make more robots please heavy duty robots please
Doing the Kickstarter campaign has been an education, that’s for sure. We knew it would be, but we didn’t realise just how much we’d learn.
Bottom line: our story wasn’t strong enough and wasn’t shared widely enough.
We want to thank you for backing your belief in Autonauts, but the fact remains we’d probably be better off buying a lottery ticket than relying on hitting our target now.
We said that whatever happens, come 2018 we’d stop working on the existing version of Autonauts, which was true. But, while we aren’t likely to meet our funding goal, we believe in Autonauts and have a short-term compromise, which we hope will meet your approval.
We need to better understand how to improve our chances of getting the ‘right’ people to pay attention to Autonauts and inspire their followers to do the same.
More immediately though, we reckon we need to embiggen our story first. And to do that, we feel we need to make more of the game, to make it more obvious to more people where we’re going with Autonauts. We want to add a more obvious game structure, formal challenges and so on, to help make it clearer WHY you should care about automating the world.
Some of the work we need to do won’t fit neatly into our typical weekly iteration cycle. (We also think we’re probably adding too much too often with our weekly playable updates; it’s a constant barrage of changes, which has all sorts of unintended side effects.)
So, yeah, that means no more new weekly updates to actually play for a while...
We reckon if we go dark (well, darker) for two months we can return in the new year with an Autonauts that’s more likely to surprise and delight: a big, obvious change rather than frequent, smaller evolutions. An Autonauts that more people will be more interested in playing and sharing and investing in.
Seeing as the key reason for automating everything is focused on the folk, we end this week - this run of weekly playable updates - by starting to do more for the folk and their wellbeing. If you find folk lying around in the world and choose to make them yours, you need to care for them and meet their needs. They already want shelter and sustenance, but now that comes with even greater consequences: waste. Your folk now make mess when they eat and that needs attention - and smart automation. Who’d’ve ever thunk that cleaning could be so much fun :)
Yes, it’s not brilliantly balanced (yet) but it’s definitely satisfying even now, so it should give you a feel for where we’re headed. Do let us know how you get on.
See you around!
Autonautily Yours... Always
Gary and Aaron
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Dude, I can't explain the joy I have playing this game. It's so satisfying when your place comes together and everything just works. Having to wait till 2018 truly saddens me but I understand that you want a break. I definitely agree with everyone that you should try getting it on steam and get it out there. I would love for you to keep the Mac version, because 1, I have it on my work computer which happens to be a Mac and 2, I think it would widen your publicity (if that makes sense). As for quality, I think its amazing, the simplistic look is absolutely ASTONISHING and definitely helps with frames, so if I have 20+ workers doing there own little thing, I'm not killing my computer(Mac).
As for some ideas for the future...
---I think there should be a small popup, maybe in one of the corners, that shows what command a worker is performing as you hover the mouse button over them, I think this would be great for when your bot is stuck or your just purely curious as to what it is doing, I just personally hate having to press space and then go through everything and sometimes the sidebar gets a little annoying.
---Movable research and worker sidebar and/or movable popup for whatever your cursor is over
---Bigger Storage (maybe even a Storage Manager)
---Use Charcoal as a fuel source
---A way to remove and place Grass/Weeded Soil/Tree Soil
---A way to set the area at which the Workers work in
---I was also thinking of a more intricate citizen system like school, mating, bigger houses, etc. (that can go on forever in my mind)
---Slaughterhouse (well the functions of one)
---Better crops/crop fields
God, I really said a lot and the problem is, I have more ideas and it's because this game has so much potential, really did good job on this one. I lastly suggest reaching out to Sl1pG8r I see him surfing through Itch.io a lot and I have a feeling that this would be a game he would love. I can't wait till we see more from you, good luck.
P.s. If you need anymore ideas lol, email me: Chef.firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks! Actually we're not really taking a break right now, we're making some big changes which means we can't really do weekly builds while that's going on.
Thanks for the ideas!
BTW you can already change a bot's working area using a Beacon. While you're holding one press Z and you can change its radius and name.
Regarding Kickstarter, have to say I didn't even hear about it and would have willingly backed it if I'd known. So don't knock yourselves too harshly, you have a marketing issue more than a product one.
For more publicity I'm sure you're aware that Yogscast will be doing their charity stream through the month of December. Might be worth reaching out to them and seeing if they can do anything on stream. They've even published Caveblazers recently so might be open to something more cooperative.
Keep up the good work, looking forward to an opportunity to get a Steam key. Which might also be something worth considering, get the game listed on Steam and generate some buzz over there even if it's just follows/wishlists. The Devs for 'They are billions' recently did sales through Humblestore for pre-early access steam beta keys. The response kind of tripped them up it was so successful (they ran out of keys). Maybe check that out also as it would let you get some revenue before even releasing to steam. And of course it would then also generate more activity in steam from those who've bought the game.
As for depth in the game, I agree, it currently seems to be a tech tree rush, albeit very enjoyable. Perhaps having goals and unlocks linked to world objectives would help. Fulling needs is good but I'd also wonder if having hostile mobs, weather/decay etc could be worked in to add depth without it centering on just supply and demand.
Maybe even look at a modular manufacturing tier. Where people can build complete factory units rather than multiple singular machines (benefit of smaller footprint, faster production etc). Such factories could be trained in a similar manner to bots.
I'll go shut up now. Have a great Christmas & New Years.
Thanks for this!
We knew the 'sell' - the marketing - would be tough but we it's clear that we just weren't strong enough :(
The game - the structure, the direction - is definitely lacking, so that's what we're focussing on in the next few months.
I did suggest Good Shepard http://www.goodshepherd.games to you a while back and I still feel that they would be most helpful in publishing your game.
I have mentioned Autonauts to Paul Hanraets and he thought it looked interesting. Partnering with Good Shepard would allow you to work on the development of the game and not worry about the difficulty of financing it. They have a great track record and lots of resources that would help you.
I hope you will reconsider submitting it. Give it a shot. What do you have to lose?
Best of luck guys,
Just a thought for you guys... have you looked in to Patreon there are loads of game designers on there that are making money hand over fist. The thing with it is though its a smaller amount of money per month then one big payout like Kickstarter.
You could maybe run a schedule like:
Once a monthly updates
- Leave version 21 free (call it like a demo)
- $2 a month Pledge person gets the latest version
- $5 a month Maybe a special way of writing the codes
- $10 a month .... You know whatever.
- $20 a month Name a folk after them
Later on get the game like to say version 26 and release the "Demo" again version 22. This way if someone truly supports the game and want the newest version they pay a couple of bucks a month (not a lot a lot of people can not really afford more then a couple of dollars a month)
Either which way, I love the game I have been teaching my niece some critical thinking skills with the game. Personally I started playing at version 2 and have been pretty surprised at your breakneck pace of releases. You deserve a break and definitely deserve slowing down some you have the core of the game now work some on the quality not the quantity?
If I could put in for one little request though... a randomly generated map! This map is sorta boring as I know exactly where to go to get all the resources needed, there is no need to explore the map other then to find/add more whiners... errm i mean The Folk!
Enjoy the break, happy holidays
Hope to see ya'll very soon
Ah, so no update until 2018 ? Fine, fine... I liked the weekly something, but i get your point.
People looking at the game around me all say the same : art is not attractive, not as a tech but as a mood. They don't want super high level new polygonal machine killers, but they do want more cohesive everything, GUI mostly. The color choice was often quoted as a "no way i paly that". Too shiny, too unartistic. Some even ask if there is an ASCII mod instead (in a serious question).
I don't really care about that part, but i share what they say.
Thanks for the feedback. Useful to know. If you could find out if they have any points of reference for art that would be considered more attractive for mood, let us know :)
After playing Grow Home, Astroneer, Kingdoms and Castles and Stonehearth I really don't mind these visuals... Mindcraft looks worse yet everybody seems to play and like it.... ;-) (Not bashing this game, just for reference) Perhaps some different color shades in the future? Something that sticks out a bit? . I do admit when I saw this game for the first time on a Let's Play I didn't click at all with it... Now it's all I seem to watch and play... So perhaps I started to disagree with the writer of this post, now I might agree... But this does grow on you. Perhaps with enough exposure everybody will like it more. Good luck and see you in 2018 guys! Greets from Holland