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Getting there...

December 6, 2013 | Dukus | 149 Comments

When I started having the game tested, I expected there to be fewer suggestions and bugs with the general game play and simulation. My original thought was that I'd work out the crash bugs and then work on shipping the game. But I was wrong. Having new eyes on the game, and people playing in different styles showed some features that needed to be added or tweaked.

But other than taking slightly longer than I expected (like this entire project...), I've been really happy with the way testing and debugging the game has progressed. It's made Banished a better game.

At this point, the game has been crash free for about three weeks, and the simulation is pretty stable and balanced. Most bugs that have trickled in the last week have been very easy to fix.

So whats left?

While I've got a bunch of tutorial work done, I put a hold on it while I was fixing bugs and adding user interface elements to streamline player interaction with the game. I need to finish and clean up the tutorials and the text that goes along with them. As soon as the tutorial work is finished, I'll have a release candidate!

The tutorials show generally how to play, but they don't cover everything. While you can tinker and discover things, sometimes it's easier to just read about it. And so the manual will cover all those details. Like the tutorials, now that the UI is more complete the manual can be finished.

I also need to build installers for Non-Steam builds. This is pretty easy to do, but the installers also have to be tested on all operating systems and patching support needs to be tested.

Once the release candidate is ready, and while I do other non-programming tasks (business stuff, press, manuals, etc) the game will continue to be tested for stability, compatibility and bugs.

Given the remaining work that has to be done, it no longer seems likely that the game is going to be released in the period specified by my estimate of Late 2013, but I don't expect the release to be too far behind.

I should be able to announce an official date soon. Stay tuned!

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149 comments on “Getting there...”

  1. Glad you're spending the time getting it right before releasing it, a missed deadline is way better than a half-finished game. Can't wait.

  2. Nice ๐Ÿ™‚
    Just a question : if we buy it directly to you, we can have access to steam success ?

  3. I'm glad to see the effort you make in squashing all of the bugs. To many games these days are shipped with bugs.

  4. I don't know f it's been dealt with already. But if needed, i'm willing to participate on the translating of the game. I can do english to French, and some Italian as well.

  5. The game is looking so great! I've been waiting so long but it's refreshing to see someone actually take professional responsibility for putting out a truly finished product.

  6. glad to hear the game is getting better! very happy that you are keeping us updated like this, cant wait to buy this!

  7. When you release game to public, your buglist and feature requests will probably skyrocket, so take time to be ready with rocksolid release, and i really hope this game will be as far as possible to simcity 2013, which is bug ridden game that left me craving for great city sims. From what i saw on videos, this just might be the next best thing. Good luck with finishing the game!

  8. Will there be any way to pre order the game? I'd like to get it for some family members for Christmas.

  9. Similiar to XFaded, I'd offer my German. If that game ever needs translation, I'll gladly do my part.

  10. This was going to be my christmas gift to myself, but I rather see you finish this game the right way than rush it to make it my christmas gift ๐Ÿ™‚
    Keep up the good work!

  11. I just hope that your website doesn't crash with all the dollar bills jammed through it on release date.

  12. Suggestion- Set a release day earlier rather than later. It will put an end to all of your distractions and give you a clear goal.

  13. Just to add to the throng. Please consider some form of pre-purchase/pre-order.

    Without some form of pre. I will only be buying one copy for myself. If I can buy more as xmas stocking fillers for friends and family I will be buying 4 copies at least. Maybe more depending on your price point.

  14. I am very fluent in Korthaibian, I can translate and have already marketed the game there!, hope you don't mind.
    Tรกlukma tลกudobichi grunaamo! (Keep up the good works) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. That's great news. I believe I speak for all saying that the work you are putting is much appreciated and I hope you are richly rewarded for your efforts. Many thanks.

  16. Seriously man, take every second you need. I've been really excited reading this blog and wanting to play your game but take as much time as you need.

  17. Really looking forward to this. Good point made above which may have already been answered but - can we buy direct and if so does this work out better for you?

  18. A couple people have said the magic word....Christmas.

    I'm honestly not in a hurry for you to finish because quality is paramount. That being said, of course I'm really looking forward to playing it.

    You mentioned working on the business stuff...you obviously need to profit from this endeavor. Every year we see new systems and games come out at Christmas (XB1/PS4 this year). There's obviously a reason for this. Even if you can't release the entire game by Christmas, I would really urge you to put some kind of package together asap. Though I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

    As an example, I plan on probably buying 3-4 copies for my son & brothers for Christmas if it's out. But if nothing is available, that money has to go somewhere else for their Xmas presents. When it comes out in January, I'll just end up sending them a link to your site with a "You gotta try this game!" note.

    I don't know what to suggest other than maybe a pre-order...though giving someone a slip of paper with a "hurry up and wait" note isn't as much fun. Maybe include something with a pre-order? An exclusive add-on or a mini-game?

    I don't know. I'm buying it whenever you release it. I just hate to see you miss out on that Christmas revenue.

  19. That's good news! Looking forward to the release, and have enjoyed reading your blog posts. The last city builder I actually liked was Caesar III -- and your game seems to tick all the boxes. That said, take your time and make sure you're happy with it. If it means added quality, it will be worth the wait...

  20. @no
    Settle down, troll. Just. Settle. Down.

    Now that I got that out of the way...this game, and the quality and care going into it, is making life worth living! Also, it is making every day a marathon of crushing anticipation. Do what you have to do, while I eagerly await the release date!

  21. So excited even if this might not be released in Dec. As many others id love to see a Pre Order option!

  22. Just a couple quick thoughts!

    Thanks for all your hard work.

    I ask that (assuming you haven't already) you give some consideration on how to handle bug reporting upon release. I think once released there will be a lot of bugs uncovered and discovered and as you release updates to the game, more will be generated.

    A strong and streamlined way of reporting bugs and allow players to see known bugs I think is important to keeping the community up to date on fixes as well as giving you a great go-to place to find things that need fixing.

    Of course this is all personal opinion! Game is looking awesome and it's an incredible accomplishment with what you have done so far. Have a good Christmas.

  23. Since Christmas is around the corner for a lot of us, I can only ask you one thing. I would really like to know what the pricing is going to be on release so I can make sure I can buy Banished on release day. I mean, I gotta have this game.

  24. This pleases me. Can't wait to give you some cash for this game.

    (Also - lol @ people feeding the troll. That's not how you internet.)

  25. Why don't you publish on Steam Early Access? I would buy it on day one and that would help you for debugging since everyone would be testers ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I would wait longer for a good rollout, I have suffered through Simcity botched ness and Blizzards botched rollout, even the healthcare thing was botched. Lets do this one right.

  27. Ah common, EA released SimCity on the planned date and everything went very fine. Oh wait!!!

    Actually thank you, I won't be wasting all my Xmas holidays on this game. I'll waste the rest of the winter though, and that's just perfect.

    My native language is French and I worked on software translation before (not games).

  28. How many Languages likes Banished? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am german and i want to buy this game only its multilanguage so much.

  29. Hey man I check out your website everyday looking for more updates, I'm really looking forward to hearing a release date not to mention playing the game! please keep us updated like you are you have more followers then you know, I'm also a writer for a local college magazine called G-V.E.G.A.S., In the magazine we have a section for tested games, I'm aiming to write a article on your game

  30. Very nice!

    do you need any help with the translation? would love to help to translate the game into german.


  31. I'd agree that you should take as much time as you need. But I'd also second the idea that preorders available before Christmas will absolutely make you more money. If I can preorder I'm likely to get at least 3 as gifts. Can you set up preorders while you finish the game?

  32. A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.

    Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo

  33. Thank you for the game!

    Why not consider an "early access on Steam"?

    It will be wonderful!

    The truth is that I can't wait for the game! ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Today is my birthday. I have been waiting for a playable copy of Banished! to come out for like months now. Any chance I can get a birthday present and get a copy of the alpha/beta to play? ;). I'd still pay.

  35. A shame that you'll miss the Christmas sales period but a solid, bug free release is worth a lot in reputation. Interestingly, all the kickstarter projects I'm tracking are opting for the go slow, do it right approach too. So refreshing after the big corporation 'ship it early, fix it later if it sells enough' attitude. It'll give us all something to look forward to in the cold months early next year.

  36. Hey,

    nice to hear it won't be too long anymore ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Really awesome that you want to squish all bugs and make the game userfriendly before you want to release it.

    If you ever need some Q/A Specialis or german translator, feel free to contact ๐Ÿ™‚
    Since that most likely won't happen though, I'll just wait for that awesome game to finally enjoy some nice strategy / simulation again ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. I agree with with the concept of a pre-sale and setting a price point. I also see a lot of people mention they would like to buy multiple copies before Christmas as gifts, and I am of the same sentiment. Would you consider a 4 pack or similar offer like many games do on steam these days? I believe it would greatly boost sales especially around the holiday time, even if the game is not finished.

    Lastly thanks for all the hard work!

  38. I am what I consider a veteran player who play games since 1990. I already played hundreads of titles of many kind of games (FPS, Simulation, Strategy, etc) and I learned to recognize immediatly a good game without playing it. I think I am not wrong to consider this a good game with lots of potential. However my friends I also learned that rush a production of a game only because commercial purposes is a big mistake. I understand that people want to play this game asap because I want that too but believe me is better to wait and play a game free of crash and annoying bugs that buy a game with potential but with many problems. For example : Sim city 2013 = lots of bugs , Civilization V = crashed a lot of times ... and many others examples! So people be like myself, be patient and wait for a great game.

  39. Keep up the great work. Could we see some more videos, maybe we could give hints on what we would like that we didn't get to see in the video. Maybe some ideas that hadn't been thought of. Anyway LOOKS great.

  40. How I hate to read that the game is postponed, I respect that you do it because of the quality of the game.
    I hate every person here that is pushing to release the game earlier then you feel that is ready to!
    I am really looking forward to play your game. I really like the concept of the game and I am waiting (really anxioly) to play your game.
    This game is really an instant buy for me!
    Thank you for making this game and releasing it when it is ready!

  41. Though I very strongly agree that you should push release until you feel it's ready, I also think it would be regrettable if you weren't able to take advantage of Christmas ๐Ÿ™ So with that said, maybe offer a preorder option? Not early access, just a preorder. Whatever you decide, I'm hoping the best for you and this project, and you can bet I'll be buying it upon release!

  42. Hi, I'm willing to help you translating the game in italian, let me know if you're interested.


  43. My kids are getting a lower-end PC for Christmas from their grandparents and in preparation for this game (for ME) I'm throwing in an ATI HD 7850 (it was a good deal) and even have to upgrade the power supply to support the GFX card. Can you tell I'm looking forward to this game?

  44. Thanks for the update.
    I am fully behind your committment to squashing as many bugs as possible.

    Always jealous when I see the stats on steam revealing how many beta testers are currently in-game

  45. Great Update. Try not to burn yourself out though, you deserve to enjoy the festive period. This game has been a joy to watch develop. Well Done!

  46. While I would welcome a preorder as much as everyone else here, I find I have a great respect for the way Luke appears to be intent on doing business. It seems crazy to all us crazy capitalist consumers, but perhaps he just doesn't want to go cashing in on the game before there's a fully finished, released product to sell.

    It's an old fashioned approach for sure, but I'm not so sure I prefer the modern take. He obviously doesn't need to run preorders to finance the development, guage interest, or keep shareholders happy, so why not skip it and just sell a finished product?

    I don't suppose anyone would begrudge a very short pre-order period to allow people to purchase in time for Christmas. But even that places obligations and creates expectations, and it seems to me there are MORE than enough expectations and classic internet-feelings-of-entitlement already, and nobody has exchanged a penny of their own money yet!

  47. Luke,

    Can you please either update Steam, or this blog with your suggest price for the game. If you are going to be unable to offer a pre-order system - I view this as one of the next best ways to capture some of the Christmas revenue that everyone else is talking about.

    If I can pick up a giftcard that covers the cost of the game for friends and family I can either save them until the game is released or include a note to get Banished when it does release.

    Please can get get a price.

    Thanks again and really look forward to the finished game!

  48. Can't wait!

    Really looking forward to this game! I hope youll be able to at least release around christmas, will definitely buy it for a few of my friends ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. One of my most looked forward games in recent years. Takes as long as you must. Wish you all the best and keep up with the good work.

  50. Good news after all. I am glad that you take your time to make this game bugfree as much as possible and proof to us that money is not everything. A name and a reputation is worth much more. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  51. Good news! Will take the chance to agree with several points above, solid release is more valuable then a rushed one.
    And the idiea of having a pre-order setup, no bonuses or anything required - before Christmas, would be a sound thing to do, if it is possible, even though the release possibly aint there until later.
    People -will- buy this. There are indeed more followers of your game then one would think, most of us just quietly stand in the background.


  52. I can't say I'd buy more than one copy if the game were released before Christmas, but I would certainly be a grateful customer to Shining Rock Software, eagerly awaiting their next game or DLC.

  53. I can wait a little longer if it means better game with no bugs. This project is great idea and I keep my fingers crossed!

  54. Hi there, can't wait for the game to be released! I'd just like to say that I'm available for Spanish translation if necessary. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Just give me an email if you're interested

  55. Can't wait for this. I've been disappointed by so many games recently, I need a game like this to restore my faith in the industry.

  56. Every time i visit this site the game just keep getting better and better. Keep up the good work!

    If i can help out in anyway, just email me.

  57. Just two advices:

    (1) If you cannot grab the Christmas run (which is unlikely, you would have had to release it three weeks before), then do not aim for January. Better end of Jan. or beginning of February.

    (2) Do not take a price too low. It will pay off when using a higher one because this game is higher quality. Read the blog from the developer of Democracy 3 about this issue:

  58. I, along with so many others here, am really pleased with the progress your work's been taking.

    ALSO, I'm very fluent in Brazillian Portuguese (PT-BR), and am able and at your disposal in case you want someone to translate the whole game's content, absolutely for free.

    Contact me if you want to, I'm pretty sure all your effort will pay off.

  59. I soo can't wait for this game....

    If you would like a tester in the mean time, please dont hesitate to contact me, i can provide full system specs...

    Please realease soon...

  60. Bee a
    'Been keeping-up with you since the launch of SimCity. I will be here until you launch Banish, no matter how long it takes; so steady as she goes . . . take your time . . . release a great game . . . make lots of money; and make more.

  61. aaaaawwww, I was expecting it for Christmas! Ah well, no big deal. As long as you keep posting blog posts once in a while you should be able to keep pitchforks down. Glad to hear everything is now just being ironed out and the new player experience being built. I appreciate the thought that not everything is in the tutorial. As long as it teaches how to basically keep the town alive, it should be fine. Most of us aren't kids that need to be walkedthrough and guided for everything. Even Civ5 doesn't have much of any tutorial, but rather a support system which is basically a manual that triggers when you encounter a new feature.

  62. If a tutorial and non-Steam based installers are really the only things left in programming for the game I'd happily buy (and play) the game right now.

    Ah well, I suppose there are worse things than a developer that wants to create a game that's actually good, rather than a half finished bug ridden mess.

  63. Great news, been following development closely for a few months now ๐Ÿ™‚

    What are your plans for a standardized bug report system?
    Have you thought about doing something along the lines of what Bohemia did with Arma 3?

    I think you will be alot more productive post release, if theres a "system" to report and maintain bugs/features requests. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And dont release untill your happy mate, this is your baby and the world doesnt need to see it before its been "prettied up" and your happy with it ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. whoooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    its almost time
    i really need to get my hand on this game

    what will the price of the game be

  65. Hey there. I'm looking forward to play your amazing game. Banishing the game out of 2013 - see the pun^^- is terrible.
    Maybe you give us at least some new vids on youtube.. can't wait to give you my money... as you wish all of it...but release it!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    By the way if you plan to do some translations later on i gladly offer my help.
    german - mother tongue
    anything you want ๐Ÿ˜‰

  66. This is good news, and I agree with others:

    Please take longer if necessary to get it right! While I would like to play it now, I would much rather love playing it "when it's done".


    I present myself, my name is Armando Santos , I have 50 years old and I play videogames since 1990. I have a superior degree in Markting Management and I work in a bank in Lisbon, Portugal. Like I said my main hobby is play videogames and I already spent dozens of thousand hours and lots of money (in the last 23 years) playing many games (RTS , Simulation, Strategy, Online games, FPS, etc). Regarding this specific kind of game (City building) I played great games as Caesar 3, Pharaoh , Empreor - Rise of the middle kingdom , Knight and Merchants, all Settler serie, all Anno serie, all Tropico serie, all Stronghold serie, CivCity Rome, Grand Ages - Rome, etc. , which make me an expert of this kind of games. However I donยดt intent to be arrogant or teach you anything only tell you that nowadays it is difficult to me be impressed by any game (because my great experience and that I already played hundreads of titles) and I can recognize immediatly a good game when I see it (even without play it). I am impressed by your game and I decided to give my humble contribution and advice :

    1 - This game is almost everyting I wanted in a game of this type (harsh winters, hot summers, disasters, starvation, agriculture, trade, single player, sandbox, etc). This game touch in aspects that are forgotten by many games of this kind, which make it unique and more rich. However if you (developer) add a combat option (which could be disable for those who donยดt want combat, like you well said) it would be perfect, a really great game that will please much more people, more realistic and commercially speaking more salable (which is also important to you). In fact the game concept is excellent and I like it from the beginning, however we can not ignore that in each society exist always troublemakers, criminals and bandits. This mean that even in a distant and isolated society like this one there is a need of a small force (like a local militia) for law enforcement and protect the society against those who threaten the people. Thus there are a need of specific buldings (barrack, watchtowers, couthouse and prisons) and few more professions (militiaman, judge and jailer) in order to make this game more realistic. Obviously if you donยดt have time now for do it (very close to release date of the game) you may think of it in a future "Add On" of this game which you can sell easily (add a few new maps and the "Add On" will be perfect).

    2 - Finally I want to congratulate you for the great game you are doing, and tell you for you take your time to correct bugs and crash that the beta game may have and add the features and options that you think that are essentials to the game. Donยดt let the players rush you in your work, is better they wait a little more and you present them a fine game (almost free of bugs and crash and with essential features) that they have an half-finished game with a good concept but with many problems. A good game always pays off to the developer team and publisher.

    3 - If you want to discuss some ideas with me please feel free to contact me , my eMail is : leonsa42@hotmail.com , thank you.

    yours sincerely,
    Armando Santos

  68. NOOOOOOooooOOOoooOOOOoo!

    Oh fine, like I tell waitress....as long as it's good when it gets here....I'm fine with the wait.

  69. Dear Dukus after reading your last news

    I just can say take so much time as you need to make this game greater as it already is ! :3

    Im putting my hope into this game

    And good things needs time!

    So i hope for you and all the players that can't wait but will wait for a good game!

    You do the best out of it ๐Ÿ™‚ and may if u got time response is good and other stuffs

    you may expand this game with expansions or DLC whateever just to make it to a big good game ! and to show the players that small little "company" can kick the ass off the bigger company :3 saw so many "good" games screwed up by this damn money focused companys ._.

  70. @money
    There was a beta, that's a normal part of game development.
    Beta wasn't always synonymous with buy-the-game-before-it's-finished. Not every beta testing phase has to be a public beta, some developers like to finish their game *before* they start selling it ๐Ÿ™‚

    I fully understand, and I'm really looking forward to playing a stable, complete and polished game from the moment I get it for once.

  71. y not have a minecraft-styled release
    have a build that's relatively feature complete and release it as Beta/Alpha when u felt that it's time to go gold , update the game one last time to add some feature and remove Beta status.

  72. Kinda sad it won't be out before Christmas as it's the only time I really get time off that I wanted to fully get into this game but I understand the reasons and will hopefully get hands on it sometime next year ๐Ÿ™‚

  73. Keep the faith Luke, your entry into gaming Valhalla is assured. Thoroughly enjoyed your detailed devlogs. Pick a quality bar that you can be proud of, but also can live with otherwise you'll never get a chance to do v1.1. Can and will wait for that moment - I know your attention to detail will make it worth it. Good Luck!

  74. Oooh, looking so good!

    If you want this game translated to Norwegian, I'll be happy to contribute. Yeah, long shot, I know. =)

  75. It's done when it's done. I'm happy to read that you're taking all the time you need. I hope you'll take your time for Christmas too. Good luck!

  76. Hey,

    I saw some people here offering translations. If there is a way I can help with Lithuanian translation then contact me on Steam by the name of Suldok.

    There is also a Lithuanian translation group so if it is needed I could have a talk with them and we'll probably all help.

  77. I look forwards to getting my hands on this game and maybe recording some gameplay for my Youtube channel. It's good to hear that you're taking as much time as needed to make sure it's gonna be the best it can be. Keep up the good work!

  78. Just like to point out to everyone saying he will miss Christmas market. Well that's fine, but he is clearly confident in his work that once its out word of mouth and good reviews will make this a must buy. Also due to this being his first full solo project he has to make sure this is bang on the money at release.
    I find it quite uplifting that he is willing to wait past christmas and release when he feels its ready. It shows a degree of passion which I find is missing a great deal in the current market. Also the fact he isn't putting on for super early pre-order with loads of content extracted to make us feel like we are getting more for buying early, just makes me love this man more. So please all Enjoy Christmas spend time with your families, because when this game is out I think they will miss us more.

  79. As a developer, I want to commend you on a job really well done. I too am looking forward to this game.

  80. This game looks better and better. It's nice to see someone take care in developing a game instead of rushing it to be released with heaps of bugs. Keep up the good work.

  81. It's been some months i'm following your news and i would prefer a completly finished game than one with some problems.
    All people who said they can't wait,should learn patience,it's really helpfull for a lot of things.
    It's been a long time players are waiting a game like yours,maybe that's why they're unpatient^^
    I'm pretty sure your game will be a must have.
    Keep up the good work,and release it when you think it should be.

  82. I hope, it will be released at 24th of december. It would be a very great present! ๐Ÿ˜€ I'm sorry for my bad english.

  83. Beta would be awesome! Then some friends of mine and me could play it through our christmas holidays! ๐Ÿ˜€

  84. I've been lurking around on and off for quite a while and finally decided to check back on this game after a 2-3 month hiatus. It seems like it's coming along nicely, I actually really like the why you guys at Shiningrocksoftware are handling alpha/beta releases, I'm a big supporter of indie game companies with interesting ideas, but sometimes some of them rush too early and release really early builds while asking the community for money, personally I love that you want to release a somewhat polished build before jumping the gun on asking for funding. Kiddos to you guys and I would like to see how it goes, hopefully a build comes on in the next few weeks, before Christmas.

  85. @ oranite. He is just alone, there are no guys :). which makes this an even bigger accomplishment!

  86. This game looks amazing in the trailer and is exactly what I thought Steam is missing right now. I will be purchasing asap.

  87. This game looks really good, have you thought about adding a multiplayer by spliting it into four unique regions. giving trade to the other 3 players and to give it a interesting twist.keep the 4 sections split away from each other and keep a large space between that can be used for resorces. this makes trade more vital

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