Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade recently announced that it will be available on Steam Early Access, but what exactly does that mean for backers? Senior Producer Nathan Richardsson is here to answer all your questions.
Do you need more cashmoneys to launch the game this year?
Nope. We’re funded.
You’re not doing this as a cashgrab?
No, our philosophy of being agile, is that we strongly believe that the inclusion of more people, as early in the development process as possible will ultimately make a better game. We are simply continuing this program (previously called Founders) in the Steam Early Access framework.
Why do you ask for more cashmoneys and continue the Founders program as Early Access then?
Because we can always use more cashmoneys to make more war. Like developing the first free expansion earlier, more weapons, get Orks and Eldar faster out of outsourcing and into the game.
But you don’t need Steam Early Access for that, it’s already working and on Steam?
No, as we don’t have a Steam Store page and a full part of either a Launch path or an Early Access path, we lose out on a lot of things. Our own infrastructure simply can’t handle the success we’re having, ranging from crap payment options on our website to simply delivering news through Steam to our customers. They provide us with great tools out of the box which plugs right into Unreal Engine 4 as well.
And me being the crusher of dreams decided we weren’t quite ready to launch yet, so my options were a tad limited.
But you’re totally going to be one of those games that never leave Early Access!
No, this is not possible. We are launching this year and while I wish it was possible, I cannot shove a Steam EA PC game on a DVD, put it in a box and put a PlayStation 4 sticker on it and hope it works. So calculate from that what you want but I believe 2016 will not last forever.
So what’s really changing for us moving into early access, from the perspective of the customer?
More blood for the blood god. More gold for the war effort. More people to be part of the development effort. We’ll suddenly have a proper store page on Steam which we couldn’t before, all achievements/cards/badges/cross promotions are fully active, people can see you playing it … I could go on and on, but most importantly, when we launch, we’ll have a tried, tested and well developed game that scales and has withstood the pressure of you. And judging by some of the love fervor on the forums lately, that is a lot of pressure.
What about all the reviews and all the bad people on Steam?
The only thing that will kill us in the next 10 years is if we make a shit game. Nothing else. And we have lots of indicators that people don’t think we’re shit. Surveys are awesome, sales are cray cray, and we don’t spend a dime on advertising so this is all word of mouth. And if our pursuit in involving people in making the Eternal Crusade a better game as early as possible costs us bad reviews and nobody gives us good reviews, well. At least we died for what we believe in.
Besides, it’s a bit insulting that Steam are bad people. I have 248 games on Steam. That must mean that I am so bad I’m worse than the filthiest comments on dubstep videos on YouTube.
But you aren’t ready yet for Steam Early Access!!
There is no definition for when you are ready for it, that is the root of the problem. Some people put shit there, some don’t. And if we’re constantly going to be asking ourselves, are we ready for X, Y and Z – we’ll suddenly be at launch time and missed the massive opportunity we believe in – involving you as players early. I don’t think you want that.
But you can’t launch without Keybinding on EA!!?
That and many a system mentioned are exactly why there are less frequent updates. We have very large systems coming in, in addition to keybinding coming in. It’s just not as simple as it seems for how we’re doing it in UE4.
So what you are saying is basically, you’ll have a store page, bad people on the internet might review you badly and that’s it?
Yes. Besides of course Founders package, with its benefits are no more. And if you are hesitant, just wait, I’d rather have you happy than disappointed.
But how will you explain the full width and breadth of the game so people don’t think it’s just a lobby shooter?
I have a big nice infographic coming showing that but the dude is sick. Then there are some nice people that twitch us, do interviews with us but ultimately we will constantly expand the game with new systems. Even actions speak louder than dubstep. (Sorry Benga and Skream)
What about [insert my thing], is it in Early Access launch?
There is no such thing as launch, it’s merely moving us to better infrastructure, which admittedly is debated and stigmatized. We will strive to update weekly and bi-weekly with new stuff. Maps, fortresses, character progression, visual customization, lewt and personalized loadouts, the meta-map, warlords, sub-factions, the relic items from stores and new items as well as of course Orks and Eldar. We’re a massively online game. We never stop developing or adding to the game. As such, I guess we’re never finished
The Client Performance isn’t great for everyone yet and will ruin everything! We’re doooooomed and going to hell!
Yes, you are absolutely right. Fortunately in the grim darkness of the far future, there is light (pun intended) in addition to everyone being doomed to hell. Things go keep in mind that might help.
- You are running the latest version of a next-gun cutting edge shooter engine, Unreal Engine 4.10.1 and it requires considreable hardware to run. You are actually probably one of a handful of games on the planet running that in puplic right now. We could have used an older engine, with sub-par perfomance, a production pipeline that’s half as slow in development and will become obsolete shortly. We thought we’d be doooomed by doing that.
- As we are always running the latest version, that means we encounter occasionally problems we have to wait for being solved, like the UI software we use causes a 20FPS drop and it’s something we can’t fix. But it does, and when fixes come in, we update our engine, for your pleasure.
- You are running an AMD card with either old drivers or you are one of those older ones they are still working on becoming better compatible with UE4. If you have a monster rig and running at less than 15FPS, that means you.
- You are running the game at max quality setting at 1080P or more. Don’t do that. We’ll add a ton of more graphic settings so you can better tweak. A workaround is telling your drivers specific instructions sets for EC on beat it with the ugly stick for more performance.
- What are we doing? Our Technical Director, Technical Art Director and our new hire of dedicated graphics engineer to optimize and make pretty are on this, in addition to our server team of course as well as our partners, like Epic.
Despite all of the doom and gloom in the Q&A, launching on Steam Early Access should be a positive move for Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. This will increase awareness to those who might interested in this type of game but aren’t necessarily die-hard Warhammer fans.
Source: Behaviour InteractiveRelated: Early Access, News, Shooter, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k Eternal Crusade