March 25, 2014 | Dukus | 155 Comments
The time after shipping a game is harder work than it looks on the surface. When I made console games, a game would ship, and I'd start coding on the next project before the discs hit the shelves. So my impression before Banished was released was that I'd be able to jump right into further development, prototyping new games, and have a general period of relaxation. This is not the case. Because I'm not just a programmer on a team – but the whole team - there's a flurry of email, customer support, dealing with press, trying to keep up with social media, phone calls, meetings, future planning, and attempting to fit everything into a five day work week. Having time away from the screen is still very important to me too. Overtime just isn't my thing. Somewhere in there I'm trying to find time to fix the bugs and work around compatibility issues. My coding time has been reduced significantly lately and the fixes aren't coming as fast as I'd like, but I am working on them. There's the beta patch out there but it doesn't yet address all the issues I'd like to get to. I really want to get to more work on the mod-kit and ports and future projects. I've certainly thought about getting help with the coding, but it takes time to find someone, get them up to speed, and start producing work. Not to mention the complexities of expanding a business to have employees. I've also had to put a little time into another project – back when I wasn't sure making indie games was going to work I starting making tools for game developers in the hope that I could make a living with writing development tools instead of games, or a combination of both tools and games. I started a small company with an artist, and developed a product called Handplane. It actually helped fund the development of Banished and get it finished. It's a little complicated if you're not a games graphics artist, but Handplane takes an object-space normal map generated from a hires/lores baking process and converts it into a tangent map for a lot of different game and graphics engines. It lets you make models without smoothing splits and import it perfectly into the Unreal, Unity, Source, and Creation engines, as well as Max and Maya, regardless of where the source model or object space normal map came from. So people have been using it to make nice objects in Fallout, Skyrim, Dota, Unreal, and other games without spending time tweaking models so that the normal maps display correctly. Because I wrote the code and am the only programmer at Handplane3D, there's still support and update issues for that product too. While I've generally let Banished take most of my time, Handplane is still something I have to work on occasionally – especially since I'm not the only person working at that company. Could I be more busy? Probably, but I don't want to be. On a non-time and busyness related note, I've encountered an interesting phenomenon in dealing with support that I didn't expect. The amount of positive feedback, number of players, and people having a good time with the game is an absolutely huge percentage. But even as the good feedback is out there, as the developer I see all the bugs, startup problems, and strange issues up close and personal, everyday, and in a volume that's large enough to make the game release seem like it has a lot of problems when taken out of context of the full number of people that have had success and bug free play time. This is somewhat hard to deal with – at first reports of bugs and the game failing to start made me cringe and stress over getting them fixed as fast as possible. But I know most software has small percentages of issues because of hardware and software incompatibilities. And I know bug reports need to be taken just as a bug to be fixed. And it takes time to reproduce bugs and find fixes that won't break other things. But it's hard to separate personal feelings from just dealing with support issues when releasing a project to the world that has been a personal project for many years. I get the feeling I'm not the first indie developer to feel this way - but really I just needed to get past it, fix the bugs, and continue working on Banished and new games. And finally, I've been meaning to update the devlog more often, but time flies when you're busy. Things are calming down around here so hopefully soon I can get a patch out for more of the bugs and get to work on the Mod Kit. More soon!
The time after shipping a game is harder work than it looks on the surface. When I made console games, a game would ship, and I'd start coding on the next project before the discs hit the shelves. So my impression before Banished was released was that I'd be able to jump right into further development, prototyping new games, and have a general period of relaxation.
This is not the case.
Because I'm not just a programmer on a team – but the whole team - there's a flurry of email, customer support, dealing with press, trying to keep up with social media, phone calls, meetings, future planning, and attempting to fit everything into a five day work week. Having time away from the screen is still very important to me too. Overtime just isn't my thing. Somewhere in there I'm trying to find time to fix the bugs and work around compatibility issues.
My coding time has been reduced significantly lately and the fixes aren't coming as fast as I'd like, but I am working on them. There's the beta patch out there but it doesn't yet address all the issues I'd like to get to. I really want to get to more work on the mod-kit and ports and future projects.
I've certainly thought about getting help with the coding, but it takes time to find someone, get them up to speed, and start producing work. Not to mention the complexities of expanding a business to have employees.
I've also had to put a little time into another project – back when I wasn't sure making indie games was going to work I starting making tools for game developers in the hope that I could make a living with writing development tools instead of games, or a combination of both tools and games. I started a small company with an artist, and developed a product called Handplane. It actually helped fund the development of Banished and get it finished.
It's a little complicated if you're not a games graphics artist, but Handplane takes an object-space normal map generated from a hires/lores baking process and converts it into a tangent map for a lot of different game and graphics engines. It lets you make models without smoothing splits and import it perfectly into the Unreal, Unity, Source, and Creation engines, as well as Max and Maya, regardless of where the source model or object space normal map came from. So people have been using it to make nice objects in Fallout, Skyrim, Dota, Unreal, and other games without spending time tweaking models so that the normal maps display correctly.
Because I wrote the code and am the only programmer at Handplane3D, there's still support and update issues for that product too. While I've generally let Banished take most of my time, Handplane is still something I have to work on occasionally – especially since I'm not the only person working at that company.
Could I be more busy? Probably, but I don't want to be.
On a non-time and busyness related note, I've encountered an interesting phenomenon in dealing with support that I didn't expect. The amount of positive feedback, number of players, and people having a good time with the game is an absolutely huge percentage.
But even as the good feedback is out there, as the developer I see all the bugs, startup problems, and strange issues up close and personal, everyday, and in a volume that's large enough to make the game release seem like it has a lot of problems when taken out of context of the full number of people that have had success and bug free play time.
This is somewhat hard to deal with – at first reports of bugs and the game failing to start made me cringe and stress over getting them fixed as fast as possible. But I know most software has small percentages of issues because of hardware and software incompatibilities. And I know bug reports need to be taken just as a bug to be fixed. And it takes time to reproduce bugs and find fixes that won't break other things. But it's hard to separate personal feelings from just dealing with support issues when releasing a project to the world that has been a personal project for many years.
I get the feeling I'm not the first indie developer to feel this way - but really I just needed to get past it, fix the bugs, and continue working on Banished and new games.
And finally, I've been meaning to update the devlog more often, but time flies when you're busy. Things are calming down around here so hopefully soon I can get a patch out for more of the bugs and get to work on the Mod Kit. More soon!
It's never easy to manage an entire operation by yourself. Good luck in your endeavors and I am truly enjoying the game!
Hi there! Keep up the Great work but don't overwork
Did you thinked about getting some volunteers? just for a specific time
They could help you alot and you woulndt need to pay at first
I mean it seems for me alot of players wanna help you and some for free cause they just want to improve the game forthemself and others
so this could be a option
I wanted to pay my respect for your effort you put in that game.
I hope things will go for the best with everything you do.
Best of luck!
Nice to get an update!
Being a developer myself (but not for games) I want to say I'm very impressed with the work you have done here. I found Banished to be very much worth my money. To my great surprise, it even runs nicely on my crummy old laptop. 🙂
Easier said than done, I'm sure, but try to not let the pressure get to you and instead think of what an awesome thing you've created!
Glad to read that you're doing well and not pushing yourself too hard - I know some of us enjoying the game can sometimes get too obsessed/worried and that it can seem as though your excellent work is never enough!
I can't wait to see what develops!
You made a great game that myself and many of my friends have and continue to enjoy.
I just wanted to thank you for all of your great work. You're an inspiration to myself and other aspiring game devs in my community.
Still playing the game. Still enjoying it immensely. Looking forward to when the mod tools will be available 🙂
You have created a great and fun game. Be proud.
Play Banished about 5-6 hrs/day. Love it. Looking forward to updates/expansion/modding. Terrific fun program and please keep developing, gamers need quality software like Banished to play and enjoy.
The game is awesome, and most players accept that this is an indie game. A happe and healthy programmer is better than being overworked and causing more bad than good:) Keep up the good work, the devlog posts are great, and good luck with both Banished and Handplane!
Rest assured that you have the community behind you. Your work is impressive, hope you won't get (even more) swarmed!
Dude shut out all of the negative and soak in the praises!
Also +1 on Ordem post about volunteers. Setup a bug tracker then have the volunteer attempt to re-create while logging any information needed. Your forum software can't continue to be a substitute for a good bug tracker.
Push back any release of a mod kit until a few months of big squashing. A mod kit will just introduce more issues.
You are doing an excellent job, but this game is awesome, and fun, and there is a lot more work I want to see done on it as a result of that fact. Thank you for what you do.
The game is excellent! Congratulations on a very successful launch (even if you feel overwhelmed with the small percentage of people having problems).
I understand you feel it would be hard work getting another programmer (and take a lot of your time getting them integrated) and you're probably right. However it might be worth looking at getting help with the PR side so you can focus on the technical/business side of things.
Love playing the game and I cant wait for the mod kit to expand on large-town abilities. Currently i have a 2000 population town that has problems with laborer walk distance and housing locations and such that arent really bugs, but results of huge towns interacting with game mechanics. I also feel that expanding beyond 500 people doesnt really feel like a town anymore due to lack of any type of 'high teir' buildings that would require a more centralized town. The sprawling decentralized town built as much off gatherers seems to be the optimal build strategy, but i would like to see things like soil quality, location to water (some crops do well near water, others far away, ect), and environment factors play more into the gamelpay to diversify towns. All-in-all I have enjoyed the game immensely with over 100 hours played in dozens of towns.
Don't stress about it too much. I totally agree with you that time away from the screen is important. You are doing a great job and I was blown away by your launch. I hope you keep finding success in all of your pursuits, whatever that may mean for you.
As great as this game is and as great as it is you are forthcoming. Only working 5 days a week on a game you just released and paid for knowing there are still bugs in it, really is not acceptable and a little insulting.
As much as we all love to have weekends, you just need to buckle down and get it done. I used to have to work 120hour weeks when required and I hadn't just taken $$$ from customers for a product that needed further support.
I've stopped playing this game for now until the bugs have been fixed, which I know they will be eventually.
Its amazing what you've done by yourself, but you need to hire more help or as suggested above open it up to volunteers and release that version of the build as "in progress" until you know its stable.
The majority of people love your game, so much so that those of us who have tried out SimCity 2013 (made by a huge company) cannot compare with Banished, made by ONE person. You should be very proud of your accomplishments. Don't let the bugs get you down. Computers are finicky as it is, so bugs will happen. Those can be worked out with time. It isn't something unfixable. It's a smartly and beautifully done game. Congratulations.
You have produced a beautiful game here that has given me hours of entertaining playthrough and you deserve many praises for it. Don't let the bug fixing get you down.
Luke, I love this game. After many many hours of trial and error, I finally have (for now) a stable town of 700+ peeps and over 100K food being produced. Thanks for creating this game!
Also just to clarify, I think what one person has accomplished with this game is amazing. I also think if you got volunteers to help you with customer support, that alone would free up loads of time. So if I personally can help with anything I am completely open to it, you have my email, hit me up if you need help with anything.
Hey Alicia, I wish I could edit my comment so its clearer. I didn't stop because of the bugs (as Dukus' workaround worked for me), but because I did all i could with the town and actually contrary to others found it quite easy to keep the town going once you figured out the formula. I think the mod package and the community that will go with it, will make this game unbelievably good. As it is the games is amazing.
I disagree that you should be expected to give up your weekends to work on this game! As someone who has worked jobs where I was expected to work lots of extra hours, I would never wish that on anyone else!
Keep up the good work and take some time to be happy and proud of your accomplishments. Banished is a fun and challenging game! Thank you for creating it!
@Luke in the comments...to clarify, my comment was directed at Luke the developer.
And I agree, the game is amazing!
A great game and there's 97-99% positive feedback compared to the 1-3% negative feedback on the forums.
Thanks for the update, it's good to know that you do have plans to take care of the bugs... (and possible game dynamic fixes).
Great to hear that you're getting positive feedback, and are still able to find some free time. Really looking forward to when the mod-kit is done and shipped.
Also, thanks for the link to Handplane3D. Eventhough I don't quite understand what a tangent map is, I've bookmarked it for possible future use.
As an indie game dev myself, I totally understand where you're coming from. Keep at it and don't give up is all I can say. But at the same time, make sure to take a break when needed.
I am totally impressed with what you have done with Banished. I have been thinking about designing a game exactly like this. You have done an excellent job and the horizon for additional buildings, crafted items, etc. is spectacular! I can't wait to see what you do with this game. In the simulation world it seems that simplifying game play is all important. As in reducing the number of components it take to make an item, or the number of items all together. The more choices you have, in my book, the more creative you can get. I understand you taking it personal when even just one person crashes. It's an honorable trait in you that you are out to make your customers happy. I have not had any crash issues and wish you the best. I guess if it were me, I'd certainly concentrate on hiring a graphics person and a couple of dev programmers and take the time to get them up to speed. In 6 months, you will be far past where you would have been flying solo. I know that this is evident in your approach, I just want to urge you to keep the graphics as realistic as possible and don't go down the cartoony path like WoW. Awesomely incredible job, keep it up. If I could assist you for free, I'd certainly do it. Absolutely love this project!
I must admit that I'm not a game dev but even in my work I use to take critism and 'bugs' as a personal thing while I know I shouldn't. Keep thinking about Banished players like me: I haven't had any problems and I'm playing it with lots of enjoyment. The thing is that you probably don't hear that from all the people because it's just working. Thanks for all the hard work and this blog, I love the blogs.
Take your time and enjoy life. 😉
You really should hire a team. I expected to have mods support and most bugs fixed by now.
And game should be supported for some time, bringing new features.
Congratulations! And thanks for the devlog update!
As the founder and CEO of a 20 person software company (now sold), I can understanding your frustrations in dealing with the fallout of Banished's success.
Unfortunately I never found a way to support a truly successful product without developing a company around it. And if you do that, you become a business manager with less and less time to devote to coding.
After I sold my company, I swore off developing any future software for a profit. I'd rather code than give employee reviews.
Finally, you did an awesome job on version 1! Thanks so much.
Coming late into the fray, but I wanted toa dd my "take heart" : a lot of us just love this amazing, addictive game even if it's still frustrating at time!:-). Take your time, we"ve got but one life and no time machine to go back (as in Banished !:-)))
Thanks again for following-up! I love Banished, definitely want you to have the time to develop it further, definitely want you to take the time to do it right, without burning yourself out. 😀
I'd be 100% keen on DLCs that provide different environments/issues (for instance, water tracking for a desert environment, or new disaster types for a bog, etc) that would change the dynamics.
Further, task expansion DLCs would again be something I'm keen on. $15 to $20 more for a town DLC? In!
You are doing a great job. You're a one-man team, so it's to be expected that fixes will roll out slowly. I don't know what all goes into publishing a title, other than what you've just mentioned, but I'm sure it's a lot. You have done awesome so far, so just keep doing what you're doing. I can't wait for the mod updates!
Banished is a great game and I enjoy playing it.
Also, I hope you make expansion packs that will add more features too this game. If you do I would buy it.
Nice to hear from you, hope you had great time seeing our positive feedbacks.
Love the game! Thanks for making it. You are doing a great job.
I'd just like to say that I'm one of those people that had a fantastic time with Banished. Great work man.
This is a great game and I personally have noticed no bug issues! (unlike EA/Maxis with SimCity, whom I am totally disgusted with!)
I LOVE THIS GAME!!
The learning curve is challenging but very rewarding and I am having a GREAT time playing Banished.
I'm sure you are very busy... BUT TAKE A MOMENT TO PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK!!! AWESOME GAME!! 🙂
Keep up the food work!
I've stopped playing banished, but I'd still recommend it 🙂
Thanks for the update! This is one of the best games I've ever played.
Congratulations! I got what expected and waited
Awesome game! Thank you
And thanks for the devlog update
Really great work and your communication is why I think you have so many loyal fans who all look forward to future games. I have played many hours of Banished and always enjoy the challenge the game has and have heard a lot of great feedback from the Banished Nation Guild on facebook.
Hats off to you for all of your single-handed hard work with Banished!! I have enjoyed playing it for hours on end.
We have created a Facebook group "Banished Nation - a Banished Guild" so that those who are enjoying the game can join in to share tips and screenshots of the towns they've built. There are many people enjoying your game friend. So keep up the good work and take a breather to relax when you need to. You've earned that right. Take care!
Must say Luke you've done an amazing job and looking at this log you must be one busy man, you have made an amazing game keep up the good work, I know you explained your busy but try and drop short messages now and again to keep us up to date 99% of the games players don't mind waiting for updates just give use a short message now and again on progress and thoughts
Keep up great development and hard work
You're Awesome! PLEASE READ.
For you to do this as one guy is amazing! And taking time off when you need to is also a good quality.
If you have never heard of Brad Wardel (sp) from Stardock, you guys should get in touch. I've played his games for 10 years or more and he has your same mentality (it seems), but he's been through the ringer a couple times over his games and may be able to help you ease your mind on the game making side of things.
I'll support any game developer with this kind of dedication. You did well, Sir!
Wish you the best.
Thanks for the update! I debated whether or not to get the game before or after the update, but I'm glad I chose to get it because I love it. You really have done well with it and I've not had any problems yet. I don't play it right now because of university, but I'll get back on it soon enough! Hopefully once the mod-kit is released and others make additions to the game, your workload will be decreased. Thank you and keep up the good work!
This game is excellent. It provides a great balance of challenges and thought-provoking decisions that keep you immersed in the environment. And just when you feel you have a grasp on teh town, things change and now you must continue the fight for survival. Love it! Keep up the good work and perform as you see fit!
I'm enjoying the game last 4 days and it's really good. I found some issues and possibilities that could improve the game play as we found in other recent launched games. But in the case of Banished, it seems we haven't the same right to ask for improvements on it just because it's a 1-guy-dev game. I understand it may took a lot of work and time, it's really a masterpiece, but it's unfinished. I would like to have the same response as I would have if I was dealing with Valve, EA, Blizzard. Now that you put your work on market, you should relax your brains after the issued get solved, and not after the first big ammount of money hit Steam. If it's impossible, because I understand the tremendous work you may had with this game, you should let others fiz it for you and permit people to make mods on the game. Even though I'm frustrated with it, I'm enjoying the game a lot and you really did a great job, we can see art on your game. Congratulations.
I have enjoyed this game as a guilty pleasure and the content depth of what you have put into this keeps astounding me each time I try something new.
Thank you for this update. Any news is good news in this situation. Ignore the trolls that keep beating down upon you and just keep doing what you've been doing. I'll also say it is important to simply enjoy life for what it is and not try to feed the never ending snipes by fans that don't really care about you.
I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and hope they are as fruitful as Banished has become.
I am simply amazed with what you have achieved by yourself on this, and other, projects Luke. Please enjoy the free-time you can now and know that many issues are user or hardware related. Sure there are fixes to be made, but a large majority has been able to work through many "bugs" finding them to be caused by us, not the game.
My first week with the game I played more hours then I worked my job - it's that enjoyable. I know a lot of people want additional items and tweaks, letting people eat food they collect for instance, but the way it is currently allows for the challenge and limitations I feel make this game what it is. Leave it to Mods to add additional items and change things, but leave the core game as it is and only fix what bugs you deem needed.
I've looked but don't see any way to support you, not sure if your in need with the huge popularity of the game, but I know I for one would! Happy Banishing~
The game is great. Its been bug free for me
I did spot some typos in the tutorial, but that was all
Let me preface this by saying that I believe this to be an amazing take on a development simulator, and it's really unique to see a solo developer truly connecting with every single bit of criticism. Without my comment, you can see that there's much more support for your work than there is opposition. Just like finding the formula that works in the game, you have to find the formula for yourself. If we keep supporting you like this, then I think your determination will be limitless, and the possibilities endless!
Well, what can I say. Thanks for making such a great game, even if it has a bug or two, but wow,the possibilities to expand this is beyond anything I have seen. Great, just darn Great! I spend more than 500 $ a year ever since PC games were invented and Banished is the best 20 bucks I ever invented. Love it!! Let ya go now, I know you're busy. Best of luck. 😉 and Thanks again. mrbisonm/ Fred
Your game is fantastic for a first timer on his own, and 100,000 (or more) people can't be wrong-and if there are some bugs in the game, they're far outweighed by how great it truly is!
Your work is truly one of a kind and we fans are patient. After having to deal with the big names, your approach is a breath of fresh air.
The game is worth every single penny.
love the game
I know it is hard to 'share' your baby. I know that it might take a little time to educate helpers. But you are strapped for time anyway. Investment (of time) in helpers will be a good investment in the game and your future. And I am absolutely certain that there are dudes out there who are very good at this, and would help you for free. It will be something they can put on their CVs in the future. Give it a try.
Thanks for a great, beautiful game.
Your game is awesome. I personally haven't had any problems with banished. I love the game. I hope you will put your excellent talent u put into banishes into other games in the future because I will defiantly purchase them. I would just like to say good work and thanks for a wonderful game.
You're doing well to put limits on how busy you are. Take a break if you need it. There will probably be some whiny customer who won't understand why 'X' isn't patched yet (or whatever issue people might whine about) but it's not worth wrecking your health over.
Really enjoying the game, congratulations on your effort. My only problem is that time vanishes when i load the game. I tell myself i'll play for an hour, then its that i'll just wait until the next spring, then i'll just play until the whatever is finished being built, then on and on and it's 4am.
The game is absolutely brilliant, and my only criticism-ish type thing is that I would love more content and more robust versions of what already exist. Basically more end-game diversity. But I have paid far more for far worse games from massive studios. I am totally satisfied.
To add, if your modding system is robust and allows for some really cool stuff, like fleshing out the disaster system and player ability to manage them...well there's just tons of potential. I'm excited to see what happens.
Keep it up Luke! And be good to yourself!
Thanks for you game 🙂 but i think you can have lot of help from the community , for free...Many peoples enjoy the game and i'm pretty sure many of them would be happy to help you with bug issues.
Don't think your alone a whole community is behind you =).
Don't rush on doing something on your masterpiece because the best ones are worth waiting for. And also it's a good thing you don't over do it because it will only make you crazy. So I just want to say good luck on whatever you are doing and keep us posted on the developments about this wonderful game. 😀
No sweat man, I'll wait. 🙂
Too bad your game is already dead
Great update! I can't imagine how crazy it must be managing all of that by yourself. I think you're doing an excellent job; you must be doing something right since Banished has been floating around the top 10 on Steam since it came out.
Just ignore the haters. They'll whine until the patch is done, then go back to playing the game obsessively like the rest of us.
Nice to see a post. I am not a hater, but I do see some issues within the game. I play now and again. Not as much as I did at first. I tested the game insanely even got my fiancé to help. I see where some things I thought were wrong. But some things where the logic and math were totally messed up. I took notes of many fanboys/girls and tried it their way.
All in all the game has many issues. Starvation, freezing, hoarding, death marches, and etc. Now if this is how the game was intended to run, I wish I had known before the purchase. As buggy as EA SimCity 2013 is..the logic and math do seem to add up better than Banished.
I'm not a hater, but I also don't give dishonest posts and always speak my mind. I did purchase this game under the belief it was a certain style of game. Actually 2 purchases. This is your game, but it is MY money. So thus the hardcore posts I make. I am disappointed, but I do not take any credit away from you building this game on your own and with your own money.
I look forward to some updates and even some that was intended news on some issues that arises over and over again about your game.
Where is the editor? then the community can start "helping".
Thanks for the feedback about the current situation!
I'd prefer to see a small segment of the mod kit in front, the translation unit, just to enable the community to translate the game into whatever language there may be, until we get the possibility to tinker with the mechanics and content. I think this has some importance as there are many many people who don't understand English and are pretty clueless what to do with the game.
Keep it bowling!
Fantastic game. I absolutely love it and keep up the good work. I want this patch now, but no rush. Take your time, you got this.
I would like to add; I know you can't possibly read all of these but there is much room for an expansion in this game while keeping it just based totally on survival.
That being said, on my second game I almost wiped out my colony by accepting lazy vagrants too early. They ate all of my food way to quickly and didn't seem to want to do the jobs I put them to task.
Expansion of the game may be something you want to think about once you get all the bugs worked out and push a small content update, if you do such. Expansion of the game could take place by advancing through the ages as I see it could be done, but through a much slower pace in this game.
By advancing through the ages your could not only take advantage of additional replay value but it would also intrigue the player into advancing just at the right time and not trying to rush things. After all, to increase ones train of though and the expansion of the brain into new ideas takes time and many resources.
Another avenue could be the creation of a fort to protect from Indians or other vagrants that aren't so friendly. The engine is there and the possibilities are endless. I would just hope to see that this game does not fall down by the wayside and not kept up with like many other indie games.
Thanks for your time and consideration reading this,
You game is really a gem. Some bugs of course, sometimes stupid behaviour of our small settlers, but anyway really a gem.
Thanks a lot, communication is more important than any patch release date.
This is a 20$ well spend, you deserve much more for all the effort !
Keep it up!
And yeah, i'm pretty sure people would gladly help you out for free if you ever need / want to
Nice that you have found the time for another blog post, though i hoped it wouldn't just be about finding time for stuff like blog posts^^
This game is great and i really hope modding can push it to an even greater level. I hope for a coastal areas with real trans continental trading ports, land based trading routs though my area i can fortify with stuff like a tavern, more beautiful looking cities (lighting/fires, different house), AI behavior changes (e.g. insta firefighting when running though a burning city, not just ignoring it until its to late anyway) and other stuff to allow larger cities (resource distribution, workspaces, etc).
In other words i hope you really open Banished up for any kind of modding and do not just provide some configs to include own "content".
You should reach out to veterans like, Brad Wardell, President of Stardock, and get his advice and or help. What you need now, is big support to keep the momentum going. Lest of course, you've gone as far as you want to go.
I'm really enjoying the game and haven't had any crashes or problems and I've played it for maybe 30 hours total. Great work!
I can't wait to try this awesome looking game!
One thing i wanted to add: For me, you are kind of "living the dream". So if you feel bothered to much by bugs ec., imagine working in a "normal" cubical job instead....
banished is good, yet could be so much better. I've been trying to spread the word about Banished and at least some have listened and bought the game, but as I said, there is a lot of possibilities with Banished which makes it great to look at the future. For now all I will say is that you did a good job and I hope you will get a good chunk of cashflow by it so you can either keep improving it / make a small business / make other awesomeness 🙂
Also, I would check if there is a way for none American players who do not have a credit card to be able to buy it (bank transfer possibly?) Because some other friends of mine have that issue...
We appreciate the update and glad to know you are well. Banished is a terrific game, so take care of yourself and we will be here when you have more great stuff for us. Do consider the volunteers.
I just bought the game yesterday after watching Sips series. Really enjoyable as is. I don't mind waiting for updates. I really hope revenues are good and you can expand your new company.
Just wanted to say thanks for making the type of game I love to play. I came across it on a Steam ad and gave it a shot. I am hooked!! It beats the socks off of SimCity, for me anyways. I play on hard and it is a fun challenge. My only hope is that more content is eventually provided to keep it fresh and entertaining down the road. Keep up the hard work, and thanks for making Banished.
I am having fun playing and "suffering" through the Banishment. My grand-nephew is 9 years old and he asked for banished for his b'day. I'm helping him get up to speed getting his banishee's to thrive. Keep up the good work and don't forget to take care of yourself as well. I am looking forward to the mods kit and any dlc you may choose to add in the future.
Great work on your other project as well.
I'm more excited about this game then about Simcity. Actually I think this game is way better then Simcity of Citiesx XL
Please just please fix the roads. I guess it is minor bug but because of it game is unplayable in late game.
Problem with Roads is sometimes you can't demolish them. Is is big problem late game when you start to change older part of village. On various wikias this problem were already mention many times.
Keep Going Mate! You're doing a great job and have made a fantastic game on your own, so well done and keep up the good work!
If you are looking for help, you could consider looking at the other things taking up time besides coding. it would be much easier bringing a person up to speed who is going to help with PR or support rather then coding, (cheaper too)
It's crazy that you made this whole game by yourself. Don't let the haters get you down, there are plenty more of us out there who love this game. Keep your head up!
Yeah don't let other people bring you down. U made a great game all by yourself. That's a great thing. We understand that your only 1 person. I love your game and will continue to play it. So anyways keep up the great work.
YOUR GAME IS SOO EPIC! And you're the only creator!
What coding language does Banished use?
Point support problems towards the forums and often most problems will be resolved by fellow community members. Even larger game companies use this tactic! Its also a lot faster finding solutions with a load of people taking a crack at it from different angles. And completely free!
It's a good game but gets old real fast being that is a single player and not multiplayer slash co op which basically make me lose interest in the game so much can be done with it but at the end of the day what's the point its only single player game in this day and age most games are multiplayer and co op so enough said about it was what it was at the start and now just becomes boring to play...
Take your time boss! Love your game, well worth the price in my opinion. The ideas of community-assisted bug squashing is not a bad idea at all.
Your game is a wonderful city builder. I have heard of it in a french videogame newspaper who gave it 9/10 : a well deserved grade I think.
looks like game is dead. no updates only an excuse why nothing happen. its sad cuz this game is realy realy good. i give u an hint, sell it to some big game dev team they can do it faster and ur game will stay allive. otherwise i see no future. cuz if nothing happen in a few weeks, i ask steam to give me my money back because i cant play since 2 months now cuz of crash bugs. fix ur game or drop it!!!
I haven't experienced any bugs except for being unable to build dirt paths on some tiles which clearly did not actually have problematic slopes.
I think it's important that you focus on releasing the mod kit sooner rather than later, before people have stopped playing the game. There was a lot of excitement and energy around the release and it would be great to be able to have that continue with custom content creation.
i'm china player ~~~~
I've been asking around on forums and roughly 10% of the people I asked said that they'd like the game better if you made the music less repetitive. Although everyone likes the music because it suits the game so well because it's so calm.
Part from the repetition great game!!!
I loved the game the little bit of time that I was able to play which was a whole hour total until it crashed. I have had the game longer than I have been able to play it. It gets to the part where it says it is loading and then I get a fatal error that says the game can not continue. You got my money....now let me play the game. Really love it but am seriously disappointed right now.
You've done a great job! I only scratched a little bit of the gameplay - no technical problems btw - and Banished has me.
Game loaded up first time no trouble.
Has run floorlessly every since.
Only problem is not enough hours in the day to play and enjoy.
A great piece of work. Well Done.
Congratulations on releasing an excellent game.
As others have said, I hope you consider getting some temporary help (volunteer, short term contract, etc.) to help get through the next few months. Let them help with the first line of support, emails, etc. which would allow you to focus on the more challenging aspects of your business.
Sounds like what you really need is a good admin assistant. 🙂 Very best of luck, and I'm looking forward to playing when I get home from work this evening. 🙂
I accidentally came across this game when I was watching vids on youtube, but after five minutes, I knew I had to get this game. I haven't stopped playing since. I couldn't imagine taking on every single facet of producing a game all by myself. Be proud of your work, you by yourself have made a game better than 95% of games produced and released to this very day.
Well done with Banished!
I love it, and i dont have any problems with it what so ever. (playing on maxed out settings on win 8.
The only thing i would like too see is more content 🙂
Well done again!
So glad to see all the well-deserved praise going on here.
As someone else said it is amazing to have created such a great game in a solo venture and puts to shame pretty much every big developer who give their name to similar titles. Inexpressible kudos to you!
Really hope you keep developing this project and can't wait to see where you take it.
I just want to say you are awesome. I also work for myself and the amount of stuff to be done is really ridiculous, but some days you do need to just step away and take a break. I love the game, and hadn't experience many bugs, so be proud of your work! You definitely made something wonderful, don't let the logistics bring you down. 🙂
Having worked myself sick a couple of years ago, I fully support your decision to not do overtime (not that my opinion should matter 🙂 ). I'm one of those who's been having tons of fun with Banished. Releasing such a high quality game is an amazing achievement for a single man. Eagerly (but patiently) awaiting the release of the ModKit.
The only bugs are minor annoyances, I continue to enjoy this game and have not had a single crash or problematic glitch, well done and in time it will go to perfection, but it is the best buy I've had this year so far!
I really enjoy playing Banished and it's more stable than some EA games after release.
I enjoy my time off and hope you can relax and enjoy the summer when it get's here.
I'm sure mostly everyone understands this is a one man project and are willing to wait for fixes. 🙂
Can only say 10/10!
No crashes, no blips, no problems.. Simply perfect! Stellar job! Will defo keep an eye on further products from you! Very impressed!
Hey Luke, You're a fucking dickhead. Thanks.
Hey Blacky, you're a fucking idiot.
Reading some of these comments makes me want to puke. Where were these people raised?
Developer, you did an awesome job. You are a one man show, and these little twerps say things like "yo man let EA buy you bro so we can push out game updates every 2 secsz bro!!!"
Are you fucking kidding me?????
This guy is INDIE. INDEPENDANT.
This game doesn't have co-op/multiplayer. So what? Is that some kind of requirement to you nasal little shits?
AHHH SO ANGRY.
Single developer releases great game with a few obvious bugs and a fair bit of game-breaking annoyances. Takes the money and disappears for 7 weeks. Posts one article about how hard it is to work on the game, that it will take long for update to arrive etc. Gets praised to heaven. "Bugs are not bugs", "Luke don't mind the _opposition_ they are wrong", "Ignore the bug reports they'll mess with your sleep" etc.
Dear developer, you must have noticed by now that Steam stats have dropped from the initial 13000 people playing Banished to about 2500 people playing. All the initial buzz on the internet has died. Apart from the hardcore fans that are schmoozing on your message board here, real people expect something to be done. Even if it was only a message every week, stating what exactly you have done and what you are working on. But this silence? You're only getting away with it because you're a one man show. It's almost two months since release, now get to work and fix what needs fixing. We know it, you know it. Otherwise you wouldn't have written such an apologetic message.
Sorry for my extremely cynic tone, I'm having an allergic reaction to all the positivist messages here.
Amen to what Curundir said. It takes you ~10min to write a blog post. Just do so! Even if you did nothing, just say you did nothing. Just don't keep us in the dark.
Great game, and I am really enjoying it. Work hard, but play hard too. Balancing everything right is important. Having done my research before purchasing the game, I accepted that having a single developer made long wait times a possibility.
I don't have much time because the merchant is in... just want to tell you it's a great game worth all the money.
If you need help, I'm sure there are many who'd be proud to assist. I know, managing the volunteers can mean a lot of work too.
Gotta go, need peaches
Thanks a lot for this awesome game.
ONE MORE THING,
Can you add a max distance moving for the inhabitants of each houses ?
This would prevent them to die walking when the town has expanded, and get rid of a huge problem for experimented players. 🙂
I will skip the gj and grats/praise your work part cause you have plenty of fanboys already doing that.
The other side of the medal : Banished isnt a finished game to me. You have some game-breaking bugs in it that needs fixing (just think of villagers dying from walking too far as your town expands). Some claims villagers wont eat, others that the game wont even start.
Im not saying bugs shouldnt be in the game at launch, most games have nasty bugs at launch. But dev teams work hard on fixing them asap.
They dont come with excuses to their customers as to what they dont have the ressources or time, and they especially dont tell them they wont do overtime or take every possible measure to fix it. Its like telling them that their problems over a product you sold them isnt more important than hiking with your dog on weekends. I just cant imagine my customer's face if i told them something like that while their roof is leaking...
It looks like a hit and run, i hope you will prove me wrong.
Excellent work. Banished both relaxes the mind and excites the imagination in gameplay. I see a also that you discovered that it's more efficient to "Be" rather than to "Do" as exemplified in you being the CEO of Handplane.
Hang in there. It too will pass.
Love the game. Don't kill yourself trying get it all done quickly. Personally, I'm patient for a quality game.
Glad to hear you take time off. It's good that you aren't letting this business beat you down.
As Simon says, please don't let all the overwhelming praise fool you. I ALMOST LOVE your game, but as it is, I find it almost unplayable. farmers leave a bushel of corn on the field at the end of harvest, nobody will touch it, and next season nobody will plant there. builders ignore buildings they are assigned to and gather resources instead. Please let me love your game! Teach the people how to prioritize.
I thought about purchasing this game, but after this post, no way! I saw in one comment above 13,000 people were playing at one time in the beginning @$20 a pop - that's a lot of money for no support!
I understand bugs. I have done development myself. And was going to purchase and give it a shot anyway. What I don't understand, and what made me change my mind, was the "I don't do overtime" bit. When I was in development, we did TONS of overtime right after releases to fix bugs. 1 guy/100 guys, Indie/mega corp., it all doesn't matter - when you are taking people's money, you put the customers first and fix their problems. That is priority number 1.
Until the bugs are fixed and patches are released, I won't be considering this game at the risk of it not working. But I will keep an eye on it since it does look wonderful from the screenshots.
I want to punch everyone who thinks you should forgo all other aspects of your life in order to get things done. I'm a developer as well (although not for games) and unless something crazy goes down, we don't work overtime. Time away from work is a necessity for a clear mind and sanity.
Maybe I am also a little biased because I absolutely love the game and have encountered no bugs. But still.
I love you forever for making handplane. That tool has made my life so much easier. Thank you.
I waited for awhile to pick this up. I waited as long as I could. I usually only buy games twice a year; Steams Summer sale and Winter sale. This is the only off season game I've bought. No regrets. I got the save bug, downloaded the test files and the bug went away. Thanks!
I want to punch Shannon "We don't work overtime". It's been not just one, two or four weeks. It's been 2 months and I've got the save bug that happens a few times... A DAY. I've had to end a map because of the death march for no reason. They kept walking even after I'd destroyed the bridge I was trying to build.
Disaster times when the game drags on increase frequency until there is nothing left. Within a 2 year period at about year 175, I had;
4 fires (even with wells completely surrounding my markets, they ALWAYS catch on fire, no matter how far away the fire starts)
Simultaneous mumps, typhus and Yellow Fever and;
Of course, everyone who was sick or dead was a farmer so I went from 900 pop to 32 and destroyed "suburbs" (areas around a market).
And of course, more of the dreaded save bug.
There are several bugs that should have been hammered out before charging $20 a pop for the game. More so - hiring someone becomes "I don't wanna but I don't wanna work either" is really, really poor messaging/branding. For one, you could easily hire an independent contractor. This game isn't so complicated in coding that you have to "bring up to speed" anyone beyond what you want from the game. A contractor also means no expanding. The fact you made (at least) $260,000 from an unfinished game and make excuses for not working on it is beyond me.
The fact you say you don't want to work on the game when these bugs are well known is actually insulting. I don't give a pass because you are solo like others. You still make a product and that product should be delivered. If nothing else more, 7 weeks to work on even ONE major problem (the save bug that resets our progress repeatedly)... you are saying you can get this game together and out, but can't fix that in 280 hours of a 40 hour work week is baffling.
If I make pasta for the grocery store and people are getting sick from it, they don't say "well, it's only one woman, it's okay we get diarrhea". If you make a game, you should stand by that game and support that game and if you knew anything about bringing a game to market, you would expect some overtime during and just after launch. Even the "big guys" expect employees to put in overtime during release/launch and during any major updates. Why are people exempting that?
Try checkers, it's less stressful.
Wow... some people really have a limited view of reality. Where a game becomes so important they feel the need to "punch' someone.
No matter what we do in life it's important to have a work life balance, and this guy , who has put his heart and soul into a game is entitled to that.
Sure, maybe there are some bugs, but it's still just a game. he may, or may not fix them and that's OK too. There's plenty of classic games that had game breaking bugs that never got fixed.
Personally I love the game. I haven't kep playing it because I feel it needs a bit more to add to it's longevity but I'm happy to sit back and wait and enjoy whatever happens. If it never gets another update it will still stay on my hard drive for a long time for those days when I need a challenge and want to build something.
Enjoy your weekends, you've earned them 🙂
No bugs seen so far - they seem to be affecting a small vocal minority to be honest. Not sure what everyone is complaining about - I haven't even needed the patch.
If there are issues, and yeah I can see some things that need tweaking gameplay wise - like how hard it is to keep a stable population and how roads suck up builders unnecessarily - I'm sure you will be better for addressing them at your own pace.
Please don't get discouraged because some people feel personal attacks and insults are an appropriate form of feedback.
Follow my approach
There are no bugs - just undocumented features
Actually on the Volunteer front, you could do worse than get 2 or 3 people who could Mod and clean up the forum especially consolidating duplicate items/requests.
You would possibly find it useful if the reported bugs could consolidated and migrated to bug tracking software ranked properly for severity and priority.
I agree enlisting volunteers may be useful.
20$ is a lot of money for no support. He's not even communicating with the community as he values more other sources of income. Other sources of income? Last time I checked there were 15k people playing this game. The sale of this is 300k! I don't know how much Steam keeps but I'm sure the developer payed his mortgage already. Seriously, it's a genuine F*ck you he's pointing at us.
Yeah, look like the dev is definitely pulling a cash grab here. Dropped it like a bag of rocks.
@venny & Jack
I game that works as advertised for 99% of users is a cash grab.
Updates being released and released before now to fix the issues for the minority.
compared to EA's SimCity at 3 times the price.
yeah, right, idiots
Why come down on this guy for making money on the game? Improvements would be nice but as is it's well worth what I paid. If someone comes up with a great idea, they deserve to get a good payday. To those having issues, I'm sorry, but I have had none, which seem to be the general consensus. Good job Shannon, keep it up, if you are able to make the game better, good on you, if not, good on you, you made a great game. 🙂
Thanks for calling me an idiot Greygor. I suppose you're one of those fanatical fanboys.
Of course the game works. But it does have flaws. It does have concerns that has not been addressed It does not have support as the developer is ignoring the community. It does have a patch promised 2 months ago. If you look at Steam's statistics, you clearly see that people simply stopped playing this game. Hell - I stopped playing this game. Why am I here? Because I still believe in the concept, I still believe it could become something bigger than what it is. So yeah, it works for 99% of the people - how many stopped playing it because they find it too frustrating?
One thing you forget is that I am a customer as I paid for a product. I own this product's license to use it. As a user of a product that I own I have the right to have an opinion about it and to be disappointed at certain aspects of the game. You have absolutely no right to call me an idiot just because you don't see it my way.
Most people who want to have their own business work their living butts off the first few years.
If you think you can pull it off on a 40 hour week good luck to ya.
I'll keep an eye on this and see how it goes before I jump in.
@Jack - You're right it was unnecessary but I couldn't edit the post to take it out - Apologies 🙁
I was probably more annoyed at @venny's comment than your own.
when is the update come out, I like the game very much 3 of my family members play the game now
@maetel cundiff,I wouldn't hope for an update or mods for this game,just my opinion and I'm not trying to be negative but seems like the guy has moved on and dropped any support ( if it ever had any ) for the game,again it's just my opinion and I could be wrong which I hope I am.
Sounds like you need to hire a tester. Someone who is an expert at finding those reproduction steps for you.
Also maybe a PO/PM (whatever you want to call them) to help you prioritise your work and give you a small buffer between the bug reports and actionable issues.
This guy is a joke. I think, based on previous comments, that he thinks all of us are his FANS. No! We are not! We are, at first, CUSTOMERS. I can't even imagine how people suggest him to get "free colaboration". People, come on, this guy made a lot of money with an unfinished game. I'm pretty sure that, this guys who supporting his conduct, if they received a Big Mac (which cost a small fraction of this game) without pickles, they will return the Big Mac and ask for their pickles... why you don't do the same with your BOUGHT games? Fanboyism is dangerous to people. Ok developer, take your nap, relax, don't hire anyone to fix and improve the game issues (I could list lots of them) and save your money. Write your name on the wall of NEVER BUY ANOTHER GAME FROM YOU.
Yep, the dev team should look at us as customers, for sure. It strange to hear that he want to focus another stuffs. He don't even finished the first one. The game is great, but there's so many thing to be improved and fixed. I used to play this game 4-5 hours a day at first week, but now it's hard to play this one our a week without get bored or upset. He is on vacations supported with the money he got on Steam and we are alone here complaining about support lol. This is the difference to buy a game from a reputed studio vs a solo (tired and discouraged) developer. I'll keep my eyes open when about to buy another game from a newly listed studio.
This $20 game is more stable and more complete than the last few $60 games I have been interested in. One man made a game more stable than AAA games with multi-million dollar budgets. This is one of the cleanest game releases I have seen in a LONG time.
Rome 2 was unplayable for half its customers for the first month, after stopping the crashes its gameplay is terrible and its not even worth playing. What a waste of $60.
X-Stillbirth is so bad not a single critic gave it a positive review and its user meta score is 33. I waited 3 years for that piece of shit.
Simcity 5.... Let us not speak of such horrors.
Mass Effect 3: The game worked for most people and the game play was solid. However the new writers apparently never played the previous two games and all the decisions you made previously had no impact on this game. The ending was so bad their forums were in open revolt, the fallout from it is still persisting even to today.
Ruji - than maybe you are one of the half who did get to play Rome 2. This game is still unplayable for much of it's customer base. The reason I got it to play? My husband couldn't get it to work on his computer because of the hardware of a 2-3yo laptop. My gaming computer with i7 quad core and 16g of RAM lags out when a tornado is on screen.
For me, many of my games have ended when I couldn't save any longer and autosave crashed me - including hard crashes. When I can save, I get death marches due to poor coding of pathing, several functions like priorty are hit and miss and it never fails within about a 50x50 block square piece, there's left over sidewalks that cannot be removed and cannot be built on.
To say "this game works great for me and look how these other games sucked for ONLY SOME PEOPLE", well if your game works, then you'd have no complaint because you would have been part of the userbase it works for.
However, I have, as yet, not found a single person who hasn't experienced at the very least, both death march and un-deletable paths. Even the priority system in which farmers will run across the map in winter and not make it back by spring is absurd. With some coding, it could easily be made that the farmer designated for a farm won't perform work that is outside of... a 50 block radius or whatever.
When I spend time, I like to see results. When my results can't be seen, are killed before I get results or my game crashes losing all my progress since the prior save... then what's the point?
I got your idea.
If a lot of studios do something incomplete/bugged, everyone are allowed to sell games in that way.
Nice point! Or not.
Hello, I just wanted to write and let you know your game is great. It had a learning curve that took a moment for me to grasp. So use to playing FPS games, this was definitely a change of pace that was needed. If you ever decide to make expansions you would have my money. Thanks for making a great game!