Any Major Updates?

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by RaTcHeT302, May 4, 2016.

  1. RaTcHeT302

    RaTcHeT302 Guest

    Did they finally adress the performance issues and did they finally spruce up the gameplay? This game could've done so much better with some proper long term support, I don't understand why Uber gave up so easily.

    I'm honestly surprised that they didn't go with flat planets instead, they could've still kept the whole meteor and planet hop feature in the game very easily, I feel as if they wasted too much time on the engine and the big round empty drab planets didn't really convince me, never felt like the units had much of a focus either, I find it weird how there are 10 tanks and 10 robots who behave almost the same, was the game just very poorly managed? I think anyone would've known that this planet thing wouldn't be feasible in the end, I was wondering if they at least considered ever implementing flat maps and if they were ever going to add a proper campaign like mode, not that cheap *** skirmish like thing, an actual campaign with fun objctives and whatever else they could've added.

    It really feels like there's a ton of wasted potential, I really feel like they handled the game and its release extremely poorly.

    I would've played the **** out of this game to be honest, if they were willing to at least put some more effort into it. Hell I would've loved to take part into the design part of the game, but I'm pretty sure the game would look a whole lot different than what you have today if I was involved.

    I mean I do have an idea as to what I could do even now, I still think there's huge potential in this game, just a shame they dropped it the same way as they did with MNC, instead of adressing the main issues of the game, like MNC always had this problem with Snipers, they could've very easily made it so that headshots take like two shots or something similar, for certain classes or whatever (not really like this to be honest, I mean I would've fine tuned things more than that, but just a quick dirty example, snipers are far less effective on consoles, could've tried to remove them too, I hate snipers anyway, but the MNC one was really fun to play as, maybe I would've removed his sniper rifle, and I could've kept SMG and maybe I could've given him karate moves instead of a rifle, whatever), who knows I would've tried to remove assassins from the game too, see how it would play out, no idea (I would've added them back but it really would've helped if I could see what the game behaved like without them, I have some ideas as to why MNC might've failed but again, I don't understand why Uber just outright gave up), I'm a bit more extreme when it comes down to this stuff but it just boggles my mind why they just threw all these projects away, when from what I've seen they were all buddies at the company, so I don't think money was honestly that much of an issue, but I have no idea how they spent their money so, no way for me to judge, but that's what their main issue was apparently, although I thought that seeing as they all knew each other, they could've worked togheter to pay bills and food and whatever else that's more important, I still think it was really poor management that killed these games, but, no idea.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2016
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  2. nawrot

    nawrot Active Member

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    They overestimated size of this project and underestimated budget. Simply Uber never had enough money to do this game. That is why i personally seen Titans and selling it as new game as no surprise, nobody will work for free. Game did not sold enough to get long term support.

    Another question is if trying bigger project that they could handle was mistake somebody at Uber did, or did they do it fully knowing risks.

    I only hope Uber will make some serious money on some of their games and we will have PA2, because this idea deserves polished game.
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  3. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    You *are aware* they are doing updates like *right now* :p We are on second 'PTE' build in as many weeks- Uber haven't abandoned the game, just been a while between patches.

    Latest round of patches are adding an integrated community mod manager ('CMM' for short). Many of the features people crave have been added with the tons of excellent mods- problem was players couldn't find them. That shouldn't be an issue moving forward with the new mod support.

    Case in point, the outstanding 'legion' mod- ads a full second faction along with 4 new commanders to the game, whilst keeping full support for the base faction.

    Edit: Link to new test build notes:
    https://forums.uberent.com/threads/pa-pte-94243-is-now-available.71679/

    Link to titans expansion (now available from within the game):
    https://forums.uberent.com/threads/legion-expansion-open-beta-out.71682/page-2#post-1129329
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  4. cptconundrum

    cptconundrum Post Master General

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    Yep. Legion would not have been possible in the form that it's in currently if Uber hadn't helped out with the PTE. I believe that many of the new changes were made specifically because Legion needed them. If that's not considered delivering what the community wants, I don't know what is.
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  5. RaTcHeT302

    RaTcHeT302 Guest

    No, that's why I asked. I doubt making the game more mod friendly will save it, I really feel as if Uber has some really messed up priorities at this point, you don't make the game more mod friendly when it's already dead, I'm really dissapointed, I was hoping they would finally get things straight but instead they rely on the community to bring the game back to life. I've seen that thread before (the expansion thing) and I can't say that I'm too impressed. Some of the new units are cool but otherwise PA is still plagued by a ton of issues, which have not been adressed by this mod at all.

    I don't know maybe if things go well it might attract a few players for a little while but this seems like a ton of wasted effort, but as long as people enjoy modding the game, I don't really care, as long as they have fun, but this just seems so backwards to me though, I think the game is beyond saving, unless Uber really is willing to completely revamp everything. They would need to redesign the whole game and I think one of the first things they should do is remove that stupid armory store from the game (as in, just hide the menu item temporarily until a better system is implemented), why did they put so much focus into something like that, that's clearly not going to make any money, I'm just amazed at how they didn't see that, nobody is going to spend 10$ on a virtual mech, and I just model swapped my default mech with one of the cooler models. This is something that really bothered me a lot.

    They could've had a bitching unlock system but instead you just pay 10 bucks for a model, MEH.
  6. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    You do know why all those commander skins exist yeah? Rewards for the Kickstarter- they were obliged to make them as they were promised to people during the initial campaign. The store was just a way to (potentially) recoup some money (and the choice of if a model even made it to the store was with the backer that purchased it, there are many more skins than those which backers decided to keep exclusive).

    As for downplaying mod support? PA was built from the ground up to support modding- all it lacked was a central place to allow people to access the mods. Sure Legion doesn't fix everything (it explicitly adds a faction- something players have wanted for a while), however there are many many other mods that do add some cool stuff. The point is though, anyone who knows anything about this genre should also know the *only reason* PA even exists is a result of the modding community keeping the previous games alive. TA: still playable thanks to Mods. TA:Spring- the result of advanced TA mods that produced a totally new engine (!), FA:Forever- keeping SupCom playable years after the official servers no longer exist as well as rolling in many community enhancements and so on.

    PA is no different, the modders and community will keep this game going for years to come imo. Also all this 'its dead' rubbish is just silly- there are still many people playing PA, just like they are still playing Spring and SupCom FAF. The communities of all these games are small- this is a niche of a niche genre, but all the games are still alive and kicking.

    Is the game perfect? No- but Uber had to build a multi platform, ground up RTS on a tiny shoe string budget. What we've got is a pretty powerful platform with some really totally unique features I've never seen in a game before (fully functional solar systems) and a strong modding platform to allow the community to push the game forward where the devs don't have the resources to. That is pretty impressive given the resources they had.

    The only way PA could have been more than it is imo would have been if a publisher had backed them with a budget sever times larger than they had. Nice idea- but blatantly wasn't going to happen given the limited return on investment for RTS games.
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  7. lokiCML

    lokiCML Post Master General

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    Well, PA was only supposed to have a multiplayer mode in the first place. Primary goal only budgeted enough for multiplayer. As strip goals were unlocked more features and modes were added to the game. It's all about budget. I to would love a fully featured and scripted campaign mode with integrated tutorial but not enough funding. A again the budget. Take supreme commander had a budget of $11.5 million and probably more than half of that was spent on the campaign. PA's budget was just over $1.9 million* which is not enough to create a fully featured RTS. Indy versus AAA you have to make compromises and many compromises were made like one faction to cut down on costs. as for flat maps the original pitch for Kickstarter was spherical maps and the engine is designed from the ground up to do that. PA could have had flat maps if the human resources Kickstarter got funded. They would've back ported the maps to PA but for various reasons they abandoned that HR Kickstarter. Again although budget. PA is compromises upon compromises that's what independent game development is about.:)

    * initial budget after kickstarter fees are removed and minus backer rewards accounted for.
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  8. RaTcHeT302

    RaTcHeT302 Guest

    I would rather have this.
    [​IMG]

    Whoever worked at Uber must've been honestly blind if they didn't see the potential from this render alone. This screenshot is what really got me excited for PA, not that fake *** teaser. I knew that was all fake anyway, it was realistic to expect that the game wouldn't be exactly like that. I honestly just don't understand, this looks ******* awesome, and it would've been so much easier to work with, but they just decided not to for some reason.

    I'm sorry but I don't think Supreme Commander is worth that much, I never liked it at all, and I never said anything about a tutorial or whatever, and in the end I think Uber just did a really poor job at handling their own finances, they wasted so much time on this engine and they pretty much lost complete focus of what would've truly made the game succeed.

    This round planet **** just didn't work, they should've realized that it is way too much work, and they should've realized that it added nothing to the gameplay, it just made the game harder to get into if anything. I somehow managed to get lost in an RTS game, it just doesn't work that well, and other games already had round planets before PA, what they did isn't that impressive.

    Edit: For anyone who'll bother reading this, when I said that I got lost, I was talking about the terrible camera you have to work with while playing the game. If you are reading this, it seems like Uber literally scammed people at one point, by giving out certain commanders for free, then they re-textured them and they sold them on the store again. You can find the proof here. I never heard about this, and it frankly is sad. It made me understand how terrible Uber is as a company.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/planetarya..._about_the_new_able_commander_since/?sort=top

    Also I never understood what was wrong with unit caps, otherwise you just end up with this clusterfuck.
    [​IMG]

    The gameplay is so broken too, all you do is literally spam units, there are even mods to automate how fast you can spam them out, there really isn't much else to it. I really would've been fine with only like 100 (or 200) units, and they could've found so many ways to spruce them up, like EXP systems, stuff like that, hero units, whatever.

    Immagine leading a tiny army into that canyon like thing, as you battle for a chokepoint to destroy a giant ship or something, I don't know. Could've had a faux co-op mode, where two players fight against another player who has to turtle in his base and defend while the other players attack him and destroy the objective, something pretty simple to work with, no idea.
    (I mean there would be way more to it than this, and it wouldn't exactly be like this either)

    I don't think I've ever had an online game where the game didn't lag to **** and where the performance just didn't go to complete hell. Most matches constantly started out without me even being there, so I was already behind everyone. I don't know, there are so many stupid things that bother about this game.

    I honestly don't think the developers at Uber Ent are that good at their job, you can make the most awesome engine in the world for all I care, but if you can't even realize how flawed your game is then it was all for nothing. You literally wasted everyone's time for... whatever PA is.

    It would've been faster and better to just, design all the levels by hand too, honestly...

    Also just to show you how backwards their thinking is, they pretty much went like, "okay we won't have unit caps, also the game will have a big focus on macro" but you might have to manage 1000 units, 100 buildings, and so on. This game has more micro than ******* StarCraft 2 jesus.

    Okay maybe not really micro, but most players are overloaded with almost too much information to be honest. They feel lost, they have no idea what to do, they give up and quit and they never touch the game ever again.

    I don't think the game failed because they didn't have enough money, they clearly had enough money to stay afloat for quite a few years, I think the developers simply had no idea about what they were even doing. "All the cool kids are into this "procedural generation" stuff, we should get into that **** man."
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2016
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  9. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    It's not really fair to say 'round planets were a bad idea'..... That was the basis of the entire project. RTS on planets, that is what they pitched- so it stands to reason that is what they made.

    What other games have ever done this? There are a few games where the edge of the map 'rolled over' but none that ever worked on whole planets like this. Even less that dealt with whole solar systems at once. It's seriously clever tech they built.

    It sounds like you backed the project expecting a totally different game, it's not fair to call uber out on that though when they built what they actually pitched. Also with the new map making tools we can make maps that look quite close to that concept art (advanced mode in the map editor ftw!). The problem is however such maps don't actually play very well when the height ranges are so large.

    As for planets not adding to game play, guess that's subjective but for me I couldn't disagree more. There is no edge of the map to hide against. Attacks can come from any direction, including above. That definitely changes things up for a competitive player. The fact you can gate multiple planets together and move forces between different fronts as well. I think that's a big part of it, shared team games on multi planet maps are superb. I also think when you talk to many who don't like PA you find they've never played this type of game, or at least never with some friends on team speak (it doesn't really work with random players in the same way, you need players you know who you can coordinate with).

    I can accept you aren't keen on the end result. I'm just not sure I understand the logic behind your arguments, as it sounds like you didn't actually want the game they pitched to you?
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  10. cptconundrum

    cptconundrum Post Master General

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    That early render does look great, but as soon as you try to imagine actually playing on that you realize why it doesn't work. You're going to have units hiding behind rock columns out of sight. The ground color saturation is the same as the units, so it would be hard to read the game state from above at a glance. All those little rock and shrub features will be a drain on performance, spending cpu cycles on pretty pictures instead of the actual game.

    I get it though; you don't like the game and you don't think other people should either. Additionally, games you don't like are all made by terrible devs. It seems you also really like asterisks but haven't quite figured out their purpose, since you alternate using them and just typing out offensive words like "clusterfuck."

    There are plenty of games that I don't like, too. Typically when I don't like a game I don't play it. There are far too many bad games for me to let my blood pressure rise every time I encounter one I dislike.
  11. RaTcHeT302

    RaTcHeT302 Guest

    Mhh, no that's just the censor system from the forum. And the reason why I'm posting this stuff is because I'm just mildly dissapointed, I had slightly higher expectaitons.

    Also I'm not angry or anything, that's just how I write my stuff down usually, I don't hate Uber or anything, I understand developing videogames is hard, but it isn't that hard, it's just more time consuming than anything, but to be honest I am a little bit annoyed that they really missed this huge opportunity.

    What most people won't realize is that I am actually really sad that they failed, I really wanted that Human thing Kickstarter to succeed, I never wanted Uber to fail or anything, but this is just me being maybe a bit too honest, but I'm just again trying to write down my frustrations.

    I really liked Monday Night Combat too, I'm just annoyed by how they seem to put very little thought into what they do, and they always seem to go with the things that take the most effort, even though even the community itself from what I've seen said the same exact things a while ago, this isn't just me saying this stuff.
    https://forums.uberent.com/threads/terrain-doodads-need-more-role-than-being-just-obstacles.62495/

    When I talk negativelly about a game that's because I care about it you know, I want the developers to realize what they did wrong and improve their work, but when I see them just giving up, it kinda hurts a little bit, you'd think they could struggle at least a little bit more when they have extremely promising games up their sleeves, if only they put more thoughts into what they did, maybe things would've been better.

    Also I just thought this stuff was interesting you know.
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  12. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Every time I look at that concept art I see a pathfinding nightmare.
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  13. RaTcHeT302

    RaTcHeT302 Guest

    I don't think it would be that difficult, the units still pretty much have to stay on one plane, I mean they managed to get the pathfinder to work with round planets, which is most likely way more resource intensive seeing as you constantly have to make sure that the robots are pointing the right way.

    I honestly think they could've nailed that, and it would've been worth the effort. If you pretty much dismiss my points only because they might've had difficulties implementing new features, that's just bound to happen with any new feature anyway, of course they are going to meet some roadblocks, that could apply to anything, but the end results would've most likely been a bit better, I'm not sure how much better though, that would've been entirely up to them.

    In my mind it would've been worth the nightmare, if it improves the game in any way.
  14. RaTcHeT302

    RaTcHeT302 Guest

    They wasted too much time implementing these round planets, the average player won't care about how competitive the game is, they just want to hop in and have a fun match, building little cities and then clashing against other players or AIs.

    PA is a really difficult game to get into for the average player too, if they wanted the game to sell well they really should've have catered for a wider audience, not everyone is a hardcore gamer, I play a lot of games but I won't bother with games that frustrate me for no reason, I don't mind a challenging game but I just hate it when a game just throws bullshit at you and the only way to avoid that is to pretty much, obtain this knowledge beforehand, which is not how you should design a videogame.

    A player should be able to get into the game, and in 10 minutes or so he should be able to pretty much graps the core gameplay almost instantenously, anything more an you've lost a player already. You can even lose players from the very first minute if the game introduces itself very poorly.

    I don't think listening to the competitive layer of a game is really a bad thing, but when you first make a game, you don't design it to be competitive, that's ridiculous, you make sure the game can stand out on its own, then you waste your time with that crap, PA had some pretty terrible foundations for such a thing, games like Counter Strike and StarCraft had a ton of time put into them in order to be brought up to the level you see today. CS didn't just become this huge game in like 6 months, it took years of hard work, and the game doesn't even have that many features in it.

    Also Uber just sucks at having good PR, dear god that 90$ thing, that's the stupidest thing Uber could've done, what a PR nightmare. They should've just, like not sold the game on Steam at all until it was ready, honestly. Or if they were THAT desperate for money, sell it for like 12 - 15$ in early access.
  15. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    That old concept picture sure looks nice. Now realize you had a team of veteran RTS developer, some of which have worked since a decade or two on RTS, develop a game from that concept. It turned out different then you imagined and you're saying that is because they made mistakes.
    And they sure made a lot of mistakes. That is part of game development. But asserting that you or me know what those mistakes are or what they could've done better is wrong.
    I guarantee you if you could jump back in time, take over Uber and make them do what you think is right then a large group of people would've still hated the game.
    Hero units? 100-200 max units? Maps that are a pathfinding nightmare? Yeah. No ;)

    In my mind PA would've been a much greater game as well. But what is in our minds is just a fantasy. Reality is a much harder place. Especially in Game development.
  16. RaTcHeT302

    RaTcHeT302 Guest

    I keep reading the posts in that thread https://forums.uberent.com/threads/terrain-doodads-need-more-role-than-being-just-obstacles.62495/, and I see people being genuinely concered about the path PA was being taken into, and this was two years ago, I even read that "uber was fed up with players complaints" which is incredibly worrying.

    At this point I really have my doubts about them seeing as, it doesn't matter how long they've been working in the industry, if they are unable to keep their playerbase happy, what they did before really doesn't matter, nobody will care, they should keep their fans close and everyone else closer.

    I'm not saying that they should do everything the community said, but I'm seeing a ton of valid points in there, and as a game developer, you should never be annoyed when someone says anything negative about your game, and you should not use your status as an excuse as to why a game failed or did poorly, the customer is always (mostly) right, even when someone might not really have a point, they usually do end up bringing a good point (like someone is really angry at one thing, but then you realize, you can fix that, you know what the problem is, and his point is actually valid).

    In the end most people do have valid points, no matter how they express them.

    I really hope you people don't mind me writing these things, again I just thought this stuff was really interesting, and I see a ton of developers with really good ideas going through pretty much the same steps and then not realizing, why the game actually failed to stay afloat.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2016
  17. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Ofc they were fed up with complaints. If you get a dozen hate posts a day that tell you what to do you would be as well.
    Especially if the demands are:
    - incompatible: "I want 100 unis and hero units" vs "I want 10000 units", "I want 1v1 ranked now" vs "I want FFA mode now"
    - technically impossible (and only you know it, as the people demanding stuff have little idea of the tech behind it)
    - too expensive for you (you might want to have them yourself, but you are running a company and you just can't do whatever you want)
    - To give away your game for free. Because they're telling you that game developers like you don't deserve to be paid for their work.

    Making "the playerbase" happy is impossible. They all want different things. No matter what you do somebody will be unhappy and even if you only have a small group of really unhappy players they will be very very loud and visible.

    Have you ever worked on a multi-million $ RTS game yourself? Probably not. I haven't. And that means while I can go and say "that and that and that wasn't a good idea" that does not mean I actually know any better.

    I totally agree there are a lot of things Uber could've done better, overall I think PA is quite a fun game, but sure it could've been even better.
    But I realize I am saying that now, years after the fact and from my nice place on my chair far away from the reality Uber had to operate in.
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  18. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Well of course you don't, everyone thinks their ideas are easy to implement. Do you have any experience in implementing pathfinding solutions? If not what are your qualifications for making this remark?
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  19. mwreynolds

    mwreynolds Well-Known Member

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    Are you for real?
    You have read the name of the game right?
    Planetary annihilation
    How can they have this without "spherical" planets.

    I get some people don't like the "spherical" planets, and some haven't played long enough to get past the learning curve to play on them. But for others it is the best part of the game.
    Just because you and others don't like something it dose not make it bad.

    But you know what they did try to kick start a game without planets, using the same game engine.
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/659943965/human-resources-an-apocalyptic-rts-game
    But not enough people wanted that game.
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  20. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    @RaTcHeT302 firstly I'd like to thank you for being polite and discussing this reasonably with everyone here. I've seen all too many of these discussions go sour and devolve into name calling when people strongly disagree about something.

    I think this is an interesting topic as PA was sold as the 'spiritual successor' to TA and the game we got didn't sit well with some TA fans (whilst others like me love it). I thought about why that is for a long while and (to my mind at least) it boils down to this:

    TA in my opinion was two, quite different and distinct games, co-existing. Namely we had a large scale macro 'spammy' game, which was the game John Mavor always wanted to make, and what PA is a genuine successor to.We also had this small numbers of unit, micro focused tactical game which I feel was more Chris Taylors vision for TA (especially with the changes he made moving forward culminating in SupCom 2 which by all accounts revolves around a small number of large units rather than hords of smaller ones).

    I guess this split personality was one of the things that made original TA so interesting- you could 'go wide' and amass a large army, expanding rapidly and working with large troop deployments. You could equally however play a micro focused game, expanding a lot less but keeping every individual unit alive, using the terrain and LOS to your advantage and doing epic amounts of damage with just a handful of units.

    I guess PA is much more focused on the large scale combat aspect, so players who loved TA for the 'up close and personal' game play it also offered were disappointed.

    What it really boils down to is this though: If you actually dig for some numbers, it looks like PA sold pretty much as well as any of the previous games in this little niche genre. The previous studios that made those other games also both went under- no matter how good people say those games were they didn't do much better overall or Cavedog and GPG would still be making games. Now you could argue that there are more successful RTS games out there, so change the game to be more like them- but then chances are the game would no longer be TA / SupCom / PA type of game. I mean that's the kind of thinking that gets us 'Battlefield of Duty Honors 12, the colonial zombie Apocalypse simulator' type copycat games that regurgitate the same content every year because it's a sure thing financially.

    PA was a very risky game to develop for any studio, it's a follow up to a well regarded but nevertheless niche genre, with a very complicated key feature requiring a ground up engine in order to pull it off. To my mind they did pretty well given what they had to work with. It's a new and unique IP in what is otherwise a sea of copycat projects and I think Uber deserve credit for having the guts to stick to their vision for the game.

    I mean following the 'safe' path would not have guaranteed them any more success, just look at Grey Goo for proof of that.
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