Posted Thu, Jan 15, 2009 by Cody Bye
The official forums over at the official Fallen Earth website are abuzz with the latest "State of the Game" update from the developers. Although the developers are fairly open with exactly how much content they've pumped into their game and their updates seem pretty significant, there are still a few forum posters that seem less than thrilled that the game is still in development rather than in player hands. In any case, the update is at least a solid sign that the developers are still hard at work.
Here's the whole update:
As we start a New Year and ramp up for launch, we at Fallen Earth wanted to take a moment to review some milestones of 2008. We are also excited about many changes we’ve recently made to improve the player experience and look forward to milestones in the near future.
In 2008, we began a new production method to provide clear timelines for each town, as well as a place for artists, designers, scripters and QA to mix ideas and stay on the same page. Earlier on, we went back and forth between the design team and the art department with no real communication or verification of what the town would look like or what the teams wanted. Some good ideas were lost due to lack of communication, and we lacked solid deadlines and processes for QA. By implementing the scrum method, we have eliminated many communication issues between different teams working on the same end product and we have solidified our goals and deadlines.
We also recreated many towns in the first sector and thoroughly reviewed the rest. That’s a huge amount of content:
* 75,000+ text strings
* Almost 5,500 missions
* 6,000+ items
* 14,000+ unique characters/creatures
* 143,000+ in game objects
* 70 towns
* 600+ hrs of content
There are still things we can improve in each town, but we’re working currently in polish phase and are proud that we’ve revisited and improved so much content. So we have a killer game, now what?
We recently released the tutorial and new character creation, and we plan to polish the new player experience even more. There are also new UI features in almost every patch to clean up the interface and give players more information. The graphics engine is also getting a lot of bug fixes and optimizations to improve frame rate. We continue to fix crash bugs and build the infrastructure necessary to maintain live service with GM commands and more robust system monitoring.
We’ve signed up roughly 4,000 testers in Alpha and are currently running the sign up process through our Web site. We will keep adding qualified new testers as they are needed. We’re still cranking out patches for the alpha testing environment and are looking to our next milestone of closed beta.
We are also working to beef up our marketing machine. We recently hired a PR agency to help with media relations and are looking forward to having more of a presence on the Web, dev journals and features in upcoming magazines and contests and free stuff for our fans. You’ll also hear more about Fallen Earth on the road in some fan events and public demos.
The team has done amazing work this past year and we are mere months away from showing off our baby to the world. Thank you for your support and confidence in Fallen Earth. We look forward to working with you to make an awesome game.
The Fallen Earth Team
So what do you all think go of Fallen Earth? Do you think the game will release this year? Next year?