Dean Hall and Rocket Werkz’s latest project at the moment is Stationeers, a space simulator game that explores problems around a space station manually addressed by players. As of now, the game is due for a September release and Hall wants to do Early Access “Right” this time around.
According to the main Steam Early Access page, which is currently up to remind fellow gamers and fans of space sims that Rocket Werkz will bring Stationeers to Early Access this fall, the site not only details what the game is about but is used to update fans on what future plans tentatively hold at this very moment for Stationeers.
Seeing that there is a lot of controversy surrounding Dean Hall and early work, some gamers and fans alike stressed on multiple occasions their pessimistic view on Stationeers given the game’s huge scope and “complex systems around atmospherics, power generation, agriculture, food, gravity and space,”. Some of these criticisms most faced a form of censorship while being expressed..
Throughout a lot of the threads related to Stationeers, one can simply see that they have been locked and/or heavily curated when it comes to posts made by individuals, resulting in the comment section to reflect little to no opposition on said game and must be anti “abusive” to stay up. However, a recent thread that hasn’t been locked or heavily curated reveals Dean’s stance on Stationeers‘ release.
“Our current plan is to release in September. However, this date would be delayed if we do not think the game is ready. We will communicate this if it happens, and the reasons why. I just think we should be a little more public now about our expected targets, as it also helps internally put a little pressure on the team.”
When a game hits Steam Early Access most, if not all, suffer from bad optimization leading to a sour experience for some gamers. Related to that topic comes Steam user Angry Buddha, who suggested that the best defense is to complete a game loop on Early Access coupled with decent stability. Hall replied and noted that…
“I pretty much agree with everything you said, really. And we’ll certainly delay the release until we have that solid complete game loop and very good stability. We’ve achieved very good performance now with very smooth gameplay. We have some fairly nasty bugs remaining out of our refactoring, but we don’t expect them to take too long.”
The exchange between the two regarding Stationeers‘ release and development continued with Angry Buddha noting that the game shouldn’t stay in Early Access long so that it will have a better chance at pulling in a bigger community. Hall, however, thinks otherwise and mentioned that…
“The only thing I disagree with is length of Early Access. One of the reasons we wanted to do Early Access with this game is so that it would evolve with the community through development. Early Access is a great way to restrict the number of customers, yet still build a very focused community. It allows us to gauge the real interest in the game and scope it correctly without the danger of overscoping and bankrupting the studio.”
Some users are scared over the fact that Hall wants to restrict some gamers from playing the game to prevent them from seeing “the true side of the game” and feel as if the space sim may never leave Early Access, sparking another controversial title on the horizon.
It’s worth keeping in mind that that is what some users feel at the moment and doesn’t reflect Stationeers‘ actual Early Access run, however it is best to note that anything good or bad can happen when it hits Early Access.
Lastly, Hall ended his post by saying:
“Above all else, I want this to be like we did Out of Ammo’s EA but on a larger scale. I suppose I want to try and do Early Access “right” based on what I’ve learned myself”.