December Update

Posted on Posted in Dev Blog

Ho-hum. The December update. I skipped November… and October… and I’m a week late on this one. I sat with WordPad open for a week with the phrase “It’s been a year already?” and proceeded to write absolutely dick-all after that until tonight. I’ve formulated this announcement in my head several times over, but it’s always defaulted to a touchy subject so I’m just going to drop it all on you. By the end, I’m sure it’ll be less of an update and more of an address.

Firstly, it has been a year. That’s insane. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t published a game before exactly what it’s like to have your work made real. This game’s inception dates back several years in a dining room, throwing ideas down in a journal while I worked on another game entirely. This was the dream; my “Jurassic Park” so to speak. Seeing The Isle come to life is one of the proudest moments of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Having the support of so many of you is impossible to describe, and no amount of thanks will appropriately do it justice but I thank you all the same. I’m not good with gratitude or expressing severe bouts of joy yet this was one of the coolest fucking things I’ve ever done and I wouldn’t trade it for the world (and that’s about as close as I’ll get).

The past-tense context is the problem. On a personal level with all irreverant jokes aside, I’m not happy as a game developer. I’m sure you all noticed the October update never got properly addressed. November just got glanced over and forgotten. My streams have become steadily less frequent. I would say it’s because I procrastinate but in all honesty I’m just not inspired the way I used to be. It’s actually quite difficult to say I honestly don’t want to work on The Isle, but I would be lying if I said anything otherwise. The game has steadily increased in popularity since release, regardless of outcry. The team is getting more talented with each passing day and we are discovering and pushing the limits of ourselves and each other, yet I can’t overlook my overwhelming disinterest in dealing with the public anymore.

For the longest time I demanded of myself and those that worked on this game to be as transparent as possible because the lack of it destroys so many early access (henceforth EA, but not ‘that’ EA) games. I despise that EA games have a mostly opaque window with just some outlined roadmap that may or may not be touched upon, whilst being abandoned somewhere down the road for some reason or another. It’s disheartening to see good projects go under and get listed as scams and blatant milking attempts get released so frequently. EA as a whole is a fucking trainwreck, but it’s the best learning opportunity an aspiring game developer could ever ask for. You have an entire host of projects from failures, abandonments, and successes, to research and study. Most of these game lay out what went wrong, and some have the occasional devblog where you can put together how they worked their process.

I figured I could avoid a great deal of player concern and general accusation of being “ayyy lmao scam” by being as open as possible about what the game is, our mindset as developers, and what we do as we do it. I took to blogging, dev rolls, and even streaming almost around the clock before we even released. Since that first day it has more or less worked heartily against us. I know a great deal of you looked forward to and watched a great many of my development streams, and I’m extremely grateful for your support, but I genuinely cannot openly develop this game in front of an audience anymore.

For over a year I’ve seen explanations as to why decisions are made go almost universally unheard. A temporary removal in sandbox, which is something this game has not nor will it ever intend to be, resulted in the most absurd childish uproar I have ever seen. Multiple attempts over the past year at openly displaying how development works is still met with incorrigible bashing of “why are skins being made instead of this mechanic!?” I genuinely cannot fathom the entitlement with such a surplus of ignorance.

To my great astonishment, it seems widely accepted in the gaming culture that gamers with not the slightest clue of how development works should be allowed to berate and shit on the works of those that create. I have yet to find another profession where it’s considered acceptable to walk in and tell someone how to do their craft. I have mercilessly defended almost all decisions done on this project and displayed the reasoning that drives decisions or the purpose of something that exists (or lack thereof) in the game, but all it does is fuel the growing mob mentality that I’m just a menial asshole that managed to produce a game. That being said, I am not apologizing when I feel I am in the right. I’m too mentally exhausted to put up with the childish behavior, and rather than continue to unsuccessfully display to people why things are happening, it’s wiser to take development to radio silence.

Thank you to those that have given us your support. As I have always said: We go forward.

Regards,
Dondi