we never got far. By the time the game was "complete" I wished I just waited for it's final release, because I missed out on a bunch of content.

So my policy for early access is to just wait for it to come out. I have backed games on kickstarter, such as planetary annihilation, but I don't look at any updates or even play the game(Despite having had a code for a few months now) until it's "feature complete".

#16 Edited by Aviar (435 posts) -

So far Don't Starve is the game I have played and enjoyed the most that has had early access, (if you don't count Minecraft).

But I agree with several others here that Cube World got me and I really regret that. I have been wanting to try Trove from Trion Worlds and I have more faith in them since they did Rift, but I still can't come to buy another voxel based game like this yet.

#17 Posted by desoda (109 posts) -

I'm having a positive experience with Prison Architect. Worst: Most EA-titles. Oh, they're not early access? Could have fooled me...

#18 Edited by Vuud (1989 posts) -

The only early access game I bought was Kerbal, and that was actually before it got on Steam. Kerbal could actually work with the early access plan because it's a rocket ship sandbox, not something incredibly complex like a mimecraft or DayZ ripoff that needs tons of assets, AI, netcode, etc. where the jank is prevalent and not fun.

Still, I won't ever buy another early access game. I don't like paying people for not finishing a game. Even AAA games are released unfinished like Rome 2 and BF4, which is also why I don't preorder.

#19 Posted by crithon (3188 posts) -

Don't Starve, it set up a simple expectation and just kept updating

#20 Posted by dudeglove (7832 posts) -

Does Broken Age count? I've enjoyed the 2 Player Production videos immensely.

#21 Edited by championfetus (245 posts) -

@winsord said:

Yeah, Cube World is kind of a joke, I don't know that it's been updated ever. Towns is another obvious choice for worst, considering the developers have completely abandoned it.

Not sure what the story with Cube World is, but I enjoyed many hours with Towns. The original devs are still active in the forums and have stated they will be working to put the final polish on the game. There is a well known thread about one of the devs admitting being burnt out on the project which was the low point in the development history, but this mainly had to do with their eyes being bigger than their stomachs (planned game features being food). The next patch is supposedly adding a campaign and tutorial which is something I would like to see.

All that being said, it is still a game a would recommend to people who enjoy resource gathering/civ management/exploration style games.

#22 Posted by Nightriff (5075 posts) -

Prison Architect is the only Early Access game I've bought and played. Really enjoyed it and feels "complete" while I play the game. Not everything works but they are things that aren't really necessary for me so I enjoyed my time with it.

#23 Posted by Capum15 (4899 posts) -

Minecraft, even though it's not Steam Early Access, is probably my best.

Bought it back in Alpha and still play it regularly, both normal and modded.

No real bad experience so far.

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